This week’s topic is: Wellness Trends for 2021 with Kate Spies
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Kate Spies, who is editor-in-chief of Well+Good, a health and wellness media brand. Kate begins by sharing her background growing up and her wellness routine into adulthood, how to connect with our spirit, and wellness trends moving into 2021.
- Kate’s background growing up as a kid and into adulthood…
- Connecting with our spirit and what it means for our wellness…
- We discuss amazing trends that are happening now and reflecting back on how we got imbalanced in 2020…
- Wellness Trends surrounding the Four Cornerstones of food, body, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth…
About Kate Spies
Kate Spies is editor-in-chief of Well+Good, a health and wellness media brand that recently launched its 11th annual Wellness Trends report, which examines the massive shifts that have shaken up every aspect of the wellness industry this year—how we work out, what we eat, the products we put on our faces, the way we rest—and how the reverberations of those changes will be felt into 2021 and beyond.
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Kate Spies’s Interview
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: 00:00 Welcome back Beauties for our Monday interview podcast. And we have a very interesting episode for you today. I’m interviewing Kate Spies, who is the Editor in Chief of Well+Good, a health and wellness media brand, and I’m very proud to say that I am on the Well+Good Council, that recently launched its 11th Annual Wellness Trends report. And this report has been compiling data for weeks and weeks, and it examines the massive shifts that have shaken up every aspect of the wellness industry, especially this year. How we work, what we eat, the products we put on our faces, the way we rest and how the reverberations of those changes will be felt into 2021 and beyond.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: 00:46 I loved this interview and I have to say that there is so many interesting things that came up in this trends report, so stay tuned. It’s going to be a really, really good one. But before we get into it, I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. Her name or his name, sometimes I don’t like to assume, is stellonyc and he or she writes, “Listen, you won’t regret. Not only is Kimberly’s voice so soothing, which is important when listening to a podcast, but her words and knowledge are wonderful. I learn something new each time, which helps me grow as a human being. Love this beautiful podcast.”
Leave a Review and Subscribe on Itunes
Kimberly: 01:27 Stellonyc. Thank you so much for this amazing review. I’m so grateful. I have my hand on my heart right now. I send you so much love sister or brother, and I’m just really, really grateful that we are in this community together. So thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. And beauties for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, for me to read your beautiful words, please just take a moment or two out of your day to leave us a review on iTunes. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s just a really great way to support the show and to help other beauties like yourself find this information, which is hopefully going to help benefit and potentially change your life, others’ lives. It’s just such a great way to support. So thank you again.
Kimberly: 02:15 And while you’re over there, you can please also be sure to subscribe and that way you don’t miss out on any of these episodes. Sometimes in the busy hustle of daily life, we forget about things and this is just a way to get that flow going, that continual flow of information and positivity into your life. So that’s a great form of self-care as well.
Interview with Kate Spies
Kimberly: 02:36 All right, all that being said, let’s get right into our interview today with Kate Spies and the Well+Good’s amazing trends report for 2021.
Kate’s background growing up as a kid and into adulthood
Kimberly : 00:00 … nutritionist, they started asking me about digestion, which put me on the path of backpacking for three years and learning about [inaudible 00:00:07] and learning about all these… a different perspective of beauty, being out of the Western world. So Australia feels like this really, just very open-hearted receptive place. Do you think that has played into your interest in wellness now? Or can you share a little bit about what your background was growing up as a kid? Were your parents into, [inaudible 00:00:29], or just different wellness ideas? Or did you come to that as an adult?
Kate: 00:34 Yeah, it’s such a good question, and something I actually talk about a lot, because I think being Australian is exactly why I’m interested in wellness. And it really did start from a young age for me because I really grew up in a family where my parents traveled a lot, and they took us traveling a lot. And that is something that is very Australian, and for those who are lucky enough to do so, a lot of Australians travel.
Kate: 01:01 My parents were both school teachers, so we had big summer holidays off together and they would take us honestly backpacking as well. We’d stay in new hostels in a family room, which was mortifying as a teenager, when you have kind of 18 and 19 and 20-year-old boys around and you are 14-year-old staying with your family in the family room. But at the time, I hated it. Now I look back, and I just am so grateful, because I was exposed to so many other cultures, and thus different ways of expression or different ways that other countries prioritized rest or well being. And then parallel parking at the same time, I was having a lot of tummy issues as a teenager. And fast forward to 18-years-old, I was diagnosed with celiac. And so the combo, I think, of having parents who always prioritized food and nutrition, they’re a little bit ahead of their time in terms of, we ate meat, but we are a plant forward family, I would say, and mom and dad were always very healthy and sun conscious. And then we’re a very active family and spend a lot of time in nature.
Kate: 02:16 So I kind of grew up I guess, in an oldie wellness family, and then was also encouraged. Similarly to you, I had to become very aware of how I nourish myself because of my tummy issues. And Australia, wellness feels like, and I’m sure you had this experience, it feels like more of a way of life than how it’s been commodified in some ways in the US.
Kimberly : 02:43 So wait, when you are traveling, Kate, with your family, where you going to different countries in Asia, it sounds like?
Kate: 02:50 Yes.
Kimberly : 02:50 Wow, beautiful.
Kate: 02:51 Yes, yes. So my cousins at Thai. My uncle married a Thai woman, and so we go and see them right up in the northern hills of Thailand on the border of Myanmar. But then we travel a lot around Southeast Asia in particular.
