Friday, March 7, 2014

Fit and Trendy

Believe it or not, and by looking at the recent weather you won’t, we are well into 2014 and spring is fast approaching! Spring is a new beginning of sorts, the greening of the vegetation, warmer temperatures and the promise of a wealth fresh fruit and vegetables.
With a new year comes new trends in fashion and entertainment food and nutrition trends are no different.  According to Boulder, Colorado–based brand-strategy company Sterling-Rice Group here are some food trends that will unfold this year.
Give it a lemon squeeze! Lemon in pure juice forms, in pastries and as yogurt flavoring will brighten up our dishes. Lemon juice is also good to help balance acidity in your body.

Tea is not just for breakfast or fortunetelling anymore. Chefs are using tea leaves to flavor ice creams and adding the leaves to poaching liquids, marinades, sauces and more. Tea is also full of antioxidants and green tea in particular can reduce inflammation.
Got nuts? Dairy milk (and soymilk) will take a backseat to nut milks such as almond, peanut and cashew. Nuts are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fat and protein. They are most healthy in their raw from and are easily turned into homemade nut butter.
Animal proteins go alternative. People are gaining awareness that industrial cattle-farming practices are questionable and unsustainable. Expect small-scale, local producers to step forward with offerings like rabbit, goat and pigeon. When purchasing beef, look for organic and grass fed alternatives. This is some of the best beef you will ever taste. For chicken, look for organic and cage free and look to purchase your eggs from local farmers that utilize organic and cage free practices.
Seaweed is rolling in with umami flavor “pop.” In addition to the ubiquitous crunchy seaweed snacks that have emerged recently, seaweed is being produced as a standalone flavor additive to sprinkle over anything that sounds good with it. In fact, dust some onto the next item.
Popcorn has come out of its shell. It’s been a popular snack food for a couple of years already, but watch for imaginative uses and combinations. Kelsey Blackwell, senior editor Natural Foods Merchandiser reported on Tiny But Mighty Popcorn, an heirloom kernel so small that the hull disappears when it pops.  Boost the flavor of your popcorn with melted coconut oil.  Known as the “healthy’ saturated fat, coconut oil is heart healthy and has the similar feel and taste of butter, and a fraction of the cost.
Raw is gaining new ground. Innovators are producing raw-food ingredients such as oils, nuts and fruit juices for convenient use in recipes as well as excellent flavor enhancement and health benefits.
Increasing numbers of people are getting their daily Paleo fix. Whether CrossFit® enthusiasts are driving this or not, it seems to be a trend. Blackwell reported seeing “a handful of Paleo- specific” snacks on the show floor. She also observed that established brands were massaging their messaging to appeal to Paleo consumers.

Adding a fun and healthy diet with exercise can be a new trend for you as well.
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer and exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.