Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com Finding beauty in the dust of life's gravelroads Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:16:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-SKH2-32x32.jpg Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com 32 32 45930907 Just One Child http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/16/just-one-child/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/16/just-one-child/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:10:17 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35543 In December of 2012, I wanted just one child.  My goal for the Foster Children Christmas project was to help just one child. I stood on top of a ladder yesterday, snapped a picture of all this, and I felt like crying (for approximately the 100th time yesterday).  Just One Child It all started yesterday […]

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In December of 2012, I wanted just one child. 

My goal for the Foster Children Christmas project was to help just one child.

I stood on top of a ladder yesterday, snapped a picture of all this, and I felt like crying (for approximately the 100th time yesterday). Just One Child sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Children Christmas California San Joaquin County

Just One Child

It all started yesterday morning. Isaiah’s teacher came and we started talking about all the toys I had bought and collected for foster children. She knew the bigger answer as to “why” I did gather all these things, but she still wondered, “Why…and how did you start?” 

I told her about the December in 2012 when I wanted just one child. I walked into Target one day alone and I saw all the baby and toddler Christmas outfits, Santa things, and mama’s buying gifts for their littles.

I cried in those moments of wish, hope, and desire. Just One Child sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Children Christmas Target checkout

But it was okay because I had a mission. If even just one child had a brighter Christmas because of something I did, then that was my reason for the 2012 Christmas season. In fact, if you’ve never read the post, I documented the whole thing on December 3, 2012 – Eight Months Ago.

I shared with Isaiah’s teacher the eight months ago story and then said, “And just one year later we had Samarah, but I never, ever forgot that day in Target, and the desire to keep on helping just one child around the holiday season.”

Each year since, we have always gotten several things from the Angel Tree at church.

And then this year, I chose 3 tags from the Angel Tree (one thing from each of my children that resembled them – i.e. 18-month girl clothes). I also decided to ask all of you for help with the Foster Children Christmas. Because I never ask people to do something I am not also doing, we, too, went on a Foster Children Christmas shopping spree and then I gave San Joaquin County a final check from us for help with any miscellaneous things a child(ren) might need now or in the near future. Just One Child sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Children Christmas Samarah Target cart

My mind has played over-and-over-and-over again how forever grateful and indebted I feel to the state of California and the San Joaquin and Alameda County Foster Care system. Just One Child sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Children Christmas Toys

I cannot, in any way, shape, or form ever repay anyone for the 3 beautiful little beings I get to call my own.

But…..if it’s the last thing I ever do in my life, I will keep on helping just one child, one holiday season, one random day at a time.

Thank you, thank you, thank you…..to everyone who sent something for the Foster Children Christmas project. I know that this time of year is hard. Everyone – everywhere is asking for a donation or two, or seven. I know that y’all have your own child(ren), family, and friends to buy for. 

Just looking at all of these toys makes me know that together WE just helped make a child’s Christmas a little brighter.

And with that, my work in San Joaquin County has come to an end. 

But this is only the beginning.

Click HERE to save this Stephen Covey quote for later (because it’s simply beautiful).

Just One Child sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Children Christmas impact Quote Stephen Covey

Xox,
SKH

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Purely Primal Skincare http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/12/purely-primal-skincare/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/12/purely-primal-skincare/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:28:54 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35514 The first book I’m highlighting from my Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books list is the Purely Primal Skincare Guide by Liz Wolfe. As promised from that post, I would go through each book, one-by-one, and share various things. The goal is to share the book’s outline and then share the bullet points (all random, […]

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The first book I’m highlighting from my Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books list is the Purely Primal Skincare Guide by Liz Wolfe.

As promised from that post, I would go through each book, one-by-one, and share various things.

The goal is to share the book’s outline and then share the bullet points (all random, by the way) that I jotted down. 

Purely Primal Skincare

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Purely Primal Skincare sarahkayhoffman.com Liz Wolfe book review

I have this book in e-book format, and I keep it on my iPad. There are 187 pages in total, and the book breaks down into three parts and a bonus:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Digestion
  3. Body and Skin care
  4. Extra Knowledge

In the nutrition section, Liz shares the basics of protein, carbohydrates, fats and more. She gives hacks, tips, and tricks for making it work, and details dairy, eggs and food sensitivities.

In the digestion section, she talks about everything from the brain to stomach (and stomach acid) to the pancreas, gut, and then touches on stress as it relates to the gut. Yes, a girl after my own heart!

In part three, body and skin care, she discusses exfoliation, deep cleansing and masks, facial cleansing options, makeup, nail care, and her personal routine.

And finally, in the extra knowledge section, she talks about lies we are told, dry vs. oil skin, under the eyes, and pregnancy and safe skincare.

Here is my jumbo list of notes I took, so you could get a glimpse into the awesomeness of the book’s information:

(Note: after each statement, what I have in ( ) are my own notes for you.)