Kimberly : 03:05 I’m actually half Filipino. I don’t know if you made it to the Philippines.
Kate: 03:09 Oh. We did, yes. Beautiful.
Kimberly : 03:11 So I do feel like Southeast Asia has a very different, which I’ve come to appreciate now, just that being part of my ancestry, just a very different way of looking at the world. It’s like a much more community based way of not like other this idea of stranger. So back to what you were saying about this commodification, this idea. I, as you mentioned, you’re familiar with my story. I did start with tummy issues, and in the beginning, I focused so much on food, but part of my learning and going to all these amazing countries and spending so much time in India is taking this holistic approach, Kate. So we have what we call our four cornerstones of wellness and true beauty.
Kimberly : 03:52 We have food, body, emotional well being, and spiritual growth. So it incorporates this inner part, processing our feelings and meditating and things that I didn’t realize till much, much later. Actually, till kind of recently, to be honest, a few years ago, had a lot to do with my bloating and constipation and my acne. So as we start our conversation talking about wellness trends, I don’t know, Well+Good has always taken this much more holistic perspective, which is why I’m so honored to be part of it and to be just so closely linked to it for so many years. I feel like it’s always honored this idea and it’s always given me the space to really put out content and to talk about things in this holistic way. So I love that, first of all.
Kate: 04:35 Yeah, we love you. And as we’re big fans of yours over at Well+Good. And as you say, we really have always believed and I think even more so moving through the pandemic and then some of the societal reckoning on race after the wrongful death of George Floyd. I think something that we increasingly want to prioritize and we are seeing this in the industry as well as this growing awareness as you say, of mind, body, spirit, soul, emotion. That’s what you need to be well, and we need to also create space for as many communities as possible to have the tools, the knowledge, the means to be able to assess, to be able to kind of be well on all of those different fronts. Because completely to your point, really all of those things together is what contributes to one’s well being.
Kimberly : 05:36 That’s right. I think I get asked in a lot of interviews, Kate, what is wellness to you? And I think for some people, because it’s become so popular in the last few years, it’s easy to think about things we pick up like, “Oh, it’s the food I’m eating,” or, “It’s the workouts I’m doing.” But then if we just focus, because I’ve gone down that path, and we get obsessed about food and our bodies, we often imbalance the inner space, which has a tremendous impact on our hormones, on our endocrine system, on our aging, on everything. So we can’t ignore the emotional part, the mental health, the spiritual aspect of ourselves.
Kate: 06:12 It’s so true, and I think we’ve seen that come to the fore this year. One, [inaudible 00:06:19], they say one in three Americans are recording increased feelings of anxiousness, stress, depression, for very obvious reasons. And I think, as a whole society, we are all becoming increasingly aware of the fact that to be physically well, which I think is the standard definition of being healthy, really to be healthy to have well being, it’s so important to be emotionally and mentally well, as well. Because to your point, the impact on our physical self if your mental wellness is suffering is so huge.
Kate: 07:00 I’ve definitely had times in my life when I’ve been incredibly stressed or not prioritizing sleep and not looking after myself. And not only have I not been in a great place mentally, the physical signs of that have been debilitating. And I think so many people have experienced that this year.
Kimberly : 07:21 I’ll giggle, Kate, because I actually, I talk about this stuff all the time, right? But I had a breakdown about two weeks ago, I hit rock bottom. I have a newborn who’s a couple months old. He’s got a newborn anymore, he’s almost six months. And I have a four-year-old that is not in school. And I’m also writing my sixth book right now. I’m managing the business alone, I’m doing the podcast. So it just hit me, I’m not sleeping, and I get… so I was getting headaches and neck pain and all this stuff that I don’t usually get. So it’s true, I think this is a really perfect time to talk about going into 2021 some amazing trends that are happening and how we can just reflect back and see how we got and perhaps imbalanced in different ways, in 2020. And it was such an unprecedented time, and we all had to cope and pivot and adjust in a lot of different ways.
Connecting with our spirit and what it means for our wellness
Kimberly : 08:12 I’m really interested in hearing. You guys do so much research and so much surveying and so much gathering. So I want to get into it, but the one thing I want to add on to that Kate, when I talk about the cornerstones. And I keep saying this because in the beginning when I was talking about detoxing, because three of my books have the word detox in them. I say it’s about letting go on a continual basis. It’s not this harsh thing you do all the time. And now when I talk about spiritual growth, I also say it’s not just this add on, it’s not religion. To me, connecting with our spirit is understanding ourselves more. It’s the deeper connection to ourselves, whether that’s going in nature, or meditation, stillness, so that we don’t go down the pathway of getting overly anxious of vying for attention in ways that don’t feel authentic. And when we question, why don’t I feel confident? Or when we constantly try to look like someone else or be like someone else.
Kimberly : 09:04 Anyways, that’s, I think, a huge part of wellness. And again, something that I love that Well+Good has embraced.
