Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com Finding beauty in the dust of life's gravelroads Sat, 22 Sep 2018 12:05:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-SKH2-32x32.jpg Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com 32 32 45930907 Firsts with Us http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/22/firsts-with-us/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/22/firsts-with-us/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 10:30:19 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39251 Today is the first day of fall (amen hallelujah). It’s also Amiya’s first Gotcha Day anniversary. For Maya’s Gotcha Day anniversary post, I thought I’d share her firsts with us. One thing I did with all three children was (obv) take a ton of pictures immediately. I then placed them into folders called, “Early Days […]

The post Firsts with Us appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Today is the first day of fall (amen hallelujah). It’s also Amiya’s first Gotcha Day anniversary. For Maya’s Gotcha Day anniversary post, I thought I’d share her firsts with us.

One thing I did with all three children was (obv) take a ton of pictures immediately. I then placed them into folders called, “Early Days + Firsts with Us.” 

On the one hand, it’s easy to remember what those first few days were like when you get a child placed in your home. You have all the feelings; mostly happy and excited. For me personally, “on top of the world” describes Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya’s first few days with us.

But on the other hand, if you don’t take a ton of pictures, you’ll never remember exactly what was, what they looked like, etc. For those who adopt, it’s sort of like the “birth photos.”

I did a post like this in 2017 called Throw Back Thursday Adoption First Photos, but at the time I was only able to show Samarah and Isaiah’s first photos. 

Today, for the little bee’s first Gotcha Day anniversary, I’m sharing her firsts with us photos.

Firsts with Us

Click HERE to save this simple idea for later.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Foster Adoption tip #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

The first day I met Amiya, she was almost 3 months old. I went to meet her by myself that day. I asked the social worker if I could take a picture because Ryan wasn’t there and I knew he’d want to see her. Here was the picture I sent.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

I also got this one of her sleeping on me.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary SKH, Maya #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

The next time we would see her would be the first time Ryan and Samarah met her. 

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary SKH, Amiya, Samarah #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

My heart just exploded looking at this picture again.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary Ryan, Maya, Samarah #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

Soon after, she would come home with us for good.

This was the first day she was with us forever.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary Samarah Maya #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

And this was the second day.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary #gotchaday Samarah, Maya, Isaiah #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

She was so sweet. (I mean, she still is, but she was just so tiny and quiet back then.)

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary frog outfit #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

And so calm.

She barely ever made a peep.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary sleeping Maya #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

And just as she still does, she always had two fingers in her mouth.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary halloween Maya #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

Amiya fit with Samarah and Isaiah like a glove.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary Samarah and Amiya #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

Those first few days with us were lovely.

Firsts with Us www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Gotcha Day Anniversary Maya and Isaiah #gotchaday #fosteradoption #adoption #fostercare

Today we celebrate 1 full year of forever with Amiya. It’s been a year full of ups-and-downs, learnings and growth. Amiya is not the same child she was a year ago, but looking back on all her first with us and that day in court reminds me that this is all in God’s plan. 

Meet Amiya Kaylee Hoffman sarahkayhoffman.com Our family and judge

And His plans are always perfect.

August 2018 Catch Up Over Bone Broth www.sarahkayhoffman.com Amiya Brainerd Minnesota #healthyliving #lifestyleblogger

Here is her video I made last year on Gotcha Day. I watched it yesterday and shed all the tears.

Xox,
SKH

The post Firsts with Us appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/22/firsts-with-us/feed/ 0 39251
The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/21/the-truth-about-greens-and-gut-healing/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/21/the-truth-about-greens-and-gut-healing/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:43:42 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39077 I want to set it straight today with the truth about greens and gut healing. I noticed recently on a super popular “digestive” Instagram account where she talked about greens and veggies and why she doesn’t include them in her diet. On the one hand, I get it. I, too, have been there – many […]

The post The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
I want to set it straight today with the truth about greens and gut healing.

I noticed recently on a super popular “digestive” Instagram account where she talked about greens and veggies and why she doesn’t include them in her diet.

On the one hand, I get it. I, too, have been there – many times. 

But on the other hand, I think it’s irresponsible because it’s vilifying something that, for the majority of people, is healthy, good, and right. It’s also a sure sign that when someone says they are “doing so well and healed” that they are likely not so all those “gut healthy” and healing recipes and products they are sharing (and shilling) you need to proceed with caution on.

Planter Boxes and Babies sarahkayhoffman.com Greens Herbs Filling Foods

Okay, I’m done ranting to that end, but I have one more very important thing to tell you (on the other side of the equation) before I share the truth about greens and gut healing.

Whenever I show meat on my Instagram or in other places that relate to gut health and gut healing, always – never fails, at least one person tells me how “unhealthy” I am and that if I am going to be talking about gut health and gut healing, I should not feature meat. Because, you know, being Vegan or Vegetarian is the only way to heal the gut (insert sarcasm).

I desperately wanted to heal my gut on a Vegetarian diet. I even wrote an entire post, questioning whether or not I could. And in the end, I learned that I could not heal my gut on a Vegetarian diet).

Despite the fact that I am not Vegan or Vegetarian, Paleo or Keto (I am nothing – I follow zero standard diet / healing protocol), I now firmly believe that greens are an incredible food. 

When you see my meat-only pictures or veg-only pictures, do not assume anything.

We must stop the judgments in the healing community.

Second rant over. Now I’m going to give you the goods.

The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing

Click HERE to save this post for later.

The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing www.sarahkayhoffman.com IBS IBD fiber #healthyliving #guthealth #greens #sibo #ibd #ibs

In 2013, I wrote a blog post called, “Is Fiber Helping or Hurting Me?” And in the post I hit on every last thing about fiber you’re probably thinking and feeling. In a nutshell, 

Ugh. Why am I so bloated an miserable? I’m only eating broccoli, salads and beans.

The reason extends far beyond fiber for many of you. In case you missed my post on many of these reasons, you should first read, “Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables?

But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about all the good that greens (in particular vs. beans – I’m not focusing on them today) contain.

Why are greens so good for us?

The very first time it really sunk in just how good greens are for us was when I read Sara Gottfried’s The Hormone Reset Diet. In the book, she recommends getting 35 – 45 grams of fiber per day (for women) because increased dietary fiber improves the ability of the liver to clear excess estrogen. 

Greens provide:

  • Vitamins (namely A, K, C,  and E)
  • Minerals (namely calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese)
  • natural fiber (It’s the natural fiber part that can get Gutsy women stuck since it’s role is in regulating digestion, aiding bowel health, and managing weight.)

Additionally, Dr. Sara Gottfried says, “Moreover, there’s been some research proving that eating more fruit and vegetables can actually change and improve skin tone.” (Ladies, this is why I always say that you can buy all the Beautycounter in the world, but your skin health will always root back to the gut. Care for the gut and use Beautycounter to enhance all that work.)

I followed Dr. Sara’s protocol for a pound of green veggies each day and, when I chose the ones that worked for me at that point of my healing journey, it was incredible. It worked wonders for my digestion, and it was then when I realized that if you do greens right it is possible to do greens daily.

Which greens are more subjective during deep periods of healing?

Not all greens are created equally, especially not for those undergoing a deep period of gut healing.

In most research out there, the greens that are hardest to digest for those with gut issues either are high-FODMAP and/or contain insoluble fibers.

