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11.16.23 | Uncategorized

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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11.02.23 | Uncategorized

November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is often associated with Thanksgiving, a time to express gratitude and come together as families. But the month also holds a special significance for family caregivers. Welcome to National Family Caregivers Month – a period dedicated to acknowledging the silent heroes among us who dedicate their lives to caring for loved ones.

What started as National Family Caregivers Week in the mid-1990s has since evolved, thanks to President Barack Obama’s proclamation in 2012, into a month-long tribute. This expansion wasn’t just a mere extension of time but rather a recognition of the year-round efforts these caregivers undertake. 

While showing appreciation is a crucial aspect of this month, its scope goes beyond acknowledgment. The aim is to rally support for caregivers, raise awareness about the challenges they face, and provide them with vital resources. The Caregivers Action Network (CAN), for instance, introduces a theme each year. This year’s theme is #CaregiversConnect, which spotlights the importance of connections as a way to educate and support others. 

By shining a light on the hardships and trials caregivers endure, we pave the way for better policies, resources, and societal understanding. Whether it’s lobbying for better workplace support, highlighting the emotional strain, or emphasizing the financial toll of caregiving, the advocacy element of this month is pivotal.

As individuals, there’s much we can do. From offering to babysit, assisting with chores, or merely lending an empathetic ear, every bit helps. Community groups and local initiatives can also play a role, perhaps by setting up support forums or offering respite care services. The strength of a community lies in its unity, and together, we can ensure our caregivers feel seen, supported, and valued.

As you move through November, take a moment to think about the caregivers in your life. They might be neighbors, friends, or even family members. While their sacrifices often go unnoticed, this month serves as a reminder of the immeasurable value they bring to our communities and lives. 

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06.16.22 | Sage Advice

Simple Ways You Can Expel Stress This Summer

As one of the pillars for our model of 9 Ways of Vibrant Living at Sage Collective, we believe stress reduction is crucial to living a vibrant life. And while stress is a normal component of life, our focus isn’t to eliminate it but rather to learn how to manage, control and minimize it. Today, we’re spotlighting four tools everyone can utilize this summer and throughout the year to reduce stress:

Get Outside

Spending time outdoors is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress throughout the summer. While sunshine is accessible year-round, summertime is when you can benefit the most from the vitamin D it supplies! Vitamin gain leads to stronger and healthier bones and boosts immune systems. Research has even found that exposing yourself to fresh air and natural light for as little as 15 minutes a day helps to decrease emotional distress. 

Spend Time With Friends and Family

Time outdoors isn’t the only thing you should be adding to your daily routine in the summer. Another way to assure less stress and anxiety is by spending more time with your friends and family. As the proverb goes, “it takes a village.” Community and safe spaces are extremely significant to our wellbeing, especially when going through a stressful time. So, setting aside time to spend with family and friends is a sure way to help you stay stress-free! 

Reflect on Your Day

Whether it’s prayer, meditation, or simply practicing gratitude, taking time to reflect on your day is another way you can expel stress. As little as ten minutes of any of those activities can leave a profound impact on how you view your days, even when you may be facing stress. Along with reflecting on your own, taking opportunities to practice acts of service is another powerful way to relieve stress while engaging with your community and building relationships!

Take a Nap

Naps aren’t reserved for just little kids and are much better for our health than many people realize. Along with being a great way to break up your day and provide a much-needed break, naps have been found to lower the risk of heart disease, increase the body’s energy and lower stress! Naps don’t have to be long either; studies show that the most beneficial nap length for our bodies is only 10 to 15 minutes.

Living with stress isn’t enjoyable for anyone, but once we utilize the correct techniques and tools, controlling and minimizing stress is much easier than it sounds.

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04.14.22 | Sage Advice

Literary Art: Our Favorite Picks This Spring

With a new season comes an endless list of exciting refreshing reads. As we continue to spotlight the importance of family connection, identity and storytelling through our Vibrant Living Program, we’re thrilled to spotlight some of the latest works of literacy art that celebrate each of those themes. Here are our picks: 

The Trayvon Generation, Elizabeth Alexander

Author Elizabeth Alexander reflects on the traumas of racism and racial violence in this passionate literature mix. Pulling soulful works from Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks and a blend of expressive visual art, Alexander spotlights both the tragedies and hopes for what she refers to as the Trayvon Generation. Named one of New York Times’ and TIME Magazine’s most anticipated works of the year, The Trayvon Generation is an essential pick filled with eye-opening short stories and powerful lyricism. 

Because Our Fathers Lied, Craig McNamara

Families often consist of complicated relationships built from years of conflict and confusion. In his latest book, Craig McNamara shares the roots of his estranged relationship with his father, Robert S. McNamara, one of the architects of the Vietnam War. Through this courageous telling of love and neglect, McNamara captures a tale of multigenerational friction, sure to make any reader reflect on their own kindred connections.

12 Notes: On Life and Creativity, Quincy Jones

Known for his legendary music, Chicago native Quincy Jones explores literacy art with his latest project, 12 Notes: On Life and Creativity. The self-reflective novel features Jones sharing his wisdom on discovering a creative muse and using it to uplift yourself and those around you. Jones unveils his intimate creative process and shares a personal guide filled with lessons intended to embolden readers.

Finding Me: A Memoir, Viola Davis

Acclaimed actress Viola Davis finds a refreshing way to share her heartening life story in her first memoir, Finding Me. Davis, who believes that sharing stories “is the most powerful empathetic tool we have,” courageously documents her journey from living in poverty and turmoil to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. Finding Me is more than just a deep reflection of life; it’s also an empowering story of expressing oneself and discovering identity.  

Whether you prefer reading alone, with a companion or in a book club, don’t hesitate to pick one or two of these books up for yourself this spring. And as with all good reads, spread the word to friends and family when you finish a book you really love!

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03.09.21 | Sage Advice

Vibrant Living Breakdown: Engagement in Family Life

Nine Ways of Vibrant Living is Sage Collective’s innovative model that champions more meaningful, engaged lives for older adults, and that serves as the backbone of our philosophy. We celebrate and uplift components of vibrant living that span from health and wellness, to arts and culture, to spiritual enrichment — but tying it all together is an underlying feeling of connectedness, care and love. That’s why our eighth component is engagement in family life.

We believe in the deeply transformative power of being part of a community. At Sage Collective, we are committed to providing a genuine sense of community for everyone involved with us, from program participants to building residents to our partners and beyond. Family doesn’t just refer to the bloodlines you’re born into; it also incorporates the loving connections you make throughout a lifetime and the people that you choose to surround yourself with. 

When it comes to our plan for programming and housing, we want to take an active role in developing meaningful friendships and embracing existing family ties. To do so, we intend to provide opportunities such by creating camaraderie-generating participant activities, offering family support activities and policies for our residents as well as the incorporating intergenerational teaching, learning and cultural activities.

The latter piece of this, intergenerational teaching, is particularly important to us when we think about engagement in family and community life. Older adults have a wealth of wisdom and experience to pass onto younger generations — but in the other direction, so too do the youth have much to teach their elders. We believe that honoring and encouraging relationships across generations is the key to creating more unified, meaningful lives for all.

From interpersonal family dynamics, to a more expansive view of community, we’re excited to begin fostering these relationships with and for our participants.

A young African American woman embraces an older African American woman who wears a silk headscarf
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