When coaching clients as a health coach, I discuss how to read food labels in depth, and which ingredients to avoid. I always admit that when I first started doing this personally, it was time consuming and flat out annoying. But with time, you get used to it. It just becomes part of life. Once you know what to look for and what to avoid, you browse labels and ingredient lists really fast. Once you know which brands are safe, you stick with them.

However, I also want to just point out that if you don’t enjoy reading food labels and ingredient lists, you don’t have to purchase food products that have them. Real food doesn’t need labels! Fresh fruits and vegetables have one ingredient. Organic meat, poultry and seafood has one ingredient. Whole uncooked grains have one ingredient. You want to be purchasing these foods as often as possible.

I’m gluten free, so I don’t eat crackers or chips much at all. Even the gluten-free options have a bunch of ingredients that I’d rather avoid. So my latest craze is making homemade veggie chips. Did you know that you can bake or dehydrate vegetables until they are crispy just like a chip? This way, you know exactly what you’re eating, and you can still enjoy healthy dips, like pestohummus or guacamole.

My favorite chips are made with beets. I recently got a half bushel of beets from a local farm. I chop them super thin with a mandoline slicer, toss them with extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and place them in the oven. (You can also dehydrate if you have a dehydrator.)

You can also do this with zucchini, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, green beans and more. Give it a try if you can’t bear the thought of giving up chips! But really, you can learn to live without them in life, too.

Beet Chips (GF, Vegan)

Ingredients:

5 beets, sliced with a mandoline slicer

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

Chop off the stalks, leaves and tips of the beets and slice with a mandarin slicer.

Pour beet slices into bowl, pour in two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and toss until slices are evenly coated.

Place cooling racks on oven pans, and place beet slices on top of cooling racks. (If you don’t have cooling racks, spray the pans with oil and turn beets over halfway during cooking.)

Place pans in oven and cook for 25-35 minutes. Look for beet slices to start browning and curling on the edges.

Take out and allow to cool. Beet slices will continue to crisp once they cool off.