Recipe Roundup Sarah Kay Hoffman Real Food sarahkayhoffman.com Asparagus

Here are some of those greens:

  1. Arugula (insoluble fiber)
  2. Asparagus (high-FODMAP)
  3. Broccoli (stalks) (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  4. Brussels sprouts (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  5. Celery (insoluble fiber)
  6. Collards (insoluble fiber)
  7. Green beans (insoluble fiber)
  8. Leek bulbs (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  9. Lettuce (insoluble fiber)
  10. Jerusalem Artichokes (high-FODMAP)
  11. Kale (insoluble fiber)
  12. Peas (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  13. Snow Peas (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  14. Spinach (insoluble fiber)
  15. Sugar Snap Peas (high-FODMAP + insoluble fiber)
  16. Watercress (insoluble fiber)

Note: You should also consider at least paying somewhat attention to high-oxalate greens (and foods in general). HERE is a great list/resource.

Which Greens Might Be Tolerated During Deep Periods of Healing?

Despite the fact that greens are so good for us, some might be better for you right now than others. 

How to Make a Simple Spaghetti Squash sarahkayhoffman.com Bok Choy

Here are some low-FODMAP greens that are more tolerated than others:

  1. Arugula – low-FODMAP
  2. Bok Choy – low-FODMAP
  3. Broccoli (head only) – low-FODMAP
  4. Celery – low-FODMAP
  5. Collard Greens – low-FODMAP
  6. Cucumber – low-FODMAP
  7. Fennel (leaves only) – low-FODMAP
  8. Green Beans – low-FODMAP
  9. Kale – low-FODMAP
  10. Leek (leaves only, up to 2/3 cup) – low-FODMAP
  11. Lettuce (radicchio, iceberg, romaine, butter) – low-FODMAP
  12.  Spinach – low-FODMAP
  13. Spring onion (green part only) – low-FODMAP
  14. Swiss chard – low-FODMAP
  15. Watercress – low-FODMAP
  16. Zucchini – low-FODMAP

The ones I relied on during periods of deep gut healing were: arugula, green beans, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and watercress. 

What Does it Mean if I Can’t Digest Any Greens?

Click HERE to save these tips for later.

The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing www.sarahkayhoffman.com How to digest fiber #healthyliving #guthealth #greens #sibo #ibd #ibs

If you can’t digest any greens (and listen, I realize that’s entirely possible), then here are a few things it means and some things you can do/try:

  1. You’re not preparing them properly. Almost never will you be able to eat green vegetables in the raw. Now might not be the time to dunk mounds of broccoli in olive oil. Prepare your greens by keeping the following in mind:
    1. When you’re eating greens with skins and seeds, remove them (i.e. zucchini).
    2. Take the stems off (i.e. broccoli).
    3. Sauté in an oil.
    4. Cut, slice, mash, and even juice the greens to make them smaller (easier for digestion).
    5. Portion size. You don’t need to eat 7 cups of any one green in any one sitting. Try a little here and a little there; mixing-and-matching as you go.
  2. You might just need a “Greens Assistant.” Oh hello best Greens Assistant ever, Mr. Digest Gold. I have been using this assistant for a very long time now, and she’s the best. She’s a high potency formula that supports optimal digestion of carbs, fat, fiber and protein. If you want to eat all the greens, try giving her a whirl (if you haven’t already).
  3. You’re not healed. That’s right, you are not healed. If you can’t tolerate any greens, then you’re absolutely not ready for all the things (or really much of anything), and you need to head back to the drawing board. I was there; I was you at one point. What did I have to do? First, I had to follow my 21-days in The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut. Then I had to really dig deep to understand what was going on and why I couldn’t tolerate anything. I needed changes in diet, lifestyle, supplements, medication, and more. 

The truth about greens and gut healing is that they should not be glorified for their powers to magically heal everyone in all instances at all times, but they should also not be vilified as the only means for keeping a Gutsy girl miserable, bloated, and sick.

Removing greens should only be temporary (unless you have an allergy, of course) because a permanent removal of them means something is wrong.

There is a reason this quote is so popular,

The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing www.sarahkayhoffman.com eat real food dr. mark hyman #healthyliving #guthealth #greens #quotes Pollan

But only you can know where you’re at today. Take this information and start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can. 

I’m off to find some greens.

Xox,
SKH

The post The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/21/the-truth-about-greens-and-gut-healing/feed/ 0 39077
Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/19/can-i-eat-these-top-12-fall-vegetables/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/19/can-i-eat-these-top-12-fall-vegetables/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:21:56 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39099 I was reviewing my top 12 fall vegetables list when I remembered that, despite their goodness, they are not appropriate for everyone at all times. Because gut healing is hard (and confusing), Y’all. To help, I’m assisting you with answering the question, “Can I eat these top 12 fall vegetables?” My Top 12 Fall Vegetables […]

The post Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
I was reviewing my top 12 fall vegetables list when I remembered that, despite their goodness, they are not appropriate for everyone at all times. Because gut healing is hard (and confusing), Y’all. To help, I’m assisting you with answering the question, “Can I eat these top 12 fall vegetables?”

My Top 12 Fall Vegetables

Of course there are many more fall vegetables; these are just my favorites.

  1. Brussel sprouts
  2. broccoli
  3. cauliflower 
  4. cabbage
  5. onions
  6. pumpkin
  7. spinach
  8. zucchini
  9. beets
  10. celery
  11. squash
  12. sweet potatoes

But even though I love them all, at all times they do not love me. Currently? Yes, yes I can eat all the things. But if you can’t, I know exactly what that’s like so I want to help you drill down today.

Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables?

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Note: This post is 100% for those of you who have IBS and/or IBD (or suspect one or the other or both). If you have zero gut issues, my opinion is that you should never take these (or anything for that matter) out of your diet just because. Trust me, that is a rabbit hole that once you start digging is hard to escape and can ultimately lead to gut hell.Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall

Let’s break it down by vegetable….

