We have great news! This blog has been re-created as The Metaphysical Menu. You can catch all of the amazing recipesΒ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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,
xoHeather

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With crisp Fall days here to stay and winter on the way, I often find myself craving a cup o’ something hot — especially in the mornings. However, my dietary restrictions and dislike for caffeine typically means my choices are super limited.

Recently, I discovered Cabaret – Brewed Chocolate. Sounds pretty interesting, right?

Get this–there are only two ingredients: water-brewed whole cocoa beans (cacao) and organic evaporated cane juice. So far, so good.

Even better, it has health benefits. Good ones too! Those who drink Cabaret Brewed Chocolate report a calm feeling afterwards, including INCREASED happiness.

A drink that tastes good, meets my dietary needs and makes me feel good? Where do I sign up?!
The taste is smooth and mellow with a slight hint of chocolate. It’s heartier than regular tea and lighter (and better for your health) than coffee.

I did feel a bit more relaxed after drinking it too…I wonder if it was legitimate or just the product marketing? Either way, I’m now a huge fan and encourage you to check it out as well.

Already a fan of brewed chocolate?
Tell us about it here!

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

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Having been raised in rural Oregon, I must confess, I’m a bit of a domestic girl. I like to bake, cook and (gasp!) can. Growing up, my mom canned everything from green beans to salsa and applesauce. This weekend I tried my hand at canning low sugar applesauce — and it turned out SO good! Use whatever apple combo you’d like, just make sure you have a good mix of tart and sweet apples. And don’t forget to patronize your local farmer’s market for the goods…

35 lbs apple blend (20lbs Granny Smith, 5lbs Fuji, 10lbs Cameo), peeled and sliced

For every 12 cups of sliced apples:
1/2 cup Splenda (optional)
1 t cinnamon
1 cup water

In a large dutch oven pot, cook sets of 12 cups of apples at one time with water, cinnamon and Splenda. Cook until desired consistency is reached (for me, it was semi-chunky). Then, scoop applesauce into canning jars. Wipe around mouth of jar before affixing lid and ring.

Next, process the jars using canning equipment.
Voila! You’ve got applesauce.

The applesauce does not need to be refrigerated, but can be frozen, especially if you do not process the jars with canning equipment.

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Before I read Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism, I didn’t even know about third-wave feminism and the importance of social activism. Thanks to Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, I began to look at life in a new way. A few years ago, I emailed the duo to thank them for their inspiration. Then, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer (I was nervous because I was a bit star-struck!) for my women’s book.

And now, the two will appear at Powell’s Books in Downtown Portland on Wednesday, Oct. 8th at 7:30pm. WOOHOO! I will actually get to meet two of the women that helped set me on my path. So cool!

Jennifer will be promoting her new book: Abortion & Life and Amy will be promoting: Opting In: Having a Child without Losing Yourself.

You do not want to miss this historic event.
Hope to see you there!

Happy Writing!
Heather πŸ™‚

This just in: Baumgardner & Richards will also be at Portland State University on Wednesday at 12pm in the Multicultural Center.

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I made it back! Many of those who had previously been to John of God told me that the real work starts once we return back to regular life. Can’t wait to see what it brings! So far, shifts are happening…while I continue to miss Brazil. I burst into tears this week when I received pictures of the group I spent this journey with (the incredible New Zealanders – and Diana from Australia!).

It’s amazing how much I miss the people, Brazil and the experience. Right now, I’m doing my best to trust the process. Each day brings new shifts in my life, and as Gordon, Peter and Colin continually reminded me–I must “go with the flow”.

Now, onto the photos, top to bottom:

-New Zealand Group (that adopted me!) L to R (starting in the back row): Peter, Mandi, Me, Gordon, Catherine (Luz Divina pousada owner from Phoenix, Ariz.) Colin, Catherine, Gareth, Ainsley, Lorraine & Maddie. I MISS THEM – COOLEST PEOPLE EVER!

-One of our dinners in the Luz Divina outdoor dining area.

-Lovely Lorraine in one of the hammocks. A dear heart of a woman.

-Peter and Maddie. Peter is the tour guide/naturopath/kick-ass guy I mentioned above.

-Maddie & I. She is 23 and has traveled all over the world. New Zealanders just know how to do it right! What is WRONG with the U.S.A and its measly 1 week vacations??

-Mandi & I. Super cool, amazing chick.

-Colin & I in the labyrinth. We watched the sunset from this spot. Just an amazing time in my life that I’ll never forget!

-Me in the hammock – a place I spent a lot of “processing” time during my stay.

So…after reading about my journey do you wish to go to Brazil to see John of God? (This is one of those things in life you are called to, so you’ll know if so.)

