Health And Food Trends 2013: 20 Healthy Lifestyle Trends For The New Year

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FAMILY EATING HEALTHY
Ready for a new year? Turns out 2013 is full of vegan babies, online groceries and sharing homemade meals with others. | Shutterstock

There's just something about the idea of adult-sized monkey bars and healthy chocolate that makes us happy about going into a new year.

If 2013 pans out the way marketing communications brand JWT predicts it will, people should expect more vegan babies, allergy-cautious menus and bee stings to cure joint pains.

Each year, JWT launches their top trends reports, focusing on a variety of topics including health and wellness and food and beverages. These reports highlight how consumers' buying habits and behaviours might change in the year to come. This year, trends forecast that people will be more likely to disconnect from their phones and busy lifestyles, and instead spend time focusing on eating healthy and living mindfully.

In 2012, studies found that sitting at desks all day was slowly killing us, noise pollution affected our sleeping habits and hearing, and in general, people were working too much and spending an excessive amount of time on work-related tasks after business hours.

Even though these habits won't disappear in 2013 (or anytime soon), JWT's report make us hopeful some of these changes can happen if we start small. If you're a fitness buff or just getting your healthy lifestyle resolution together for the new year, look out for fitness trends like small group training, express workouts and even going back to basics like sit-ups.

And if you're a foodie, besides eating healthier, shopping locally and experimenting with peer-to-peer food sharing, there are tons of new restaurants opening across the country.

Which trends are you most excited (or scared for) in 2013? Let us know in the comments below:

LOOK: 20 food and health trends we expect to see in 2013:

Health And Food Trends 2013
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Adult Playgrounds:
Hey mom and dad, this one's just for you. Cities worldwide are trying to tackle obesity and overall inactivity by designing playgrounds for adults. But don't get excited just yet, these playgrounds come with workout equipment rather than giant swings and slides you were probably imagining. These workout spaces are meant to eliminate cost and accessibility limitations and help adults get more active. In 2012, New York City opened its first adult playground and plans to create two dozen more.

Allergen-Free:
The new 'gluten-free' is already here. With food allergies rising worldwide — at least seven per cent of Canadians have a food allergy — more companies will build facilities dedicated to manufacturing foods free of allergens like dairy, peanuts, egg, soy and shellfish.

Bee Venom:
Bee venom therapy — an ancient practice that dates back to Egypt, Greece and China — might be coming back with a sting. The treatment, which involves systematically stinging patients suffering from joint and nerve conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis, can improve circulation, decrease inflammation and stimulate the immune system.

Faux Meat:
As people begin to cut down on meat for budget, health or environmental reasons, fake meat is getting tastier and more convincing — tofurkey anyone? Many brands like Yves Veggie Cuisine and Veggie Patch offer meat substitutes for everything from bacon to nuggets.

Detox Your Life:
For most, a new year means cleansing our bodies and getting rid of junk from our diets and kitchen cupboards. But detoxing in 2013 will also be about detoxing our homes and the environment around us. Consumers and brands are both turning to chemical-free and toxin-free products to use everyday.

Chia:
Ch-ch-ch-chia! No, we're not talking about the kind you grow in a pot, but 2013 is all about adding the chia seed to your diet. Chia seeds are rich in protein, antioxidants, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. People are adding the whole or ground seed to foods and beverages and companies like Nature's Path is creating both cereals and granola bars based with chia.

Fitness On The Go:
Yes, we're busy, but when it comes to fitness, experts predict it will be more convenient in 2013. Hotels, for example, are designing guest rooms to accommodate people doing yoga or cardio, or providing workout videos, while some airports, like San Francisco International Airport, even offer yoga rooms.

Food Sharing:
It seems like mom's advice on sharing with others isn't going away anytime soon. Experts predict 2013 will be the year for peer-to-peer services like car-sharing and accommodation-sharing. A new trend, food-sharing, has people sharing their homemade meals with others or bringing people together in the homes of amateur chefs. Mealku in New York, for example, lets members share their homemade meals with other site members.

JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out:
It’s the flip side of FOMO or the fear of missing out. With more people opting out of social media streams, emails and that never-ending to-do list, this trend may actually be a good thing for our health. In 2013, people will find a joy in missing out on things, so they can slow down, savour the moment and focus on what’s really important in their lives.

Menu-Free Dining:
As we get pickier and pickier, restaurants may just have to give the good 'ol menu a boot. With a long list of dietary restrictions and food allergies to contend with, some restaurants are adopting fixed-priced menus or offering fewer items on menus altogether.

Mindful Living:
Just think about the last time you ate your meal in peace. Mindful eating involves savouring every bite without distraction from electronics, whether phones or TVs. But this type of mindful living will also follow us through our everyday errands — mindful shopping, for example, means not overspending and buying only what’s needed to feel fulfilled at that moment.

Teff:
Consumed for thousands of years in Ethiopia, this super grain has been slowly gaining popularity in North America. Teff is gluten-free, full of essential amino acids, high in protein, calcium, fibre and low in fat.

Nature As An Antidote:
Sometimes, we just need to get away from the city. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban spaces, more people are looking at nature as an escape from noise, pollution and traffic.

Vegan Babies:
As veganism gains more interest among families, more parents are starting to spread their eating habits to their newborns. While some argue that this method stops kids from receiving proper nutrition, parents are feeling more confident about raising vegan babies and some health experts see no problem with it. However, if you are thinking about veganism for your baby or are curious about milk options, health experts warn parents to always consult with a dietician or pediatrician first.

Power Of The Brain:
“Brain power” will have a new meaning in 2013. New advances in the field of neurotechnology — connecting technology to the brain and our central nervous system — will go beyond robotic limbs. In 2012, Nature published a successful experiment of robotic arms that were fully controlled by brain activity.

Vegetable Boxes:
Popular in the U.K., vegetable boxes are delivered to customers’ homes and packed with locally grown and mostly organic produce and sometimes, meat and dairy products. If you're into supporting local farmers and producers, vegetable boxes are a great way to eat healthy and give back to the community.

Standing Desks:
If research has shown us anything in 2012, it's that sitting at our desks with poor posture is slowly killing us. As we head into the new year, experts at JWT predict more upright desk features for offices across the country. Companies like Ergotron have already created standing workstations with cart-like features.

Yogurt:
Yogurts, and Greek yogurt in particular, have been spiking in popularity in the past year as consumers opt for healthier snack options. In 2012, Greek yogurt maker Chobani launched a yogurt store in New York, while in Canada, iögo gained popularity with its snack-sized portions and sugar-free features.

Guilt-Free Chocolate:
We may be getting closer to healthier chocolate, because let's face it, everyone wants to indulge in sweets and not worry about their waistlines. Guilt-free chocolate will cut the fat, preservatives and artificial flavouring and offer consumers a "healthier" version of chocolate. Some companies, like U.S.-based Unreal, uses no artificial ingredients and preservatives, corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.

Online Groceries:
Click — you just got corn. In 2013, online grocery shopping will slowly become more mainstream as consumers are starting to shop from the comfort of their homes. A 2012 global Nielsen survey found that 26 per cent of respondents planned to buy food and beverage products using a digital device in the next three to six months. In Canada, sites like Grocery Gateway already offer grocery services through the click of your mouse.

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