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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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07.28.22 | Sage Advice

How to Combat Senioritis As An Adult

It’s not just teenagers who can feel senioritis adults can too. We’ve all experienced it at some point; laziness, disinterest, having no motivation, not caring about the outcomes of our life. But just because these symptoms of checking out are universally experienced doesn’t make them okay to ignore. Today, we’re investigating adult senioritis, how checking out can affect your wellbeing and tools you can use to combat it:

What Senioritis Looks Like As An Adult

You might know senioritis as the affliction many seniors in high school experience as they enter their final year when their motivation declines and their drive to succeed diminishes. Though this phenomenon isn’t just found in young adults, anyone can experience senioritis. 

Typically, senioritis begins when there is a sign of a major transformation occurring in life, like graduating high school or even starting a new job. It begins with a fear of the future and feeling like you may not have control over a situation. As we age, many of the small tasks we enjoy earlier in life become tiresome and lose value to us, which can lead to checking out. 

However, it’s important to remember that checking out looks different to every person. The key is to recognize the signs and signals once you see them and begin taking action to snap out of the senioritis. 

How You Can Combat It

After acknowledging that you may be checking out, don’t start by setting unattainable goals for yourself – start small. Give yourself a to-do list of a handful of goals to reach every day, whether that’s going to the grocery store to run errands or making sure you respond to all of your emails. 

Once you’ve given yourself a list of small goals to aim for, the next step is to pair an incentive to it! Use motivations that connect back to why you might be checking out in the first place; if you’re starting a job, go shopping for new work clothes. Whatever your incentive is, use that to help drive you to complete your goals. 

As you tackle senioritis and become an active participant in your life again, remember to take it one step at a time. It might not always feel like you’ll be able to step out of it, but you will. 

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07.21.22 | Sage Advice

Personal Statements and Manifestos

As we continue our Vibrant Living Programming, we also want to resume sharing rich content that compliments our spirited training, and this month’s theme is freedom. Along with independence and opportunity, freedom can mean many things to many people. Today, we’re exploring how independence inspires purpose, how personal manifestos can propel that purpose even further and how you can create one of your own. 

A personal manifesto performs as a declaration of what you truly want from life, which makes it the perfect tool for engaging personal independence. Traditionally, you might know manifestos as published statements declaring the intentions or beliefs of organizations, similar to our Vibrant Living Manifesto. However, manifestos are fluid and can be similarly used by individuals to act as both a statement of ethics and a call to action and are powerful in giving life meaning and direction.

Whether you’re in search of a guiding compass, a frame, a reminder of your priorities or simply inspiration, creating a personal manifesto is sure to provide your life with a foundation of additional meaning and direction. Learn how to write your own below: 

Begin your manifesto by writing down your values, beliefs, behaviors you apply to life and other areas you want to address. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to write, it might be easier to ask yourself questions about those themes. Remember, personal manifestos are exactly how they sound, personal, so yours is likely to be unique to itself. 

After creating your list, start to transform each point of interest into active, declarative statements; use powerful language, don’t worry about the length and remember to keep it uplifting and positive. When finished, make a copy and put it somewhere you will see every day; your manifesto could be the perfect tool for vibrant living, write and live it now!

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07.14.22 | Sage Advice

Take A Break: How Microbreaks Can Change Your Day

At Sage Collective, we encourage self-care through many elements of our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living. Taking advantage of tools like meditation and even going to the museum to relieve stress and fatigue can be game-changing when it comes to our health. Another often unused device is taking microbreaks. Learn more about their power and impact on our well-being here:

Whether you have limited availability throughout the day or you’re uncomfortable making time for yourself, studies have found that scheduled breaks leave a powerful impact on the body and mind. Microbreaks in particular – lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes – can leave even larger impacts on our wellbeing. 

Sophia Cho, co-author of research conducted by the Journal of Applied Phycology states, “A five-minute break can be golden if you take it at the right time.” The paper found that microbreaks were useful in conserving and managing energy and engagement throughout the day. 

Besides the vast health benefits that come with taking microbreaks throughout the day, another comfortable aspect behind the tool is that the activity can involve anything you want. You can easily break up your routine by taking a power nap, walking during your meeting, stretching or even talking to a friend on the phone. 

