Remember my goal for the new year? To get outside my comfort zone? Well, I’ve been working on it. I joined our local Jazzercise fitness center. And I’ve been loving it! I’ve done 35 classes so far, and I am on track to a new goal of 50 classes by Earth Day! Not only has it been good for me to get fit again, but by putting myself out there for a group activity (way outside my introverted comfort zone!), I’ve actually met some really great women, who make me laugh, make working out more fun, serve as accountability partners, and just generally make me feel better–even when I’m tripping over my own feet during a new dance routine.
As a side note, if you haven’t checked out Jazzercise lately, you may be under the mistaken impression that it’s some 80s-style aerobics, but let me tell you: Jazzercise is tough stuff. I work up a serious sweat, and most of the strength-building we do is exactly like the moves I previously did with my personal trainer. And it’s fun–with modern music. I’m loving jazzing it up to “Uptown Funk.” 🙂
I also went with a friend to one of those painting classes that I mentioned in my original post. I’ve never been very artistic–drawing, painting–just not my things. But I created this abstract butterfly (not exactly symmetrical, but not too shabby):
I also went to an herbal remedies class, where I learned about some natural solutions to cold and allergies. I’ve been using Elderberry syrup for cold/flu for a few years, and this past year, I purchased some dried elderberries from a local woman and made my own syrup, which I froze and have been doling out all season for me and my husband. I’ve used a lot of other natural “remedies” for daily problems and to increase immunity and overall wellbeing. I prefer to go with a natural solution over a pill if possible…with the understanding that there’s not always a natural solution–and sometimes medication is required. As a result of the class, I’ve decided to try my hand at an herbal infusion featuring stinging nettle.
Nettle has a lot of good nutrients, and apparently has been used for centuries to help with allergies, particularly hay fever. So I’m going to give it a go and see how it works. I’m using about a cup of nettle leaves with about a quart of boiling water. I let it steep 8-10 hours and then strained and added half a lemon. Pre-lemon, the infusion was very dark green. It tasted a little too leafy for my taste. Once I added the lemon, though, it turned to a nice light brown–and ended up looking and tasting a lot like unsweetened iced tea. I’m on my third day now; I’ll be taking a bottle to work tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll see some benefits soon.
I’m also going to try adding some juniper berry to my neti pot during allergy season, and I’m going to look into something called butterbur, which is supposedly as effective as Zyrtec for allergy relief. I have terrible allergies. Spring is an awful time–the weather is great, but I can almost not even stand to be outside. So I’m hoping this might help alleviate some of my Spring suffering. We’ll see…I’m not giving up my Nasacort, though. 😉