  1. Brussels sprouts. At just 3, Brussels sprouts are moderate-FODMAP and at 4, they are high-FODMAP. They contain Oligo-fructans, which always pass through the gut and escape digestion. Brussels sprouts are also part of the cabbage family, so if you have problems with cabbage, these might pose problems as well. If you are clear from the above, Brussels sprouts are rich in protein, potassium and folate, as well as vitamins A and C, and when prepared correctly, can taste incredible. My Roasted Coconut Cashew Brussels Sprouts are delish! Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall Brussels sprouts
  2. Broccoli. As kids, noses crinkle at the thought of broccoli. That’s because parents don’t prepare it correctly. You know how broccoli kills it?! When you soak it in Coconut Oil or Buttery Coconut Oil (dairy free, Vegan) and toss it with salt and/or spices + herbs. Seriously, even my kids love it like that! Some of you might be able to tolerate pieces of, just not the whole, broccoli. Something you might not be aware of is that if you eat only the broccoli head (top part) it’s low-FODMAP food (up to 2 2/3 cups when it becomes moderate). However, just 3/4 cup of the broccoli stalk makes it high-FODMAP. Broccoli stalks contain fructose, which is how it’s part of the FODMAP family. Broccoli is also high in insoluble fiber, making it hard to digest. Cooking it could help some.
  3. Cauliflower (Side note: this whole post idea came about from Mr. Cauliflower, after a review of the post, “How to Make Gluten Free Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes.” Click HERE to read it). Cauliflower has become trendy in the low-carb (and weight loss) community as a substitute for white potatoes and rice. It might have even been part of your New Year’s Resolution swap.  And with that, you might have become more bloated than ever. One reason is that at just 3/4 cup, cauliflower contains polyols, a FODMAP. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which is high in fiber
  4. Cabbage. Cabbage is another vegetable that is high in insoluble fiber (soluble = soft and sticky; absorbs water + insoluble = “roughage,” doesn’t dissolve in water). If you have digestive problems, insoluble fiber can be a problem because it isn’t broken down by the gut and absorbed into the bloodstream. However, if you do okay with insoluble fiber, cabbage could work for you, as most varieties are in fact low-FODMAP. Choose: common, red, and Chinese cabbages for a low-FODMAP option (I love it sautéed in coconut oil and Coconut Aminos). At just 1 cup of Savoy Cabbage, though, you’ve entered high-FODMAP territory. Simply avoid that variety. Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall Red cabbage
  5. Onions. Ahhhhh…..onions. Such a lovely fall vegetable that is seemingly in everything, silently killing hearts of the SIBO community everywhere. Oh wait, just me?! But yeah, if your SIBO is active, you probably can’t do onions because they are high-FODMAP due to Oligo-fructans (as the Brussels sprouts above). You can, however, do the tops (only) of a green spring onion, which are low-FODMAP (and when my SIBO was active, I did this all the time).
  6. Pumpkin. Whether or not you can tolerate pumpkin depends on the type of pumpkin you are consuming. Japanese Pumpkin, Pumpkin seeds, and canned Pumpkin are all low-FODMAP, so most people can handle them without effect. Butternut (squash) Pumpkin has to be limited to 1/3 cup because at 1/2 cup it contains both Oligos and Polyols and enters moderate-FODMAP territory; 2/3 cup and you’re at high-FODMAP. That said, one thing that I think is tricky is that many recipes (even like my Pumpkin Spice Latte), uses canned Pumpkin. According to the kitchn, canned pumpkin “is actually made from one or more types of winter squash, like butternut, Hubbard, Boston Marrow, and Golden Delicious.” If that’s true, then that’s likely the reason that if you sit down and scoop a ton of canned pumpkin into a dish, add some spices and whatever else (thinking it’s low-FODMAP), it might not agree with you. Perhaps there is too much Butternut in your random helping. Your best bet is to choose the freshest pumpkin you can find, bake, then puree it. (I know. So. Much. Work. But if you love pumpkin as much as I do, it might be worth it.) 
  7. Spinach. Spinach is low-FODMAP, and I have never had a problem with it. It’s one of my trusted greens, no matter what. That said, for many people it is problematic. One reason is that spinach contains oxalic acid, which is an antinutrient. Among the many problems that have been found with oxalic acid, the main issue for those with IBS and/or IBD is that your gut determines is absorption. If you don’t have the appropriate bacteria in your gut, it can cause issues because the oxalates will not break down appropriately. Finally, spinach does contain a lot of fiber and roughage, making it difficult for many to digest as well (preparation methods can help combat this). 
  8. Zucchini. Zucchini is probably one of the “friendliest” foods on this fall vegetable list. It only becomes moderate-FODMAP at 1/2 cup (chopped) when it then contains Oligo-fructans. Most of the zucchini’s nutrients are found in the skin, but that’s also where the fiber and roughage are contained as well. In The Gutsy Girl’s Bible, zucchini is definitely on the “Yes To” list with note: de-skin and de-seed. I also mention in the e-book, “I enjoy making zucchini and green beans doused in Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil with Garlic, but before sautéing the zucchini, I take all the skin off. Yes, normally you should try to eat the skins – that’s where the fiber lies – but during a SIBO flare up, you’re not trying to add any extra fibers to feed bacteria.” (p.258Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall Squash & Zucchini on the BBQ
  9. Beets. Growing up, beets were one of the grossest foods I ever had (that and Mr. Squash below). Today, I love them. But if you’re Gutsy, you’ll need to tread lightly. Beets are high-FODMAP at just 1 small beet or 1/2 of a large. Again, it contains the Oligo-fructans. However, if you do not have SIBO, you might want to add more beets into your diet because they bleed some impressive benefitsCan I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall August 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Fall Red Velvet Cupcakes Beets
  10. Celery. Celery is the fall vegetable that might be as basic and simple as they come; unsuspecting. However, at just 1/3 of a medium stalk it becomes medium-FODMAP; at 2 medium stalks, high-FODMAP. Celery contains Polyols, which can cause stomach discomfort (they are a natural and added sugar). Polyol-mannitol should be avoided, too, if you malabsorb mannitol. 
  11. Squash. Most varieties of summer squash are good to go for those with IBS and/or IBD. Winter Squash is an entirely different story. Rather than re-hash the fall vegetable, you can review a post I wrote on it in 2013, “Wicked Winter Squash with IBS and IBD” to learn all about it.
  12. Sweet Potatoes. And last, but certainly not least, the fall vegetable that typically has the most question marks around: Sweet Potatoes. We are constantly being told to eat all the Sweet Potatoes; that we should choose them over White Potatoes because they are “so healthy.” I’m not here to tell you they aren’t healthy (because they are). What I’m here to tell you is that this search, “Why Can’t I Digest Sweet Potatoes?” is one of the most common ways people who have never been to my blog stumble here for the first time. Read that post, and then also read “5 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Able to Digest Sweet Potatoes.” You’ll fully understand then. Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #guthealing #SIBO #IBS #IBD #vegetables #fall Comfort Spicy Sweet Potato Fries sarahkayhoffman.com how to make

I get it and I get you. I know that all the vegetables in the world might not be for you; not now, not in this exact place on your gut healing journey.

But I have been thinking about greens and vegetables a lot lately. I’m working on a post that I’ll share soon with my thoughts –> The Truth About Greens and Gut Healing.

Tell me: Of the fall vegetables on this list, which can you eat? Which can you not eat? Any favorites/least favorites?

Xox,
SKH

The post Can I Eat These Top 12 Fall Vegetables appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/19/can-i-eat-these-top-12-fall-vegetables/feed/ 0 39099
Apple Cider Latte http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/18/apple-cider-latte/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/18/apple-cider-latte/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:16:25 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39081 Good morning! Who is ready for an Apple Cider Latte?  Let’s enjoy it over a little conversation today. Gluten There is something I need to come clean with you about…..gluten. This past June I celebrated 8 years gluten free. Shortly after that I found out about my Colitis mis-diagnosis (that I have believed for 10 […]

The post Apple Cider Latte appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Good morning! Who is ready for an Apple Cider Latte? 

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Love is Sweet #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #Paleo #latte #healthyrecipes

Let’s enjoy it over a little conversation today.

Gluten

There is something I need to come clean with you about…..gluten.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Nestpark portable mixer #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

This past June I celebrated 8 years gluten free. Shortly after that I found out about my Colitis mis-diagnosis (that I have believed for 10 years now). And then just after that, we went to Italy where I ate all the gluten, every single day without effects.

We returned from Italy at the beginning of August, and I was pretty set that gluten would just be for Italy. You know, because while in Italy, eat as the Italians eat. While in America, don’t eat what we eat. You’re laughing because it’s true.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Apples French Press #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

But I continued feeling so well, despite feeling major stress in other areas of my life. And because of the other stress, I needed to start telling myself daily health affirmations to avoid a SIBO relapse (which I’ve been meditating on and about while reading Pep Talk – I highly recommend you get it, too),

You are well. You are healed. You don’t have Colitis. Your SIBO is gone.

