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12.14.23 | Community

Embracing Food as Medicine

At Sage Collective, we often explore the different facets of vibrant living, and one aspect that continually resonates is the relationship between our diet and health. The age-old adage, “You are what you eat,” rings especially true as we delve into the concept of food as medicine – a philosophy that aligns perfectly with our journey towards holistic wellness.

Rooted in ancient practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the idea that food can be used as a healing tool has been around for centuries. Today, modern nutritional science echoes these traditions, highlighting how our dietary choices can significantly influence our health and well-being.

Imagine your kitchen as a treasure trove of medicinal remedies. The foods we choose to consume can act as powerful agents in preventing and managing various health conditions. For example, leafy greens and berries, laden with antioxidants, fortify our defenses against chronic illnesses. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts and fatty fish, are not just tasty but also champions for heart health.

Our dietary habits play a crucial role in shaping our health landscape. Heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension – prevalent concerns in our community – are deeply linked to what we eat. By focusing on a balanced diet, rich in whole foods, we wield the power to reshape our health and reduce the risk of these conditions. The gut microbiome, an ecosystem within us, is crucial in maintaining our health. Foods that are friends to our gut – think probiotics like yogurt and fiber-rich vegetables – not only enhance our digestive health but also strengthen our immune system, a key factor in vibrant living.

Recognizing that one size does not fit all in nutrition, personalized dietary choices cater to our unique health requirements. This approach, emphasizing individuality, is at the heart of treating food as medicine. The connection between our diet and mental health is an area of growing interest. Nutrient-dense foods not only nourish our bodies but also our minds, influencing our mood and cognitive functions.

While we champion the idea of food as medicine, it’s essential to remember that it’s not about strict dietary limitations or deeming certain foods as off-limits. It’s about balance, variety, and making mindful choices that enhance our health without sacrificing the joy of eating.

As we continue on our path of vibrant living, let’s view our dietary choices as joyful selections for health. Our plates can be a palette of nourishing, flavorful foods that serve as our daily dose of medicine. Embracing this holistic approach, we not only cater to our physical health but also to our overall sense of well-being and joy.

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11.16.23 | Community

Savoring Thanksgiving: A Healthy Twist on Classic Favorites

Thanksgiving – a season of warmth, gratitude, and delectable feasts. It’s a time when family recipes and hearty dishes take center stage. While these traditional favorites are deeply cherished, they often come loaded with calories. This year, why not infuse the Thanksgiving table with a healthier twist, keeping the flavors rich but the fare lighter?

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a choice between taste and health. By weaving in more vegetables, opting for lean proteins, and embracing whole grains, we can transform our feast into a balanced array of nourishment and flavor. It’s about celebrating the holiday’s culinary traditions in a way that also honors our commitment to vibrant living.

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple, but this year, let’s turn it on its head. Swap out the bread for quinoa, a gluten-free grain that’s rich in protein and fiber. Mix it with aromatic herbs like sage and thyme, add some chopped vegetables like carrots and celery, and throw in a handful of dried cranberries for a sweet twist. This stuffing isn’t just a side dish; it’s a conversation starter.

The turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables. This year, let’s opt for a leaner cut by choosing turkey breast. Marinate it with rosemary, garlic, and a bit of olive oil to keep it moist and flavorful. As it roasts to golden perfection, it fills the kitchen with an aroma that promises a mouthwatering main course, minus the unnecessary fats.

End the meal on a sweet note without overindulgence. Core some apples and fill them with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of honey or maple syrup. Bake them until they’re tender and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. It’s a dessert that satisfies the sweet tooth and adds a festive, healthy finale to your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving is more than a feast; it’s a celebration of togetherness, gratitude, and the bounty of the season. By giving our favorite dishes a healthier makeover, we not only cherish these moments but also nurture our well-being. Enjoy this day of thanks, filled with love, laughter, and a feast that’s as good for the body as it is for the soul.

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09.14.23 | Community

The Secrets of Longevity Diets

Much like how joyspotting brings small bursts of happiness into our lives, longevity diets offer a passport to a healthier future. They’re not the latest diet fad but a treasure trove from cultures celebrated for their centenarians. These diets aren’t about restriction, but celebrating foods that have nourished generations.

The Mediterranean region, with its lush olive groves and sparkling blue waters, gives us a diet rich in healthy fats, fresh produce, and fish. Then there are the Blue Zones, regions scattered across the globe, each boasting their unique recipe for longevity. Okinawa offers sweet potatoes, while Loma Linda champions plant-based delights. As varied as they are, each region offers a culinary experience that keeps its inhabitants thriving.

Peel back the layers of these diets, and you’ll find common heroes: vibrant vegetables, whole grains, and natural ingredients, bursting with antioxidants. These foods don’t just fill our stomachs; they fortify our cells, combat oxidative stress, and can even put chronic ailments at bay. It’s like finding those hidden joys in our surroundings; these foods are tiny marvels waiting to be celebrated.

