05 Apr / NaPoWriMo: Day 5

Just the Facts, Ma’am

I am going to die someday,
it is, an undisputable fact.
It hits me as I walk along mossy Evergreens
feeling the warmth of lazy slits of sun
I take a deeper breath (to validate that I am, in fact, alive now)
and say it again, this time, out loud:

I am going to die someday.
There is no stopping this,
my youth will fade, disappear
like a popsicle left absently on a counter-top.

In this truth, certainty appears
How could I spend a day doing anything other than what I love,
with people I love, in a place that makes my heart full
and my eyes shine?
Why would I dare to share my space, my heart, my soul
with anyone other than he who adores my very presence?

This is life, and it is not to be taken for granted.
It is meant to be absorbed, loved and enveloped in every moment.
Choices are easier to make with this knowledge, with one’s
finger pressed firmly against this incredibly enlightening reality.

Every choice matters.
Every second is more important than the last.
Waste not,
Live much.
It is, after all
Exactly what we’ve got.

Copyright 2011 Heather Strang

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ll be writing one poem a day for all of April. Since I was without computer this weekend, below are my first four poems for the first four days of April. You may notice a theme of…remembering – as this is a general theme in my life right now. Please leave comments and links to your poetry as well!

With love,
xoHeather

Fairytale

Once upon a time
there lived a girl
who dreamed of a life
with more
than slamming doors,
angry words
and sadness.
One day, the girl
set out on her own
determined to do it
all differently
and far better.
Challenges befell her,
and many a night
she faced slamming doors,
angry words
and sadness.
But, she soldiered on
sure that she deserved
more and would one day
find it.
Then, one day, she did.
On a beach with water
spread out as far as she
could see.
Suddenly, she remembered.
Her dream life lived inside of her
beyond slamming doors,
angry words
and sadness.
The peaceful life she craved
was not to be sought
after and found,
it was to be allowed
out of her soul and
birthed into this life.
The girl sighed, and
smiled her biggest smile.
She was going to be okay.

———————-

Love Asks

Love does not ask me to run
It does not ask me to hide.
Love wants my soul,
100 percent of who I really am.

But, I am scared.

Smiling bright, I
pretend that I don’t know
what it is love requires.

But, I do.

Love is asking me for surrender
For total, gut-wrenching honesty
Love wants me down on my knees
Begging for the light, yearning for all I am.

And then, I remember.

I was given this gift.
This man, this opportunity to love
And love is not asking for me to play
the same, old, tired games.

Love is demanding my full participation
On every level – mind, body, soul.

And so, I do.

———————————-

I Am Here

I am not good enough
for your program,
your magazine, or
your publishing house.

I won’t follow the rules
or bend to regulations of which
I find lacking and irrelevant
not to mention terribly uncreative.

I am here to write
And some days, it is wretched
But, I cannot care
I must do what I came here to do.

I didn’t come here to write for
your program,
your magazine,
or your publishing house.

I came to write my truth
I came to shine it so brightly
For all who resonated and
were drawn.

Somehow, some way it would matter
Somehow it would find its way
Into the right hands
Of my perfect people.

I thought you would understand.
Instead you bore me with
meters and rhymes and
statutes that say poetry can only look like _______.

I smile, though,
remembering that I did
not come here
for you.

———————————

Me

My safety does not lie within you
It lies, within me.
It is buried deep.
You see, I put it somewhere so I
wouldn’t forget.
Although, like those pesky car keys,
I often do forget.
But now, now I am remembering:
It is me
I am me
It all adds up to one – me.

Copyright 2011 Heather Strang

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

While I reserve the right to add to this list at any given time (whenever a food adventure allows me to!), I have to share with you some of my top picks right now for eating gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and low sugar in Portland, Ore. I feel so grateful to live in such a creative culinary place – filled with delicious, healthy food. Check it out!

Best Coffee House
Bean & Tree: Try their decaf hemp lattes, caffeine-free chai tea with almond/hemp milk or try coconut milk steamed. Wheat-free, vegan blueberry muffin is great as well. Skip the gluten-free chocolate chips – unless you can tolerate dairy.

Best Patisserie
Jade Teahouse: You have got to try their white chocolate with sea salt macaroon. It’s pure ectasy. Everything on the menu is gluten-free and their pastries are incredible in all ways. Also try out their curry. They have a full dinner menu with eclectic, tasty offerings.

Best Food Cart
Buddha Bites at the PSU carts: Their gluten-free bread is like REAL sandwich bread. Try their turkey, avocado, bacon panini (with gf bread!) and you will be in heaven. Everything on the menu is good, but the sandwich wins!

Best Burger
Dick’s Kitchen: The Elk burger is amazing and it’s from local farmers on a sustainable farm. I got mine on a bed of lettuce, but Dick’s offers a gluten-free bun. The fries are incredible – and are baked. Everything on the menu is geared towards a low-inflammation diet, so plenty of gluten-free and dairy-free offerings. They even have diet gingerale, which is delish in Maker’s Mark (if you can tolerate Whiskey) or potato vodka.

Best Pizza
Mississppi Pizza: I love pizza and so, I have eaten my way through PDX looking for the perfect gluten-free pizza. I found it here! Now, if you need it to be vegan and egg-free you can call ahead to have them prepare the dough. I can tolerate a little bit of dairy over soy, so I went with light mozzarella cheese, the red marinara sauce, chicken, spinach, red onions and sundried tomatoes. I was in pure heaven. The crust is thicker than most GF crusts and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s a must try! They also offer GF cookies.