And as I’ve been saying it over-and-over, I have believed it with my whole heart. And this, then of course, begged the question,

Then why would I tell myself “No, you can’t have that (xyz goodie with gluten)” on special occasions if I really believed I was healed and well?

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Vital Proteins apple cinnamon #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #Paleorecipes #latte #healthyrecipes

There is the most incredible pizza place in our town. Gluten. And the Unicorn cake my mom made Samarah for her 5th birthday? Gluten. I had it all. I didn’t think twice about it, nor did I worry about “getting sick from it” because remember that I have been constantly telling myself,

You are well. You are healed, You don’t have Colitis. Your SIBO is gone.

And guess what?

I’m still thriving. 

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com coffee mug #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #soyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I still believe that our food system in America is desperately broken. I still believe that 95% of the time I do better without gluten. And I still believe that there is no reason for me to ever produce a gluten recipe on my blog because I don’t eat it on a day-to-day basis, and I am here producing most of this content for you.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Cinnamon Stick #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

What I am saying is that living life has been totally incredible and I do (and will) have gluten in my personal life from time-to-time.

Apple Cider Latte

Click HERE to save this recipe for later.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #paleo #latte #healthyrecipes

But again, this Apple Cider Latte recipe plus any recipes ever found on this blog will always remain 100% gluten free.

So here we go with a unique spin on the fall latte. Okay, not so unique? I don’t know. I’ve never seen “Apple Cider Latte” written on any menu; maybe you have.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Coffee #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #coffe #healthyrecipes

I had the idea for this recipe, but if you recall from the post yesterday, knew I needed to figure out the first part of it before adding all the coffee and “milk” to make it a latte. 

That, of course, was the Apple Cider. And in case you didn’t read yesterday, I made my own using the trusted Instant Pot. And it’s totally awesome. So go ahead, learn how to make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot, brew a batch, then put the pieces together for your Apple Cider Latte.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Vital Proteins #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #Paleorecipes #latte #healthyrecipes

To make the Apple Cider Latte, all you need are some key things: Apple Cider, “milk,” coffee, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, and Monk Fruit (or sugar of choice).

Apple Cider, on its own, isn’t very thick. To get a thicker latte, there are two critical components to add:

  1. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Unlike Gelatin (HERE are the differences between Collagen and Gelatin), which will clump if you’re not careful with how/what you add it to, Collagen Peptides are easily incorporated into any liquid such as this. Collagen is also going to give this (already boosted-with-health-benefits) latte a boost of goodness as it aids in healing leaky gut syndrome (along with THESE four other top overall health benefits). Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Vital Proteins fall #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #Paleo #latte #healthyrecipes
  2. “Milk.” This recipe used Elmhurst Milked Cashews, which is a non-dairy, Vegan milk I choose and recommend over-and-over. It’s thick and despite its thickness includes no gums, Carrageenan, or emulsifiers.

If you want to boost this latte’s creaminess (+ health factor) even more, add a scoop of Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer. It features healthy ingredients served alongside 10 grams of collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine. It’s an optional add-in to the latte, but I did, and I would do it again.

p.s. Can we also please just take a moment to adore these spoons? 

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com coffee mug #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

Apple Cider Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
A homemade Apple Cider Latte that's free from gluten, dairy, grains, soy, and corn. It's Paleo, Vegan, and (debatable) low-FODMAP.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brew coffee.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pan on the stove on medium, stirring constantly with a whisk until completely blended together and desired temperature is reached.
  3. Serve as is or with a whipped topping of choice.
Notes
I have made this recipe both with a whisk and with my Nestpark Portable Drink Mixer. I think homemade lattes are best with the Nestpark because you can get them frothier.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Stay Vital #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #glutenfree #latte #healthyrecipes

I’d love to hear from you about eating gluten from time-to-time. Do you? Don’t you? Why or why not?

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com Cinnamon Stick #collagen #healthyliving #guthealth #dairyfree #latte #healthyrecipes

Disclosure: This post is a paid partnership with Vital Proteins. All opinions stated here are 100% my own. I appreciate your support, as this compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running, and for me to continue sharing all that I can with you. For my full disclaimer and disclosure click HERE. Thank you for your support!

Xox,
SKH

The post Apple Cider Latte appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/18/apple-cider-latte/feed/ 0 39081
How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/17/how-to-make-apple-cider-in-the-instant-pot/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/17/how-to-make-apple-cider-in-the-instant-pot/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:30:12 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39079 Good morning, my friend. I’m awake bright and early, excited to tell you that I succeeded in making Apple Cider in the Instant Pot so today I want to teach you how to make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot. But first you should know why it even came to be that I would have a […]

The post How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Good morning, my friend. I’m awake bright and early, excited to tell you that I succeeded in making Apple Cider in the Instant Pot so today I want to teach you how to make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com mug almondsHow to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com in pot #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

But first you should know why it even came to be that I would have a need for this recipe.

I mean, besides the fact that I love fall, there was a real reason.

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree #apples

Somehow I got it in my head that I wanted an Apple Cider Latte, but when I realized that I have never had a high-quality packaged Apple Cider, I knew I’d have to make it on my own. But listen, ain’t no one got time for hours spent stewing over a pot on the stove these days. (You either? Good. Then make sure to follow my Instant Pot Pinterest board by clicking here: Paleo Instant Pot Recipes.)

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com stacked apples #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #glutenfree

Enter this idea for making it in the beloved Instant Pot. 

How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot

Click HERE to save this post for later.

How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot www.sarahkayhoffman.com #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

I’m sure there are several ways to make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot. But I wanted to keep it basic and simple because, well, I am basic and simple and these days I continue to prefer less ingredients.

Let’s talk about a few of said ingredients.

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com pot #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #Paleo

You only need 5 ingredients and, of course, the Instant Pot. I have THIS 8-quart Instant Pot. I use and recommend this one because it’s large enough for bone broth. Seriously, that’s why I chose it (and yes, I’m still planning to give you my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe). 

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com with water #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

If you don’t have that Instant Pot (and a smaller one instead), you’ll need to reduce the amount of ingredients and water you use by a little. If you do, I don’t know the exact portions, as this recipe was tested twice in the 8-quart Instant Pot. 

You’ll notice I used Monk Fruit in this recipe. Why? Because Apple Cider does use sugar, but I didn’t want to use traditional sugar in this recipe since there is plenty in the apples already. Instead of the Monk Fruit, you can instead use regular sugar or Coconut Sugar, which is another one I will use in the future.

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com cooked apples #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

The ingredient you might find a little odd is the Pumpkin Pie Spice. I don’t even know what’s in packaged Apple Cider, but I’m certain this is not one of them. What is are things like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. That is, essentially, what Pumpkin Pie Spice is, so I condensed the ingredients to make it simpler. And let me tell you….it worked wonderfully!

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com pot cooked apple #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

Once you have your ingredients and Instant Pot, you’re set to make this delicious, simple recipe.

