This post is a continuation of last week’s about coming food and nutrition trends in 2013. Of course, my spin on it all is how these trends affect the gluten-free community.
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, lower risk of weight problems, 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.
Preventing food waste – the individual’s contribution to sustainability
Approximately 40 percent 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 personally take 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, 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 focus on meatless options
You can eat your protein and be healthy, too. The key is to make the shift to more meatless and plant-based options, including eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds.
Veggies really do take center stage
We are a society that has always put meat at the center of the plate. But back in 2010, MyPlate.gov, the U.S. government’s nutritional guidelines for Americans, was introduced. One of its key recommendations is to fill half of your dinner plate with fruits and vegetables. I’m 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 conversation with the restaurant manager and/or chef to determine if they can accommodate you.
Here are links to two outstanding restaurants that offer only tasting menus that I have recently attended for very special occasions. They both provide stellar service and out-of-this-world food:
Smart phones for smart eating
The trend to use smart phones for finding healthy eating choices is here to stay. The gluten-free community relies on several apps (see below) to locate safe foods and restaurants. But I always remind my 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.
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 right in front of our eyes: diets and deprivation aren’t working. And while the obesity epidemic is a multi-factorial issue, paying more mind to mindful eating, I believe, is one piece of the very complicated puzzle.
I shared several 2013 food trend reports in last week’s post. Here are a few more to look at:
Have you come across any food trends for 2013? Please share them here!
Rachel Begun, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She provides education, communications and consulting services to health organizations and the food industry and educates the public via speaking opportunities, online activities and writing for publications, including her own blog, The Gluten-RD. For more information, please visit http://www.rachelbegun.com
The articles written by guest contributors are the sole responsibility of the individual writers in terms of factual accuracy and opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of this blog.