If so, I highly recommend going with Peter Waugh. Peter is not only an amazing guide, but an incredible naturopath and human being. Luckily, Peter and his group adopted me during my stay and included me in excursions to the blessed waterfall, soup kitchen and team meetings. He also helped me when I went before John of God (he speaks Portuguese). You do not want to go to Brazil without Peter. Trust me. He makes all the difference.

I am forever changed from this trip. I plan to continue to document this experience, so stay tuned!

Much love, blessings and eternal peace,
xoHeather

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

During my recent 2.5 week trip to Brazil, I was confronted with a common travel problem for those of us eating wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar — there’s simply nothing to eat when traveling abroad. The entire Brazilian diet seems to stem from flour products. Oy, vey. What’s a girl to do?

Luckily, I loaded up on rice and beans, chicken and lots of veggies.
The day BEFORE I left Brazil, I discovered pao de queijo, made out of manioca flour (gluten-free!). While pao de queijo does include milk products, I was so thrilled to eat bread, I ate it anyway (and the cheese didn’t bother my tummy one bit!).

Although I can find a mix with cheese to purchase, what I want to do is make the rolls and use my almond cheese. Stay tuned for more developments on that!

FYI – My blog will now return to its regular schedule.
Eat on!

Oh, and be sure to send any product ideas or recipes that you would like to share with the wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar community.

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

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Yesterday was my last day at the John of God casa. It was absolutely magical, albeit a bit heart-wrenching. It’s hard to believe that I’ll head back to the states soon and my time in Abadiania, Brasil is coming to a close.

Current (meditation/energy channeling) went for 3 hours Friday morning, and I felt totally settled with it. Finally, after many LONG days of current, I found my groove. Too bad it was my last day. I spent the better part of the time expressing my gratitude for the experience, as opposed to battling with my head like I had previously done.

In the afternoon, I had the chance to go before John of God one last time. I thanked him for the experience and asked if I needed to return for future healing. We made direct eye contact (which doesn’t always happen because he is channeling a variety of entities/energies), he smiled and said “yes” I needed to return.

Oh boy.

Last week I would have told you there was no way in hell I would come back to see John of God. I was in pain, angry, frustrated and in general aggravated with myself and the experience I was having. Then, after my first 4-hour current session last Friday, something shifted and I suddenly felt at home with the experience. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to keep on having the magical, connected and deep experience I was having. And I wanted all the same people to stay–right by my side.

Of course, this is neither practical or possible.

My New Zealand group left early this morning (6am Brasil time) and I got up to see them off. I managed to keep the tears at bay, but as their taxis drove off into the distance, I felt a knot in my gut. I was going to miss the energy and friendship of the group.

At that moment, I knew — I will return to Abadiania. I will sit in 4-hours of current again, I will sit before John of God. I will meet amazing, wondrous people from Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, the states and the rest of the universe. I will eat rice and beans until I cannot eat them anymore and I will sip ginger and honey tea at Frutti’s cafe.

I came into this experience expecting it to be something else.
I was angry when it did not go the way I wanted it to.
And then, I fell madly in love with the experience it became.

I fell in love with myself, human beings in all of their miraculous glory and life as it is (not how I think it’s supposed to be). I realized that I am NOT in control, that there is something much, much bigger happening–something I agreed to a long time ago. I felt compelled to come to see John of God because I wanted physical healing, but what I experienced went far deeper than that.

I learned that my physical pain was just there to get my attention. The real work and challenges lay within my psyche, in the crevices and corners I often refused to look at. I got sick because I didn’t excavate those areas within myself.

I wish everyone a deep, fruitful journey into their soul. It’s really such a lovely thing (despite the pain).

Of course, your journey will be far different than mine because it will be perfect for YOU, just like my journey (however dramatic it was!) was perfect for me.

Mostly, I wish that all of us would take 17 days or more on a regular basis to journey into ourselves and to connect to the deepest part of us, the part that most wants to be heard and is most often ignored.

Wishing you much peace, love and joy-beyond all understanding,
Heather
xo

P.S. John of God does not tell everyone they need to return to the casa (as I assumed, because c’mon that keeps the casa in business–although you should know–they do NOT charge for John’s healing services). In fact, a lot people were told that they needn’t come back, as they were fully healed. Word on the street is, Westerners can be tougher to heal in a quick fashion due to a lack of faith (imagine that!), whereas people from less westernized areas can often be fully healed in one session, as some experienced during my time at the casa. Simply amazing…

Photo: Me at the casa, overlooking the valley of Abadiania. Photo taken by the fabulous Colin from New Zealand.

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