Being a self-employed writer means you have the joy of making your own schedule, wearing whatever you want, only taking assignments that you enjoy and working from home. It also means you often don’t turn off your computer until 10pm, only to wake up at 2am thinking about work.

While I don’t advocate working 24/7, often, it can happen before you know it. And then, again, before you know it, you’re struggling to write even the simplest of pieces, convinced that your creativity has left, never to return.

Thus, the importance of artist dates. I first learned about them in Julia Cameron’s amazing book (which if you haven’t read, you must do so soon!), The Artist’s Way.

An artist date is your time to get in touch with your creativity, in whatever way you would like. For me, this translated into seeing the racy play, Cabaret, starring Portland’s Storm Large, going to watch Jim Gaffigan perform (hilarious comedian – a must-see!), reading trashy tabloids at Barnes & Noble and window shopping at a variety of high-priced retailers.

So, as you can see, an artist’s date is simply taking time out for whatever inspires you. Even if it’s only for a brief amount of time – like the 15 minutes I spent reading about Britney Spears latest drama or browsing through aisles of five-inch stiletto heels. I then return to my computer – refreshed, excited and with plenty to say.

Do you have a favorite artist date? Do tell!
With love,

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

04 Nov / Gluten-Free Girl

What’s more exciting that seeing a new gluten-free book on the market? Having that GF book written by another West Coaster.

Shauna James Ahern – well-known for her fabulous Gluten-Free Girl blog – recently released her part memoir, part gluten-free guide, appropriately titled: gluten-free girl: how I found the food that loves me back…& how you can too.

Sometimes you forget you’re reading a GF book, because the story is just so compelling. After several illnesses and a car accident that almost killed her – Ahern discovered that Celiac disease was causing her pain. Today, she looks and feels remarkable. Her story of freedom through food is witty, exciting and will no doubt bring hope to many Celiac’s.

As a non-Celiac, I enjoyed the book as both a reader and one passionate about wheat-free eating. While Ahern encourages the pleasures of dairy and milk chocolate (no-no’s for those of us with intolerances/allergies) there are still recipes that meet our requirements. The pizza crust is one I definitely plan to try.

Oh, and be sure to check out Ahern’s blog and book. GO West Coast! ๐Ÿ™‚


Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

At a Ladies Who Launch event last week, (if you’ve never been – GO – and also be sure to sign up for their fabulous e-newsletter) I was introduced to a brand new wheat-free cookie made right here in Portland, Ore. (Beaverton to be exact, but same difference).

Azdu Baking Co. recently released their wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free (how perfect is this?!) cookie. It’s light and fluffy; and for those of us who bake wheat-free, we know how hard that can be. They remind me of a snickerdoodle, but not as sweet – which is perfect. The cookies are a bit high in calories, but if you can handle eating just one, you’ll be fine.

I checked in with Linda – the creator of Azdu Baking Co. – and right now folks can order her fabulous cookies through her website. Enjoy!!! She also has new products on the way and I’ll keep you posted on those…

Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

In business, there’s no end to the talk about establishing a niche. Still, when you ask most people who their target audience is, they’ll blithely answer “Everyone.”


Everyone cannot be your target audience. Well, they can be, but you won’t be very successful. Small businesses in general need to know exactly who their target demo is. This makes marketing/advertising far more streamlined (and therefore, more cost effective) and also allows them to specialize in a particular area, creating expert status.

A career as a writer is no different. We must niche. Of course, we’re often afraid to do this because we feel we might be pigeon-holing (this is actually a word!) ourselves. After freelance writing for 5 years and writing full-time for close to one year, my niche has revealed itself. I am so grateful! It’s actually no surprise, though, as they’re topics I’m exceptionally passionate about and also have a tremendous amount of knowledge on. Ah, the old adage – do what you know (and love!)

With no further ado, I introduce my target niche topics: unrefined eating (sans wheat, dairy and processed sugar) and conscious living – both for women. Conscious living includes authenticity, creativity, eco-friendly initiatives, self-love and much more. Having discovered my own path in both topics makes them the perfect fit for me.

Are you a writer? Business woman? Editor?

What’s YOUR niche?
Who are the people you want to do business with? What avenues of business or writing do you wish to pursue?

If you don’t clearly know yet, start figuring it out now. Write down the clients you LOVE working with, the topics you love writing about – decide what brings you the most joy. Then, find a way to just do that.

