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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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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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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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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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12.01.20 | Sage Advice

5 Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

Did you lose your car keys? (Or these days, did you misplace your mask?) Forget that item on your grocery list that you know you needed? We all suffer moments of memory loss from time to time, but by establishing certain habits, we can fight to keep our memory sharp. Today, we’re sharing five easy ways to keep your mind — and your memory — healthy!

Exercise Regularly

With a healthy body comes a healthy mind. Moderate, regular physical activity is an essential component to maintaining overall health — not just for seniors, but for every age group. Regularly exercising helps stimulate blood circulation in the whole body, including your brain, and helps aid in preventing memory loss.

Eat Healthy

Not that we should need another reason to keep a healthy diet, but here it is anyway! Feeding your body and brain with ample nutrients is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Avoiding unhealthy habits, such as drinking too much alcohol, is also an important preventative measure, as this will cloud your brain. 

Sleep Soundly

The average adult requires seven to nine hours of sound sleep each night. Hitting this mark plays an important role in maintaining memory. During the process of sleeping, our brain works to consolidate memories so we’ll recall them easier down the road. In addition to solidifying memories, sleep also aids in transferring memories from short – to long-term.

Stay Social

Social interaction is crucial to maintaining brain health, particularly for seniors that live alone. Studies show that even ten minutes of social time a day can make a difference. Spending time with friends and loved ones helps us ward off stress and depression, both of which can contribute to memory loss.

Engage Your Brain

Just as muscles become stronger with exercise, so too does the brain improve with increased mental stimulation. There are endless ways to engage your brain, such as doing a daily Crossword or Sudoku puzzle. You can satisfy brain engagement and socialization simultaneously by playing a board game with a loved one. Reading is also a good (and fun) way to stimulate your mind. Or if reading isn’t for you, try picking up another hobby, such as indoor gardening or crafting.

Not only will these five steps help improve your memory, but they’ll contribute to living a more vibrant life overall, too.

An older African American woman hugs a young kid, who kisses her cheek
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