sarah kay hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com When gravel roads are all you've ever known, you learn to find beauty in the dust. Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:55:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Our PACT, Samarah http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/25/our-pact-samarah/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/25/our-pact-samarah/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:55:40 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25317 I picked Sam up from daycare a couple weeks ago, excited like I always am to see her precious face. That excitement was quickly put on hold when Sam waddled around, not wanting anything to do with me, only wanting our daycare girl to hold her and then screaming as I carried her on out.... 

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I picked Sam up from daycare a couple weeks ago, excited like I always am to see her precious face.

Samarah_18months_PACT sarahkayhoffman.com

That excitement was quickly put on hold when Sam waddled around, not wanting anything to do with me, only wanting our daycare girl to hold her and then screaming as I carried her on out.

Like a stab in the chest, my heart hurt so badly.

Ryan was doing yard work when I pulled in to the driveway. I got out, told him the story, and my eyes filled with tears.

Like any mother-daughter relationship, Sam will, without a doubt, hurt me many times over. I think about all the times I hurt my mother while growing up. I never understood that kind of hurt before. I sure do now.

As a noun, pact means:

agreement, mutual understanding (often written)

The only written communication Samarah and I currently need is the daily one I write to her via: Love Always, Mama.

Even though Samarah is only 18-months old and has no clue what a PACT is, I so desperately want her to know our PACT.

Our PACT always understands….

I’m gonna love you forever.” (I tell her it daily.)

Our PACT, Samarah Owl sarahkayhoffman.com

I will love you – no matter what. When you make me smile, I will love you. When you break my heart, I will love you.

When you take all the tea out of the cupboards, I will love you. When you scream at me, I will love you.

Our PACT, Samarah sarahkayhoffman.com

I am an open door, Samarah, and you can tell me anything. No shame, no fear….anything.

We will not always agree. Agreeing to disagree will be okay.

I see not the way in which you entered the world, but the way in which our world was changed when you arrived in it.

I hold your hand; you hold my heart.

We’ll journey through life together treating people how we want to be treated.

Our PACT, Samarah Apple Park sarahkayhoffman.com

Our PACT, Samarah, means that we will always strive to be the best we can for each other and for the world. And I sure am going to love this journey with you….no matter what.

Xox,
SKH

p.s. This post was inspired by one of my Top 3 products from Natural Products Expo West, PACT Apparel. I am in love with PACT for their superior product + awesomely obsessive passion, “PACT is obsessed with a big idea: super soft organic cotton that makes the world a better place.” The onesie Sam is wearing can be found in their Baby Apparel. I received complimentary product from them, but no compensation or “blog post” swap niceties were mandatory. I wrote this because it was on my mind, because the product is incredible and because, let’s be honest….Sam is absolutely priceless in the outfit!

p.s.s. They sent me a coral dress that I love. I am getting baptized, and have decided to make it my Easter + Baptism dress. Stay tuned – you may see me in it (yes, sans big sweatshirt)!

 

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Why I Wear Big Sweatshirts http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/23/why-i-wear-big-sweatshirts/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/23/why-i-wear-big-sweatshirts/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:11:40 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25345 When I lived in Minnesota and it was -20 degrees outside, I wore big sweatshirts. When it’s 110 degrees during the California summer, I wear big sweatshirts. The weather is not a deciding factor for me. How I feel, is. I wear big sweatshirts for 2 primary reasons: I am frequently cold. My stomach feels... 

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When I lived in Minnesota and it was -20 degrees outside, I wore big sweatshirts.

When it’s 110 degrees during the California summer, I wear big sweatshirts.

The weather is not a deciding factor for me.

Why I Wear Big Sweatshirts sarahkayhoffman.com IBS IBD Autoimmune

How I feel, is.

I wear big sweatshirts for 2 primary reasons:

  1. I am frequently cold.
  2. My stomach feels too “full,” and I don’t want people asking, “How far along are you?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my sweatshirts. They have made me comfortable for several years. I hoard them.

But truthfully, I am not proud of it.

I mentioned last week in 8 Things I Am Doing for SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune that I have worked myself to 75% good days, 25% bad days.

