Lately we have all heard a lot about cover your cough, wash your hands, sanitize surfaces etc. Which are great tips for prevention but I want to share with you some simple ways to strengthen your immune system.
Your immune system is your defense against “foreign invaders”. It’s role is to defend your body against items it identifies as threats. Viruses, parasites and bacteria are typical invaders our body distinguishes as trouble and creates what is called an immune response. I’m not going to get sciency here. Just know this is an incredible, complex, detailed process your body preforms.
You are born with an innate immune system. This is your eyes, skin and mucus membranes. The parts that create a barrier for foreign invaders. Then there is the acquired immune system. This is where our bodies create antibodies for the different viruses, bacteria etc. we have been exposed to. Both systems work together to keep us healthy.
Because each of us have been exposed to different things and because there are a lot of components to our immune system we find some of us have stronger immune systems than others. Regardless of where you fall in the category of immune strength all of the below ideas will help strengthen your system. Which is a big key to keeping healthy during these unhealthy times.
Increase Your Vitamin C: Vitamin C, in regards to your immune system, aids your body in the healing process and protects it against free radicals. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes are full of vitamin C. You can also get vitamin C from foods such as guava, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, tomato, kale. Eat up!
Get Proactive on the Probiotic: Your gut microbiome plays a large part in keeping you healthy, including resistance to illness and disease. Unfortunately, nowadays the Standard American Diet is not conducive of a healthy gut microbiome. Put as simply as possible your gut has good bacteria and bad bacteria. Usually the good can over power the bad. But sometimes we feed the bad too much, with things such as a large amount of sugar, and it over-powers the good. Probiotics help feed the good so they can outnumber the bad. Some foods rich in probiotics are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles. There are many supplements out there for probiotics.
Get Your Move On: Exercise boosts the cells that fight bacteria. Moderate movement just 3-4 times a week can create this benefit. Science is finding that people who move have cells and immune systems more ready and equipped to fight off a foreign invader. What movement activity do you enjoy? Get out a do it today. Your immune system will thank you.
Get your ZZZ’s: Your body heals and repairs when you sleep. Getting enough sleep gives your body enough time to complete the necessary functions to stay healthy. According to the National Sleep Association adults ages 18-64 need 7-9 hours and adults over 65 need 7-8 hours. Are you getting enough sleep?
Hydrate: Every organ, tissue and cell in our body needs water to perform properly. Our body also uses water to flush out wastes and toxins we do not want in our body. Very helpful for keeping you healthy. It is recommended you drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example if you weigh 150lbs., you divide that in half, which is 75lbs. You would try to drink 75 oz of water each day. Not a fan of plain water? Try cutting up some fruit and placing it in your water or put a splash of 100% fruit juice in your water.
Get Outside: Fresh air and vitamin D sounds lovely doesn’t it. Fresh air is full of phytoncide. These are chemicals that are produced by plants. Scientists have shown our white blood cells, the ones that help us fight disease and infection, increase the more we expose ourselves to the outdoors. Vitamin D has been shown to benefit almost every function of your body, including your immune system. Your body makes vitamin D when direct sunlight on your skin converts and creates and active form of the vitamin. Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods. It is found in fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel and sardines. It is also found in fortified products, products that add vitamin D to their ingredient list, such as milk and cereal.
Here you have it. Six simple things to give your immune system a boost. For more health and wellness tips, tricks and tools follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Sunshine Transformations.
Love and Sunshine,
Brandee Thunberg is a Double Certified Holistic Health Coach and CEO of Sunshine Transformations, a company that strongly believes everyone deserves the gift of optimum health every day. Through educating, training, empowering, and supporting, Brandee helps her clients break through barriers to create their own sustainable healthy lifestyle. She is best known for non-judgmentally meeting her clients where they are and getting them to where they want to be on their health and wellness journey. When Brandee is not writing, speaking or coaching about health and wellness, she can be found creating art, running, or enjoying nature with her husband and two boys. Find out more about Brandee Thunberg and Sunshine Transformations at SunshineTransformations.com.
