Breakfast is one of those meals that I have to change up routinely. I get burnt out on the same granola or eggs and toast meals. But, one breakfast I never burn out on is Barbara’s Bakery Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Puffins. Puffins rock!

Slice an organic banana and pour vanilla (unsweetened Blue Diamond) almond milk over top. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite wheat-free cereal?
Leave a comment here.

Happy Eating!

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Before Oprah, before the New York Times bestseller list and certainly before every woman in the world wanted to take a trip to Italy, India and Indonesia – I read Eat. Pray. Love.

I saw Elizabeth Gilbert speak at Powell’s books when Eat. Pray. Love. first came out. I wanted to be just like her. Seriously. I even sent her an email asking her to be my mentor (I figured it was worth a shot!). She actually responded, laughing at the thought that anyone would want her to be their mentor.

All the same, she’s a mentor (in theory) for any writer.
And last Thursday, she came to Portland, once again, only to a much bigger audience at the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall.

This time, she was equally amazing, radiant and hilarious. The audience spent half the time laughing. Love her! She also took a stand on a topic that I (and many women) often face alone – that of being a woman who chooses not to procreate. But now, next time a woman looks at me confused, I’ll tell her to ask Elizabeth about it. She had a far more eloquent way of explaining that some of us are not here in this life to procreate – we are here to do other things. And that’s okay. Go E.G!

In addition, I had the pleasure of seeing the poet, Lucille Clifton, speak tonight. At 71, she is as incredible as ever. She made us laugh, but most importantly, she made us think.

Neither of these two events could have been possible without the fabulous Literary Arts in Portland, Ore. They regularly bring world-renowned authors and poets to our city. For that, I am so very grateful. Both women inspired and encouraged me, simply by their presence.

Have you seen Elizabeth Gilbert or Lucille Clifton? Or do you have writers that you wish were your mentors? Leave a comment here.

Happy writing!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

As most of you know, I love bars. In fact, I like to think of myself as a bar connoisseur.

Recently, I stumbled upon Zing Bars. Yum-a-saurus! Not surprisingly, these tasty treats were created by genius nutritionists from the Pacific Northwest.

The all-natural bars come in three flavors – Blueberry Almond (gluten-free), Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (wheat-free) and Chocolate Peanut Butter (gluten-free). While I’m not a huge fruit bar fan (it usually doesn’t taste much like fruit!), the Blueberry Almond is one of my favorites and perfect for a late morning snack.

None of the bars affected my sensitive tummy, despite containing some whey protein. If you have a very strong allergy to dairy and react to most dairy items (I can handle yogurt and some cheeses), I would proceed with caution. If you don’t have a dairy allergy and are looking for an organic, wheat-free and all-natural bar – then Zing Bars are for you.

I’m so pleased to have discovered a tasty addition to my bar collection. Yay!
Unfortunately, Zing Bars are only available in one Portland store, but I hope that will change soon…

Have you tried Zing Bars? What did you think? Have a yummy bar recommendation? Post it here.

Happy Eating!

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I turned 30 last week and had the most fabulous birthday of my life. Jim (better known as “the man!”) threw me a lovely party with some of my closest friends at Henry’s in downtown Portland. He made wheat-free cupcakes (delish!), a rockstar poster that everyone signed and a gorgeous collage. Friends from high school, present day and even my dad made an appearance. After the party, a few of us (and you know who you are) headed over to Aura for some serious (and sexy) purse dancing. Who knew 30 could be so wonderful?!

I truly believe in the power of celebration. For the day leading up to the party, I treated myself to some of my favorite things – a new hairdo (caramel highlights!), pedicure and manicure with one of my closest friends, a massage (courtesy of Jim, my dad, Amanda and Alison – two of my sisters) and a night’s stay at Hotel Monaco, one of Portland’s shee-shee hotels. The actual day of my b-day, March 23, I spent in Oceanside, Ore. – my favorite beach.

Whether or not you have a birthday celebration, an anniversary or you just snagged a gig from a publication you’ve been eager to write for – celebrate. And make it big! It’s so important to enjoy these moments in our lives. They DO matter and who we share it with is even more valuable.

Thank you to everyone that celebrated the big 3-0 with me, and a gi-normous shout out to Jim who truly made it my best b-day ever.

Much love & happy writing!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I LOVE the crock pot – it’s the best way to “cook,” so I was thrilled to create this wheat-free, dairy-free dish. Feel free to experiment with seasoning on this one (not my specialty).