  1. Egg white associated with skin problems for some. p. 24 (read also, Incredible Egg Yolk)
  2. Great carbohydrates = yuca, sweet potatoes, taro, yam, white potatoes, acorn squash, artichoke, parsnips, butternut squash, carrot, spaghetti squash, beets, and turnips. (I started making root vegetables about 2-3 times per week this fall, and I’m addicted. This is how I do it: I cube things like parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, and carrots, and throw them in a baking dish. I coat with an oil of choice and salt, then bake for about 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees.)
  3. Daily bone broth. 
  4. Cod Liver Oil. (This started making a huge difference for me in many ways, and the one I take – recommended from my hormone doctor – is on the Recommended Supplements page.)
  5. Sauerkraut 1 x per day. (I need to step this up. I love Bubbies sauerkraut.)
  6. Sardines 2 x’s per week. (Another one I need to step up.)
  7. Good fat at each meal. (Always.)
  8. Cast iron. (I’m trying to switch us over 100% to cast iron. I put my favorite pans and brand in 43 Holiday Wellness and Lifestyle Gift Ideas.)
  9. ‘”In particular, egg whites, dairy, nuts, and nightshades have been labeled as “trigger foods” for acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.”‘ p. 69
  10. Too little stomach acid = B12 + zinc deficiency. Digestion of copper, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, and chromium may suffer as well. p. 76
  11. Stomach lining supplement support – p. 77
    1. DGL
    2. Dr. Ron’s ‘Smooth Operator’ (I love Dr. Ron’s, and that’s where I get the Adrenal Glandular)
    3. HCL (I’ve talked about this probably a hundred times. You can start HERE with it.)
    4. Digestive bitters
    5. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar diluted with some warm water at each meal, as needed
    6. Teas that contain licorice, ginger, and fennel (My two favorite tea brands are Traditional Medicinals and Numi.)
    7. Teas that contain ginger and lemon
  12. The liver is key to truly detoxing the body. It is responsible for hormonal balance AND neutralizing toxins. Liver supporting foods include – p. 81:
    1. onion
    2. garlic
    3. egg yolks, full of choline
    4. homemade bone broth (I have a FREE e-book for how to make slow-cooked chicken and then bone broth from it. Coming soon – hopefully early 2018 – will be my How to Make Instant Pot Bone Broth e-book. Put it on your Christmas list, the 8qt Instant Pot, because that’s what I use to make mine.)
    5. pure water plus lemon juice (I have this every single day now)
    6. liver and/or “glandulars” (These glandulars are what I take from Dr. Ron’s.)
    7. dandelion + nettles tea
    8. milk thistle, which Liz says she gets from Dr. Ron’s, too (By the way, both Liz and I talk a lot about Dr. Ron’s. Click HERE for their website, and bookmark it maybe.) 
  13. The gallbladder is critical for digesting and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and detoxification for skin health. p. 82
  14. The fat in coconut oil is unique because it does not require bile for digestion. (I have many clients who no longer have a gallbladder, but are always trying to figure out how to get the health benefits from healthy fats. Coconut oil. The answer is coconut oil.)
  15. You can support healthy bile with:
    1. bitters
    2. beets and beet juice
    3. fermented foods, especially daikon radish (Also Kimchi! Last night for dinner I had a huge bowl of bone broth, brown rice, ground beef and a heaping spoonful of Kimchi. See it HERE.) Purely Primal Skincare sarahkayhoffman.com Liz Wolfe book review Mother in Laws Kimchi fermented vegetables
    4. milk thistle
  16. The pancreas is critical for balancing blood sugar, hormonal balance (acne), digesting and using nutrients needed for skin health. You can support it with – p. 83:
    1. glandulars
    2. teas that contain dandelion root or ginger root
    3. chromium via Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast (This was a new product to me, and after reading the book, I sought it out HERE.)
    4. digestive enzymes (I recently upgraded the quality of enzyme I use. It has made a huge difference when I want to eat a meal that I’m a little unsure about, digestion-wise. I take THESE.)
    5. Eliminate wheat, other grains, processed foods, simple sugars, and make sure to support the stomach.
  17. The gut – if you have any kind of skin issue, assume your gut needs healing! 
    1. No grains or processed foods. (I have still kept some grains in my diet, for now, because after my hormone appointment last week, my doctor said she doesn’t think the grains I consume affect me, and that I shouldn’t remove them. But everyone is different. You might need to remove them.)
    2. Emotional stress. Liz states, “This isn’t meant to scare or discourage you – in fact, stress is one of the easiest things to manage because it can be managed through your choices. You don’t have to fight with “genetics” to manage stress better. You can choose to respond to life’s difficulties with a different mind-set.” p. 87 (This whole section is great, and I’d recommend reading and re-reading it once you buy the book. Also, here are 28 ways to reduce stress.)
    3. Her top 4 things for gut healing (in other words, these fall under my 3 Pillars for Ultimate Gut Healing):
      1. manage stress
      2. choose the right foods
      3. must eliminate gut-irritating foods like wheat, other grains, processed foods
      4. get Dr. Ron’s “Smooth Operator” (she talks about this one a lot, so I found it for you – you can grab it HERE)
  18. Ingredients to Avoid: Cosmetics – p. 99-100 (also, The Never List)
    1. gluten, which is listed under other names (see 124 Wheat and Gluten Sources and Alternate Names)
    2. triclosan
    3. benzalkonium chloride
    4. DEA
    5. propylene glycol
    6. aluminum
    7. parabens
    8. sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) (this, this, this, especially if you have Perioral Dermatitis – it’s the one change that made a mammoth difference in my skin)
    9. phthalates 
    10. (psssstttttt……Know what I did last weekend? If you follow my Instagram Stories, you do. I went through my entire bathroom, grabbed all junk makeup and skin care products and put them in the trash. Where they belong. It was so freeing!) Purely Primal Skincare sarahkayhoffman.com Liz Wolfe book review cosmetics in the trash
  19. Simply beautiful basics – p. 101 (She talks about how to use the following three products for basic skin care):
    1. baking soda
    2. apple cider vinegar
    3. coconut oil
  20. Cheilosis (cracks – corners of the mouth) – p. 107 (I had this for years, and I wanted to share what Liz says about it, in case you do, too.):
    1. Linked to digestive distress, an over-burdened liver, and B-vitamin deficiency. It’s an internal issue that can be tackled from the outside.
      1. good vitamin C
      2. high-quality B-complex
      3. coconut oil as a soother 
  21. Under-eye circles, under-eye bags – p. 107
    1. These are a sign of stress, sleep deprivation, allergic tension or immune system dis-function. (I have them, most of us do, and I’d guess mine are a combination of all 4 things she mentions.) Three things to diminish them:
      1. Dr. Ron’s “Smooth Operator” (and there it is again!)
      2. sleep (Even with a crazy daily schedule, I do prioritize sleep. You can see all of my daily wellness routine and sleep schedule via the Experience Life Magazine article, “Sarah Kay Hoffman’s Daily Wellness Routine.)
      3. manage stress
      4. (I’m adding a fourth. As a topical option, while you are working on 1-3, Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream – I just bought this – en route currently + the Touchup Concealer Pen.)
  22. Spot treatment information found on page 130
  23. For haircare, Liz discusses the ‘No Poo’ method – p. 137, and then the Cocomilk later – p. 138

Whew! That was a lot, and obviously, I barely scratched the surface. Purely Primal Skincare sarahkayhoffman.com Liz Wolfe book review Top Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

My best follow up recommendations from this post information:

  1. Grab the Purely Primal Skincare e-book. It’s $37, and you won’t regret it.
  2. Save this post to your bookmarks for reference later.
  3. Go through the links in this post, and read through them all.
  4. Find common re-occurring words/phrases and/or links and take them to heart – i.e. “Smooth Operator.”
  5. Click HERE to save this post to Pinterest for later or click HERE to share it on Facebook with friends and family.

The book I’ll feature next from my Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books blog post is Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility by Jill Blakeway. 

Xox,
SKH

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Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/11/best-healthyish-puppy-chow-ever/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/11/best-healthyish-puppy-chow-ever/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:44:20 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35495 Before I give you the Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever recipe, I have to tell you about this holiday season. Last year for Christmas, Ceci and I put up the Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving which is so not like me. This year? There are no Christmas decorations. There is a Christmas-scented infused house, a string of lights on the […]

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Before I give you the Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever recipe, I have to tell you about this holiday season.

Last year for Christmas, Ceci and I put up the Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving which is so not like me.

This year?

There are no Christmas decorations. There is a Christmas-scented infused house, a string of lights on the porch, and Ellie the kid’s Elf, who is here every single day in a new spot (because my husband is the best ever, hands down). 

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com Monkey Crunch Monkey Munch Vegan

But that’s it. And this is also so not like me.

We are working on a massive project, so there’s no room for any Christmas decorations this year.

It’s been unbelievably sad for me, to say the least. 