How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cider www.sarahkayhoffman.com mug #applecider #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #healthyliving #dairyfree

How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-14
 
A simple recipe for how to make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot.
Ingredients
  • 10 medium unpeeled apples, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup Monk Fruit
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cups water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients, except water, in the Instant Pot.
  2. Add water.
  3. Stir together before cooking.
  4. Set your Instant Pot on high pressure for 20 minutes, and let is release naturally.
  5. Remove inner pot from the Instant Pot frame, and stir all ingredients, mashing the apples the best you can. (The more you mash, the more flavor is extracted.)
  6. Place a strainer over a large bowl, and pour the cider over it to strain out apple pieces, spices, and cinnamon sticks.
  7. Serve immediately or place in the fridge to save for later.
Notes
You don't have to use Monk Fruit if you don't want any added sweetener. We did, and I'm glad we used it. You could also opt for regular sugar or coconut sugar, if desired.

Oh, and about that latte — click HERE to grab some Apple Cider Latte magic.

Apple Cider Latte www.sarahkayhoffman.com made from Instant Pot Apple Cider #dairyfree #healthyliving #StayVital #applecider #instantpotXox,
SKH

The post How to Make Apple Cider in the Instant Pot appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/17/how-to-make-apple-cider-in-the-instant-pot/feed/ 0 39079
The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/16/the-gutsy-girls-bible-3-0-faq/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/16/the-gutsy-girls-bible-3-0-faq/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 12:16:00 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39057 It’s been about 5 months since I released The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0 (the final version) which is ample time for me to be able to put together The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ…..because I am asked questions weekly around the e-book. The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ Click HERE to save […]

The post The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
It’s been about 5 months since I released The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0 (the final version) which is ample time for me to be able to put together The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ…..because I am asked questions weekly around the e-book.

March 2018 Catch Up Over Bone Broth www.sarahkayhoffman.com The Gutsy Girl's Bible an approach to healing the gut 3.0 cover

The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ

Click HERE to save this post for later.

The Gutsy Girl's Bible 3.0 FAQ www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthygut #guthealing #IBS #IBD #sibo #healthyliving

Can I purchase a hard copy of the book?

Unfortunately, no. At this time, the book is only available as an e-book. I would love to publish a physical book someday, though.

I ordered my e-book, but I haven’t received it yet. How can I get it?

First, you should have received an email with your purchase. Check that email. There should be a link in there to automatically download the e-book. If that still doesn’t work, please just CONTACT ME and I’ll send it directly to you.

Is your e-book available in XYZ language?

No, unfortunately at this time, the book is only available in English. 

Help! I received the message that I had reached my download limit. I didn’t save it to my desktop yet. Is there any way I can still access it?

Make sure to download and save it right away. There is a download limit. If by chance you do hit the limit and forge to download, see above link to contact me and I’ll send it directly to you.

What page is the Google doc where you put all your product recommendations?

It can be found on page 8. Click the link and bookmark it for all future references because the Google doc is super comprehensive including products I recommend for food, supplements, skin and body, kitchen items, and miscellaneous (with direct links for all).

How do I access all the free e-books you said come with the book?

This e-book comes with the following e-books for free: The A Loving Spoon Nut Butter Original Recipes, AIP Bread, Summer Eats, Treats, and Desserts, and The Travel and Convenience Snack Guide (see page 10 for how to download them free).

The Gutsy Girl's Bible an approach to healing the gut 3.0 www.sarahkayhoffman.com Included for free

Why did you only charge $13.99?

…..and also I know some people think, “Why did you charge so much?” I settled on $13.99 because that’s exactly what I charged for the 2.0 version. This way, it was no more than that and yet the 3.0 version would provide so much more. had to charge $13.99 because this is my business. It was not free to produce and I spent hundreds of hours on it. But I did not charge anymore than that because I wanted it to be accessible to all. $13.99 is, literally, 2.25 high-quality lattes at your favorite coffee shop. 

Will your e-book help if I have SIBO?

Yes, of course it will, but the entire 286 pages are not only dedicated to those with SIBO. The bulk SIBO section runs from page 236-268.

Can you share the Table of Contents so I have an even better idea of what’s in the e-book?

Sure! Here you go….

The Gutsy Girl's Bible 3.0 FAQ www.sarahkayhoffman.com Table of Contents page 1 #guthealth #healthygut #healthyliving #ibs #ibd

The Gutsy Girl's Bible 3.0 FAQ www.sarahkayhoffman.com Table of Contents page 2 #guthealth #healthygut #healthyliving #ibs #ibd

The Gutsy Girl's Bible 3.0 FAQ www.sarahkayhoffman.com Table of Contents page 3 #guthealth #healthygut #healthyliving #ibs #ibd

Did any brands pay to be in your book? If so, who?

No. I produced and paid for 100% of the content. No one paid for any spot or any part in it. This is how I am able to keep things 100% authentic.

If I wanted to create my own e-book, where do I start?

I get asked this question a lot. The very first place to start is to just write. It take a really long time to research, write, and compile all your thoughts in one spot, cohesively. I did this via a Google Word doc. In all my free time (now you can see why it took forever to release – because “free time” is an oxymoron) I’d pop into that Google Word doc and just write and write and write…..

Will you ever come out with another e-book, even if it’s not another version of The Gutsy Girl’s Bible?

Yes, of course. I really want to finish my short e-book for the Instant Pot Bone Broth. I’m likely to just give Y’all that one for free, though. The next paid e-book? I don’t know. Maybe you do? What would you love to have an e-book on as it relates to gut health and gut healing? Feel free to CONTACT ME to voice your awesome opinion.

Everything in your e-book made sense to me, but I’m wondering if you can help me drill down for my own, unique issues?

Sure! Click HERE to grab some time with me. 

And that about wraps it up. 

Don’t have your copy yet? You can grab it HERE.

Have more questions? Comment below and I’ll add them here!

The Gutsy Girl's Bible 3.0 FAQ www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #healthygut #guthealing #IBS #IBD #sibo #healthyliving Wayne Dyer Quote

Xox,
SKH

The post The Gutsy Girl’s Bible 3.0 FAQ appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/16/the-gutsy-girls-bible-3-0-faq/feed/ 0 39057
Everyday America http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/15/everyday-america/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/15/everyday-america/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 11:26:07 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=39062 Everyday America….a little town with a great big life. I’ve been walking this weird line on my blog lately. The true growth and business side of it is almost 100% A Gutsy Girl focused. Most people stumble upon my blog through a Google search for something gut related. Sometimes they gravitate towards the full story and blog […]

The post Everyday America appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Everyday America….a little town with a great big life.

I’ve been walking this weird line on my blog lately. The true growth and business side of it is almost 100% A Gutsy Girl focused. Most people stumble upon my blog through a Google search for something gut related. Sometimes they gravitate towards the full story and blog because they want to join the entire journey; usually, though, this is a place purely for all things gut, gut health, and gut healing information. 

So even though I know my time (from a business growth and financial standpoint) would be best spent here producing all the gut content, I have to be perfectly honest: I just can’t.

If I died tomorrow, I would be happy knowing that I helped thousands of women on their gut healing journey, but I would be far more content knowing that I had written posts like these that my children would have for life.

Back Home

My cousin asked me at the soccer game the other night,

What do you miss most about California?

I wanted to give him a long and lengthy list because there were so many beautiful things about our time spent in California.

Instead, I just sort of blurted out,

Nothing.

I then stopped, backed up a second, and said, 

That’s not fully true. I do miss the mountains, and the access to all the food. But beyond that, really nothing.

August 2017 Catch Up Over Bone Broth sarahkayhoffman.com Brazen Trail Racing Bear Creek

I reflected later that night and realized just how true that was. I also remembered some of my key friendships there that I do, in fact, miss……namely, Jen, Vanessa, Hills, Tami, Rebecca, Stephanie, Jules, and of course, my soul-sistah – Elisabeth.