Kate: 09:10 Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I think what’s so important and what you touched on is that it looks so different for every person. For a lot of people that may be a religion, for others, it’s a deep passion for being out in nature. It’s a deep passion for some form of hobby, that to your point brings them back inside themselves and really allows people to get in that flow state, which I think is so important. I think it’s something that’s really hard to achieve in this kind of pervasive hustle culture that the whole of our society subscribes to. And I have really personally this year through the pandemic tried to find moments of stillness and quiet with myself. And it’s not something that I personally find really easy. No, it’s something I really have to work at. And something you said that really resonates with me and I think resonates with a lot of our audience at Well+Good, is it isn’t a do once and never think about again, type thing. It is something that you need.
Kate: 10:19 Your spiritual health is something that you need to work on in the same way as you work on your mental and physical health as well.
Kimberly : 10:28 Exactly. It’s not just this afterthought. This is [crosstalk 00:10:31] if I have a time after I’ve done everything else maybe I’ll meditate.
Kate: 10:35 Yeah, no, absolutely.
We discuss amazing trends that are happening now and reflecting back on how we got imbalanced in 2020
Kimberly : 10:39 Okay, my love. Let’s talk about your wellness trends.
Kate: 10:42 Yes.
Kimberly : 10:43 This is the 11th year you guys have been putting out the forecast?
Kate: 10:47 Yeah, it is. It’s our 11th year, I haven’t been around for all 11, but I’ve been around for a fifth year now. And this one was the epic one like we’ve never done before. Because as you can imagine, the change in all facets of the industry is just, I cannot understate the change the wellness industry holistically is going through.
Wellness Trends surrounding the first Cornerstone: Food
Kimberly : 11:09 Wow. So if it’s possible to somewhat do them in the cornerstones, I’ll ask you and then maybe some fit across a few. But let’s start with food. And as one who is plant based, I’m seeing the side of, oh my gosh, something like a quarter of Americans have already tried all these plant based meats, you hear about it a lot. I am hopeful that more people get. It’s not all or nothing but go towards that way for health reasons and environmental reasons. But my opinion this side. Kate, give me from the research perspective, from your guys’ side.
Kate: 11:42 Well, happily, the research really supports your-
Kimberly : 11:46 All good.
Kate: 11:47 Yeah, your opinion. The rise of plant based eating, I think, as you know, is something that we’ve seen for quite a few years now. But during the pandemic, it really has not slowed down and going to next year, we don’t see it slowing down. Because what we’re seeing food is two things, we’re seeing a back to basics approach and people prioritizing what’s good for their body. And then we’re also seeing people being incredibly aware of the issues surrounding food and nutrition from a societal perspective, and really guiding their food choices based on what they believe. And the environment is such a big one. People are really, there are a couple of trends, like one of the trends that we think is going to be huge in 2021 is upcycled food.
Kate: 12:38 There are a lot of brands releasing, particularly snack foods that are taking what would traditionally be seen as trash, bananas that aren’t good enough in inverted commas-
Kimberly : 12:50 Ugly-
Kate: 12:52 Exactly. Ugly food. Poor ugly food. Ugly but delicious food, but taking those foods and making awesome snacks from them. We’re also seeing more home chefs using that ugly food, that left over produce to cook at home. And again, we’re seeing even more of an increase in this plant based style of eating, both of which really speak to the fact that more and more people are aware of their own carbon footprints and how food in particular really contributes to that. And it’s shaping and guiding their eating, which you and I very much agree on this. I think it’s such a positive thing, in my opinion.
Kimberly : 13:34 I think it’s so important to be conscious of the impact of what we’re eating. And there’s been such a disconnection for so many generations really. As for my son, I’m raising my children plant based, but when they get old enough, they will choose. I say that, I’m not dictating your diet forever. But as young children, as mothers, we do have to guide them. And I say to my son, “I want you to know what it is when people eat meat, and showing him what a cow is, and showing him, oh, it’s very pretty on a plate, but this is actually what it is.” Just so [crosstalk 00:14:06]. And he may choose to eat meat, he may choose not to eat meat, but just to have that awareness, and now in these generations to understand, okay, grass fed cattle, where are they eating the grass, it’s impacting the forests. It’s impacting the environment. And so I think that’s beautiful, powerful, and amazing to see that people are waking up to more consciousness around food.
Kimberly : 14:29 Not just how it tastes.
Kate: 14:31 Exactly. Very, very much so. And I think something that you just said is a great segue into one of the other major trends that we’re seeing moving into 2021, and that’s a really individual and personalized approach to eating. For so many years, we have seen particularly in wellness, the rise of restrictive diet things. There are truly hundreds of them almost that people have been following, and for many years, there have been dietitian influences on Instagram trying to educate their followers that restriction can lead to binging, psychologically damaging guilt and shame, and an increased risk of disordered eating. And in 2020 and moving into 2021, we’re really seeing the fruits of their labor. There’s been a big backlash to high profile diet programs.
Kate: 15:26 We spoke to many, many dietitians and nutritionists in our days and I’m sure you’ll see this as well. People are so interested in mindful eating right now, intuitive eating practices, and I think that there is this real shift away from restriction, and this shift to people making individual choices for themselves, just like your son will do when he’s older. And people being a little bit kinder to themselves, I think, which is, again, something that is incredibly positive.
Kimberly : 16:00 I feel like it’s indicative of the times where all this collapse around us, trust of the government, and just societal upheaval, and the pandemic. So it drives us deeper and deeper into ourselves where we start to say, “Well, where does my safety and security really come from? What is the right thing for my body? What is the right thing for myself?” So I love to hear that versus plant based or keto or paleo or all these categories that feel separated versus what is right for the individual person.
