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Ah, the dawn of a new year is upon us! Like many of you, we’re reflecting on how to make it the best year yet. This year, that starts with taking care of ourselves so we can take care of those around us, and experts around the South agree.

We spoke with professionals in various industries about what we should expect to see wellness-wise in 2019. We chatted about food, diets, self care, fitness and beauty. The most interesting take away from our conversations? Personalization. From diet trends to beauty topics, our experts agree that what works for your BFF might not work for you, and that’s okay! Make 2019 the year of Y-O-U with the wisdom of wellness experts from across the South.

2019 Nutrition Trends

Ketogenic Diet

Expert: Elise Thompson, RD, LDN, CDE at TriStar Centennial Medical Center

What it is:

“The ‘Keto Diet’ has been announced as the most searched diet in Google’s 2018 Year in Search, and I believe that trend will continue as we enter into 2019. The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carbohydrate diet. The body’s preferred source of fuel is glucose (sugar from broken down carbohydrates), and when it runs out of glucose, the body will go to its backup source of fuel, ketone bodies. By following a low carb, high fat diet, this causes the body to burn fat (ketone bodies) as energy which has been found to be an effective method of weight loss.

However, the message I want people to know is that carbohydrates are not the enemy. While I do not recommend cutting carbohydrates entirely out of the diet, I do recommend being mindful of carbohydrate portions. Typical American carbohydrate portions are often excessive given our sedentary lifestyles”

RELATED: Is the Keto Diet Really Healthy?

How to get started:

According to Elise, it’s important to set yourself up for success. That means meal planning, avoiding the temptations and making smart choices. She explains, “When we plan ahead what to have for dinner, we are less likely to go for the less healthy, but more convenient, option of a drive through or fast food. Take time out of each week to plan meals for the upcoming week. Swap out high refined carbohydrate snacks such as chips or candy for smart switches such as nuts, carrot sticks, fresh fruit or unsweetened Greek yogurt, and get tempting foods out of the house. Your home is the foundation for your health, and a strong foundation makes for a more successful weight loss journey. Remember prior planning prevents poor performance.

Wellness trends 2019

Elise Thompson, RD, LDN, CDE, of TriStar Centennial Medical Center, says Keto will reign supreme again in 2019. Image: TriStar Health


Expert: Luisa Hammett, MS, RD, LD, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and blogger behind Peaches to Pearls

What it is:

Vegans refrain from eating animal products, including eggs and dairy, and according to Luisa, we’ll be seeing more of that in the next year. “I believe that the top wellness trend for 2019 will be a huge growth in veganism for the whole family because of popular documentaries showcasing meat production in the United State and families seeing that it’s not impossible to be a vegetarian or vegan now. Although I do not personally recommend it, veganism can be done correctly for the whole family.”

How to get started:

“I want moms to know if they want their kids to also follow a vegan diet to please be careful and make sure their children are getting enough of the calories, protein and vitamins (especially calcium, vitamin D and B12) they need. Children are rapidly growing every day and have very different needs than adults do. I highly recommend meeting one-on-one with a registered dietitian if this is a new diet choice for any family.

“I have seen toddlers that are vegans, and a few recommendations I give are to make sure the child is on a multivitamin, drinking milk (Ripple milk is a great pea protein-based option!) and eating three full meals plus snacks daily. Dietary trends are tough because they tend to be that — trendy,” Luisa says, “so doing research and speaking with experts are key.”

Wellness trends 2019

Luisa Hammett, MS, RD, LD, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and blogger behind Peaches to Pearls, says we might see an uptick in veganism for parents and kids alike. Image: Luisa Hammett

2019 Self Care Trends


Expert: Shannon Salter Sliger, Founder and Owner at {SAMA} Food For Balance

What it is:

If you haven’t heard of Ayurveda yet, allow us and expert Shannon Salter Sliger to introduce it to you. “Ayurveda is the science of life and just another way to peel back some layers and learn more about yourself. It helps you connect the dots to why certain foods make you feel or look a certain way,” says Shannon. “It’s super interesting and makes so much sense. This trend has been around for thousands of years as India’s form of medicine. They use food, herbs and spices, lifestyle choices, times of day and seasons to help one find balance in mind, body and soul.”

