Abu Dhabi’s wellness trends for 2018

How to make yourself feel better this year

If locker room chat and gym café conversation is to be believed, carbs are coming back into fashion and blue matcha powder is the Instagram bore’s colour of choice this year.

Despite our fondness for ancient healing rituals in the spa and a common-sense approach to health, we’re fascinated by
the ever-changing fitness fads and fashions that sweep through social circles. Here are five trends we want to see more of this year.

Better vegan options
Full disclosure – we’ve been known to smirk at vegans before. But with the dietary choice striding towards the mainstream it becomes more and more possible to enjoy it without being considered a “fussy eater”. We’re crossing our fingers that city supermarket chains stock more vegan meals on shelves and restaurants cater to the expanding market. Early nods must go to the quinoa salad at The Forge in The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi and a completely vegan cake from SugarMoo that have helped interested Dhabians get through Veganuary without too much of a struggle. If environmental and ethical concerns haven’t overwritten taste concerns just yet, then pay close attention to the booming trend of flexitarianism. This acknowledges the fact that the meat industry has a few questionable elements, but also permits you to have the occasional well-earned, ethically sourced burger.

Take sleep seriously
Social media can be demoralising at times. Seeing Strava updates of the distances run and the effort made by others make the lie-in ’til noon you treated yourself to seem, for want of a better word, sluggish. Turns out you might be ahead of the next curve.

At CES, the world’s leading gadget exhibition held in Las Vegas this month, sleep technology was one of the sectors to receive the most buzz. A variety of sleep trackers, robots, apps and gizmos look likely to come our way and promise longer, deeper and more productive sleep. Expect to see more boasts about how long, or little people sleep as what we hope will come to be known as “snore scores” are shared with the same frequency of photos of acai bowls and 10km jog times. To start with, get your sleeping patterns checked over by an expert at an Abu Dhabi sleep clinic.
Harley Sleep Clinic, Marina Village, www.sleep-clinic.ae (02 613 3999).

Digital detoxes
In all honesty, we all probably know we need less time staring at our screens – be they phone, computer or TV. This year, however, expect to see digital detoxes – a deliberate attempt to cut back on technology in all forms – to become as common as juice detoxes and saunas. From mobile phone-free spas to restaurants which allow tech to be checked in on arrival to mutually agreed message-free times with friends expect a collective easing up on mobiles. The term will be openly discussed more this year and enterprising businesses will exploit the trend with ingenuity.

New work-life balance
There is nothing new in the name, but expect to notice differences this year. Expect less talk of the ratio of time divided between the two, and more about how employers can make workspaces more conducive to good health. Bosses, listen up. We want better lighting, healthy vending machines, in-office aromatherapy, better and more varied seating options, homelier working environments (to stop us having to make our homes like offices), flexible working hours and perhaps
a few more pot plants dotted around.

More moringa
As much as the thought of a cabal of super-healthy nutritionists, athletic types and opinionated “influencers” getting together at the start of the year and dreaming up an arbitrary ingredient to become the hot new superfood of the year turns our (wobbling) stomach, there is no denying the sudden and meteoric rise of moringa. Just as kale, turmeric and quinoa have had their time in the sun, this plant looks set to be omnipresent this year. Coming from a tree found across Asia and East Africa it is flexible enough to be used in drinks, soups, salads, smoothies, powders and, well, just about anything actually. With double the protein and triple the iron of spinach you should develop a taste for it because it is claimed to help everything from digestion to skin care.

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