Kate: 16:32 Exactly, because we’re all so different, and we all have such different nutritional needs. And so we’re really hopeful that that’s gripping the common psyche right now. There are new government, food and nutrition guidelines coming in January, and reportedly they are going to really help unpack the big general guidelines and help people change those and interpret them for themselves, which is a really positive step forward.
Kimberly : 17:02 Anything else in the food category you want to add, Kate, before we move on?
Kate: 17:06 The last thing that I think is a really awesome change is this idea of half scratch meals. And also really this love of pantry staples starting to take hold of the world again as well.
Kimberly : 17:20 Did you say half scratch with your little accent?
Kate: 17:23 Yeah, half scratch. I’ll say it with an… half scratch. Does that sound… Yes.
Kimberly : 17:29 [inaudible 00:17:29]
Kate: 17:30 That’s my American way with the hard r. But no, half scratch meals. So we saw so many people going back into the kitchen during the pandemic out of necessity. And I think people enjoyed that for a period of time and enjoyed getting back in touch with great ingredients, and using their pantry and remembering that great things can come from a can. However, also people got really overwhelmed. So many people like you have kids, have a job, or just have so much going on. And to cook three meals a day is a really big ask. And so a lot of brands have come to the table with this idea of half scratch meals, which is when the ingredients are prep for you and really just need to cook and consume. So we’re seeing hungry [inaudible 00:18:19] expands their offering to offer these kind of meals, and just grocery offering a similar kind of kit and lots of different brands will be moving into this space in 2021.
Kate: 18:34 I think it’s a really positive step forward for everyone who is busy and need some help at home.
Kimberly : 18:43 I love that. We’ve had a podcast sponsor in the past send me stuff that was doing ads here, and everything was pre chopped, and it was eating. And the meal prep time was cut down by like 80% or something.
Kate: 18:56 Exactly. We’re seeing a lot of the brands that traditionally had meal prep times of 30 to 40 minutes truly come down to five minutes, because it is just chucking the ingredients together.
Wellness Trends surrounding the second Cornerstone: Body
Kimberly : 19:10 I love it. Okay, so moving to body cornerstone. So anything beyond food,
Kate? So exercise, which I know Well+Good has always been fitness forward.
Kate: 19:21 Yes. So body and physical health, I think is undergoing such a transformation under two big pillars. That looking at our trends holistically, there are so many of them. But there are three big pillars that really stand out to me when it comes to the body. And one is that the fitness industry has just been advanced by what feels like decades. It is truly incredible to say how so many brands have had to pivot because studio fitness was so dominant for so many years. Last year doing our trends moving into 2020, every boutique studio that we spoke to from people offering reformer classes to dense cardio, to functional fitness, like F45, all of them were undergoing massive growth. They were opening new studios around the country.
Kate: 20:22 That paused in March, which meant that every single fitness brand needed to really keep it and think about how they were going to appear digitally. And then even the digital natives, like the Pelotons of the world, suddenly had all of this competition and so had to really think about, okay, so we’ve got these really great robust digital offerings, how do we create loyalty and community in a really meaningful way around our brands? And so moving into 2021, every brand that we have spoken to within the fitness space is really embracing an omni channel approach. So they will have physical spaces and they will be indoors and outdoors, they will have a digital offering, and really prioritize creating community around these digital offerings. They may have hardware and equipment as part of their brand as well. And I think this is the trajectory that the fitness industry was on. But really, I don’t think we would have gotten there for 10 to 15 years had it not been for this, everything being shut down.
Kimberly : 21:33 Do you think Kate, because I’m not in this world, per se. I walk, I do my own self yoga, but it’s interesting to see how people are really into spin classes. For instance, we had [inaudible 00:21:46] on here who co founded SoulCycle, why wheel, She’s amazing. So do you think then people started doing this at home, like the Peloton bikes. Do you think after the pandemic, people will come back, they’ll gravitate more to the community aspect or do you think this is going to disrupt fitness forever?
Kate: 22:03 I think it’ll disrupt fitness forever. I think people have really invested in equipment in their homes. A Peloton bike isn’t cheap, and so if you bought one, you’re definitely going to use it. But I think what will happen is consumers will do bits and pieces of each. And we’re really seeing that probably, well, all of the people that we’ve spoken to through our reporting of this kind of omni channel trends, are saying that they’re seeing digital first. So digital being the thing that most people do most of the time and these IRL experiences definitely still existing, but them being more intimate, more special, maybe something that you do once a week. And it’s really turning the whole industry on its head. It’s fascinating.
Kimberly : 22:55 Do you think this is the end of small yoga studios? Because everybody’s been streaming yoga classes?
Kate: 23:01 I don’t think it’s the… I hope it’s not the end, because I think so many people have love and loyalty for instructors, particularly yoga instructors, because there is that soul connection with a great yoga instructor. I don’t think it’s the end, I think that people will access them through Zoom and through at home stuff, but will still sometimes go into studio as well. I think it’ll take us a while to get back there, though.
Kimberly : 23:30 I used to and that makes me a little sad, because in New York, my yoga community was like my family. When I went to the Dharma Mittra Studio, that’s where I learned to make Dharma’s Kale Salad, one of my fundamental recipes, and my close friends became the people in the community. I think community is shifting as well. People are doing a lot online and the great yoga teachers we’ll find on Zoom, but it is the way that things are shifting.
