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 🙂

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

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

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,

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 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

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,

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.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Seven days after having energetic surgery, I was required to go before John of God for what is called “Revision”. This is where he checks your energy field/body to make sure that everything that was meant to be taken care of, has been. I had another extremely painful day right before my revision on Wednesday. My ovaries were inflamed and I had very little energy. I literally laid in a hammock for most of the day. Granted, not a bad way to pass the time—laying under an avocado tree listening to exotic birds chirp while your body both energetically and physically processes things. But, as a former “go-getter” it was quite discouraging. What's really been interesting for me during this process is how greatly I was affected by the surgery, even in simple ways. For example, I love to read, and brought several books with me on this trip. I also brought my iPod, because I LOVE music. Since the surgery though, I have been unable to read or listen to music. It's simply too much for me. The only thing I am able to do is journal (and I've completely filled my journal already!). Apparently, its output only for me.

I had grandiose thoughts of working on my book, which I've been able to do very little of. I hear from others here that this is very much part of the John of God experience for those of us who get a big kick in the ass, like I did. I was told by the owner of our pousada, Luz Divina, that if I feel like I'm on a huge roller coaster and have days where I only seem to be processing—then I'm on the right path. Just hearing that meant so much to me—I wasn't sure what was going on!

Today, I'm back on the upswing—feeling more energetic and much more at peace. I went before John of God yesterday for the first time. I asked him (well, I didn't—I had a translator as John and the entities he incorporates only speak Portuguese) to bless two pieces of my jewelry—which he did on the spot and I also asked when I could exercise again (he said now is fine, although I'm still pretty weak and will wait until I get back to the U.S. to start up again). He was gentle and kind, and told me to spend the rest of the week in entity current.

YAY!!! No more surgery!! I had asked that this be the guidance I received from him and it was. I'm sitting in entity current (which is a huge room where you're essentially meditating and serving as an energy channel for the entities to use as they heal others and incorporate John of God). I am meditating in the current room between 2-4 hours a day. It's amazing and sometimes tortuous. It just depends on what you're there to learn that day.

I feel like information is being downloaded into my being. I want to bring a pen and paper with me (although we are under strict orders not to open our eyes) to write down the insights I'm receiving.

I am feeling much gratitude for John of God, the entities and this experience. It has been totally life changing. I'm feeling a bit insecure/scared to return back to my old life. Having this time and sense of peace is so precious...

BTW-I apologize for the lack of photos. My camera died on me and the archaic U.S. only has 120volt for my camera charger & I need 230 here. So sad. Will upload photos once I'm charged in the states—I'm hoping the Atlanta airport will have an outlet for me to use. In the meantime, my New Zealand friends are taking photos and will email them to me to share with you all. We got some great shots at sunset last night in the labyrinth.

Much love,
xoHeather :)

Photos top to bottom: Valley view from the casa, casa garden/benches (spent A LOT of time there), casa sunset from One Tree Hill.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I left Portland, Ore. a little over a week ago feeling confident, excited and ready for my spiritual journey, especially in regards to visiting the healer, John of God.

But, when Wednesday morning rolled around and I was to receive my first-ever energetic surgery, I was terrified. What had I gotten myself into?? I felt woozy–the energy in the casa instantly made me feel light-headed.

I followed roughly 15 other individuals from all over the world into a small room for our surgery. I sat down and followed the instructions given by a lovely Portuguese woman. She told us that the entities (the non-physical beings that heal through John of God) would begin giving us an anesthetic so that we would not feel pain during our surgery.

I remember thinking how cute that was–they were really trying to make this “real” for us. And let’s remember–I totally believe in this stuff but even I was feeling like it wouldn’t be THAT big of a deal! I only expected that the energetic surgery would feel like an intense healing session, where you leave feeling a bit blissed out and sleepy.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Then, the surgery began. This entailed the lovely woman telling us that we deserved to be happy and free along with some other wonderful words. Immediately, I started CRYING–it was completely beyond my control. Emotions started surfacing quick and fast. Then, I began feeling energy swirl in different parts of my body–my right knee, left wrist, heart and back. I didn’t have time to think too much about the energy shifting and swirling, along with the crying–it all happened in what felt like minutes.

Before I knew it, this incredible calm came over me and the surgery was done. We filed out of the room and were told that we had just experienced major surgery where up to 9 different procedures can be performed. Yikes! We were to spend the next 24 hours in bed doing nothing–no reading, music or interacting with others.

Frankly, I felt fine.

