Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com Finding beauty in the dust of life's gravelroads Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:03:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-SKH2-32x32.jpg Sarah Kay Hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com 32 32 45930907 I Run 4 LilliAnne http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/22/i-run-4-lillianne/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/22/i-run-4-lillianne/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 11:13:31 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37901 After waiting almost 2 years, yesterday I was matched – I Run 4 LilliAnne. Almost 2 years ago I applied to be part of the I Run 4 Michael program. I never forgot about it, but honestly thought maybe my information had gotten lost somewhere in their massive pile of people wanting to participate in the […]

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After waiting almost 2 years, yesterday I was matched – I Run 4 LilliAnne.

Almost 2 years ago I applied to be part of the I Run 4 Michael program. I never forgot about it, but honestly thought maybe my information had gotten lost somewhere in their massive pile of people wanting to participate in the program. 

And then about a month ago I got an email that I would be matched soon. 

Yesterday was the day.

It has all come at the perfect time.

I Run 4 Michael

What is I Run 4 Michael? Their mission sums it up well,

Here at IR4, we foster relationships. We want to see runners and buddies alike experience the profound power of encouraging and being supported by people who were once perfect strangers. Running can just be about health. Or it can be about dedicating our miles to and creating awareness for our buddies with special needs whose conditions span the spectrum from total physical disability to developmental delays to autism spectrum disorders, as well as myriad rare conditions we’re only now learning about thanks to our participation in IR4.

Today the group is over 22,000 members and nearly 7,000 matches, with 3,500 athletes waiting, within 18 months. (That timeline is pretty accurate based on my wait.) (I actually think those numbers are much higher than what’s stated on their website because the Facebook group is over 43,0000 people.)

I Run 4 LilliAnne www.sarahkayhoffman.com #run #running #irun4 #irun4michael

I Run 4 LilliAnne

The girl I was matched with is almost 10 (next month), and her name is – you guessed it – LilliAnne. She is high functioning autistic, and has femoral anteversion in both legs.

According to her mom, Amanda, (who has raised her on her own, even though she has milk cerebral palsy), 

She loves people, and she will talk to anyone. She is always the first to try to get the smaller kids involved, but just because she has an outgoing personality doesn’t mean she doesn’t struggle. I’ve had to take her out of public school twice because she gets stressed out, breaks down, and refuses to go.

Here is a picture of Amanda and LilliAnne.

I Run 4 LilliAnne www.sarahkayhoffman.com I Run 4 Michael #run #running #irun4 #irun4michael

About the picture, Amanda said, 

This was taken while we were waiting for her to be seen at the ER the other day. We were there for six hours because of chest pain she was having while breathing. This picture captures her silly and sweet side perfectly.

(And YES, yes Amanda gave me full permission to share this and their picture here. I would never, ever do it otherwise.)

What Does it Mean? 

So what does it mean anyways when you are matched?

It’s very simple. The idea is just that we are forming encouraging relationships between buddies and runners. 

Each week, I will post (in the private Facebook group) a minimum of three (3) times weekly whether or not I have run so LilliAnne knows I’m still around.

They aren’t picky about the workout – running, walking, cross fit, yoga, or strength training – as long as it’s done in honor of your buddy. Many choose to devote races to their buddies, too. 

In other words, you run for someone who can’t to help inspire them while realizing that they will ultimately inspire you as well.

So Why Did I Do It?

Everyone says that running is “so hard.” Or that working out, in general, is “so hard.” I love that there is an organization that celebrates children who could only wish for the so hard that we are afforded the luxury to do each and every single day.

Running (<– if you click that link you can see all the posts I have written on running and my journey with it) has never come easy for me, and yet I have accomplished things through it I never thought I would. 

Originally, I wanted to do it for accountability (that was around the time when I started getting really consistent with running again). 

Like everything else in life I live and breathe by Ecclesiastes 3:11, 

Everything is beautiful in its time.

Being matched wasn’t supposed to happen until now.

I’ve been in my own drenches for a couple months now, but this has (once again) opened my eyes to, “…..but I still can – run, lift, all of it.” There is nothing so great in my life that limits what I can do. The only thing limiting is myself. Which brings me to the second reason this was supposed to happen now….

Matt Fitgerald published this post on Monday, “The Goal of Becoming a Better Runner is Highly Compatible with the Goal of Becoming a Better Person.” In it, he states,

Because the mind truly is the athlete, the goal of becoming a better runner is highly compatible with the goal of becoming a better person. Addressing the weaknesses that limit your success in running will make you happier and more effectual in other parts of life. Likewise, becoming a stronger person through crises outside of running will pay dividends on the racecourse.

Running is a metaphor for life. I have so many things to work on in my own life. Now I get to work through them, while dedicating all those miles and hours to a girl, somewhere in Texas, who might hang on to my messages and activity daily.

When we learn to get out of ourselves, out of our own heads, and lean in towards something and someone else is the point at which healing (for us and them) happens. Helping is healing.

Summer and Fall Race Schedule

I figured I’d end this post with my planned summer and fall race schedule. I’ve been working with Michelle to set these races, so they have been intentional. I wanted to wait to share them until I had my match.

  1. August 18, 2018: Mendota Bottoms – 10 miler (we have a wedding that afternoon, but I really wanted to do this one, so I’ll make it all happen)
  2. September 22, 2018: Surley Trail Loppet – half marathon (this is kind of set as my “A” race – the one I’m most excited for!)
  3. October 20, 2018: Surf the Murph – 25K (this will be my longest race yet)

These are all trail races, and I’m so excited to experience them in Minnesota. I’m not opposed to 5-10K road races along the way (or even an awesome half marathon) so if you’re in Minnesota and know of some, let me know, mmmmmkay?! (By the way, this image makes me miss my friend Tami so dang much.)

Brazen Trail Racing sarahkayhoffman.com Motivation Wraps with Tami Inspire

I hope you love sharing the journey with me, LilliAnne!

Xox,
SKH

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Carbs and SIBO http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/21/carbs-and-sibo/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/21/carbs-and-sibo/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:35:59 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37889 I never thought the day would come when I’d need to write about carbs and SIBO. I was scrolling through Instagram the other day when I stumbled upon a graphic my friend Erica shared that said, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like carbs.” It’s not that I don’t like them; I love them. In […]

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I never thought the day would come when I’d need to write about carbs and SIBO.

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day when I stumbled upon a graphic my friend Erica shared that said, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like carbs.”

It’s not that I don’t like them; I love them. In fact, I have been desperately trying to figure out how I can have them back in my life as soon as possible.