Kate: 23:59 Yeah, absolutely. And that piece about community can’t be underscored enough in all of the really every brand in wellness we spoke to, whether it was fitness brands, or more holistic wellness offerings, or even food communities. Everyone knows, because this year, we’ve really woken up to self care really being community care. And this goes into a little bit of one of the other cornerstones so we can come back here, but I think even as it pertains to fitness, every brand is thinking about, how do we build these communities that can live both on and offline?
Kate: 24:41 I mean, we saw Robin Arzon, who is the VP of programming for Peloton and one of the lead instructors lead a session early in the pandemic that had, I think it was over a million people who joined. Yes, could have filled Madison Square Garden. And so we are seeing brands really prioritizing community around fitness because like you said, that’s really how so many people have made social connection in the past. And brands know they need to be able to foster them on and offline.
Kimberly : 25:12 Wow. So going back to the physical body for a moment, some of the self care practices that we loved in the past, and including knee massages. I’m not a big facial person, but things where people are touching you have shifted radically. So what if anything, has sort of come in, shifted, replaced trends back to body care?
Kate: 25:34 Yeah, something that we’re seeing that’s really, really interesting in terms of self care is that to your point, a lot of the things or a lot of the practices that… Not practices, a lot of the things and a lot of the interactions with other people around self care had to disappear. And so people have really, I would say, replaced those things with three different really positive forms of self care. And so, one that we’re seeing is this piece around community care and virtual communities and finding support for themselves through connecting with like minded people.
Kate: 26:24 Another thing that is really, really interesting is while the whole kind of shopping, particularly as it pertains the fashion industry, slowed so much through the pandemic. The sale of sweat pants were 80% up right through from March right through to now. And really, I think we have seen so many people embrace comfort dressing as a form of self care. And I think that we have all, women in particular, we all know this, as the society makes us feel like we need to look a certain way, we need to take up a certain amount of space, we need to present to the world in a certain way.
Kimberly : 27:06 We need to wear skinny jeans all the time.
Kate: 27:07 Exactly. Wear uncomfortable hot pants. Why do we do that? And I think that what we have seen is this incredible shift to people dressing for comfort. Like you were saying previously, when everything is chaotic around us, we want nourishment of our bodies. We want to feel comfortable, and we’re really seeing that expressed in the way people are dressing. And every fashion brand that we spoke to from the [inaudible 00:27:36] players like the Athleta’s or the Lulus or the Ellos, right through to high fashion brands like Dior. They’re all creating this casual athleisure. And of course, we know it’s been athleisure all the time for a long time, but now… Yeah, Dior. Now, we’re really moving into this idea of comfort dressing for business, for going out to meals with your friends. And I think it’s super cool.
Kimberly : 28:05 If there are meals out with friends.
Kate: 28:08 Exactly, when we eventually can have hopefully meals out with friends soon.
Kimberly : 28:13 Are you in New York City? Do you live in New York?
Kate: 28:15 Yes. Yes, I do.
Kimberly : 28:18 Oh my God. I can’t even imagine what it’s been like in a city, because here we have an acre of land and I go hiking in the mountains. How has it been for you?
Kate: 28:26 Yeah, awful. I mean, in saying that, March, April, May was so grim in New York City, it’s really hard to describe. I’m sure you can imagine, you’ve spent a lot of time in New York. But when it was so dark and cold, and we’re still coming out of winter. There were sirens all the time. There’s just concrete around you. And it was just, I found it incredibly suffocating. And you’ve seen my home where I grew up. And so I always find it hard being in the middle of a city, but I love New York and it offers so much. But when all that’s taken away, it was very, very tough.
Kate: 29:06 But New York has been lucky in that once we got it under control, once we got the virus under control, as under control as it could be, people have been super respectful about masks and being safe. And so we’ve really been able to get back to a much more normal in inverted commas, life for the last four months, which has been great. So you’ve been able to go upstate and go for hikes or drive down, drive at least to the beach in summer, which has made it bearable. And I just really hope that New York stays on this trajectory through the next couple of dark, cold months.
Kimberly : 29:46 I can only imagine how many people are congregating in Central Park.
Kate: 29:51 Yes. Yes. Oh, totally. I remember the first time I went to Central Park, it would have been in April. Things at ease the little bit, it was a really beautiful day, and I thought, okay, I’ve just got to go and get some greenery. And it was so busy and just I ended up leaving after a pretty short amount of time because I felt like oh, I don’t think I can keep six feet from people, this probably isn’t a great idea. Of course, people wanted to be there. It’s one of the only places that have big green space like that.
Kimberly : 30:29 Shifting back to the body. Let’s talk about sleep. Are there any forecasts about sleep? Because I feel that into the podcasts, I’m getting a lot of questions about insomnia and anxiety, what’s going to happen in the future? And there’s a whole slew of biohacking devices from the blue light glasses, which I wear. Those biohacking thing I really do every night to others. So is there anything with sleep that came up?