These past few weeks are mainly where the 25% comes from. It hasn’t been pretty nor desirable and if you’ve seen me in person (even in this hotter-than-normal weather), you’ve likely seen me with a big sweatshirt on.

Friday I saw my doctor and even still, I spent Friday night depressed and exhausted with this very moment on my journey.

But to know me well is to know that I don’t let things get me down for very long. I mope for a few minutes, and then I think of all the good and/or all things I can do to change the circumstances.

So on Saturday I quit caffeine. I took every dose of all my supplements. I also went to bed at 8:30pm and got 9 hours of sleep (thank you baby Sam for helping mama out!).

On Sunday I finally began my self-administered B12 injections.

And early, early, early this morning I decided that yes, for sure, I will be doing a round of the antibiotic my doctor and I discussed on Friday.

I am okay with unbuttoning my pants to prove that I love me no matter what. I am also okay with wearing big sweatshirts when I am cold or dealing with a wild gut.

sarahkayhoffman.com Why I Wear Big Sweatshirts IBS IBD

I am just not okay with doing either of them out of necessity, and I’ll do whatever it takes to ditch them both for buttoned pants and a cute (fitted) shirt.

p.s. I’ll be back this week with a recap from my doctor’s visit (which was awesome, by the way), and where we’re going next.

Xox,
SKH

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8 Things I Am Doing for SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/19/8-things-i-am-doing-for-sibo-adrenal-fatigue-and-autoimmune/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/19/8-things-i-am-doing-for-sibo-adrenal-fatigue-and-autoimmune/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:15:43 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25305 Today is Day 120 since I started my new protocol after being diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, a low functioning thyroid and SIBO. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that these are just additions to Colitis which I was diagnosed with in 2008. The struggles of autoimmune and... 

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Today is Day 120 since I started my new protocol after being diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, a low functioning thyroid and SIBO. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that these are just additions to Colitis which I was diagnosed with in 2008.

The struggles of autoimmune and a less-than-perfect functioning system are real.

Almost 1/3 year has passed since I began addressing these new issues. I have learned so much. Tomorrow I see my holistic MD again, and so I wanted to reflect prior to the visit.

8 Things I Am Doing for SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune

8 Things I'm doing for SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue, Autoimmune sarahkayhoffman.com

Diet

It will come as no surprise that my diet hasn’t changed a ton. I have focused on diet heavily for a couple years now. I know my body, and I know a lot about how food interacts with it. When I was diagnosed with SIBO, though, a few critical things changed. These are the things I eat (and by the way enjoy!) on any given day:

  • meat
  • coconut oil
  • fish
  • cod liver oil
  • coconut milk
  • bone broth
  • sardines (yes, I finally did it!)
  • super ripe bananas
  • oranges (I’m finding that I can’t do anymore than 1/2 to 1, though)
  • yucca
  • kabocha
  • greens (kale, arugula mostly)
  • olive oil
  • hemp oil
  • hemp seeds
  • hemp protein powder
  • smoothies (which include various fruits that are low-FODMAP)
  • organic tea
  • organic coffee

I don’t do: gluten, grains, dairy, soy, corn, legumes (except when I taste-test batches), refined sugar, artificial – chemical – preservatives anything. I also strictly adhere to a low-FODMAP diet, which trumps everything else when in doubt. I consume very little alcohol, and typically never more than 2oz at a time.

Supplements

The supplement regimen is a part-time job. Truth be told, I am not always perfect with it, but I am doing my very best. I take roughly 8 supplements regularly. Some of them are in pill form, some are “beads,” and the rest are liquid sublinguals. Additionally, I have B12 injections that I am supposed to be doing 2-3 times per week. This has been my biggest downfall and disappointment. I still have not administered a shot to myself. I can’t bring myself to do it. Tomorrow I’ll ask my doctor for a local phlebotomist referral and just deal with going in to have someone do it for me 2-3 times per week. I feel like this B12 injection is a key component I am missing, but for some reason I can’t bring myself (or allow my husband) to do it. (Side note: I still do all the supplements and things I did to heal my Perioral Dermatitis as well.)

