I don't know about you, but when I think of Starbucks, I think of giant peppermint mocha frappuccinos, caramel macchiatos, and basically any sweet coffee drink. What a life. Free of all worries. Ignorant of the distress the 90g of refined white sugar is wreaking on your body. Those were the days.
Well now I've moved onto bigger and better things (A.K.A more primal things) where I actually care about what goes into my body. Moved on, but unwilling to give up my Starbucks!
So, I'm here today to give you all of my secret paleo Starbucks tricks so that you don't have to sit alone while you watch everyone else indulge in this sweet treat. Let's gooooo!!
So, if you've been AIP you know that coffee is completely banned on this protocol. If you're like me and still trying to stick to AIP for the most part, this eliminates like...80% of the Starbucks menu. But it's okay. Don't panic. There's still plenty left for us to work with. Those of you who are just following a paleo based diet, you're in luck! There's even more for you. I'll list what is AIP and what is only Paleo below. I'm going to start off with my favorite....
#1: Mint Majesty Herbal Tea
This is simply water, spearmint leaves, peppermint leaves, and lemon verbena. Simple ingredients, all herbs, all safe, and all paleo. Just make sure you clarify you want only the tea bag with no sweetener. This is my favorite drink at Starbucks especiallyyy when it's cold or I'm feeling a little stuffy. The minty flavor always reminds me of Christmas and has an extra benefit of clearing up my sinuses. *AIP and Paleo*
#2: Emperor's Cloud and Mist Green Tea HOT
Simple. Water and green tea. *AIP and Paleo* The iced version, sadly, is not paleo or AIP. This is because they contain an ingredient labeled "natural flavors", which, I don't know about you, but to me sounds like a secret. If a company is not disclosing exactly what is in their "natural flavors", it's probably because it's not so natural. Also, guaranteed to be highly processed. This makes it not paleo.
#3: Earl Grey Brewed Tea AND Iced Black Tea
The Earl Grey Tea bag consists of water, black tea, bergamot essence, and lavender flowers. The Iced Black Tea consists of water and a blend of black teas. Be extra extra sure to ask for no sugar ESPECIALLY on the iced, since I believe it is included unless otherwise requested. *AIP and Paleo*
#4: Organic Chai Tea
Not the Chai Tea latte, and sometimes you need to specify this. All this includes is black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, star anise, cloves, and cardamom essence. This tea bag is actually delicious and very cinnamony. *Expert tip: I love bringing my own almond milk (MALK or homemade) and pouring a little in with a packet of stevia (stevia is not AIP but paleo). Now, you have a chai tea latte! No trash version. *Paleo and sortaaa AIP* (Star anise and black pepper fall under the "provisional section of AIP)
#5: Caffe Americano (Iced and Hot)
Just water and espresso. When I use to drink coffee, this was one of my go-to favorites. Basically just watered down espresso, this completely kicked that coffee craving and gave me life (A.K.A energy). *Expert tip #2: Wanna make it bulletproof? Add in a little travel pack of coconut oil or (ghee and MCT oil) for improved brain function. *Paleo*
#6: Black Coffee (Iced and Hot/any roast)
Just coffee and water. Again, you can always make it bulletproof or bring your own nut milks! *Paleo*
#7: Evolution Fresh
From what I can tell, these are basically composed of fruit. You're going to have to judge these on your own, because I can't find a definite answer. Based on the ingredients, they are *Paleo and AIP*. The only concern I would have is how processed they may be, but if you're in a pinch and want a good natural sugar/fruit boost, these are a great alternative! I've had them before and they are super yummy and didn't bother my stomach.
Now, I want to cover some things at Starbucks that appear to be healthy and paleo, but are so so SO far from it!
#1: Coconut Milk
Sounds like the perfect dairy alternative, right? Nope. Emulsifiers! Sugar! Carrageenan! All inflammation promoting ingredients that are pointless and harmful. You get the point. This is a no go.
#2: Almond Milk
#3: Soy Milk
#4: Passion Tea
Ever wondered why your unsweetened passion tea tastes so...sweet? I literally sent it back one time because I could have SWORN they put sugar in it. "Natural flavors", candied fruit, etc. etc. etc. Disguised, but I know your secrets! Stay away.
#5: Honey Citrus Mint Tea
This isn't honey! Why are you lying to meeee? This is straight sugar and..lemonade? No thanks.
#6: YouthBerry White Tea
Not even do they try to disguise the junk ingredients as "natural flavors", but they straight up disclose "artificial flavors" and...once again..candied fruit. No thanks.
I hope this was helpful and that you throughly enjoy your next Starbucks visit paleo version! Woohoo! *Remember to always check ingredients, because things can always change!* And if you slip up and get a tea with candied fruit, they actually have very low sugar and it isn't the end of the world. May paleo live on.