What does the wellness forecast look like this year? We’re looking to some tried-and-true methods to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Fermentation is King
Kimchi, Kombucha, Kraut: Fermented products have moved way past novelty in the minds of wellness fanatics and culinary geniuses alike. Gut health became an important conversation topic in 2016 and for good reason. Maintaining a diverse microbial environment where gut flora can flourish is a critical factor in supporting your immune system, maintaining a healthy weight and even fighting depression and anxiety. Fermented foods are full of probiotics (good bacteria) that help to keep your GI tract healthy and allow your body the balance it needs to function properly. Aside from their immunity-boosting properties, fermented foods are having a major moment in the culinary world. From black garlic to fermented hibiscus, chefs are resurrecting this ancient tradition and experimenting with new complex flavor profiles. Expect to see some interesting menu items next time you dine out, and don’t shy away…your gut will thank you!
Meet Me at the Sauna Bar
Infrared saunas, which emit infrared light that heats the body, are becoming increasingly popular among spa-goers, with dedicated shops popping up in the SF Bay Area, LA and NYC. Service providers claim that infrared saunas will improve your skin, help you lose weight, eliminate harmful toxins, reduce stress, relieve chronic pain and boost your immune system. It seems like a tall order but there may be some truth to these claims, at least according to wellness enthusiasts and celebrities. Although there is no conclusive evidence that infrared saunas work miracles, there also aren’t many risks involved (traditional saunas heat up much faster and can be risky for people with heart problems). If you feel better and look great, who can argue with that?
Essential Oil Mania
From fermented foods to saunas to aromatherapy, ancient remedies are clearly having a moment. The essential oil craze has been building for a few years and is only getting bigger. Though they are sometimes touted as “cure-alls,” essential oils actually have a long history of medicinal uses, such as calming depression and anxiety (bergamot, lavender), alleviating congestion (eucalyptus) or reducing skin irritation and swelling (clove, juniper berry). The key is to do your research and get quality products. Make sure you purchase 100% pure, clinical-grade, essential oils that come in dark-colored bottles to protect them from the light.
Standing Desks are Totally Cool
Once reserved for developers working 14+ hours a day, standing desks are now seen as a basic employee health benefit. A sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cancer. Killing yourself after work at the gym won’t undo the damage, either. Standing desks force you to move around and are a simple solution to a serious health epidemic. Plus, adjustable versions allow you to alternate standing and sitting, so you can ease into your new daily routine. Hurry up and request one—you’ll be a major trendsetter in the workplace.
Clean Beauty Blossoms
Makeup and skincare enthusiasts are wising up to the fact that the personal care industry in the United States is highly unregulated, and companies that lack transparency can expect to pay the price in 2017. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it plays a major role in protecting us from all sorts of scary things, like illness, disease, bad bacteria, UV radiation, environmental toxins —you name it! Our skin does such an amazing job that it's function rarely crosses our minds, which is the exact (lack of) thinking that cosmetic companies have relied on for years. Consumers are catching on and ridding their beauty cabinets of nasty parabens (preservatives that disrupt the endocrine system and have been linked to breast cancer) and replacing highly pigmented, potentially metal-filled lipsticks with non-toxic, handmade balms. Take a look at the worst offenders, and make an effort to start (or continue) the transition this year. It may seem small but those chemicals add up over a lifetime. Save your body (and the environment) some serious toxic stress. If you're a sucker for buying things that are just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside, check out some of our fave new clean beauty brands: Herbivore Botanicals, Tata Harper, Ilia and Kjaer Weis.