The keto vegan
In 2018, the ketogenic diet soared in popularity, with regimes such as Whole30 and the Keto Reset Diet shunning all carbs, grains and sugar in favour of vegetables, animal fat and meat. There’s no doubt it helped with weight loss, and the Australian filmmaker Pete Evans even controversially claimed it could cure cancer in his 2018 documentary ‘The Magic Pill’.
Trouble is, the keto diet’s meat fetish is ethically questionable and a nightmare for the planet as the livestock industry generates as many greenhouse gases as all transport combined. As a result, a new breed of eco-conscious dieters are adopting the same high-fat, high-protein ketogenic principles, only without animal produce.
Last year in the US, functional medicine practitioner Dr Will Cole published a new book, ‘The Ketotarian’, a mostly plant-based keto diet plan that claims to “boost your energy, crush your cravings and calm inflammation”. The book will be released in the UK in February. Meanwhile, US nutritionist Liz MacDowell, the foodie behind the increasingly popular Meat Free Keto blog (meatfreeketo.com) published a new book, Vegan Keto, in late 2018.
However, without any meat, fish, dairy or grains, vegan keto leaves you little left to eat but vegetables, fruit, more vegetables and fat from nuts, seeds, avocado (you better like avocado on this one) and coconut. Unsurprisingly, the high fat content keeps you full and the limited food choices are pretty much a guarantee for weight loss. Just don’t expect many invites to dinner.
Speaking of vegans, 2019 will give rise to increasing numbers of us talking about the merits of veganism, without actually being vegans. So we’ll still be eating meat and dairy, just a lot less of it, and we’ll be vocal about veganism’s merits as a result.
Figures from Waitrose released in November found a third of Britons have stopped or reduced eating meat, with animal welfare, environmental and health concerns being cited as the key reasons. Anyone who has ever known a leather-shunning, honey-dodging bona fide vegan will know they can occasionally be a tad evangelistic about their beliefs.
But as we become more aware of the impact of meat and dairy production on the planet, more of us may be making vegan choices, like buying one of the many vegan cookbooks publishing in 2019.
The furniture that makes you fit
You know the whole gym mirror experience? Well, that is nothing compared with the kind of immersive fitness experiences you’re set to be having in your front room.
Leading the way is Mirror, a new smart mirror that has a built-in video screen with instructor-led yoga, Pilates, cardio, boxing, stretch and strength classes. The New York-based company was founded by Brynn Putnam, a former professional ballerina, and is currently only available to US residents.
Expect even more smart mirrors to come with gob-smacking tech behind them.
“There’s technology already in place and uber-brains in Silicon Valley working right now to bring us mirrors that will be able to look at us and recognise what is going on in our bodies,” says Carla Buzasi, managing director of trend forecasting company WGSN. “You will look into them the morning after a night out and they will tell you to go easy on the alcohol, or they might identify a few new lines and suggest you get some retinol for your skin.”
In general, expect home fitness to be better than the gym in 2019. Peloton has been an innovator in this area, bringing the gym feeling to the home with spinning bikes and treadmills that allow users to take part in live classes streamed from their NYC studio.
Now, live-streamed classes from the new Fiit TV allow users to join a class in real time and feature the hottest Instagram trainers as teachers, including Adrienne Herbert and Richie ‘The Breath Guy’ Bostock. A chest strap comes with the Fiit console that has a built-in heart rate monitor and accelerometer, which tracks your progress during the class.
Plus, furniture may soon double as fitness aids. Hong Kong-based The Habit Furniture, which calls itself “multifunction fitness furniture”, has a coffee table that transforms into a workout bench and stools that double as dumbbells.
When the actress Gal Gadot posted her boxing workout on Instagram earlier this month, her trainer, Leyon Azubuike, hailed skipping as the perfect warm-up activity. But now it’s becoming a workout in itself, with high-intensity interval skipping, or HIIS, classes being offered in the capital.
It can burn a staggering 1,200 calories a session and with other stars, such as Gigi Hadid and Kate Hudson, crediting skipping as helping them stay in shape, HIIS classes are set to be big in 2019. The first classes are now being offered at swish London boxing clubs 12x3 (in Paddington and Aldgate) founded by boxers Darren Barker (a former world champion) and Ryan Pickard.
“Skipping has always been a part of a boxer’s training programme,” says Pickard. “It improves co-ordination and agility while toning upper and lower body muscles and burning fat.” If you’re not in London, check YouTube, which has a mass of jump-rope workouts and new ones added daily.
Did you know thrown-away lettuce is one of the biggest contributors to landfill and takes 25 years to fully decompose? And that’s just the tip of the, er, iceberg of food production, say the creators of the Zero Waste Cooking course at London’s Cookery School, which focuses on sustainable cooking.
They conducted a survey to find out which foods are most often thrown away, then devised this class to provide inspiration on how to repurpose those ingredients to produce tasty food. It seems that chargrilled baby lettuce hearts are actually quite palatable...
In May, look out for the Zero Waste Cookbook, co-written by pastry chef Giovanna Torrico. Meanwhile, at Silo in Brighton, the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant, there’s a giant composting machine that generates 60kg of compost from food scraps every 24 hours.
Fat fasting for weight loss
Along with the keto diet, Intermittent Fasting (IF) was one of the biggest diets of 2018. At Healthista, the website I edit, we did a feature quizzing personal trainers on exactly what they ate, and most were IF devotees.
The most popular forms of IF are fasting for 16 hours and having an eating window of eight hours. Known as 16:8, you start eating at midday and stop at 8pm.
The only trouble with IF is the small issue of hunger. Throw in a mid-morning deadline on one of those drawn-out foodless mornings and you have a recipe for a meltdown.
So companies like Ancient + Brave are offering an option to stop hunger pangs during your fasting window with drinks (allowed in the fast period) that don’t spike blood sugar. Created by former naturopath Annelie Whitfield, Ancient + Brave features delicious drinks of organic, high-powered cacao and coffee blends mixed with other superfoods such as baobab and cinnamon and a little Himalayan sea salt.
You blend a few scoops with some organic butter and A+B’s medium chain triglyceride oil — proven to help burn fat around the middle — and it somehow stops hunger pangs. Whitfield attributes this effect to the fat, which is satiating, without spiking blood sugar, which she claims doesn’t break your fast.
Plastic workout wear
In 2019 most of us will have at least one pair of gym leggings, trainers or other fit kit made from recycled plastic. Eco-friendly fitness gear has shed its hempish, hippie reputation and is delivering stylish options that also perform with the same sweat-wicking and compression features we expect from hi-tech options.
At Buff, which makes neck and head warmers, two plastic bottles are recycled into each piece. New Australian brand Nimble Activewear offers sleek designs with cool modern prints that use a durable and lightweight compression fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Meanwhile, the Dakine gym bag range is also made from recycled plastic bottles.
For a hugely luxe choice, Bellum Active fitness clothing is gorgeous — and expensive, at £120 (Dh561.9) for a pair of leggings — and made from 65 per cent recycled compression fabric and regenerated yarn made from recycled materials such as discarded fishing lines and old carpets.
The latest adidas Ultraboost ST Parley trainers are lightweight, easy to run in and created with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, made from recycled waste that has been intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean.
Meanwhile, SueMe fitness underwear is made from 100 per cent beech tree pulp, while WGSN predicts that activewear of the future will be made from sustainable materials such as corn, coconut and coffee beans. So, watch this space.
— Anna Magee is the editor of healthista.com. Healthista undertook health trend research with trend forecasting agency WGSN and Pullman Lifestyle Hotels