Of course, food is just one slice of the pie. The longest-living people don’t just eat well; they move, cherish community, and embrace positivity. It’s a holistic dance of diet, activity, and mental well-being. Just like the vibrant energy a pet brings into a home, longevity diets infuse life with a zest that extends well beyond our plates.

As you savor your next meal, think of it as an invitation to a life rich in both years and experiences. Whether you’re trying out Mediterranean recipes or simply adding more whole foods, remember: every bite is a step towards a future bursting with health and vitality.

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07.20.23 | Community

Plant-Based Picnics: Delicious and Sustainable Recipes for Outdoor Dining

Just as we appreciate the evolving nature of foods in their flavor, color, and shape, we at Sage Collective similarly believe in the potential for personal growth and evolution, especially when it comes to our dietary choices. So today, we’re shifting our spotlight to the realm of plant-based picnics – a delightful fusion of health, sustainability, and flavor.

Have you ever been on a picnic, basket in hand, blanket over your shoulder, and felt the simple joy of dining in the great outdoors? Picnics have a certain magic about them, blending the nourishment of food with the rejuvenation of nature. We’re here to enrich this experience even further by introducing a plant-based approach.

Why Plant-Based?

A plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, is a powerful way to enhance your health and vitality while reducing environmental impact. As with the curious and colorful heirloom foods, diving into the variety of plant-based foods can be an exciting exploration of new flavors and nutrients. Plus, who says nutrition can’t be delicious?

Plant-based picnics provide a unique opportunity to share this exploration with loved ones. Whether you’re a seasoned plant-based eater or just beginning to dip your toes into this lifestyle, a picnic is a relaxed, enjoyable setting to experience and share these vibrant foods.

Ideas for Your Plant-Based Picnic:

  1. Colorful Veggie Wraps: Pack some whole-grain tortillas with a rainbow of fresh vegetables, hummus, and a sprinkle of herbs. They’re easy to make, easy to carry, and a delightful blend of flavors and textures.
  2. Quinoa Salad: High in protein and filled with fresh vegetables, a quinoa salad is a satisfying and versatile picnic choice.
  3. Fruit Skewers: Thread some fresh seasonal fruits onto skewers for a light, sweet treat. They’re refreshing, fun to eat, and packed with healthful vitamins.

So, why not plan your next outdoor feast around plant-based foods? You’ll be treating yourself, your loved ones, and our planet to a meal that truly nourishes. Remember, vibrant living is not a destination but a journey, filled with exploration, creativity, and open-mindedness. Embracing a plant-based picnic is one delicious step on this journey.

We invite you to share your favorite plant-based recipes with friends, family, and our Sage Collective community. Who knows, your favorite dish might just become someone else’s too. After all, part of vibrant living is sharing what brings us joy and wellness. Happy picnicking!

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04.13.23 | Community

The Link Between Hydration and the Aging Process

The journey for vibrant living is an ongoing journey that encompasses a holistic approach to wellness, self-care, and maintaining a balance in all aspects of life. One of the key components of this lifestyle is proper hydration, which is often underestimated when considering the factors that influence our well-being and the aging process. 

The Importance of Hydration

Water is the foundation of life, and it plays a critical role in maintaining our bodies’ optimal function. The human body is composed of approximately 60% water, which performs numerous essential tasks such as regulating body temperature, aiding digestion, transporting nutrients, and flushing toxins. As we age, however, our body’s water content naturally decreases, making hydration an even more important factor in promoting overall health and well-being.

Dehydration can have a significant impact on the aging process. When our bodies are not adequately hydrated, our skin, joints, and organs can suffer, leading to a myriad of health issues and premature aging. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining a youthful and radiant appearance, supporting cognitive function, promoting joint health, and preserving the vitality of our organs.

Integrating Hydration Practices 

Embracing vibrant living through proper hydration begins with creating and maintaining a daily routine. One of the simplest yet most effective ways to support hydration is by carrying a reusable water bottle and setting reminders on your phone to drink water throughout the day. Developing a habit of having a glass of water before each meal can also make a significant difference in your overall water intake.

In addition to drinking water, incorporating water-rich foods into your diet can further enhance your hydration efforts. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and soups not only provide essential nutrients but also contribute to your daily water intake, promoting a well-rounded and balanced approach to hydration.

It’s important to recognize that individual hydration needs can vary depending on factors such as age, activity level, climate, and overall health. By listening to your body and adjusting your water intake accordingly, you can better support your unique needs and foster a more personalized approach to vibrant living. To make your water more appealing and enjoyable, consider enhancing it with a slice of lemon, cucumber, or strawberry, creating a flavorful and refreshing drink that encourages regular consumption.

