Tune into your cravings. And then outsmart them.
Instead of seeing your food restrictions as a burden, see them as an opportunity to get creative with the parameters you have been given.
I have had a serious craving for potato chips these past few weeks.
While there are some better potato chips available today, like Boulder Canyon’s avocado and coconut oil varieties, I discovered that potato chips, along with French fries are the foods highest in the toxic substance acrylamide.
Not everyone in the health world will agree with me but I don’t believe that eating these foods once in a while is harmful. That being said, I still wanted to find an alternative because my cravings happen more than “once in a while.”
Acrylamide is not an added ingredient, rather it forms in certain carbohydrate foods when baked or fried at very high temperatures. The longer they are fried and the higher they are fried, the greater the amount of acrylamide that forms.
Acrylamide has been shown to be inflammatory as well as carcinogenic so it is important to minimize your intake of potato chips, French fries and other deep-fried carbs. I didn’t need this new knowledge of acrylamide to tell me that potato chips are not healthy. But I still crave them so I needed a solution.
White potatoes are in the nightshade family and must be eliminated during the Elimination Diet. Nightshade vegetables are not unhealthy foods but for those with uncovered hidden food sensitivities (everyone) or those with joint pain or arthritis, it’s best to avoid this family of vegetables.
Nightshade vegetables contain plant constituents called alkaloids that are likely to create inflammation in the body leading to impaired joint mobility, muscle function and digestion. This family of veggies includes eggplant, white potato, tomato, hot and sweet peppers, and goji berries.
I could have made my own sweet potato chips as they are not in the nightshade family but slicing them thinly felt like too much work and you know what it’s like when you have a craving – you want it NOW.
I have also been following a low-FODMAP diet to get to the bottom of my chronic bloating. A serving size greater than ½ cup of sweet potatoes constitutes high-FODMAP. FODMAPs are specific chains of carbohydrates that are wonderful food for bacteria in the large intestine. And when they get to digesting those carbs they create a lot of gas, which translates to me as intestinal gas and bloating.
FODMAPs is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols. The majority of FODMAP foods are not unhealthy foods but if you have stubborn and chronic bloating, gas or abdominal distention you may want to consider a low-FODMAP diet.
I know there are a million kale chip lovers out there but as much as I like kale in my smoothie or salad, I’ll just never be a fan of kale chips. And this is OK. If you feel this way too, about kale chips or other healthy foods and snacks, I encourage you to stay open and creative rather than shutting down and giving up on that food, snack or healthy eating in general.
So then I tried making zucchini chips. But those didn’t cut it either. Maybe it will for you though so here is a recipe with four different flavours.
I wanted crunch. I wanted salt. And then I started craving salt and vinegar chips.
I looked at what I could have and that’s where the recipe for these chip-craving-crushers came from.
Seeds are full of nourishing fats and proteins that are taste-bud satisfying and filling.
It’s always best to buy your seeds (and nuts) raw and unsalted. This way you can eat them raw most of the time and without poor quality vegetable oils or refined salts.
When you roast them yourself, you control the roasting temperature, the oil and the freshness – three aspects that can dramatically lower the nutritional benefits of seeds.
This snack is so satisfying, I am so happy that I stayed creative rather than closed-minded so that I could discover something I really enjoy even with the food restriction I currently have. I hope this encourage you to get creative in the kitchen too. And notice from this recipe that “creative” does not have to mean fancy.
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, raw and unsalted
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ - ½ tsp pink salt
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 250F
- Stir all ingredients in a bowl until seeds are evenly coated
- Spread seeds uniformly onto a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from oven, stir and spread uniformly again
- Bake for another 20 minutes
- If your craving is high, scoop some into a small bowl and wait a few minutes to cool
- Allow the rest to completely cool before transferring to a mason jar
- If you are craving a different flavour, try a variety of herbs and flavours to help bust your craving