But, I wanted to honor the process, so I followed the instructions precisely. I was wired and also blissed out. I lay in my twin bed (I’m having the college dorm experience I never had!) and did nothing but think (also described as torture). I thought about:

-people I like
-people I don’t like
-what it would be like when I returned home
-how I didn’t want to return home
-if I should get a cat
-where I would put a litter box should I get said cat
-what my dream beach house looks like

You name it, I thought about it. I was brought blessed soup (a daily casa staple) and lunch. I ate a TON (it was the only thing I had been looking forward to) and couldn’t imagine how I was going to get through the afternoon and night.

Then, something funny happened–I got sleepy. Finally. An hour an a half later I woke up.

And it was bad. I mean, REALLY bad.

I felt like every ounce of energy had been drained from my body. I could barely move. I was too weak to do anything. Crap. This WAS real. I mean, really real. Not woo-woo, not crazy fantasy stuff, but real life stuff. Non-physical beings DID perform surgery on people–on ME. I felt it from the inside out.

The bummer was, I wasn’t expecting this. I was anticipating a lovely 2 weeks filled with spiritual epiphanies, great meditation and bliss. I did not expect pain and real surgery. My ovaries (what I had come to heal) were on FIRE and I felt a deep soreness in pretty much every part of my body.

My friend Kerry was gone and the pousada was quiet. I started to panic. What if I die at a Brazilian pousada in a twin bed??!! Seriously. That’s what I was thinking. Dramatic? Yes, but that’s how scary it felt waking up in such a state.

I lay there waiting, praying and hoping to God that somehow I would be okay.

An hour or so later my friend returned and I squeaked out the news. She went to get the naturopath who was synchronistically staying at our pousada (he is also a guide and knows everything there is to know about all of this). He smiled at me and said that the anesthetic had worn off (OMG–there actually was anesthetic–they weren’t just being cute!) and that’s why I felt so awful. I had had major surgery and needed to heal by resting. Then, he told me to enjoy.

Enjoy?! I felt like hell–and that’s NOT what I signed up for (or so I thought). I spent the next 2 days lethargic and feeling rather awful. I spent even more time thinking and some very big realizations began coming my way. I prayed more than I have ever prayed in my entire life–it made me feel better when nothing else would.

By day 3 of the ordeal I was angry. Apparently, spending 3 days in a tiny room will do that to a girl. I wanted to go home and never experience anything like this again. But I couldn’t deny that some really amazing things were happening, such as:

-I would see or imagine that someone would come to my room and tell me something, and they did a few minutes later.

-I would pray for something small to happen, such as “Please God, shut that damn rooster up!” and before the words left my head, it stopped.

-Bizarro synchronicities that are too numerous to recount, but include Portland, Ore. connections in our New Zealand travel group (it’s my friend and I at the pousada while the rest are New Zealanders–I’m having a love affair with their accents!).

-I could feel energies working on my body throughout this time. It wasn’t scary, only remarkable.

-My dreams were vivid and detailed, and usually included a reference the next day.

-After doing a healing visualization (during a4-hour MEDITATION-more on that later)–I forgave a person who had hurt me, and then received an email from that person the next day telling me that they loved me.

And the hits just keep on coming…my anger is gone and has been replaced with joy and contentment. I’m living in the NOW more than I ever have before. It’s hard to believe that its only been a week. I promise to write more as I have time (I had no clue that a spiritual journey would be SO MUCH work!), but stay tuned for more stories involving:

-Crystal baths
-John Lennon
-Wild roosters, dogs, cows and toliet paper

Much love to you all!
Heather 🙂

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I had to share with you some of the AMAZING people I have met in Brasilia. Outstanding people with warm, big overflowing hearts. Above are some pictures of some of the friends I´ve made along the way (and check out the beer dispenser–I was shocked the U.S. doesn´t have these…yet).
From top to bottom:
-Our host and government official, Neide Setim. Wisest woman a girl could meet. Has been married to the love of her life for 43 years. She shared with me just how one makes a marriage work for so long and I promise to share it with you in the near future…Absolute goddess this woman–I love her!
-Making love to a mango tree while sipping coconut milk.
-Beer Bar (that´s the official name!!) in Brasilia. A popular night spot on the lake. Check out the cylindar beer dispenser. Ingenius!
-One of the many caipirinha´s consumed thus far on the journey (after seeing John of God, one cannot drink for 40 days).
-Posing with the coconut milk lady. She was not as thrilled as I was, as you can tell…
-Harrassing the guard at the Brazilian White House. He rolled his eyes at me!
-Ah, Brazilian hunk, Daniel. He spoke little English and is only 23. If I were 7 years younger, I would be taking him back to the states with me!
-Josemar, Kerry (my travel companion), Daniel and I. On the newest bridge in Brasilia–such a sight to see.
More to come in the future…
xoMuch love,
Heather 🙂
Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

So, this seems like a big “duh”, right? Well, it´s one thing to know something logically and it´s entirely another to feel it in a dramatic way.

