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01.26.21 | Sage Advice

Vibrant Living Breakdown: Plant-Based Diet

9 Ways of Vibrant Living is Sage Collective’s guidebook to a full, happy and high-quality life. Building off our fourth component, moderate caloric intake, the fifth component of vibrant living is a plant-based diet. Notice we didn’t use the word “vegetarian.” That’s because the key to a plant-based diet is practicing moderation. We’ll discuss more below.

As we discussed in Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors, older adults require fewer calories, but the same, if not more, nutrients to maintain wellbeing. That’s why a nutrient-dense diet is more important than ever for those 55+. Foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes constitute the basis of a healthy diet. 

While meat is a good source of protein, iron and vitamin B12, red meat in particular is often guilty of being high in saturated fat. Consuming saturated fat contributes to higher blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. Meat products, therefore, are a double-edged sword. Depending on the cut of meat one chooses and the methods of cooking, that daily source of protein has the potential to do more harm than help. 

Meanwhile, plant-based alternatives to meat, such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy provide fiber and prebiotics (good for gut health) in addition to containing sustainable carbohydrates and healthy fats. The latter helps to balance blood sugars and lower the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease. While the old plant-based classics, such as tofu, tempeh, beans and lentil are all good choices, recent innovations in the plant-based meat industry have introduced options like plant-based burgers that “bleed”. With the right recipes and supplies, plant-based eating can be delicious and nutritious.

At Sage Collective, in addition to our programmatic focus on health and wellness, we aim to develop and curate culinary programs (such as nutrition education, cooking experiences and group dining experiences at our facility) that focus on fresh, healthy, primarily plant-based diets. While meat is welcome to remain a small part of the menu, we seek to prioritize diet, portion control and alternative (and delicious) plant-based options. 

Whether for dinner or in spirit, we invite you to join us on our journey to intentional, plant-based eating. Start small, like with meatless Mondays, and we’ll go from there together.

A bowl of couscous, tomatoes, greens and other delicious veggies sits on a marble background
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11.17.20 | Sage Advice

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

The old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” And it’s true — good dietary choices are the foundation of good health. Making these choices becomes even more important the older you get. Our metabolism slows down with age, meaning that older adults require less calories but the same, if not more, nutrients to maintain our wellbeing. That’s why today, we’re sharing four healthy eating tips for seniors to keep you (and your diet) on the right path.

Prioritize getting your nutrients 

The good news: nutrient-dense foods are often the lowest in calories. Avoid any empty carbs or calories, such as processed foods, and instead prioritize whole foods such as protein, produce and dairy. Pay specific attention to make sure you’re picking foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium and salt, too. 

Eat the rainbow

Because our bodies require a broad spectrum of nutrients, the best way to ensure you’re hitting all the marks is to have your plate look like a rainbow. Bright, colored foods often signify good choices. Lean proteins include meat (or meat alternatives such as tofu and seitan, if you’re interested in pursuing a more plant-based diet) lentils, chickpeas, eggs and beans (these are your red foods). Fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) are the perfect source for your vibrant oranges, purples, reds and greens. Meanwhile, whole grains such as rice and whole wheat pasta are a good way to get brown on the plate. 

Think good fats, not no fats

Fat isn’t a bad word. But bad fats, like saturated and trans fats, should be eliminated from your diet if possible. Try to focus on good fats instead, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can help protect your body against disease and improve your mood. This includes avocado, olive oil, nuts and fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Drink more water

This is a simple, but important step. Staying properly hydrated can do wonders for your physical and mental health. If possible, avoid any fluids that have sugars or salts added in, and focus instead on just clean, healthy drinking water — tea and coffee are also good choices. Overall, aim to consume at least eight glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated.

Eating healthy may seem daunting, but at the end of the day, it’s about knowing your body’s needs, and making one informed decision at a time. 

Healthy eating shown through a vibrant plate of good, balanced foods
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