Medication

I have not yet mentioned the medication I take, but I am ready to tell you. Low Dose Naltrexone is the name. The Healthy Economist published a fantastic article recently about it. You can learn more in, “Using Low Dose Naltrexone for Autoimmune Disease.” I am up to taking 2 per night before bedtime. Soon I’ll move to 3, which is the culmination. I know this medication is helping. But more than that, I feel ok with the decision to be on a medication because of it.

Coffee Consumption

I believe in the power of coffee, but by “power” I mean its power to keep me sane and inspired - not it’s power for fake energy. And thus, my coffee consumption has been greatly reduced. It has been so hard, but not tragic. I drink a combination of organic regular + decaf (about 1-2 cups) each day. I do my very best to stop at that.

Tea Replacement

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Traditional Medicinals. While I was compensated to write a post using their teas all opinions are my own.

{Bonus Disclosure: I gave up most sponsorships in order to stay true to my brand and readers a couple years back. You can read about this personal decision HERE. I only talk about products and brands I use and recommend to friends, family, clients and readers. I have been asked very frequently lately which tea brands I recommend. There are only two, and Traditional Medicinals is one.}

The ritual of a hot beverage is calming to me. These days, though, once the morning coffee ends, I have completely replaced coffee with tea. But like coffee, not all tea is created equally and a lot of tea contains unnecessary processing and ingredients. Furthermore, there are many tea ingredients which are not low-FODMAP and so I had to be very selective with my tea choices.

3 teas I’m drinking to help support my healing:

Traditional Medicinals Organic Eater’s Digest Peppermint

Traditional Medicinals Organic Eater's Digest Peppermint sarahkayhoffman.com

As I mentioned above, when it comes to tea, you should always check the ingredients. Tea is one of those things that seems simple enough, until it’s not. This one contains many things which are helping me not only feel better, but also soothe. It’s a mild peppermint flavor, and I tend to drink it post-meal.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm

Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm Tea sarahkayhoffman.com

Lemon, in all forms, have been a huge addition to these past 120 days. From cleaning to kitchen decorations, in recipes, lemon has been good to me. While Lemon Balm is not related to lemon, this herb’s name comes from its notable lemony fragrance and taste. There is just one ingredient in this tea. I have incorporated the tea into my morning routine, as lemon balm supports digestion and helps calm frazzled nerves (<– = most of my adrenal fatigue problem). It has replaced plain lemon water, and I enjoy the pleasant and friendly morning taste. For the record, adding a little raw honey would be lovely to this tea, but until I have the green light, honey is, of course, high-FODMAP.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Green Tea Ginger

Traditional Medicinals Organic Green Tea Ginger sarahkayhoffman.com

The idea of drinking a green tea + ginger is one that has become a staple for so many. Green tea has been enjoyed for thousands of years as a healthy beverage, and this tea provides the extra wellness benefits of ginger.* Not only do these two fine ingredients help get digestive juices moving*, but their combination is powerful and delicious. In fact, did you know that, “Ginger rhizome has also been a staple in both Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine, traditional practices that are thousands of years old?” If you understand my healing protocol well, you know that these holistic, traditional practices are what I engage in. I love this tea in the deep of an afternoon….most afternoons.

Workouts

I have stayed very consistent and true to how I said I’d workout for healing. I lift at the gym 1-3 times per week, typically no more than 45 minutes. I set up a nice Bikram practice for about a month, but I haven’t done it in about a month, and I can tell my body needs to go back. For “cardio,” I stick to walking primarily, and we walk a lot (but probably not enough). I hit anywhere from 6-10K steps per day.

Sleep

The baby is, hallelujah praise the Lord, finally sleeping through the night. It took about 15-ish months, but we got there. And thus, I am sleeping so much better. It has made all the difference. There aren’t many nights when I get less than 7 hours of sleep anymore. Most nights I aim for 8+. Some nights I sneak in 9-10 hours.

Lifestyle

I am not going to pretend I have this piece all figured out. My goal was healing through intention in 2015. Most of that intention was lifestyle-based. This piece is the hardest for me since I work full time + have a start-up business. Some things I am doing to stress less and enjoy more include: clearing the clutter, MOPS, walking with friends, sitting in silence with tea and a notebook for personal writing, trips and travel, reflexology and reading The Bible.