One of the most common mistakes people make on their health and wellness journey is that their goals aren’t properly set. Whether it’s because their goals are too vague or too overwhelming, oftentimes people find themselves discouraged and giving up on their goals. One simple strategy to combat this is to set SMART goals.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART goals are a goal setting strategy which is used by students, parents, and professionals alike to accomplish their objectives. The acronym helps to guide its users to set their goals realistically and achieve them in a quantifiable manner. To create clear and well-defined goals each one should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
How to Use SMART Goals:
Specific: By setting goals that are specific, you will avoid having vague goals like “I want to lose weight” and “I want to get healthier.” Because these goals are so vague, we don’t know where to begin to accomplish them, and we don’t have a certain benchmark to signify when we’ve met our goal. A good way to make sure your goals are specific is to see if you can answer the questions “who, what, where, when, why, and how?”
Measurable: Another key aspect of proper goal setting is to make sure your goals are measurable or quantifiable. Using the example of “I want to lose weight,” we could improve this goal by saying how much weight we want to lose. “I want to lose 10 pounds” gives you a set number to shoot for, and a way to see once you’ve achieved that goal.
Attainable: Attainable goals are achievable and usually tailored to your own individual abilities. Let’s take a look at the goal “I want to be more creative by dedicating 2 hours on Wednesday nights each week to paint/draw/write.” For some people 2 hours once a week is easily attainable, but for others 1 hour once a week, or maybe 1 hour twice a week may be more realistic and work for them. Knowing your own limits and setting your goals accordingly will give you goals that are within reach, and, once achieved, goals that will keep you motivated to work towards your next goals.
Relevant: This letter usually has the most questions associated with it because if you’re the one setting the goal, isn’t it relevant? The answer is that not every goal may be relevant to you or what you want to accomplish. For instance, if you want to eat healthier you may set the goal to “Only buy produce from farmers markets”. But this goal is not necessarily pertinent to your main goal of eating healthier and overcomplicates the situation. A more relevant goal would be “Swap 1 processed snack item for 1 whole food item the next time I visit the grocery store”. By making sure your goals are realistic and something you truly want to accomplish, you can ensure that with every step you are working towards your ultimate goal.
Timely: The last step in setting SMART goals is to make sure that your goals are set on a timeline. Having a deadline will keep the goal from becoming a permanent item on your to-do list and will help you prioritize your goals. Even goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant can fail if there is no deadline for them to be reached by. The goal “I will be able to run a mile in under 10 minutes by running four times a week” can be improved by adding a date to test to see if you have reached your goal. Our new goal reads “I will be able to run a mile in under 10 minutes one month from today by running four times a week.” This quote by Greg Reid says it all: “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
A few examples of SMART goals to get you started:
“I would like to lose 10 pounds in 2 months by eating healthier lunches and snacks, and by exercising for 1 hour three times a week.”
“I want to swap out one processed food item from my diet for a whole food item each day this week.”
“I want myself and my family to eat out one less meal per week each month for 3 months.”
“I will reduce my stress by taking half an hour each night before bed to read/meditate/journal/unplug.”
“Twice a month I will plan a night for myself by getting a babysitter and doing something I would like to do/don’t normally have the time to do (seeing a movie, getting a massage, painting, gardening, scrapbooking, seeing live music, et cetera).”
By making goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely you’ll be able to tackle small to-do’s, and seemingly daunting tasks alike. With these strategies at your disposal you will soon be on your way to accomplishing your goals and living the life you want to live. “Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” —Jim Rohn
Go get ‘em, tiger!
Assistant Creative Director
Cassandra Emelianchik is passionate about health, cooking, and all things creative. She will graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration and plans to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation.
I’m going to be honest I get a bit annoyed with this time of the year. All of this new year, start fresh, so much to change, so much to do attitude. And this year it is worse because it is the “start of a new decade”!! What are you going to do??? Big things to do now! RIGHT NOW!!!!
