http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com When gravel roads are all you've ever known, you learn to find beauty in the dust. Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:44:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Pancakes, Cupcakes, Frosting, Jam and more Recipes…..{Gluten Free, Dairy Free} http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/18/pancakes-cupcakes-jam/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/18/pancakes-cupcakes-jam/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:42:17 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22235 Somewhere between Sam’s 1st birthday at the zoo….. Baby shower favors with A Loving Spoon nut butters….. And fall snacking ideas….. I have been behind-the-scenes developing recipes for Nutiva. After putting up this picture on Facebook and Instagram the other day for my Lemon -Garlic Basil Spaghetti Squash with Wild Salmon, I was reminded that this... 

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Somewhere between Sam’s 1st birthday at the zoo…..

Sam's 1st birthday at the zoo www.agutsygirl.com

Baby shower favors with A Loving Spoon nut butters…..

A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter baby favors www.alovingspoon.com

And fall snacking ideas…..

A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Peanut Butter + bare snacks www.alovingspoon.com

I have been behind-the-scenes developing recipes for Nutiva.

After putting up this picture on Facebook and Instagram the other day for my Lemon -Garlic Basil Spaghetti Squash with Wild Salmon, I was reminded that this recipe is just the very latest and that I had promised to get a few others up to share with you before now.

Lemon -Garlic Basil Spaghetti Squash with Wild Salmon agutsygirl.com

Life is busy, and I’ve been living vs. blogging about living, so forgive me for my late-ness:)

But alas, go forth and grab up the recipes!

{Simply just click on each title to get the recipe! Click HERE to share these recipes on Facebook with someone who needs gluten free and/or dairy free options and/or a little unprocessed delicious in their life!}

Superfood Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes Top View Close agutsygirl.com

No-White-Sugar Coconut-Vanilla Cupcake Frosting

No White Sugar Coconut Vanilla Cupcake Frosting ww.agutsygirl.com

Hemp Kale Chips

Hemp Kale Chips agutsygirl.com

Coconut-Manna Chip Pancakes

Coconut Manna-Chip Pancakes Bite www.agutsygirl.com

Blueberry Chia Seed Jam

Blueberry Nutiva Chia Seed Jam www.agutsygirl.com

And that’s a wrap….for today!

I can’t wait to share with you some exciting new things we’ve been working on.

Fall and holiday season are my most favorite to share recipes because these are the days when we relax a little more with friends, family and co-workers and enjoy great conversation with amazing food!

{Anything – recipes – you’d love to see?!}

Love your guts,
SKH

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What Matters Most http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/17/matters/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/17/matters/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:04:25 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22270 I always imagined I’d work (climbing corporate ladders somewhere, somehow) or I’d stay at home with our children, at least for the first several years of their lives. I never imagined that one day I’d find myself playing Mompreneur. But there I was, big dreams, about to launch ‘A Loving Spoon‘ nut butters when she... 

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I always imagined I’d work (climbing corporate ladders somewhere, somehow) or I’d stay at home with our children, at least for the first several years of their lives.

I never imagined that one day I’d find myself playing Mompreneur.

But there I was, big dreams, about to launch ‘A Loving Spoon‘ nut butters when she came along.

I got cold feet about launching a business amidst the chaos that quickly became my life. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to take on something so giant when something so small was suddenly thrown at me.

Something inside of me, though, said,

Babies and Dreams don't have to compete agutsygirl.com

I still believe this, and because I am learning so much about both babies and dreams, I am confident today (more than ever) that I understand:

What Matters Most.

During the week, Samarah goes to daycare. In addition to starting and running (almost 100% on my own) A Loving Spoon nut butter, I do contract work 20-30 hours (for one of the most amazing companies out there, Nutiva). Not a lot of people know that I “work” in addition to having my company, but I do – I have to. Money doesn’t grow on trees, at least not where I’m from (and also for the record, it doesn’t grow on trees just by wishing it that way).

And so here’s what happened yesterday…..

The day was to go as planned: Ryan would drop Sam off at daycare (7:30am) on his way out of town because my mom and I left our house around 4am so I could bring her to the airport and then head to my kitchen to produce 100+ jars of Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter. I would get home from the kitchen around noon, and would catch up on some Nutiva projects from yesterday and then follow up on several A Loving Spoon nut butter things. At 5:30pm, I would pick Sam up (always the best part of the day).

