I’m Addicted to Chips – Here’s What Happened When I Gave Them Up For a Week

Most people would say I'm a very healthy eater. I've been doing the (mostly) vegan thing for years, and I rarely eat processed food. Except chips. For the life of me, I cannot part with my beloved nightly snack. Usually, just before dinner, I'll pop a few heavenly tortilla chips in my mouth and relish in the crunch, the saltiness. Everything about chips makes my mouth happy.

Unfortunately, I know eating chips every single night - even when they're organic, stone ground, made with beans, whatever - isn't a great habit. Sometimes I'll overdo it, and then my appetite for dinner is negatively impacted. And I'll end up feeling bloated and kinda gross about myself. So I decided to try my very best to give up chips for an entire week. I hoped that by eliminating this indulgence from my diet, I'd stop craving it so much. Read on to find out if I was able to nix my chip dependency and what I learned during my cold turkey, er, chip experiment.

Spoiler: They Were Hard to Resist

The first day I was officially off chips was right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since I was pretty stuffed and (whispers) kinda hungover, I didn't feel tempted to snack. But the next day, I think I literally heard my heart break when I forced myself to pass the chip aisle during a grocery run. Sniff. And then, OK, confession time: Sunday, I cracked! We'd gone out to dinner to my favorite Mexican restaurant, and there they were. Glaring at me. The chips were so shiny and golden and warm. A nearby bowl of salsa beckoned me to just. take. one. dip. Sigh. I took so many more dips than one.

I felt badly after that dinner and swore off chips for the rest of the experiment. I swear. Until I found a bag of chips lurking in the back of the pantry one night. There was nothing else to eat, my hand to God. So I sneaked just a few.

On the last night of my chip purge, I was desperately craving chips, but I managed to call upon my willpower and opted for the satisfying crunch of broccoli with tangy dressing. That combo totally satiated my desire for a predinner snack, and I didn't even want the chips. Looking back, I should have been more prepared with healthy snack options to counteract cravings the entire week. And yeah, maybe I should have suggested another restaurant on Sunday.

What I Learned

By the end of the week, I decided that maybe it's not worth fighting something as strong as my love for chips. Instead, I think my energy would be better spent swearing off foods I wouldn't miss as much, like bread, pasta, and cookies. OK, I have to eat a cookie once in a while. But seriously, if you have one food you just can't say no to, allowing yourself to enjoy it isn't the end of the world if your eating habits are mainly healthy. Going forward, I just want to be more careful not to oversnack. Because the day after my no-chip week, I totally binged. I was just so happy to be reunited with my darling chips. So in the end, moderation seems far healthier than chip feast or famine.

Cranberries Are More Than Just Delicious – They Have Tons of Health Benefits, Too

There's more to cranberries than just being the centerpiece of your holiday desserts! These little red berries are actually packed with so many good things to keep you healthy. Vanessa Fry, a registered dietitian at Detroit Medical Center's Harper Bariatric Medical Institute, shared with us all the ways cranberries can fight off disease and improve your overall health. She explained that most of the time, simply eating the berries whole and fresh is the best way to reap their health benefits, but for some things, you'll find more success with a cranberry capsule.

"Dried or canned cranberries will have the same nutritional benefits as fresh, but check that there are no added sugars. Cranberry juice may contain other fruit juices and have added sugars," Vanessa told POPSUGAR. She also warned against having a few too many cranberries. Cranberries contain oxalate, which, when consumed in large amounts, can potentially form oxalate kidney stones.

"People who have previously experienced kidney stones should speak with their doctor before increasing their cranberry intake," she said. And while the nutrients in cranberries may help prevent or treat the conditions here, you should always talk to your doctor about how you can better manage your health.

16 Store-Bought Healthy Frozen Bowls That Need Only a Few Minutes in the Microwave

It's not just you - there never seems to be enough time in the day to get through our entire to-do list. Time seems to whiz by at the speed of light, leaving barely any time to cook a healthy meal for dinner or meal prep on the weekend. Thankfully, there are easy ways to cut corners and still eat a well-balanced meal, including frozen options like these healthy bowls you can get at the supermarket or order online.

