Heading into the New Year there are resolutions, goals, trends and lists forecasting activities and interests for the next 12 months. Trends viewed through the prism of annual predictions include:
3. Increasing Use and Consumption of Greens
4. Snacking & Mini Meals
5. Wise Buy Proteins
6. Meatless Meals
7. Food Transparency
8. Cooking Your Own aka CYO
9. Guilty Pleasures
10. Local, Local, Local
Each of the ten has qualities to aid in achieving well-being. I've divided this list in half. I covered the first five trends in "Trending Toward Health and Well-Being in 2013, Part I." This post continues the conversation with detailed info on the list's remaining five trends.
Meatless Meals continue to gain popularity. The challenging economy, continued interest in ethnic cuisines and vegetarianism have helped fuel this trend. Legumes that are becoming more popular and are more readily available include edamame (green soybeans) lentils and soy nuts (roasted soybeans). Some of these items may also be categorized as Wise Buy Proteins.
Food Transparency is one of the concerns in today's marketplace. People crave the details on the sources and composition of the things we eat-we want to know when and where it was made or grown, as well as who produced or harvested it, before making purchase decisions. One of the biggest challenges food buyers face, is making sure they are tapped into credible and accurate information.
Cooking Your Own (CYO) is linked to Food Transparency. People are using the information on what to buy and where to buy it, to stock ingredients for the meals they are cooking. CYO gives the home-cook control over what to make, how much to season and exactly what ingredients to include. This also allows home-cooks to focus on the health issues they are most concerned with and to easily tailor family menus to address food-related health issues.
Guilty Pleasures allow you to indulge food desires and cravings without punishing yourself. It's about balance and not excess. Almost everyone loves chocolate-rather than completely omit it from your diet, indulge in a chocolate that is deeply flavored such as bittersweet or dark chocolate. It's a treat to savor yet the rich antioxidants in the chocolate are a bonus. Chocolate may not be your guilty pleasure, but we each have something-mine is cheese, I don't eat this every day, but occasionally.
Local, Local, Local The availability of locally grown food is typical for some and an experience to savor for folks in urban areas. With more farmers' markets, community gardens and grocery stores interested in working with local vendors it is becoming easier to eat fresh local foods. Realizing this may not be an option in colder regions year 'round, by Cooking Your Own, you can stock up on fresh local ingredients in season and freeze or can them.
These are my thoughts on Food Trends in 2013-I'll continue to share info and tips to help you make wise decisions in your quest for good health and well-being on this journey to a healthy lifestyle.
Take away: Health and well-being continue to be hot topics for 2013. If your goal for the year is about improving nutrition, increasing fitness and focusing on your well-being, you can rely on these trends to help you stay on the right track.