Traditional Medicinals Tea Gut Healing sarahkayhoffman.com

With all these changes, how are you feeling?

I have more good days than bad. Quite honestly, that frustrates me so often.

With all that I’m doing (or not doing) now, shouldn’t everyday be good? Shouldn’t I be “healed” by now?

But no, no it should not and no it will not.

Autoimmune means you will find yourself in remission, but not cured. There is no cure for the things I have. And if you’re not cured, then bad days are bound to happen because life happens. I refuse to live in a bubble, and even if I did live in this bubble, I’d still likely have bad days (um, hello, that would be so stressful!)

As a friend recently told me, “More good than bad days are all I can ask for.

She’s right. There was a time when I had 10% good days, 90% bad days.

I would say I’ve progressed to about 75% good days, 25% bad days.

Tomorrow I see my holistic MD (and then I’ll follow up with more!). I am ready for the next 120 days, for phase 2 and for learning more, growing more and healing more.

Xox,
SKH

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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All We Have is Time http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/18/all-we-have-is-time/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/18/all-we-have-is-time/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:26:24 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25319 “Sarah, all we have is time.” This is Ryan’s response to me each time I declare, “I just don’t have any time to do that.” The way he says it to me is cheesy (don’t tell him I told you), but those 5 words have been playing over-and-over in my head ever since I read... 

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“Sarah, all we have is time.”

This is Ryan’s response to me each time I declare, “I just don’t have any time to do that.”

The way he says it to me is cheesy (don’t tell him I told you), but those 5 words have been playing over-and-over in my head ever since I read my dear friend Carla Birnberg’s post, “How much do I charge?” (Please give it a read. It’s awesome.)

In it, she states,

Yes, we require food, shelter and money to live,” I thought. “Yet, in a sense, that’s the easy stuff.

I’m not minimizing the struggle to survive, it just grew clear (hello 45!) the most precious gift I have to give & most valuable “thing” I possess is my time.

And then,

Time? Once it was used up—it was gone.

It is my passion to help as many people as I can, but I have, oftentimes, allowed this passion to eat up my time.

All We Have is Time sarahkayhoffman.com

What most people don’t know about me is that up until this point, for this past year, I have worked a “normal” 30-hour a week job and furthermore just accepted a full-time position for that job. (Which, by the way, I love! You can follow more of my life there, HERE. You can also learn more about that life via my LinkedIn profile.) That, of course, does not include A Loving Spoon nut butter which is growing in ways I could not have predicted just a few months ago (and why I’m finally hiring), the course at Cal State Hayward I recently finished teaching (but which will begin again this summer), the Group Program I co-lead (and will be leading again this spring) and the time I spend managing this blog.

If you think I’m super mom, I’m not.

If you think this sounds impossible, it’s not. It’s just slightly above sane, and almost impossible.

I can no longer keep up with all the private messages, emails, etc. which go along the lines of, “I don’t feel good. Can you help me with my gut?” There is an e-book for that.

I also can no longer keep up with the brand emails announcing, “We have the best product, and we know your readers will want to read about it. Please copy the bullet points below and share our product/service.” If I love your product or service, I will write about it because it’s a part of my story. If I am paid to write about your product or service, I still only do so because it’s a part of my story, but I no longer have to be at the mercy for anyone or anything because I put a price tag on my time.

In general, I can no longer keep up with many of things I was keeping up with for several years, but I am able to say “no” because I am compensated appropriately for my time when I say “yes.”

And in the rest of those (seemingly) few hours of the day, week and months? I fully devote them to my family, to the Lord and to myself (healing with intention). There is no price tag for this time. I can never, ever, ever get those moments back. Truth be told, those are the only moments I’ll carry with me to the grave.

Moments pass so quickly, and all we have is time.

(You’re so right, Ry!)

Xox,
SKH

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There is No Testimony Without a Test http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/12/there-is-no-testimony-without-a-test/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/12/there-is-no-testimony-without-a-test/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:36:11 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25297 There is no testimony without a test. (Source) Truer words could not have been said, except: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7) On... 