Family Built sarahkayhoffman.com Elisabeth BW Amiya Gotcha Day

But I told my cousin about this awful feeling I had at Samarah’s birthday party last Saturday. I was enjoying time with family and friends and all the sudden thought that, come Monday, we had to fly back to California (a common practice for the past 11 years). An overwhelmingly sad feeling took over my body. It was easy to snap out of it because it’s not true, but in that moment I realized what an incredible (almost) 9 months it’s been back home.

Back home….

  • Everyone wears the blue and gold proudly.
  • I don’t go anywhere without running into someone I know.
  • get to watch Clare and Carmen (Carmen is my Godchild) play soccer and do all the things. They are now in 10th and 12th grade, so time is dwindling.
  • When we bring the kids to high school games, there is always someone – usually teenagers – who scoop them up to play. Sometimes we don’t even know them. Like the other night at the soccer game. A group of girls fell in love with the kids and basically ran around with them all night long. It was so cool to watch!
  • It’s easy to get anywhere at any given moment.
  • We live for the smaller things in life.
  • I can drive my dad’s truck whenever 🙂
  • There is a real and true community.
  • People don’t bail on a dime.
  • Town events and festivals are a thing. Sure we had them in California but they were more, “Walk in, peruse and get out as quickly as possible because there were too many people; 99% of which you had never seen before.”
  • It’s just a jump, skip, and hop away to see family and friends in the Minneapolis suburbs. (I can get to my cousin Kim’s in 60 minutes, almost to the minute, from door-to-door.)
  • There are four true seasons, and I’m embracing the change from one to the next in ways I could never appreciate prior to the California move.

Everyday America www.sarahkayhoffman.com #minnesotablogger #minnesota #life #healthyliving

Sometimes when I’m driving with the kids through town, I’ll grab my phone, turn on Spotify and crank up Everyday America because it reminds me of this small town constantly. 

Everyday America

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Back in January during my 101-ish days of consecutive blogging, I shared one of my favorite songs, Love Your Baby Girl, and in the post I mentioned I’d share several favorite songs. The series ended before I got past the first. 

This is the second song, and even though it’s not a slow song, it gets me every single time. 

I now know a world out there filled with lovely mountains and beautiful Palm trees, and have experienced lovely weather unending with the highest-quality food around. 

I will remember it forever, and feel grateful for the years we experienced it.

But it will never compare to the everyday America, small town pride and joy we have here. To those who have never experienced it, it’s hard to describe. For those who have never left it, it’s also hard to describe how the grass is not always greener on the other side.

It’s just like Sugarland says,

A little town with a great big life.

Everyday America www.sarahkayhoffman.com Sugarland #minnesotablogger #minnesota #life #healthyliving #sugarland

p.s. I literally just realized that this is another Sugarland song, too.

Sugarland

Grew up on a tight rope
Learned to smile even when I was falling down
Daddy had a hard hand, and Mama always had hope
And me and my sister couldn’t wait to get out
Fell in love out of college
Good man for a bad year
Visions of sugarplums and boxes of roses
All my girlfriends cried, and I was outta here
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s dreaming big
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s just getting by
That’s how it goes in every day America
A little town with a great big life
Joey stares at a trophy
Took us all the way to state back in ’85
Shining moment and a dusty reminder
He felt so scared, never felt so alive
But now there’s toys in the backyard
Daddy’s boys; you know how they like to fight
When they sleep, he swears they’re angels
He wouldn’t trade a day for all those Friday nights
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s dreaming big
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s just getting by
That’s how it goes in every day America
A little town with a great big life
We can laugh
We can cry
We’re all just looking for the reasons why
In a place of dark can we see the light
Either way it’ll be alright
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s dreaming big
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s just getting by
That’s how it goes in every day America
A little town with a great big life
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s dreaming big
Whoa, whoa, everybody’s just getting by
That’s how it goes in every day America
A little town with a great big life
A little town with a great big life

Xox,
SKH

The post Everyday America appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/15/everyday-america/feed/ 0 39062
Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/12/happy-birthday-samarah-this-is-five/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/12/happy-birthday-samarah-this-is-five/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:25:10 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=38948 Today you’re holding up one full hand, all five fingers, to denote your new age. Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five}. The birthday posts I write for you, Isaiah, and Maya are probably some of my most favorites because I get to reflect on a little life that became something more than I ever dreamed of. This […]

The post Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Today you’re holding up one full hand, all five fingers, to denote your new age. Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five}.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Sam Carter's outfit #lifestyleblogger #birthday

The birthday posts I write for you, Isaiah, and Maya are probably some of my most favorites because I get to reflect on a little life that became something more than I ever dreamed of. This was one, and this was two. This was three, and this was four

How am I here today writing to you, celebrating five already?

All the things in the world to say to you, Josephine.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five}

Earlier this week I wrote about our NICU babies, you being one of them, of course. I have your footprint from birth, but that’s it. It wasn’t until you were about 2 months (to the day) that I would meet you for the first time. On that day, I fell madly in love.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com baby Sam #lifestyleblogger #NICU #nicuawareness #birthday

Last week at school, your teacher told Daddy that, obviously it’s not possible, but you look like me. Lately, we get told that more and more; you like me, Isaiah like Daddy.

You are all rainbows and unicorns. You love everything about them, and I think it’s fitting because your personality embodies what we perceive about both. 

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Unicorn headband #lifestyleblogger #birthday

Your whole birthday party was unicorns, and you even picked out the new bedding for your new room to reflect that rainbow unicorn personality.

“I want a bedtime snack,” might be your favorite five words. You are snack, snack, snack-eroo, and you never miss an opportunity for snacks. Your favorite foods currently (in addition to snacks and junk!) are Protein shakes with Daddy, sunflower seeds, SeaSnax, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and anything you can dunk Ketchup into.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Unicorn Cupcakes #lifestyleblogger #cupcakes #unicorncupcakes #birthday

You love your babies (both real and not real), the Smurfs, art, swimming, dancing, singing, Princess Tiana, princess stories, reading, running, spending time with friends (Arabella is your current best friend), and playing for endless hours outside.

If ever there is a chance to help, you’re on it; sweeping, cooking, baking, getting your own milk and milk for the babies, etc. 

You adore your cousins; Sophie, Emma, Lilly, Maddie, Carlie, Abby, and even all the boys. 

Some of your other favorite people in the world are: both Grandmas and Grandpas, Auntie Lan, Auntie Kimmie, Aunt Kelly and Uncle Mark, and Uncle John and JJ.

Since birth, you have been the worst sleeper ever, keeping us up all hours of the night. You are still terrible at bedtime and sleeping, getting up no less than 3-4 times per night (and always about 5-6 even before falling asleep).

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Sam holding SKH hand balloon #lifestyleblogger #birthday

You are a little Mother Hen, which is a phrase I used to describe you last year for your fourth birthday, too. And even though you love Isaiah and Amiya to no end, you’ve also started telling them in moments of anger and frustration that “mommy and daddy got me first.”

