Meet The People Changing How We Eat This Year & Beyond
Once a year, the greatest minds in wellness coalesce to discuss where nutrition is now and where it's going. Last year, mbg's revitalize was the first place we talked about trends that later began to permeate public consciousness: things like eating for mitochondrial health and the ketogenic diet.
In advance of this year's revitalize, which kicks off in Arizona later this week, we revisited our notions of the future of food. According to Danielle Shine, the Australia-based natural foods chef and influencer who will be leading a delicious workshop with Vitamix, the plant-power movement (one of last year's trends) is still going strong. "Although eating plant-based is nothing new, I predict the way we order food when out, as well as when we cook at home, will keep shifting," she says. At least 70 percent of people's plates will be filled with vegetables, if not more, and as one's health improves, which is often a direct result of eating fresher, vitamin- and antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, more and more people will genuinely want to get back into their kitchens to play with their food."
Registered dietitian and frequent mbg contributor Jessica Cording, who will be coaching attendees about their diets one-on-one in partnership with Naked Juice, thinks that personalized nutrition will become increasingly common. "I see new and improved tools that help us learn about our genetic makeup and understand our unique diet and lifestyle needs, empowering people to establish a pattern and approach that aligns with our values and goals," she explains. "Rather than trying to fit into a narrow diet category, it’s going to be more about, 'How do I want to feel? What do I need to feel that way?' Customizable food products and services will be valuable resources to support our efforts to feel well, however we choose to define that for ourselves."
At last year's revitalize, Brigid Titgemeier took the stage with celebrity nutritionist and best-selling author Kelly LeVeque as she was named PepsiCo NAN's Next Great Nutritionist. Since then, she's continued her work with functional medicine pioneer and mbg Collective member Mark Hyman, M.D., and is devoted to helping people embrace the healing power of food. "Food is," she says, "the single most important solution to our current chronic-disease-enabling system." She seconds Cording's notion of personalized medicine, adding that in the future we'll be "focusing on foods for the microbiome and using validated genetic testing to provide more personalized nutrition recommendations." There will also be an increasing recognition of food not just as a solution for weight issues, but "chronic diseases, joint pain, poor athletic performances, energy levels, and so much more." Over at the Drinks with Doctors session, world-renowned clinicians Steven Gundry, M.D. and mbg Collective members Robin Berzin, M.D., Joel Kahn, M.D will debate the types of questions you'd ask if you, say, ran into a best-selling author and leader of the wellness movement at a bar. Attendees will find out everything from just how bad alcohol is really to what healthy recommendations the doctors don't actually abide by themselves. The panel will speak to the new trend of balance in all things wellness, food included. TV personality and best-selling author Max Lugavere will also participate in a panel about brain health, speaking to and expanding on trends kicked off at last year's revitalize like mitochondrial health, the keto diet, and more.
Beyond the individual (or the you in the frame of mbg's You. We. All. mantra), there's growing awareness of how the everyday decisions we make about what to put in our shopping carts and bodies influence the state of the world—the All. Regenerative agriculture was one of mbg's food trends for 2018, and at this year's revitalize, world-renowned environmentalist (and winner of last year's Lifetime Achievement Award) Paul Hawken will take the stage to discuss how regeneration goes far beyond simply agriculture. His words will fall on the ears of many of the industry's leaders and will influence vital decisions in days and years to come. Also on the mainstage, activist and actress LaRayia Gaston will talk about her work bringing organic food to homeless people, and how we can make sure healthy food is accessible to us all.
The future of food starts now. Will you be watching?
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Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.