So yesterday, while working on said project, Samarah and Isaiah were in Reagan’s room. Isaiah got a hold of one of the markers and started drawing on this beautiful, old little storage table I have (the kids are typically never allowed in that room, so I’m sure he had no clue what was going on). Ryan asked me to bring a rag in to clean it up, and when I saw the green lines all down my table I said, “Oh, S#$%.” One second later, my little Isaiah said, “Oh, S#$%.” 

Ryan and I both stopped and trying so hard to refrain, laughed. 

It was the first time I ever heard one of the kids repeat something I didn’t even know I had said. Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com ingredients Justins almond butter Barbaras Puffins Vegan cinnamon cacao sea salt

The streaks were cleaned up (thank God), and the day went on.

With all the chaos currently up in this house, I think I needed that time out for myself. I have been on pins and needles. If you came to my house right now and/or knew all about this life change, you’d understand. 

Later that day I said to Ryan, “When all of this calms down, I just want to find the time again for cooking and baking new things. I really miss it.” 

And with that, time to share this recipe for Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever. 

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever

Click HERE to save this recipe for later.

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com

I’m not sure how many times I’ve done this recipe, but probably about 10 already. It’s a recipe concept I’m developing with Barbara’s

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is not the final one their team has selected, but when they didn’t choose this version, I asked permission to publish and share with y’all because this was our family’s fave version, and making it throughout this Christmas season has given me one way to feel like I’m doing something Christmassy. 

I shared my original Gluten Free Puppy Chow recipe in 2012, and you can grab that recipe HERE

This recipe is very different (and, in my opinion, waaaaaaay better!)

Instead of Rice Chex, you’re going to use Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Original. And instead of peanut butter, you’re going to use Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter. Finally, instead of chocolate (via chips or spread), you’re going to use cacao.

There’s no powdered sugar or extra sugar added at all to this recipe. You “coat” it with the cacao, crushed Puffins, and cinnamon. Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com Barbara's Puffins Vegan

I’m telling you…..it’s so amazingly healthy-ish.

And guess what? If you want the a-little-less healthy-ish version, then you can skip to the 2nd option I’ve provided below. That version is probably Ryan’s favorite. This one was mine + Samarah’s favorite version. The reason I wanted something better than the 2nd option below is that I have yet to find a high-quality White Chocolate Chip. For those who don’t want to use them, then be sure to make Option 1. Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah Monkey Munch Vegan Dairy Free

The version that Barbara’s chose and will ultimately publish is different than both of these and was a hit when I brought it to a brunch last weekend. 

In other words, you can’t go wrong with these recipes I’ve developed. IF you have Celiac disease, please make note: 

Technically all of the Puffins not marked as “Gluten Free” contain oats that are not gluten free. Multigrain and Pumpkin contain gluten free oats while Honey Rice has no oats. Of course, while oats do not naturally contain gluten, they can be contaminated by being grown near or processed with wheat, barley or rye, which all naturally contain gluten. It’s just basically a matter of cross-contamination, so depends on how sensitive one is to gluten.

I do not have Celiac, and I have never reacted to the Original Puffins. IF you do, you could absolutely swap in one of their certified gluten free Puffin options.

Option 1: with Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Slightly sweet and salty, this Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever will have you questioning why you ever chose a "traditional" Puppy Chow recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 box Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original
  • ½ cup crushed Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original (about 1.25 - 1.5 cups whole Puffins)
  • 1 cup Justin's Almond Butter Vanilla
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp 100% cacao powder
  • 4 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Grind 1.25 - 1.5 cups whole Puffins into a powder (measure to make sure it's about ½ cup), and set aside.
  2. Measure out the rest of your ingredients and set aside.
  3. Pour box of Barabara's Bakery Puffins Original in a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. In a small pan, melt the almond butter and coconut milk on low, stirring constantly until it reaches a liquid state.
  5. Pour melted mixture over Puffins, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir and mix together (as long as you stir gently you will not crush the Puffins).
  6. Slowly add the cacao powder, cinnamon, and sea salt, a little at a time, stirring to ensure even distribution.
  7. Enjoy

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever sarahkayhoffman.com Christmas flowers Barbaras puffins VeganOption 2: with White Chocolate Chips vs. Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter

Best Healthyish Puppy Chow Ever (White Chocolate Chips)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original
  • ¼ cup crushed Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original (about 1 cup whole Puffins)
  • ½ cup classic white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup natural almond butter, no salt
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp 100% cacao powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Grind 1 cup whole Puffins into a powder (measure to make sure it's about ¼ cup), and set aside.
  2. Measure out the rest of your ingredients and set aside.
  3. Pour box of Barabara's Bakery Puffins Original in a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. In a small pan, melt the almond butter and white chocolate chips, stirring constantly until it reaches a liquid state.
  5. Pour melted mixture over Puffins, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir and mix together (as long as you stir gently you will not crush the Puffins).
  6. Slowly add the cacao, cinnamon and sea salt, a little at a time, stirring to ensure even distribution.
  7. Enjoy
Notes
The answer is "no," no I have not found a high-quality white chocolate chip on the market.

Make and eat them for yourself/your family or place them in cute mason jars and give as holiday DIY gifts.

p.s. One final thing. I realize that doing food styling and photography is what I do in 60% of my work life. These pictures are not part of that because when I did the final recipe photos yesterday, I just wanted to get them done without any “work” involved. You know, because I was too busy teaching my 2-year-old naughty words. 🙂

Xox,
SKH

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Difficult Times http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/08/difficult-times/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/08/difficult-times/#comments Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:07:28 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35475 Last night was the San Joaquin Foster Care holiday event. They asked me, long ago, to speak on ‘difficult times.’ And here’s how it went. I have been thinking about this speech 24/7 for several weeks now, and shortly after arriving, I ran into the woman who was part of the duo that “matched” Ryan […]

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Last night was the San Joaquin Foster Care holiday event. They asked me, long ago, to speak on ‘difficult times.’ And here’s how it went.

Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com room

I have been thinking about this speech 24/7 for several weeks now, and shortly after arriving, I ran into the woman who was part of the duo that “matched” Ryan and me with Samarah. It’s not often that you know who had their hands in your matching, but one day after getting Samarah, Ryan and I ran into her at the courthouse. We remembered her from our PRIDE classes, and she told us that it was she and another woman who ultimately matched us with Sam.

We didn’t talk for long, but before the end of the night, I hugged her one last time and said, “Thank you. I will forever be indebted to you.” 

Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com SKH Samarah fireplace

And that is precisely why giving this speech on difficult times was so easy to do.

Difficult Times

Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com program

Part of my opening went like this,

I could not have predicted when I agreed to this “hard times” topic what would have transpired in my personal life. The middle-to-end of November was filled with heartache and difficult times. Thanksgiving wasn’t much better. Neither is today, I’m not even sure about the foreseeable future.

None of this has to do with foster children, except that it kind of does.

Because cancer IS hard.