Kate: 30:54 Yeah, it’s interesting, because sleep is one of those things that I think, like we were talking about earlier in the chat, people have had this awakening of, “Wow, I need sleep.” Rest is so core to my ability to be a functioning human. And personally, I feel for you so much, having two little kids and doing all that you’re doing, and having that feeling two weeks ago that you weren’t sleeping. I’m very similar, I need eight hours sleep or I cannot function as a human. It is just so essential for me, and I think what we have seen moving into 2021 is this idea of rest as a really political act, which is incredible. So it really started by black leaders and activists in the wellness space and really started by the nap ministry a couple of years ago putting sleep and rest at the forefront of activism. So the body is-
Kimberly : 31:58 Wow.
Kate: 31:58 Yeah, it’s incredible. The body’s wellness is political, and to be well and to be fighting this fight against systemic racism and fighting to make the wellness space more equitable, lots of QTBIPOC leaders are really vocal about how important rest is and how actually taking time for yourself and resting is a form of resistance against the system that has prioritized hustle culture, that has prioritized people burning candles on both ends. And I think that the incredible work that QTBIPOC leaders are doing within the wellness space as it pertains to rest is going to imbue the rest of the industry and hopefully the rest of the workforce. And so it’s such an incredible trend. And as people more broadly are balancing what work is going to look like for the next 12 months, it’s going to be really interesting to see how employers change policies to make sure that people are able to put some boundaries on both physical and mental with work. If their home is their work, how they put boundaries up to allow sleep and rest.
Kimberly : 33:20 That’s right, because I’m of the mindset we don’t need a million different devices. But if we’re working up until the moment we go to sleep, we’re going to be overstimulated if we’re thinking about all these things, if we don’t have some kind of evening practice. For me, it’s taking a shower, drinking an elixir, doing meditation, just like I put my boys down. So now we’re bedtime for each of them. I think that priority like you’re saying will naturally start to balance a lot of people’s sleep schedules without all these devices.
Kate: 33:47 Totally. I agree with you, but for the people who need the devices, they are coming to. Light based wellness is such an area of innovation and one of the big trends we’re seeing is that the Dyson’s of the world and other companies like them are… [PASPA 00:34:08] with its glow light are just getting more and more sophisticated about helping people mimic natural light and helping people regulate their circadian rhythm through indoor lights, because so many people aren’t getting that normal light rhythm that they get you know from the outdoors. So it’s a really interesting space of innovation as well.
Kimberly : 34:32 Oh yeah. No, that stuff, the daytime light, I’m totally on board with. I’ve just heard of some really interesting biohacking stuff with… I can’t even get into all of it but just the devices that are in the bed with you. They help people, it’s great, but some of them are pretty out there.
Kate: 34:50 Yeah, the mattresses and the tracking every… I’m someone who, because I love sleep so much get a bit anxious about sleep and so I’m like you. I cannot have a device necessarily like tracking as I sleep in my bed.
Kimberly : 35:10 Yeah, I’m with you on that. I mean it’s a natural function obviously, but we live in some ways a very unnatural world.
Kate: 35:20 Yes, absolutely.
Kimberly : 35:21 When you think about of CBD, Kate, it was such a big trend for a while and sometimes I hear about it a lot in spikes and bursts about the innovation for sleep products, for instance. Do you think it’s kind of on the way out, or do you think it’s just growing? What’s your opinion on it?
Kate: 35:40 It’s an interesting question, and we had this conversation in the lead up to trends because really, for the last three years, we’ve had some big CBD trends. So at first it was just that CBD is coming and it’s in everything. Then it was kind of other forms of binoids that were really taking hold of the industry. And this year, I honestly think the growth is very much plateaued, we get far fewer questions from our audience about CBD. For me, it feels like it’s now an ingredient that is used across the wellness world like turmeric or like matcha. It really is still very popular and many people are using it, we actually have a trend about supercharged seltzers and a lot of seltzers now have CBD in them for various different uses for calming the mind and anxiety as such. But I think there is a growing awareness in wellness in general, particularly through the pandemic, that people really want things to work.
Kate: 36:45 And so I think for the people who have tried CBD and it works, they will stick with it, and it’s still popular, but people are becoming more and more skeptical, or I guess questioning of which supplements they use, which vitamins they use, what really works for them. And I think that it kind of slow down the real flurry around CBD and the idea of getting it in everything from a supplement right through to a body crane through to your shampoo. That kind of frenzy is slowed a bit.
Kimberly : 37:19 Yeah, I feel it’s just like with supplements or skincare if they sprinkle in a little bit of an ingredient, but you’re not really experiencing the benefit. And for me, what I had always heard and my personal experience was that a lot of the CBD or CBD products were very under dosed. So I wasn’t really seeing a big impact either way. So then purchasing something, it’s not working, then you just fall off.
Kate: 37:44 Exactly, that’s such a good point. I think because that part of the industry is so under regulated, people can give you as much or as little as they feel like putting in a product. And so to your point, it’s really hard for people to know exactly what they’re getting and thus how effective it is or even because they may be just having a really small dose of something.
Kimberly : 38:08 That’s right. So adaptogens. You’ve mentioned these filters, everybody started talking about ashwagandha and different adaptogens, and it’s something that’s been around for a while, the medicinal mushrooms.
