There have been 44 food documentaries released since 2004, beginning with Super-Size Me®. New healthy cooking magazines are being published to join Eating Well®, Cooking Light®, and Clean Eating®. Anyone on social media probably has a friend or a friend of a friend who is a representative for a certain online fitness company that emphasizes learning about eating healthy foods and portions paired up with their workouts. Greater awareness of how to eat healthy is causing people to become passionate about eating fresh, minimally processed food.

A SAMURAI SAM’S® EMPLOYEE STORY

I have five fitness representative friends myself and before joining one of their groups I’d been trying to eat healthy, but I was lost. Early on in my journey it was emphasized this is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. It’s not temporary, but lifelong habits of exercise and eating right that I’m developing. I am twenty pounds lighter than I started the year and I feel more energetic, healthier, and happier. There are a lot of people around me going through the same transformation.

It’s not always easy, especially when it comes to cooking. There are many times when I don’t have time to cook or simply don’t feel like cooking. These are the times when I used to go to traditional greasy fast food joints, but they are completely unappetizing to me now. In contrast, fresh, minimally processed food cooked well tastes amazing. I love that fast, fresh, and healthy food is available from Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill®. I regularly drive 20 minutes out of my way for healthy fast casual dining.

A NATIONAL TREND

My social media feeds are a little denser with healthy food posts than most people see, but since Super-Size Me came out in 2004 the U.S. as a whole is trending toward increasing food awareness and choosing healthier options. Nine of the National Restaurant Association’s top ten food trends for 2016 refer to fresh, local, healthy, minimally processed, and sustainable food practices.

Fortune.com commissioned a poll about U.S. eating habit in May 2015 which found that 77% of Americans were trying to eat healthier with an emphasis on health first and weight loss a lower priority. Only 19% of those polled said they were dieting. People are turning from the binge-diet cycle to a whole life approach to wellness. Changing our perspective on the best way to get our nutrients and what it means to be healthy is partially responsible for fresh, fast casual food being on nearly every food trend list for 2016 currently showing up in a google search. The other part comes from still liking our food to be convenient.

People are becoming more aware how what we eat affects our moods and health. We are becoming informed about what is in the food we consume, whether it is good or bad. We are becoming better educated about what eating healthy looks like, but are still pressed for time or the desire to cook. The demand for fresh, healthy, and fast food is going to continue to rise. Now is the perfect time to start a Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill®.