The link between hydration and the aging process is a crucial aspect of our lives that is often neglected. But by integrating hydration practices into your daily routine and making a conscious effort to stay adequately hydrated, you can support your body’s natural processes, promote overall wellness, and contribute to a more youthful and radiant appearance. Embrace the power of hydration as a cornerstone of your vibrant living journey and witness its transformative effects on your health and well-being!



Hydration
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02.09.23 | Community

Less Sugar, Less Salt, Less Fat: Foiling The American Diet With Indigenous Ingredients


You will find that among the sheer vastness of our world’s culinary palette — America ranks very low. We face an affliction of fast food restaurants seemingly on every corner and processed foods on every grocery store shelf. That isn’t to say any of these places don’t have tasty foods, because admittedly, some do. But finding healthy food choices can seem like an impossible feat in a Western diet full of excess sodium, saturated fat, refined grains, and calories from solid fats and added sugars. In the past we’ve talked about our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living and how one of the ways we can live more vibrantly is through the use of plant-based dieting. What if many of these healthy options could be found right outside our back door? Today, we introduce you to the indigenous diet.

The Indigenous Diet

Picture this, sweet corn roasting over a fire. Poached eggs lapped over a bed of soft cornmeal within a hearty bowl of black bean soup. None of these dishes are intrinsically difficult to make. Yet every ingredient can be found outside our back door. Poor dietary choices can contribute to many chronic conditions and can put a strain on our body and healthcare system. Indigenous diets serve the purpose of being hyperlocal, ultra seasonal, and ridiculously healthy. They contain no processed food, excess sugar, no wheat (or gluten), no dairy, and no-high cholesterol animal products. It’s naturally low glycemic, high protein, low salt, plant based with lots of grains, seeds, and nuts. Did we mention that it’s utterly delicious? (eat your heart out fast-food!)

It’s easy to miss many of the foods that lie in our backgrounds such as; dandelions, purslane, plantain, and lamb’s ear. These are typically ripped out of the ground as weeds and then thrown away. Most people probably have never taken the time to think of how delicious, interesting, and nutritious they are. So next time, instead of dismissing them, try tossing them into salads, soups or stews. The very acorns we crush beneath the wheels of our vehicles can even be turned into a gluten-free flour. There’s wealth to be discovered on the roads we drive on too — wild hazelnuts, raspberries, strawberries, chokecherries and herbs like sage, juniper, and mustard can all be found along the highway.

Implementing indigenous ingredients into your own plant-based meals can seem daunting. But once your pantry and wares are fully stocked, we can assure you that improvising meals and creating your own recipes will come easily. Through this act of exploring indigenous plants and vegetables that grow in our own backyards, we discover what it truly means to nurture ourselves from mother nature herself.

Indigenous Ingredients
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11.17.22 | Community

Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Filled with family, festivities, and endless food, the holiday season is arguably the best time of the year. But, it can be troublesome for those of us who have built a routine through the rest of the year. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you stay your healthiest. Here’s our recipe for how you can continue vibrant living throughout the holiday season: 

Keep Active

Even with busy schedules that span the last few months of the year, it’s critical to remember staying active is key to a vibrant life. And even though the weather is much less desirable than in summer, there are plenty of fun activities to keep you active! Make plans with family or friends to go ice skating or snowshoeing if you have access, challenge yourself to an aerobic class or a new workout program, or simply participate in exercise snacks

Challenge Yourself to Eat in

We all know that one of the most challenging aspects of winter dining is resisting the urge to order from your favorite restaurant. Even though the temptation is there, challenge yourself to prepare more meals at home this season; not only is it healthier for you, but you have control of what you’re able to put in and take out of your meal, and the experience is always rewarding. Fill your grocery list with fresh ingredients like seasonal fruits and vegetables, proteins like fish, seafood, eggs and low-fat dairy healthy whole-wheat choices like pasta, grains, beans or rice. 

Strive for Balance

One of the best ways to stay healthy during the holiday season while still enjoying the best of it is by finding a balance in everything. Snacking is a great way to balance your hunger throughout the day, so you’re not stuck overeating your later meals. If you’re invited to a party but concerned about what food they will have, offer to bring a healthy dish of your own! And, if you slip up your eating plan, don’t worry about it, get right back to it with your next meal. 

With a mixture of informed diet decisions, regular physical activity and consistent sleep, energy will only rise, and stress will decrease, fitting your body and mind with all the tools it needs to handle the rush of the holiday season!

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10.27.22 | Arts & Culture

Why You Should Be Eating a Global Palette

Cultures across the world are shaped by many things, like religion, technology, and economies, but a culture’s cuisine is often its greatest treasure. A global palette not only opens the door to learning more about a new culture, but also helps share the story of some of the world’s longest-lived and healthiest communities. And while every culture varies in diet, each exemplifies its unique take on living a vibrant life. 