Kate: 38:21 Definitely. We are seeing those. I think that you and I and other people who have been in the wellness world for quite a few years, medicinal mushrooms feel like old use. My team brought mushrooms as one of the ideas for the 2021 trends. And to lift the curtain a little bit, what we do before a trend idea even moves into consideration, there have to be kind of between three and five really robust data points. So the team will pitch a trend and they’ll have to have spoken to three expert sources, they will have to have some information about how the market size is going to grow or about how consumption has grown before we even discuss that idea being part of trends. And mushroom had all these really strong data points on growing even more over 2021, both the medicinal adaptogenic forms but also just like chateaugay mushrooms, just mushroom every day kind of culinary mushrooms.
Kate: 39:30 I think what has happened and what we will see continuing to happen into 2021 is wellness is known about the superpowers of mushrooms for a really long time and it is really reached the mainstream. And so we’re seeing medicinal mushrooms in again seltzers, we’re seeing them in protein powders, we’re seeing them added just to so many different products.
Opinion on clinics that carry psychedelic mushrooms
Kimberly : 39:55 So the other kind of mushrooms are the psychedelic mushrooms, the [crosstalk 00:39:59]. What is your opinion, Kate, about more clinics? And I think is it Colorado that legalized?
Kate: 40:08 Yes.
Kimberly : 40:08 Private and clinics and things that go beyond?
Kate: 40:14 Yeah. It’s such an interesting space, and I think that in terms of mental health and managing mental health issues, everything has to come from somewhere. That’s a bizarre thing to say, but I’ll explain. I think that many of the SSRI drugs that people take help manage depression and anxiety, they obviously had to be created and tested at some stage and then tested enough that they were proven safe to be released to the community. And I really think that the testing and the exploration of things like psilocybin is so positive, because if scientists who are great at what they do… I have a lot of trust in science, and I think that these trials, clinical trials that are happening, the years of research that have gone into this, if those methods work for even a few people to help them manage their mental health in a way that’s really right for them, that’s so positive, in my opinion.
Kimberly : 41:19 Amazing. Yeah, and I think it will continue to rise as more people become aware as to these alternatives over pharmaceutical drugs. So this brings us into our third cornerstone, unless there’s anything in the body one that we missed.
Kate: 41:35 One quick aside, self pleasure is self care. Just a huge trend really positive for all women and fans, I think. We are just seeing so much of our community being more explorative about their sexuality, and I’m like, “Go for it. Enjoy.”
Kimberly : 41:57 We actually had Alexandra [Fanon 00:41:58] here, [crosstalk 00:41:59]. And she’s wonderful. And we had this whole conversation about that, and that is a form of empowerment. And that is very important, I think, for people to connect with all different parts of themselves, including their potent sexual nature.
Kate: 42:14 I couldn’t agree more. We love Alexandra, we love Dame, they are referenced in this trend, and we’re all about it. We think it’s so, so positive.
Wellness Trends surrounding the third Cornerstone: Emotional Wellbeing
Kimberly : 42:25 I love it. Okay, so we’re getting to our third Cornerstone, which is emotional well being/mental health. We talked about to some extent, the community aspect, and also some of the alternatives like psilocybin. Any other ones you want to add to that?
Kate: 42:40 I think one of the most positive trends that we’re seeing in 2021, falls into this cornerstone, and that is the huge rise of teletherapy. I think teletherapy is such an amazing thing, because it just takes away some of the barriers that have stopped people getting the help that they need. I am a big fan of therapy, and I think that it’s so important for people to feel like they have access to a professional to discuss their mental and emotional health. And teletherapy not only is now offered by almost all therapists, it is in the government, various levels of government are working to make sure that it is in part covered by different insurance plans, which is obviously a key piece and is really important.
Kate: 43:37 We’re seeing that therapy traditionally has been a very whitewashed space, but we’re seeing the rise of different therapy platforms and directories to help various communities, particularly QTBIPOC communities find therapists with cultural competency that are able to give them the help and treatment that they need. And so across the board therapy is getting more accessible. We’re seeing a lot of different platforms offering text therapy, which is really interesting. You’ve been able to text your therapist, while you’re lying in bed. It feels like something that is going to be really positive. And we’re just seeing this space being blown wide open, and it is so necessary and going to be incredibly positive for access moving forward.
Kimberly : 44:33 I think we hear a lot or I hear a lot about anxiety, but then I was reading something recently about the huge rise of depression. And of course, there’s a link there. But I mean, I just think of suicide depression is something that has risen during the pandemic, and for people to have access to this help is obviously critical and crucial and incredibly an important trend as we go into the year, so people don’t feel isolated. They’re already isolated through the pandemic and that there isn’t someone to really express their feelings and emotions to on that level.
Kate: 45:10 Exactly. The isolation pace is really key, and what both this rise of virtual communities and really having a virtual community out there for literally everyone through to the rise of teletherapy and virtual access to professionals, has just meant that people have been able to connect with either a community or a professional in a way than never before. And to your point, during a time of just such upheaval and such an insanely difficult time, I think this access is just so important.
Kimberly : 45:52 How do people know who to go to? Are there any directories where you can find more about teletherapy?
Kate: 46:00 Yeah, absolutely. Psychology Today is really great, because they truly do have so many different providers, and it will let you know right there on the platform if they offer virtual therapy. Alma is a really great resource as well, and similarly is a directory that helps kind of show whether someone is offering virtual therapy or not. And it just helps. I think traditionally, people have found therapists through word of mouth, which is great if it’s someone you trust, but therapy is so individualized. And so being able to really assess individual practitioners for yourself, read their bio, read their different focal points, I think is really, really important.
