If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably used all of March—which happens to be National Nutrition Month—to completely revamp your diet, and build lasting, healthy behaviors that will improve your life for years to come.
Yeah. Good one.
Actually, if you’re REALLY anything like us, you probably didn’t change much of anything…except maybe swapping in grilled veggies for the usual mac n’ cheese on the day you found out National Nutrition Month is a real thing. But hey, don’t be discouraged. There are still a few days left in March, so perhaps you can take this opportunity to embrace your inner Gwyneth. Try some of today’s, um, more creative food trends that, despite your paucity of freewill, you’d probably only be keen to try for a few days anyway. Because as they say—that rare beef diet is all fun and games until someone gets gout.
Stevia isn’t particularly avant-garde when it comes to dietary tools, but due to the enormous control sugar has on the natural sweetener game, it’s still playing second (or third) fiddle. If you’re unfamiliar, stevia is a naturally sweet herb that’s often used as a sugar replacement. While many of the brands that incorporate stevia don’t themselves pack a nutritional punch (other additives inevitably sneak in), there’s a pretty serious case to be made for the value of using stevia alone. Some of the highlights include infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory effects, the ability to lower blood pressure, and even the potential to lower the risk of breast cancer. That said, if you’re seriously trying to drop pounds, cutting out sugar and other sweeteners (like stevia) is probably the best move. In terms of standing in for sugar, however, stevia does a pretty good job. Also, it’s probably what the feminine form of the name “Steve” would be, which is pretty hilarious.
The Type 3 Diabetes Fighters
This definitely falls in the “you should do this anyway” camp, but the reason we’re including it here is because, frankly, we didn’t know type 3 diabetes even existed. That’s because until recently, we called it Alzheimer’s disease. Why has the name changed? Apparently both diabetes and the disease formerly known as Alzheimer’s have to do with insulin deficiencies. In any case, apart from this reclassification being a total revelation, studies are underway to prevent “type 3 diabetes” through nutritional adjustments, such as focusing on green vegetables, nuts, and berries. This might seem obvious, but there’s one superstar food in particular that you should pay attention to in this case, and that’s the small but mighty blueberry. Although you’re probably not that worried about type 3 diabetes at this very moment, the disease is no joke. It’s never too early to start taking preventative steps, right?
Beyond Meat Burgers
We’ve got to give a big shout-out to the culinary practitioner(s) of the dark arts who created the Beyond Meat burger. Honestly, this thing is nothing short of mind-boggling. We’re guessing just about everyone reading this has had a veggie burger, and while they’re tasty enough, they’re kind of in their own category. Sure, they were initially designed to replace your traditional meat patty, but none of them can come close to the real thing—and that’s fine. But the Beyond Meat burger lives somewhere in the middle. You open it up, and it feels, looks, and compresses like (yummy) animal flesh. Despite it being an entirely vegan patty, when you throw it on the grill, the addition of beet juice makes it actually bleed like ground chuck. Now, it doesn’t 100% taste like a meat burger, but if you want a healthier approximation of a burger to curb your insatiable desire for grilled bovine, this is the one.
Charcoal Ice Cream
This one has “fad” written all over it, so if you’re going to try and jump on this strange indulgence, you’ll probably have to act fast. Charcoal ice cream is generally made with coconuts. The name is no euphemism; the main ingredient is activated charcoal, which has become popular in foods, skin masks, and more for its ability to extract toxins from the body. So, if you’re feeling hungover—or better yet, you’re heading toward a hangover—activated charcoal could be just the thing. While charcoal ice cream is probably not going to taste as good as your garden variety Rocky Road or Ben & Jerry’s anything, some might say that the mix of coconut and activated charcoal have their own unique taste. So, when you’re feeling the pangs of one too many pilsners this weekend, consider searching for some charcoal ice cream to both indulge, and bring your body back to life a bit. It’s just too bad that it can’t detoxify your accompanying regret too, huh?
The Sauces You See on "Hot Ones"
We might be using the terminology of National Nutrition Month liberally here, but if you’re really looking for a catalyst to knock your taste buds and body into a healthier state, why not try a few of the hot sauces from the now-infamous YouTube talk show “Hot Ones”? For the uninitiated, “Hot Ones” is an interview show hosted by the Complex magazine personality Sean Evans. He asks celebrities funny and intimate questions as they both eat increasingly hotter buffalo wings. The typically ten-count wing journey begins with an unimpressive dose of something akin to Sriracha, then escalates over the course of the interview until the celebrity and the host (but mostly just the celebrity) are unraveling at the seams, spouting off barely coherent answers through milk-coated, survival-instinct coughs and lots of tears. It’s an entertaining show for both the intimate conversation and the bizarre premise, but the real sleeper takeaway is its peek into the underground subculture of all-natural artisan hot sauces, a whole world dedicated to the nuances of the ingredients, and the sensations of ultra-spicy foods. Apart from hot sauce basically being an in-home reminder of Friedrich Nietzsche’s resounding “life is pain” perspective, it’s also a unique way to incorporate new, healthy, and natural ingredients into a possibly banal diet. It turns out capsaicin (the active component in chili peppers) is quite good for you biologically and mentally…even if it doesn’t feel so good the first few minutes (and possibly the next day) after consumption.