So, next time you find yourself in need of a minute or two of rest and relaxation, listen to your body and take a break. 

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07.07.22 | Sage Advice

The Importance of Personal Freedom and Independence

Independence and freedom are critical for everyone, but the older we get, the more significant their effects can have on us. While being independent is understood universally as having freedom, for individuals – specifically adults – the word can have a much deeper meaning and impact. Today, we’re diving into just how independence benefits us all as we continue to age. 

There’s no question that with age comes a plethora of changes to our minds, bodies and surroundings, and independence is sometimes the only thing we feel we have control over. Maintaining that control over our independence is just one aspect of ensuring you are living vibrantly and comes with its own rich benefits. 

Elevates a Sense of Purpose

Because independence is such an empowering, enriching privilege, it’s extremely powerful in granting a sense of purpose to those who have it. The opportunity to create goals, large and small, in hopes of accomplishing them is one of the most significant reasons for this characteristic. Whether you’re aiding in the lives of your family, friends or community, or working on yourself, having the freedom to set objectives provides a powerful sense of purpose. 

Encourages Relationship Development 

It isn’t easy to keep up with the newest technology and cultural developments, especially as an older adult. Building and maintaining relationships that provide access to the right resources is crucial for personal independence. Whether you have a family that helps you stay in the loop by navigating you through the latest technology or a neighbor who checks in on you every few days, community and independence go hand in hand for empowering a vibrant life. 

Enables Individuality

While a sense of purpose and relationship building is essential, independence has a significant impact on how you feel as an individual. When the divisions in your life are left out of your control, it’s not hard to feel a loss of yourself and your freedoms, which is why it’s critical to maintain a vibrant lifestyle and your sense of self, no matter what environment you find yourself.

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06.23.22 | Sage Advice

Smoothies: How You Can Pack Everything Into A Delicious Drink

Good dietary choices make for the foundation of good health. And, as we age and our bodies change, these decisions become more and more important for our wellbeing. Previously we’ve shared various healthy eating tips everyone can follow to keep you and your diet on the right track throughout the year. Today, we’re spotlighting one nutrient-packed refreshment that – thanks to the season’s ample availability of fresh fruits and vegetables – is the perfect for summer: smoothies. 

The Benefits Behind Smoothies

Eating fresh produce is critical to everyone’s health, and thanks to smoothies’ ability to condense large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, they make the perfect snack to fill up on nutrients and boost wellness. For those looking to increase their digestive health, smoothies provide the perfect opportunity to fuel your body with high-fiber foods like strawberries, bananas and dark leafy greens without singling each ingredient out.

Because of the large amount of water contained in many of the ingredients found in most smoothies, they make staying hydrated easy throughout the hot summer months when it’s most important. They’re also a perfect way to start your day thanks to the extra boost of vitamins and energy they provide and the fact that they usually reduce food cravings throughout the day and are surprisingly filling.

Make Your Own

Besides the seemingly endless benefits that come from smoothies, what makes them so convenient is the ability to customize them to your liking and dietary needs. Whether you want to target protein intake by using yogurts and nut butter or antioxidant-rich produce like spinach and blueberries, there’s no way to go wrong. Here are two of our favorite recipes: 

 

Green Smoothie: 

2 cups of spinach or preferred green

1 cup of your milk or juice of choice

1 banana cut into chunks

½ cup of pineapple chunks

½ cup of grapes

¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt

Ice as needed

 

Berries and Vegetable Smoothie:

1 cup of blueberries

1 banana cut into chunks

1 cup of spinach or preferred green

1 cup of milk or juice of choice

¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of nut butter of choice

1 tablespoon of flax seeds

Ice as needed

 

The directions for making a smoothie are simple. Just add all of the ingredients to a blender, blend and enjoy!

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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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06.09.22 | Sage Advice

Sage Collective’s Guide to Summer Wellness

We believe supporting healthy eating, outdoor activity, and self-care is always important, but summer is arguably the best time to practice all of the above! The warm weather and all that comes with it makes the season the perfect time to focus on individual wellbeing. Today, we’re sharing what you should be focusing on this season to guarantee nothing but the best for your body and mind:

Hydration

The key to a healthy and enjoyable summer is staying hydrated. While hydration is consequential during any season, it’s especially important to pay attention to in the summer months. Daily fluid intakes vary by the body, health condition, medications and even daily activity, but the consensus is that drinking water should become part of everyone’s daily routine throughout the summer. 