Wellness Trends surrounding the third Cornerstone: Spiritual Growth
Kimberly : 46:53 100%. Okay, love. So moving into our fourth cornerstone spiritual growth, which we spoke about earlier, is anything to me that connects us back to our true self, our essence, whether that’s meditation or nature? You mentioned a trend in people in New York city going out.
Kate: 47:11 Yeah, we’re really seeing on the nature front, we are seeing lots of people leaving cities, not just for day trips, but for good. I think that people have really used this time to assess what’s important to them and what’s important to those they live with, or their families. And we’re seeing a pretty mass exodus from big cities. And then for those of us who can’t necessarily just pick up and peace out and leave the city, the growth in indoor plants is huge. It’s really huge, and that is something that we will see continue in 2021.
Kate: 47:56 There are so many new brands launching in the space, but also a lot of the different brands that maybe once had one small shop in New York or one small shop in LA are expanding to have more locations and also going online. They’re really expanding their range of plants, because a lot of the experts in this space that we spoke to said, for a period of time, it felt like the general population could only handle one kind of player that wasn’t too tricky and it was pretty hard to kill them. And now they feel that lots of us have graduated up a step and we can start looking up more complicated, more needy plants. It made me so happy to just see that as a whole society, we’ve gotten so much better at looking after our plants. And so now we’re going to be given more different types, and I think it’s just such a great indicator of how much people have become, or maybe being reminded of the fact that being in nature is so, so important for the soul.
Kimberly : 49:03 Is the growth in just house plants, Kate, or is it in home herbs, home growing, or hydroponics like growing some of your own food?
Kate: 49:12 Truly all of it. Exactly all of the above. Indoor plants, outdoor plants, the gardening, and then herbs and being able to grow things in your kitchen as well. And I think this really ties back to that trend of upcycled food where people want to grow their own food and then be able to use it kind of top to bottom. And really, I think what you’ll see as we talk about all of these trends is some of the huge ideas that underpin nearly all of them is people getting back to basics with their wellness on every different facet. People really caring about the planet and knowing that we can’t be well if the planet isn’t well, people reinvesting in their community and understanding that the best form of self care is surrounding themselves with others that care about supporting them as much as they want to be supportive as well.
Kate: 50:05 And then also, this real push for better health equity and better equity, inclusion and diversity in wellness across all different verticals. And really, every trend ties back to those ideas, and it’s absolutely no different in this cornerstone of spiritual health.
Kimberly : 50:24 Wow, is there anything else you want to add in this cornerstone? I feel like you’ve given us such rich, amazing information already.
Kate: 50:32 I think that’s probably the main thing. The last thing that I think is one of the most important trends for 2021, and it does fall into this cornerstone, but also the others, is wellness for kids and wellness for teens. We are seeing just so many new players entering this space and really good growth for brands that have already existed in this space. It makes sense, they’re the next generation. Hopefully, they save us all and save the planet. And I’m sure as a mom of two little kids, this is something that’s really important for you. But the idea of little kids being able to understand why activity is so important, being able to practice yoga, or being taught mindfulness in schools just feel like a really, really positive thing.
Kimberly : 51:26 I mean, I think about how different really our society would be if we were all taught meditation at my four-year-old’s age.
Kate: 51:31 Yes.
Kimberly : 51:32 And just having those tools to connect back in versus following their peers, and you just took it to over extended level and just doing what other people are doing, trying to look like other people. I think everybody kind of goes through that self exploration in their teenage years. But having those tools make all the difference.
Kate: 51:52 I agree. Yeah, I totally agree. And that, I feel, there are many other trends, but I think that we really did a good job of covering the most important ones.
Kimberly : 52:05 So where can we see the whole report?
Kate: 52:08 Yes, on wellandgood.com. I would love people to go and read the whole report, just months and months and months of research, reporting, writing, editing, fact checking, went into all of these trends. And so it made my heart so happy if people read them in full.
Kimberly : 52:26 Of course, and we will put a link to these also in the show notes over mysolluna.com so you guys can click directly to the trends report.
Kimberly : 52:34 Okay, thank you so much for putting this together, for being here with us, for sharing your wisdom and coming from such a place of authenticity and passion. It’s so obvious that you really care and that you love… It’s not just a job, but that putting this forward into the world is really going to help a lot of people feel their best. So thank you so much.
Kate: 52:53 Oh, thank you so much. Thank you for having me. We love you, and we’re just so happy to be able to put this in the world and I really do hope if it even helps one person feel better, or make a game plan for how to feel better in 2021, that is what we’re here for. And I really am very, very passionate about that. So thank you for your kind words and recognizing that.
Kimberly: 02:50 Well, Beauties I hope you enjoyed my interview with Kate as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. And I hope you enjoyed hearing about all these super interesting trends. The wellness trends that have been building and will continue to affect us into 2021 and beyond. I really loved to hear about the mindfulness and especially the teletherapy and the fact that emotional wellbeing and mental health, which is our third cornerstone here at Solluna, is really starting to blossom in our society in a larger way.
Kimberly: 03:29 Anyways, there’s just so much that I loved here. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to head over to mysolluna.com for our show notes, including research, information links to other podcasts that you might enjoy, as well as all our other offerings. I will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast, our community show. Till then take great care of yourself. I send you so much love and I will see you back here soon.