Calling all writers!

A friend of mine and kick-ass 20-something author, Christine Hassler, is seeking submissions for her Chicken Soup for the 20-Something Soul book. It’s a great opportunity to share a story/lesson from your 20’s, get a pub credit and make a couple hundred bucks off of your life. Not bad, right? I definitely recommend you send in a story. Check out the guidelines below. Oh and be sure to let Christine know that Heather sent you. 🙂

Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul® Story
1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know in 300-1200 words. Make sure that you introduce the character(s).

2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh or get goose bumps (the good kind!) Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?

3. The story should start with action; it should include a problem, issue or situation. It should include dialogue and the character should express their feelings though the conflict or situation. It should end in a result, such as a lesson learned, a positive change or pay-off.

4. Above all, let it come from your HEART! Your story is important!

Story Specifications
1. It is preferred that all submissions are sent via our website at www.chickensoup.com. To prepare your inner author, go to www.chickensoup.com and read the story guidelines there.
2. Think of your awesome, incredible, tear-jerker, laugh out loud, tug at the heartstrings, message with passion, coincidental, life lesson, or just really juicy story.

3. Write your non-fiction story – approximate word limit is 300-1200 words (but I’ll edit it for you so don’t worry about being exact!)
4. Go to
www.chickensoup.com, click on “Submit a Story” and be sure to select Twenty Something as the book title. Fill out the info and just paste your story in the appropriate box.
5. No anonymous or author unknown submissions please.

6. Submit only one copy of each submission.

7. We do acknowledge all submissions, but you will be notified if yours is selected.
8. DEADLINE January 15th!!!

Please contact Christine directly at christine@christinehassler.com with any questions.

Happy Submitting!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Happy early Thanksgiving to all of you in the blogosphere!

While Thanksgiving is a fabulous time to stuff yourself silly, it’s also, more importantly a time to stop and appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities and people in our lives.

Have you made your Thanks-giving list yet?! If not, I encourage you to do so. It’s a great way to start any day and puts you in alignment with attracting more fabulous assignments and editors/clients.

Here’s my Thanks-list (in random order of appreciation):

-My cat, Beatrice – she keeps me entertained throughout the day.
Jennifer Powers – a great business partner who I can bounce any challenge off of.
-Heather – a fabulous soul friend who I am so grateful to know!
-Jessie – editor at DDI Magazine. An editor who really gets it and keeps me laughing.
-All of the awesome editors/assignments I’m currently working with/on. You rock!
-My agent who has diligently sent my proposal to dozens of publishers – who will soon be fighting over me, offering up the best book deal ever. 🙂
-My writing. It has been there for me through it all and I am so grateful to have it as a gift.
-Anatomy of the Spirit/Health Intuition – Caroline Myss & Karen Grace Kassy inspire me to tap into that place within me where I just know.
-All of the yummy food I get to eat, even with food intolerances.
Feng Shui (10K Blessings is the Best!) and all of the abundance it brings.
Portland, Ore. – The best place on earth to live.
-Lynnette – coolest friend ever and a fabulous travel buddy!
-Jim – For always making me laugh.
-Amanda – The best sis’ a girl could ask for.

I could keep going, but I’m sure I would bore you all to tears. Anyway, you get the point.
Please be sure to share your thanks list.

With love and wishes for a truly abundant Thanksgiving!

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

We have great news! This blog has been re-created as The Metaphysical Menu. You can catch all of the amazing recipes here. We can’t wait to see you there! Xo

Happy early Thanksgiving!

Hope you’re all prepared (as I am not) for the upcoming holidays. We’re spending this year with the boyfriend’s fam, which means, I’ll be bringing along my own food. One of my specialties is my wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar pumpkin pie. I found the recipe in Natural Health magazine a million years ago and have revised it to meet my needs. Hope you’ll enjoy!

Also – the Boston Globe did a big story on the increase in food allergies and the need to create products to fill this ever growing niche – duh! Check out the story here. LOVE that the mainstream media is catching on.

Have a wheat-free, dairy-free, low sugar T-giving recipe? Please share!

Pumpkin Pie – WF, DF, LS Style

1 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
1 container of silken tofu
1 c maple syrup
1 free range egg
1 T cinnamon
1 t numeg
1/2 t salt

Who has time to make a pie crust? Not me! So, I typically visit New Seasons and grab a spelt pie crust, but for those of you that want to make one on your own (and without spelt), try this recipe from Pamela’s Products:

1.5 c Pamela’s baking & pancake mix (the BEST mix – I use it in everything from cookies to muffins and pancakes)
2 t sugar substitute (dry would work best)
4 T non-dairy butter
1/3 c ice water

Combine baking mix and sugar into a bowl, cut butter through flour mix. Add ice water and mix dough until it balls together. Roll out on wax paper and should be thin, about 1/8 of an inch. Place in pie dish and bake with pie.