From delicious beef and broccoli to vegan quinoa bowls, these fully microwavable meals will not disappoint.

I Replaced My Morning Coffee With a Ginger Shot Years Ago, and It Seriously Changed My Life

To say I was a kid who loved coffee would be an understatement. I was obsessed with it. During the summers I ordered Frappuccinos with loads of whipped cream on top. In the wintertime, it was Dunkaccinos from Dunkin Donuts, the hot chocolate-coffee hybrid that tasted like it was straight out of a dream. When other tweens were drinking soda and chocolate milk during lunchtime, I somehow managed to get my hands on the chilled "to-go" beverages from Starbucks - you know the ones that came in the glass bottle? Yes, I was hooked.

However, all of this changed during college. It was just around the time that I graduated from Mocha Frappuccino to Caramel Macchiato with soy milk that I started feeling coffee's negative effects. The caffeine made me jittery, anxious, and unfocused - symptoms that only intensified if I drank it on an empty stomach. I knew I needed to make a change and quick.

One day while walking around Whole Foods in a cranky, caffeinated haze, I came across a glass case full of ginger shots. I decided on a whim that this is what I would replace my coffee with, and I've never looked back. Here are all the ways it improved my health and my life.

16 Plant-Based Bowls That Prove Going Veggie Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

You know a plant-based diet is healthy, but if you've ever worried that it could grow boring - or learned that lesson the hard way months into a new eating plan, when you realized you had ordered the same salad at lunch for days - we've got you covered. The plant-filled bowls here are delicious and relatively simple to throw together when you prep ingredients ahead of time. Whether you're vegetarian or vegan, or simply going plant-based for its health benefits, there's something on this list you'll like, from deliciously marinated chickpea tempeh to roasted potatoes served with a hummus-stuffed avocado (yum).

I’m Lazy and a Horrible Cook, but I Still Manage to Meal Prep – Here’s How I Do It

My husband watches a lot of Chopped and Iron Chef. I think it's escapism for him because our kitchen is more like American Horror Story than Top Chef. Not that he's any better - his idea of cooking is heating up a Tombstone pizza. Sure, my cooking skills aren't going to win me any awards (or win over any friends at dinner parties), but eating at home and prepping meals for the week is still important.

If I meal prep for the week ahead, I know I'll have enough food for healthy lunches and dinners so I won't be tempted to eat out. Who do I look like, Oprah Winfrey? Like Oprah, I love bread. Unlike Oprah, I am not a billionaire (yet!) and certainly can't afford to dine out more than a couple times a week. Eating out in New York is expensive, y'all, and I would rather save my hard-earned cash than spend it on a predictable chopped salad down the street.

All of this is to say: I frequently meal prep. But I'm pretty bad at cooking; one time I thought when a recipe called for a clove of garlic, it actually meant a bulb of garlic, so I sautéed enough full cloves of garlic to kill a vampire. Then there was the time I didn't know what "brown the ground turkey" meant, so I had to google it and then call my sister. But a few years (and many, many mistakes) later, I've collected enough meal-prep hacks to actually make it worth my time.

Will you be seeing me on the Food Network anytime soon? Probably not. But I can make enough meals to last me a few days that are edible and sometimes even tasty! It's not like I have all day Sunday to devote to meal prep - I have mimosas to drink and Law & Order: SVU marathons to watch. So here are the seven hacks my husband and I use regularly to make sure meal prep is as easy and efficient as possible.

These 43 Hacks, Tips, and Recipes Are Your How-To Guide to Becoming Meal-Prep Queen

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Ever hear that saying? If weight loss is your goal, this couldn't be more true. Planning ahead is key in making sure you have healthy, portioned-out meals and ready-to-go snacks to stay on track. Basically, meal prep could be the key to your success. We've rounded up the tastiest, most creative meal-prep hacks to save you both time and money, but to also keep delicious foods in your life to keep mealtime boredom at bay.

Breakfast Will Never Be the Same, Thanks to These 20 Oatmeal Meal Prep Ideas

Starting your day off with a hearty bagel or protein-packed eggs might sound a lot more fun than choosing a bowl of oatmeal. Perhaps you try throwing on some honey or stirring in some cinnamon to make the breakfast food more interesting, but what if we told you there is a whole world of interesting oatmeal bowl recipes, both sweet and savory, you probably haven't explored yet.

