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09.15.22 | Sage Advice

The Season for Slowing Down

With fall ending and autumn right around the corner, it’s time to wave warm weather and long days goodbye and welcome the vibrant colors and brisk breezes that come with the new season. You might also be experiencing shifts in your own life too, which is why it’s critical to continue filling your days with activities that enrich both your body and your soul. Today, we’re sharing how you can ensure vibrant living this fall: 

Get Outside

There’s no better place to be than outside in the fall. Encourage yourself to embrace the outdoors this season by utilizing community paths and trails or taking a trip to an apple orchard or park. Another great way to get outdoors is by planning a hiking trip or a road trip to witness the colors that come with the autumn season. While you’re outdoors, indulge in an awe-walk or a podcast.

Choose In-Season Cuisine 

With fall comes some of the tastiest seasonal produce with fruits like apples, pears and pumpkins and vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash. Visit your local farmers market or store to pick up the fresh produce and cook away! Some of our favorite fall recipes include pumpkin oatmeal, chicken and white bean soup and adobe chicken and kale enchiladas

Slow Down

If summer left you scattered or feeling like you had no time to yourself, fall is the perfect time to slow down and do more for your wellbeing. Incorporate more mindful moments throughout your day and make it a point to spend more time on yourself. Yoga and meditation are both great activities for grounding and reflection, and in the fall, you can do both outsides!

Fall is the season for slowing down. Embrace the cool weather, make the most of the season by cooking up season recipes and ground your mind, body and soul. 

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09.08.22 | Sage Advice

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 | Sage Advice

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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08.18.22 | Sage Advice

The Enigma of Heirloom Foods

Like everything, foods evolve with time, changing in flavor, color and even shape. And yes, while we’re cautious to eat any of those weird looking foods, they’re often filled with a plethora of flavor and nutrients. Today, we’re exploring heirloom foods and why you shouldn’t let their appearance hold you back from trying them.

What are heirloom foods?

Have you ever noticed that weird-shaped carrot or the odd-colored tomato at your grocery store? Those are heirloom foods! Like all other aspects of life, as time passes, agricultural products and systems change, progressing the popularity of some foods and lessening the use of others. This leads to the emergence of heirloom foods – foods that may have been commonly eaten throughout previous generations but are less so today. 

Why you should add them to your diet

Heirlooms don’t only come with unique looks, but they also provide many nutritious benefits other foods don’t have. The genetics within the plants also typically provide them with pest, disease and weather resistance. 

Whether you’re snacking on an heirloom vegetable, fruit, or egg, each food is also sure to be filled with flavors you haven’t experienced before. The taste is what draws many to the established foods. Beyond their flavor, buying heirloom foods is also a great way to support local farms in your area that may grow them instead of buying usual produce from large-scale farms. 

Don’t hesitate to grab those colorful potatoes or weirdly shaped tomatoes next time you spot them out, you could be missing out on a flavor-filled heirloom treat!

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05.26.22 | Sage Advice

Elevate Your Meal By Boosting Flavor And Benefits

At Sage Collective, our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living at Sage Collective serves as the backbone of our philosophy and a realistic tool for everyone to utilize for living well. And while we believe each pillar is necessary to create a vibrant lifestyle, many are traced back to what we put in our bodies. Today, we’re exploring how you can implement a plant-based diet and moderate calorie intake into your life and still elevate your meal with flavor and countless health benefits. 

One of the easiest ways anyone can elevate their cooking is to stop thinking of food as “healthy”. Although it may seem difficult, changing how you think of food can also affect how you eat it. Instead of telling yourself that you have to eat healthy foods or diet, use the words fresh, healing, nourishing or even gourmet. 

Buy Fresh

Purchasing your produce fresh and locally is a sure way that you will find more flavor and benefits in your meals. Fresh produce is packed with countless vitamins and minerals that you can find little elsewhere. The nutrients stored within them have been found to reduce the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease and even help the body produce more energy. And not only will eating fresh make you feel better, but it also heightens the flavor of your meals! So, next time you find yourself at your local farmer’s market, make sure to stock up on some of your favorite goods.