Summer Pad Thai Noodle Salad sarahkayhoffman.com Lotus Foods The Rising Cost of Food Carbs and #SIBO #guthealth #ibs

I didn’t want to write this post. In fact, I loathed the thought of it because that would be admitting something to myself. But after (almost) 10 years of trial-and-error, it has become crystal clear to me, even through my massive resistance to it.

For me, carbs and SIBO just don’t go together. Before I have the carbohydrate police explaining to me what carbs are and are not, I already know. I know that carbs are found in everything. I know that they are in fruits and vegetables, even nuts (which contain mostly fat). 

For the sake of this post, I’m just lumping them together under the term, “carbs.”

Here are the carbs I have found just do not work for me with SIBO (at least these are the ones I am certain of, others I suspect):

  1. wheat and gluten (obviously I celebrated my 8 year gluten free anniversary yesterday)
  2. grains – all grains
  3. sugar – monkfruit has been fine and when it’s just a hint added to something (as in like 1-3g per 2 Tbsp or more), honey and coconut sugar are okay, too
  4. plantains – at least not right now (they are a resistant starch)
  5. vegetables – many of them, namely the higher carb ones
  6. fruit – I mostly avoid it anyways, and am even treading lightly currently on bananas and berries

Note: this list does not include many of the high-FODMAP things, fermented items (my beloved Booch), and more.

I did a little Instagram survey via my stories. I simply asked people, “Carbs with SIBO….thoughts?” And then a “Yes” or “No.” Over 100 people responded.

60% said, “Yes. Yes, carbs with SIBO.” 40% said, “No. No, carbs with SIBO.”

In addition to the resistance in my personal findings over these past 10 years, I believe this is another reason I never wanted to share this post. My findings are not going to be popular or like-able.

Carbs and SIBO

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Carbs and SIBO 5 main reasons they don't work for me www.sarahkayhoffman.com #carbs #SIBO #acne #guthealth #healthyliving

I have 5 main reasons why carbs and SIBO just don’t work well together for me.

  1. Acne + Back Acne. I’m okay right now, but that’s only because I’m still on the SIBO antibiotics. The antibiotic is masking my body’s urge to break out. Shortly before the antibiotic, I was eating all the carbs and all the FODMAP foods, and my back looked likeTHIS. Shortly before being diagnosed with SIBO in 2014, my face looked like THIS. Carbs and high FODMAP foods filled both of those time periods.
  2. Bloat. Like clockwork, almost within minutes of carbs currently, I’ll bloat (and yes, this time even while on Neomycin/Rifaximin). While the occasional bloat is a pain in the a#$, constant and chronic bloat is maddening, exhausting, and if you want the truth – depressing.
  3. Fuzzy Brain. Every time I eat a lot of carbs, my brain and thoughts become so fuzzy. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been in these shoes, but the best way I can describe it is that my brain feels like I “see” a bunch of cobwebs. I can’t find the words I’m looking for and everyday thoughts become blurred.
  4. Worse Nutrition Levels. I would be remiss if I didn’t share this one with you because I know so many people think, “But without carbs, you’re deficient in everything.” I’m currently seeing Dr. Jeff Kotulski, and at our first appointment, he ran a ton of tests, including the standard nutrient levels one. I am deficient in: Vitamin B3, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Vitamin C. I am borderline deficient in: Pantothenate, Selenium, Copper, Carnitine, Vitamin E, Spectrox, Manganese, Lipoic Acid, Immunidex, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K2. This is far more than ever before (these past 1-2 years I’ve eaten carbs and FODMAP foods freely), and when I cut carbs before, I was deficient in only one thing…..Vitamin D (isn’t everyone in America?!)
  5. Off. I just feel “off.” Every last thing about my daily routine feels a little off, if it’s not miserable. I’ll stay happy when I’m eating whatever I want, but then the other 23 hours of the day happen, and it’s just not right.

Do you remember the picture I shared of my dad and I from the Father’s Day post on Sunday? This one.

Strong www.sarahkayhoffman.com SKH and dad Father's Day 2018

It was taken in 2009, not even a month after I had stripped away carbs (back then I didn’t know I had SIBO, but I wasn’t eating many FODMAP foods except avocado – lots of avocado – and I was thriving).

All 5 things I mentioned above were not present. 

For almost 10 years now I’ve had growing evidence, but I’ve been fighting against it. Remember, I even tried telling myself that I could heal on a Vegetarian diet

I’ve been digging long and hard for several weeks now, trying desperately to understand why I’m fighting something I know to be so true for my healing journey.

And when I’m truly honest with myself, it boils down to these 2 things:

  1. I just love food, and I really love carbs.
  2. I loathe the questions and internal eye rolls. Doing this to be difficult? Difficult for who, though? For other people? C’mon…..this is just difficult for me. Doing this to “lose weight” when I’m already seemingly lean? Hell no. If you desire to lose weight and eat carbs, that is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE – I don’t care what anyone says. Doing this because I’m making up #1-#5 above? Get real. You can’t make this up, SIBO is real, and I promise you on my life that I have 7 billion other things to focus on in my life other than this.

To live not eating all the things is not optimal. I’ll say it again. To live not eating all the things is not optimal. I’ll say it again. 

I don’t care what any gut health, supreme diet goddess tries to tell you about how their diet is a forever lifestyle for optimal health. 

Every single diet out there has its benefits and drawbacks.

The point is that our guts should be able to handle diverse foods, without forced restriction. I should never have to fear a big old rice bowl with avocado, Brussels sprouts, and beans. 

But for today, and until I figure out what the h#$% is going on, I must avoid them. 

I’m not sitting here and writing this with the plan to “just avoid carbs.”

In a few weeks, I have a follow up with Dr. Jeff. We will review the deficiencies and overcoming this bump on my road, but also during that appointment it’s my “pre-op.” After 10 years, I’m ready to investigate internally again. My Endoscopy and Colonoscopy have been set for July 19th. 

I’ve always believed in solutions over problems. Avoiding carbs right now is a temporary solution (so I don’t have to complain about a problem) while I keep figuring out and understanding the root of this problem.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

p.s. What I do is, more or less (customized 100% for me and my situation), Day 1 – 21 (only for me there is no end date, until I find answers).