From oatmeal with avocado, bacon (yes, we said bacon), and eggs to oatmeal loaded with fruits and nuts, the possibilities are seriously endless. Here are some of our favorites to jump-start your day (or close out your evening).

I Ate Kourtney Kardashian’s Avocado Pudding For 1 Week and, Yep, I’m on Board

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hajar Larbah

If you follow Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you're likely familiar with Kourtney Kardashian's healthy lifestyle. The mom of three has a pretty strict diet and workout routine, starting her morning with apple cider vinegar and probiotics to aid with digestion and a curious sweet avocado pudding she says gives her energy before exercise.

As a huge avocado-lover myself, this "power meal in a cup" sounded worth a try. I decided to eat the recipe every morning for a week to see if it really could power me through my early morning workouts and make my sweet tooth disappear with its dose of healthy fats and fiber.

The Recipe

This is Kourtney's 5-minute recipe, according to her app:

  • 1 organic avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup organic coconut milk
  • 2 tsp manuka honey

Blend all ingredients until smooth, and eat with a spoon.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hajar Larbah

The Experiment

The smooth pudding tasted pretty good, and I enjoyed eating my breakfast slowly with a spoon as opposed to my usual smoothie on the go - it really does make all the difference when it comes to savoring every bite and feeling fuller.

After eating the pudding on day one, I actually felt very nauseous. I train immediately after waking up, and the only thing my stomach can handle before is usually coffee - I should have known having the pudding pre-workout would create some problems. For the rest of the week, I decided to have it as a post-workout snack instead of overnight oats, and that's when I started to reap the benefits.

I was expecting to feel hungry within an hour or two after, just because of the lack of carbs, but my body shocked me. The healthy fats kept me going all the way until lunch. That's because our satiety hormones are released much more in response to fats to help tell your body you're done eating. And like Kourtney says, the pudding gives you energy. I didn't experience my usual midmorning crash and even found myself reaching less for a cup of coffee.

The best part was that by the end of the week, my morning sugar cravings vanished. I never felt the urge to reach for sugar, and my skin was showing it, since sugar can cause breakouts, inflammation, and dullness. Avoiding sugar also meant I was eating healthier and fewer calories.

The Pros and Cons

The health benefits of the avocado pudding were what really kept me focused. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of manuka honey fueled my body in preparation for flu season. The high-fiber content of the avocado aided in digestion to keep away dreaded belly bloat.

I love lots of texture in my food, so the smoothness of the avocado pudding did get a bit boring after day three. On day four, I added chia seeds, hemp seeds, and grain-free granola on top. I don't know if that's Kourtney approved, but it definitely made me stick to the experiment.

Although I loved the taste of Kourtney's avocado pudding, I think overnight oats and avocado toast with eggs take the breakfast throne for me. Maybe it's because I'm a creature of habit or maybe it's because I couldn't really get used to the texture of the dish, but at least I know the toast with smashed avocado and a fried egg allows me to get healthy fats in with a source of carbs to fuel up. I'd prefer the pudding as dessert, so I'm inspired to freeze it and keep it handy to snack on every once in a while instead.

If You Tend to Overeat Nuts, Chips, and Pretzels, This Easy Weight-Loss Hack Is For You

When I ditched sugar, flour, and fruit for three weeks (to see if it would help with bloating), my go-to snack became nuts. I buy them at Trader Joe's and keep mason jars full of raw almonds, pecans, cashews, and shelled pistachios in my pantry. I ended up gaining weight because I'd go back for handful after handful without measuring.

One day I measured a few handfuls, just to see how much it was, and realized I was eating a cup of nuts for a snack! For reference, a serving size of raw almonds is about 1/4 cup, which is 190 calories. Um, no wonder I was gaining weight.

Yeah, I could start measuring out servings from the jar and eat out of a little bowl, but it was too tempting to go back for more. Plus, that didn't work for times when I wasn't home. I started using this little snack hack: I created DIY snack packs.