(For pumpkin pie, you’ll have leftover dough.)

Bake on 350 until center of pumpkin pie is set – roughly 35 minutes.


***Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cooking Class 11/20****

Date: Tuesday, November 20th
Time: 6-7pm
Cost: $20
Where: Escape Body Therapy, 120 NE 117th Avenue, Vancouver
Questions? Contact Andrea: escapebodytherapy@yahoo.com

Post a comment if you attend and let me know how it is. I hope to make it to one of their GF classes in the near future. Stay tuned for more information on future classes.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Whenever I prepare something absolutely fabulous (defined as such by how much of it my boyfriend eats!), I have to share. Especially when it’s easy and fits my wheat-free and dairy-free requirements. Check it out and let me know what you think:
Pad Thai
-Trader Joe’s Pad Thai Noodles & Sauce
-Prepare according to package instructions.
-Add one package of frozen mixed veggies to increase the nutritional quotient.
-For those with diabetes or wanting to significantly reduce sugar consumption, do not use the sauce provided, instead add 1/3 c wheat-free soy sauce to mixture or flavor individually.


Best of all, you’ll have leftovers. The package says it feeds 2, but for us, you’ll have lunch leftovers for at least 2 days.

Vanilla Rice Cream with Ginger Snaps
Mi-del GF/DF Ginger Snaps – delish on their own, but crumble on two small scoops of vanilla rice cream and you’ll be in heaven!
I love Rice Dream, vanilla flavored ice cream. Not to fab on its own, but great to add toppings to.

Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

For those of you that made it to Wordstock in Portland, Ore. this weekend, you already know – it rocked. The house. I spent a luxurious few hours there on Saturday and was inspired and impressed. Here are some of the goodies I uncovered:

Kathleen Flinn has my dream life. This amazing writer was laid from her corporate job and, instead of languishing in a pool of self pity, transformed it into following her dream. She moved to Paris, studied at Le Cordon Bleu and then wrote a book about it. LOVE it. Her passion for food and writing is captivating. You’ll fall in love with The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry.

–Less really IS more. I caught the tail end of the Magazine Writing panel, perfectly poised to hear the words that I needed from Peggy Orenstein, when she encouraged writers who are not based in New York (with access to editors of major pub’s) to focus on a few target publications and form relationships with those editors. Yes! I’ve had this very thought multiple times, but her words reminded me that a haphazard query approach is a waste of time. Yay Peggy!

Oregon Humanities – lovely literary journal.

University of Oregon’s Turnball Portland Center is working on a Masters in Journalism program to be released in the very near future.

Simon Fraser University in gorgeous British Columbia offers Summer Publishing Workshops on book proposals, editing, cover design, as well as magazine and software topics. Another reason to visit the fabulous B.C.

VoiceCatcher 2007 is out! And the submission deadline for the 2008 book is March 31st.

Did you attend Wordstock or have pearls of wisdom from a writing event somewhere else in this glorious world? Would love to hear all about it – post your comments right here!

-Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Being a self-employed writer means you have the joy of making your own schedule, wearing whatever you want, only taking assignments that you enjoy and working from home. It also means you often don’t turn off your computer until 10pm, only to wake up at 2am thinking about work.

While I don’t advocate working 24/7, often, it can happen before you know it. And then, again, before you know it, you’re struggling to write even the simplest of pieces, convinced that your creativity has left, never to return.

Thus, the importance of artist dates. I first learned about them in Julia Cameron’s amazing book (which if you haven’t read, you must do so soon!), The Artist’s Way.

An artist date is your time to get in touch with your creativity, in whatever way you would like. For me, this translated into seeing the racy play, Cabaret, starring Portland’s Storm Large, going to watch Jim Gaffigan perform (hilarious comedian – a must-see!), reading trashy tabloids at Barnes & Noble and window shopping at a variety of high-priced retailers.

So, as you can see, an artist’s date is simply taking time out for whatever inspires you. Even if it’s only for a brief amount of time – like the 15 minutes I spent reading about Britney Spears latest drama or browsing through aisles of five-inch stiletto heels. I then return to my computer – refreshed, excited and with plenty to say.