We don’t need to know how to do everything and appeal to everyone to be successful in business. We simply need to specialize in one or two areas and then target them unabashedly.

Happy niche-ing (new word)!
-Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

It’s cold out.
The fire is crackling and I’m wearing sweatshirts, sweaters and my new wool pea coat. (charcoal grey – the perfect antidote to cold days!)

Summer is long gone and instead, we’re deep into the days of fall.
Which has me craving something warm and comforting. Is this happening to you? Salads are no longer calling me and instead I’m eating far more soup and other warm goodies.

Check out my all-time favorite crock pot recipe – perfect for the cold days.
Turkey Chili. You won’t find any wheat, dairy or sugar in this fan-tab-u-lous recipe. Enjoy!

Turkey Chili
1 16oz. can of kidney beans (do not drain)
1 16oz. can of pinto beans
1 16oz. can of black beans
1 small yellow onion – chopped
1 small green pepper – chopped
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes (zest it up and get Mexican style)
3T tomato paste
3T chili powder
1.5 t salt
1 t+ garlic salt
1/2 t pepper
1lb lean white turkey

Pour all contents into the crock pot and let simmer on low all day (at least 8 hours). If you don’t have that much time, heat on high for 4.5 hours. Tip: Put the turkey on the bottom of the crock pot. Check in and mix every few hours.

You will love this!
Have a winter recipe you’d like to share? Place it in our comments or email me:

-Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

For me, part of living an authentic life (and as I pointed out in last week’s blog) involves getting away from it all. Lately, I’ve been feeling particularly pulled to Sedona, Ariz. Those red rocks are calling me. I’ve never been to Sedona, so I’m not sure why I’m feeling pulled there, but something is in the air. As synchronicity would have it, the Sedona Method recently came into my life. It’s a technique that reportedly brings peace, empowerment and an overall improved life to its practitioners. Its founder is Hale Dwoskin, also a member of The Secret cast.

The Sedona Method involves doing the following whenever an unwanted emotion or situation appears:
-Name the feeling.
-Could you allow that feeling to exist?
-Could you let it go?
-Would you let it go?

Now, I’ve only applied this once, but I will say I felt a release around the particular situation I was struggling with. It no longer seems to aggravate me like it did before I applied the Sedona Method to it. And so, I’m continuing on to see what this aspect of Sedona will bring me.

Perhaps this explains why I’ve spent far too much time on Sedona travel websites in hopes of planning a journey there…I’ll keep you posted. And if you’ve been to Sedona and have recommendations for me, please leave a comment.

Have you tried the Sedona Method or do you currently practice it? I’d love to hear about it!


Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

I think I’ve tried every wheat-free, dairy-free mac-n-cheese on the market. And I’ve got to be honest, they are ICKY. Not even remotely resembling the real thing. After another major disappointment with Road End Organics Dairy-free Mac&Cheese (with brown rice pasta), I decided that I would find the time and only make big vats of my own mac-n-cheese, freeze and eat.

So, here’s a fabulous wheat-free, dairy-free mac-n-cheese recipe you can actually enjoy:

Use a few heels of Ezekiel bread (for Celiacโ€™s try non-wheat bread like Food for Lifeโ€™s Brown Rice or Millet bread) in the freezer to use as bread crumbs.

Serves 4

12 oz quinoa pasta
*Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta
2 c rice milk
*Pacific Rice milk
2 T quinoa flour
*Ancient Harvest quinoa flour (recommend same pasta/flour blend)
1 ยฝ c shredded almond pepper jack cheese
*Lisanatti Almond Jalapeno Jack Style Cheese
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T salt
4 pieces Ezekiel bread (or other non-wheat bread), crumbled
ยผ c soy parmesan cheese
*Soya parmesan cheese

8×8 baking pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa pasta according to package instructions. Heat rice milk in large saucepan over low heat until simmering. Slowly whisk in quinoa flour. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add cheese, mustard, salt, and pasta. Stir over low heat until heated through. Pour into baking pan. Add bread crumbs to top. Sprinkle additional garlic salt. Bake for 20 minutes.

And if you’ve found a mac-n-cheese mix that tastes good, please let us know. Would LOVE to find one.

-Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Lately I’ve been asked about how to make it as a writer. Apparently, the idea that writers must be starving artists still exists. Fortunately, that’s not only NOT the case, it’s perfectly possible to make a great living as a full-time writer. Even better, there isn’t some magical formula, but actually just good ole’ common sense and the belief that you CAN in fact be a full-time writer (see concept of Law of Attraction for more on this).

