August 28, 2023

Healthy Tips and Recipes for National Wellness Month

Lifestyle, Memory & Brain Health, Senior Health & Wellness

Being healthy is more than just a set of habits; it’s a lifestyle. August is National Wellness Month­­, making this the perfect time to spruce up your care routines. Established in 2018, National Wellness Month advocates healthy routines promoting self-care and stress reduction management. 

There are many routes toward a healthier lifestyle- from changes in daily routine to cuisine. Let’s look at some practical ways to expand self care before exploring a few tantalizing but simple recipes designed by Era Living’s Director of Culinary and Dining Operations Justin Rutledge.

Justin knows the importance of intentional eating and works hard to keep residents healthy throughout our communities. “Providing healthy food does not have only one but numerous benefits. It helps in various aspects of life,” said Justin. “Healthy food does not only impact our physical health but our mental health too. With the intake of healthy fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients, we reduce the chances of diseases.”

Effective Habits for Self-Care

Era Living promotes resident care through a number of practices. Enriching activity calendars, a connection to the arts and plenty of beautiful outdoor space are just a few of our offerings. There are many ways you can engage in active self-care that are both fast and easy. Here are a few to get you started down a path of vitality:

    • Drink Enough Water: Staying well hydrated is important for mind and body health.
    • Enjoy Active Outdoor Activities: At least 30 minutes a day of walking or movement that leads to an elevated heart rate will boost mood and health. Try getting outside every day if possible.
    • Take Time for Gratitude and Positivity: Not all health care is physical. Spending time to reflect on what you’re grateful for leads enhances a positive mental outlook.
    • Get Adequate Sleep: A full 8 hours of sleep every night is ideal as lack of sleep can lead to physical and mental decline.
    • Connect with Loved Ones: Staying connected to friends and family is an instant mood-booster. Plan to call or video chat with someone you love every day.
    • Eat Healthy: Read on to learn how simple modifications in diet can lead to greater mental and physical health.

Embrace the MIND Diet

In 2015 scholars from various universities, including Harvard, introduced a diet that supports the health of an aging brain. Called the MIND diet, or Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, this diet has shown to preserve cognitive function while protecting against cardiovascular disease. Over 1,000 participants were involved in years of research to arrive at these conclusions. The MIND diet showed great success and can support your loved ones through the aging process.

The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both known to lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Foods rich in carotenoids, flavonoids and specific vitamins reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, bolstering brain function. The MIND diet simplistically divides food types into “brain-healthy” foods and unhealthy foods. The healthy items include proper servings of:

    • Whole grains
    • Vegetables
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Beans
    • Berries
    • Meat- mainly Poultry and Fish
    • Nuts
    • Olive oil

These unhealthy foods are higher in saturated or trans fats and should be consumed in limited amounts:

    • Pastries and Sweets
    • Red meat- Beef, Pork, Lamb and byproducts
    • Cheese
    • Fried foods
    • Butter

As proponents of the MIND diet we intentionally incorporate these foods into resident meal plans. “All of our recipes and menus are resident-driven, chef-inspired and dietician-approved,” said Justin Rutledge. “We as chefs strive to focus on local, sustainable and seasonal products.” 

We would love to share some of our favorite recipes with you. These fast and easy meals will boost the health and vitality of you and your loved ones. Bon Appetit!

Eat for Wellness with the Era Living Community

Wellness efforts are ingrained in the Era Living community’s daily routines. Most key elements described above are regular practices for our residents. Visit one of our Era Living communities to learn more about how our programming supports year-round wellness for you and your loved ones.