After several fabulous exchanges with successful authors, I realized that one of the things that was missing for me as a writer was a solid daily practice. Since I’m currently deeply enmeshed in receiving my coaching training and certification, my writing has become all business–I’m only writing for the contracts I have, or when I receive assignments. My book projects have stalled, as my agent suddenly turning into a negative Nelly and uncertainty now surrounds how we’ll move forward.

On a recent meditative walk, my guidance came through loud and clear: JUST WRITE. And so, I’ve committed to writing—a half hour every day. My first day (yesterday) resulted in over 5 pages about love and my life. Who knew?!

I am certain that by leaving the “business” of writing behind and instead forging into the daily practice of writing, all of the answers will become clear.

Here are some women who have written amazing books on writing:
Natalie Goldberg – Writing Down the Bones (or anything by her!)
Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way & Vein of Gold

Happy Writing!
xoHeather 🙂

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

We love it, we hate it. We constantly try to make it work for us.
Thanksgiving (and the holidays in general!) are the perfect time to put all our great food knowledge into action. I thought I would share some of what I’m cooking this Thanksgiving in case any of you were looking for some ideas.

Crock Pot Artichoke & Spinach Dip
-1 container of Tofutti cream cheese, softened
-1/4 cup Smart Balance Light Mayo (or use soy mayo)
-1/2 cup soy mozzarella cheese
-1/2 cup almond pepper jack cheese
-1 clove garlic
-1/2 t Basil (dried)
-1/2 t garlic salt
-2 c artichoke hearts (Trader Joe’s has them frozen, so defrost and chop)
-1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Place all items into the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3.
Dip blue corn chips in for maximum yumminess. Or with a wheat-free bread of your choice.

Side Dish
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 lbs of sweet potatoes
1/4 c of honey
2 T non-dairy butter
2 T OJ concentrate
2 T ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 organic/vegetarian fed eggs
1/4 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pierce potatoes with a fork on all side and microwave on high until tender (approx. 15 min)
Cut potatoes up and mash with mixer in large bowl
Add honey, butter, OJ, cinnamon and salt
Mix until combined
Add eggs, mix
Place in 1.5 qt. baking dish
Sprinkle pecans on top
Bake for 45 minutes

Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Low Sugar Pumpkin Pie

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.

Pictures of this marvelous food will be featured in next week’s blog.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

While wondering through Wordstock last weekend, I stumbled upon an author reading words very familiar to my heart.

“I grew from a child to a young woman, and the question “Why?” seesawed for dominance within my life with the bleakness of “Oh well.” Short on answers but long on questions, I learned to protect myself, to avoid the complicated detours in favor of more well-traveled paths. For me, these paths were particularly barren in matters of the heart…I think back to the sweet high school boyfriend who just seemed to like me, the pothead intellectural in college whose sense of independence taught me to think for myself, the business graduate student from Wyoming who stepped in and kept the world steady after my father died. What was wrong with me? Why were they all so good and so not right?” —Glenda Burgess, The Geography of Love

Weren’t those my very same thoughts…just this morning?

Captivated, I sat down and listened to this amazing woman read from her book and talk about her journey as an author–first writing fiction and then this memoir, because she simply had to–her life demanded it.

Later on that day, as I went to leave Wordstock, a voice inside nudged me back to the Powell’s booth so that I could buy Geography of Love. I could NOT put it down and finished it this week (despite a tremendous amount of coaching and writing work to do!).

This book is incredible. It gives us a peek into real love, in all it’s glory and pain, telling the story of Burgess and her husband, Ken. It’s written beautifully, and often moved me to tears (my sign of a truly great book!).

In addition, I just wanted to write after reading this book–with all the eloquence that Burgess writes.

So, pick up Geography of Love today. It is such a gift, in so many ways.

Happy writing!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

This is my new favorite wheat-free, dairy-free food–sunflower seed nut butter. Trader Joe’s has a delicious version that I highly recommend. Try it as a snack or substitute for peanut butter on a sandwich. Other options to add sunflower seed nut butter to include:

-On a brown rice cake.
-On a banana or apple.
-On a spoon with some grain-sweetened carob chips. 🙂
-Dip whole-grain crackers in (like Mary’s Gone Crackers).

Are you already a fan of sunflower seed nut butter? If so, tell us how you prefer to use it.

Happy Eating!

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I don’t know about you, but last week was intense. Did you feel it? Sure, it was full of lots of good things (too many, perhaps–if that’s possible!), but it came at such a frantic pace, I found myself wanting to stop and take a break. And so when my good friend, Sophia, invited me out to Portland’s Lizard Lounge to see The Dimes play–I was game.

Live music and good convo? You can’t go wrong…

If you aren’t familiar with The Dimes already, you need to be. Their music is soulful, deep and moving. On top of that, they just plain rock. Even better–the guys themselves are actually really cool people (now THAT doesn’t happen very often, does it?).