How to get started:

“First, you can take the dosha quiz on our website to find your dosha. Your dosha is the constitution you were born with, your makeup of the elements. There are three: vata, pitta and kapha,” Shannon explains. “There are physical characteristics and digestion characteristics [for each dosha]. Based on these findings, you can learn what you should be eating and drinking to find balance. It can point you in the direction of proper types of workouts for your dosha, and the right times to eat, workout and go to bed. It’s really interesting!”

Wellness Trends 2019

{SAMA} Food For Balance’s Shannon Salter Sliger explains the benefits of Ayurveda and says to expect it as a growing trend in 2019. Image: Shannon Salter Sliger

Personalized Wellness

Expert: Elizabeth Moore, CEO, and Ashley Brooke James, COO, Triluna

What it is:

As the women behind Triluna, Nashville’s Elizabeth Moore and Ashley Brooke James know a thing or two about wellness, and they say this year, we should see a movement towards individualized experiences. “Maybe this is just a dream, but we would love to see wellness programs and initiatives focused more on the individual and less on diets and weight loss. I think we will see a spike in people questioning plans and diets that don’t account for each individual’s unique needs and lifestyles,” says Elizabeth.

“There is significantly increased focus on the failure of diets and the detrimental effects of diet culture. People are waking up to the damage, both physically and mentally, of living a life that is so hyper-focused on our physical appearance and preoccupation with the calories in our food. As mental health continues to be an increased focus in the wellness world, we hope that this continues to influence our culture’s move towards more intuitive eating practices and holistic approaches to health.”

Wellness trends 2019

Triluna’s Elizabeth Moore and Ashley Brooke James think 2019 will be the year of personalized wellness — and they’re not alone! Image: Triluna

How to get started:

“If you haven’t read it yet, Body Respect by Linda Bacon, PhD, and Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD,‎ is a must, and it’s a great place to start. The most important thing is to start enjoying your body and your life. It sounds so simple, but we’ve made it incredibly hard. Start doing exercise you enjoy rather than exercise you feel obligated to. Stop dieting. Eat food you love, with those you love, more often. Eat close to the Earth. Mostly plants. Not too much. Listen to your body. Ask for the help you need,” continues Elizabeth.

“We believe the point of living a healthy lifestyle is to live a life you love, with the people you love, for as long as you can without pain or sickness. If you are sacrificing your happiness and your joy to stay on track with a diet or lose weight, then you are missing the point,” continues Elizabeth. “Self-acceptance is probably the hardest thing for us to wrap our heads around — especially when it comes to issues of weight and physical appearance. But there’s a great deal more to us than the size of our waist. When we are dogmatic about our food choices, we sacrifice listening to our bodies, which can have long-term negative implications for our health and well being. You deserve so much more than that!”

2019 Fitness Trends

Weight-Based Workouts

Expert:  Donna Burke, Owner FORME studios

What it is:

Donna Burke, owner at FORME studios in Atlanta, says it’s time to stop being intimidated by weight training and pick up that hand weight in 2019. “Weight-based workouts are the trend for 2019. Women are embracing adding weights of all levels into their workouts and seeing increased strength, tone and other general health improvements. Classes with ankle/wrist weights as well as weighted bars are becoming increasingly popular in New York and LA, and we are seeing the first emergence of it in Atlanta right now,” Donna explains.

“Women are educating themselves on the benefits of their workouts and research is showing that weight-based workouts alongside other cross training is the optimal combination. No longer are people shouting that weights make women bulky; instead, they are learning that weight training has benefits that last into old age, including bone strength, which helps postpone conditions such as osteoporosis.”