Xox,
SKH

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8 Favorite Gluten Free Foods http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/20/8-favorite-gluten-free-foods/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/20/8-favorite-gluten-free-foods/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:47:51 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37848 Today I am 8 years gluten free so I wanted to share 8 favorite gluten free foods. Last year on my 7 year anniversary, I shared 7 things learned from 7 years gluten free. In it, I stated, Gluten free is really only over-the-top expensive if you buy products labeled “gluten free.” If you stick to […]

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Today I am 8 years gluten free so I wanted to share 8 favorite gluten free foods.

Last year on my 7 year anniversary, I shared 7 things learned from 7 years gluten free. In it, I stated,

Gluten free is really only over-the-top expensive if you buy products labeled “gluten free.” If you stick to the basics, it’s no more expensive than any other way of living. In fact, you can do gluten free on a budget.

I still maintain this, but I also know that making your own things 24/7 is not realistic. It’s the reason I came out with my Travel Guide a couple years back.

Because people are always wondering about quick and simple snacks and things they can buy from the store, I decided to keep that the focus for this year’s anniversary celebration post.

In no particular order and with no one sponsoring this post, here are my (at least current) 8 favorite gluten free foods.

8 Favorite Gluten Free Foods

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8 Favorite Gluten Free Foods www.sarahkayhoffman.com #glutenfree #snacks #healthyliving

  1. Skinny Sticks, Sweet Onion flavor. They recently changed their packaging, but it’s still the same delicious product. Our favorite is the ‘Sweet Onion’ flavor. They taste like Funyuns, only their ingredient list is in line with those who can’t do gluten. Once I start eating them, I can never stop; Ryan and the kids are the same. While I don’t think they have the best ingredient list ever, they are Certified Gluten Free.
    1. Buy your own bag: Amazon or at your local store (around here they are at Hy Vee, but obviously not the one in Waseca because this one doesn’t get much of anything). 8 Favorite Gluten Free Foods Sweet Onion Skinny Sticks www.sarahkayhoffman.com #glutenfree #snacks #healthyliving
  2. Made in Nature Italian Espresso Coconut Chips. Coffee and coconut; two of my favorite things, placed perfectly together. Are you supposed to give children these? I don’t even know, but I do. And they love them. (Maybe that’s why the kids are so insane.) I’m constantly eating handfuls of this stuff, and I love eating it after it’s been in the freezer awhile. Something about that extra crunch. The ingredient list rocks, too: Organic Dried Coconut Strips, Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Espresso, Sea Salt.
    1. Buy your own bag: Amazon, the Made in Nature website (you get free shipping if you spend $25 and every single thing from Made in Nature is delicious), or at your local store (they are everywhere now).
  3. Paleo Bar. I’ve been a fan since the first bite of the Sunflower Butter bar, and I featured them as part of my Top 5 Paleo Bars post. I continue to buy these bars by the box on Amazon, but lately I’ve been trying other ones, too. They carry some of them at Hy Vee in Owatonna and Mankato, so I’ll grab different flavors here and there. I really love the Mint Chocolate one, but I don’t grab it too often because of the Stevia they put in it. Regardless, they are all gluten free (and free from many other things as well).
    1. Buy your own bar: Amazon (linked above), the Julian Bakery website, or at your local store.
  4. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers. I just love these crackers, even the plain ones. The kids like having them for bedtime snack at night, too, sometimes with peanut butter. I love just eating them as-is. They have just the perfect amount of salt. 
    1. Buy your own box: Amazon, Costco, Thrive Market, or at your local storeMy Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Simple Mills crackers Amiya #glutenfree #paleo #healthyliving
  5. Nikki’s Coconut Butter Dark Chocolate Fudge. I could live on chocolate. I love it so much, and every single time I’m craving it, this flavor hits the spot. The only ingredients it contains are: Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Vanilla Extract, Himalayan Sea Salt.
    1. Buy your own jar: Amazon, or via Nikki’s website (shipping is only $4.99 or free if you buy 3 jars – and all flavors are incredible). My Favorites Issue 10 sarahkayhoffman.com Nikki's Coconut Butter Dark Chocolate Fudge #glutenfree #coconutbutter #paleo
  6. EPIC Provisions Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Pork Rinds. Beware: it’s easy to eat an entire bag in one sitting. These are ultra-addictive. I recently bought the 4-pack on Amazon, and they were gone in a week. Our whole family loves them, and I love giving them to the kids. There are barely any ingredients in them: Baked Pork Skins, Pork Fat, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Sea Salt. So dang good.
    1. Buy your own bag: AmazonThrive Market, or at your local store.
  7. NOW Foods Crunchy Clusters Almond. I had these while I was visiting NOW Foods in Chicago, and fell in love with them. They are bite sized snacks, and perfect for on-the-go munching. If you like the salty/sweet combination, they are a mild version of that. 
    1. Buy your own bag: Amazon, or at your local store.
  8. Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grains Bread. You didn’t think I would forget a gluten-free bread recommendation, did you? No, I don’t eat a ton of bread, but I always have a loaf or two on hand in the freezer for when someone isn’t feeling well. Last week, at the end of the Neomycin, I had a lot of nausea, so I found myself eating a few slices. And I just love this brand. They say it has a crunchy texture, but I don’t agree with that at all. I think it’s fairly chewy, and I love how carb-y it tastes. 
    1. Buy your own bag: Amazon, or at your local store.

If the only thing you had to remain was gluten free, I believe the world is totally on your side, and you can find anything and everything you want at any moment to fill any craving. 

Eight years ago today I believed that if I just went gluten free, all the problems would disappear, but also, eight years ago today I never knew I was living with SIBO (my guess is that I had already been living with it for several years by then).

Today I know that, while the gluten-free lifestyle is part of how I live each and every single day, it’s just not enough – for me. I realized something for my own health and healing journey this past week that has felt both sad and hopeful. It’s a truth I have fought for years now, but a truth that, if I don’t just give into, might make me feel miserable for so much longer.

I’m hoping to share it with you tomorrow. I hinted at it in my Instagram stories yesterday.

8 Favorite Gluten Free Foods gratitude journal www.sarahkayhoffman.com #glutenfree #gratitude #journaling #bujo #healthyliving

But for today, I’ll write on my one-line gratitude journal,

Thankful for 8-years gluten free, and what remaining gluten-free has meant for my health and my life.

Question: Now that you know my current 8 favorite gluten free foods, what are yours?

p.s. There is an entire category filled with all things gluten free on my website. You’ll find many more products and recipes there.

