By Starre Vartan, MNN.com
I have no desire to quit drinking coffee, and since I don’t have any contraindications for quaffing java, I enjoy a cup most days each week. But I’m a big believer in moderation and of carefully monitoring personal habits. And so after a winter of drinking coffee most days, I decided to enjoy my coffee — just not every day. These are my favorite drinks for those days when I’m taking a break.
Hot chocolate: My favorite sub for coffee is a hot chocolate. If you want to mitigate the extra calories from the sweetness, cut down on the fat level of the milk. For instance, I always drink full-fat (but small) eight-ounce cappuccino, which only contain six ounces of milk. My stomach is happier and the caffeine doesn’t hit my system as fast when combined with full-fat milk — and it tastes so wonderful. But when I get a hot chocolate, I go for 2 percent or low-fat milk (or unsweetened soy, if available) instead. Hot chocolate will give you a bit of a lift, and the warm, cozy feeling you get from coffee sans the jolt. And an iced chocolate on a warm day is almost as lovely a treat as an iced coffee.