When In Doubt, Add Lemon Juice

If you aren’t the world’s best cook but still want to put a little more effort into whipping up your fresh meal from home, you’re going to appreciate this tip – add lemon juice! Not only is lemon juice usually easily accessible, but it’s also very easy for cooking beginners to use. Alongside the acidity it can add to a meal, lemons and lemon juice also come with a high concentration of vitamin C, a significant aid to the body’s healing process and can aid in digestive and heart health. 

Cook With Wine

Like eating plant-based and moderate calorie intake, another pillar to vibrant living includes, moderate alcohol intake, especially wine. Cooking with wine helps give your food an extra layer of complex, delicious flavors, and it also retains the same benefits you would get from drinking it! The trick with cooking with wine is to use the same wines that you would drink. Some nourishing recipes include steamed mussels and pan-roasted halibut

To live a vibrant lifestyle, you must know what you’re putting in your body. And while eating ‘healthy’ might scare some, fresh food can always be elevated, packing both extra flavor and benefits.

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12.14.21 | Sage Advice

Deliciously Healthy Winter Dishes For Any Gatherings

When winter comes around, no matter where you end up, it’s not difficult to find the sweet treats and savory meals that are traditionally associated with the season. However, for those inspired to maintain or start conscious eating habits, the winter can be a difficult time filled with temptation. Today, inspired by our vibrant living principles, we’re sharing a few deliciously healthy winter dishes that anyone can enjoy this winter. 

Sweet Potatoes

A favorite during this time of year, sweet potatoes are hard not to enjoy. While most people enjoy sweet potatoes even sweeter, baked with brown sugar and marshmallows, there are various methods to cook the vegetables that are just as enjoyable but much healthier. Like a standard potato, sweet potatoes can be served in a variety of ways. Baking them whole, mashing them, and even dicing them in a salad proves how versatile the vegetables can be. No matter how you cook them, we promise they won’t lose the sweetness that makes them so delectable in the first place. 

Winter Crudités

Who doesn’t love a mix of fresh vegetables? Crudités make the perfect winter dish for that reason. Not only can the appetizer appeal to virtually anyone, but it comes with a plethora of highly vitamin-packed vegetables that you can personally pick and choose. If you want to put a twist on the classic appetizer, make your own tasty dip to pair with the refreshing produce. 

Festive Fruit Salad

While it might seem out of season, a festive and healthy fruit salad is sure to excite taste buds in the winter. Similar to the crudités, not only is this dish healthy, but you can bring it and eat it anywhere and anytime. The nourishing food makes a perfect option for a morning snack or a late-night dessert. Along with the fruit, don’t be afraid to add in extra ingredients that bring even more flavor to the salad like mint, basil, lavender or even cayenne pepper for a little heat. 

Seasonal Squash

Another versatile food, squash is the perfect vegetable to substitute in and out of almost every traditional meal. Typically harvested in the fall, the nutrient-packed acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, spaghetti squash and butternut squash are available for cooking your favorite dishes year-round. Some seasonal favorites include butternut squash mac and cheese, soup and casserole, stuffed acorn squash and roasted spaghetti squash with kale

Even with the sweet temptations that surround us throughout the holiday season, healthy options are never too far out of reach. Whether you’re serving food at home for yourself or preparing a dish to bring to a gathering, there are various methods we can each take to continue practicing conscious eating habits and living vibrantly.

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09.02.21 | Sage Advice

6 “superfoods” you can incorporate to boost your health

As we continue to change with age, eating healthy can be a vital step in caring for your future self. Taking inspiration from our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, which you can read more about here, we compiled a list of our favorite “superfoods” you can easily introduce into your diet. These highly nutritious items can be added to a larger meal or snack to boost your health and help to achieve a balanced diet.

Tea

Not only is tea low in calories, it is also a refreshing alternative to coffee, soda and other beverages. Notably high in antioxidants, tea can be a tool for weight management and has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (cancer-suppressing) benefits. One study suggested that the regular consumption of white and green teas resulted in a vast reduction of stress for most participants.