My Dad would always say New Year’s Day is just another day. I totally thought he was a Debbie Downer about it. But actually he is right. It really is another day. It is another 24 hours. We want it to be different than say February 15th, March 2nd or August 14th. But will it be really? Shouldn’t every day have the excitement of something new, a goal to achieve, something to look forward to?
You see this is the time of the year so many health and wellness companies prey on those making their resolutions. In the business world you are told this is the time to get um. Can I be very honest? I’d rather have clients in mid February when they realize they can’t obtain their resolution without help, accountability and support. Then I know you are vested in yourself.
So vest in yourself. You want this January 1st to be different? Then make it the day you commit to the one thing you needed to commit to, the game changer, for your life. The one thing that will allow you to look back and say “Wow! This was an awesome year. I’m so glad I _____________________.”
So what would be your biggest game changer? The one thing that if you accomplished would have the biggest effect on your life?
Read that again. Take a few minutes to really think it through. Did it get you excited and fired up? I hope so. But I need to share this with you. Here are the statistics about New Year’s resolutions: 65% of people make Resolutions, 77% of those make it one week, 25% make it 30 days, 8% accomplish their Resolution. Yes, you read that right.
8% of people accomplish their game changer
So how do you get to be in the 8%? Begin by following these 6 tips for creating a successful New Year’s resolution that will set you up to achieve your game changer:
1. Answer the above question: Answer with honesty, no judgment and no fear.
2. Pick one thing to focus on only. Don’t try to change everything all at once. Wouldn’t it be great to get to March and know you are rock starring your goal as opposed to getting to March and not even remembering what your resolution was?
3. Break it down: Break that one thing down it realistic, attainable baby steps. Losing weight, making more money and spend more time with family are 3 of the top resolutions made each year. These are great but is thinking up the statement going to make it happen? Nope. But breaking that into tasks that will make that happen is golden. For example, if losing weight is your resolution break that into something specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. In other words a SMART goal.
4. Accept the challenges: You are trying to change something which means you need to get out of your comfort zone. Guess what? Getting out of your comfort zone can be hard. It is also the most rewarding thing you can ever do. Understand as you embark on your New Year’s Resolution journey you will hit bumps. Accept them for the growth that they are giving you. Look for the learning and then keep on plugin on.
5. Be patient and forgiving: Chances are you will fall off the bandwagon from time to time because you are human. Ok so what. There is no need to beat yourself up or give up. Accept it, pick up where you left off and keep going.
6. Celebrate the successes: We are often too busy looking at what’s next to stop and celebrate what we have accomplished. Lost 3lbs. Awesome. Celebrate it. Paid off a bill. Awesome. Celebrate it. Had a great game night with the family. Awesome. Celebrate it. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy or complicated.
Back in 2018 I found an old journal of mine from 2008. A 10-year-old journal. It was depressing. I realized many items in that journal I was still journaling about. That was the eye opener I needed. That’s when I committed to myself, fully. Guess what? It wasn’t on January 1st and I didn’t wait until the New Year. I committed right then and there. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the past two years have been. I hope that for you. That you can commit to yourself, what you need to do, what you need to learn etc. so that you can achieve your game changer and not become a statistic.
“Think Big. Trust yourself and make it happen.”
Love and Sunshine,
PS. If you are ready to take your health journey to the next level contact us at https://sunshinetransformations.com/
Want some healthy eating habit tips? Click here for a free guide. https://mailchi.mp/a22836f21e4e/5simplesteps Our gift to you. Enjoy!
Brandee Thunberg is a double certified holistic health coach. After being trained by Joel Fuhrman, Mark Hyman, Gabriella Bernstein, Ariana Huffington, Joshua Rosenthal and Dr. Sears she founded Sunshine Transformations. Brandee is best known for meeting her clients where they are and getting them to where they want to be on their health journey. When she is not writing, speaking or coaching about health and wellness, she can be found enjoying nature with her husband and two boys. Find out more about Brandee Thunberg and Sunshine Transformations at SunshineTransformations.com.
