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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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08.12.21 | Sage Advice

Strengthening Communities Through Community Gardens

With summer slowly fading and the harsh months of winter in the distance, the magnetic appeal of growing one’s own vegetables and herbs is more important than ever for many of us. Previously, we’ve talked about the health benefits of gardening and how to raise indoor houseplants, but one hobby we haven’t mentioned is community gardening. 

Community gardens begin as collective spaces managed as a collaborative effort that leverage the expertise, time and energy of fellow gardeners who come together to provide fruits, vegetables and all varieties of fresh produce for anyone in the neighborhood to enjoy. And by their very nature, community gardens also add green space and vibrant beauty to city blocks that may be defined by asphalt and concrete.

With people working closely — literally and figuratively — community gardens improve personal well-being through social connections and have even been found to decrease violence in some neighborhoods. 

Zoe Hansen-DiBello, program manager and visionary at Grow Education, helps promote healthy food access in neighborhoods by implementing community gardens. At TedxNewBedford, Hansen-DiBello explains the all-around engagement and respect that community gardens helped to encourage in a neighborhood close to her. Watch Hansen-DiBello’s talk below. 

Gardens galore in Bronzeville

The popularity of urban farming and the adoption of community gardens can be seen throughout neighborhoods in large cities across the country — including our very own Bronzeville. 

Situated at 4148-4156 S. Calumet Avenue, the Bronzeville Neighborhood Farm connects those living in the neighborhood with the use of green spaces and gardens. Managed by the Bronzeville Alliance and protected by NeighborSpace, the garden is a hub for community members to forge meaningful relationships built on the experience of working together towards a common purpose — tending the gardens and sharing the rich yield of fresh fruits and vegetables with each other and with the community writ large.

The neighborhood is also home to the Bronzeville Community Garden, located at 343 E. 51st Street. Supported by Build Bronzeville, the garden hosts many community events throughout the year including Volunteer Days and Crochet & Conversation meetups. Along with urban farming, the Garden is home to public art projects that enhance the outdoor spaces and provide additional reasons for neighbors to stop.

Starting your own garden

Thinking about starting your own community garden? One of the best places to start, The American Community Gardening Association provides a comprehensive education and resource platform for starting a garden of your own, along with a map of community gardens located across the country. 

A person sits next to a foot stool in a large lot filled with community garden plots. Out of each plot sticks a brightly colored stakes that are numbered. Above the person appears a concrete bridge either for walking or driving.
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