Do you have a favorite artist date? Do tell!
With love,

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

04 Nov / Gluten-Free Girl

What’s more exciting that seeing a new gluten-free book on the market? Having that GF book written by another West Coaster.

Shauna James Ahern – well-known for her fabulous Gluten-Free Girl blog – recently released her part memoir, part gluten-free guide, appropriately titled: gluten-free girl: how I found the food that loves me back…& how you can too.

Sometimes you forget you’re reading a GF book, because the story is just so compelling. After several illnesses and a car accident that almost killed her – Ahern discovered that Celiac disease was causing her pain. Today, she looks and feels remarkable. Her story of freedom through food is witty, exciting and will no doubt bring hope to many Celiac’s.

As a non-Celiac, I enjoyed the book as both a reader and one passionate about wheat-free eating. While Ahern encourages the pleasures of dairy and milk chocolate (no-no’s for those of us with intolerances/allergies) there are still recipes that meet our requirements. The pizza crust is one I definitely plan to try.

Oh, and be sure to check out Ahern’s blog and book. GO West Coast! 🙂


Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

At a Ladies Who Launch event last week, (if you’ve never been – GO – and also be sure to sign up for their fabulous e-newsletter) I was introduced to a brand new wheat-free cookie made right here in Portland, Ore. (Beaverton to be exact, but same difference).

Azdu Baking Co. recently released their wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free (how perfect is this?!) cookie. It’s light and fluffy; and for those of us who bake wheat-free, we know how hard that can be. They remind me of a snickerdoodle, but not as sweet – which is perfect. The cookies are a bit high in calories, but if you can handle eating just one, you’ll be fine.

I checked in with Linda – the creator of Azdu Baking Co. – and right now folks can order her fabulous cookies through her website. Enjoy!!! She also has new products on the way and I’ll keep you posted on those…

Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

In business, there’s no end to the talk about establishing a niche. Still, when you ask most people who their target audience is, they’ll blithely answer “Everyone.”


Everyone cannot be your target audience. Well, they can be, but you won’t be very successful. Small businesses in general need to know exactly who their target demo is. This makes marketing/advertising far more streamlined (and therefore, more cost effective) and also allows them to specialize in a particular area, creating expert status.

A career as a writer is no different. We must niche. Of course, we’re often afraid to do this because we feel we might be pigeon-holing (this is actually a word!) ourselves. After freelance writing for 5 years and writing full-time for close to one year, my niche has revealed itself. I am so grateful! It’s actually no surprise, though, as they’re topics I’m exceptionally passionate about and also have a tremendous amount of knowledge on. Ah, the old adage – do what you know (and love!)

With no further ado, I introduce my target niche topics: unrefined eating (sans wheat, dairy and processed sugar) and conscious living – both for women. Conscious living includes authenticity, creativity, eco-friendly initiatives, self-love and much more. Having discovered my own path in both topics makes them the perfect fit for me.

Are you a writer? Business woman? Editor?

What’s YOUR niche?
Who are the people you want to do business with? What avenues of business or writing do you wish to pursue?

If you don’t clearly know yet, start figuring it out now. Write down the clients you LOVE working with, the topics you love writing about – decide what brings you the most joy. Then, find a way to just do that.

We don’t need to know how to do everything and appeal to everyone to be successful in business. We simply need to specialize in one or two areas and then target them unabashedly.

Happy niche-ing (new word)!
-Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

It’s cold out.
The fire is crackling and I’m wearing sweatshirts, sweaters and my new wool pea coat. (charcoal grey – the perfect antidote to cold days!)

Summer is long gone and instead, we’re deep into the days of fall.
Which has me craving something warm and comforting. Is this happening to you? Salads are no longer calling me and instead I’m eating far more soup and other warm goodies.

Check out my all-time favorite crock pot recipe – perfect for the cold days.
Turkey Chili. You won’t find any wheat, dairy or sugar in this fan-tab-u-lous recipe. Enjoy!

Turkey Chili
1 16oz. can of kidney beans (do not drain)
1 16oz. can of pinto beans
1 16oz. can of black beans
1 small yellow onion – chopped
1 small green pepper – chopped
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes (zest it up and get Mexican style)
3T tomato paste
3T chili powder
1.5 t salt
1 t+ garlic salt
1/2 t pepper
1lb lean white turkey

Pour all contents into the crock pot and let simmer on low all day (at least 8 hours). If you don’t have that much time, heat on high for 4.5 hours. Tip: Put the turkey on the bottom of the crock pot. Check in and mix every few hours.

You will love this!
Have a winter recipe you’d like to share? Place it in our comments or email me: heather@risingupforlove.org.

-Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More