Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spillin' the beans- Out with everything...

I may have been unclear in the first post (I have a tendency to do that), allow me to explain what's going on and why.
As a high school chemistry teacher, when the annual state exams are over and done with we tend to focus on curricular areas that are of interest to us. In an effort to prepare my students for their next courses, I'll focus in on areas of science that they'll learn the next year. It just so happens that one of these areas include introductory topics in biochemistry. Since I cannot teach my kids HARDCORE biochemistry, I wet their academic whistles with basic concepts that are health and science related. These past few days, I've focused on the area of cholesterol and diabetes. 

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I need my daily Starbucks fix. Prior to the days of my working there, i've been fixed on the habit of a caffeine high to get me through my day. Despite looking after my health via other avenues, I decided to overlook the negative effects Starbucks had on my health because it was something that i'd look forward to brighten my day. I've always been one of those 'anti-establishment' type of people who prefer smaller mom and pop type operations rather than supporting 'the man' and their 'corporate establishments' like Starbucks. As the years passed and I got older (and wiser), I decided to forego the hassle of searching and frequenting these mom and pop operations for the comfort, security and consistency of 'the Bucks'.    

 ..... well, besides...  places like those are virtually non-existent in the I.E.
Well anyways... I'm doing this largely to improve my physical health, because diabetes does run rampant in my family. My mom has been successful in keeping herself healthy and has warded off clinical type-2 diabetes in favor of random hyperglycemia spats. Additionally, as my metabolism slows to unprecedented levels... I've got to do what I can to keep my body healthy, active and ready for marriage and eventually kids. 

...speaking of kids (not my personal ones)....

On Monday, May 2, I had a discussion with my students about the negative effects of excess sugar in their diets and the correlation with food to diabetes. My kids were awesome and soaked in much of what I was talking about. After holding a pretty great conversation with my students, my 9th graders of all classes decided to investigate (aka target) my daily Starbucks drink: an Iced Venti, Semi-Dirty Chai Tea Latte. While conducting some preliminary investigation, we learned that my daily drink contains 60g of sugar, more than the recommended daily allowance.  

After this startling discovery and wanting to practice what I preach (watch what I eat, cut out excess sugar, salts etc...) I toyed with the idea of challenging myself to go a day without Starbucks. Somehow a day turned into the remainder of the school year, and I somehow obliged. My 9th graders challenged me, and now I'm following through... so here it is:

  • As of today, May 3, 2011, I will not drink another Iced Venti Chai Tea Latte in any form until the remainder of the school year (Thurs,. June 2, 2011). 
  • I won't get an 'equivalent'  or alternative drink at any other coffee shop.
  • I'll post regular updates (voluntarily) to keep my students, parents and the general Facebook public informed.
  • I'll inform all people close to me in my life know what's happening so they keep me in check motivate me to complete my goal (including but not limited to my fiancé Leila (aka homegirl), my parents and brother, my Starbucks suppliers baristas.

My goal is to try various drinks with lower sugar levels and eventually 'ween' my way to something with no sugar and eventually no caffeine. Again, i'm very well aware of the money wasted and mal-health effects, so don't lecture me on that (i'll ignore and lose respect for you). Today I went from 61g of sugar to nearly 14 and felt awful in doing so. I'll keep everyone updated with thoughts, findings and updates as I progress through my journey.  I know that i'm not alone in my journey, as some notable students are joining me on my quest and documenting their own adventures  (thank you Elisa, Javier and Christian). 

BTW, lets get something clear... i'm in no way bashing Starbucks as a corporation.... I wouldn't keep going back there if I didn't like them, right?


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