Xox,
SKH

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Strong http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/17/strong/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/17/strong/#respond Sun, 17 Jun 2018 11:02:07 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37833 I hope wherever you are reading this today, that you are able to think of a father (biological or not) who exemplifies the term strong, in the same way my own father does. Yesterday morning, one of my BF’s texted me, wondering if I could send her a picture of my cousin’s dog. My cousin […]

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I hope wherever you are reading this today, that you are able to think of a father (biological or not) who exemplifies the term strong, in the same way my own father does.

Yesterday morning, one of my BF’s texted me, wondering if I could send her a picture of my cousin’s dog. My cousin is super remote currently, so I couldn’t really text and ask. Naturally, I took to the book of faces, and perused her images. By pure chance, this was one of the first pictures I stumbled upon – one she had taken of my dad and I back in 2009-ish.

Strong www.sarahkayhoffman.com SKH and dad Father's Day 2018

I stared at it for several minutes, just wishing we could go back to that night. 

I downloaded the picture to my computer because I’m not sure I’ve ever had a copy of it. Looking at it reminds me that a picture is totally worth a thousand words. I smile like my dad; I have my dad’s nose.

My mind rushed through all the better days; both he and I were so healthy then, at least seemingly so. 

When I’d come home for a visit from California, there was always a night when we’d go out….drinks, food, and a late night ensued.

But ever since I came home at Thanksgiving, things have been so different. It’s been a 180 degree flip. I don’t like it. I don’t pretend to like it. 

But this Father’s Day is about living. It’s not about feeling sad or mad or anything else. It’s about knowing that, while life has so drastically changed, all of dad’s numbers have leveled off. And through all of it, I am reminded about strong men – a strong Father – and how much that can change a girl’s life.

Strong

No one understands where I get this Type A drive, and though he and I are vastly different, I do believe it must be from my Father. He is so strong that even throughout all of this, he has been working the best he can as a work horse in the yard. 

April 2018 Catch Up Over Bone Broth www.sarahkayhoffman.com dad American flag spring 2018

He’s not sitting around, moping, daydreaming. He is out doing and living. And that strength is something I desire my entire life.

I’ve already written about Pain is Not Weakness Leaving the Body, but strong is going through the Cancer ringer, dropping to 138 pounds with hardly a gleam for bouncing back, and then….bouncing back.

I have been very aware these past several months when I feel like who I am is attacked in a subtle way, but I do find myself quickly remembering what my dad would say and how my dad would act. Strong. My dad would not and does not give a s#$% who thinks what and when about him. 

Around Mother’s Day one Friday afternoon, he asked if I wanted to go to his shed to grab wood for photography boards. I had been wanting some custom, unique ones for awhile, so off we went to shop for them. He wasted no time, working on them the rest of the afternoon, finishing all 3.

Strong www.sarahkayhoffman.com dad making photography boards

I now have 3 custom boards that no one else has, which fit my own, personal style – compliments of a father who would do anything – ANYTHING – for me.
Strong www.sarahkayhoffman.com Father's Day 2018 photography boards #photography #foodphotography #farmhouse

Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel that God gave me him as my dad and that we get to celebrate Father’s Day today. 

One of the first boards I ever created on Pinterest was, “My Dad. My Hero.”

To this day, I’m still adding pins that remind me of my dad. This was the latest.

Strong www.sarahkayhoffman.com No matter how old she may be quote Father's Day 2018

Life would never be the same without my dad.

And by the way, you must be thinking right now that it’s awfully rude I forgot about Ryan, the father of my own children. I didn’t. Because of my dad I never settled for anyone until Ryan. When I said that having a strong Father can change a girl’s life, in many ways I was thinking about Ryan through that statement. I wanted a husband who would have the staying power, love, ethic, honesty, and humbleness like that of my dad. And I got it. So this one is for you, Ryan…..nothing slow or sad, just goofy mixed with all the chaos that currently is your life as a dad.

I love you BOTH more than you’ll ever know.

Happy Father’s Day!

Xox,
SKH

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8 Ways to Celebrate Gotcha Day Anniversary http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/13/8-ways-to-celebrate-gotcha-day-anniversary/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/13/8-ways-to-celebrate-gotcha-day-anniversary/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:53:17 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37794 I have 8 ways to celebrate Gotcha Day anniversary with Y’all today. Why? Because 2 years ago today we celebrated our forever day with Isaiah in court, and I’m always trying to celebrate their days each year with a blog post of sorts – here, there, and everywhere. 2 years ago today, the day looked […]

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I have 8 ways to celebrate Gotcha Day anniversary with Y’all today.

Why? Because 2 years ago today we celebrated our forever day with Isaiah in court, and I’m always trying to celebrate their days each year with a blog post of sorts – here, there, and everywhere.

2 years ago today, the day looked like this:

Meet Isaiah Taylor Hoffman sarahkayhoffman.com with the Judge on Gotcha Day

Adopting Isaiah was probably the quickest adoption the state of California had ever done. He was only with us a little over 3 months when we entered court for his Gotcha Day. 

But man, those days in court are always some of the best on this Earth. I look at the picture above from that day, and I have so many thoughts. I remember it clear as glass. 

8 Ways to Celebrate Gotcha Day Anniversary

Click HERE to save these 8 ways to celebrate Gotcha Day anniversary for later.

8 Ways to Celebrate Gotcha Day Anniversary www.sarahkayhoffman.com #adoption #gotchaday #fosteradoption

  1. Stories. Tell your child all about his/her story. Pull out the “first days” pictures, books, details about their special day in court (and the pictures to accompany it, if you have them), and any other information you might have. 
  2. Celebrate their birth culture. Our children were all adopted in the United States, but many are not. And even though our children were all born in the United States, they are not Caucasian and do have different backgrounds than Ryan and I. Use the day to celebrate them – not just that they became part of your family, but where they also came from
  3. Build new memories. I am the mama who always has a camera nearby and pen and paper just as close because I never want to miss the best moments. But on Gotcha Day, you can make it even more intentional. Document the day, what you did, where you went, what you ate, what you talked about, and anything else so that you are able to see how the years evolve.
  4. Wishes-Come-True. I love this idea! Let your child pick something, anything they want to do for the day, and then make it come true. It is, of course, the play on the idea that their own Gotcha Day was a wish come true for so many people involved in their lives.
  5. One small gift. Each year on their Gotcha Day anniversary, get your child a small gift, one that has true meaning for the day. It could be something from their past, present, or even something for the future.
  6. Plant something. Plant a tree, herb, or other plant on their special day as a symbol of growing together from a single seed.
  7. Buy a new Christmas Ornament. This one you can do for almost anything your family tends to collect….Christmas stockings, postcards, cups/mugs, ornaments, etc. Before the kids, Ryan and I grabbed postcards and ornaments wherever we went. This would be something fun to do now with the kids each year on their Gotcha Days.
  8. Take a picture. And last, but certainly not least, take the best family photo you can. I realize now more than ever how hard it is to get a family photo. But on a day like today it’s so important. (Full disclosure: I won’t get home until late tonight from traveling, so we will do ours tomorrow or this weekend. But we will do it.)