I then went on to share our story, first about one pink line month after month after month.

And then, the poking, prodding, and puncturing of my belling to prep for an IVF cycle……which resulted in 8 cysts rupturing, following by a traumatic ER visit.

And no baby.

Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com Sarah Kay Hoffman speaking San Joaquin County Holiday Foster event HSA

Infertility (especially when it’s unexplained) IS hard.

I dove into how we came to adoption then foster-to-adoption. 

I talked about how each child came to us, and what was “hard” about the addition of each. 

Daily life with very small children, all so close in age, who come from different backgrounds and have different stories IS hard.

I then talked about the funny-hard things about it all. I mentioned:

  • When they were all still in diapers, and we would line them up, rotating one change, then the next and the next, and done. 
  • When they are screaming, crying, laughing, and whining simultaneously.
  • Schlepping them in and out of the car, saying to myself, “The struggle, the juggle, is oh-so-real.” 

Followed by the not-so-funny hard things about it all. 

  • When people say, “Are they yours?” or “Are you the babysitter?”
  • When people say, “I’m sorry.” – like this has been some sort of punishment.
  • When people ask, “What will you tell them about their real mom and dad?”
  • The future. As they grow and start asking questions. How will we answer those questions? What will we say in the moments that were not expected? Will they ever resent us for anything?

Those are hard questions.

And then I wrapped it up. I decided to end the speech with 4 things the foster system has given to me. What were they? Here you go:

  1. The People I’ve met along the way. Women (and men) who loved my babies unconditionally while they were in strict foster care. Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com SKH and Shelley
  2. People like Anna (the program coordinator – the one I do all the donations with, including my final Foster Children Christmas project), who I reached out to when I wanted to get more involved with helping foster children as much as I could. And other social workers who advocated not only for my children but also for my husband and me. The social workers who truly cared, the ones who made sure families could form and be built in the best ways possible.
  3. The foster and adoption community across the country. Thousands of people read my blog, and many of them are part of this amazing community or aspire to be. I have heard so many stories – both happy and sad – but they are all based on the foster and foster-adoption foundation.

Ahhhhhh……..and number four.

I looked at the woman in the back who had control of the big screen. I nodded. She put this image up – the one and only “prop” I chose to use for the speech.

Meet Amiya Kaylee Hoffman sarahkayhoffman.com Forever sign our familyLump in my throat, wanting to shatter and cry in a million ways – for a million reasons – I sat for a few seconds and stared.

All the truly hard things dashed across my mind. My dad, our pending huge-ginormous-mammoth change that is coming, infertility, loss…

And I knew that this was the most perfect way to end my speech on difficult times.

So I finished…

And number four. Three little beautiful, angelic babies I call my own.

What I am currently going through is hard. Some things in life really are hard. Even some of the days are hard and lonely. Your hard is okay, and so is mine.

But at the end of the day, taking these children in and loving them wholeheartedly is not hard. Foster adoption has changed our lives. And I am so, so forever grateful.

Taking these children in and loving them wholeheartedly is NOT hard.

To lighten the mood, my last statement was, 

Also, I just got done telling God again, “No more babies.” But guess what? If they call, I’m totally in. Do not tell my husband. 

I will write and speak until the day I die, advocating for the foster children and the foster care system. 

When I got home, Samarah was still up. I told her all about the woman who sent mama and daddy to pick her up at the hospital. You should have seen her face light up. Priceless.

Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah SKH kiss

p.s. I brought Elisabeth as my +1. It’s crazy how much a year can change things. Just a year ago, I met her. Literally, I published ‘A Little Boy‘ on December 6, 2017. Isn’t life funny like that? Also, that third picture, though 🙂
Difficult Times sarahkayhoffman.com SKH and Elisabeth

Xox,
SKH

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2017 Reader Survey http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/06/2017-reader-survey/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/06/2017-reader-survey/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:37:43 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35458 I finally put together the 2017 Reader Survey. No new post today because I spent so much time these past few days writing and creating: 7 Ways to Make Money as an Online Health Coach (or online in general), Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts, and Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books. Check them out, and […]

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I finally put together the 2017 Reader Survey.

No new post today because I spent so much time these past few days writing and creating: 7 Ways to Make Money as an Online Health Coach (or online in general), Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts, and Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books. Check them out, and then take this super short survey.

2017 Reader Survey

Click HERE to move away from the screen and take it or simply stay right here and enter in your answers.

2018 is going to be a year of massive change, but the one thing that won’t change is my blog – how much I’m around, writing, and sharing stories. 

In fact, there is a question on the survey around this whole idea of “change” and doing a 101-day series on it. Do you like that idea? Would you find it useful for your own life as I navigate it for our life, too? (I have done two 101 days of blogging series in the past.)

2017 Reader Survey sarahkayhoffman.com goals 2018 new year ibs ibd adoption lifestyle

My lofty sarahkayhoffman.com 2018 goal is to publish consistently 4-5 posts per week, but with this goal and these posts, I strive to provide the information and topics people most want to see. 

To help me do this, simply fill out the form. Once you have finished filling it out, you will **automatically** be entered to win the Beautycounter item of your choice (up to $35 value). 

I will notify the winner on January 2, 2018.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

love my readers and this Gutsy women community we have formed. Seriously. Just ask my husband or my family in general what I say about y’all when I receive your emails, comments, and letters. You are my kind of ladies and I love it. Truly. 

2017 Reader Survey sarahkayhoffman.com

Xox,
SKH

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Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/05/top-6-skin-and-hormone-books/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/05/top-6-skin-and-hormone-books/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:43:00 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35443 I’m kind of excited to share my top 6 skin and hormone books with you, especially after my hormone doctor appointment yesterday. Let me give you the skinny.  I told you in the November 2017 recap: Next week I have an appointment with my hormone doctor to finally review the DUTCH tests I did quite some time ago. While […]

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I’m kind of excited to share my top 6 skin and hormone books with you, especially after my hormone doctor appointment yesterday.

Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books sarahkayhoffman.com fertility, digestion, gut, T3

Let me give you the skinny. 

I told you in the November 2017 recap:

Next week I have an appointment with my hormone doctor to finally review the DUTCH tests I did quite some time ago. While my stomach and the overall feeling is spot on, I know it isn’t so because my skin shows it here and there. It’s not the Perioral Dermatitis, but rather signs of a hormone imbalance, which all seems so odd to me because I’m feeling so well. 

So I asked her about all of this. 

She was all, “You are showing no gut symptoms anymore and mild skin issues. Your numbers continue getting better. I think what’s going on is that you still have some mild underlying condition which causes easy reactions, maybe not allowing your body to detox, but nothing more than that.”

She suspects possibly a heavy metal toxicity, mold, or chronic infection because of my freak out ER session (because no, she confirmed, that should not have happened) and random skin issues. 