The day actually went like this:

  • Ryan dropped Sam off.
  • Mom and I left at 4am, and I went to the kitchen.
  • Around 8am, Ryan texted me to let me know Sam had a runny nose.
  • Before I headed back from my kitchen (takes me over an hour to drive there), I sent a text to daycare and sure enough, Sam’s nose was awful and we didn’t want to risk her being sick and getting other children sick.
  • I picked Sam up at 11:30am, and she was so tired that when we got home, I changed her and rocked her to sleep (swoon, that precious face as she falls asleep).
  • She didn’t even sleep an hour and was crying.
  • I got her up, we played, chatted, giggled, fussed and drooled (she, not me!)
  • She got tired again, so I rocked her to sleep. This time, I stayed rocking her longer just to stare at her precious face and peaceful demeanor.
  • Her daddy took her on an errand run while I had a call (found out that I will be the August, 2015 Herlife of Central Valley Cover Girl…..my story, our story with Samarah and (the main feature) A Loving Spoon nut butter story will be a 4-page spread!)
  • We both took her for a long walk.
  • I fed her a little of my banana cream pudding and butternut squash, and then she went to bed.

As it relates to my dreams, I accomplished nearly nothing.

I am not climbing corporate ladders, but I am also not at home 24/7 with Samarah.

I am trying to find the balance between babies and dreams, and it’s hard – really, really hard.

And while babies and dreams don’t have to compete, yesterday I learned that, without a doubt, if babies and dreams were to compete, Samarah would win each and every single time because she is….

What matters most.

Samarah in the kitchen with mama at 10 months

Love your guts,
SKH

p.s. We are fairly confident she is not sick, but instead that she is about to pop out more teeth. How do you know if your child is about to pop through?!

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Happy Birthday, Samarah {this is one} http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/12/happy-birthday-samarah-one/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/12/happy-birthday-samarah-one/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:33:01 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22233 Happy birthday, Samarah! Today you turn one. One year ago today, at just 26 weeks and 4 days, you entered this big, big world. On all accounts, your entrance into the world was anything but typical, and yet we know that God had plans for you and for your life. We didn’t meet you until... 

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Happy birthday, Samarah!

Samarah in the mirror

Today you turn one.

One year ago today, at just 26 weeks and 4 days, you entered this big, big world.

A Gutsy Baby. Her Hands.

On all accounts, your entrance into the world was anything but typical, and yet we know that God had plans for you and for your life.

Kicking Footsies

We didn’t meet you until you were just 2 days shy of 2 months old.

We would give anything to have pictures of your very first breaths and all the little moments during those first 2 months of your life.

Our hands. agutsygirl.com

We don’t. And since daddy and I know that jet planes don’t have rear view mirrors, we thank God daily for each day he’s given us with you…..months 2-12.

Samarah and leaves at 10 months. agutsygirl.com

I stared at you last night, just a little longer thinking just how much you’ve grown. From 2.5 pounds to 20+ pounds, you have grown into the sweetest little butterfly.

Samarah in the kitchen with mama at 10 months

This is One.

Your giggle is priceless.

Samarah and her toys at 10 months. agutsygirl.com

Your smile is infectious, so much so that every single place we go someone stops us to say,

She is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen.

Samarah is One. Birthday Cake Lips. agutsygirl.com

Even your loud voice makes mama’s heart overflow with smiles. (Yesterday you started “growling,” and we have no idea where that came from, but can only hope it never fades!)

Samarah's Legs at 11 months. agutsygirl.com

You don’t walk yet, but you’ve mastered crawling.

You love your dogs….the big Great Dane, Reagan, who barks at daddy when he throws you in the air and the little Peekepoo, Fiona who fights over the stuffed bear with you.

Samarah on her tummy. agutsygirl.com

Your excitement is contagious, and your emotions all over the place let me know that God chose you perfectly for us.

Samarah's hands at 11 months. agutsygirl.com

You love the water and splash to no end in the pool.

You don’t really enjoy headbands, but since your hair is starting to get out of control, we put them in. And you look like an angel.

Little Samarah www.agutsygirl.com

You’re not very good at sleeping - still – and it could be the death of us all, but these moments, too, they are fleeting fast and I’m not wishing time away any longer.

At just one, you’ve made your mama re-consider all the considerations for priorities I used to have. I think you’ve done the same to your daddy. There is no priority more important than you, sweet Sam.