Do I understand that some people don’t want to celebrate Gotcha Day and/or acknowledge it at all for one reason or another? Of course. But I’m not really here to be politically correct. For every household that does not celebrate it, there are a hundred others who do.

8 Ways to Celebrate Gotcha Day Anniversary www.sarahkayhoffman.com Isaiah 2 year Gotcha Day anniversary #adoption #fosteradoption #GotchaDay

Isaiah made us a family of four, exactly two years ago today. For anyone out there who thinks it’s a golden-painted road from beginning to end, I’m here to tell you that it definitely is not.

And yet? Like everything else in my life (I say this with 100% conviction and tears this morning), Isaiah also hold the power of my life mantra….

If I Died Tomorrow via sarahkayhoffman.com Beauty in the Dust Gravel Roads

I’d love to know how you celebrate the Gotcha Day anniversary? Anything special?

p.s. Getting ready to finalize your own adoption and need a Gotcha Day party idea? Check out 16 Gotcha Day Party Ideas

Sources for ideas: Gotcha Day Celebration Ideas, Ways to Celebrate the Adoption “Gotcha Day,” 8 Creative Ways to Celebrate Adoption Besides Gotcha Day,   

Xox,
SKH

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Yes SIBO is Real http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/12/yes-sibo-is-real/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/12/yes-sibo-is-real/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:09:58 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37783 Yes SIBO is real and yes this is going to be a rant-filled post. In the thick of all the SIBO bull#$% these past couple months, I have been doing a ton of research. I have read thousands of words, dug into actual science regarding it, spoken with functional doctors about it, and listened to numerous […]

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Yes SIBO is real and yes this is going to be a rant-filled post.

In the thick of all the SIBO bull#$% these past couple months, I have been doing a ton of research. I have read thousands of words, dug into actual science regarding it, spoken with functional doctors about it, and listened to numerous podcasts relating to it.

And then I stumbled upon a blog post written by an extremely popular blogger. She is more of a lifestyle blogger who focuses on healthy/food recipes and self care than any sort of autoimmune and/or digestive blogger. Nonetheless, she wrote a post about SIBO and her experience with it.

I’m not going to link to the post or to her because I’m not here for he-said, she-said. I am going to point out things from the post because they made me so angry for me and for you my friend, who battles SIBO in an ugly way, too.

Test vs. Guess

First of all, it should be made very clear that she was never actually tested for SIBO, and that is one of my three main pillars for ultimate gut healing.

Based on some symptoms and acne, her naturopathic dermatologist had her start on the SIBO diet. When she went back to her (regular) naturopath, the naturopath said she never tested her SIBO because she believed “the test is flawed.” In her words, “She very rarely sees someone test negative, which indicates that either everyone has SIBO or that the test is not accurate.” Really? REALLY? Because I have a family member who tested negative when I’m certain that’s what’s going on with him. I know of countless people who have tested negative.

Of course the SIBO hype isn’t real if you don’t have SIBO.

SIBO Diet

She never did the test, but she still felt the need to do the diet. So she dove in with an 8-week diet and supplements galore. Let me be clear. When I say supplements galore, I mean that she was taking like 5 times the amount I am (and I have been diagnosed with SIBO).

She says the diet, herbals, and supplements made her digestion worse, and that the diet was so restrictive that she frequently had stress and anxiety around it.

24 Low-FODMAP Items from Thrive Market www.sarahkayhoffman.com What are FODMAP foods fodmaps sibo ibs

Am I going to argue with this? Absolutely not. After all, if you don’t truly have SIBO then why on Earth would you think an intense diet, herbs, and supplements would be some sort of magic for you?

I’ve dealt with this for years now and while I see insane improvements with (the right) diet (for me) and supplements, I am still susceptible to relapse (clearly).

Intuitive Eating

She then makes the statement that the intense SIBO diet is far from intuitive eating, that she doesn’t buy the SIBO hype, and that this strict way of eating can create disordered eating. 

And you know what? Again, I will not argue with those points.

But on the other side of this coin, I’ll say that so many people just wish to live a life of intuitive eating and that gut healing is not a diet….or maybe it is?

Probiotic…..Sponsored Post

If there was anything in the post I took seriously or considered for a true healing journey, it was completely wasted because “oh by the way, a probiotic in to save the day.”

That’s right.

The post was sponsored by a probiotic company. And why do I think this is extremely irresponsible? Because if you do have SIBO, you must be careful with the probiotic you take. 

Dr. Siebecker (a leading SIBO expert) states, “There is concern with adding bacteria in the form of probiotics to an overgrowth of bacteria that’s already there. There is also concern that probiotics might create a relapse. That’s why many doctors don’t use probiotics when treating SIBO. Additionally, there are some patients whose symptoms are aggravated by probiotics, especially if they contain prebiotics.” 

And guess what the said probiotic that sponsored the post contains? You guessed it – both probiotics and prebiotics.

Is SIBO a Real Condition?

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Yes SIBO is Real www.sarahkayhoffman.com Is SIBO a real condition? #SIBO #guthealth #healthyliving #IBS

Do enough research (I have), and I have both evidence that SIBO is and is not real. One could debate either side, and either side might win.

My issue is with those who act like SIBO (or whatever you want to call it) is some made up mishap. Though there might not be a gold-standard test, the set of symptoms that make it up and definition are real and have been thoroughly documented.

It’s kind of like those who get in a tizzy about the phrase “Gotcha Day.” Gotcha Day = adoption finalization. 

I don’t care what you call it; the meaning still remains. SIBO = an awful digestive disorder (or maybe disease, if the underlying condition is disease).

And if you have SIBO – whatever you want to call it – stumbling upon blog posts like hers is not helpful because:

  1. It makes you think you’re making it up in your head and/or
  2. Has you taking actions (like the probiotic or stopping the diet or whatever) that will not behoove you in the long run

It was completely ironic, but just before I stumbled upon her blog post, a probiotic company private messaged me on Instagram. They wanted to send me a month supply for free (how kind of them – insert sarcasm). I did my research and noted the first ingredient, “100% Natural Fruit juices.” So I politely declined, “No thank you.” 

