Image source (Starbucks.com)
Yesterday all I saw on my news feed were people talking about a “Unicorn Frappuccino”.... Ahhhh I LOVE unicorns… my daughter does too… you know that commercial where the unicorn is popping rainbow color ice cream?? Um.. yea…. We kind of love that commercial.
I had NO idea that this Unicorn Frappachino was even a thing… but as I sit here and google it.. It’s ALL the rage, and they get us all because of the Unicorns.. Dang marketing!! They are good!
The comments I saw from friends were all over the place…. Some people were so excited and were headed to try it out ASAP… others were 100% anti unicorn. A wide variety of thoughts and, I figured, since I’m kind of one to talk about “health” stuff, that I would chime in today on my personal thoughts of the lovely, eye catching, and super pretty Unicorn drink.
First I have to say… it reminds me of my middle school days, when I would run around the playground with a bag full of MAGICAL FAIRY DUST (i.e. Sugar mixed with kool aid). Yup, remember those days? I would literally grab a plastic bag, dump a cup full of sugar in it, add kool aid, and lick my finger and go to town… all day… I would have a lovely sugar rush and my fingers would be blue… but oh… the sugar… I HAD to have it… it was so good and so addicting. And the 10 year old me couldn’t get enough of it. I had drank the kool aid and it was all over!!!
To be honest, if Starbucks would have released this drink 3 years ago, I would have been ALL over it… because it’s fun, exciting, something only around for a little bit, and did I say… fun? I would have gone with my daughter, bought us 2 Venti Frappuccinos, and we would have sat in down and had a fun “date”. It would have reminded me of my koolaid childhood and I would have told my daughter about it, and then we would have gone home and tried my magical fairy dust. (Side note: I once saw a friend post on Facebook, “How can a parent give their child a Frappuccino from starbucks, it’s complete neglect”. I was SO angry at that post because Kailee and I used to get Frappuccinos all the time. But… the post also make me start thinking about what I was giving my daughter, and now I’m so thankful.) Back then I didn’t know the actual harm that sugary drink would have done to both of us… and while it would have been a fun memory… as I look at things now (with the knowledge I have) it would have been something that could have led my daughter to a life full of disease and struggle.
3 years ago I was over 215 pounds….I would sit and eat gallons of ice cream at my desk - yes, I was pregnant and thought I “deserved it”, but I CRAVED sugar… i couldn’t stop eating it. One cookie led to 2 cookies, which led to the entire box. A bite of cake, led to 2, which then led to ½ of the cake. I would actually stop at Starbucks 3-4 times a week and drink a Venti Frappuccino without blinking…. On top of the other items I had already been eating and drinking.
I CRAVED being healthy, but I couldn’t figure out WHY I couldn’t do it and make it happen. For some reason I ALWAYS went back to the sugar… my body craved it.
Looking back now I wish someone would have slapped me and told me to wake up… well, I take that back, I did have friends who would tell me all of the “health things”, and how sugar and processed foods were bad, but I wasn’t ready to listen and I just thought they were crazy freaks (no offense to those friends who probably know who they are and are now my favorite people in the world because they shared even when I didn’t want to listen).
I know that we have to be “ready” to change and to really understand the effects of food on our body… and until then, we won’t make the changes… but I also know that we need people to tell us the straight up truth…. So today, I am going to do that. Ready?
SUGAR…. The truth about sugar….. Did you know that sugar is as addictive as Cocaine? Sugary foods actually stimulate the same areas in the brain as drugs do? So, being addicted to sugar is similar to being addicted to cocaine. Once you start.. It’s really hard to stop. (SOURCE) This is why I struggled daily with my sugar addiction…. And it was a REAL addiction.
For me, I had to treat sugar as a drug addiction, and I had to completely cut it out of my life. I KNOW that is a hard thing to do and to even think about… sugar is in EVERYTHING, but for me, I wanted to be free of the control it had over me, and so I went cold turkey. In an article from wellandgood.com, they talk about how to cut sugar out for beginners… for anyone interested in the why and how, this is a good article to read: https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/beginners-guide-to-cutting-out-sugar/
Sugar is one of the leading causes of disease in our culture. Sugar has been blamed for diabetes, heart issues, weight gain, chronic health issues, and more. It also can be the cause of feeling tired, being moody, and body aches (as it can be a huge source of inflammation).
I have been following and LOVE the advice from a Dr. Called Dr. Axe. He has an amazing website full of great information on health. This video is something he’s put together on Sugar, and could be a huge resource for you.
All of that being said…. Let’s go back to our Unicorn.
A grande (16 ounces) made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream has 401 calories, 16 grams of fat (10 grams saturated), 5 grams of protein, 62 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber), and a whopping 59 grams of sugar.
According to the American Heart Association , The Typical Woman should only consume about 25 Grams of sugar a DAY… and really, that shouldn’t even come from processed sugar, but from natural sugars, like fruits.
HMMMM….. 59 grams of sugar in one “unicorn” frappachino and we should only consume 25 grams a DAY!!! I see a BIG problem here! Do you see it?? Please tell me you do!
Ok…. so let’s be realistic, does this mean you can never have a fun “Starbucks” drink ever again? NO!. Does this mean you can’t eat cake? NO! Does this mean I have to live my life eating cardboard? NO!!!!
The unicorn treat is fun, it’s exciting, and it’s new…. But don’t let marketing tempt you to put something in your body that could truly hurt you in the long run and maybe even cause you to go down a path that you don’t want to be on.
The key is finding balance, and finding ways to get those “fun treats” in healthier ways.
I have found so many yummy treats that have taken the place of all the foods I used to eat, and I am actually better off for it. Because I don’t eat a lot of sugar, even looking at the unicorn drink makes me nauseous, because sugar doesn’t have the same affect on me as it used to.
So, I don’t want to be a buzz kill, but, if you are trying to change your life and be healthy… if you are trying to be an example for your kids… come up with other fun ways to get your “treats” in. Make some fun desserts, go get a healthy juice from Nektar, find fun treats to surprise your kids with that don’t have the added sugar and processed foods.
Pinterest has so many fun and healthy treats that are perfect for kids and even for you! Just in doing a google search today, I found this “healthier” alternative from the website called eatingwell.com
EatingWell Unicorn Smoothie (Video Source here)
257 calories; 3 g fat(1 g sat, 0 g trans); 7 g fiber; 53 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 48 mcg folate; 9 mg cholesterol; 38 g sugars; 6 g added sugars; 696 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C; 294 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 102 mg sodium; 760 mg potassium
Image source (eatingwell.com)
Ingredients: Low-fat milk, low-fat vanilla yogurt, banana, blueberries or blackberries, mango, raspberries or strawberries.
*Personally, I would substitute the milk out for unsweetened almond milk, and the yogurt for Plain Greek Yogurt. It’s still high in sugars, but at least it’s from the natural fruit vs processed sugar.
I don't want to be "that friend"... but you know what, I take that back...I'm going to "that friend", because if I didn't have "those friends around me" I wouldn't have the life I have now, but that being said, I will NOT Judge you. If you went out and tried it, and you love it, that's ok... I won't judge... I promise... I won't. I've been there and done that, and I honestly didn't know, but I do hope to make you think a little so that next time, you might look at that little unicorn (or whatever tasty treat it is), a little differently.... and maybe... just maybe, you'll find a "new" fix, that will help you reach your goals, instead of divert you.
Keep strong my friends, II know it's not easy... this is actually one of the hardest things, battling the food world around us, but once you get it, I promise it's worth it!!! And I KNOW you CAN do it!