And while none of those should be taken lightly, we both agreed that I have come a very long ways

I told her about the lack of food restriction (because I’m thriving) and how I’ve changed almost all of my skin and body care products to primarily Beautycounter, Dr. Bronner’s, coconut oil (pour it over my whole life stat), and Earthpaste.

She said good, good, good all around. If I want to play with diet for skin, I could. I know the drill, 21-30 day elimination, rinse and repeat. (btw – if you need hand holding through your own, THIS is the only group program I’m hosting in 2018)

But honestly? I don’t. Not right now. And because of it, I will likely have mild skin issues.

Which brings me to the topic of skin and body care items as a “cure.” They are not! If anyone tells you they are and can be, you must run away fast. No, seriously. I have chosen Beautycounter because it’s lessening my overall toxic load. I have chosen to use their products and the others mentioned because they don’t contain SLS (which flare Perioral Dermatitis). I have chosen better, the best, but not because I think they will make any lasting physical manifestation disappear on their own. 

It all starts in the gut. Every single last health problem or success we have can be rooted back to the 30-ish feet of digestive tract we are made of.

But I am so freaking happy and proud and excited to report that I have done everything in my power to heal my gut, and my doctor agreed that I don’t need any crazy restrictions if I don’t want to. 

Okay, so on the heels of my appointment, healing, and excitement, I must share with you my my top 6 skin and hormone books.

I bought almost all of these sporadically over time (except Stefani’s, which is brand new), but I started digging into each one so that I could share the insights and information with you – all of my beautiful, Gutsy friends who might be interested in natural skin and hormone healing. 

I purchased each book with my own money, and this post is 100% personal opinion and unsponsored. 

Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Top 6 Skin and Hormone Books sarahkayhoffman.com

  1. Purely Primal Skincare by Liz Wolfe. I have talked about Liz before HERE. She is amazing, and she knows her S#$^ when it comes to skincare. It’s also a huge reason I joined her mission on the Beautycounter team. Her book breaks down into three parts: nutrition, digestion, and then topical.
  2. Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility by Jill Blakeway. The book identifies “fertility types,” and they cover everything from recognizing the causes of fertility problems to making lifestyle choices that enhance fertility to trying surprising strategies such as taking cough medicine, decreasing doses of fertility drugs, or getting acupuncture along with IVF. 
  3. The Hormone Reset Diet by Dr. Sara Gottfried. I’m not even sure how many times I’ve read this one, but it’s so good! This is a book Dr. Schweig had on his desk when I first started seeing him. I figured if he had it, it must be good. She discusses the seven major metabolic —cortisol, thyroid, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, insulin, and estrogen — how they can lead to weight gain and other problems, and then helps you understand how to address and correct them.
  4. Clear Skin Unlocked by Stefani Ruper. I just bought this a couple weeks ago. I like Stefani and her approach, so I wanted to read her book + support her. Stefani gives scienctific information as it relates to the skin, and helps the reader put practical steps into place.
  5. Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler. This is a massive book on all things reproductive health. She digs deep into issues that cause infertility and lays out facts and steps for optimal hormones.
  6. The Paleo Thyroid Solution: Stop Feeling Fat, Foggy, And Fatigued At The Hands Of Uninformed Doctors – Reclaim Your Health! by Elle Russ. The book takes a primal approach to addressing problems with the thyroid. I especially loved this book because Elle digs deep into T3 issues (which are really my only focused “problem”). Elle is amazing, too! I had a deeper question about something I read in the book and she messaged me to email her – she had so much more information to send my way. And she did, too. Immediately!

As I mentioned, I started digging into each one in full detail. Over the next several weeks I’ll share. So grab the one(s) you might be interested in and stay tuned.

The first one I’m focusing on and writing about is Purely Primal Skincare. (I’ll go in order.)

Have you read any of my top 6 skin and hormones books already? 

Xox,
SKH

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Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/04/sweet-and-spicy-no-bake-holiday-nuts/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/04/sweet-and-spicy-no-bake-holiday-nuts/#respond Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:41:07 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35419 I’m sharing my Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts recipe with you today because they remind me of a sweet and spicy little 4-year-old Samarah. Last night, Samarah stood on our bookcase upstairs and repeatedly told me, “I’m not naughty. I told you every time. I’m not naughty.” I told her that Ellie their Elf […]

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I’m sharing my Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts recipe with you today because they remind me of a sweet and spicy little 4-year-old Samarah.

Last night, Samarah stood on our bookcase upstairs and repeatedly told me, “I’m not naughty. I told you every time. I’m not naughty.” I told her that Ellie their Elf was watching, and wasn’t sure how he felt about the situation. She insisted. “No. Not naughty.”

Yes. Naughty. But also just totally sweet and spicy. Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts sarahkayhoffman.com Cashew and Almond Paleo recipe

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dig in.

I created two no-bake nut recipes for Nutiva a couple years ago. 

  1. No-Bake Herbed Nuts
  2. No-Bake Candied Sweet Nuts

Both recipes are so delish!

love a good nut mix, and I think it’s something that is super easy to make as a holiday snack and/or DIY gift. Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts sarahkayhoffman.com Spilled nut cashew almond Paleo Vegan

So I created Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts. If you love cashews and almonds and snacks like trail mix which give you the perfect sweet and spicy blend, you will love these, too!

Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts

{They are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, and egg free. Paleo + Vegan.}   

Click HERE to save this recipe for later.
Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts sarahkayhoffman.com

Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts are infused with the perfect blend of sweet and salty, and an added flare of spice. They make a great holiday appetizer or snack and/or an on-the-go option all year round.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Nutiva Coconut Oil (choose unrefined if you like the coconut taste, refined if you'd prefer a neutral taste)
  • 1 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsalted raw almonds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cashews and almonds, and continue stirring until they are slightly golden in color. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the coconut sugar.
  3. Continue stirring until the coconut sugar is melted, for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the ginger, pepper, cayenne, and salt, making sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.
  5. Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and place on parchment paper to cool.
  7. Serve immediately, or keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Xox,
SKH

p.s. If you do want to give these as holiday DIY gifts, check out these 9 DIY Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap and Packaging Options HERE (plus 18 other Holiday DIY Gifts) I may have written that post 🙂

Sweet and Spicy No-Bake Holiday Nuts sarahkayhoffman.com Paleo holiday recipe

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7 Ways to Make Money as an Online Health Coach http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/02/7-ways-to-make-money-as-an-online-health-coach/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/12/02/7-ways-to-make-money-as-an-online-health-coach/#respond Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:19:03 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35406 We live in an eCommerce-dominated world. According to Small Business Trends, “The total number of online shoppers in the US is expected to exceed 206 million in 2015 … and 215 million by 2018.” Are you currently a health coach and/or considering becoming a health coach? Or do you have an online business in general? Then […]

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We live in an eCommerce-dominated world. According to Small Business Trends, “The total number of online shoppers in the US is expected to exceed 206 million in 2015 … and 215 million by 2018.” Are you currently a health coach and/or considering becoming a health coach? Or do you have an online business in general? Then this post is for you because these 7 ways to make money as an online health coach actually extends far beyond the health coach. Most of the ideas can, in fact, apply to anyone and everyone who has any sort of online business.