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There is no testimony without a test. (Source)

Truer words could not have been said, except:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)

On Tuesday morning at MOPS, I gave my testimony. To document this fine moment, I selfied it up.

There is No Testimony without the Test sarahkayhoffman.com

Our fearless MOPS leader (and one of my loving friends) asked me to be the speaker – to share my story – this year.

With a 24 hour notice, I agreed.

I typed it out, word-for-word. I had to. I knew I’d cry.

And I did, too. I did a small intro and then I stated,

This is my story of a baby, of becoming a mother and of learning that God’s plans, while oftentimes unclear, are perfect.

I paused. Crying. (Of course I also made a joke to tell them how lame I am!)

I continued on.

I shared my story, and I even shared with them a video I have never shown anyone – the video on the day after I came home from the hospital.

On and on and on I went.

And when it was over, I suddenly felt that this, too, was just another way that God is using my story for good.

I began to feel as though #22 should be carried out (and crossed off) in this way.

Like it, love or (oh-so-often) hate it….I am tested by autoimmune and the adrenal fatigue that seems to love staying right alongside me. I have been tested before Samarah and we are tested each day until Samarah is ours forever.

I used to believe that it was only after these tests in which a testimony could emerge.

I now believe that during these tests there is also a testimony.

This is the testimony that, before, during and after He walks beside us.

I live daily with hope and love and (usually – unless I’ve had zero coffee – let’s be honest) a ton of energy and inspiration. And I live like this even with, even when circumstances are not right.

This is because I finally feel the grace and the love of the Lord. I believe in His greater plan. These are things that were not in my life even 5 years ago, but they are here now.

And they have changed me forever.

Xox,
SKH

p.s. Samarah is 18 months today :)

Samarah 18months No Testimony without the Test sarahkayhoffman.com

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My Medical Records http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/10/medical-records/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/10/medical-records/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:52:32 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25248 My medical records might become a part of all the other junk useful things I carry in my purse. Shortly after being diagnosed and beginning my new protocol, a chef at my commercial kitchen wanted me to try his product. I couldn’t. He asked why, and when I let him know that I was just diagnosed with a... 

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My medical records might become a part of all the other junk useful things I carry in my purse.

My Medical Records sarahkayhoffman.com

Shortly after being diagnosed and beginning my new protocol, a chef at my commercial kitchen wanted me to try his product. I couldn’t. He asked why, and when I let him know that I was just diagnosed with a few things and that several foods were off limits for awhile, he responded with,

Is this a credible doctor or what?

(Insert eye roll. No, Dr. Schweig is not credible at all. Insert sarcasm.)

Recently, someone with whom I am close said to me,

What? Now you can’t even eat that?

I responded, “No, no I cannot, but there are many other and new things I can eat.” I also mentioned “not to worry; I’d get my own food, no big deal.

She responded,

Are you really sick or are you just (and swirled her fingers around her temples to indicate crazy)?

I about lost it.

No, literally. I got in my car, headed to grab food and cried.

In that moment, in these moments, I wish I had my medical records to whip out of my purse.

I am not crazy.

As a matter of fact, I hate living like this 98% of the time, and constantly receiving the 3rd degree about it makes it even harder to live with.

I refuse to be a hermit and not live my life like any “normal” person does.

I don’t go to someone’s house and question their “healthy lifestyle” by saying, “Why are you eating McDonald’s low-fat ice cream?” or “You complain about always feeling miserable so maybe you should look at how your live your life.

I don’t even criticize others’ decisions to smoke cigarettes – even when they smoke sitting right next to me. I don’t even have it in me to be bold and say, “Do you know what smoking does to you?

And so I often wonder why the way in which I have to live bothers so many to the point where snide comments are the only thing that so easily seems to roll off the tongue.

I can’t eat asparagus. Get over it. Me not eating asparagus or apples or anything else “normal” people deem as healthy is quite obviously not affecting anyone but me (let it be known -> I miss both asparagus and apples like crazy).

So I pondered that day, after getting the old “swirl of the finger” about carrying my medical records in my already-too-cluttered purse. There would be no better way to prove what my blood tests have determined. There would be no better way to say

No, I am not crazy. I am just trying to get better.

