Health and Fitness Day at Francis A. Gregory Library

Courtesy of Eventbrite

By Jaylynn Williams 

The Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library hosted its second annual Health and Wellness Fair this past weekend, an event aimed at health-conscious families and individuals to promote healthy living and community wellness. 

Admission to the fair, which took place on September 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offered a variety of activities and giveaways, was free of charge. Adults and children participated in the two yoga classes that were offered. One class was aimed specifically towards adults and took place indoors, while outside, families were immersed in nature as they perfected their downward-facing dog. Children were able to get even more active by playing double-dutch jump rope. Older event-goers flocked to National Chess Master David Bennet’s chess workshop. On the main floor, Flexcare Pharmacy gave screenings for pre-diabetes. One booth focused on the practice of safe sex, distributed free forms of protection and offered free HIV testing. 

A major theme of the fair was healthy eating as a means to living a healthy lifestyle. Multiple booths stressed the importance of a well-balanced meal and its effects on childhood development. Anne Beers Farm Share is a farm run by Anne Beers Elementary School, and for $15, subscribers of the farm’s monthly produce program receive $30 worth of organic vegetables and a carton of eggs. Buying organic produce at a reasonable cost is often difficult for the average college student, so it was great to learn about affordable and easily accessible options. 

Pictured left to right: Holy Basil, Dandelion, and Lemon Bass. Courtesy of Jaylynn Williams

Claire Hudson and Rachel Schroeder, co-owners of the herbology company Nadarra Leigh, presented a herbology and nutrition class. The presentation focused on herbs that are beneficial to four categories: anti-inflammatory, adaptogens, nutritive tonics, and immune support. 

Ashwagandha is good for hormone balance, retaining memory, and easing the strain that athletics put on the body. Student-athletes, men, in particular, are encouraged to own the herb. Its shelf stability is amazing, so it is definitely a worthy investment.

Schisandra has very calming effects and is great for focusing. It is said to aid those with ADHD, as it helps calm an active mind. Holy basil also provides a calming effect on the body and in addition to that, can be used to handle emotional pain, grief, and anxiety. If you put it in your dorm or apartment, its peppermint and lemon scent is sure to spread throughout the room. Another relief for depression is Lemon Balm. Its properties are great for relieving anxiety and decreasing memory fog. Mid-terms are looming on the horizon, so it may be beneficial for some college students to purchase these herbs to help with studying. 

Garlic, Echinacea, Angustifolia, and Elder are Immune Support herbs. With the recent outbreak of illnesses as of late on campus, arming yourself with some of these herbs can be essential. Crushing garlic and combining it with cayenne pepper and honey can help cure strep throat, so keep that in mind when decided whether or not to invest in medicinal herbs.

Chef Jonathan Bardzik’s Homemade Applesauce recipe. Courtesy of Jaylynn Williams 

After the herbology class ended, local DC chef and author Jonathan Bardzik hosted a healthy cooking class. He said that individuals get caught up in calorie counting, nutritional value, and eating only what’s considered healthy. The key, however, is moderation.

“Every meal has to bring me joy,” Bardzik said. 

Bardzik also taught the class how to make a homemade applesauce recipe. 

The Health and Wellness Fair lived up to its name, providing helpful insight into how to live a healthy life. Each of the activities and classes provided was informative and led by professionals that are clearly passionate about health and wellness.

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