Today I am mainly focusing on the online health coaching business.

According to Chris Kresser, Health Coaches are a critical component for the future of “healthcare.” He states,

My argument is that in many cases these people could be very well served by a health coach or nutritionist with good training. And possibly seeing a Functional Medicine provider once or twice a year, or something like that.

He also cites,

And then they hired an army of coaches and basically these coaches work with people to change their diet and lifestyle, and they really hardly see the doctors at all, just a few times in the year to get the necessary testing and talk about the test results. But their primary relationship is with health coaches. And that program has been fantastically successful and they’ve made a far bigger impact in treating and addressing diabetes than the conventional approach of prescribing drugs like metformin and newer blood sugar drugs.

Thousands of people out there are just like you and me – wanting to help people get healthier through diet and lifestyle vs. needing to rely solely on drugs and medications.

I know this because my post, “How to Start an Online Health Coaching Business” has been pinned over 4K times!

How to Start an Online Health Coaching Business 7 Reasons Why sarahkayhoffman.com Institute for Integrative NutritionSince publishing that post (about a year and a half ago), my online health coaching business has exponentially grown, but here’s the kicker – I haven’t done an exponential amount of additional work to see this growth.

Here is what I’ve learned over the past several years. Ready for the rocket science? There are only so many hours in the day (duh, right?!)

It took me a long time to figure this out, though. As the owner of my own business, 100% of which is run online, I had to get strategic about only doing the things during the day that made the most amount (spoiler alert: for me this was expanding my professional background as a Content Creator and Digital Storyteller in the natural foods industry) and then figuring out what else could be added to the business without taking more time away from me daily. 

If you’re a health coach, you can do this, too. Start by making sure you know the answer to the following question,

Who is my target audience?

And then, make a list of all the ways you could help support that audience. For example:

  1. food to recommend
  2. workouts to do
  3. supplements to take (if you are not a doctor or RD, you should NOT give supplement prescriptions, but rather general thoughts and ideas, with the caveat to always ask their doctor)
  4. skin care products
  5. body care products
  6. ways to reduce stress
  7. other lifestyle items
  8. recipes to make

Once you have your list, then you think about who and how to align with on those various pieces to help both the client and your business grow. 

For example, when I got serious about skin and body care, I aligned with Beautycounter and it has made a huge impact on my business (see below).

For the above 8 ways, there are probably hundreds of ideas for ways you could make money within your own business. In fact, I urge you to make somewhat of a flowchart to sort through ideas. (I do mine in Evernote, by the way.) 

But today I want to share 7 things I’ve done to increase my online health coaching business.

7 Ways to Make Money as an Online Health Coach

Click HERE to save this post for later. 7 ways to make money as an online health coach sarahkayhoffman.com

  1. Beautycounter. Of all 7 ways to make money as an online health coach, this has been (by far) my best addition! Why? Because if you are a health coach, you should be concerned not only with giving your clients the best in food recommendations, but you should also be concerned with overall lifestyle. Skin and body care is absolutely, 100% part of this equation. Joining the Beautycounter team was a great personal and professional addition. I am now able to align with a company I can wholeheartedly recommend to clients for all skin and body care needs while getting an extra check every single month (= product rocks and you make 25-35% for each product sold). You can learn more about joining the team HERE.
  2. Once per year online group program. I used to run my online group programs a few times a year. I stopped doing that. Now, I only run them once per year. Why? Because then they fill and I am spending less time all year long prepping and preparing for them. Many of the participants also end up converting to 1-on-1 clients which brings me to….
  3. Limited 1-on-1 spots. Some people love doing 1-on-1 work with clients. I do, too, and when I first started my business it’s solely how I worked with people. But 1-on-1 means the entire day is taken up just helping a few people. For me, my business would never have grown the way it did if I would have stayed in that place. Instead of taking as many 1-on-1 clients as I could, I changed the structure to have it on a limited basis. You can see that I’m on a waitlist currently (I should have new spots open in late January/February). Supply and demand. It’s basic business.
  4. Amazon Affiliate. If you are regularly blogging and recommending products, I would strongly recommend you sign up for an Amazon Affiliate account. Recommending full-fat coconut milk? Or an Instant Pot? Or how about books? With an Amazon Affiliate account, you can make money (though it’s not much) when you’re sleeping, literally. Just make sure you have a full disclosure page for it.
  5. Improve Pinterest graphics. This one doesn’t translate into ‘create a Pinterest graphic, earn money,’ but indirectly, it will. I have spent the last year updating old blog posts and (most recently) honing in a very specific look and feel for branding. Why? Because the proof is in the pudding. Pinterest drives business. When people are Googling, their searches often take them to Pinterest. And people on Pinterest buy. If you have an online business, you should absolutely consider dialing in the pins for Pinterest. (I could write an entire post on this alone).
  6. E-books. I released yet another e-book this last year, “The A Loving Spoon Nut Butter Original Recipes.” I have many e-books on my website, some paid and some free, but each time I add a paid one, income goes up and daily time spent doesn’t (I only “spend” time creating the product). I am working on TWO brand new ones to hopefully launch at the beginning of 2018!
  7. Targeted brand partnerships. I am highly focused on working only with women who have IBS and/or IBD. Because of this, I am able to form brand partnerships who tend to focus on the same. There are online businesses who will promote anything and everything if the price is right. I won’t. I’ve been staunch on this, and it has made all the difference for growing my business. I work with brands like Made in Nature who are easy to Certify Gutsy. And I work with brands like Vital Proteins because they have the best collagen and gelatin which I am constantly talking about for gut healing. I also partner with Experience Life Magazine because they are the one true magazine built around holistic health – articles I want my clients reading and devouring. You would never see me partner with Pillsbury, Cheerios, or a magazine like Shape (even though I do read it from time-to-time). Why? Because they don’t fall in line with the ways I want to help my clients or the business model I have set.

So there you have it…..7 ways to make money as an online health coach. If you want more ways, definitely check out How to Start an Online Health Coaching Business.

7 ways to make money through your blog sarahkayhoffman.com How to start an online health coaching businessQuestions? I keep no secrets. Comment below or contact me HERE

My blog is not focused on helping people start businesses, even though I do sporadically coach people on it. I wanted to write this post, though, because I do have so much to share, and this blog is my place, my outlet, my story, and……my business.

Xox,
SKH

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November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/11/30/november-2017-catch-up-over-bone-broth/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/11/30/november-2017-catch-up-over-bone-broth/#comments Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:06:55 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35379 Oh, November – full of shocks and surprises. November 30 got here fast, so this is my November 2017 catch up over bone broth. Speaking of bone broth. Know what I did this past week? Made the outline for the (how to make) Instant Pot Bone Broth blog post and/or e-book I’ll release in December […]

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Oh, November – full of shocks and surprises. November 30 got here fast, so this is my November 2017 catch up over bone broth.