Donna Burke, owner of Atlanta’s FORME studios, says weights are where it’s at. “Women are embracing adding weights of all levels into their workouts and seeing increased strength, tone and other general health improvements.” Image: Donna Burke

How to get started:

“Make sure you’re using the appropriate weight when first getting started in order to avoid injuries,” offers Donna. “Don’t get overzealous; you’ll need to start lighter than you think and then scale upwards every class. Loading your bar with weights can create back, shoulder and neck issues, while also putting too much pressure on your knees and hips. Discuss your fitness level with a knowledgeable instructor, and check your ego at the door!”

If you think you don’t have time to workout, think again. “Virtual gyms are popping up all over the place! Most fitness apps and studios have on demand memberships, and new products like Mirror are making it easier than ever to workout wherever you are. Take a virtual membership to your office gym on your lunch break or living room while the dinner is in the oven, grab some heavier dumbbells, and you’re all set! Multi-tasking is key when you’re busy, so just make sure it’s something you enjoy or you may not stick with it! Still having issues? Grab a friend who keeps you in check, have her check in with you every few days to get your workout updates!”

If you can’t make it to one of Donna’s classes, she practices what she preaches: FORME offers virtual memberships!


Expert: Susannah Herring, owner Hot Yoga Plus

What it is:

Susannah Herring, owner at Hot Yoga Plus, which has locations throughout the South, says fitness fanatics will be more focused on recovery this year than ever before. “We have seen our restorative and yin classes explode this year. As boutique fitness concepts continue their upward trend, people are paying more and more attention to the recovery aspect of performance — for both physical and mental reasons. You can’t perform your best at anything — workouts, work or relationships — if you don’t take the time to recover properly.”

How to get started:

Susannah says it’s imperative to “commit to one restorative or yin class each week.” If you’re in the Nashville or Memphis area, give one of the Hot Yoga Plus classes a try. However, you should easily be able to find similar offerings at other fitness studios near you. “And when it simply isn’t an option, there are many online resources that will give you restorative/yin yoga postures to try at home,” Susannah asserts.

Recovery will be a bigger priority for fitness fanatics in 2019 according to Susannah Herring of Hot Yoga Plus. Image: Ashley Hylbert

2019 Beauty Trends

Customized Skincare

Expert: Brielle Brenner, Brielle Brenner Makeup and Hair

What it is:

The beauty industry is a huge part of wellness, and that means we’ll be seeing more personalization there, too. Brielle Brenner, a hair and makeup artist explains, “I think we are going to see more customization of skincare [in 2019]. A small trend started over the last year where more direct to consumer (or Instagram advertised) beauty companies were providing you the option to get advice on what should be in your personal skincare, and products were being organized and/or tailored accordingly. I think this trend is going to continue and become more mainstream in 2019. After all, our skin and our needs are extremely unique, and being able to combine the right products, or (even better) customize some of the main active ingredients, could help your skin health reach new levels.”

Wellness trends 2019

When it comes to beauty, makeup artist Brielle Brenner says more personal, customized skin care is headed our way in 2019. Image: Brielle Brenner

How to get started:

Brielle says it’s as simple as using the resources at your fingertips — quite literally. She recommends Instagram as a good place to start researching but to be sure to do a deep dive, too since not all products are created equal. “The main thing to look out for in regards to customized skincare is to pay attention to the reputation of the company and the quality of the ingredients. Not all ingredients are made equal, so just because something is custom, does not make it high quality. There are lesser grade hyaluronic acids, vitamin C components, retinols … the list goes on. You want to do research, read reviews, get a little (skincare) geeky and then, of course, try it out. Most of the time skincare companies will have good return policies. As a beauty professional, I believe that you need to try something for a few weeks before you can know if it works, so you should never have to keep anything that does not work for you, especially if it was created for your specific skin type.”

Special thanks to all of our experts for offering their sage advice as we head into the new year. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2019!

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