Today you are one. 

We decided a big bash didn’t feel right.

Winnie the Poo Cake A agutsygirl.com

Instead we chose to spend the day with you and with Granny Nana Jewison who came to visit (Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman spent last weekend graciously with us).

Winnie the Poo Cake B agutsygirl.com

We are going to the zoo, and Grandma made you the sweetest Winnie the Poo cake.

Winnie the Poo Cake C agutsygirl.com

We didn’t need anything fancy. We needed you to know how much you’re loved by us.

Bees www.agutsygirl.com

One year ago, at 8:40am, God sent us a baby angel. By His grace, you found us and we found you.

We love you more than a million a jars of peanut butter :)

Sam's 1st Birthday Cake Winnie the Poo www.agutsygirl.com

Happy birthday, Samarah!

Love always,
Mama (and daddy)

p.s. Birthdays are a really big deal in our family, Sam, and it is my hope that it becomes one of your favorite holidays, too! A celebration of you….because you sure are worth it.

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My Biggest Fear http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/09/biggest-fear/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/09/biggest-fear/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:05:43 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22223 My biggest fear, by far, is that Samarah will be taken away from us before her adoption is finalized. Today begins another year, a new season, of MOPS. This year’s theme is: Be You, Bravely. And despite having a plate so full that I feel stuffed daily, I decided to join the Leadership team. As... 

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My biggest fear, by far, is that Samarah will be taken away from us before her adoption is finalized.

Today begins another year, a new season, of MOPS. This year’s theme is: Be You, Bravely. And despite having a plate so full that I feel stuffed daily, I decided to join the Leadership team.

MOPS Be You, Bravely www.agutsygirl.com

As leaders today, we are standing in front of the group with a big poster board. On one side is our biggest fear; on the other side is how we find hope around that fear.

I have battled this fear for a very long time.

Some days are better than others.

Daily, I try to make peace with the situation and with my heart.

I have been up. I have been down. I have felt almost every single emotion that I never knew I could have.

You are so brave www.agutsygirl.com MOPS

No fear has ever been like the one which clouds me currently.

My general demeanor is happy and positive, but sometimes this gets the best of me.

I know that there is no day like today. I know that there is no point in worrying about things unknown or about traveling a path I pray to God I’ll never have to travel.

I spent a lot of time searching and digging for the very thing that truly does give me hope and the courage to just be present during this process.

And this is what I ended up writing on “the other side” of my fear board:

But I find hope in living for the present….

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today. William Allen White

Matthew 6:34 says,

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

A million things had to go right or wrong, for both Samarah and for us, in order for her to fatefully be placed with us. Ryan reminds me of this when fear gets the best of me.

And the truth is that he is absolutely right (but don’t tell him I admitted this – of course he’s never right:) ).

Samarah and I will go to MOPS together today. She will play with the other babies (her baby boyfriend Henry will be there). I’ll see some amazing women and meet new ones, too. This fear and my hope will be held up for everyone to see.

And when it’s over, I’ll grab my beautiful baby and we’ll go about our day, bravely.

Loving deeply gives you courage www.agutsygirl.com MOPS

Love your guts,
SKH

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4 Fitness Alternatives for Fall http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/04/4-fitness-alternatives-fall/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/04/4-fitness-alternatives-fall/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:20:00 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22212 Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own. Fall is my favorite. It always has been, and it always will be. I crave the cooler days and cozier moments. Enjoying these last few... 

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Fall is my favorite. It always has been, and it always will be.

I crave the cooler days and cozier moments.

Enjoying these last few days of summer and heading towards fall reminds me of change. I recently stumbled across an article in Experience Life written by Bahram Akradi called, “Change Artist.” The article is about, you guessed it –> change.

I am an advocate for change. I’ve been saying, “nothing changes if nothing changes” far before it was ever popular. But in the article, Bahram says something so spot on that I immediately had to share it with friends and family and now you….

Bahram Akradi quote from Experience Life Magazine via www.agutsygirl.com

And this, of course, reminds me of current life circumstances and of all the reasons why I love this fall so much.

Alternatives (to the past year or so) are serving me better.

4 Fitness Alternatives for Fall

Prior to this fall: We live in an extremely hot and dry place in California. I used to love it, but the older I get, the less I enjoy it. Consequently, I don’t spend much time doing outdoor workouts from June through August.

