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The start of 2020 is quite a big deal. Not only are we easing into a new year, but we’re also embracing a new decade. And there’s nothing like a fresh start, especially when it comes to health and wellness. The health trends for 2020 are less about weight loss and dieting (praise be) and are more about taking care of yourself as a whole. That means emphasizing wellness for your mind, your body, and your spirit, and we’re here for it!

As you make your goals for this year, take a look at the below health and wellness trends for 2020. Perhaps these will inspire you to live your best life well beyond any New Year’s resolutions. Here’s to a happy, healthy new year!

The Top Health & Wellness Trends for 2020

CBD skincare reaches new heights.

It’s no surprise that CBD maintains center stage as a 2020 health trend. As a refresher, CBD does not contain any THC (the psychoactive property found in marijuana). However, CBD is widely recognized for its soothing properties, which is why you’ve seen it pop up in everything from baked goods to muscle relief creams. In 2020, expect CBD to take the skincare and makeup world by storm. As a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, hemp oil will smooth, hydrate and calm skin. Yaupon Teahouse in Savannah, GA, combines hemp oil with yaupon, a type of holly tree native to the Southeastern United States. Co-founder Lori Judge explains, “Yaupon has similar properties to CBD, like anti-inflammatory [effects] and antioxidants, but it also contains saponins, which are natural cleansers that improve blood flow. Yaupon and CBD work well together and create a powerhouse for the skin. We know that native Americans used Yaupon for skin problems for thousands of years. We are rediscovering this forgotten medicine.”

Health trends for 2020: CBD skincare

When yaupon combines with CBD, you get powerful skin solutions. Look for a surge in CBD in skincare products in 2020. Image: Yaupon Teahouse

Group meditation is the new GNO.

Life is a tornado of kids’ activities, work commitments and … LIFE! Meditation is your chance to breathe through it all. The practice of meditation has been a hot topic for a few years, especially with the introduction of apps like Headspace. We’re all about the convenience of apps because they help beginners get started. November Nichols of L’Artisan Muse, an Atlanta-based business that offers “holistic classes, events, products and services for the mind, body, and soul,” says that beyond independent practice, 2020 will also see an influx of group meditation opportunities. “Getting better at anything requires practice. Meditation is no different! To see the best results, we recommend developing a daily personal practice. In addition to that, we believe it’s so beneficial to anchor your personal practice with a weekly guided group meditation. Meditating in a group environment can be really helpful because someone else guides you on a path of self-care, and it can be such a warm reminder that you matter and that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else you do.”

Health trends for 2020: group meditation

Apps like Headspace help you refine your everyday meditation practice, but grab your girlfriends for a group meditation experience in 2020. Image: L’Artisan Muse

Plant-based meals go mainstream.

There’s always a nutrition trend, and this year is the year of plant-based diets. Besides hearing more about plant-based diets from your favorite bloggers and podcasters, and maybe participating in the occasional meatless Monday, you’re likely to start noticing an uptick in plant-based offerings at restaurants. Mary Claire Britton, co-owner of Greenhouse in Birmingham, says, “I think a lot of folks assume that eating well or eating healthily means giving up all the foods and flavors you love. We don’t think that should be the case at all. We developed a menu for Greenhouse that is not only good for you, but is absolutely delicious, full of flavor, and designed to satisfy your hunger.” For Greenhouse, that includes a balance of obvious plant-based favorites such as The Greenhouse salad with unique creations like their vegan grilled cheese.

Health trends for 2020: plant-based diet

Plant-based foods are going mainstream this year. Look for more plant-forward foods on menus at your favorite restaurants. Image: Greenhouse

RELATED: What ‘Eating a Plant-Based Diet’ Really Means

Diagnosis on the go with physician apps

Bid farewell to the days of scaring yourself silly using WebMD to diagnose your acute cold, and say hello to telemedicine apps, the next big (convenient!) thing in medicine. We saw apps like Teladoc become more prevalent on insurance plans in 2019, and 2020 looks to popularize them even more. These apps give users access to medical professionals, quite literally, at their fingertips. Check with your insurance provider to see if you have access to one of these telemedicine apps so you can correspond with your healthcare professional with ease.

Mingle without the brain jingle with spirit-free cocktails.

It’s becoming rarer and rarer not to see a spirit-free list on today’s menus. Sean Umstead, at Kingfisher in Durham, NC, says the reason is pretty straight-forward. “Spirit-free cocktails are prevalent on menus because they speak to an inclusivity that is taking hold in bars. A chef wouldn’t disregard vegetarians on a menu; a bartender shouldn’t disregard non-drinkers.” Demario Wallace, the bar manager behind Atlanta’s Aziza, adds, “It’s a great way to discover some new herbs and spices that a bar program may feature in their cocktails.”