Avocados

Avocados are much more than the brunch staple or spread for toast that they’ve become over the last decade. As a great addition to a salad, guacamole or being eaten simply with a pinch of salt and pepper, avocados provide numerous health benefits. Rich in fiber and and healthy fats, avocados can be a great substitute for eggs, mayonnaise, sour cream and even butter.. 

Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine and culture for millennia. They are known to increase the health of the immune system through their many therapeutic properties. After much scientific research, we are learning more about the dramatic positive effects mushrooms can have on preventing cancer, lowering blood pressure and overall increasing well-being. You can incorporate mushrooms into your diet by cooking them along with other vegetables, adding them to salads and pasta or simply frying them with healthy oil. Some of the most popular mushrooms you should look out for at the farmer’s market or grocery store are Portabella, Shiitake, Buttons, Oyster, Enoki and Lion’s Mane. 

Dark Leafy Greens & Cruciferous Vegetables

There is a wide consensus among nutritionists that vibrant green vegetables and those in the cabbage family offer some of the best nutrients and vitamins. These include arugula, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, radishes and turnips. Most of these are full of zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber, and what seems like a never-ending list of enriching minerals that can reduce the chances of heart disease and diabetes while lowering blood pressure and preventing some cancers. 

Salmon

Salmon is both tasty and full of healthy protein, B vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Because of its abundance of rich nutrients, salmon has more health benefits compared to other animal products and is known to help prevent heart disease and diabetes. One way you can enjoy this hearty fish is by baking it with lemons, herbs and a healthy (oil, avocado or sesame).  

Garlic

Garlic packs a punch in flavor and delivers huge nutritional benefits, too. Each clove of garlic contains magnesium, vitamin C and fiber, which are all essential to a balanced diet. Research indicates its effectiveness to support the immune system while reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. One study even found that garlic provides antibacterial and antiviral characteristics. 

However you incorporate these superfoods into your meal planning and cooking regimen, they offer delicious and easy ways to boost your overall health and well-being.

A dinner plate contains salmon, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, and a mix of other vegetables and sauce.
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05.27.21 | Sage Advice

Four Ways to Help Maintain Healthy Bones

As we age, bone health becomes increasingly important. Older adults often experience bone loss (low bone density that makes the bones weaker), which leads to increased risk of fractures. Luckily, to help combat this risk, there are habits and behaviors you can adopt to help protect your bone health. Here’s four ways for older adults to help maintain healthy bones:

Include physical activity in your daily routine

Those that are physically inactive are at higher risk of osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle) compared to those that are more physically active. To help promote new bone growth and maintain existing bone density, doctors recommend physical activities, such as strength training and weight bearing exercises. For older adults, this translates to incorporating walking (whether leisurely or at a brisk pace) and using light dumbbells if possible.

Eat high-calcium foods throughout the day

Calcium is the main mineral in your bones, and the most important mineral for bone health. A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures. Therefore, it’s important to eat high-calcium foods throughout the day. For men ages 51-70, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. That recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older and for men age 71 and older.

Maintain a stable, healthy weight

People who are underweight have a higher risk of developing bone disease, while excess body weight places added stress on a person’s bones. Dieting — and regularly gaining or losing weight — also places undue stress on your bone health. Additionally, low body weight is the main contributing factor for reduced bone density and bone loss in postmenopausal women, due to the loss of the bone-protecting effects of estrogen. This is why the best way to maintain healthy bones is to maintain a stable, healthy weight for your body.

Get plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K

Vitamin D and Vitamin K are both important when it comes to building strong bones. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, while Vitamin K-2 aids in reducing calcium loss and helping minerals bind to the bone. You can get Vitamin D with plenty of sunlight exposure, as well as through a diet full of oily fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereal. You can get Vitamin K-2 from foods such as dairy products (especially hard cheeses), fermented foods such as sauerkraut, natto (a Japanese soybean product), egg yolks, and chicken. You can also consult your doctor about taking vitamin supplements. 

