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Dante Ludolf - Healthier & Healthier

Constantly trying out the latest health trends can have you running nowhere, or leave you too exhausted to try and keep up. We look at some trends that might be here to stay. Get your Instagram account ready, because this article will surely set you on the road to a new health challenge.

Dante Ludolf | Freelance Writer

Health trends can be funny a thing. One minute you’re ditching the soda and starch for fruits and vegetables and the next minute you find out that fruit and vegetables, albeit some, should instead be swapped out for bacon and zucchini. One minute it’s calorie counting and the next it’s all about low carb and high fat.

To the serious health nut, these healthy revelations that appear like clockwork are life-changing and essential. To the rest of us, it all seems a little high-maintenance and confusing. So we’ve decided to give you a heads-up and let you know what you are in for. So far 2016 has seen a spike in some very interesting produce, and you can look forward to even more peculiarities gracing your local grocer. In today’s fast-paced and innovative world, people are always trying to improve and succeed theories and tips that previously held merit.

Food has become more than a cultural thing – it now represents and signifies the kind of life you lead. With the use of social media people are revealing a lot about themselves through the food they consume and for the most part it can be a very positive experience. Think about the toll our food consumption is taking on the world, we are slowly and surely crippling our natural resources. So by posting food on your social media that is consciously accumulated via renewable methods you are actively taking a stand against the alternative. Cool, right?

Unfortunately, studies conducted on fitness fundi’s sh aaring their activities on social media have not been as kind or as positive. It seems as if the urge to share one’s training regimen or a seemingly harmless post-workout selfie is tied to psychosis and emotional instability. Oops!

Apart from smoking (yes, it was once advertised as a healthy product) and those awful chemical slimming tablets, most of the healthy trends that emerge don’t cause damage and can be a fun way to spice up your health routine.

So here you have it, healthy food and fitness trends to keep your workout routine and your Instagram account interesting:

Nut milk

Nut Milk is steadily becoming all the rage and consumers are favouring it over cow’s milk and soy. Nut milk comes in a wide variety of flavours, from almond to macadamia, and is a healthy and protein-rich dairy substitute. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and creamy which makes the departure from dairy milk a lot easier. The only drawback is that nut milk is very expensive and can require a serious renegotiating of the monthly grocery budget. With nut milk’s popularity on the increase, expect to see many new flavours and combinations emerge in the following months. It’s also incredibly easy to make your own – all you need is a blender, nuts of your choice and water!

Infrared sauna

In 2015 the collective curiosity was piqued by the amniotic sense deprivation chambers that supposedly promised unrivalled relaxation. Then there was the cryo-chambers, another slightly strange way to decompress and revitalise the body through freeze technology. Now we have the infrared sauna, a more intensive and deeply effective alternative to the traditional hot box sauna. Infrared saunas burn calories, relaxes muscles and increases circulation like no other. It has already proven to be very popular with the CrossFit crowd, who need to make sure their musculature is in tiptop shape. Expect to see many eclectic fitness spots and private gyms incorporate these magic chambers.

Bowl meals

You’ve seen them on blogs and on hip and healthy restaurant menus. The bowl. Be it a health bowl, a smoothie bowl, a grain bowl, etc. Bowls have now evolved from a simple piece of crockery to a way of eating. The cornerstone principle at play here seems to be shoving as many healthy and delicious ingredients as possible into a bowl and eating it guilt-free. Bowls are easy and fun and we can expect to see many varieties taking shape in the near future. Just look at the deconstructed Mexican bowls appearing in fast food chains like Kauai, a clever way to get the taste and effect of a Mexican tortilla into a healthy and nutritious bowl meal.

Plant-based dining and root-to-stem dining

No Meat Mondays has already gained significant popularity as a weekly staple and in the last months of 2015 we saw huge publicity being given to red meat now labelled as ‘mostly carcinogenic’ to humans – i.e. cancer inducing. Now we can expect to see a larger effort being made to cut down on animal products and meat and a collective move towards a more plant-based diet. Although this is shaping up to be a good trend, bear in mind that the leap from meat to no meat can be quite a drastic one. Ease yourself into a less meat intensive eating plan and take protein supplements if you are planning to eventually abandon meat altogether. This will make the transition easier on your body and allow you to gradually acclimate to the change. Get ready to see a lot of lentils, beans and pulses in recipes, as these are big players in the plant-based eating revolution that is to come.

Rock climbing

We saw an increased interest in surfing last year, and now the new sport of the minute is looking to be rock climbing. Rock climbing is a high intensity sport, it’s super fun and promises to be a stimulating and invigorating workout. Gone are the days of business meetings on the golf course, caddies and clubs are now being replaced by harnesses and a taut rope. Expect a lot more heaving and panting and a significantly more exciting experience overall. Rock climbing has been around for a while, so chances are that you’ll find a location in your surrounding areas that offer sessions for you to test your mettle.

Seaweed

Kale took the world by storm last year, and will probably go down in history as the most over-hyped green this side of lettuce. Only a handful of new recipes managed to slip the Kale factor, and people were clamouring for the bitter spinach-like plant like no other. Now we see Seaweed slipping its way onto the blog-o-sphere, and it looks set to replace Kale as the exotic green of the hour. Seaweed is salty and slightly bitter, but if prepared the right way it can be seriously yummy. Seaweed is high in nutrients and ocean minerals and comes packed with iodine and glutamic acid, so it is definitely a health trend that can work for you.