Dec 3, 2016

Making Elderberry Syrup for Immune Health

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links which only means that if you click on them and order I will make a little bit of money.  Thanks

I sure hope you have already been making elderberry syrup for you and your family but if not I think you might be convinced that you should by the time you're finished reading this.

In my previous post about Immune Building Foods I shared just a few of the ways elderberries are good for your health.

Here's a recap:

Elderberries are rich in flavonoids and help to protect your DNA integrity.

Elderberries reduce stress and increase recovery time. It's antiviral and speeds up the body's ability to recover from colds and the flu.

Not only that, it has the ability to protect against 10 strains of the flu unlike the flu vaccine which usually only targets 1 or 2 strains.

When taken at the first symptoms of the flu, it has the ability to reduce the duration of the flu to 3-4 days. Elderberries activate a healthy immune system and reduces inflammation.

Overall, elderberry syrup is an inexpensive and delicious way to protect your family during cold and flu season.

Here's how I make elderberry syrup!

Elderberry Syrup

1/2 Cup Dried Organic Elderberries
3 Cups Filtered Water
1/4 to 1/2 Cup of Honey

(Optional: 2-5 drops of Young Living Thieves essential oils for extra immune strength)

Add 1/2 cup of dried organic elderberries or 1 cup of fresh elderberries to 3 cups of water.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for an hour.

Smash berries with a potato masher and then strain the elderberries using a fine mesh strainer and throw out elderberries.

Add honey (and optional Thieves essential oil) to the elderberry liquid. Stir thoroughly. Label a canning jar and pour your elderberry syrup into the jar. Store in the fridge where it will last for 2-3 months.

Take by the teaspoon every 2-3 hours while sick. Drink it daily for immune boosting and for protection against the flu.

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abounding in Health, Elderberry syrup

I purchase Frontier Organic Dried Elderberries and I use local raw honey that I purchase from a co-op. You can easily find a local apiary by searching online or asking at a farmers market near you.

Check out Pub-Med for more information about elderberries.

Dec 2, 2016

I'm Making Immune Building Foods Today

I've been busy this afternoon making immune boosting foods.  I plan to share these great recipes so check back on the blog soon.

My daughter has come down with a nasty cold. It started as just a simple cold but her throat is still sore and the cold has moved into her chest.

I should have gone to work at the very first symptom but my schedule has been crazy and I haven't had the time at home to prepare anything for her.

This afternoon I made her elderberry syrup, bone broth and butternut squash soup.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup, Immune System
Elderberry syrup is such an easy immune boosting remedy to make. Elderberries are rich in flavonoids and help to protect your DNA integrity.

It reduces stress and increases recovery time. It's antiviral and speeds up the body's ability to recover from colds and the flu. Not only that, it has the ability to protect against multiple strains of the flu.

Overall, elderberry is an inexpensive and delicious way to protect your family during cold and flu season.

Bone Broth

Bone Broth, Immune BuildingYou may have heard a lot about the amazing benefits of bone broth. When we were kids and got sick most of our mom's probably made up chicken soup. My mom usually made homemade chicken soup which is still my favorite and something I've continued to do for my family.

Because my family spent a number of years on antibiotics, bone broth has been a very beneficial addition to our diet because it's a gut healing food. It's full of vitamins, minerals and body healing nutrients which helps to boost the immune system and decrease inflammation. You certainly don't need to wait until you're sick to enjoy this yummy broth.

I enjoy simmering my chicken or turkey bones all day but if you're going to be out a lot you can throw everything in a crockpot.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup, Immune Building
Who doesn't love a creamy bowl of butternut squash soup? It's soothing, it's warm, it can be spicy if you like it that way and it's oh, so good for you.  Butternut squash it's low in calories and high in fiber and phyto-nutrients.  It has more vitamin-A than a pumpkin, has b-carotenes, lutein, rich in b-complex vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, b-6, thiamin and panthothenic acid.

You can see why this is a great food for boosting your immune system.

While we can't always prevent being exposed to the flu or cold viruses, we can provide our bodies with rich nutrients and immune boosting foods.

Nov 29, 2016

Christmas With Chronic Illness - 5 Tips For Making it Beautiful

It's here, it's upon us! The holiday season is now in full swing.

Are you feeling it yet? Discouragement, overwhelm, frustration, defeat?

I wanted to encourage you before you go too far down that road.

I know it all to well! I've experienced it, lived it and quite frankly, I'm writing this to remind myself.

Holidays are stressful. There's so much to do and so many people to please. The Hallmark Channel portrays the perfect Christmas love stories, commercials are reminding us and our children of everything we don't have that we NEED and those posts on social media showing us perfection are glaring at us in the face every day.

Sometimes we think everyone else has it all together; their homes are perfectly decorated, their children are in every Christmas activity in town and you get to see all of those magnificent pictures coming at you every day on Facebook compounding your guilt.

My first few years of chronic illness with tick-borne diseases were devastating. Not only was I pretty much out of the game we call life but holidays were not going to happen without a miracle.

Here are some of the things we did and maybe they'll help you too.

1. Completely throw out all expectations.

I couldn't do anything but lie on the couch or in bed, I was miserable. My body was weak and wracked with pain. My husband and I decided on what was important in order to make our holiday enjoyable and memorable and we literally crossed out the rest of the list. No baking, no homemade gifts, no Christmas cards and no guilt!

