Green smoothies were in and gluten was out in 2013, making it a banner year for veggies, especially the leafy ones. These trends will continue to have a stronghold in 2014 — Walmart now offers gluten-free foods, commercials for bionic blenders abound and we certainly haven’t seen the last of kale!
While it’s tough to accurately predict the other foods that will be hot (or not) this year, it’s safe to say 2014 will have a big impact on your dinner plate. Here are a few developments to watch out for.
There is a lot of debate around whether or not GMOs have a negative affect on our health, and research and statistics can be analyzed and used to bolster both sides of the argument.
Personally, the idea of corn genetically engineered to release its own insecticide makes me nervous, so I do my best to avoid it by sticking to whole foods and buying organic. You don’t have to make up your mind now, but it’s important to be aware of the conversation and to understand that where you spend your money has a huge impact on food politics.
The same leafy veggies that give green juice its detox powers benefit your body when consumed in their whole form. But you miss out on all the healthy fiber when you simply squeeze them and toss the pulp.
Fill up on veggies at every meal — toss spinach into scrambled eggs, start lunch with a leafy salad or enjoy a hearty squash stew for dinner. All that roughage improves your digestion and helps you feel full, making dieting and weight loss more sustainable.
There’s nothing wrong with your local supermarket — if you stick to the perimeter of the store, you’re likely to fill your cart with fresh fruits and veggies, and nutritious meats and dairy items. But when you shop at a farmers market, you get to meet the person responsible for growing your food and create a more intimate relationship between those fingerling potatoes and your fork.
Eating more local produce, pasture-raised meats and wild-caught seafood improves the health of eaters, growers, animals and the planet. (Visit LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer’s market near you.)
A recent study found that Americans tossed out 40% of their food last year. That’s great news for our waistlines — you can’t eat it if you throw it away — but not so great for our bank accounts and landfills.
Being more mindful about how much you buy and planning menus in advance will help tremendously. Set aside about half an hour before going shopping to figure out what you really need, and remember it’s better to hit the store again later in the week than it is to overstock and watch food spoil in the fridge.
Chock this one up to the collective effort of minding our calories. Chains like Applebee’s, BJ’s and Cheesecake Factory are introducing new items — and in some cases, completely separate menus — for those who wish to enjoy a meal around 500 calories.
They’re incorporating healthier ingredients, but also reducing portions to offer dishes more easily enjoyed in one sitting. This is great for those who have a hard time stopping when they’re full, and it reduces waste since restaurants won’t have to toss your leftovers.
Food trends come and go, much like clothing styles, and whether you munch on green smoothies or non-GMO corn this year, one thing is certain: You need to eat. Being mindful of what you put in your body, avoiding processed and packaged foods, eating more vegetables and drinking more water are always in fashion.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2014!
Kimberly A. Daly is a San Francisco-based healthy lifestyle expert and contributor to leading national media outlets. With a philosophy of approachable health and wellness, Kimberly’s unique point of view is recognized for being as relatable as it is authoritative. Her holistic approach taps into nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and emotional needs, and delivers results that her clients can maintain. Kimberly’s work has been featured in countless media outlets including Shape, Parents, People StyleWatch, and YouBeauty, to name a few.
Get more great tips and learn more about Kimberly on her blog, Some Kind of Runderful.