Upgrade Your Pumpkin Spice Latte!

So many ways to celebrate THIS season...from back-to-school to football season, and yes, the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Around this time I often see posts throughout my Facebook feed, clients, colleagues and friends alike yearning, mourning and celebrating this Fall indulgance they no longer allow themselves -

yes, we're talking about THE Pumpkin Spice Latte.

If you've been waiting all year for its return, here are a few tips for ordering a drink that won't sabotage your health or your hard work!

The Facts

One 16-ounce (Grande) Pumpkin Spice Latte

with 2 percent milk =

380 calories

13 grams of fat

51 grams of carbohydrates

49 grams of sugar

(nutrition info from Starbucks.com).

So let's break this down so that we can have an occasional latte without feeling horribly guilty and wasting the experience!

Tips for Ordering

  1. Order a Tall (-80 calories) OR Order a Short, an option that while not posted IS possible (-170 calories)

  2. Order with non-fat milk (-50 calories and fat) OR Order with soy milk (-10 calories)

  3. Request one LESS pump of flavored syrup, (-30 calories/pump)

  4. Order without whipped cream (-70 calories)

A Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte with our changes comes in at 170 calories and approximately half the fat - an occasional treat that you can still feel good about.

Ready to Upgrade?

Make this home-made Pumpkin Spice Latte with your choice of alternative milks.

What's the KEY Ingredient?

Be happy with YOUR decisions! One thing I've truly learned during my own journey to wellness and my recent experience at nutrition school - whatever you choose, ENJOY it! Let go of the regrets, the feeling that you're not doing enough or that you should be doing something else. Accept where you're at, who you are and enjoy your choices. And yes, even health coaches indulge every once in a while (although my own sweet spot happens to be chocolate)!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Upgrade


  • 4 cups Coconut Milk, unsweetened or vanilla (almond also works)

  • 1/4 cup  pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh cooked

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • A dash of cloves and nutmeg

  • 1 cup strong coffee or 3/4 cup espresso

  • (optional) coconut whipped cream)


  1. In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar.

  2. Stir constantly. Cook at low to medium heat until steaming.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and spices, whisk well.

  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

  5. Crockpot or slowcooker option: For a gathering or event use the “low” or “keep warm” setting and add spices and vanilla to allow flavors to mingle:-)

  6. enjoy!

Be well,


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© Copyright Clea Shannon 2012 and beyond