Who ever said the holidays can’t be fun and healthy? No, it doesn’t mean they have to be filled with only tofu ham and lots of leafy greens. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. It is a time for great food and great gatherings. But the go-go-go of the holiday season takes us out of our routine and adds a lot of extra stress, making slipping off the bandwagon of health and wellness easy.
Here are a few tips for enjoying the holidays without sabotaging your health:
Creating Your Holiday Mindset: If you are telling yourself “I’ll focus on my health again in January” you have already given yourself permission to overindulge and not focus on your health and wellness. We get really excited to see so much delicious food in one place at one time. Then we feel we must eat all of it right then and there. It is interesting because there is no rule that you can not make pumpkin pie anytime of the year, right? But if you tell yourself, “This holiday season I’m going to focus on making mindful choices in regard to my health” you create a different mindset as to how you will approach all of the choices this season brings.
Plan Ahead: An easy step to creating a happier and more successful holiday season is to plan ahead. Try taking a look at your schedule ahead of time. Think about setting aside 5 min in the evening to look over what lies ahead the following day. This will allow you to think not only of items needed or tasks to accomplish but to think through techniques to conquer stressful situations.
The holiday season is a time where we typically bring in more calories than we burn . Try to plan in some extra movement on these days. For example, go for a walk or play some outdoor games. Invite family and friends to join you.
During the holidays we can find ourselves with a house full of guests or find ourselves a guest in someone else’s home. It can be stressful and overwhelming. Try to plan in a few minutes of “me time” to regroup, re-center and refocus.
Stay Hydrated: Every cell, tissue and organ in our body needs water to function properly. Being able to stay hydrated will help you to feel better and give you more energy. The busyness of the holidays can make it easy to forget to hydrate so carry a water bottle with you. Don’t like water? Try adding a splash of 100% fruit juice to your water.
The festivities of the holidays are often accompanied with alcoholic beverages. Alcohol dehydrates you. Something to keep in mind as you partake this season. Instead of an alcoholic drink make a spritzer. 100% cranberry juice with sparkling water is delicious.
Use Healthy Alternatives and Substitutes: If I mentioned this a several years agothe results may have completely altered your end culinary result but in todays world companies have been listening to consumers and are providing healthier, more natural alternatives without sacrificing much taste, texture and even cost. You may also try substituting yogurt or avocado for mayo, whole grain bread for white bread, and nuts for croutons, to list a few options. Many seasoning options are high in salt. Try herbs instead and you can add more flavor and health benefits.
Enjoy In Moderation: The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. They are meant to be a time of fun, laughing, and gathering. Not of feeling bad, stressed out, or sick from overindulging. The key is moderation. You should enjoy Grannie’s special cookies. But one or two is different than half a dozen. The pie you have been waiting for, eat it. But have a small piece not a quarter of the pie. When you eat those things really enjoy it. Savor each forkful or bite.
If you grew up in a house like I did you were expected to eat everything that was on your plate. This was great when you were a kid trying to grow into a big adult. However, we have kept this mentality as our portions and plates got bigger. The result is overeating without noticing it’s happening. Try using a smaller plate and decrease our portion size.
Listen To Your Body: Your body knows when it has had enough. Often, we ignore what it is telling us or are so out of tune we don’t hear it talking to us. We find it easier to reach for an antacid and keep indulging. Pause throughout the day to hear what your body is telling you. It knows you best!
Focus On Your Why: When the struggle gets real focus on your why. Why do you want to be a more healthy you? For your kids? For yourself because you have lots of things to still accomplish? Etc. Use this why as your motivation to persevere.
When you fall off your health journey bandwagon hop back on. Don’t beat yourself up over it. The past is the past. You can’t change it, but you can use the tools and techniques you have learned to move your journey back in a forward motion toward your health goals.