While drinking water is an amazing way to keep hydrated, there are plenty of other ways you can do so. Eating foods with high water content, like cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit and peppers, and taking probiotics are great ways to prohibit dehydration. And, if you aren’t a water drinker, try adding a few different ingredients like fresh lemons, berries or other fruits to add delicious flavor without the artificial preservatives or sweets!

Skincare

Protection from the sun and its harmful UV rays are essential for everyone during the summer months. While it does come with its benefits, like Vitamin D, when exposed to the sunlight for too long without protection, your body becomes more prone to wrinkles, dryness, age spots and even forms of skin cancer. 

That’s why it’s critical to protect your skin with anything from sunscreen to the clothes you wear. The key to skincare in the summer begins with sunscreen. SPF levels of 30 or higher are usually recommended, as well as reapplying throughout the day, but what’s most important is that you like what you’re putting on your body. Other ways to help avoid the sun’s harmful rays is by wearing lip balms, hats, sunglasses and other skin-protecting cosmetics. 

Practice Self-care

Because of the warm weather, longer days and more energy we feel during the summer in general, it’s the perfect time to start adding more self-care into your routine. Find some time in the long day to begin developing your exercise routine or encourage yourself to eat healthier by planting fresh fruits and vegetables in your garden. 

This is the best time to begin any new healthy lifestyle habits that can keep running through the end of the year and spend more time focusing on yourself. 

The bright sunlight, fresh air, and longer days are just some of the reasons why summertime is one of the most fulfilling times of the year. But don’t forget to focus on your health and wellness throughout the season!

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06.03.22 | Sage Advice

Introducing Our Newest Board Member: Camille Love

With a passion for the empowerment and health of her community, Camille Love always knew that she would thrive in the healthcare field. And today, with more than 16 years of experience under her belt, she continues to search for opportunities where she can lend her expertise in community healthcare. The transition of long-time member Angela Higginbotham from our Board recently created such an opportunity for Camille Love and added to the related expertise of Sage Collective as it pursues ways of encouraging the adoption of healthier lifestyle choices among older adults in underserved communities. We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce Camille Love as the newest addition to the Sage Collective Board of Directors. Get to know Camille in her introduction below: 

Can you talk a bit about your professional background and how it has added to your expertise in your field?

I originally started my nursing career when I was very young, around 16, when I decided to become a certified nursing assistant. I’ve never been in any other field besides nursing. From starting as a CNA, to becoming a registered nurse and now a nurse practitioner, I recognize that I have been completely focused for nearly two decades in work that is meaningful and fulfilling every day.

I transitioned into being a nurse practitioner when I felt that I wanted to broaden my scope of work. And now, I’m at a point in my career where I’m ready to take on leadership roles where I can empower and mentor other nurses and healthcare providers.  

What should those outside of the healthcare ecosystem know about the community caregiving experience?

Overall, I feel that there are two factors that everyone should keep in mind. On one side, I see the need for more compassion, which I say because we often see people now who have compassion fatigue. In general, we all need to show more sympathy and compassion to one another because you never know what others are going through at that moment. They might be a very fatigued healthcare provider, or if they aren’t a healthcare provider, they may be completely isolated. 

The second point is to practice safe behaviors. It’s easy to brush little things off of your shoulder when they might not affect you, but try to keep in mind that your actions could, in turn, affect someone else. If you’re possibly exposed to something like COVID-19, be considerate and make the smart decision to stay home and wear a mask so you don’t accidentally expose anyone else. 

Sage Collective believes that a sense of ‘care for the collective’ is essential for not only individual health but the health of a community. How does this belief translate through your own work and past experiences?

My experience has taught me that the health literacy of those outside of healthcare is very low, and I feel  that if we did a better job of communicating within our communities, that simple act of just talking to one another lessens the burden of providers and relieves some anxiety for community members. For example, parents need to understand that if their child has a temperature and a runny nose, it’s not something out of the ordinary and often doesn’t require attention from us in the hospital. 