You are pure girl, wanting to wear a dress every single day. This could not be further from my dressing attire, so while I don’t understand it, I adore it. Unless an outfit is really not appropriate, I let you be exactly who you want to be. I hope you will dress in dresses and dance with sparkles forever

People are constantly telling us how pretty you are; how your eyes are unreal. We hear that we should get you a portfolio and submit for little “modeling” gigs. Your Daddy and I are not interested. We know you are beautiful, but at five, you’ve got things to do…..like get dirty in the mud, play in the snow, fight with your siblings, go fishing with Uncle JJ, and so much more.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com sam with balloon #lifestyleblogger #birthday

When we first got you, I was fixated on something that had to do with your hairline. I couldn’t put my finger on it then, and I can’t even put my finger on it now. What I can do is tell you that I would stare at your face and that hairline all day long; so precious and innocent. 

I looked at and brushed that hairline on Saturday night just before I read you a bedtime story and you fell asleep on my chest 5 pages in. I felt so lucky and thankful; so much at peace.

Oh Samarah, you are my little angel. There is something about your every last move that I can literally feel was born deep in my soul. 

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com unicorn Sam #lifestyleblogger #birthday

I look at you and sometimes it physically hurts how much I love you and how I owe every last ounce of my being to God for giving you to us. 

On Monday, I was telling someone about the first year of your life and how challenging it was because you were up about every 2 hours. Later that day, I thought about how sick I got because of everything I was doing to try to keep up with A Loving Spoon, a “regular” job, and (mostly) you. 

But you know what, my little angel? If I could go back to those days, there is only one thing I would change. I would have stopped anything and everything that didn’t have to do with you. Still, with your schedule, I would have wound up sick. And yet, I would do it again in a heartbeat, even if it meant I would get even sicker or that you might ultimately not have been able to stay with us your whole life.

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Sam 5 year pictures #lifestyleblogger #birthday

Because getting you and loving you has been everything.

You are both a miracle and dream come true.

Today on your fifth birthday, I wish the world (and lots of cupcakes!) for you. 

Now for real, won’t you stay five forever?!

Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} www.sarahkayhoffman.com Unicorn Cupcakes #lifestyleblogger #cupcakes #unicorncupcakes #unicorn

Xox,
Mama

The post Happy Birthday, Samarah {This is Five} appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/12/happy-birthday-samarah-this-is-five/feed/ 6 38948
Our NICU Babies http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/10/our-nicu-babies/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/10/our-nicu-babies/#comments Mon, 10 Sep 2018 10:22:20 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=38936 Our NICU babies have blossomed into big and thriving children. September is National NICU Awareness Month. I’m celebrating our own story today. NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is the place where babies who have a hard time transitioning to the world go immediately upon birth. Why Do Babies Go to the NICU? […]

The post Our NICU Babies appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Our NICU babies have blossomed into big and thriving children. September is National NICU Awareness Month. I’m celebrating our own story today.

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Samarah and Isaiah pictures #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

NICU stands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is the place where babies who have a hard time transitioning to the world go immediately upon birth.

Why Do Babies Go to the NICU?

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month September #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

According to Stanford, here are the reasons a baby might go to the NICU,

Maternal factors:

  • Age younger than 16 or older than 40 years
  • Drug or alcohol exposure
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Bleeding
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, or more)
  • Too little or too much amniotic fluid
  • Premature rupture of membranes (also called the amniotic sac or bag of waters)

Delivery factors:

  • Fetal distress/birth asphyxia (changes in organ systems due to lack of oxygen)
  • Breech delivery presentation (buttocks delivered first) or other abnormal presentation
  • Meconium (the baby’s first stool passed during pregnancy into the amniotic fluid)
  • Nuchal cord (cord around the baby’s neck)
  • Forceps or cesarean delivery

Baby factors:

  • Birth at gestational age less than 37 weeks or more than 42 weeks
  • Birth weight less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) or over 4,000 grams (8 pounds, 13 ounces)
  • Small for gestational age
  • Medication or resuscitation in the delivery room
  • Birth defects
  • Respiratory distress including rapid breathing, grunting, or apnea (stopping breathing)
  • Infection such as herpes, group B streptococcus, chlamydia
  • Seizures
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Need for extra oxygen or monitoring, intravenous (IV) therapy, or medications
  • Need for special treatment or procedures such as a blood transfusion

Our NICU Babies Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Isaiah #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

I had Ryan head to our storage unit and pull out the box where he has meticulously kept every single last file on our foster-to-adoption processes from the very first PRIDE class up to now. He is not crazy-psycho Type A like I am, but he is thorough, detailed, and does the best job (of anyone I know) at keeping track of things, detail, people, all of it. 

The box needed to be pulled because I wanted to read through Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya’s beginning days again to reflect, remember, and confirm who our NICU babies were, in the case they all were not.

Confirmed: only two of the three children were NICU babies. Amiya was not one of them. 

Samarah was a NICU baby, and Isaiah was a NICU baby.

The reason they were NICU babies can be found under all three categories (maternal, delivery, baby). But the exact reasons (detailed and personal) underneath each of the categories I am not sharing, nor do I ever intend on sharing publicly. 

Isaiah

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Isaiah beach #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

Isaiah was born at 8:50pm on May 13, 2015. He was 4 pounds, 15.4 ounces and 17.6 inches long. It was guestimated that he arrived into the world at 33 weeks and because of his factors, was admitted to the NICU. His notes state,

No respiratory distress noted on admissions. His stay at NICU was unremarkable expect for gavage feeding. 

Isaiah was discharged from the NICU on May 28, 2015 so his time there was fairly brief. When he left the NICU, he went to a loving and amazing foster home (who we still keep in touch with to this day), and it was through his foster mom where he met Elisabeth (who, through pure fate, would become like family to us).

Samarah had a vastly different story…..

Samarah

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Samarah Vikings #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

Samarah was born at 8:40am on September 12, 2013 (yes, cue all the tears in preparation for her birthday post on Wednesday). She was 2 pounds, 5 ounces and 14 inches long. It was guestimated that she arrived into the world at 26/27 weeks (some of the files are contradictory; one at 26 weeks, 4 days and the other at 27 weeks) and because of her factors, was admitted to the NICU. Her notes, unlike Isaiah’s are long and detailed. 

She arrived into the world as quickly as they could get her out via cesarean due to fetal tachycardia (super fast heart rate). And then, because she was born far too early, had respiratory, cardiovascular, sepsis (the presence in tissues of harmful bacteria and their toxins, typically through infection of a wound), retinopathy, apnea, and on, and on, and on problems. 

Her notes mention being released to “her foster parents” (<– that was us on this day!) with a laundry list of things we’d need to do and follow up appointments we would need to make.

Most babies that small and with that many complications have lifelong after-effects, surgeries, and more. Samarah dodged every single last bullet. In fact, in the months after her NICU stay when I’d meet and talk with the nurses who were there and the doctor who delivered her, “miracle” was suggested time-and-time again.

I can barely hold it together whenever someone (who knows nothing of her background) says, “She is so strong, smart, healthy, etc., etc……”

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Samarah Caribou #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

Today

When babies are adopted from the foster care system, one of the hardest parts parents grapple with (and I, in particular) is that longing feeling from the child’s birth – their actual birthing moment. We have zero clue about what that day was like. There are no pictures; there is no one there to hear stories from or share about the fine details. 

I tried. 

The day we took Samarah home from the hospital, I asked about pictures. The response I was given was, “We are not allowed to take pictures anymore at birth.”

I don’t know how Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya looked when they were born, and I don’t know what Samarah and Isaiah did or acted like during their time at the NICU. Maybe most importantly, I don’t know who held them and loved them like the mama I saw in the NICU with her twins the day we brought Samarah home. 