Feel like you need more tools and techniques? Not even sure where to start? We at Sunshine Transformations can help you with that. Contact us at https://sunshinetransformations.com/contact/
No one said the holidays can’t be healthy. You get to choose how your holiday season will go. So choose what makes you feel good on the inside and out.
Cheers to a happy, healthy holiday season!
Love and Sunshine,
PS. Want some healthy eating habit tips? Click here for a free guide. https://mailchi.mp/a22836f21e4e/5simplesteps Our gift to you. Enjoy!
I was at the Doctor the other day getting the results of my bloodwork for my regular check up. Which by the way, according to the Doctor, “Your bloodwork is perfect. Whatever your doing keep doing.” Sweet. Then he asked me about my support system-“Do you have a support system of at least 3 people you can talk to?” Actually I am blessed with an amazing support system of more than 3 people. I’m acing this! Blood work-check, support system-check. Then he asks “How do you express your emotions? Do you hold them in or let them out?” Honestly kind of depends what the situation is. This Italian Jersey Girl can let it out when necessary but when you have a child with some health conditions sometimes it feels necessary to keep it all in. Hmm…so I don’t think that was the best answer. Then he goes in for the kill-“Do you love yourself?” “Well, what do you mean? Do I like myself? Most of the times. I’ve learned to appreciate the good and the bad of who I am if that is what you mean”. “No, I mean do you love yourself regardless” the Doctor states. What kind of question is that? Do I love me? Am I supposed to? Am I allowed to? Is it selfish too? Then I took all the work I have been doing and put it into place to answer his question. Did I ace it? Not necessarily, but I did give a good, honest answer.
You see this didn’t come easy to me. As an empathizer I’m really good at worrying about others and putting their needs first-often at the expense of mine. Where I’m at now didn’t just happen when I began my Health Coach Certification but long before that. Years before when I wanted to be the best wife, mom, and person I could be. It was back when I began working with a phenomenal holistic Doctor for a couple of other health conditions that it became apparent that I needed to work on my relationship with myself. I had no problem loving others and building them to their potential. However, I was quick to be critical and almost degrading to myself. This is where I was blessed to come face to face with the fact that I had some work to do on my relationship with myself. That if I wanted to grow as a person I need to love me, all of me. That included the parts I found awesome and the ones that drove me crazy. It didn’t happen overnight. I’m still quite critical of myself but I am also so much more in tune with myself and accepting of whom I’ve become. You see because I have learned although I am not perfect, I am pretty amazing-the good, the quirky and everything else that makes me who I am.
Most of us go through exactly what I went through at that moment when faced with the question “Do you love yourself?” So many of us haven’t been taught how to move forward. We are taught it is selfish to put ourselves before others and equate loving ourselves to be selfish as well. What does it mean to love yourself? So I googled “loving yourself” just to see what I would find. “About 397,000,000 results” popped up! To say this is an important, often researched and written about topic would be an understatement. As I looked through several, but definitely not all, articles I found some familiar items such as:
For this next month Sunshine Transformations will be exploring and sharing what it means to love yourself. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn ways to deepen your relationship with yourself. For today you can begin by journaling your answer to a few questions?
If you are ready to take the next step to loving yourself by making your health a priority go to SunshineTransformations.com. I’m offering 25% off on your Health Journey Consultation by entering the code Sunshine19. Go to the services page, click on Health Journey Consultation and begin showing yourself some love.
“You owe yourself the love you so freely give to other people.”
Helping you shine bright,
Brandee Thunberg is a personal wellness assistant that has been married to her best friend for over 20 years, has two awesome boys, is an artist, an educator, an avid outdoor enthusiast that LOVES helping you become the best You.