If someone in that parent’s family had told them that this level of illness is normal, that would help create literacy in the community. So, in turn, they wouldn’t be burdening the providers to address a set of symptoms, which, in their eyes, is a simple matter. 

I also deal with older adults who have chronic illnesses like diabetes. In the African American community, we traditionally go heavy on salt, which leads to high blood pressure and other conditions. In the Latinx community, we have patients whose diets rely on tortillas, beans and other high-carb foods. Communication within these communities is essential when talking about wellness, since it completely changes the game when it comes to the knowledge and decisions people make about their diet. So, if you have a simple conversation amongst family, friends or community members, you could change a whole community’s health based on word of mouth and education. So, the healthcare-focused component of my work completely aligns with the community component that Sage provides.

What other unique values held by Sage Collective have drawn you to join the Board?

I’m currently working for an organization that is a federally-qualified health center, so our objective is to provide excellent quality healthcare to underserved communities. This has always been my mission in healthcare since that population is, well, underserved in nearly every aspect of life. So, working with Sage Collective, I can help populations that are both underserved and overlooked. 

Within the Sage ecosystem, you have people of color, and you have the elderly, and then you have people who face financial hardships, so these circumstances are not affording them luxuries that other persons would normally get. My fuel is to always target and give the best to underserved communities, so I was immediately drawn to Sage Collective because of our parallels. 

What is the significance of having intergenerational relationships in the healthcare world? Specifically in community health?

Intergenerational relationships are integral to the success of communities. They offer the opportunity to bring together the tried-and-true conventions that exist within the healthcare field with the energy, innovations and new perspectives of younger generations. 

What are you most looking forward to as a new member of Sage Collective’s board? 

I’m very excited to be working with the other leaders on the Sage Collective Board, and to have the opportunity to learn from them, pick their brains, and of course, contribute to the organization itself. I’m also eager to serve and have the opportunity to continue the work that has inspired me for so long, but in a different capacity, through housing and programming.

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04.28.22 | Sage Advice

Sage Collective’s Guide to Picnicking

There’s no better way to welcome nice weather than by packing a basket and strolling to your nearest green space for a peaceful picnic. The longtime tradition pairs food and nature, and is a wonderful way to spend time with family, friends and community. However, while the excursions are always worthwhile, they typically require a handful of planning beforehand. Today, we’re sharing our essential how-to guide on picnicking to ensure you a flawless experience.

Plan Ahead

One of the best elements of picnicking is the versatility you have to make them as casual or fancy as you want. It’s best to begin by exploring which picnic set-up is right for you. Are you looking to create an intimate dining experience in your backyard or an informal excursion to the park? 

Once you’ve settled on your set-up, it’s important to consider who might be coming and what energy you’re going for before you begin to plan the menu. A spread for a larger gathering in the evening will look much different than one for a smaller gathering mid-day. 

Luggage

Every picnic needs some sort of trunk, whether it’s a hand down old-fashioned picnic basket or a large canvas bag. No matter what you choose for your baggage, it’s always a smart idea to have at least one container complete with a few frozen ice packs to utilize as a portable refrigerator for some of your food. 

Along with your luggage, make sure to pack other essential items for your trip, including a blanket, water bottles, silverware, napkins, a bag for trash and any other item that you may need on your checklist. 

The Food

Because picnicking is so versatile, there isn’t a right or wrong menu when planning what you want to serve at your gathering. However, there are still dishes you may want to avoid, especially easily meltable and moldable food items like ice cream and eggs. 

Think of foods that won’t get soggy, are still tasty at room temperature and require very little hands-on action once you get to the picnic. Like any normal meal, try to pack a mix of proteins, starches along with a mix of fruits and vegetables. Crowd pleasers often include cold chicken, watermelon, all-in-one salads and pinwheels.

Whether you plan your picnic well in advance, or make it a last minute activity, it’s important to remember that picnics have always been meant to celebrate delicious food, relationships and the nature surrounding you. So what are you waiting for? Go pack your basket and toast to the season of picnicking!

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