Current alternative: Now that fall is upon us, I will take Samarah out for even more walks. I have also started jogging with her, which she loves (ahhh….the thrill of moving faster!)

walking outside with Sam www.agutsygirl.com

Prior to this fall: One thing I learned during my cardio hiatus is that, even though I love it, long-distance running and long cardio sessions in general must still be put on the back burner. They did nothing for my gut healing, nor did they help the injuries my body has accrued over time.

Current alternative: I also learned that I missed cardio, mostly running. And because fall allows me to train outside once again, I’ve taken up sprints and challenged myself to getting faster and stronger in 20-ish minutes or less. I recently did a track workout that consisted of:

  • 10 minute warm up
  • 8 sprints
  • 5 minute cool down

I was sore for 4 days after, confirming that this alternative is definitely going to serve me better.

Takeaway for you: This fall, take a form of cardio you’ve always done and mix it up. You never know how it might impact your fitness routines or overall well-being.

track workout via www.agutsygirl.com

Prior to this fall: I spent several months healing injuries (not fun, by the way), while learning new ways of training to work with vs. against my body. I kept most exercises lower weight within a 10-12 rep range.

Current alternative: I had to stop doing lifts like squats and deadlifts, but most things I can do. A couple years ago I focused on getting stronger. It seems like it has been forever since that was my focus, but I am so excited to be doing just that now. I started with Nia Shank’s 12 Week Dumbbell and Bodyweight Program, and when I found my passion in the weight room again just kept going. And I’m starting to see muscle again – finally!

lifting heavier. upper back. nia shanks. via www.agutsygirl.com Target C9 racer back

And yes, I have a million Target®  C9 sports bras. The racer back sports bras are by far my favorite.

Takeaway for you: Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t have goals heading into the end of the year. If there is something you want to do in the gym, work for it, little-by-little and day-by-day. (Side note: and learn how to work with vs. against your body :) )

And finally, “fitness” isn’t just about planned events. It’s also about the day-to-day in living and moving. We stay active all fall season by making it a priority to be at the Farmers’ Market each Saturday, and by traveling as a family as often as possible which has us out and about, exploring and enjoying life.

Samarah and SKH Mount Baldy www.agutsygirl.com

Let this fall lead you to a change for your own (better) alternatives. You might be surprised at the outcome.

Love your guts,
SKH

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If We Had Bone Broth Today, I’d Update You on My Doctor’s Appointment http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/03/bone-broth-today-id-update-doctors-appointment/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/09/03/bone-broth-today-id-update-doctors-appointment/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:14:42 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22200 Before we have broth this morning, click on image to enter this awesome giveaway – my A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter may be included:) This morning’s virtual bone broth date is a personal one, one in which I’m having with the only person who probably truly knows where I’m coming from and how I typically... 

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Before we have broth this morning, click on image to enter this awesome giveaway – my A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter may be included:)

A Loving Spoon nut butter and friends giveaway www.alovingspoon.com

This morning’s virtual bone broth date is a personal one, one in which I’m having with the only person who probably truly knows where I’m coming from and how I typically feel (you know who you are).

But I’m inviting you to eavesdrop on our conversation, you know, since I shared with you these last 30 days.

She starts by asking,

How did your doctor’s appointment go yesterday?

I dive right in, and lay it all out there.

After a thorough evaluation and discussion, he thinks he has narrowed it down to: a gut infection, SIBO and/or adrenal fatigue.

I don’t describe the three mentioned above because my friend already knows all about all of them. I won’t go into detail on any of them for you either because the truth is that there is no reason to obsess, until we have a conclusion.

I tell you about the tests I’ll be doing: complete metabolic panel, complete blood count and several other random blood tests which include complete thyroid analysis (none of this, “‘Oh you’re TSH is fine so you’re “good“‘ nonsense). In addition, I’ll be sending off fecal samples (ew, I know) and breath samples (that’s for SIBO). Tests, tests and more tests…..and ironically? All tests I don’t think any doctor has ever thought to do before.

I then tell you that he said I am spot on with the current supplementation I’m doing (Cod Liver Oil, heavy probiotics, digestive enzymes, HCL, l-glutamine and collagen), but that he would be adding 4 to this list (which I start after my testing samples have been collected): Florastor, apo-STOM, MUNDIPUR and SyGest. I am unfamiliar with all of these, and I’m looking forward to researching them during these next few days.

