As I made my way through the parade of super juices at this year's International Home + Housewares Show, I said to myself, “That’s the one!” Others might have been stalking the gorgeous organic linens and table top for the home pasha, but me? I was on the hunt for the best and brightest trends to make us healthier, happier and safer as we move, eat and sleep.
Juicing: This big squeeze is having its biggest revival since the 1980s, when my PR firm first introduced it and, when I saw the PowerGrind Pro Longevity Juicer, this kitten was smitten. A heroic machine, it crushes, squeezes, blends and extrudes nuts into precious milk, as well. This new generation of machine puts the focus on keeping all of the nutrients in the glass with as little persnickety pulp as possible. An extra plus, in sleek black, PowerGrind looks super-sexy on the counter. Speaking of squeezing, I was just as charmed by the The Original All-Metal Squeezo Strainer. The most popular appliance of depression era 1930s, it's in a comeback. Still an essential for the home canner, it does double-duty for dips, purees from guacamole to raspberry coulis. Best of all, it’s made in the USA and totally green as it runs on elbow grease and provides a great upper body workout.
Smart Pillows: Young or old, in shape or not, back pain is an equal opportunity employer, which is why the proliferation of smart pillows is coming to the rescue. I particularly loved the selection from Spine Doc’s. This is an ingenious system, which relies on the arch and gravity of its construction, expanding the spine’s vertebrae as it massages acupressure points, and stretches and realigns what went out of kilter. Pillows, these days, like those firm Contour Products, are so smart, they even know how to deal with acid reflux. MedSlant has a range of products to fix everything (probably even your marriage). They have the right wedge to get you to ease up on the antacid.
Taming Air: From ear to nose to mouth, the machinery available to cope with the air around us is proliferating. The beauty of Marpac Sleepmate, the original white noise machine, is in its simplicity. Not an air conditioner, it’s been redubbed as a sound conditioner and it leads the pack for me of the new generation of sleep aids because of its simplicity. Its gentle white noise filters out all of the annoying clicks, ticks and street noise. The others all have bells and whistles, but really, what more do you need than an on and off switch and eight hours of sleep?
Sound Oasis is a world leader in sound therapy systems. I am especially partial to their Glo to Sleep sound therapy mask. When it comes to the air we inhale, it’s all about the Hepa Filter. The Hepa, which cleans up the nasty micro bits, used to be the domain of the vacuum cleaner; now, it’s also in our humidifiers. But Filterstream does both clean the air and clean the carpet. Another powerful contender in this field is BlueAir that has adapted HEPASilent technology, which cleans more air with a smaller carbon footprint and makes less noise, resulting in a far healthier household.
Cleaning Fun: Wait! That is not oxymoronic. Like getting kids to eat their vegetables, the cleaning products at the show just made you want to get down and scrub. Or at least let your robot do it. Robots that clean are the most dynamic trend going. Ecovacs in particular are pure magic and super cute as well. Save your back, watch them do the scrubbing. Their Winbot even does windows. As for ironing, I don’t think I’ve ironed a shirt in my life, but when I saw Laurastar ironing system, sleek and so coolly European, what can I say? The iron brought out my internal steamer. I can see a new sort of meditation class cropping up around America's next new relaxing and rewarding pastime. Enter the Zen of ironing! Solidly in the category of what you didn’t know you needed, but now can’t live without: a gadget that custom cuts your paper towels for you. There isn’t just one; I saw two and that means the third is right on their tails, and that means a trend is upon us. After all, we are not a one size fits all civilization. Excellent for spills and germ-free clean ups in a hurry, Clean Cut and Innovia are leading this trend.
Healthy Cookware: It’s about time! For years, we’ve been ignorant of poisoning our family at the stove. Now we have a proliferation of safe pots and pans. This is a trend you want to get on. Non-stick is every busy person’s requirement, but avoid those PFOAs at all costs with GreenPan, leading the healthy non-stick trend. They’re not only an outspoken company, but are producers of fabulous pans, delivering healthy even cooking and easy cleaning. Another cooking vessel you’ll see more of is clay. This kind of cooking captures the aromatics and minerals like no other vessel. But it’s only recently I realized that not all ceramic cookware is safe. VITACLAY is! They are up front and center on this trend to let you know their wares do not contain harmful toxins other cookware sets cannot - and do not - make these claims.
Of course, there were all sorts of new trends and the houseware show is great for seeing what is going to be the new pet rock or paper weight. Next on gift list? Fish tanks you can keep on your desk, like the beauties from Aquarium Design Group to the practical, such as Relief Pod emergency kit or mirrors that fit into your lifestyle, such as Zadro fog-free mirror. But the best trend of all is the abundance of products that make it easier for us to stay happy and healthy in style. WF
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm. Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visitwww.trentandcompany.com.
Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, March 26, 2013