Hi! You’re about to read a post sponsored by Beanfields Snacks, chock full with helpful tips and honest opinions, just like always. Thanks Beanfields!
We’ve all been there, there’s no shame in it. And I am currently in Mexico where chips and guacamole are a staple in the diet! (Notice how I am in fact eating a bellpepper with the delicious guacamole). Sometimes it’s just impossible to resist the salty, crunchy deliciousness of chips! But when you get a craving, it’s important to understand WHY you’re having it, so your body can get what it really needs.
Possible Reasons Why You’re Craving Chips
There are tons of reasons why you might be craving chips. I mean, they do taste good after all. But some cravings are your body’s way of communicating with you, so it’s important to think about that before moving straight to chip land.
Here are some possible reasons why you might be cravings chips or other salty snacks:
1. You’re thirsty! Do I not always tell you to drink more water????
Did you know more than half of your body is water? If you don’t have enough you can run into serious trouble. To avoid evaporating into thin air, you’ll need to hydrate with some good old fashioned H2O.
Most of your liquid intake should be water. So if you drink soda, switch to La Croix or another sparkling water brand instead. Speaking of La Croix, did you know they have a Key Lime flavor now?? It’s hard to call anything key lime flavored a sacrifice. If you don’t need the bubbles but are bored to tears with flat water, try adding mint, basil, cucumber or other herbs or fruits to enhance its flavor. And although green juice holds a special place in my heart, you should keep it to one glass a day, as juice has naturally occurring sugars you’ll want to limit in order to feel your best.
To learn more about combating dehydration by following your body’s cues, read this.
2. You’re running low on electrolytes.
We’ve all heard how important electrolytes are… but what are they anyway? Surprisingly, electrolytes are salts! No wonder you’re craving a salty snack. If you’re feeling your inner scientist self, you can learn more about them by watching this video. Otherwise, go straight to refueling with Propel Sports Drinking Water, FATwater, or any other electrolyte-infused drink that focuses on natural ingredients and has low to no added sugar. You can also try your hand at making your own electrolyte drink. If you decide to go homemade, just be sure to use maple syrup instead of honey.
If you’re just not into the electrolyte bandwagon, there’s still a way to curb your salt cravings and give your body the nutrients it needs: take a multivitamin! Of course, you can always take a vitamin AND drink an electrolyte drink, since it never hurts to increase your mineral intake.
3. Your stress is running on high. This why I am in Mexico! Ha kidding....but actually.
It happens to the best of us. One of the worst offenders for increasing stress is feeling like you don’t have control over your thoughts or situations. When this happens, try incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine. While I’ll admit mindfulness is no chip, it’s really amazing because it allows us to bring awareness to our experiences, state of mind and emotions. This stress management technique reduces anxiety and leaves you in charge of your life. It also gives you the chance to identify your stress triggers so you can resolve them or learn to cope better.
Another great approach for reducing anxiety is to make a stress journal. Whenever you feel stressed, write it down. Eventually you’ll start to notice patterns that you can work to fix. Alternatively you can go for a run, meditate, call a friend, or take a shower. Find what relaxes you, whether it’s diffusing some lavender essential oils, using a Lush massage bar, or going on a scenic bike ride or hike.
4. There might be something more going on.
Don’t jump on the Web MD train just yet!! But if you’re craving salt on a regular basis, there are some medical issues that could be the cause. Try tackling the first three reasons before starting down the road of “Am I pregnant, PMSing, or something else?” If you’re still craving salt, feeling sluggish, or having other symptoms, consider making an appointment with your doctor or checking out our Nautropath services in which we can do hormonal testing and full blood labs.
Ok, so now you understand why you’re craving chips…. But…. you’re still craving chips. Ok, ok, I hear you.
Healthy Alternatives To Chips
While there are commercial baked potato chips on pretty much every chip aisle these days, there are several healthier chip alternatives you can grab when the craving hits. I’ve created a list below that you can turn to whenever your salt tooth strikes.
1. Kale or brussel sprout chips
These are pretty easy to make, delicious, and totally vegan friendly. Check out the Minimalist Baker’s recipe for kale chips or Jeanette’s Healthy Living’s post on how to roast brussel sprout chips.
2. Roasted chickpeas
While not a chip at all really, you might want to try your hand at roasting chickpeas if you’re into popcorn or happiness. Take Steamy Kitchen’s warning seriously though… these are addictive!
3. Apples / carrots / celery / radish / snap peas
Any crunchy produce will do. You can check the LA Times’ seasonal produce guide to figure out what’s freshest in California in any given month. Don’t forget that just like chips are more fun with dip (aren’t chips really just a way to shovel guac into your mouth as quickly as possible?!? Haha!!), veggies are too. So give yourself permission to pull out your favorite nut butter or vegan dip, and happy dipping!
4. Dehydrated vegetables
Broccoli, beets, cabbage, mushroom, mixed peppers… Really, any vegetable will do! Dried veggies are super useful because when you’re not snacking on them, you can still use them by throwing them in your salads, soups and more.
I’d recommend a veg option over dried fruits since they naturally contain less sugar. I’d especially recommend veg over fruits in this case because you’re craving something salty, ha. But feel free to go for some dried fruits from time to time too.
If you’re in a DIY mood, it’s pretty easy to dehydrate produce yourself.
5. Rice cakes
Rice cakes are an old stand by for toddlers and adults alike. They’re gluten-free, have a snappy crunch, are easy to take on the go, and last forever (or at least for several months when stored properly).
6. Kelp and seaweed (nori, wakame, iwanori, and kombu)
I have to confess that these are not some of my all-time favorite healthy alternatives to chips only cause I am allergic to them but they are good...so I hear. They’re green, light and delicious. They also taste great broken up and mixed into stir fries, soups and other dishes.
7. Bean and Rice chips
One more confession…. Well two.
One: Recently Beanfields Snacks approached me to ask if I could write about their bean-based chips. I’d never tried them before, so they gave several bags to sample. Their support is so appreciated, but I want to let you know that what I say below is totally my own (not sponsored) thoughts.
Two: Sometimes I really truly at the end of the day want a chip. Now that Beanfield has entered our happy home, when the craving hits, I turn to Beanfields chips. I like them because they’re loaded with protein, pack a fiber punch, are vegan (which is a requirement, of course), gluten-free, non-GMO, and taste amazing. My boyfriend absolutely loves them (I know this because he left me ONE CHIP before I had to go out and buy more hahaha), and I do too. I also love that they’re not fried in oil.
So far I’ve tried the nacho and sea salt flavors. The nacho one was great and reminded me of a Dorito (minus the guilt). But my favorite was the salt. The flavor is simple and pairs perfectly with my favorite snack buddy: guacamole. It also has the most perfectly satisfying crunch, and I get to skip the powder that comes on some of their more inventive flavors (like nacho, barbeque or pico de gallo). Although I will say that with their natural approach to chips, you don’t need to worry about their powders like you would with a more commercialized chip.
Now if you happen to have a bunch of these bad boys and want to get creative with them, I’d recommend using them to make vegan nachos, chilaquiles or chip crusted tofu tacos. How suitable for where I am at right now!
So friends, tell me! What are your favorite healthy alternatives to chips?
Just another girl who is trying to inspire others. Passionate about health and fitness. And a love of coffee and peanut butter.