Sign n’ Run Festival at CSUN


California State University at Northridge (CSUN) will have their sixth Festival on April 21, 2013.  The fundraiser from the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) gathers money for student scholarships and programs.

 


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Open My Heart

How many times have I been in Dandasana (Staff Pose) during a yoga class and listened to the teacher say, Open your chest? Same with Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and many, many other poses.

My friend and fellow blogger Michelle of Full Soul Ahead was in a guided meditation when she heard the teacher say, “We often hunch our shoulders as a way to protect our hearts.” Michelle blogged about the symbolic meaning of that tendency over here: Open Heart. A beautiful post and well worth checking out.

Not that long ago I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and came across the passage where a recovering addict had prayed continuously that God would open his heart. When the man was rushed to the hospital for surgery, he remembered thinking, God, I didn’t mean literally! (The story goes something like that – I don’t have the book with me to look it up).

Anyway. Open my heart, God. What a great prayer. I realized today that it’s so much easier to “open my heart” when things are going well. When life is good, my work is being published, my husband and I are laughing together, and the sun is shining, it’s so easy to take a big breath and stand up tall and let my chest expand and be graceful and appreciative and joyful towards others and towards the world.

But when dark times come…oh, those are the moments where I tend to get frustrated or angry and want to quit. But I think maybe it’s during those times when the heart needs to open up and grow most of all.

Wasa with Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

2 tablespoons goat cheese
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 slices smoked salmon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mixed baby salad greens
2 pieces WASA Light Rye Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)

Directions

Sread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each crispbread. Sprinkle each crispbread with 1/2 tablespoon of capers and ½ tablespoon chopped chives. Cover each with thinly sliced salmon.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice together. Sprinkle ½ of the oil mixture on each crispbread. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Top with baby salad greens and sprinkle with remaining olive oil and lemon mixture.

TIP: Substitute cream cheese or low fat cream cheese or feta cheese for goat cheese.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serve 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 98
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 371 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 6 g
Calcium 3% of daily value

One-Way Street

For years I pounded the pavement. As a runner, my feet hit the cement over and over as I competed in cross-country, track, and, as an adult, even a couple marathons.

My coaches always encouraged stretching, both before and after the runs, but for the most part, I was on a one-way street toward shortening and tighenting my muscles. Until I tried yoga, I had no idea what it really meant to enlongate them. Running made me so inflexible that because of my inability to touch my toes or do the splits, I thought I “couldn’t do yoga.” Yoga was for bendy people, like gymnasts.

Thank goodness I figured out my thinking was flawed at age 30 and not a minute later. The benefits of yoga for inflexible people are amazing. Yes, it’s true that having shorter muscles means I often need to use a lot of props and adjust my poses in way others don’t, but almost every single time I practice yoga, I find myself thinking, “This feels so good.” After years of heading “one way” I’m finally teaching my body to move in the opposite direction. Ahh.

Mozzarella, Sun Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive on Wasa Crispbread

Ingredients

2 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
4 teaspoons sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, chopped
½ tablespoon pine nuts
2 teaspoons Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced lengthwise into quarters
1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 pieces WASA Multigrain Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)

Directions

Toast pine nuts in small skillet until lightly browned, set aside.
Place 1 ounce mozzarella on each crispbread.
Sprinkle with ½ tablespoon of basil, 2 teaspoons sun dried tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Kalamata olives, ¼ teaspoon pine nuts. Serve immediately.

TIP: Substitute any nuts for pine nuts. Substitute feta cheese for mozzarella if desired.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 279
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 36 mg
Sodium 584 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Protein 17 g
Calcium 456 mg

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