The following is my list of “how-to” make it as a successful writer in today’s world:

-Say good-bye to traditional forms of writing.
When I first started out as a writer, I thought that I would write for national magazines that I loved, like SELF, Real Simple, Cosmo and the like. What I’ve learned is that in order to stay alive, print publications sell “stories” to publicists or advertisers. Editorial isn’t always editorial and more often than not it’s advertorial. Once I realized that traditional markets were struggling to survive, I turned my attention to un-traditional pub’s that will allow you to write, no purchase necessary. Explore the world of on-line writing – that’s where it’s at. Blogs and online pubs make up the majority of my writing. And I love it! Now, anyone in the world can read my writing, at any time.

-Allow change to occur.
Businesses change. Being able to flow with these changes is paramount. When I started out, I took whatever writing gigs came my way. Over time, I was able to carve out a niche (and learn what I love and don’t love!) and create a writing flow that best reflected my interests and passions. Recently, after letting almost all of my business writing go, I was approached to write a resume for a wonderful lady. I loved her energy and agreed to take on the project. It’s been a blast! The same with my journaling workshops – I originally started out volunteer teaching girls groups. From there, it morphed into paying gigs and lots of learning for me. Flow with the change of your business. Each adjustment will get you closer to your true dream.

-Attend conferences & workshops.
Get networked in the writing community. Absolutely attend conferences, like the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Ore. I met my current agent and some lovely writer friends at this year’s conference. It also inspired about 1000 new ideas and helped reinvigorate my passion for what I do. Don’t miss these. There’s also a Maui Writer’s Conference which I hope to attend within the next year or so. These are gems for your writing career. Do not miss them.

-Get out of the office.
For the love of god – you are in a mobile environment, so BE mobile. This is something I’ve struggled with enormously, but over time have learned to love the opportunity to write at a local (or beach) cafe. Getting out of your element frees up your creativity and allows the right projects to come your way. At any given time, when I leave the office for a day or two, new projects, people and abundance come my way. When your energy isn’t desperately tied to your desk, more good can come in.

If you have other suggestions that have made all the difference for you, please add them in the comments section.

Look forward to connecting with you!
Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Fortunately, the wheat-free, dairy-free and low sugar markets are exploding. We have more options than ever before to eat great food that has zero preservatives and meets our dietary needs. Here are some of the resources I use or have used in the past, to guide me on my way:

Living Without magazine & resource list
Whole Foods GF Living Section
Wheat-free Diet blog
Grain Damaged blog
Portland Metro Celiacs
Food Allergy Initiative

Have any resources you can’t live without?
Do share!

–Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

08 Oct / Peace Is The Way

โ€œThere is no way to peace, peace is the way.โ€ –A.J. Muste

Okay, so we’ve all heard this quote a million times, but for some reason, its been ringing in my ears. While reading Anatomy of Spirit by Caroline Myss (the chapter covering the second chakra in particular), I am struck and inspired by her account of a client who was dealing with health issues in his chakra and was overcome by work/anxiety, etc. Myss suggested he make a peace contract with himself, since he was a lawyer. I read this passage over 2 weeks ago, but have not been able to stop thinking about it.

And so, while spending 5 days on the beautiful Oregon Coast – Brookings to be exact, where it was sunny and warm all week! – I made a peace contract with myself, a non-lawyer. The action in itself filled me up, making me feel more committed to a cause I could really get behind – myself. For the first time in my life I made commitments to myself and no one else. It was at once liberating and blissful.

To create your own peace contract, which I wholeheartedly suggest if you feel called to it, you can follow my outline:

-Begin with: I, (name), do so solemnly swear on (date) to live my life with the sole purpose of peace.

-Create your peace “rules” in the areas of: work, romantic relationships, your body, health (nutrition/exercise, etc.), friendships, family, career, vision for the future, daily interactions, spirituality and daily practice.

-Read it out loud – either looking at yourself in the mirror, or as I did facing the ocean.

-Read it daily out loud or to yourself to cement this commitment in your life.

When my purpose every day is peace, so much of what doesn’t matter falls away. I’m finding it allows me to fully allow life to unfold, as opposed to forcing it. A truly lovely place to be. My writing is flowing with more ease and certainly more purpose. I’m loving it!

Please share your calls to peace if you feel so inclined…
-Heather ๐Ÿ™‚

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