Speaking of bone broth. Know what I did this past week? Made the outline for the (how to make) Instant Pot Bone Broth blog post and/or e-book I’ll release in December or early January. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again – bone broth in the Instant Pot is my best version yet. I use THIS 8-quart Instant Pot so if you don’t have one yet, grab it.

November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth

Health

I felt great in November, despite all the stress.

Next week I have an appointment with my hormone doctor to finally review the DUTCH tests I did quite some time ago. While my stomach and overall feeling is spot on, I know it isn’t so because my skin shows it here and there. It’s not the Perioral Dermatitis, but rather signs of a hormone imbalance, which all seems so odd to me because I’m feeling so well. 

I know I probably should not have done so, but I canceled the endoscopy appointment I was supposed to have today. On top of canceling it, I used the one reason I am always telling people to never use, “No time.” But seriously, there is no time. Not right now. In a month-ish this will all make sense.

But in addition to no time, do you want to know the real reason I canceled it? 

The doctor who was going to perform it for me told me he doesn’t think it is anything serious, but that my body freaked out so badly (sending me to the ERbecause of doing too much.

I flat out said to him, “That makes no sense. How can so many people run much more, much harder, at higher elevations, for longer periods of time, with zero repercussions?”

His response was not at all what I expected.

He responded, “Why was I born short? Why did my wife have to get cancer? Why couldn’t I be an athlete?”

Yes, instead of a true answer, he threw a question back at me. And then he said, “Deep down you know the answers. You’re just looking for someone to confirm them.”

Honestly? My body has been through a lot in the past several years, and I’m not going to pretend he wasn’t right. I did two weekends in a row, back-to-back of hard trail races, upwards of 13.1 miles each time. I ran more in 2017 than any prior year. Hard for you? Maybe not. Hard for most? Likely not. But for me? Yes, probably. 

I am not built the way I wish I was. Letting that go has been hard. I’d be lying to you if I told you I have let it all go. I haven’t.

I don’t believe I need to stop running and trail racing altogether. In fact, I won’t. But what this whole “health” thing has shown me is that I physically am not capable of being “in training” year round. I need to be much more strategic and smart about races and then recovery periods. Which brings me to….

Fitness

I did a lot, and yet barely anything (it feels like) in November, from a fitness standpoint.

I spent November doing a burpee challenge. My goal was to do 50 burpees every day in November. Results?

  • I did 50 burpees every single day, except for one day – Thanksgiving 
  • My time on November 1 was 4:13
  • My best time was the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 24 when I did it in 3:12 (my goal from the beginning was to shave 1 minute off from the starting time)

I absolutely loved the challenge, but I learned something very important – again – more is not better. 

I never took a day off in 30 days, except for one day, and the day after that day is when I hit 3:12. 

More is not better. More is not better. More is not better. 🙂

Will I keep doing them? Yes! Absolutely. Who doesn’t have a love-hate relationship with burpees?! But they are totally making me stronger. 

My goal is to do them 15 times in December (or every other day), and to get down to a 3:05 time. 

I spent November doing burpees, Jess’ program, and some running (up to 6 miles). 

I was thisclose to running a December Brazen, but my conscious got the best of me and said, “Nope. Rest. Recover. Build strength.” So instead, I researched and think I’ve found my next race. It’s on May 19, 2018 (plenty of recovery and building time!). I’d tell you where and what it is, but then I’d have to kill you. Bwahahahah.

Professional

I did a photo shoot for one of my clients, and it was a day filled with creating, eating, and photographing beautiful Buddha Bowls. In case you’ve never heard the term, this is what they look like. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Beyond Meat + Lotus Foods Buddha Bowl

I also went on site to a photo shoot with Nutiva for a new product we have coming out in early January 2018. My favorite part was seeing all the props, organized perfectly. I have built out a huge section of food photography props this past year, and within the next year, I’m hoping to build a display similar to this (but probably half the size). November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Food Photography Photographer props

I am in the final stages of a recipe for a project-based client. They love it, but I need to make one final tweak. The version they did not choose (which is my favorite version) will be posted on my blog in December. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Beautycounter is still a focus, too, and I think it always will be. I was recently listening to a podcast – someone else who is also part of the Beautycounter team. She was talking about how hesitant she was to try the product and then to add it as part of her business. But then she started sharing how she fell in love with the product (I can relate), and that, from a business aspect – how incredible it has been. I amazed by all that has happened in less than 2 months, and I am so excited to keep growing and learning, about the business, mission, and all products. 

November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Beautycounter makeup

Finally, I have feverishly been working on The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 with my assistant. She is currently reviewing the jumbo e-book, and the goal was to have it ready for the new year. I’m still not sure that’s happening, but we are moving along nicely.

Personal and Family

The beginning of the month was lovely. We had visitors constantly. My mom came the first few days of November, Ryan’s parents came right after that, and finally, my brother-in-law and his son came right before Thanksgiving.

My mom and I finally hit the Alameda Flea Market, which was a bucket list item we wanted to do together. I love a great flea market, antiquing, and the like. My mom and dad sparked this passion for me. My parents can take anything and turn it into something new and useful. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Alameda Flea Market The Warped Table

While Mom was here, I also invited Elisabeth over and cooked dinner one night. It was my mom who first noticed the letter Elisabeth had written, so I always wanted them to meet. We had a lovely night, and the food was delicious. I made a One Pot Thai Curry, without the curry. Don’t ask.

When Ryan’s parents came, they let us sneak off to Tahoe for a short day/night getaway. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Tahoe running trails

We stayed in one of my favorite areas and packed a lot into those 24 hours. We went for long walks, had an incredible dinner, played a few slots at the Casino (adulting, you know), enjoyed drinks, sat in the hot tub outside at night after dinner (yes it was cold, and yes that’s my favorite time to hot tub), did a morning hike + run/jog, and soaked up all that is one of my favorite places on Earth – Tahoe.

No, for real. There is nothing like Lake Tahoe. The views are breathtaking. There are an endless amount of things to do and see outside. And soaking it all up with Ryan is the best ever. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Ryan Lake Tahoe

Ryan’s brother and his son came for a quick weekend right before I went home to Minnesota. It was a chill weekend, and they spent a lot of time playing basketball outside and eating the dinners I made. I introduced them to my Instant Pot bone broth, and they loved it. I swear, I’d make bone broth for anyone, 24/7 if I could. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah, Ashton, Amiya, Isaiah

My nephew, Ashton, got the full experience of life with 3 littles. He was covering his ears a lot, and I kept telling him, “Please remember this once you get into high school…..no babies.” 

Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya are growing like little weeds. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah 4 years

We are having full conversations with Samarah now, Isaiah’s vocabulary finally emerged, and Amiya can sing her ABC’s, count to ten, sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat,’ and yell, “Stop it” whenever she isn’t happy. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya 1.5 years

We continued the Turkey Hands tradition, and I am working on organizing all our little hands currently. 