They came back with, “What a shame you will pass on something that has genuinely been handpicked to better your health and lifestyle for completely free but no worries.”

(Enter my livid state.)

I responded with, “‘It’s not a shame. I have SIBO and UC. I don’t just take whatever, whenever because it’s free. I’m not the blogger who will promote products in exchange for a month supply that might not only not help at all but might also do me more harm. I’m glad you are proud of your product, but telling me this is a “shame” is not right. Have a great day.”‘

And that is the honest, real, and raw truth, my friends.

I’m so tired of people who have no business acting like they know everything about something when they have never truly lived it, and then on top of it shilling for brand product and money.

I have vowed to myself and to you that I will not do that. 

Yes SIBO is Real

I will never tell you that your SIBO (or anything else) is not real.

Your “hard” is not mine; that’s okay, it’s still real.

Yes SIBO is real

Yes this gut stuff is a pain for all of us, and no you do not have to feel like just going back to “intuitive eating” is all you need to do to get your life right.

I tell my husband this constantly, but “you just can’t make this s#$$ up.” And he gets it because he sees it, lives with it, and knows that I would do anything to click my heels to make it just go away.

Healing the gut is going to take hard work, time, and persistence, and if you’ve been DIAGNOSED with anything, you must know that.

Of course you must live life , but trust me, those in the depths of an ugly, awful gut don’t just get to engage in some whimsical intuitive eating lifestyle, hope-for-the-best scenario.

There is no easy escape, but I’m here listening anytime you need it, and I’m remembering each and every single one of my Gutsy friends during every occasion when you stumble upon people and blog posts who dismiss something you know to be very real, raw, and maddening on a daily basis.

And I’ll never stop sharing the truths.

Xox,
SKH

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The SIBO Weight Gain Connection http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/11/the-sibo-weight-gain-connection/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/11/the-sibo-weight-gain-connection/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2018 09:47:05 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37767 I never wanted to write about the SIBO weight gain connection because I really hate talking about weight on my blog. It’s not my thing. It’s not what I like to focus on. And I believe that, as women especially, we are inundated with far too much weight loss s#$@ every single day that I just […]

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I never wanted to write about the SIBO weight gain connection because I really hate talking about weight on my blog. It’s not my thing. It’s not what I like to focus on. And I believe that, as women especially, we are inundated with far too much weight loss s#$@ every single day that I just don’t want to be part of it. 

So then why am I talking about the SIBO weight gain connection today?

Honestly? Because when I couldn’t figure out my own situation, I began digging into the research. It was there that I realized just how many people out there are in this boat vs. the SIBO weight loss boat (the one that doctor’s usually associate with SIBO) so I wanted to help people understand what’s going on.

In my post, “When SIBO Keeps Relapsing,” I told you about the doctor who made the comment to me, “You don’t have SIBO. If you had SIBO, you would be losing weight quickly and very frail.”

Well he was wrong then and he’s still wrong today. I’m not making this up, there is plenty of science and research around it.

Let’s cut to the chase, and dig right in with something that might help Y’all.

IBS/D – C: Irritable Bowel Syndrome / Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Constipation (Methane Dominant SIBO)

IBS/D – D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome / Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Diarrhea (Hydrogen Dominant SIBO)

(Note: That is typically what it looks like. Can it be different? Yes, in some cases; usually not.)

SIBO can be methane or hydrogen producing (or both – I produce both). Bacteria produces hydrogen and archaea produces methane.

There is nothing wrong with having bacteria in the gut; everyone does and everyone should. The problem with those who have SIBO is that there is too much (and the wrong kind) in the small intestine causing problems. If high levels of hydrogen are the problem, then bacteria will cause unabsorbed carbohydrates to ferment. Then, if you’re really lucky (insert sarcasm) you’ll have problems with methane production when the archaea feed off the hydrogen.

What are Archaea?

Archaea or methanogenic archaea, “are known as human gut inhabitants since more than 30 years ago through the detection of methane in the breath and isolation of two methanogenic species belonging to the order Methanobacteriales, Methanobrevibacter smithii and Methanosphaera stadtmanae.” (source)

Now to correlate archaea to SIBO (and Lehman’s terms), I like how Chris Kresser describes them,

Unlike bacteria, which primarily produce hydrogen, the archaea are what produce this methane, and they do this actually not by fermenting carbohydrates. So bacteria produce hydrogen and the way they do that is by fermenting fibers. The methane production works differently. The archaea consume the hydrogen that’s produced by the hydrogen-producing bacteria, and then they produce methane as a by-product of that process. So this is actually one of the ways that excess hydrogen in the gut gets metabolized, is by these methanogenic archaea converting that hydrogen into methane.

Problems Caused by Methane

Not everyone produces methane, and that’s a good thing, because here are some of the problems caused by methane.

The SIBO Weight Gain Connection and Problems Caused by Methane www.sarahkayhoffman.com #SIBO #guthealth #ibs

(image source)

And there it is, obesity. So let’s discuss the topic at hand…..the SIBO weight gain connection.

The SIBO Weight Gain Connection

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The SIBO Weight Gain Connection www.sarahkayhoffman.com #SIBO #guthealth #weightloss #ibs

Recent evidence has linked methane production to the pathogenesis of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as obesity. (source)

From my research, methane dominant SIBO correlates with weight gain more often for these 3 reasons:

  1. Slower transit time. I’ve talked about this at length in various places, but there is a correlation between slow transit time and methane production. Slow transit time means that food sits in the gut for far longer than it should, causing many problems, including weight gain.
  2. Archaea have been shown to affect the amount of calories your body absorbs by increasing the capacity of gut bacteria to digest specific glycans. (source) What does that mean? Yet again, a calorie is not a calorie. “So let’s say you have a high-fiber diet. Humans generally can’t eat fiber. Cows and ruminating animals have a lot of methanogens because the methanogens help facilitate digestion of fiber. So what does that mean? That means that you can get more calories from a meal if you’re a methane producer because you’re liberating calories from things that people who don’t have methane can’t get.” (source)
  3. Sluggish metabolism. (source)

While I have high levels of both hydrogen and methane, I lean far more towards methane symptoms than hydrogen. When it comes to the SIBO weight gain connection, I don’t complain about my weight gain because I still remain fairly small. That said, a year ago I was eating about double what I am now, and about 7 pounds less. 

Because of my research and all that has happened these past couple months, my approach for healing post-antibiotics this time is going to look much different than it has in the past (it will fall in line with my e-book vs. just doing and eating whatever I want). And furthermore, I will not stop until I find out what my underlying cause for SIBO relapse is.

