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Reality check: Seattle woman vows to drink and eat food only from Starbucks for a year

Calories are listed next to menu items in a Starbucks coffee shop July 18;2008 in New York City. New York is now the first city in the country to implement a law forcing chain restaurants to post the calorie count of each food next to the items on their menus.
Calories are listed next to menu items in a Starbucks coffee shop July 18;2008 in New York City. New York is now the first city in the country to implement a law forcing chain restaurants to post the calorie count of each food next to the items on their menus. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

TORONTO – Most people start the New Year promising to eat less and exercise more, but an American woman’s 2013 goal is to eat and drink only Starbucks products for the year.

It’s a weighty resolution that a Canadian nutritionist warns will only result in months of empty calories, saturated fats and little nutritional value.

Seattle woman, Beautiful Existence – that’s her legal name – “designs year-long challenges” for herself that included shopping only at Goodwill in 2011 to forcing her family to live according to a parenting magazine’s content.

She blogs about each of her odysseys, including her latest venture into sipping on frappuchinos with pumpkin loaf and packaged lunches.

Follow Existence as she chronicles her day-to-day menu here.

So far, she’s discovered Evolution Fresh juices sold at the coffee giant and turkey and swiss sandwiches in her attempt to try to stay healthy. She says she’ll try her best to abstain from dessert items.

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Starbucks for weight loss, blogger says

She’s heard that she’s going to get fat; that the diet will make her broke.

But she’s received handfuls of Starbucks gift cards from friends to help offset the expenses. She plans to save each of her receipts and document her monthly spending. So far, the average is $18.79 a day.

And her January priority is to lose weight.

“As I mentioned, this whole month of January I am focusing my Starbucks challenge on the topic of weight loss. I have had many comments already made about how I’m going to gain weight this year, this I know doesn’t have to be true . . .,” she blogs.

Key nutrients, vitamins missing in a Starbucks diet, nutritionist warns

But Toronto-based registered nutritionist Marisa Falconi says Existence shouldn’t focus solely on the scale – her body is about to lose the nutrients and vitamins it needs to stay healthy.

“Starbucks is a café; it’s a treat. It is dangerous and irresponsible to treat it as anything but that,” she told Global News.

“The Starbucks diet is high in trans and saturated fats, as well as simple carbs. The body needs the opposite. This diet has the potential to wreak havoc on the digestive system,” she said.

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Omega-3s doesn’t make enough of an appearance on Starbucks’ menu, Falconi notes, and it’s needed for brain and heart function and composing cells in our body. Also missing are phytonutrients, enzymes, fibre and water.

She says that Existence needs to take vitamin pills to supplement her diet because she won’t have enough fresh fruits and vegetables in the meals she’ll graze on in sandwiches and salads.

Falconi says she estimates that within months, Existence will start feeling fatigued and worn out.

“There is no healthy way of eating Starbucks for one year straight. There is a way of doing it that won’t kill her – which is if she sticks with Starbucks ‘light’ items, such as salads, fruits and wraps. From these, she will obtain the bare minimum –

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca


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