We visited the Temple of Peace (Paz in Portuguese) in Brasilia this week, where visitors walk a gratitude shaped path, and once in the middle say a prayer under a huge crystal that has been magnetized for healing. While doing so, a beautiful choir sings behind you, and energy healers work on visitors. The energy in this space was intense. I had a very clear revelation about my life (it´s been far too exhausting this last year) and my intent (to clear the clutter and create space for LOVE).

After finishing the prayer, drinking the blessed water and receiving energy healing, we were able to connect with the crystal elements. Putting our hands up to the crystal (see picture above), resulted in the feeling of an incredible vibration. I had a cut on my finger and it began vibrating dramatically once my hands were placed in front of the crystal.

Beautiful artwork was everywhere, along with a Portuguese saying that art brings us closer to the god force. The entire time, I felt complete one-ness with everyone there; and the space itself was filled with peace and love. The revelations from this one experience alone are too many to tell here, but I had to share this much. And besides, I still haven´t gotten to the overall one-ness part…

Later that evening we went to a beautiful Catholic church. Mass was in session, and as we walked up the steps, with the choir singing, I immediately felt the overwhelming presence of love and one-ness–the very same feeling I had in the Temple of Peace. Since then, we have visited numerous other holy sites, all of varying religious backgrounds and all of them containing the feelings of peace, love and god.

This whole notion that we are all separate, and that there is only one “right” way to believe coudn´t be farther from the truth. We are all different and unique, so different forms of spirituality will appeal to each of us, and that´s it. That´s the only reason for a multitude of religions. In truth, god (however you believe) appears in every faith, in every temple and in every individual.

To feel this was so intense and beautiful, my words here do it no justice.
All I can do is share my experience and hope it resonates with you in some small way…

We also spent some fun time sampling a variety of caipirinhas…delicious. I was also able to swoon over gorgeous Brazilian men (and women — they are ALL in skinny jeans and heels even in 90+ temps!). Thus far, the journey to Brazil has been truly magical. I can speak a handful of words in Portuguese and I learned quite a bit about their sentiments towards Americans (none of which are too shocking).

1) They believe American women are all promiscious and aggressive. Ha!
2) Americans in general are very arrogant.

This saddens me, but also made me laugh. I mean, my mom thought I was going to be kidnapped by guerrillas if I went to Brazil, so again it shows our delusions of what reality is. I suppose we can thank TV for that! It also shows how hard we all work to keep one another separate, which is a total illusion. We are all connected and my experience here has only solidified that fact.

More to come as the journey continues–tomorrow morning we join a dear friend and head to Abadiania. We will go before John of God on Wednesday morning. Please send loving, insightful and life-altering thoughts my way! 🙂

Wishing you much continued peace, love and joy,

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

This weekend I was completely captivated by the book Dear Lover: A Woman’s Guide to Men, Sex, and Love’s Deepest Bliss by David Deida.

Deida has the amazing gift of lyrical writing, along with the ability to explain men and women in a way that honors both.

I found myself saying “Yes!” at almost every turn, as Deida describes exactly the kind of fulfilling partnership women crave, that also honors men. He calls for more openness, as well as the expression of the divine feminine (it’s about time!). He encourages women to embrace their femininity and to let man’s masculinity complement it. “When you feel deep into your heart, you feel love…” It’s a beautiful thing.

I can’t say enough about this book. If you’re seeking to understand what a spiritual and symbiotic relationship between a man and a woman might look like, this is the first book you want to read.

Side note: Deida’s writing style is so captivating, it will inspire you to be a better writer. I couldn’t help notice how much more pizazz my writing had this weekend with Deida’s words whispering in my ear.

That’s the beauty of reading – it inspires you to be an even better writer!

Writing Song of the Week: U Want Me 2 by Sarah McLachlan–I’ve got it on repeat. 🙂

Happy Writing!

BLOG UPDATE: Starting next week, I’ll be in Brazil. Stay tuned for updates, as I go on a spiritual journey to see John of God (oh, and watch Brazilian men play guitar while drinking Brazilian wine of course!).

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

It’s literally been over 15 years since I’ve had fish and chips.

But, those days are over with the Hawthorne Fish House. It is a MUST for any Celiac or anyone eating wheat-free. The fish is delish and is breaded with rice flour. Pure genius!

The entire establishment boasts gluten-free offerings, including desserts (coconut rum torte anyone?) and fish tacos. You can’t go wrong with this place.

Oh, and be sure to substitute sweet potato fries (YUUUUMMMM!!!) with your order. You’ll love it.

Have a favorite wheat-free restaurant?
Give us all the scoop here!

Happy Eating!
Heather 🙂

BLOG UPDATE: I’ll be in Brazil over the next few weeks, so blog posts may be intermittent. I hope to find some great gluten-free dishes while away though and promise to share!

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More