Wasa with Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

¼ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
2 tablespoons goat cheese
2 pieces WASA Hearty Rye (may substitute any WASA variety)

Directions

Sauté zucchini in a non-stick skillet until soft and golden in color.
Spread 1 tablespoon goat cheese on each crispbread.
Top with sliced tomatoes and layer zucchini on top.

TIP: Substitute eggplant or yellow squash for zucchini.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 205
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 260 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Protein 9 g
Calcium 94 mg

Healing Waters

I sink into the water.

Outside, at the hot springs, the air is cool and river still. It smells like sulfur, but after a few minutes I don’t notice. I’m simply lost in the “healing waters.” That’s what they are called because supposedly the minerals in the hot springs help with a number of ailments. Personally, I enjoy the way the heat releases the tension in my body. I especially like soaking my feet – they cramp easily. I also like the heat around the middle of my body – a source of pain between a miscarriage, a surgery, and fertility frustrations over the past 12 months.

I lean back against the stone wall of the bath and watch.

There is a man standing under a waterfall. The water thuds against his back. What is he healing? Tight shoulders? Work stress? Or something deeper . . . the loss of a family member or friend?

In another pool there is a woman with her eyes closed. Maybe she is washing away the pain of divorce. Or abuse. Or a dog named Marley.

I don’t know. I’m just guessing. But when I start thinking about all the different types of “loss” people deal with, it’s clear we all need healing. One of the professors at the university I attended in Southern California just lost his house in the fires. One of my friends just gave birth, a joyful event . . . and a loss of personal time.

Loss of age . . . loss of a job . . . loss of a breast . . . loss of mental agility . . . loss of a city after a move . . . loss of a child who goes off to college . . . and on and on and on it goes.

I read a paragraph in a book the other day about the importance of taking time to heal. The author said that when we step back and heal ourselves we become aware of a world full of people in need. My time of retreat is coming to a close. I hope I don’t go back home and get too wrapped up in schedules and deadlines and the frustrations of city traffic. I hope I can heed the author’s advice and help heal the world in little personal ways. Š

A Time to Feast

I’m hanging out with my parents when my dad sees me frantically rubbing my thumbs against the palms of my hands.

“Are you nervous?” he asks.

“Yeah,” I say.

He wants to know why. How to explain?

My parents have been visiting the past few days. I haven’t seen them in over six months. It’s the longest period of time we’ve ever been apart (even when I lived in Europe after college I saw them at least every four months). The past few days have been one big party. We’ve eaten red meat and fried foods. We’ve had Grasshoppers (ice cream and alcohol) and cookies. I think I munched on a vegetable in there somewhere – yes, I steamed spinach one night – but other than that, I can’t say I’ve been practicing “mindful eating” since Saturday. And my home yoga regime? Completely cut off once my parents arrived (although my mom saw my mat, which was rolled out on the floor, and she practiced sun salutations).

“I’m not sure what to blog about for Wasa this week,” I finally say to my dad.

“Well, let’s think,” he says.

“I’m supposed to blog about yoga and mindful eating, but I’m not inspired given my eating habits and lack of yoga practice,” I explain.

My dad is silent for awhile. “You could talk about how yoga is important for old people like me,” he finally says. “As people age, they are at an increased risk of falling. So write in your blog that yoga is important for balance and to do yoga with a Wasa cracker.”

“Uh, okay. Thanks,” I say.

“Just trying to help,” he says.

My mom chimes in too. “Oh, I know,” she says. “Blog about the fact that we bought a juicer.”

It’s true. My parents read the Wasa blog and were inspired to buy a juicer.

“Last week we made peach juice with vodka,” my mom says. “It was delicious!” She pauses. “Am I missing the point?”

Well, I do wish they would make vegetable juice instead, but maybe I’m the one who is missing the point. As I drop them off at the airport, I know what I’m going to blog about: A Time to Feast. This week we’ve hit up good restaurants and had fun cooking in too. We played cards and watched baseball and talked, all over scones for breakfast and steaks for dinner. It was a reunion. A celebration.  A time to enjoy life. Not that we couldn’t have done that over Brussels sprouts and brown rice, but eating well most of the time makes it easier to allow the exceptions. Not to mention, those “exceptions” are much appreciated.

Mix it Up

Staying at our retreat home in the mountains of Colorado has me thinking about water. I constantly see large vehicles with oversized plastic containers strapped into their truck beds, full of water. Water is hauled all over the place. It’s dry out here.

I’ve actually become a bit paranoid about water. What is the healthiest way to drink it? Should I gulp tap water and risk consuming substances like chlorine and fluoride, not to mention whatever else the water might be picking up as it flows through the pipes? Or should I buy water in a bottle and risk consuming leeched chemicals from the plastic, not to mention hurting the environment (plastic water bottles take 1000 years to biodegrade)? And if I do opt for store bought water, what should I purchase? Spring? Distilled? Glacial?

The more I read about water, the more confusing the facts. I find this to be the case with fish too (Eat it – it’s good for you! Don’t eat it – tuna contains mercury, fish handlers get infections when capturing rockfish, etc.!)

Here’s my current theory: instead of devoting myself to one type of water (tap, spring, well) I mix it up. That way, I figure I’ll get a variety of chemicals but (hopefully) in miniscule amounts. I take the same approach with fish. I’ll eat tuna on occasion, but not too often. Same with salmon and shrimp and sole. So that’s my theory and I’m stickin’ to it.  Š