At this point in our conversation you’re kind of antsy, so you just ask it….

But what did he say about diet? What does he think you should do?

And this is one of the parts I enjoyed most about him. He said we’re not going to do anything really with my diet until we know what’s wrong. He admitted that perhaps an even tighter control on GAPS would be best for me for now, but if I didn’t make the best decision at every single meal then that was okay. He feels that I should be as close to the Autoimmune Protocol as possible, but that stressing over it right now is not the focus.  He also said to be cognizant of FODMAP’s, as they may be making the problem worse as well. FODMAP’s are no stranger to me. I wrote briefly about them in the 2.0 version of The Gutsy Girl’s Bible, but at the time I wished I’d never have to pay attention to them. Turns out, I might need to.

I quick hug you and say, “Thank you so much for getting me The Paleo Mom‘s book. I love Sarah, and her teachings on AI are coming at the perfect time!

You say, “But oh no….your peanut butter. Peanuts aren’t AI.”

I reply, “He knows all about my nut butter line and said how very, very awesome it was. For now, I can’t OD on it as I wish, but I can still eat it. I will still nibble here and there. Life surely doesn’t work without a spoonful :)

I end our broth drinking today with a few final thoughts and rants, which you kind of expected….

I was there a little over an hour. It took me 3 hours to get there, and 2 hours to get home. It cost a fortune. But last night as I reflected on it all, I began to truly believe there will be light at the end of this tunnel.

I have spent YEARS with half-@#$ answers from doctors who skimmed over the general surface in order to make things right. A prime example is my low blood pressure (abnormally low). Since I had my tonsils out, doctors have always wondered about the low blood pressure. Every single time I have it taken, comments are made, “Do you know you have low blood pressure? Oh, you do. So it must be normal for you then? Do you workout a lot? Oh, that makes sense. Your blood pressure is normal.” Not this doctor. This doctor said, “This is not normal. We need to look into it. It could be a symptom relating to your adrenals.

If my life was simply based on a “healthy lifestyle” and knowing exactly what to do, I’d be an expert. And even when it comes to healing the gut, I know exactly what to do and this has allowed me to heal and progress as much as I quite possibly can for the Colitis.

But here’s where the appointment kind of got twisted for me…. he said that what’s going on now might have nothing to do with the Colitis, but instead that several years back it was simply pure coincidence that they found the Colitis when I complained of these issues. The reality is there may have been another problem that was never taken care of at some point in my life. When problems aren’t addressed, they ultimately manifest in several other crazy ways. This could be my current battle. But…..

We can't fix problems. Colitis. www.agutsygirl.com

This doctor is helping me take the guesswork out, and for that, I’ll clink my bone broth mug with yours and say, “Amen!”

{My follow up appointment is October 28, 2014.}

Love your guts,
SKH

p.s. For the record, this doctor is an MD. I say he is Eastern meets Western medicine. From his mouth,

As a doctor, I believe my primary duty is to simultaneously be knowledgeable and compassionate. I value the ability to be an ally and someone with whom to walk the healing path. My goal is to facilitate each person’s innate healing capacity using all treatment options, both conventional and alternative.

 

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30 Days with GAPS Diet Left Me Scared But With Hope http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/30/30-days-gaps-diet/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/30/30-days-gaps-diet/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:50:46 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22180 Here I am, day 32. In case you missed my GAPS Diet posts along the way: But What About Me? GAPS Diet Day 1 GAPS Diet Day 2, It Ain’t Easy Full GAPS Diet Earlier this year, my blog mantra changed to, When gravel roads are all you’ve ever known, you learn to find beauty... 

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Here I am, day 32. In case you missed my GAPS Diet posts along the way:

Earlier this year, my blog mantra changed to,

When gravel roads are all you’ve ever known, you learn to find beauty in the dust.

Let’s just say, when it comes to my gut, THIS has been tested to the limits these past 30 days. I have had more days of not finding the beauty than days finding the beauty. And the truth is that this was not at all expected. Here’s what happened, starting with the bad to get the negative nancy’s out of the way.

The Not-So-Good

It started about 10 days ago, but most days I’ve been super bloated :( Sad face. Sad face. Sad face. As per the usual, I’d feel food in my upper digestive system (sit and ferment), to which it would then drop to the lowest part of my stomach and protrude. Uncomfortable and miserable. Weight gain (bloat, not real).

