We all know that trends come and go, after all, that’s why it’s called a trend, they’re not meant to last. This year, mainly because I immersed myself into the world of Instagram/blogging, I admittedly hopped on a lot of band wagons. For better, or worse? Given that they’re wellness trends, they’re bettering my health, so that’s good. For my wallet? Definitely for the worse. I will say that before jumping on any bandwagon, I do my own research, and evaluate if I think it is worth it. But obviously since I’m a Holistic Health Coach and super passionate about leading a healthy life, I always think it’s worth it. I can always rationalize these things… Well, what trends are worth the investment? Here are my thoughts:
- Collagen Peptides: I guess the collagen trend could’ve technically started when the bone broth trend began in 2014-2015-ish, but in 2017, I saw it really take off. Seemingly everyone in the health & wellness world was adding collagen to their coffee, smoothies, and matcha. I saw Bulletproof Coffee being sold at coffee shops, collagen-boosted protein bars, and bone broth shops and products everywhere. My takeaway: I started using collagen in February and I haven’t looked back. I really love it because I truly have experienced a difference in my skin, hair, nails and gut health. I believe it’s also helped a great deal with my muscle & joint recovery. After long 13-milers I normally wouldn’t be able to walk down stairs easily the next day, but this year, with IT band flare-up and a semi hip injury, I would feel pretty much fine the next day. I’m sure there are other reasons why this is, but collagen certainly didn’t make anything worse! Worth it?: It’s an investment. Collagen isn’t cheap. If you can afford it, I say, why not? I think that the best brand is Vital Proteins, but there are other brands found at Whole Foods and on Amazon that are good too. I say try it out to see how you feel, and go from there. If you look at as it as preventative medicine, it’s an investment in your current and future health. Plus, if it makes you look and feel great, how could you say no?
- Medicinal Mushrooms // Mushroom Coffee, Tea, and Elixirs: Mushrooms have boasted incredible benefits since the dawn of time. They’re revered in Native American, Japanese, and Russian cultures as extremely healing and even sacred. I mean, who can blame them? Mushrooms, in particular Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps, are anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, adaptogentic (more on that below), blood pressure stabilizers, liver detoxifiers, linked to increased stamina, athletic performance, and act as a natural aphrodisiac. Worth it?: If you’re looking to cut down on caffeine and don’t want to give up coffee 100%, I think mushroom coffee and/or tea is an excellent way to do so. It’s not too expensive and is honestly delicious (I know, I know, it’s hard to believe but it’s true). Plus, it’s like drinking medicine… so, how can you deny that?! There are a bunch of brands out there that sell Mushroom drinks and coffee’s for a decent price. Rebbl can be found in most Whole Foods (I love their Reishi Cold Brew), Four Sigmatic has mushroom coffee, tea, and hot coco mixes, and my new personal favorite Birch Boys Adirondack Chaga.
- Adaptogens: These are super powerful and medicinal herbs that help the body adapt to stress. Physical stressors and environmental stressors, and foods that cause a stress response (inflammatory foods: think fried, refined, and sugar laden foods). They also help balance hormones and protect your adrenal glands, both of which are vey sensitive to stress. Worth it?: I was sooooo skeptical about adaptogens. I couldn’t fathom spending $50 on a tiny jar of a powdered herb. That seemed insane. But then I learned that Matcha is technically an Adaptogen, and I love Matcha. Plus, you can find good quality Matcha that isn’t too expensive, so I thought, alright! Then I tried Maca because it was on sale at Whole Foods. I loved the taste, but not the price point, so after I was done with my package I didn’t purchase more. Until Trader Joe’s put Organic Maca Powder on their shelves for $4.99 (BLESS YOU TJ’S!) and now I have Maca Powder regularly in my coffee, matcha, and smoothies. All the other adaptogens, rhodiola and ashwaghanda to name a couple, are more expensive, but worth a try. Mountain Rose Herbs sells all them all in varying sizes which is great if you’re not looking to invest a lot of money into some herbs. So, 1oz costs less than $5, not bad!
- Self-Care: Alright, let me start by saying Self-Care should not be a trend, it should 100% be implemented into everyone’s health & wellness routine. Needless to say, the idea of “staying in” really became trendy this year. The Danish word “hygge” in English literally means “fun”. And if the Danish idea of fun is cozying up with a good book by the fire, with a cup of hot cocoa in a giant mug, wearing an over-sized sweater and fluffy slippers, then I. Am. In. Hygee is a concept utilized specifically during the winter, allowing winter hibernation to be a restoring and nourishing time, instead of cold and depressing one. Or simple, easy living. A.K.A. a big ol’ concept whose ideas are rooted in self-care. I’m talking about hygge now because winter is coming (GOT. GOT. Game. Of. Thrones.) , but the popularity of self-care manifested in other trendy ways in the importance of slowing down and practicing total body recovery. Alternative medicine and therapies such as cryotherapy and cupping. Worth it?: Yes. Yes. Yes. All of it. Taking care of yourself shouldn’t have to be trendy to have people wanting to do it. Loving your body and every bit of it should always be “in”.
- Fats: There’s always a bunch of new scientific studies released every year disproving the previous year’s latest diet trend. It’s a cycle that, in my professional opinion, will never end. What will never change is eating real, whole, foods. No labels. No preservatives. Just real. freaking. food. Anyway, FATS. Fats should no longer be scary because they are, in fact, good for you. People are now freely putting full-fat butter in their coffee??! What! Yep, fats help boost your metabolism, keep you full longer, provide a steady flow of energy, and help stabilize blood sugar. Worth it? : The “healthy fats” trend is seen in many diets including the Bulletproof, Paleo, and Keto diets. I hate diets, so I’m not going to tell you that you should be on any of these diets, however I will say that you shouldn’t be afraid if fats. Don’t go overboard, see how your body feels, but in my experience adding a little butter to my coffee and having avocado toast for breakfast gives me amazingly steady energy and keeps me full for hours! Now, maybe your idea of incorporating healthy fats into your diet means more nuts and olive oil, great. Experiment and see what works for you!
- Slowing Down: From meditation, to the new cool Friday night being Netflix and sweatpants, to the importance of recovery when exercising, to hygee, it seems like we’re all taking note that having a busy social calendar doesn’t equal happiness. Lately I’ve heard more people describe themselves as “extroverted introverts” more than I ever have in my life. Which made me think that maybe we’re all extroverted introverts. We all need time to ourselves to connect to our intentions and desires. This is connected to self-love and self-care, don’t you think? Worth it.
Wellness is pretty trendy right now. Walking around NYC you see it popping up more and more, and while I love it, I fear that it’ll become too trendy because it attracts a more cosmopolitan and elite demographic. I 100% do not believe that health and wellness is only meant for those who can afford to spend $7 on a fancy drink. Most of the trends I mentioned aren’t necessary to live a healthy life.
There’s something to be said about simplicity. Living a healthy life looks different for everyone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with simply eating real, whole foods that make your body feel great.
Here’s my wellness realness: I don’t need any of these trendy things to be “healthy”. Nobody does. They’re my preference right now but I’m sure that’ll change. I do enjoy a lot of the trends (collagen, adaptogens, bulletproof and mushroom coffee), because they make me feel good! I know that I am fortunate to have access to them, but I don’t need them.
A non-negotiable for me is slowing down and self-care. That is not a trend. It’s changed my life. It fuels me more than any supplement every could.
That’s what I want you to take away from this.
Taking care of, and loving, yourself is not a trend. It may be trendy now, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. It’s important for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Period.
Here’s to 2017, the year of self-love and care, and may you carry that with you for the rest of your life.
Let’s see what 2018 brings…