2. Give everyone a job.

Now, I'm a bit particular about decorating and especially decorating the tree. During those difficult years I had to give up my type-A, OCD tendencies and allow my children and husband to take over. The lights on the bushes outside were crooked and not exactly like I would have done but they were up. The tree was a bit lopsided with too many ornaments bunched together but decorated the way my children wanted it and trust me, I had to work very hard to enjoy their creativity.

Imagine how wonderful they felt that they could decorate and help mommy out.

3. Order gifts online.

I was not strong enough to walk through the mall, much less a store to go shopping up and down the isles for the perfect gifts. Our Christmas shopping for those years was pretty much done online. Certain things that couldn't be purchased online were picked up by my husband.

4. Order a holiday meal to go.

Our Christmas meals are always spent at extended family's but there was 1 year in particular that we couldn't attend. We ordered a pre-cooked meal from the local grocery store and my husband put it all in the oven to heat. I can't say it was the most fabulous meal but we were able to keep our tradition, gather around the candle-lit table and enjoy time together celebrating the Savior's birth.

5. Focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

When you let go of your expectations, other's expectations for you and the guilt that most likely comes from inside of you; you are able to focus on what's really important.

Make memories by spending time with your loved ones, have great conversations, and ask your family to help you create a beautiful atmosphere. Play beautiful Christmas or worship music, light a candle or diffuse essential oils and enjoy each other.

My husband always asked me, "what's the most important thing you have to do today?"

So I would ask you, what's the most important thing you should do when you're sick?

When I was really sick during the holidays, I deemed the most important things to be loving my family, resting so I could get well, and worshiping the Lord.

When you let go of everything else you're truly able to enjoy the busy holiday season. I know it's still hard, I know the guilt will creep in but honestly my children don't remember anything about those years except that they had a wonderful Christmas.

Take some time today and make a list of everything you think you have to do for the season, then grab a marker and start crossing off those things that are causing you stress or that are physically not possible. Talk to your family and friends and come up with a doable plan.

Let's purpose to have a beautiful Christmas no matter how much or how little we're physically capable of doing.

Memories are made from the time we spend with others.

Nov 27, 2016

The Anxiety Summit Cyber Monday Special

"The Anxiety Summit Thanksgiving Sale" is for 3 days only!

It begins Cyber Monday, November 28 and goes until 

November 30 (U.S. Eastern Time).

For a few short day you can enjoy a whopping $60 discount on all of the Anxiety Summit products for each of the 4 seasons!  You will not want to miss this special offer. It starts on Cyber Monday, November 28, 2016 and continues for 3 days!

I listened in on The Anxiety Summit a few years back and that's how I found the help I needed for my daughter. It turns out that much of what I learned from these summits has been extremely helpful for my whole family. These tools have helped us address our emotional health as we've recovered from chronic Lyme Disease.

The Anxiety Summit: Nutritionals Solutions to End Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks and OCD - is a great resource to help you with:
  • Resources to feel cool, calm and collected during the holidays! (our serotonin takes a dip in the winter and you may feel more blue and even more anxious)
  • Nutritional information to help reduce stress, heal the gut, eat a low-histamine diet, balance the microbiome, figure out methylation, pyroluria and much more
  • Tools to help balance brain chemistry to keep out-of-control carb cravings in check -so no will-power is required and there are no feelings of deprivation!

Many wonderful practitioners have been featured experts: JJ Virgin, Izabella Wentz, Magdalena Wszelaki, Julie Matthews, Jay Davidson, Tom Malterre, Peter Osborne, Nicole Beurkens, Kelly Brogan, Mira Dessy, Margaret Floyd, Hyla Cass, Anna Cabeca, Corey Schuler, Robin Nielsen, Randy Hartnell, Tom Malterre, Mikell Parsons, Lauren Noel, Alan Christianson, Summer Bock, Kaayla Daniel, Jill Carnahan, Joe Tatta, Mira and Jayson Calton, Kim D’Eramo, Josh Axe, Steve Wright, James Maskell, Autumn Smith, Julia Ross, Daniel Amen, Ann Louise Gittleman, Ben Lynch, Liz Lipski and others

Amazing researchers have also been featured experts: Dr. Ted Dinan (psychobiotics), Dr. Felice Jacka (nutritional psychiatry and red meat) and Dr. Amanda Swart (rooibos to reduce cortisol)

There are also wonderfully uplifting and hopeful client success stories: using GABA for Lyme anxiety, using tryptophan for anxiety and insomnia, going gluten-free.

Anxiety Summit, Lyme Disease

Here are some 'features' of Anxiety Summit products:

  • Each season features 25+ hours of audio interviews (with a transcripts option) with anxiety experts and thought leaders addressing a myriad of topics related to food, biochemistry, functional medicine, toxin elimination and lifestyle changes to end anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety and OCD
  • Our experts are respected researchers, doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, consumer advocates, and psychologists
  • Each interview offers valuable science-based information along with practical resources that can be used right away.
  • The interview topics include targeted amino acids such as GABA and tryptophan, psychoneuroendocrinology, adrenal health, eating for hormone balance, MTHFR and methyfolate, benzodiazepine dangers, anxiety and addictions, anxiety and autism, Lyme anxiety, mercury toxicity, mold exposure, pyroluria and social anxiety, community, the microbiome and gut health, gluten and grain issues and so much more.
  • Provides the latest studies on food-mood connection, useful to both practitioners and non-practitioners.
  • The interviews are available for purchase in 3 different formats
    • M3 (audio) downloads
    • MP3 and PDF (audio and transcript) downloads
    • data CD with MP3s and PDFs (audio and transcript)


Be sure to snag this deal while it lasts, I know you will be glad you did!