Try Sean’s Sunomono the next time you’re in town. “It is composed of fresh cucumber juice, a rice wine vinegar cordial, toasted sesame, orange zest, and hibiscus. We put that under a mountain of crushed ice and swizzle it. It is herbaceous, zippy, complex and a little nutty.” What about sipping spirit-free at home? Demario says when it comes to stocking a home bar, add a good tonic water. “Firstly, because bubbles make a party, and it can be added to any juice and herb combination to add a bitter note that can make any drink intriguing.”

Health trends for 2020: mocktails

Spirit-free cocktails, such as the Sunomono found at Kingfisher in Durham, NC, are a fun way to experience the work of talented mixologists without the guilt or hangover. Image: Scott Myer

RELATED: What to Drink When You’re Not Drinking

Miniscule superfoods take center stage.

Açai. Avocado. Kale. Quinoa. Cauliflower. Each of these superfoods has received its fair share of the superfood spotlight over the past decade. However, come 2020, there will be a new go-to health food among their ranks, and we’re told it will be seeds. Greenhouse’s Mary Claire Britton explains, “I have been playing around with puffed millet and hemp seeds in a variety of applications.” Millet is a seeded grass that is low in fat and gluten-free that you might recognize from your favorite Indian recipes. And for a second time, hemp seed pops up on our list of trends. Interestingly, hemp seeds are technically a nut, which makes their health value even clearer. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein (another 2020 trend!).

Wellness-focused travel brings even more zen.

If “travel more” and “exercise more” are both on your list of New Year’s resolutions, this 2020 trend is for you. Wellness-focused travel will continue to dominate the travel scene this year. As you book your vacation, you’re likely to see hotels offering more than access to their in-house gym. Think rooftop spin classes, meditation retreats, guided hikes, clean eating options and extended spa menus for a well-rounded respite.

Annette Joseph, Southern stylist, author, and Italian workshops and retreats host, who offers morning yoga on the terrace at each of her creative Italian workshops, says slowing down is a part of a healthier lifestyle overall, including when on vacation. “All meals are made from everything local: the dairy down the road, beef, pork and eggs from the nearby farms, honey from the beekeepers in our neighborhood, flour from the local mill, olive oil literally from our backyard and organic wine from our very own vineyard. We live a slow, meditative lifestyle in Italy (including yoga!), and we share this way of living with all of our attendees,” she explains.

Like Annette’s workshops, you’re likely to see breaks that challenge visitors to try something new, too. Cooking and mixology demonstrations in the lobby, stand-up paddleboarding sessions on nearby water, and art courses abroad will become not only vacation activities but vacation purposes. 2020’s hot take on travel: Wellness is more and laziness is a bore.

Health trends for 2020: healthy travel

Wellness-focused travel will become even more prevalent in 2020. Can’t you see yourself in mountain pose on Annette Joseph’s Italian terrace?! Image: Kate Blohm

Compost with confidence and join the zero-waste movement.

Okay, we get it: Composting can be a little scary (and stinky), but the concept is here to stay, and Southern-based companies are leading the way. CompostNow, based in Raleigh, NC, but servicing other Southern cities, offers composting options for the food industry, offices and even personal homes. Plus, they make composting incredibly easy. Once you sign up, they’ll deliver a compost bin that they will pick-up and replace every week. In the words of Ina Garten, how easy is that?!

RELATED: 7 Zero-Waste Products to Start Using Now

Restaurants are embracing the concept too. Atlanta’s KarmaFarm in Buckhead uses CompostNow to compost 90% of their trash. Further, the restaurant is also a zero-waste kitchen. Co-owner McCall Wilder says, “KarmaFarm was founded on two core principles: Eat Real & Do Good. As part of that mission, we believe businesses must do their part to protect and preserve Mother Earth in all aspects. While composting is a meaningful investment for us, KarmaFarm is actually close to being an entirely overall zero-waste facility. We do not even use large trash and recycle bins outside; just four small consumer cans now. Not only do we compost all guest leftovers, we source our dinnerware and dining products to be compostable as well. KarmaFarm uses every bit possible from each recipe ingredient, too. For example, the sustainably grown mushroom stems are puréed in our meatloaf sauce, and the organic chickpea juice (called aquafaba) is used as an egg replacer in our vegan baking.”

Here’s to a healthy 2020!

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The Top Health & Wellness Trends for 2020
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