They are so good, that I became a full-on groupie. And I’m the chick that makes fun of groupies! I hurried to buy up some CD’s, and have been writing to their tunes ever since.

Be sure to track down their version of John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels” (my fave JL song, BTW). These guys are going to be BIG.

Happy Writing!

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

I just came up with a delicious way to add more protein to my wheat-and-dairy-free banana muffins, and I had to share!

These muffins are fluffy, flavorful and DELICIOUS.
Quinoa flour has a distinct taste, but soy protein powder seems to balance it out to a hearty, yet tasty treat.

Protein-Packed Quinoa Banana Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Yields approximately 5 dozen muffins

1/2 c non-dairy butter
1 c Splenda

3 organic eggs, one at a time

1 1/3 cups no sugar added applesauce
4 ripe (black in color is best!) medium-sized bananas, mashed
1/2 t vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups of quinoa flour – Ancient Harvest brand is fantastic!
3 T soy protein powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon

Scoop tablespoon-fuls (or more!) into greased muffin pan.
Bake 350 for 15 minutes per twelve muffins.

Happy Eating!

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

The holiday’s are upon us! With Halloween out of the way, Thanksgiving and Christmas madness is ramping up…which means lots of pumpkins, pies, turkey and other delicious goodies. Homemade roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite snacks during the holiday season.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
-Buy a pumpkin (preferably from a local farm!)
-Scoop out all of the seeds.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Put in colander and run under warm water.
-Pat dry with a paper towel.
-Spread seeds out and lay flat on a cookie sheet.
-Sprinkle a seasoning blend of your choosing over seeds (feel free to well saturate). Trader Joe’s has a great, all natural seasoning blend for this.
-Bake seeds for 15 minutes.
-Flip seeds over to other side. Sprinkle with more seasoning (if desired).
-Bake another 15 minutes or until crisp.

Let cool and then enjoy!
Place in individual snack bags for easy snacking at work, or scoop into a decorative bowl to have out for snacking purposes.

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

An editor friend of mine, Carrie, joined forces with her brother to create a sustainable, eco-friendly product that makes the world a better place. Family members working together to change the world–could I LOVE this idea even more?! Probably not.

Spend just $10, receive a kick-ass bracelet that represents your chosen cause (AIDS, Alzheimer’s, animal cruelty, autism, cancer, child abuse, global warming, diabetes, heart disease, world hunger) and watch as $5 of said money goes to support that particular charity.

SOOOO Fantastic!

Check it out now
You can live your one beautiful life AND help make someone else’s life better.

-Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Eating out is quite the adventure with a wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar diet. And that’s why I have to give mad love to restaurants that get it right. Portland’s Andina restaurant in the Pearl knows exactly how to take care of it’s wheat/gluten intolerant customers. When I asked the manager about how a fancy-schmancy Peruvian restaurant came to the decision of providing a gluten-free menu–the answer was simple: our customers wanted it. Love it!

The food presentation is divine, the food is delicious and the desserts are absolutely lovely. Served tapas style, guests can choose from a wide variety of chicken, seafood and veggie dishes that are perfectly proportioned.

Photos from top to bottom:
-Palta Rellena De Cangrejo Y Langostinos – avocado stuffed with crab & prawns – YUM!
-Morada – house-smoked Draper Valley chicken with purple potato – my favorite!
-Yukon potatoes for dipping in the green chile salsa

-Torta de Chocolate – flourless chocolate-cinnamon cake
-Flan De Queso De Cabra – goat cheese and lemon cake with fresh raspberries

On top of ALL of that, the waitstaff at Andina is IMPECCABLE. Our waiter, Eric, was a pure gentleman and a lovely woman came over to us at the end of the meal to tell us how much she appreciated us visiting the restaurant.

What’s YOUR favorite gluten-free spot in P-town (or anywhere in the world for that matter!)? Leave your comments here.

Happy Eating!
-Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Unless you spent most of the month of September in Brazil (like me!), you have become all to aware of the country’s economic drama, as well as the media’s attentive devotion to fear-mongering the entire thing.

I, for one, am sick of all the fear. The focus on lack and not-enough-ness is disgusting. The greed and materialistic attitude that has been running the United States is disheartening. Some days I wonder if anyone has noticed that this is all an ILLUSION. Our confidence (or lack thereof) runs the marketplace. If we all embraced an attitude of LOVE and abundance, our economy and government would not be in such a poor, poor state.

Well, fortunately, I’m not alone. A recent blog post by Daily Kos: State of the Nation gave me hope that there are more of us out there unwilling to buy into all of the fear-mongering and drama perpetuated by our government and the media.

Check it out for inspiration and hope.

And remember–we can choose a better way. We can choose love instead of fear. If each of us made this choice every day, the world would be a very, very different place.

For further inspiration, download John Lennon’s song, Imagine. It’s on repeat right now for me.

Sending you much LOVE and abundance,

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More