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    Blog — allergies

    5 Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

    5 Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

    The immune system...it’s a hot topic these days, right? Everyone is talking about staying healthy and safe, especially as we enter the colder months of the year. Our families are the most important things to us, and while we can’t necessarily “see” our immune system, we need to care for it as one of our highest priorities when we think about caring for our family. Don’t let your life get so busy that you forget these 5 easy and natural ways to keep your family healthy this winter:

    1. Let them sleep! Aim to give your kiddos, at minimum, 8 hours of sleep...10 is even better. That means to turn off screens at least 1 hour prior to bed and set consistent bedtime and wake up routines. 
    2. Limit sugar. I know, this isn’t a popular one. My kids ask for a “special treat” every night and are shocked when I tell them they can’t have one (what makes it special if you get one every day??). But sugar is the enemy to our immune systems. Cutting back on soda, sweets, candy, baked goods and processed foods in general will put your family at a significant advantage when it comes to strong immune systems. Raw honey is a GREAT alternative (in moderation of course). Here’s our entire line of raw and infused flavored honey. They are so so good.
    3. Put a whole food on every plate. Ok, I’m not the best at eating 100% whole foods but I guarantee you can’t afford NOT to eat whole this winter, as our bodies need these vital nutrients from plants. So as a busy mom, I make it my daily goal to get at least one whole food on everyone’s plate. Our go-to foods? Apples, bananas, bell peppers (red ones are the best!), carrots, broccoli and strawberries. For an amazing smoothie recipe, check out our blog here
    4. Take elderberry daily. Ok, I know this may seem like a shameless plug for my own product, but I’m so serious. Taking elderberry syrup or gummies daily can give your family the support their immune systems need, especially when they may be exposed to illness around them. My kids love both our syrup and gummies, but I try my best to keep them taking the syrup because it contains raw honey that contains natural enzymes to help their bodies fight infection. Just 1 teaspoon or 1 gummy daily for kids, 1 tablespoon or 2-3 gummies daily for adults. It’s so easy and so delicious.
    5. Get outside and get moving. Our Vitamin D levels tank in the winter so getting at least 30 minutes of direct sunlight can help. Also, a goal to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 3x weekly can significantly support your body’s overall health and wellness. For your kiddos, that means a walk to the park, a game of tag in the front yard...get creative! One of my good friends has an amazing woman-owned small business called OKO Weekly where you can get videos of workouts designed specifically for kids age 3-5 years old. For those cold winter months, it’s the perfect way to make sure your kids are getting regular exercise!

    I’m a BIG proponent of not overloading our schedules and responsibilities with unnecessary busy-work, so I hope these 5 natural ways to build strong immune systems don’t feel like extra work, but empowering ideas to help your family to experience a healthy winter. As always, feel free to comment below with any other tips you use to keep your family healthy. Happy fall everyone!

    Elderberry Jello Snack

    Elderberry Jello Snack

    Jello is always a fun snack to have for the kids so why not add some Elderberry in there to add some health to the fun. We have found the perfect recipe to enjoy Elderberry Jello snacks for both in the house and on your way out of the house. 

    Ingredients

  • ½ cup tart cherry juice
  • ¼ cup gelatin
  • 1 cup Elderberry Syrup from The Elderberry Co
  • ¼ cup Honey from The Elderberry Co

  • Instructions

  • Heat cherry juice and ¼ cup elderberry syrup until almost boiling.
  • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.
  • Stir in The Elderberry Co. Elderberry Syrup and Honey.
  • Pour mixture into a mold of your preference, we love these ones on Amazon!
  • Put molds into the refrigerator for two hours or until mixture has set.
  • Enjoy!
  • Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 1 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 1 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Being a dad is tough, but it is the most important job we will ever have. Not to mention the fact that the majority of us probably feel completely lost and unequipped for the role of father. For the longest time, I was told to “lead my family” but no one would tell me how! It is an ambiguous expectation and at times seems like I’ll never figure it out. Experience over time helps; we learn the “tricks of the trade” as we try and fail, and try again. But there is a turning point in fatherhood when we take a proactive approach, rather than a reactionary one. We cast a vision, we have a plan that we begin to implement and take steps forward.


    There are a ton of resources I have filtered through over my short, 6 years of being a dad, searching for the “key” to fatherhood. The most recent that has had a tangible impact on that endeavor is a book by pastor and author Bryan Loritts entitled, The Dad Difference. Drawing on his own experience of being raised by a father who took a proactive, visionary approach, Bryan unpacks four key areas that we should focus on as a father, even changing my perspective as a dad, describing them as gifts we give to our children. His main thought is based around these four gifts- How to Parent R.I.T.E.


    Relationships - Integrity - Teaching - Experiences


    RELATIONSHIPS

    Relationships take proximity. “We cannot lead effectively those we are not connected to intimately. Healthy relationships demand presence, grace, and time” (Loritts, pg. 27). Our first gift as a father is to be present in the lives of our children. But just being around isn’t enough… there has to be intentionality in our presence.


    A goal that I have set for myself is to do one intentional thing with my kiddos every single day. No tv, no phones, no interruptions. One moment every single day where they have my undivided attention. Whether that is playing a board game, jumping on the trampoline, going to the zoo, reading some books, playing make-believe in the treehouse or asking about their days at bedtime. These little moments of intentionality add up over time. The cumulative effect is a powerful thing- small actions, repeated over time, have great and lasting results! Simplicity and consistency are huge motivators for kiddos too! 


