2013 Food and Nutrition Trends – Part 2 | Rachel Begun, MS, RD

Today’s post is a continuation of last week’s post about what we can expect for food and nutrition trends in 2013.  Of course, my spin on it all is how these trends affect the gluten free community.

Overnight Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Breakfast Really Is The Most Important Meal of the Day
The trend predictors are recognizing the health benefits of eating breakfast every day:  better performance in school and at the office; better memory; less likely to be overweight; and potentially lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.  The key to fitting breakfast in is shopping and planning ahead.  Here are some tips:

  • make gluten free oatmeal in the slow cooker, so it’s ready in the morning.  recipes are all over the web (plus I’m doing a cookbook giveaway after the New Year that has great gluten free options)
  • prepare a frittata over the weekend, so it’s easy to cut and warm up a piece in the morning
  • hard boil eggs at night for grabbing in the morning
  • cut up fruit and store in tupperware
  • make a breakfast sandwich the night before, with gluten free whole grain bread, peanut or almond butter, and banana or apple slices
  • have trail mix, instant gluten free oatmeal packets, and individual servings of yogurt in your office drawer or refrigerator
  • Wrap up dinner leftovers for breakfast

Food Waste

Preventing Food Waste – The Individual’s Contribution to Sustainability
Approximately 40% of food available here in the United States is wasted each year, according to the National Resource Defense Council. While some of that waste is out of the individual’s control, we must remember that every step we take as an individual adds up to a whole lot collectively.  Some suggestions for preventing waste:

  • When eating out at restaurants, share or make sure to bring home the rest. In most states, it is illegal for restaurants to donate cooked food due to safety concerns.  They have no choice but to throw it out
  • Buffets are difficult for the gluten free to enjoy.  That’s not such a bad thing, as they are extremely wasteful
  • Just like nose to tail is the sustainable phrase when eating meat, well think root to bloom when preparing produce. In other words, use all of it! Something we always do in my house when roasting broccoli heads is to wash the stems and cut them into coins.  Add a little salt, and you’ve got a delicious snack for the kids to munch on while you’re making dinner.
  • If certain fresh produce tends to go to waste before being used, buy frozen or canned. These are healthy options, too.  And they are certainly healthier than produce that gets thrown out.
  • Four times a year, go through your pantry and look at expiration dates so you can prioritize using items that are close to expiring.

Protein Continues to Be a Prized Nutrient, With a Focus on Meatless Options
You can eat your protein and be healthy, too.  The key is making the shift to more meatless and plant-based options, including: eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds.

CSA Basket

Veggies Really Do Take Center Plate
We are a society that has always put meat at the center of the plate.  But back in 2010, MyPlate.gov was introduced and one of its key recommendations is to make fruits and vegetables half of our plate.  So glad to see that trend predictors believe vegetables are finally getting their day in the sun. I hope this is a trend for 2014, 2015, 2016…

Prix Fixe – Difficult, But Not Impossible, for the Gluten Free
Prix fixe menus are on many of the trend predictors’ lists, and I personally have experienced the trend over the last six months. While it isn’t easy for the gluten free to partake in the prix fixe trend, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely off limits either.  You just need to do your homework and have a dedicated conversation with the restaurant manager and/or chef to determine if they can accommodate you. Here are links to two outstanding restaurants offering only tasting menus that I have recently attended for very special occasions.  They both provided stellar service and out-of-this-world food:

Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY (Westchester)

Brushstroke in New York City


Smart Phones for Smart Eating
The trend for using smart phones to find and make healthy eating choices is not going away any time soon.  The gluten free community relies on several apps (see below) to find safe foods and restaurants.  I always remind clients that while these apps are enormously helpful, they are not a replacement for reading ingredient labels at the store and asking diligent questions at the restaurant.  Continue to use the skills you relied on before these apps became available.


Mindful Eating


Paying Mind to Mindful Eating
It’s no secret that our country is experiencing an obesity epidemic that has dire consequences far beyond the health issues of those who are overweight.  While it may not be a food trend per se, nor was it on anyone’s list, the concept of mindful eating is a trend gaining momentum in the nutrition community.  The evidence is in front of us: diets and deprivation aren’t working.  And while the obesity epidemic is a multifactorial issue, paying more mind to mindful eating, I believe, is one piece of the very complicated puzzle.  The above graphic by Dr. Susan Albers explains it very well.  Click on the link to see a larger version.

I shared several 2013 food trend reports in last week’s post.  Here are a few more to look at:

Supermarket Guru – Top 10 Food Trends for 2013

Epicurious – Top 10 Food Trends for 2013

Technomic – What’s Ahead in 2013?

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6 Responses to 2013 Food and Nutrition Trends – Part 2

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  2. In practicing mindfulness we enter into the essence of the thing. We become one with the action we are performing. In Japan there is a word shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind.” As a beginner, the first time you do something you have to concentrate on it in order to do it correctly, but as you become adept at it you soon stop paying attention to the doing of it. The idea of shoshin is to retain the mindfulness of the beginner even as the task becomes routine. In this manner you are able to enter into the essence of what you are doing and that makes all the difference. Doing anything mindlessly is pointless. However, the more fully you enter into something, keeping mindful of it, the more point or meaning it has and the more alive youfeel by doing it.Musicians, dancers, or artists who are able to enter into the essence of their art, become their art – they transcend the doing and are just being. In the same way our eating habits can be instilled with much more meaning by entering into the essence of it. The quality of the food we eat is enhanced by the presence of mind we give the act of eating.

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