With a new year here, it's the peak of health-consciousness where adopting healthier lifestyles are towards the tip-top of most people's minds. Here are a few ways in which the industry is embracing and celebrating it:
There's a vegan, plant-based recipe for everyone. Vegan cult favorite and Food52 contributor Gena Hemshaw of Choosing Raw shared 15 Vegan Recipes for a Very Green 2015 with us. "I don’t love New Year’s resolutions, especially those that involve the words diet, detox, or cleanse. But if the start of 2015 has you thinking about incorporating more meatless meals into your repertoire, then so much the better." Expect to "ooh and ahh" at her mouthwatering recipes, including vegan pad thai, quinoa enchiladas and my favorite, tempeh & sweet potato hash.
"Cleanse" doesn't always mean juicing for an entire week. Bon Appetit has kicked-off the new year with a Food Lover's Cleanse as a way to reset after holiday excess. Their program seems to be a gentler approach to eating well, but be prepared to drop dairy to give your digestive system a break. Even though it ends on the 15th, you can browse the hashtag #bacleanse on Instagram for recipe inspiration and to begin any time that you feel ready. (Remember, you can choose to nourish & renew any time).
Transparency and a focus on less sugar. It seems that the rest of the industry hasn't quite entirely caught on to this, however the guys behind Sweetgreen have revolutionized and perfected the art of the "fast-food" salad in a way that is fun, convenient and affordable. Every location's menu is a bit tailored based on the availability and seasonality of local ingredients. Read here for more.
The health industry has seen a boost in products and tools to help us achieve a better lifestyle, whether it's to help us more easily (and trend-ily) frolick around with all your yoga essentials, create a cleaner kitchen or to better stock your beauty cabinet. Here are a few that caught my eye - and while they come with a steeper price tag, know that it's an investment in quality, not crap.
This "consciously crafted" yoga backpack was certainly created for mat-happy devotees that want to toss everything into one durable bag that can be thrown over your shoulders when on-the-go. And if it's just your mat that needs a new home, then this Yoga Mat Bag will do the trick. I'm drawn to the simple, clean design that also carries a pep-in-your-step kind of hue.
Chalkboard Magazine released their January wellness tool kit, focusing on sustainable products to bring into your home. My favorite is the Soma Water Filter + Carafe that looks like a wine decanter for your H2O. Their goal is to make it easier to get your eight glasses a day, in the purest of ways.
Support local artisans like a new hometown favorite, Maven Made, and experience rejuvenation and regeneration from their hands-down amazing facial serum. I bought it on a whim when I was looking for something with carrot seed oil in it to blend into this facial scrub and was immediately hooked from the first use. If there is now one product that I cannot travel without, it is this one.
Food Trends on the Rise
I may not be an expert in this field, but from what I've observed, these are my best, personal predictions as to what you may expect to see more of in the year ahead (if you look for it in the right places)!
Beetroot hummus. We sure do love our hummus and pita chips, but as of late, I've caught more and more recipes that are blending in beets, like this one. I even saw it being sampled at my very favorite, Ellwood Thompson's in Richmond, VA. The rich, bold hue is one that cannot be missed and will probably raise questions and curiosities when it's seen on the appetizer table at your next gathering.
More matcha! And creative uses of it as well. People are picking up on the potent health and antioxidant benefits of this powdered green tea and it's quickly finding its way on more menus. For example, Cha Lait is a new matcha, tea & espresso bar in the West Village that is finding ways to add matcha to items on their menu, from matcha custards in their croissants to infusions in yogurt & granola bowls.
A greater love and availability of chia pudding. With Chia Co's chia pods hitting the shelves at Whole Foods, it's easier than ever to get your chia fix. Chia puddings and breakfast fixations are everywhere on Instagram and can easily be made year-round with any fruits that are currently in season. It even made a spot on Bon Appetit's Food Lover's Cleanse that I spoke about earlier.
More non-dairy alternatives and options. At some point, the non-dairy section at grocery stores will be just as big as the regular dairy section. Namely, nut and seed milks. Almond milk has already made a splash as the next best thing at coffee shops, but almost anything can now be made into a milk, including rice, quinoa, hemp, coconut, hazelnuts, cashews and so on. And they taste better, too. Check out this Vanilla Bean Cashew Milk from a friend at Glowing Within.
The list goes on, and you can of course expect to see more of these trends that I drum up along the way. Perhaps this will be the healthiest year yet, thanks to more education and accessibility to nutrient-dense products and trailblazers/influencers in the industry.
How will you make it your healthiest year yet? Share your thoughts below, if you wish.
Be well in 2015 & beyond,