In the end, I decided that this, too, would be ineffective.

I’d pull out my medical records and before I could show them test 1, they would laugh it off and say, “just kidding” or “no, I don’t really care.”

And these likely responses are to my point exactly….

You don’t care. So stop making me feel like I owe you anything.

Xox,
SKH

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Passion for Food and True Wellness http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/09/passion-food-true-wellness/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/09/passion-food-true-wellness/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:53:20 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25281 As if my passion for food and true wellness could explode anymore. Somehow, at Natural Products Expo West, it did. Prior to the show, I wrote about my intentions for attending the show and what I was looking for. I believe I found all that and more. From Thursday –  Saturday, I: listened to Dr. Alex... 

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As if my passion for food and true wellness could explode anymore. Somehow, at Natural Products Expo West, it did.

Greens Nature Natural Products Expo West sarahkayhoffman.com

Prior to the show, I wrote about my intentions for attending the show and what I was looking for.

I believe I found all that and more.

From Thursday –  Saturday, I:

  • listened to Dr. Alex Richardson (Changing Diets, Changing Minds: The Importance of Nutrition for Behavior, Learning and Mood)
  • learned more about the Science Supporting Organic Benefits (from The Organic Center)
  • had a Vegan dinner
  • met Rohan Marley (full post on this coming soon)
  • heard stories about the people and farmers which supply Nutiva ingredients from all over the world….and all the passion the company has for them
  • met Ryland Engelhart
  • had breakfast with my friend Elliot, the Gluten Intolerance Group and NASCAR driver (who has Celiac), Parker Klingerman
  • ran into 2 lovely women from the hometown in Minnesota
  • learned about a clothing company that totally rocked my socks off (full post on this coming soon)
  • watched a trailer for “Kiss the Ground
  • ate far too many things that were not grain free, but still completely avoided dairy and gluten
  • found some new products and things for Samarah, and in the process became even more interested in the true wellness aspect for baby (not just mama)
  • met Wayne Gorsek, who told me how awesome peanuts are and then shared THIS article with me
  • hugged some of my favorites that I only see at events like this (Celiac and the Beast, The Blender Girl, Bookieboo, Fit and Awesome, Jules Gluten Free, Kiran with 100 Days of Real Food….and more)
  • met Teens Turning Green, Erin Schrode and her sweet mother Judi

SKH with Ryland Englehart Cafe Gratitude sarahkayhoffman.com

I might not know everything there is about organics and living as green and unprocessed as possible, but I do know, without a doubt, that it’s the only thing I’ve ever truly believed in.

I made a vow to myself in September, 2013 that I would not talk about the foods on my blog any longer that are making people fat, sick and miserable (Fat, Sick & Miserable. No more Junk ‘Round Here). My convictions could not be any stronger. I am overwhelmed and tired of the “healthy lifestyle” message that is, quite honestly, making us miserable.

(Fact: I used to be really “healthy” when I used 20 packets of Splenda in my coffee, which was already filled with fat-free, sugar-free flavored creamers. And by “healthy,” of course, I simply mean I told people I was healthy, I was thin so I appeared healthy and my fat-free-sugar-free-no-calories-ever deemed me as such. And by “appeared healthy,” of course I mean my 95% of the time my Colitis was in flare mode.) (Fact 2: The Internet is flooded with these “healthy lifestyle” experts.)

Nutiva Natural Products Expo West sarahkayhoffman.com

I will spend my whole life devoted to the causes which so many of the people and brands I met with also devote their lives to.

Because it’s important. Because it’s so important.

p.s. While I’m on this semi-rant, tomorrow I dive more when I share “My Medical Records.” (Don’t miss it.)

Erin Turning Green + John Nutiva sarahkayhoffman.com

Xox,
SKH

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Adoption has Changed Our Lives http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/04/adoption-changed-lives/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/04/adoption-changed-lives/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:52:31 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25257 Adoption has changed our lives. No matter what. Our bedtime routine typically plays out as such: bath, lotion + oils, kisses for mamma and daddy, an extra kiss, hug and “night-night” for the one not rocking her to sleep (Ryan and I switch off every other night putting her to sleep and yes, I know... 