    INTEGRITY

    This gift is all about us and what our kids witness as we live our lives. “More than listening to what we say, our children will watch what we do. When actions and words become one, we call that integrity” (Loritts, pg. 62). Arguably one of the most important gifts we can give our kids is following through and doing what we say we are going to do. This is also arguably the most difficult gift because we know we are going to fail at it. The other end of integrity is admitting when we’ve failed and to ask for forgiveness. “Apologies are the voice of the humble. It takes a humble person to say sorry, to acknowledge and confess a wrong. And it is humility that becomes the lifeline to a healthy, vibrant relationship with our children” (Loritts, pg. 73). It’s our job to show our kiddos how grace works- it being extended to them and in turn, them being able to extend it to a dad humble enough to admit when he was wrong, or lost his temper and ask his children for their forgiveness.


    Try it out

    Next week we will release “Part 2” of our blog Figuring Out Fatherhood, where we will chat about Teaching and Experiences. In the meantime, try out one of the gifts listed above, either Integrity or Relationships and comment below with how it went! Also, here are some resources to help you along your journey as a father. 


    RESOURCES


    Books


    Podcasts


    Websites

    Aronia Berries? Never Heard of Them...

    Aronia Berries? Never Heard of Them...

    What sets us apart from other Elderberry Syrup brands?

    This is a question we receive on a regular basis.  Now, I know we are biased, but there are several significant ways our Elderberry Syrup is above and beyond other brands out there...free shipping, no added sugar or preservatives, brewed fresh weekly and... (drum roll, please) aronia berries! Usually when I say “aronia berries”, people look at me like I have ten heads. Well, their common name is “chokeberry” and they are AMAZING.

    When I first started making syrup in my home kitchen, I only used elderberries in the recipe. I didn’t even know aronia berries existed! Then a sweet older couple at our Farmer’s Market introduced them to me and asked me to make a batch using fresh ones from their farm. I eagerly went home and researched aronia berries. Once I learned all about the benefits, there was no way I couldn’t include them in my recipe! They enhanced the flavor, made our syrup a brighter pink and added so much strength in terms of immune support!

    Aronia berries are a small, round fruit found in North America. They contain high levels of antioxidants which makes it one of the highest antioxidant content of any fruit (even elderberries)! When it comes to antioxidants, studies have shown they help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, inflammation, bacterial infections and many others. These berries also contain tons of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, iron and vitamins C, B and K. 

    If you are looking for ways to add aronia berries into your daily routine other than our elderberry syrup, here are some helpful ideas! They can be eaten fresh or as a dried snack, make a refreshing summer smoothie, easily add them into some sweet desserts, make a delicious jam, and they can also be found in some teas, coffee and even wine! 

    Let’s break down the health benefits a little bit more here! As always, we recommend checking with your care provider when beginning any health regimen.

    • Offer overall improvement of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive  systems
    • Help combat the growth of certain cancers
    • Support the immune system and help fight diseases and infection

    Be sure to check out some recipes below of how you can use aronia berries!

    https://smoothiefairytales.com/aronia-berry-smoothie/

    https://www.vibrantplate.com/aronia-oatmeal-crumble-bars-vegan/

    https://www.ediblewildfood.com/aronia-berry-cookies.aspx

    http://www.nonasnutritionnotes.com/aronia_berries/

    https://mummysfastandeasy.com/2019/08/16/no-bake-aronia-berry-cheesecake/

    Have you used aronia berries in a recipe that you love? Share the recipe with us, we would love to hear about it!

    The Sunshine Vitamin: Everything you need to know about Vitamin D

    The Sunshine Vitamin: Everything you need to know about Vitamin D

    A few months ago, we chatted about Vitamin C and all the great benefits of adding it to your daily regimen. Another Vitamin that shows up in our gummies is Vitamin D so we wanted to take some time to give you a snapshot of this powerful and beneficial vitamin!

    Fun Fact- Vitamin D is the only vitamin your body makes itself (and it’s actually a hormone). Although there are many forms of vitamin D, the two most common types are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2.

    When your body lacks Vitamin D, these are some of the things you might experience: 

    • Fatigue
    • Bone pain
    • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps
    • Mood changes, like depression

    One of the biggest indicators that you may be at risk for a lack of Vitamin D may be related to where you live. It is said that the further away from the equator you live, the less Vitamin D you’re receiving. Other reasons that you could be experiencing a lack in this Vitamin is the air quality, use of sunscreen, your weight or even your age.

    The sun's rays are most powerful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Being in the sun for 15-20 minutes a day can help your body get the Vitamin D it needs to function properly. 

    Eating nutritious foods can also help get your body get the Vitamin D it needs. Wondering how to incorporate more foods rich in Vitamin D? Try these:

    • Fatty fish- salmon, mackerel, and tuna. 
    • Egg yolks
    • Cheese 
    • beef liver 
    • Mushrooms 
    • fortified milk 
    • fortified cereals and juices. 

    Sometimes doctors recommend taking a Vitamin D supplement to increase your levels. Here is the recommended dosage to help you better understand how much you should aim for:

    Age

    Dosage

    0-12mo

    400 IU (10 mcg)

    1-17

    600 IU (15 mcg)

    18-70

    600 IU (15 mcg)

    70+

    800 IU (15 mcg)


    Our Elderberry Gummies are a great source of Vitamin D as well as Zinc and Vitamins C and E... and they are a fun treat for your kid! They’re the perfect choice to help keep your family healthy on the go this summer while you’re out soaking up all the wonderful Vitamin D! 

    Links-

    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d--vitamin-d-deficiency

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-vitamin-d-supplement#daily-requirements

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/6-things-you-should-know-about-vitamin-d

    https://healthinspireddentistry.com/blogs/interesting-facts-about-vitamin-d/#:~:text=It%20is%20the%20only%20vitamin,getting%20enough%20from%20the%20sun