Surfing the Wave of the Wellness Trend


So many new choices at the farmers market, the natural food store & even the grocery store. They have all joined in on what is referred to as the Wellness Trend. 

In this article from the BBC: What’s Really Driving the Boom in Wellness Foods By Elizabeth Hotson, “investigates what wellness devotees are buying into.” the author writes about the “buzz words” & the businesses that are catering to this trend. I agree with this article that Wellness is an umbrella term for many fads & that it isn’t going away. Are you surfing the wellness trend looking for the quick fix & longevity? Or are you looking for a healthier diet & lifestyle.

The new year always brings thoughts of a “new you”, a healthier lifestyle. Last week I discussed the diets from: U.S. News Reveals Best Diets Rankings for 2018  Once you decide on which diet works for you, you then shop accordingly; trying to choose the healthiest food options for that diet. Businesses have capitalized on the “new you” idea by bringing out a confusing array of new products to entice us. They are not always the healthiest choices. 

This article from Fortune is an example of what people are buying into. This Is the Controversial Ingredient Inside the New Diet Coke Flavors  Coke is coming up with more flavors & more ways to make it’s diet drinks taste like original coke. They are tapping into a part of the wellness trend for dieters who want an easy, quick fix for losing weight. We have already discussed the pitfalls of drinking diet coke, one of which is weight gain!

It isn’t just about the drink itself, it is the attitude that since you drank a zero calorie soda it negates the hamburger & fries you are eating with it. It is also about the sugar substitutes they are using. Are they safe or not. It depends on which study you look at. My thought is always to eat as close to the natural food source as possible. Aspartame & its friends are not natural food sources.

Kambucha was mentioned in the first article. It has been popular as a health drink in the U.S. since the 90’s. Kambucha has been around for over 2,000 years. It started in China & was known as “The Tea of Immortality”. It has been brewed in Russia, Japan & Eastern Europe for centuries. 

It got a bad rap in the U.S. when people were becoming ill & several deaths were attributed to it. These medical problems occurred with homemade kambucha. Kambucha is a fermented product made from yeast, sugar & black tea. If it is not fermented properly it can grow harmful bacteria. But when produced correctly it is a healthy drink. 

If you are a Kambucha aficionado then this article in Forbes is a must read. Kombucha 101: Demystifying The Past, Present And Future Of The Fermented Tea Drink by Christina Troitino , Feb. 1, 2017  It includes it’s history, how it is brewed, & recent studies on it’s health benefits.

New vegetarians, vegans & even flexatarians rely on soy products to help them adjust. Soy is in everything from supplements to nut milks. Tempeh, Miso & edamame beans are the best soy choices. Tofu is processed but there are brands that use sprouted soy beans & some that are not as processed as others. Soy is healthy but only in moderate amounts. 

Because of the wellness trend, there are now some really good healthy choices that are not soy based. 

EcoWatch: Soy Meat Is Soy Yesterday: 5 New and Better Options, By Katie O’Reilly  I have seen these in our local grocery store. I have only tried the Jackfruit & found it very tasty. I do like Litelife Tempeh, but haven’t tried these patties yet. Since I have never liked the taste of meat, I won’t be trying the Beyond Meat Burger or the shrimp 🙂 

OneGreenPlanet has a list of The Best Vegan Burgers on the Market This list includes soy, non-soy, & gluten-free options. We like Hilarys, Field Roast & Sunshine; all soy free. 

I use these products about once a month. We stay away from processed foods as much as possible but they are very convenient when in a hurry & I keep a package in the freezer for those times. 

Cheese is another product that vegans miss. It isn’t that difficult to come up with creamy sauces for pasta or other recipes: Cauli-power Fettuccine “Alfredo” (Vegan) ~love this recipe. It is nice though to have grated or sliced cheese to put on your pizza or sandwich. 

There are some new cheese products that are soy-free. Field Roast: Chao Creamery is one of them. It is my husbands favorite. I prefer Daiya Provolone. It melts really well & is just like provolone cheese on a sandwich. 

OneGreenPlanet: Vegan Cheese is Better Than Ever: Try These 11 Brands The brand that I would like to try is Treeline.  For example their Herb-Garlic French-Style Soft Cheese “Flavored with fine herbs and garlic for a sophisticated and complex flavor.” Ingredients: Cashew nuts, filtered water, sea salt, lemon juice, dried scallions, garlic powder, white pepper, onion powder, L. Acidophilus, dried basil, dried oregano. They even have 2 aged nut cheeses.

VegNews: 18 Vegan Things We Can’t Wait to Try in 2018, By Anna Starostinetskaya | December 11, 2017 This list has everything from dairy-free Reddi Whip, CBD Gummy Bears to Starbucks food & vegan doughnuts! Browse the list & you will see how companies really are ridding the wellness trend wave.

Don’t get roped into the marketing; as with all new products read the labels to see what the ingredients are. The processed foods that we want to avoid are those with ingredients that you can’t pronounce, added sugar, fake sugar, salt & saturated fats. The burgers, cheese & kambucha that I have written about are processed but the ingredients are “clean”. I would consider them healthy additions to any diet but should not be eaten every day.

A reminder of how we should be eating. I subscribe to the Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard School of Medicine’s Newsletter. They sent me this wonderful article & the following links.

January 2018, The right plant-based diet for you, “Plant-based diets can help reduce your risk of heart disease, but they’re not all created equal. 

This Healthy Eating Plate is from the The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

Copyright © 2011, Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard Health Publications

The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Healthy Eating Plate & Healthy Eating Pyramid“The Healthy Eating Plate, created by nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health and editors at Harvard Health Publications, was designed to address deficiencies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s MyPlate. The Healthy Eating Plate provides detailed guidance, in a simple format, to help people make the best eating choices.” Lots of good information.

Another good article from The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health: Becoming a Vegetarian. “People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they can’t afford to eat meat. Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.” This is an excellent article about the different types of vegetarian diets, the scientific based health benefits of these diets & the health risks if you don’t pay attention to what you are eating. 

  • Vegans (total vegetarians): Do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
  • Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.
  • Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.
  • Partial vegetarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).

The best part of the Wellness Trend for all of us is that mainstream/chain grocery stores, restaurants, cafes etc. are joining the wave. That means more products will be available at a lower price to the health conscious public. Just remember to read those labels!

Until next week…Mary 🙂