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Adoption has changed our lives. No matter what.

B&W in Lake Tahoe Park Samarah. Adoption has Changed Our Lives. sarahkayhoffman.com

Our bedtime routine typically plays out as such: bath, lotion + oils, kisses for mamma and daddy, an extra kiss, hug and “night-night” for the one not rocking her to sleep (Ryan and I switch off every other night putting her to sleep and yes, I know I am very lucky to have a husband who loves doing this), then Ellie the elephant turns on, lights go out and we rock her until she is almost asleep.

Sam loves Ellie because Ellie is a constant in her life. She knows that when Ellie turns on each night, it’s time for bed.

I love Ellie because her music is just sweet.

One night, after only a few months of having Samarah, one of Ellie’s songs was playing, Sam was pulling my finger and gently drinking her bottle. The only light in sight was her nightlight. My world was calm. I remember thinking, “I would sit in this room, alone with just Ellie playing, should Sam ever get taken from us. My life would never be the same.

“My life would never be the same….” — those feelings, that’s how adoption, even the process of adoption, has changed my life forever.

It’s true, Samarah is not officially ours yet. Her adoption is still not finalized, but when we took a little trip up to Lake Tahoe this past weekend, I was reminded of just how much our lives have changed.

The last time I was there was for our Baby Moon.

That trip looked much different than this one, but in a million and one ways, this one was better.

Samarah loved the cool, fresh air and sitting up high on my back.

Backpack with Samarah. Lake Tahoe Heavenly. Adoption has Changed Our Lives. sarahkayhoffman.com

We spent the mornings running around our hotel, getting breakfast, coffee and then exploring. We got a green juice together, then danced to some Taylor Swift until she and her daddy went to play down by the beach. At night, we did dinners where she was the center of attention for our waitress and other people. She babbled non-stop, and when music played, she started shaking her shoulders to dance once again (<–I’ve been teaching her some smooth moves, and for those of you who truly know me, you know how talented she will likely be then:) ).

On the last night there, Ryan showed me a picture he had taken of Samarah earlier that day, down by the beach. My heart skipped a beat.

Samarah Lake Tahoe. Adoption has Changed Our Lives. sarahkayhoffman.com

There are no words, and there are a million words.

Everything has changed in the (almost) 1 year and 4 months since God blessed us with our angel.

The process, fears and a never-ending roller coaster ride, have changed us. Having an “overnight baby” has changed us. Growing with her has changed us.

No matter what, but always for this crazy awesome love…..

Adoption has changed our lives.

Xox,
SKH

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Natural Expo West 2015: Looking for More than just “Natural” http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/02/natural-expo-west-2015-looking-for-more-than-just-natural/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/03/02/natural-expo-west-2015-looking-for-more-than-just-natural/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 00:08:14 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25234 I am joining the official Natural Expo West 2015 Blogger Team for the second year in a row. These were my top 4 overall pics from Natural Foods Expo West 2014. In Rachel, aka Mommy Greenest’s, pre-Expo post, “From Paleo to Cricket Protein: 5 Natural Lifestyle Trends to Watch,” she mentions these 5 huge trends: Coconut Crazy... 

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I am joining the official Natural Expo West 2015 Blogger Team for the second year in a row.

Sarah Kay Hoffman Natural EXPO WEST 2015 LOOKING FOR MORE THAN JUST NATURAL sarahkayhoffman.com

These were my top 4 overall pics from Natural Foods Expo West 2014.

In Rachel, aka Mommy Greenest’s, pre-Expo post, “From Paleo to Cricket Protein: 5 Natural Lifestyle Trends to Watch,” she mentions these 5 huge trends:

  1. Coconut Crazy
  2. Water, The New Soda
  3. Philanthropy Award
  4. Vegan Backward
  5. Paleo and Protein

(Click HERE to read the full post.)

Natural Expo West We Blog Blogger Team 2015 sarahkayhoffman.com

As I head into my second year attending the show, here is what I know about “what I’m looking for.” (As part of the official team, we are tasked with finding and writing about our top 3 finds!)

