"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." - Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
Too true, Honest Abe, too true. Lucky for me I have plenty of vices. My latest addiction breaks several of my own rules at once.
Photo by Jeff Hester via Flickr
There she blows, the pumpkin spice latte. I feel especially stupid every time I give in to this particular temptaion when I think about the grueling days of caffeine withdrawl experienced during last month's juice cleanse, but that's only one of many reasons for the guilty feeling that accompanies my recent favorite indulgence. Here are a few more:
- It squashes my vegan cred: Since I am totally intolerant to soymilk I usually just end up ordering these drinks with whole milk. Fail!
- I'm supporting a crappy chain when I could be paying the same or less at a local business: That one really gets me. I feel like a total jerk every time I see their stupid mermaid logo. Damn you for being the closest coffee shop to my house, Daddy S-Bucks! (And double damn you for having a drive-thru window.)
- I'm wasting a ridiculous amount of money: For real, coffee is a bad investment. There is truly no way to justify spending almost $5 on a drink, especially when that drink is just a cocktail of dairy, caffeine, and processed sugar, three things I should be avoiding anyway.
- Did I mention the dairy, caffeine, and processed sugar? Guhhhhh... It really is liquid crack.
What I really need to do is get real with myself and try to manage my vice into something a little more reasonable. This is something I do a lot when I'm trying to get an unhealthy habit under control. I'm too much of a pleasure-seeker to completely deny myself something with any success, so instead I set rules for myself to help keep me from going overboard.
Fried chicken is a good example. If you read this blog you know that I try to keep to a vegan diet for the most part, but you have probably also figured out that I really, REALLY like to eat. I love food, all kinds of food. Fried chicken is WAY up there on the list of things you might find me eating in a really great dream. But, fried chicken is obviously not something I should just eat the hell out of whenever I want. I would if I could, thus the self-imposed limits. There is a long story explaining why (which I will spare you from) but Scott and I have a tradition of making and eating fried chicken and spare-ribs evert Valentine's Day. So, instead of eating fried chicken all the time, I look forward to it all year, then eat the hell out of it on Valentine's Day. Makes sense, right? Does for me, anyway.
So, if I were smart, I would learn to make my own Pumpkin Spice Latte. Then I could use Almond Milk, spend a fraction of the money, and moderate the ratio of sugar a little more responsibly. Julia, from I Believe I Can Fry, has a great recipe and tutorial for making some delicious looking pumpkin spice syrup.
For an even healthier version of this sinful drink, check out this post from The Gracious Pantry. It uses maple syrup as a mild sweetener. Pumpkin spice and vanilla extract act as aromatics, keeping the recipe mellow. While the sugar syrup verison probably tastes more like S-Bucks, this recipe really seems worth a try. It would be much healthier as a daily drink.