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12.14.23 | Sage Advice

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 | 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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10.27.22 | Sage Advice

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 | 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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05.05.22 | Sage Advice

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Every year, millions of people deal with the daily struggle of living with a mental illness. One in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness, and because they are so prevalent today, the spotlight is beginning to shift to explore just how society collectively can work together to setback the concerning numbers. 

Throughout May, we will be celebrating National Mental Health Awareness Month. First celebrated in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month remains as significant as ever for a myriad of reasons. Mental illness often goes ignored unless tragedy strikes. This month-long observation helps shed a spotlight on the importance of caring for mental health and the weight of taking it just as seriously as any other disease. 

Not only is it critical to care for your own mental well-being, but also those around you. Regularly checking in on family, friends, and even neighbors can leave a profound impact on each of their lives. However, maintaining good mental health includes everything from your food choices and physical activity to your sleep schedule and stress management

By taking the initiative to care for yourself and your loved ones and being open to discussing mental health with others, the more normalized it will become, creating a healthier, more vibrant world. Although the stigma around mental health treatment still exists, thanks to celebrations like National Mental Health Awareness Month, more and more people are beginning to learn to be more open about their mental well-being. 

Because mental health is even less commonly discussed in adult communities, we encourage you to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month and help pilot the movement for a healthier, more vibrant world where mental well-being is at our forefront.

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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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