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Top 5 Food and Health Trends in 2020

01/17/2020
By Soji James, CPT, CSCS

The new year has arrived and, with it, a new decade. Just because the parties are over doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun, though. Many people are looking forward to 2020 with the hope that it will be a new beginning and a source for renewal for themselves, their friends and family, and even the planet. Let’s make the most of the new year by taking a look at the hottest trends in food and fitness.

1. Experiential Wellness

The best way to learn is through experience, and the more natural the experience, the better.  

Experiential Learning: How We All Learn Naturally – Sprouts

The desire to fully experience the process of wellness is growing. In today’s busy world, it is easy to over-analyze things and lose sight of what really matters.  

Experiential wellness is the idea of fully immersing yourself in wellness. Sunrise yoga by the ocean, for example, is the kind of experience that can incorporate wellness into your soul in ways that a gym class just can’t touch. Ballroom dancing turns cardio into an exciting and romantic experience you can share with your intimate partner or an entire group of like-minded friends. 

Experiential wellness helps you fully embody health and wellness until it is as natural as breathing. 

Elevate Your Vacation 

Vacations are often a time of stress and unhealthy choices, and it can be hard to find healthy food to eat. You can avoid the “vacation hangover” many people experience if you plan your vacation as a wellness experience. Vacations can be a time to experience healthy foods and exercise activities like hiking, yoga, and dancing. Experiential wellness can make your vacation delicious and healthy, and you can return home feeling younger, more energetic, and happier. Planning wellness into your vacation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as using healthy snack ideas instead of junk food from convenience stores and walking instead of public transit or driving. 

Transforming wellness activities into immersive experiences creates more meaning than a regular exercise routine, and it shows you how exercise can be fun, educational, and even spiritual. 

2. Better Data Tracking

If you’re focused on enjoying the experience, it’s a lot harder to keep track of the numbers. A good data tracker will keep an eye on the numbers for you, freeing you up to more fully experience the moment. 

Man reading fitness watch on his wrist. Part of the food and health trends means having a good data tracker and having healthy meals.
Better Data Tracking And Focus On Enjoying The Experience (Image Source: Shutterstock)

My Favorite New Device

There are many data tracking devices on the market. It seems like more are released every day. My Whoop 3.0 fitness tracker has made my exercise routines a lot more fun. It has a comfortable form factor that is less likely to get in your way or be a distraction while you focus on your exercise routines.

Health and Food

What you eat before and after workouts can have a significant impact on your results. With the right data tracker, you can maximize your daily schedule—not just your workouts—to ensure the best results possible. 

3. Ancient Grains Beyond Quinoa

One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to make healthier choices regarding food and exercise habits. It’s likely that eating better is one of your goals, too.

Bowl of Quinoa and vegetables.
Try Some Ancient Grains Beyond Quinoa (Image Source: Unsplash)

Everyone knows that simple carbohydrates are bad for you, so many people are turning to ancient grains for help. Ever since quinoa came on the market, people have realized that there are more options out there than wheat, corn, and barley. 

Quinoa rose to popularity as a healthy alternative to wheat and corn around 2006 and was my first introduction to ancient grains. My curiosity led me to discover a rich world of alternatives to wheat and corn. 

Food Health Trends Driving Interest in Ancient Grains

Amaranth, spelt, millet, and einkorn are just a few delicious examples of healthy alternatives to bleached flour. There are many ancient grains that offer healthy variations on traditional themes. Breads and pastries made with ancient grains open a new world of tastes and textures that are close enough to the foods we know to be attractive. But each of these ancient foods has its own nutritional profile that can be quite different from what we are used to. It’s important to educate yourself when exploring new foods so you can have a good experience. 

The Most Nutritious Grain You’ve Never Heard Of | National Geographic

4. Plant-Based Meats

Vegan and vegetarian diet choices continue to become more popular. People choose to eat less or no meat for many reasons. There is a big market for plant-based meats. Replacing meat is a popular way to reduce your impact on the environment, and vegetarians and vegans promote it as a healthier and more ethical way to live. 

Beyond meat, plat-based burger patties.
Plant-Based Meats Reduce Your Impact To The Environment (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Meat Alternatives are a Popular Health Food Trend

Offerings like the Impossible Burger from Burger King and the Beyond Meat product lines have increased the visibility of plant-based meats. Options like these are making it a lot easier for people to transition to a meat-free diet. 

But you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy plant-based meats. Some of them taste very good, and with the way trends are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up tasting better than the real thing in the future. 

5. More and Better Sleep

One in three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep. The spread of data trackers has made people more aware of what their bodies are doing when they’re not paying attention. When you are asleep, your watch, phone, or other device can help you keep track of your body. These devices listen to your breathing and decipher how much and what kind of sleep you are getting. The more you know about your sleep habits, the easier it is to make small changes that can have big impacts. 

Woman sleeping soundly on a bed.
More and Better Sleep (Image Source: Unsplash)

Getting more sleep doesn’t mean you have to spend more time in bed, though. Sometimes your sleep is so shallow it doesn’t count as sleep at all! The foods you eat can impact your sleep quality, and sleep disturbances often happen while you are not conscious. Lean protein foods are easier on your stomach and promote restful sleep. 

Proper sleep has many benefits, and most people see improvements to their skin. The best foods for healthy skin are good for sleep, too, so they can be combined to increase the benefits to your health. 

Choosing the Right Data Tracker

If you use Apple products, you should check out this Apple Watch Series 4 Review and see how Apple is making a strong move into the fitness data market. If you have an iPhone and other Apple products, the Apple Watch may be the right product for you.  

Close up and fitbit and apple watch.
Make Sure To Choose The Right Data Tracker (Image Source: Unsplash)

If you use android devices, are a serious fitness junkie, or want the best sleep data available, a head-to-head comparison between the Apple Watch 4 vs FitBit Versa showed the FitBit to be the clear winner. The biggest problem FitBit users have reported is data sharing, but this is only a problem until you learn how it is easy to export FitBit data to most devices. 

A New Decade, a New World, a New You

Now that we are out of the teens and into the 2020s, we have a golden opportunity to get the most out of life. These are just five ideas that can help you transform your life in positive ways. What resolutions have you made to change, and which of these ideas can help you the most? 

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