But what I do know is that someone, somewhere and somehow did something so right to help our NICU babies in the best way possible. 

Isaiah is thriving today (his measurements last week put him in the 95th percentile for both height and weight), and Samarah – despite having 2 entire binders full of medical information – is like a child who came out perfectly healthy, full-term (her measurements last week put her in the 75th percentile across the board).

This National NICU Awareness Month, I’m celebrating the miracles that happen in the NICU. I know so many people who have relied on the NICU for their own babies, and I wonder where all our babies might be without those first, critical days and time spent in the NICU. 

The official NICU awareness website states,

One of the greatest gifts you can give families of critically ill infants is hope; hope in the darkest of hours helps us endure.  

Had I been there from Samarah and Isaiah’s first breaths, it’s what I would have prayed for every single second – hope, for us and mostly for them. And because I wasn’t there, I am grateful for every single person who was praying and giving hope for anyone and everyone who needs it because, well, just look at them now……

Our NICU Babies www.sarahkayhoffman.com National NICU Awareness Month Samarah and Isaiah school picture day #NICU #preemie #lifestyleblogger

Do you have a NICU baby? I’d love to hear your story! Share it in the comments below.

Xox,
SKH

The post Our NICU Babies appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/10/our-nicu-babies/feed/ 9 38936
Rest http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/08/rest/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/08/rest/#respond Sat, 08 Sep 2018 10:30:14 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=38926 Do you know what’s super lovely about rest? Actually resting. In the August recap, I told you that I broke hard on Friday, August 24. There was nothing overly intense or unfamiliar to me about the workout I did that day, but it did me in.  Most workouts like the one I did that day, I […]

The post Rest appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
Do you know what’s super lovely about rest? Actually resting.

Rest www.sarahkayhoffman.com relax journal coffee #massage #fitness #workout #healthyliving #journal

In the August recap, I told you that I broke hard on Friday, August 24. There was nothing overly intense or unfamiliar to me about the workout I did that day, but it did me in. 

Most workouts like the one I did that day, I am typically able to recover quickly from; you know, “just keep going” a day or two later. Not this one. By Monday, my body was telling me otherwise and on Tuesday morning I felt so off all down the right side of my body that my hand and foot felt like they were going numb.I also had a headache like I’m not sure I’ve ever had (I don’t get headaches unless I’m getting really sick).

Ryan was traveling, so the kids and I were staying with Ryan’s parents (at what will be our new house soon!). When I got up that Tuesday morning, I almost threw up, and my mother-in-law told me to call the chiropractor. I did, and they said they were full until the next day. My eyes filled with literal tears because of my misery, but not more than 5 minutes later, they called back letting me know they had a cancellation and wondered if I could come in immediately.

I ran there practically because I was desperate for some relief.

The chiropractor confirmed my misery. He told me my right leg is shorter than the left and that my entire right side was kind of a mess (just like before…..psoas, piriformis, and sciatica). They did some ultrasound therapy and a few adjustments. He told me to come back the next day, and that I should not work out until I was feeling better.

My mom confirmed for me after the appointment that my right leg has always been shorter and that when I was little, they considered a brace for that leg. 

When I woke up the next morning, I felt 50% better already; like a miracle.

Rest

Going to the chiropractor again the next day helped even more. By Thursday my headache was all but gone. And even still, because I had never felt that sort of pain and misery before from working out, I knew that now was the season I would just rest from most workouts (at least the ones I loved doing most).

Horsepower Strength Conditioning sarahkayhoffman.com How to Build the Best Home Gym Spartan Training, Week 4 Fitness Weight training sarahkayhoffman.com

What I’m Doing

  • Gym ban. Okay, not really, but kind of. It’s been over two weeks since I’ve step foot in the gym. Furthermore, it’s been over two weeks since I’ve done anything except stretch and walk. I think this initial complete rest has been the perfect reset for me because meanwhile, I have been doing the rest of the things on this list.
  • Hired Danny. While I love both Jess and Nia’s programs like mad, I have had to put them aside for just a hot minute. Both my chiropractor and masseuse told me I have plenty of muscle, but right now I need to focus on healing and gaining more strength in certain areas to help aid in the healing process. I knew exactly where to go…..Danny McLarty. Sure, I could have just Pinterest-ed my way through exercises and stretches to address the issues, but I don’t have time for that and I want to do this the right way the first time so that I can heal. Danny is one of the very best (and thorough) trainers I have ever met. He was Ryan’s college roommate and is in the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. He wrote me a custom 4-week program that has me working out 4 days a week with a structure of: walking warm up, foam roll, dynamic warm-up (mobility work), train. The workouts were detailed with exercises, videos, etc. It’s insanely customized for me, and even though I’ve never done that much “warm up” before actually training, I know this is exactly what I need. I’m starting it on Monday.
  • Chiropractor several times. I have already gone to the chiropractor several times, and now I’m set up for some maintenance. My plan is to go once per week until I feel really good again (and my right side is moving beautifully).
  • Massage a few times. I have gotten 3 massages in the past 2 weeks. It has been wonderful; also necessary. I have learned so much about my body from these three sessions. Earlier this week, they did reflexology down my foot to address the sciatica. It was so painful, but I literally felt relief immediately after it. Yesterday I learned that I am a “beat up little thing.” I laughed internally, but it’s true. Massage is a “luxury” item, I get it. But right now, it’s really helping me and feels critical. I’ll likely go again this upcoming week, and I have set appointments already into October and November. Rest www.sarahkayhoffman.com massage #massage #fitness #workout #healthyliving #stretch
  • Research stretches. While I do have Danny, a chiropractor and masseuse, I am still doing some of the work on my own researching what’s going on and learning more stretches. This will be a lifelong duty if I want to keep working out and doing all the fitness things I love.

And then what?

I have every intention of truly healing and getting back to trail running and lifting, but I have promised myself that it can’t happen until 2019.

The Twin Cities Medtronic 10-miler is Sunday, October 7 (one month away), and I’m still committed to doing it because I know I will not run the full thing and am doing it strictly for fun with one of my BFF’s.  Today she and I are going on a little run; nothing fast, timed, or official – just for fun. I think it will actually be good for me to get that movement in after a 2-week hiatus.

But beyond the 10-miler in a month, I am committed to doing nothing intense until the New Year.

I have set the New Year as my goal for getting back in the fitness game (you know, all those “New Year’s resolutions” – ha). That gives me about 4 months to be extra-cautious, careful, and intentional about my workouts and lack thereof. 

I’m fairly confident this is plenty of time. Actually, I know it is because I’ve never taken 4 months rest, and the thought of it is sort of driving me mad because it will, without-a-doubt set me back. On the flip side, staying injured (with the risk of permanent damage) will set me even further back.

I am really looking forward to Danny’s program, doing things differently for quite some time, and to truly giving my body a break by doing the one thing I have failed to do during the past 10 years which is to just….

Rest.

(By the way, I have so many other personal, professional, and life things going on to round out 2018 that I think it has sort of come at the right time. For starters, finalizing all the kids’ rooms in the new house. I ordered Samarah’s bedding and I think I have found the perfect one for Isaiah and Amiya as well. I’ll share soon!)

Xox,
SKH

The post Rest appeared first on Sarah Kay Hoffman.

]]>
http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/09/08/rest/feed/ 0 38926