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05.26.22 | Sage Advice

Elevate Your Meal By Boosting Flavor And Benefits

At Sage Collective, our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living at Sage Collective serves as the backbone of our philosophy and a realistic tool for everyone to utilize for living well. And while we believe each pillar is necessary to create a vibrant lifestyle, many are traced back to what we put in our bodies. Today, we’re exploring how you can implement a plant-based diet and moderate calorie intake into your life and still elevate your meal with flavor and countless health benefits. 

One of the easiest ways anyone can elevate their cooking is to stop thinking of food as “healthy”. Although it may seem difficult, changing how you think of food can also affect how you eat it. Instead of telling yourself that you have to eat healthy foods or diet, use the words fresh, healing, nourishing or even gourmet. 

Buy Fresh

Purchasing your produce fresh and locally is a sure way that you will find more flavor and benefits in your meals. Fresh produce is packed with countless vitamins and minerals that you can find little elsewhere. The nutrients stored within them have been found to reduce the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease and even help the body produce more energy. And not only will eating fresh make you feel better, but it also heightens the flavor of your meals! So, next time you find yourself at your local farmer’s market, make sure to stock up on some of your favorite goods.

When In Doubt, Add Lemon Juice

If you aren’t the world’s best cook but still want to put a little more effort into whipping up your fresh meal from home, you’re going to appreciate this tip – add lemon juice! Not only is lemon juice usually easily accessible, but it’s also very easy for cooking beginners to use. Alongside the acidity it can add to a meal, lemons and lemon juice also come with a high concentration of vitamin C, a significant aid to the body’s healing process and can aid in digestive and heart health. 

Cook With Wine

Like eating plant-based and moderate calorie intake, another pillar to vibrant living includes, moderate alcohol intake, especially wine. Cooking with wine helps give your food an extra layer of complex, delicious flavors, and it also retains the same benefits you would get from drinking it! The trick with cooking with wine is to use the same wines that you would drink. Some nourishing recipes include steamed mussels and pan-roasted halibut

To live a vibrant lifestyle, you must know what you’re putting in your body. And while eating ‘healthy’ might scare some, fresh food can always be elevated, packing both extra flavor and benefits.

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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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