Having high levels of both hydrogen and methane has been a vicious, exhausting cycle. Until you’ve lived it, you don’t know and you can’t understand. This isn’t just a little “weight gain” complaining. This has affected, truly affected, every single last piece of my life

Giving up will never be an option.

p.s. Without even knowing it, I was sort of on to this a long time ago with Rotten Gut Bacteria, Starving and Weight Gain.

Xox,
SKH

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My Costco Grocery Cart http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/07/my-costco-grocery-cart/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/07/my-costco-grocery-cart/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 10:44:40 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37699 Well, I didn’t actually take a picture of my Costco grocery cart last weekend after spending what seemed like hours in the mammoth store (the crowd there makes me crazy; too much). However, I did snap a few pictures. I asked on Instagram Stories if Y’all wanted me to share my Costco grocery cart, and […]

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Well, I didn’t actually take a picture of my Costco grocery cart last weekend after spending what seemed like hours in the mammoth store (the crowd there makes me crazy; too much). However, I did snap a few pictures. I asked on Instagram Stories if Y’all wanted me to share my Costco grocery cart, and everyone said, “Yes. Please do.”

So here you go.

My Costco Grocery Cart

Click HERE to save ‘My Costco Grocery Cart’ for later.

My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco

Let’s first get this out of the way. The Costco I shopped at last weekend was the one in Burnsville, Minnesota. If you’ve ever gone to more than one Costco, then you know that they do not all carry the same thing. 

When we lived in California, I found so many things at the Costco in Livermore that I could never find at the one in Tracy. Hence why I did The Real Food Shopping Guide for Costco at Livermore instead of Tracy. 

But for my friends who live in Minnesota, don’t think we are being shorted here on the quality items. I think the Burnsville Costco is better than the one in Livermore and definitely better than the one in Tracy.

With that said, here is what was in my Costco grocery cart. As a little extra, I’ve made some notes next to each. All items are gluten free because, naturally, about 90%+ of the things in our house are gluten free.

  1. Teton Waters Ranch Sausage. I was introduced to Teton Waters Ranch at Expo West this past March and fell in love. They are incredible. We all love them; Ryan, the kids, and I.
  2. Organic Ground Turkey, triple pack. Turkey is good for almost any diet, and because this is ground, it’s versatile. 
  3. Organic Ground Beef, triple pack. Similar to the turkey, I love having a triple pack on hand so I can make it up whenever. We form these into patties a lot for burger night. 
  4. Wild Planet Albacore Tuna. Wild Planet is my favorite, but if you buy the cans individually at most stores, it’s expensive (like $3+ per can). It’s still not an inexpensive item, but it’s a high-quality tuna that you can eat on-the-go or make into a Cheesy Tuna Casserole (my version is gluten, grain, and dairy free). My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Wild Planet Albacore Tuna
  5. Organic Apples. I’m eating these right now because they are high-FODMAP (while I’m taking Rifaximin and Neomycin). 
  6. Organic Greek Yogurt. This is 100% for Samarah. She has yogurt and honey almost every single morning for breakfast. Isaiah and Amiya can’t do dairy, so I try to have her sneak it around them as much as possible to avoid meltdowns.
  7. Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon. I do similar things with this as I do the tuna. It’s an easy way to boost the Omega-3’s and a great Vegetarian option. My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon
  8. Organic Whole Milk. This is also 100% for Samarah, but sometimes Ryan has a glass, too.
  9. Simple Mills Sea Salt Crackers. I started buying these for Isaiah and Amiya, but now I can’t stop eating them. Simple Mills is just so good (their whole line of products), so when I saw their jumbo boxes of crackers at Costco, I was super excited (Amiya was, too!). I think the box contains 2-3 bags and it’s $8.99. My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Simple Mills crackers Amiya
  10. Organic Amylou Breakfast Sausages. I first found these in California, but then one day, the Tracy location stopped carrying them. We missed them, so when they popped up at Costco in Minnesota, we stocked up immediately. If you go to the Burnsville Costco you will find them to your right just before you enter the walk-in dairy fridge.
  11. Organic French Green Beans. I have found that with almost any of our digestive issues, green beans are one of the few vegetables we can all do. So we eat a lot of them. My kids love them, too, but the secret is that you have to drench them in oil. Lately they have been digging the Nutiva Coconut Oil with Butter and Garlic Flavors.
  12. Earthbound Farm Power Greens. Sometimes I make large salads with this, but usually the reason I buy it is for making the kid’s smoothies. I have been making a lot of low-FODMAP smoothies for everyone, and this greens blend is great for it. My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens
  13. Organic Baby Carrots, the jumbo bag. Snacks. Amiya and Isaiah mostly love these for snacks. Sam will eat them with lots of some sort of dip. I also use these to roast with my whole chickens because I love when they are doused with oil and softened.
  14. Organic Valley Stringles String Cheese. Again, 100% for Samarah. She’s the only one who does a ton of dairy in this house.
  15. Duke’s Smoked Shorty Sausages. I had never seen these before, but they are mini sausage sticks in a large bag. It was my impulse buy for the day and I picked them up for Ryan to keep with him at work. My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Duke's Shorty Sausage snack
  16. 5 lb bag baby potatoes. I can’t tell you how many times a week we have roasted potatoes. We basically toggle between rice, root veggies, and potatoes every single night. For these, all I do is slice thin, toss with a ton of Olive Oil and bake for about 45 minutes – an hour at 400 degrees. The kids absolutely love them! I love dipping them in Sir Kensington’s mustard. 
  17. Avocados, bag. Samarah, Ryan, and I eat a lot of avocado. It’s high-FODMAP so I’m on a major avo kick currently. 
  18. Organic Whole Chicken, double pack. And of course the whole chicken. It’s hard for me to justify chicken breasts when it’s so much cheaper to buy the whole chicken. I love baking a whole chicken for dinner because after we’ve eaten all the meat, I can then save the bones in the freezer for bone broth time. This double pack was about $20 and that goes a long ways. My Costco Grocery Cart www.sarahkayhoffman.com #groceryshopping #healthyliving #costco Whole Organic Chicken bone broth

Let it be known that I would have bought at least 3 bags of bananas but Costco was completely sold out of them. Like, whaaaat?!

I meant to save my receipt, but when I went to look for it, it was nowhere to be found, so I’m guessing I threw it out on accident. 

