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

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 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

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 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More