They are the sweetest, kindest, and most adorable little beings in my life. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Isaiah 2.5 years

And finally, if I didn’t mention that November brought heartbreaking news, it wouldn’t be a true recap. I wrote about my dad being diagnosed with cancer in Finding Thanksgiving. I spent the last week in Minnesota, and I would not have traded that time for anything in the world. 

I dug out this picture from last year at Christmas. One year ago. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Christmas 2016 Dad, JJ, Samarah, Isaiah, SKH, Amiya, Ryan

I can’t believe how much things have changed.

A lot of things happened while I was home, but my favorite part was this one beautiful morning with Dad. I have been trying to tell Ryan the story, but each time I start, I want to break down crying, so I still haven’t been able to. I wrote about it in my journal immediately after it happened. I titled it, “Things You Don’t Know.” I’ll share someday.

Before I left on Tuesday, I gave Dad strict instructions. “Dad, please don’t argue with the doctors. Drink your water. Take your medication. Eat those bananas. Drink the tea Lan is bringing to you.” His only real response, “Well….you’ll be back in about a month then, right?”

Yes, Dad, yes. I’ll be back before Christmas.

Blog Posts I Wrote

Here are all the posts I wrote this past month. 

  1. 9 Years
  2. Gluten Free Recipe Roundup Five
  3. One Change for Perioral Dermatitis
  4. Foster Children Christmas
  5. 29 Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
  6. 43 Holiday Wellness and Lifestyle Gift Ideas
  7. Skin Health and Endocrine Disruptors
  8. Comfort Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
  9. Holiday Gift Guide Roundup
  10. Processing Life Through Journaling
  11. Toddler Gut Issues
  12. Finding Thanksgiving
  13. Train Like an Athlete 6 Week Training Plan Review
  14. Giving Tuesday

Adios, November! I’d like to say that December gets “easier,” but it doesn’t. Like at all, not even a little bit.

Close family and friends know what I’m talking about, and soon you will, too. But December is going to test every last emotion in me. Trying to hold it all together while patiently waiting for more pathology information on my dad is hard.

Yes, this is actually hard. 

Now there is no choice but to keep on keeping on. 

And it’s less than a month to Christmas, family, and Minnesota. 

Stick with me. You’ll see. November 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Mankato Grand Old Opry Tammi, Kelli, SKH, Kim, Lan, Emma, Sophie

Tell me something new and good about YOUR November!

Xox,
SKH

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Giving Tuesday http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/11/28/giving-tuesday/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2017/11/28/giving-tuesday/#respond Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:04:57 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=35357 Giving Tuesday kicks off a month filled with giving and surprises. Last year around this date, I said to Ceci, “Hey, tonight after school, let’s get the kids in the car, and drive around town to find someone (or people) to help.” She was excited by the idea, and that night we drove and drove […]

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Giving Tuesday kicks off a month filled with giving and surprises. Last year around this date, I said to Ceci, “Hey, tonight after school, let’s get the kids in the car, and drive around town to find someone (or people) to help.” She was excited by the idea, and that night we drove and drove and drove, but came up short. We hung onto the cash, and throughout the next month, whenever we felt like someone needed something or we wanted to create a smile on someone’s face, we’d do so. It was straight awesome, and it will be replicated every single year now.

Starting today.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. According to their website,

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

This is the time of year when there is a day for everything starting on Black Friday. After that comes Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday, and finally Giving Tuesday.

Of course, I did the online shopping on Black Friday (Beautycounter + an 8 quart Instant Pot, anyone?!).

And then, I shopped small on Saturday (got some groceries at The Daily Grind in my hometown – organic breakfast chicken sausage, gluten-free oats, and raw cheese).

Yesterday I dug in hardcore for Cyber Monday, sharing this list of my favorite 12 items and buying a Kindle for my dad, a backup memory card, Bullet Journal for 2018, a book, and several things for the kids from the children’s holiday list.

I sent a Black Friday e-newsletter and talked about all the Cyber Monday stuff via various social networks.

I am a small business, and it would have probably been very “business-like” of me to talk about my business, what I do, who I help, and how people can support by working with me if they so desired for Small Business Saturday.

But I didn’t. Not this year.

Because I wanted to save it all for Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Giving Tuesday sarahkayhoffman.com Winston Churchill quote quotes give

My greatest joys through building my business have been that through the building of it, I am able to give – around the holidays and all year long. 

For 17.5 million reasons, this holiday season is going to have me on a super emotional rollercoaster.

Giving to the foster children of San Joaquin county one last time is a huge part of this.

I’m speaking at the foster care holiday party on “continuing through difficult times.” 

Shortly after that, I’ll deliver items to help make a foster child’s Christmas brighter. (Reminder: deadline is Wednesday, December 13.)

Foster Children Christmas sarahkayhoffman.com

And then? The week of December 18th I’ll give one final check for whatever might be needed. 

But this Giving Tuesday isn’t about supporting my business or even about supporting foster children (if it’s really not your thing).

This post is the idea that you should give – to whomever you feel compelled to give to, in whatever ways you feel called to do so. 

It’s not even necessarily about money if that’s not in your cards.

But give, give however you can – time or money, even a basic smile. 

So many people spend the holiday season alone, sad, or unhappy. It’s a reminder for all they don’t have instead of one big season filled with hot chocolate, songs, events, and decorating.

The Giving Tuesday movement gives these ideas for how you, as an individual can give:

  1. Give your voice. There are many ways you can donate your time to organizations in your community. Search for nonprofits in your neighborhood and email them to see how you can help.
  2. Share your #MyGivingStory.
  3. Give time – Volunteer! Search for nonprofits in your neighborhood and email them to see how you can help.
  4. Give Great! Be an informed giver on #GivingTuesday and throughout the year! Visit our Great Giving resource page or check out these materials from the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation to elevate your giving from having momentary meaning to becoming monumentally meaningful. 
  5. Give back. Donate to a charity or organization that has impacted your life. Remember to share that you gave and encourage your family and friends to join you in giving back on #GivingTuesday. (pssst…..this is where I fall under. The foster care system wholly transformed my life.)
  6. Give pro bono. Use your skills to help nonprofits with their campaigns. You can search for pro bono opportunities on Taproot+ or reach out to you local nonprofits to see how you can use your talents to good. 
  7. Be #UNSelfie. Share how you are giving back on #GivingTuesday by posting your #UNselfie on your social media.
  8. Give part of your paycheck. Payroll giving is becoming more and more popular at both companies and nonprofits. Donate a part of your paycheck to charity or talk to your management how your organization can make giving back part of its official policy.

Giving Tuesday kicks off this wonderful time of year for me when, even though I might not feel like giving a smile 100% of the time, I am giving all that I can. 

And I really, truly hope you will consider doing the same.

Xox,
SKH

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