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    Blog — immune boost

    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 2 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 2 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Last week, we chatted about Relationships and Integrity in Part 1 of Figuring Out Fatherhood. Catch up on Part 1 HERE. This week we conclude our blog with the final two gifts we can give our children in our journey of fatherhood: Teaching and Experiences.


    TEACHING

    This is the gift that will lead our grown children to adopt the lessons learned from us or to run in the opposite direction. “Great dads gift their children with a kind of upright teaching that prepares them to meet the challenges of life and walk in their God-ordained purpose. Doing this well necessitates vision and intentionality” (Loritts, pg. 91). As a follower of Jesus, I believe that God has gifted us the opportunity of stewarding His children, with the ultimate goal of pointing them back to Him as their true father and to launch them into this world prepared to pursue and live out the calling He has placed on their lives. 


    But there is the practical, disciplinary side of teaching as well; Where we teach our boys how to be men and our girls how to be women. Discipline is difficult, and the main reason I want to throw in the towel as a dad. It takes so much consistency and vision, knowing that putting in the hard work while they are young, will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Vision leaks and must be repeated again and again to be retained. One way that we have been able to implement some great teaching moments with our young kiddos is what we call Best, Worst & Weirdest. In the evening, usually at bedtime, we take some one-on-one time with our kiddos to talk through their day.

     

    Best: What was the best part of your day? Let’s celebrate that! 

    Worst: What was the worst part of your day? Let’s talk through it. 

    Weirdest: What was the weirdest part of your day? Let’s laugh at that!


    The age-old tactic of sandwiching the hard stuff in the middle of the good stuff plays out pretty well. But it gives us a chance to do some significant teaching while also helping our kiddos identify things throughout their day and how it made them feel. Right now, one of our short term goals is to raise teenagers who will want to talk to us about how they are feeling!  


    EXPERIENCES

    We are the architects of our kids normal. Especially in the early stages of childhood, we as the parents get to determine our kiddos experiences and and begin shaping their world view. “Great fathers place a premium on giving their children the R.I.T.E. kind of experiences over gifts. Things wear out and expire. Experiences endure, marking us forever.” (Loritts, pg. ?)


    Start with the end in mind. Picture your kids as adults. What are the things you would want them to have learned? What values would you want to instill in them? How would you want to prepare them for life on their own? Start there and work backwards. What moments and milestones over the course of their 18 years of adolescents will help to accomplish those goals? It’s easy to exchange long term resilience for short term comfort and happiness. Father with the long view in mind. An incredibly practical resource for planning out these moments and milestones is the book Family Discipleship by pastors Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin.


    The best advice Bryan gives in his book is the simple, yet often forgotten truth that “the best parenting we will ever do is from our knees. (Loritts, pg. 140) As dependent as our children are on us, we are equally dependent on our Father in heaven to accomplish anything good in the lives of our children. Fathering and failure go hand in hand. Even when we have the best intentions, we are going to fall short. Before you pick yourself back up, spend some time on your knees asking God for the strength and wisdom to try again.


    Thanks so much for joining us on this journey. Comment below with any questions or reflections that come up as you pursue fatherhood. Here's to the difficult but rewarding road ahead! 


    RESOURCES


    Books


    Podcasts


    Websites

    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