9 Health and Food Trends to Expect in 2013

Quinoa and kale are so last year.

This year, expect more themed-races to hit the streets and little-known grains, such as teff, to take over the food world. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user jronaldlee.

It’s a new year, and a new you. We witnessed a lot of fitness trends come and go in 2012, and we’re ready for the next round of crazy fitness classes and rare foods to hit our gyms and grocery aisles this year. Here are nine health and food trends to be on the lookout for in 2013.

1) Tracking Health
Track your sleep, your calorie intake, your run, your mood . . . there’s an app or tracking device for everything, and it’s likely to get even worse—or better, depending on your stance. Expect your friends and family to become data-crunching fiends with their smartphones, Nike Fuel Bands, and FitBit gadgets.

2) Teff Over Quinoa
Quinoa was so last year. Teff, another whole grain that is also high in protein and gluten free, is likely to be quinoa’s rival in 2013, says health and food expert Elise Museles. It’s grown in Ethiopia and is often cited as a dietary staple among elite runners. 

3) More Hybrid Fitness Classes
We’ve tried so many fitness-combo classes we can’t imagine what else studios will come up with—but we’re ready for them. Metro Fine Arts Center now offers Metro Barre classes, a combo of barre, yoga, and Pilates (and the first class is free), while Off Road DC offers cycling and circuit training in one go.

4) Kale Competitors
Watch out, kale. While the superfood is still beloved, Museles says dark, leafy greens in general are becoming more mainstream, “creating an openness for people to explore and want to try other greens.” If you’re kaled out, look for beet, mustard, and collard greens as well as chard.

5) More Themed Races
Serious runners may scoff at themed races, but we’re all for them if it encourages more people to get out and run. The “happiest race on earth,” the Color Run, is coming back to DC for a second go in May, and we hope LivingSocial’s Glow-in-the-Dark 5K Party returns, too.

6) Turmeric in Every Dish
Be sure to add turmeric to your spice rack this year. “It seems to be showing up all over the place,” says Museles—even in pill form. Like ginger, turmeric is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties and gives soups and dishes a golden color.

7) Health in the Workplace
A recent study found that wellness at work is a growing trend, with more companies offering gym discounts and group health activities. If you’re in the market for a new job and health is important to you, it may be worth looking into what a prospective company is doing to incorporate health into its workplace. 

8) More Biking, Less Driving
Slate just deemed DC the best in biking for its successful Capital Bikeshare program. And with the expected installation of another cycle track on M Street, we’re certain the biking community will continue to grow. Fingers crossed cyclists and drivers will start getting along, too. 

9) Paleo and Gluten-Free Diets
Still don’t know what all the hype is about Paleo and gluten-free diets? Now’s your chance to learn. These diets, which eliminate processed and wheat-based foods, respectively, are likely here to stay through 2013. Museles says to expect even more supermarkets and restaurants to indicate gluten-free options, too.