In America, healthy eating is typically visualized through a Eurocentric lens, often reflecting things such as greens and smoothies. However, there’s more to healthy eating than just those popular linkages. Understanding the significance of cultural cuisine helps to explain that food for many across the world is much more than just an energy source and, instead, a representation of heritage and ancestry.

North African cuisine in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria, in particular, benefit from the influence of various cultures around the area, from the French to the Turks. Cultural dishes combine hearty ingredients like olive oil, fresh veggies and rich spices all bringing a plethora of nutrients to those who relish the delicious meals. 

In Japan, where the longest-living people on the Earth live in Okinawa, people have been following a similar cultural diet for centuries. Low sugar and dairy paired with meals consistent in rice, veggies and fish ensure that every meal is complete. And, even with limited fruit in their diet, the health throughout the culture still thrives. 

Italian culture is a perfect example of how misconceptions about healthy eating are proven wrong. Although the culture is known for its pasta and pizza, Italians are also known for their use of fresh, quality ingredients. While carbs fill many of their meals, the use of high-quality local vegetables and cheeses proves that even when you might not think you’re eating the healthiest, you still technically can be!

A quick look around the world is a great reminder of the health benefits and significance of immersing yourself in the foods of other cultures. And even if a cuisine may not read the healthiest on the outside, the thought and care put into it may be much more significant than we often realize. 

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09.08.22 | Community

Breakfast is Still the Most Important Meal of the Day

Yes, that old saying you’ve heard your whole life is correct: breakfast is still the most important meal of the day! Whether you’re an everyday breakfast eater or unfamiliar with the practice, September is the perfect month to pick up the habit and learn more about the importance of the meal during Better Breakfast Month. 

Besides filling your body with healthy nutrients, vitamins and other energy-rich minerals, studies have found that eating breakfast regularly comes with many benefits you would otherwise not have access to if you skipped the meal. One key benefit is the jumpstart of the body’s metabolism, encouraging it to burn calories throughout the day. While starting your morning off with a meal informs the body that there are calories to be burnt throughout the day, skipping the meal tells your body to conserve them. 

And while we all love bacon and eggs or syrup-layered pancakes, there are countless other nutrient-forward recipes you can incorporate into your morning diet to reap the most of the meal’s benefits. Yogurt parfaits and smoothies are a perfect way to fill up on fresh fruit and protein in the morning, and homemade energy bars make for powerful boosts on the go. However, there are still ways to bring added health to favorite meals; make your waffles using a whole-grain mixture or pair your eggs with a slice of toast and mashed avocado.

It makes sense; by filling your body with healthy foods first thing in the morning, you’re less inclined to reach for your favorite, less-healthy snacks later throughout the day! To learn more about Better Breakfast Month and discover recipes you can make on your own, visit here.

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09.01.22 | Community

The Significance of Healthy Snacking

Many people grow up being told that eating snacks throughout the day isn’t the best way to fill hunger, but that isn’t necessarily true. Practicing healthy eating habits, like those we encourage through Sage Collective’s 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, certainly plays a significant role in the body’s health and wellbeing, but so does snacking. Discover the significance of healthy snacking and a few of the many benefits it provides below:

When snacking, it’s important to remember to stick to the same guidelines you apply to other foods and choose fresh, natural and plant-based foods. After discovering which foods to add to your snacking list, adding them to your daily diet produces countless lifestyle benefits. Here are just a couple: 

Fuels Movement

Sometimes all you need is a boost of energy to get you through the rest of the day when you’re feeling tired, and a snack is the perfect solution! When you’re not hungry enough for a full meal but need to pick me up, having something to snack on by your side is a great way to fuel you through the rest of the day. However, avoid foods normally associated with refueling, like soda. Instead, choose nutrient-rich snacks like a healthy trail mix or energy bar. 

Prevents Overeating

It’s easy to get hungry in between meals, and when you don’t have a snack, it’s even easier to overeat. Having food to snack on between mealtimes is essential to prevent overeating. Grab a fruit full of healthy carbs like a banana or a protein-packed snack like nuts or yogurt. Not only will this reduce the amount of time between meals – in turn reducing hunger – but it also provides your body with a variety of nutrients it might have required or craving throughout the day. 

Improves Focus

Another great benefit of snacking on your favorite foods throughout the day is the impressive ability to help improve concentration. When blood sugar drops and metabolism slows, the body becomes cranky, tired and distracted from the present. Thankfully, you can easily prevent a poor mood and sluggish productivity by adding snacks to your daily regimen!

Next time you feel bad about grabbing a midday snack, don’t! The right snacks can fuel you through the day, improve your focus and empower your body to stay healthy for the long haul.

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