Vegan Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin-flavored everything. I’ve always wanted to try Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte but the pumpkin spice mix that they use is not vegan, so I’ve decided to make my own pumpkin flavored coffee treat. Here is my first attempt at a soy pumpkin spice coffee (it’s not a latte because I don’t have an espresso machine, but feel free to use espresso if you have the equipment).

Ingredients & Directions (serves 1)photo 1.PNG

  • Make unflavored coffee using whatever method you normally use
  • In a mug, add 1/2 cup soy milk. (I use unsweetened, plain flavored but vanilla flavored soy milk could also work)
  • Add 1 tbsp. trader joe’s pumpkin butter OR add 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie mix + 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon
  • add just a drop of vanilla extract
  • Finally, pour coffee over the mixture and stir well

A final note- this coffee is significantly less creamy than what I imagine a pumpkin spice latte would taste like, so feel free to use a higher-fat soy milk than normally, or adjust any of the ingredients according to your tastes. You may also want to steam the soy milk but this is what I did. Enjoy!

-Jess

What Influences Our Eating? (an intro, for now)

my lecture notes from class (and my cool sparkly, animal-print notebook, because I like to embrace my inner child while learning).

my lecture notes from class (and my cool sparkly, animal-print notebook, because I like to embrace my inner child while learning).

Last week, I started another year as a nutrition student as the fall semester commenced. So far, I really like the classes I’m taking. One class called “Energy & Exercise” is going to be a favorite, I think. This class is focused on weight control methods, exercise physiology, and energy balance. We’re also going to learn about eating disorders and how to prevent eating disordered behavior through promoting healthy eating habits and fostering a healthy body image in our future clients’ lives.

In yesterday’s lecture, we discussed some factors that influence our eating. This topic is of particular interest to me because of my own experiences and my belief that mindful eating is the most natural, effective way to eat healthfully while maintaining a balanced approach to diet.

Most people think that hunger, advertisements, being around food in a social setting, and emotions/stress are the top influencers of food consumption, however, I’m learning that there is SO much more to it. Neuropeptides and hormones such as neuropeptide Y, galanin, agouti-related protein, prolactin, and gherlin all have an effect on our appetites. I won’t go into too much detail about the science, because we’ve only just brushed the surface in class, but so far I’m learning that it’s a common misconception that all it takes to control ones appetite is willpower. I actually think I always knew this, because I consider myself (mostly) strong-willed, but still cave into cravings. It’s interesting to have scientific evidence that our feeding and food intake is not always so cut-and-dry.

It’s helpful to learn that there are physiological factors that lead us to eat certain foods because many people who have not struggled with their weight are quick to judge those who are overweight. It’s not always as simple as “eat this, don’t eat that” because, as I’m learning, there are so many factors that go into weight and food intake regulation. It can be frustrating when you look to diet books or magazines advising you to follow a strict diet and then you fail (or perceive failure when you haven’t lost ‘x” amount of lbs), but I hope that as a (future) dietitian, I can help my clients understand that weight has many influences to it, and then help them make the best dietary choices to counteract some factors that may be out of their own control (genetics, hormones, etc). Keep reading and I’ll continue to elaborate on this topic in future posts. There’s so much I have yet to learn and can’t wait to share it with you! 🙂

-Jess