With the right adjustments to your regular routine, you can help maintain healthy bones and enjoy the perks of a healthier fitness and food regimen. 

A dinner plate with salmon and a vibrant assortment of toppings and seasonings
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02.16.21 | Sage Advice

Your Daily Cup of Coffee: Helping Your Health or Harming?

Coffee is an indelible part of most people’s morning routines. If you don’t feel human before you’ve had your first cup of coffee, you’re not alone. A study conducted by the National Coffee Association found that 64% of Americans drink coffee, and a New England Journal of Medicine article “Coffee, Caffeine and Health” called coffee the most widely consumed psychoactive agent in the world. But is getting your coffee fix helping or harming your health? Let’s take a look.

Helpful Benefits of Coffee

First things first: what is “the right” amount of coffee to consume? Lucky for us die-hard coffee lovers, Harvard Health Publishing describes moderate coffee consumption as three to four cups per day. As is our unofficial motto at Sage Collective, everything is best consumed and enjoyed in moderation. 

Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., research nutritionist for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also comments: “Caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee. But coffee also contains antioxidants and other active substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease.”

In fact, according to Heathline, one cup of coffee includes the following amounts of daily recommended dosages for vitamins: 11% of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 3% of manganese and potassium and 2% of magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3). So if you’re a moderate coffee drinker (3-4) cups, you do the math… it’s like taking gummy vitamin supplements, right?

Coffee is also believed to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, lower risk for certain types of cancer (such as liver and colon), lower risk of stroke, help fight off gallstones and even help you live longer. 

Harmful Health Effects of Coffee

Now here’s where we talk about the other side of moderate consumption: overconsumption of coffee. Whether you exceed your daily limit of 4-5 cups, or whether you’re a novice coffee drinker who hasn’t built up a caffeine tolerance, coffee drinking could produce negative effects.

Negative effects of coffee overconsumption include increased blood pressure, headaches, nervousness, restlessness and anxiety, dizziness, heartburn, muscle tremors, pounding heart, dehydration, frequent trips to the bathroom and insomnia. Noticing a pattern? Most, if not all, of these negative side effects are directly induced by too much caffeine. 

The solution? Trade your next cup of coffee for a glass of water, or try decaf for a while. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: coffee consumption is great, but only in moderation. So drink away, all ye lovers of that good morning cuppa joe, but remember when to stop.

A clear mug of black coffee sits on a plain white surface, with coffee beans scattered around it
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02.11.21 | Sage Advice

Vibrant Living Breakdown: Moderate Alcohol Intake

Nine ways of vibrant living is Sage Collective’s innovative model championing happier, healthier more engaged lives for older adults. The model incorporates everything from physical and mental health and wellness to engaging in one’s surrounding community. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the sixth component: moderate alcohol intake.

Alcohol is a double-edged sword in our society. It’s the foundation of many social interactions: we meet friends, family and old connections over a drink at the bar, while also using it as a fundamental element of many family and other gatherings. But just as easily, it can also be a source of addiction and harm, thanks to peer pressure and overconsumption. The polar nature of these two realities means many people have a strong reaction to alcohol: they’re either in favor of it or against it. 

At Sage Collective, we will never flatly discourage the use of alcohol in our activities, or in our forthcoming facilities. Our approach to alcohol consumption is this: like all things, it’s okay to partake in moderation. For as many negative impacts as binge drinking may have (including, but not limited to, liver damage, stomach distress and impaired judgment) there are benefits to drinking spirits such as red wine in moderation. 

Because red wine is rich in antioxidants, some healthcare professionals recommend the occasional glass with dinner. One study even demonstrated that forty adults drinking 13.5 mL of red wine daily over a period of two weeks experienced increased antioxidant levels — a result which is linked to decreased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even heart disease. Having high levels of antioxidants also assists in reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to determine the level of alcohol intake that feels right for them. But a good rule of thumb is always practice moderation, keep your health top of mind and only drink when you want to, not because you feel pressured to.

Red wine is poured from a bottle into a stemmed wine glass
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