Sunday, January 16, 2011

Herbal Remedies

Well, I went to the "Fresh Air" store last night looking for a cure for the common cold. According to my friend's encyclopedia of herbal remedies, Echinacea, goldenseal and Elderberry were the best things to help with congestion, etc. The store was impressive and smelled like lavender. I got a bottle of Echinacea & goldenseal, and some Echinacea tea bags. Andrew picked up a few pieces of candied ginger, and got me some dried pineapple (a fave that Trader Joe's discontinued...not that we live near one, but still). They didn't have Elderberry, they only had it in loose form. This meant I'd have to make my own tea and this was a daunting thought, so I opted for pre-bagged. Maybe next time I'll feel brave enough to do it on my own, but for now I'm enjoying the lemony-minty taste of Yogi's Echinacea tea. Mmmm.

So far, so good. I took the Echinacea/goldenseal last night and again this morning and while I'm still a bit on the stuffy side, it seems to be helping out quite a bit! I'm also employing the help of my Neti Pot, so that may also be playing a part in clearing me up. (What is goldenseal, you ask? Google it, it is a root of some sort).

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Andrew and I started P90X on Saturday. Holy cow. It is intense! It's nice to have someone alongside me keeping me motivated and accountable.

So far, so good. I'm really enjoying it. Granted, it's only Day 5...I may be singing a different tune in a week or so. Hopefully not, but we're taking it a day at a time right now. The first day was back and chest. I could hardly lift my coffee mug the next morning, for serious. Day 2 was plyometrics, which is similar to "jump training" and my legs are still burning from it. The past two days (arms and shoulders, and yoga) were almost refreshing! I don't know if that's quite the right word for it, but I liked the challenge they presented, and was able to really push myself with both workouts. The yoga was really extreme and while I wasn't able to do all of the moves correctly, I tried them and we made it through the entire 90 minutes. I have approximately zero balancing ability in my right leg, thanks to the ol' rod, but I pushed through some of it and did what I could. Plus, as an added bonus, the guy who leads the videos, Tony Horton, is quite the hoot! I think he's entertaining and keeps things light.

I feel great. I sincerely hope that we keep this up through flu season (Andrew's currently home with a nasty cold....wish us luck!) and stick with it. I am sleeping so well, too. There are so many benefits to exercising and I'm looking forward to experiencing them all!

The nutrition guide that comes with it is even more extreme. It sounds great, but I'm not going to get up in the morning and make a mushroom omelet, cottage cheese and strawberries, and then have shrimp pomodora for lunch. Sounds great but I know it's not going to happen. We've been eating well and I plan to pack our meals full of protein and veggies.

So, that's my take on P90X days 1 through 4. It is difficult and time consuming, but I figure if I can do it, anyone can!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Things, things and other things

It's pretty evident that I stink at blogging. But, I'm trying....

In keeping with the "Happy, Healthy" part of this, I'll go ahead and let you in on a secret - we're starting P90X on Saturday. What? I already told you that? Ok, well we were going to start it...but things came up, it was the week after Christmas break...and enter some more excuses here, etc. So Saturday it is. Or else.

Really, I have a goal in mind and it is just to be more fit and healthy before the start of this next decade of my life. I am dreading it and am treating it like Voldemort and not calling it by name for some irrational reason...nor am I celebrating it - and for those of you who know me and how sacred birthdays are to me, you understand how severe this has become. But, maybe if I am in better shape, my attitude will also improve and I won't hate the idea so much. Maybe...

In related news, 7 of my co-workers are having a "Biggest SOAR Loser" contest. (SOAR is the name of the department we work for and it stands for "Students Optimizing All Resources" - or "Students On A Rampage" / "Students Obtaining A Record"...depending on who you ask) Jaime and I started a hydration campaign about a month ago and we've done a great job of keeping up with that! We drink, on average, 75-100oz a day. It's great. We're all trying different ways to drop a few pounds and live healthier before spring break gets here and we all weight in. While I don't have a single competitive bone in my body, I'm joining with them to have some measure of accountability and inspiration. Also, there's a cash prize.

In unrelated news, a dear friend of mine loaned me a book that contains a lot of natural remedies and I plan to look it over this weekend. I recently found out that I have a torn meniscus (a tendon in the knee that provides cushion) and have been on an anti-inflammatory. After researching the side effects that weren't listed on the page that came with the pills, I decided immediately to stop taking them (if something has the potential to produce purple spots on my skin, I'm pretty sure that I'm better off without it!) I also had a total of 5 sinus infections in 2010, thanks to my "chronically inflamed sinuses," so I'd like to figure out what kind of tea leaf or ear of newt or tree bark will help me get rid of that issue before I start pumping nasal spray into my body. I'm excited to try these natural, much-less-harsh forms of treating symptoms and am anxious to see the outcome! She uses them on her kids all the time and swears by them. She's one wonderful mother, so if she trusts this type of thing enough to give it to her little ones, I'm sure it's the best there is.

So - wish me luck...