“Natural” just won’t cut it any longer for me.

I’ve been duped one too many times by “natural” products, labeling and brands who claim to stand for something just because they can “technically” fit into this “natural” category.

This year, I am on the hunt for products driven by a company who stand for something and that are driven by a higher purpose and mission (Philanthropy Award?! YES!). I am looking for companies who have story to tell, and just so happen to produce amazing products. I am looking for products that reflect values.

“Natural” is not good enough anymore because even Beaver Anus is natural, and even General Mills has “natural” products.

I want more. I want more for myself, for my readers…..for my family, and for my friends.

I want to find a whole new level of inspiration for A Loving Spoon.

I am ready to explore all that Natural Expo West 2015 has to offer.

I can’t wait to report back with information + my top 3 finds.

Will you be there? If not, I’ll be updating mostly via Twitter and Instagram. Let’s connect!

Xox,
SKH

p.s. Check out these posts for more pre-Expo inspiration: The Insider’s Guide to Natural Products Expo, 10 Tips to Stay Healthy at Expo West, 2015, Expo West 2015: What is #CATBAPPROVED?

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I Share a Similar Story http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/02/25/share-similar-story/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/02/25/share-similar-story/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:38:16 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25222 I share a similar story – thanks for sharing yours. That was the subject line to the email she sent. On Monday, I wrote the shortest “blog bio” that I might ever write (for New Hope 360). It went like this: I blog about finding beauty in life, no matter what the circumstances might be,... 

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I share a similar story – thanks for sharing yours.

That was the subject line to the email she sent.

On Monday, I wrote the shortest “blog bio” that I might ever write (for New Hope 360). It went like this:

I blog about finding beauty in life, no matter what the circumstances might be, and healing via food and lifestyle vs. drugs and medication. I live with autoimmune colits, infertility, a low thyroid, SIBO and adrenal fatigue. They are a part of who I am, but they do not define who I am. I believe in holistic healing, real wellness and living a life worth inspiring others. My blog comprises all of these things and taglines: When gravel roads are all you’ve ever known, you learn to find beauty in the dust.

So when I received her email, my arms rose with goosebumps and a thick lump swelled my throat.

I never asked God for many of the things listed above in that “bio.” And yet, so very often, I’ve silently thanked him for unanswered prayers. Yesterday was one of those days.

Her email went like this:

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for sharing your story!  Your blog was sent to me just recently at a very pivotal time in my life.  Our stories are almost identical.  My gut too was destroyed by the modern diet, antibiotics, etc. and I have been on a Paleo-ish diet myself for the past six years.  This led to leaky gut syndrome, systemic candida, you name it, and it has taken me years to finally get to a place where I feel healthy again.

Fast forward to this past year where my husband and I have been trying to conceive.  After a few miscarriages, it is determined that we will probably not be able to get pregnant on our own.  I was devastated by this news and had to grieve for what could have been.  We have been praying about IVF vs. adoption.  As you know, this is a very hard decision, but with my past health challenges and the fact that I am anti-drug as well, I did not feel at peace with going the IVF route.  I have recently been praying for God to give me a final answer in the path we should take, when my step-mom stumbled upon your blog and sent me a link.  Talk about an answered prayer!!  My husband and I spent all afternoon pouring through your blog, crying and realizing God’s hand in it all.

As of today, we have officially put in an application to start the adoption process here in Michigan and canceled our appointment with the fertility clinic for next week.  I know God has called us on the path to adoption and we are praying for our child, who ever he or she may be.

So thank you for sharing your journey and your struggles.  I am sorry for what you have been through, but am overjoyed for you that you have your little girl!  We are praying that your adoption will be finalized soon!

Blessings,
(XYZ)

I share a similar story. Thanks for sharing yours. Adoption. Infertility. Colitis. sarahkayhoffman.com

There are so many days when I want to give up on  so so so so many things. (I told you, my life, too, is oftentimes a mess.)

And then I receive an email like this.

I know the Lord is hard at work in my life in helping me see that even when I fall, if I share, the fall has not gone to waste.

I will never stop sharing my stories.

Xox,
SKH

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