Best Steak & Potatoes
Clyde Common: Not a traditional gluten-free establishment, but their grilled steak and potatoes (and harissa fries) were so orgasmic (and gf/df/soy-free), I had to include them here. The service is fantastic and the food is made primarily local and fresh to order.

Best Sustainable Sushi
Bamboo Sushi: Sustainable fish and practices make this the best sushi you will find. The fish is the freshest I’ve ever tried. While their prices aren’t cheap, you will feel so good inside and outside you’ll be thrilled you indulged in this naturally gluten/dairy/sugar-free food. Let them know you have a soy allergy to stay away from any potential allergens.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Anatomy of the Heart: Love Poems on Display at New Ren in NW Portland

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you’re looking for a last-minute V-day gift that will make your lover smile, consider purchasing autographed copes of Anatomy of the Heart: Love Poems.

You can purchase an autographed copy from New Renassiance on NW 23rd & Pettygrove or Powell’s in downtown Portland.

Do so today!

Happy Love,
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

These cookies were a BIG hit at the Superbowl party I attended. And you will absolutely love them! Tip: put half the batch in ziplock bags and freeze (this will keep you from eating the entire batch and give you a fun frozen treat in the future!).

Cookie Heaven

Gluten/Dairy/Soy-free, Low-Sugar Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups gluten-free flour blend (LOVE Bob’s Red Mill)
1 c gluten-free rolled oats (recommend Legacy Valley brand)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2/3 c Erythritol (all natural sweetener – zero on glycemic index!)
2/3 c canola oil
2/3 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (recommend Blue Diamond)
1 t vanilla extract
2 ripe organic bananas
1/2 c chopped organic raw walnuts
1 pkg Enjoy Life dairy/soy/gluten-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix wet ingredients, add in dry ingredients. Stir until fully blended. Feel free to add more flour or vanilla almond milk to get desired consistency. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Eating!
xoHeather 🙂



Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

It’s been roughly 9 years since I’ve had a cupcake. 9 years ago I realized that all my tummy illness was from wheat. Fast-forward to today and it’s rare that I’m tempted by a cupcake, and even rarer to find a cupcake that meets my eating needs.

Petunia's Cupcakes - Don't Experience Valentine's Day Without Them!

Then I stumbled upon Petunia’s Pies & Pastries at the PSU Saturday Market. I simply could not say ‘no’ to their Valentine’s Day special cupcakes. I mean, February is the month of love. Wasn’t it time to reconnect with my long-lost love of cupcakes?

So here’s the deal. I promised myself I would only have a tiny bite of each cupcake, so I could report back to you. Then, I would save them to fully relish at another time. That, my dear friends, is called denial.

Which is why I urge you to order via email you and your lover(s) some Petunia’s V-day cupcakes now!

Be sure to get the raspberry passion cupcake – it was my FAVORITE. It was light and tasty with a raspberry  center. The coconut flakes and buttercream (minus the butter!) frosting made this a stand-out cupcake. And the cupcakes are made with coconut oil, so they’re even healthier (no soy!).

Oh, and while you’re at it, be sure to order some of the cowgirl cookies. The first gluten-free, vegan bakery cookie that I actually LOVED.

Happy Eating!
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Cold days? This is the dish. Heat up with some melted dairy-free cheese or eat with blue corn tortilla chips. Whatever way you choose, you’re going to LOVE this yummy, rich chili.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free White Bean Chili

1 lb. organic, ground turkey
2 cans organic white beans (you choose what style)
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 onion, chopped
1 T cumin
1 T cayenne pepper (adjust based on your spice preferences)
1 T garlic salt
2 cups organic vegetable broth

Place all ingredients in crock pot (in the order above), stir and then cook on high for 3.5 hours.

Happy Eating!
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know how much I love my crock pot. The winter is such a perfect time to try out new crock pot recipes and I’ve been using mine every week. Last week was chicken with spinach, tomatoes, onions and seasoning and this week is my stab at Indian food.


Lentils

1 pkg of brown or green lentils (Trader Joe’s has precooked brown lentils ready to go)
1 10 oz. pkg of organic spinach (frozen or fresh)
6 small/medium organic sweet potatoes, sliced length-wise
1 small organic red onion, sliced length-wise
4 organic carrots, sliced length-wise
1 c light coconut milk
1 c water
1 T cumin
1 T garlic salt
1 T 21 seasoning (from Trader Joe’s)

Slice all veggies and place all ingredients in crock pot. Heat for 3 hours on high, 2 hours on low. Stir often.

Gluten-Free Naan

Brown rice tortilla (Trader Joe’s)
1 slice of dairy-free cheese (love Lisanatti almond cheese)

Spray saute pan with canola oil. Place tortilla in pan with slice of cheese in the center (can slice up cheese and place around tortilla) heat up until tortilla is warm and cheese is melted. Fold over and place on plate.

Use tortilla to eat lentils, just like you would with traditional naan. Delish!

Happy Eating!
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Since February is synonymous with chocolate, Kinnikinnick, North America’s leading provider of gluten-free baked goods and snacks, is hosting a Valentine’s Day Box o’ Chocolate Contest. And the prize is not a typical box of chocolates; it’s a box of everything they make with chocolate in it – a $50 value.

There will be two winners!

The contest begins on January 24, 2010 and will end on February 8, 2010 at 9 pm. Details of how to participate can be found at the link below. Mandatory entry is leaving a comment on their blog, but there are extra ways to enter as well. http://blog.kinnikinnick.com/2011/01/valentines-box-o-chocolate-contest.html

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

08 Jan / My Love

My love
From sun up until sun down
Your face sits before me
I dream of you, sleeping and waking
It’s a sure sign I’m crazy
But I simply cannot help it
I am in love.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More