This all started about the time I added back in fruit (only blueberries really were added to the bananas), lots of vegetables and my beloved squash.

My body hates any kind of carb still and whether it’s a resistant or non-resistant starch or a lot of fiber mixed with carbohydrate, I am not processing it.

Pain and frustration.

The Good

These past 30 days definitely did not go to waste. By far, the best thing that happened was that my face began to clear and other than the normal blemishes, most of the rash has completely healed. I am beyond excited, and the truth is that I am not even sure what exactly made it heal. I have my suspicions: one, the Nipple Butter and two, cutting dairy while adding Cod Liver Oil and 100 billion probiotic.

My energy has also been amazing! I’ve been nailing my workouts (probably because I didn’t force them on myself when I was feeling super down and out with the bloat!), and even making progress in the gym. If you come back on Thursday morning, you’ll see what I’m talking about!

One Thing That Helped Make the 30 Days with GAPS Diet Work

There is a chance you cringe when you hear me say this, but every single day I weighed myself at the same time each morning. No, I don’t think the scale is a good measure of general “progress,” but many times the scale will help to understand more about food intolerance. I proved this, yet again, to myself. The first 15-20 days, I was losing bloat weight and then leveled off to where I felt great and confident. In a matter of one day, I gained 2-3 pounds and thus confirmed the icky suspicions I had already been feeling.

on-failure-for-The-Gutsy-Girls-Bible-2.0-guthealing-via-www.agutsygirl.com 2-119-page-ebook

What’s Next?

I am detective and I have helped hundreds with The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, but even I can’t figure out what in the h@#$ is wrong with me.

People go on their “gut healing” or Paleo or (insert your name) diets all the time and to compensate for foods they think they are missing out on (i.e. cookies and cake and “energy” treats), they’ll eat a bunch of replacement “friendly” foods. This is not me. If I know I can’t have sugar, then I don’t go out and buy a ton of fruit to satisfy that craving. I don’t buy into anything that might help the current seem manageable. Instead, I have spent the past 30 days eating foods that we should be consuming and that should not cause the problems I was faced with.

Kabocha Squash is the perfect example. It was my dessert. I loved it. Ryan would say to me, “You’re the only one who loves it that much to call it dessert.” And yet, Kabocha really hates me. I don’t care what anyone says —> that is not normal for someone who has been on this journey for so long!

ALL-DISEASE-BEGINS-IN-THE-GUT www.agutsygirl.com

Scared, With Hope

I don’t know what’s wrong, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’m kind of afraid to find out. Has a year of high stress made my Colitis come back with a vengeance? I don’t know. I don’t know it today, but I hang on to hope that I might know very soon.

Tuesday I head to Petaluma for an appointment with a holistic MD that I’ve had made for a couple+ months now. Petaluma is about 2 hours from where we live. This MD is not cheap, and they do not take insurance. But he came recommended best-of-the-best, proven results. I’m at a crossroads where getting better with a doctor who understands my passion against (using only) Western Medicine practices is now the only option.

This weekend might call for a little unbuttoning of the pants. But I’m doing this because I need to just be nicer to myself while I work to get to the bottom of this.

If you’re sitting where I am today, be nice to yourself, too. And mostly, know that you’re not alone.

Enjoy the weekend!

Love your guts,
SKH

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There is no way I could love you more…. http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/21/way-love/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/21/way-love/#respond Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:30:22 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22170 ….and then like magic, I do. This is what I say to Samarah every single day. And I truly believe it. I have no idea how on Earth I could ever love her more, but then day-after-day, smile-after-smile, like magic, I do. As I rocked her to sleep last night and held her tight and smiled... 

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….and then like magic, I do.

This is what I say to Samarah every single day. And I truly believe it. I have no idea how on Earth I could ever love her more, but then day-after-day, smile-after-smile, like magic, I do.

There is no way I could love you more....www.agutsygirl.com

As I rocked her to sleep last night and held her tight and smiled at her beautiful, precious face, it occurred to me how grateful I feel for the plans which were never mine.

This grace that I felt with her and for her had me remembering how there are a million Samarah Josephina’s out there in this big world who did not fall asleep to a mama wondering how on Earth she could ever love that child more. There are millions of children who might never get to experience all that a child should know.