I have spent 18 years in a high stress career full of lots of expectations, which keep changing, and a work load that keeps growing. Sound familiar to you? If you talk to many people in this field, you will hear one thing over and over. “Surviving”. “Good Morning! How are you?” “Surviving.” “Hey! How is your day going?” “Surviving.” Take a moment to process the image that brings to your mind. Maybe sadness, defeat, exhaustion? I’m going to be honest. I have begun to cry and scream inside when I hear this word. Cry because I am sad those around me feel that way. Scream because my ears hurt from hearing that word over and over.
Once I looked beyond the walls of the building I work in to those who work in different occupations I saw so much of the same thing. People everywhere surviving. Thoughtlessly and frantically going from one place to another day after day. I decided to self-reflect. Is this me? Am I spending everyday surviving? Is this how I want to live? I encourage you right now to take a deep breath and honestly answer these questions yourself.
I’m thinking many of you discovered what I did. Your surviving. Eww. Eww. Eww.
My word for this year was easy to identify. Thrive. I am going to thrive. Period. Done. Decision made. I AM going to show up everyday to grow vigorously in so many areas of my life.
But how do you thrive?
Believe It: Believing is a huge part of making any goal a reality. If you believe it, you are much more likely to achieve it. What you think becomes your reality. So, what do you believe with your whole mind, the front and back? Is that voice in the back of your mind telling you something different? If so, do you really believe it then? I am going to thrive this year so I’m going to build my belief through affirmations, journaling, creating and surrounding myself with a beautiful tribe of thriving people. Attached to this blog you will find a journal sheet and a coloring page to start you on your way.
Know Your Obstacles and Tolerations: In order to move forward you need to know what is holding you back. What in your life is holding you back from thriving? Be raw and honest with yourself if you want to figure this one out. That’s when amazing discoveries start to happen. I had a wonderful opportunity to hear Jennifer Myers speak at an amazing self-development session full of incredible information. She asked some powerful questions. One that really hit me was “What are you tolerating?” I had never thought of it that way before. Tolerating. Hmm. She said on average people tolerate over 40 things in their life. 40! That’s a lot of time and energy on something that can be holding you back from shining your beautiful talents on this world. So, I ask you “What are you tolerating that is causing you to survive not thrive?” Jot down your list. See it. Feel it. Can anything on your list go bye-bye, sayonara, see you later? Can someone do something for you?
Move Forward: So how do you move forward? You believe it and you have identified your obstacles and tolerations. Now what? Set a goal. What will make you feel like you are thriving in your life? I recommend taking that one thing that stands out in your mind, the one thing you keep thinking about as you read this. I could be thriving if I _________? lost weight, spent more time with my family, ate more whole foods, learned to manage stress, loved myself.
Make a goal in that area. For example, I’m going to lose 8lbs this month. (sidenote-2lbs/week = 104lbs/year) Now break that goal into smaller chunks. To lose 8lbs I need to eat more whole foods, drink more water, move my body more and cook more meals. You can now take each one of these and focus on one a week for the next month. Not so overwhelming anymore. This week I’m going to drink half my body weight in water because hydrating my body will make me feel fuller longer and boost my metabolic rate. For the next week focus on adding more water to your diet. Then break down the next smaller chunk and crush it.
You need to thrive. I want you to be happy, energetic, and vibrant. The world needs you and your amazing talents. In order to have your ripple effect in the world you need to be thriving. Only then can you help others do the same.
Need help applying this information to your life? Visit me at SunshineTransformations.com to learn how. I would love to help you begin your health journey.
My heart is so passionate and excited about helping you I’m offering a coupon code for 25% of your Health Journey Consultation. Go to the service page and click on Healthy Journey Consultation and follow the scheduling and payment prompts.
“If you keep on living like the way you are now, you will continue to produce the same life you already have.” -Jim Rohn
Helping you shine bright,
Brandee Thunberg is a personal wellness assistant that has been married to her best friend for over 20 years, has two awesome boys, is an artist, an educator, an avid outdoors enthusiast and LOVES helping you become the best You!
The information contained on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any specific disease or medical condition. Please seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional before beginning any natural, conventional, or functional medicine treatment or protocol.