10 oz. brown rice pasta, boiled for 8 min. (so not fully cooked) and drained. (Try Trader Joe’s.)
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 T garlic salt
3 T Tofutti cream cheese
8 oz. rice milk
2 cans Albacore tuna

Boil rice pasta for 8 minutes, drain and place in bottom of crock pot. Saute onion, celery stalk and olive oil. Add 1 T garlic salt. Once golden grown, add rice milk and Toffuti. Stir until Tofutti is mixed in. Add tuna. Mix well. Pour mixture on top of pasta in crock pot. Add 1 T garlic. Heat on low for 3.5 hours. Season as necessary.

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

For finals week, Portland State University presented a startling scene in the South Park Blocks. From far away, they looked like white and red flowers, but as you moved in closer you noticed that they were actually small white and red flags. There were thousands more white flags than red. And with these small flags, decorated on a beautiful lawn, PSU students brought the reality of the Iraq war to Portland, Ore.

Each red flag represented at least 5 Americans killed in the war. And each white flag represented at least 5 Iraqi’s killed in the war.

I stood in silence and said a prayer for all of these people who never asked for any of this. In addition, I prayed that 1/20/09 would arrive sooner, rather than later.

If what’s happening in Iraq is “freedom” bringing and the glory of “democracy,” we’re in big trouble. Thanks a lot George W.

Oh and by the way, I wonder why our economy is struggling? Check this out.


Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Recently, I had to fly into the Windy city to cover a tradeshow. Long hours and a long flight typically equals no possible way to eat wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar. Especially on the airplane. You’re lucky if you even get water when you’re at 30,000 feet.

So, this time I decided to be prepared. I packed snacks, snacks and more snacks, and guess what? I survived both the flight there and back, and had food left over. Since eating while working the show was out of the question, my snackage also came in handy. One tip: make sure you pack enough Odwalla or Cliff bars, I didn’t anticipate that there would be no time for breakfast, so I could have used more of those.

Here’s a list to get you started for your next trip:
Cliff or Odwalla bars for breakfast or meal replacement
Luna or Larabars for snacks and “dessert” πŸ™‚
-Trail mix – I make my own since I’m picky. Go to the bulk foods section and get a fruit mix and then add the nuts of your choice.
-Almonds or other heart-healthy nuts (cashews are another fave!)
-Corn and flax chips – discovered these in the bulk food section of Winco. The best! Any type of small corn chip (no trans fats though) will do, these had a healthier punch with the flax.
-Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Do you have a “must” when it comes to travel food? Leave your comments here with tips for our readers.

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Maybe someday we’ll have a wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar summit, but until then there’s the Gluten-Free Culinary Summit April 5-6 in Denver. Can you imagine – two days filled with new recipes, gourmet dishes and hundreds of like-minded souls? Sounds like a lot of fun to me (esp. the eating part). If you attend, please let me know how it was. And bring back yummy recipes.

Check out this recipe for gluten-free fruit muffins (from the chef at Canyon Ranch!).

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I’m headed out early tomorrow to do press at GlobalShop 2008 in Chicago. Display & Design Ideas magazine (staffed by the coolest editors ever!) is one of the sponsors, and who I’ll be writing for while there.

Be sure to stop by the Retail Design Diva blog daily (sometimes twice daily) starting Tuesday the 18th to get my play-by-play coverage on innovative products, speakers and events. I’m even covering Chocolate in Retail (yum!).

Happy Writing!
-Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Just received my copy of TriumphDining’s The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. It’s in its 3rd Edition! How cool is that?

Besides the listings – which do clue me in on gluten-free offerings I didn’t know about – there’s also helpful information about eating out gluten-free. Even for those of us that have been eating this way for years, there are some great reminders and checklists included in the guide.

There’s also a beautiful four-color section of ads from gluten-free vendors. But, I’d love to see coupons in the back next year! Hint, hint. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an entertainment book filled with gluten-free, dairy-free and low-sugar coupons? Someone needs to get on that…

I also received some of their cool dining cards, for eating out internationally. You can hand your server or hostess (upon entering the restaurant) a card explaining – in their native tongue – that you cannot eat gluten-free. I’m headed to Paris in September and can’t wait to use my French card. Have you used the dining cards – what’s been your experience? Leave your comment here.

Happy Eating!
Heather πŸ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More