Those are the things which now break my heart.

It’s funny how things change, since not being able to get pregnant used to be the thing that broke my heart daily.

I no longer wonder about an unborn child, but instead about the millions who are here and whose own, little hearts break daily waiting on love.

These things have been stewing and brewing in my heart since we got Samarah. At the time, neither Ryan nor I knew what to do with it. We let it sit. And sit. And sit.

A few weeks ago, our mission began to surface, the one where we are living like no one so that we can give like no one else. But giving doesn’t have to start once we “have enough money.” As a matter of fact, did you know that “80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day?”

Giving starts now, little-by-little.

giving via www.alovingspoon.com

I will not be able to adopt all the children in the world, but it is my hope, through A Loving Spoon nut butter that we are able to help foster and/or orphaned children in whatever way we can. We announced this yesterday via, “Begins with Love, and 10 cents of Each Jar Purchased.”

I now understand things about life and about children and about love and heartbreak that I could have never known even a year ago. These things I am now able to understand have made my mission so much more clear.

Samarah will always know just how loved she is, how much we wanted her and how she was that little light in our eyes long before we ever met her.

We will take her along on this journey with us, and we can’t wait for all that it will hopefully bring to so many children’s lives.

In the words of Winnie the Poo:
sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart winnie the poo via www.agutsygirl.com

I hope you’ll follow along, and join us…..or just eat peanut butter, because it’s basically the same thing :)

Love your guts,
SKH

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Live Like No One Else http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/17/live-like-one-else/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/17/live-like-one-else/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 04:15:24 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22162 Dave Ramsey, through Financial Peace, is famously known for teaching, Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. I suppose most people translate this into: live completely within my means, work hard and save now so that later I can have it all and then some, in the form of more... 

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Dave Ramsey, through Financial Peace, is famously known for teaching,

Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.

I suppose most people translate this into: live completely within my means, work hard and save now so that later I can have it all and then some, in the form of more things/luxury.

At one point in my life, that’s what I thought, wished and hoped for as well.

This week, I ran across this blog post, “Why I Told My Husband He Could Walk Away” which was shared by my lovely friend Heather. The post is long, but I couldn’t stop reading it. Each word she said, point she made and thoughts she communicated resonated with me to where I felt compelled to describe why it is I am currently attempting to “live like no one else.”

For me, there is no real purpose to my life if I choose to engage in everything I currently am if it’s solely for the purpose of accumulating more things and more stress. We are programmed to believe that we need more and that more makes us look better and appear more powerful. But ‘looking better and appearing powerful’ don’t reduce stress, don’t make us healthier and more vibrant and they are definitely not things we take with us to the grave.

In her post, Ashley Hackshaw quotes Mitch Albom from Tuesdays with Morrie stating,

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Mitch was spot on for the way in which I have begun finding meaning into my own life, and the only thing that would be critical to add is the devotion to God. It is that devotion, I believe, that has truly opened my eyes to all other devotions Mitch mentions. I was ready to “live like no one else” so that I could perhaps be someone I was never meant to be. My heart knows now that the next phase of living like no one else is one in which I appear to have less, but have gained more than I might ever deserve. For me, I want to live like no one else so that,

I can GIVE like no one else.

Live Like No One Else via www.agutsygirl.com

I wish I could tell you all the things we are discussing, planning and preparing to do, even in this next year. That time is not now, but I can promise you that ‘A Loving Spoon‘ nut butters are definitely not just about selling jars of peanut butter and almond butter. There is a mission in the works, and this mission has been working in my heart for several months now.

If the more you take away, the better it becomes is true, then why on Earth would I ever want to live up to the status quo of living like no one else so that I can live like no one else?

The days are hard and the weeks can seem daunting, but if ultimately all of this gets me to having less things, more nature, less status, more relationships, less stress, more life and less – less – less for more give – give – give, then clearly it’s all worth it.

Love your guts,
SKH

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10 Resources for Alternative Uses Earth Mama Angel Baby http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/14/10-resources-alternative-uses-earth-mama-angel-baby/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2014/08/14/10-resources-alternative-uses-earth-mama-angel-baby/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:05:04 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=22143 I am part of the #EarthMama Blogger Ambassador Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger for Earth Mama Angel Baby.  All opinions are my own and based on my own experience. The Earth Mama Angel Baby products have been good to Samarah….real good to Samarah. But here’s a little secret I’ve been hiding... 

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I am part of the #EarthMama Blogger Ambassador Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger for Earth Mama Angel Baby.  All opinions are my own and based on my own experience.

The Earth Mama Angel Baby products have been good to Samarah….real good to Samarah.

But here’s a little secret I’ve been hiding –> they have been real good to me as well.

After the Nipple Butter post, someone commented to me on Facebook, “I used that nipple butter with both my boys and is absolutely the best product hands down!!!! It is unreal!!! I also still use it for cracked and dry feet on everyone in my family, dry cuticles and elbows! I can’t say enough amazing things about this stuff!!”

That had me thinking about about the Earth Mama Angel Baby products in a whole new way, alternative ways.

Since their products are safe and contain zero toxins or chemicals, it only makes sense that I could use them in many different ways. These past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing my research and due diligence. I have personally tested out 2 “applications,” and I have compiled a ton of alternative ideas/uses.

10 Resources for alternative uses Earth Mama Angel Baby via www.agutsygirl.com

Natural Nipple Butter

  1. Homemade Eczema Cream (via Good Girl Gone Green)
  2. Beach Vacation Essentials (via Mindfully Frugal Mom -> Oh. My. Gosh. = “Lipple” Butter. This is just far too fantastic!)

Earth Mama Angel Calming Lavendar Soap and Wash www.agutsygirl.com

Organic Castile Soaps

  1. 10 Frugal Household Uses for Castile Soap (via Whole Food Mom on a Budget)
  2. Nectarines & a Swimsuit = Yikes (via Dig Deep, Play Hard –> this is super cool! p.s. Wanna see deliciousness in her own swimsuit?! You’re welcome.)
  3. Homemade Soft Scrub Recipe + 12 More Awesome Uses for Castile Soap (via Happy Mothering)
  4. DIY Non Toxic Cleaning Recipes (via Mama Pure)
  5. Lavender Vanilla DIY Foot Spa Treatment (via The Eco Chic –> Foot spa?! Stat.)

Angel Baby Bottom Balm

  1. The Natural Medicine Cabinet (via Mama Pure –> she uses and mentions several products/uses in this post, but I just chose this one for “Rashes/Skin Irritation”)
  2. Non-Toxic First-Aid Makeover (via Green Moms Collective)

Angel Baby Oil

  1. Homemade Baby Wipes

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter www.agutsygirl.com

These last few weeks have come full circle. Turns out the Nipple Butter may be just what my skin needs.

After I found out all the ways people use it, I started using it on my ring finger. I am, for some unknown reason, just now allergic to my Engagement and Wedding rings. I get a horrible, itchy rash from time-to-time. I took the rings off for just a couple of days and applied the Nipple Butter a couple times per day in very modest amounts.

I am, already, able to put the rings back on tomorrow. No rash in sight!

Ring Finger Healing with Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter www.agutsygirl.com

Furthermore, I have been using the Nipple Butter on my face, gently and in modest amounts as well to see if it might help with the Perioral Dermatitis. I am unashamed when it comes to showing my face without makeup and completely raw because this is how I live most every single day, but look….

Perioral Dermatitis Update from using Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter via www.agutsygirl.com Skin

Far from perfect, but if you compare it to these same images HERE, it’s like night and day! Some of those blemishes are from the nasty Aunt who just made her un-welcomed visit :) And just to be clear, most women have several of their own little facial funsies – the difference is makeup. (Side note: I am still on the hunt for an amazing, natural makeup line. Anyone?!)

I truly believe that to completely, 100% get rid of the Perioral Dermatitis, I’m going to need something stronger from my doctor at the beginning of September, but the combination the Nipple Butter + GAPS are really doing something for me.

I am grateful to have found the Earth Mama Angel Baby products. I am most excited about the fact that this “campaign” reminded me that quality products provide quality in a multitude of ways and that experimenting with these new ways is not only fun, but can bring about new ah-ha’s.

I will be an Earth Mama forever, and Sam will be my Angel Baby.

Together we are going to make the perfect little “Earth Mama Angel Baby” team.

Love your guts,
SKH

Again, please remember that this post was created as part of the #EarthMama Blogger Ambassador Campaign in which I am a financially compensated blogger ambassador for Earth Mama Angel Baby. 

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