Because I threw it out, I think that was my Costco grocery cart in its entirety, but what I do know for sure is that the total was $190.00. Though it might seem like a lot, the bulk of what I bought that day was meat so naturally it would be higher. Also, this will last us 2-3 weeks (for some of the items) and if you’ve never been around my kids at mealtime, you must know that they (literally) usually out eat Ryan and I (especially Isaiah).

Costco is that place where I will buy most things Organic because:

  1. I know, like, and already trust the brand and it just happens to be Organic (i.e. Organic Valley and Earthbound) or
  2. It’s Costco, so the Organic version is not that much more expensive than the regular or
  3. I still have a thing with meat, and whenever possible, I have to buy Organic because I know it can matter in meat (also, since I’m in the natural foods industry, I know what top natural foods brands do for private labeling 🙂 )

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Costco grocery cart. I like the grocery shopping cart posts because I’m trying to give practical ways to buy and eat for your family, so if you’d like me to do more, just let me know! I’m happy to do other grocery stores, more finds at Costco, online shopping, any of it. I am doing some sort of food shopping probably 3 days a week.

Xox,
SKH

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Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/05/could-your-acne-be-caused-by-gut-problems/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/05/could-your-acne-be-caused-by-gut-problems/#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2018 11:42:06 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37658 It’s a question I have long been hoping the answer was “No” to: Could your acne be caused by gut problems? But I am now 150% confident that the answer is a resounding and astounding, “Yes.” Yes, acne can be caused by gut problems. Healing the Gut I always knew that Perioral Dermatitis had everything […]

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It’s a question I have long been hoping the answer was “No” to: Could your acne be caused by gut problems?

But I am now 150% confident that the answer is a resounding and astounding, “Yes.” Yes, acne can be caused by gut problems.

Healing the Gut

I always knew that Perioral Dermatitis had everything to do with the gut. I healed my Perioral Dermatitis naturally with diet and lifestyle, so I definitely saw that correlation.

I think the secret to healing your acne with diet, lifestyle, and supplements is to understand what gut problem(s) is/are causing it. 

Here is why I say that.

If you do some Internet research on this topic, many people will tell you, “‘Repopulate ‘good’ bacteria by eating fermented foods, taking a high-quality probiotic, and getting in as much fiber as possible to flush through your system.”‘ You will likely even stumble upon posts like this, “8 Foods for Good Gut Bacteria.”

Do I believe that your acne can be healed like that? Sure, but only if that’s what your gut needs.

Unfortunately, for most people with severe IBS and/or IBD, those three things are not the immediate answer, and in fact, I would argue can make your acne worse or at the very least less likely to see any healing progress.

PLEASE remember that when your favorite “healthy living” blogger is shilling the latest probiotic and “gut health” product that it might work for them because:

  1. Their circumstances are different than yours. They might only have a little stomach discomfort here and there or they already have a great digestive system and are simply trying to boost it even further.
  2. They are speaking out of theory, a textbook – not from real-life experience.

So back to acne and the gut.

Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems

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Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems www.sarahkayhoffman.com #guthealth #skincare #acne #healthyliving

Here are some cited resources linking acne and the gut:

  1. Listen to the THIS episode of The Balanced Bites Podcast, “Acne and Inflammation.” (Side note: In it, Liz mentions, “But when you start to discover all of the different active ingredients that are so well known, so well studied, and so safe for things like acne, you just get kind of addicted to learning more about what might be able to help your skin. And one of the reasons Diane was just talking about this line of products that we got to try at the Beautycounter summit. One of the reasons it’s so awesome is because it’s this concoction of highly pure active ingredients that are really, really effective, and known to be effective, in healing the skin.” I am so excited to share with you that Beautycounter product when it comes out.)
  2. How Fermented Foods Can Trigger Acne
  3. SIBO: A Contributing Factor in Acne and Roseacea
  4. Gut bacteria can change in 3 days.
     

    Which is why last week was critical for me. I will teach and preach until the day I die. Happy Saturday!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ “Also bacteria have a lifespan of 20 minutes! So a lot can change in three days!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ The change in diet was drastic to get a result that was also drastically different.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ More reason to change your diet- I am going to do an Instagram live on creating a 3 day diet that might cause this large change and got bacteria— .⠀ It’s amazing that we have so much control over our health right 💪🏽🤙🏽⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #guthealth #gutbacteria”⠀ ⠀ Photo credit @dramyshah⠀ Reposted with @plannthat⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #agg #agutsygirl #lifestyleblogger #IBS #sibodiet #iin #guthealing #ibd #healthcoach #guthealth #leakygut #autoimmunediesease #colitis #ibsdiet #crohns #lowfodmap #gutfriendly #chronicfatigue #lowfodmapdiet #guthealing #glutenfree #aipdiet #Adrenalfatigue #aip #healthylifestyle #SIBOdiet #chronicfatigue #gutbacteria

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  5. Hormones, Acne, and the Gut
  6. Gut-Skin-Brain Axis
  7. Is Low Stomach Acid the Reason Behind Your Acne? (Note: Low stomach acid is a cause of SIBO, and you can click HERE to see if you have low stomach acid.)

Living Proof

And this is the part you’ve all been waiting for….my own, personal experience.

Do I really want to share these pictures? Not really, but without them, I can’t fully prove my point.

Here was my back on February 25, 2018 (shortly after I knew the SIBO had relapsed).

Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems www.sarahkayhoffman.com February 25, 2018 #acne #guthealth #skin

And then on March 16, 2018. (I’m really trying to tell myself that diet and lifestyle has nothing to do with acne.)

Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems www.sarahkayhoffman.com March 16, 2018 #acne #skin #guthealth

Finally, I took this picture last Thursday, May 31. (When I took this picture, I had only made changes about a week prior, on Wednesday, May 23.)

Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems www.sarahkayhoffman.com May 31, 2018 #naturalskincare #skin #acne #guthealth

Literally all that remains is some scarring.

I didn’t start Rifaximin/Neomycin until Friday, June 1, so even though those antibiotics typically always help clear the skin, that was not what I did. Everything I did during the week that saw massive healing was 100% natural.

Here is exactly what I did.

6 Ways I {Naturally} Healed My Cystic Back Acne in 1 Week

Click HERE to save these 6 ways for later.

Could Your Acne Be Caused By Gut Problems www.sarahkayhoffman.com 6 ways to naturally heal skin #acne #guthealth #skincare

  1. Went back to everything from The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0as if I was starting on Day 1.
  2. Combination of GAPS Diet + Low-FODMAP. (And yes, between these first two alone, my diet was highly altered from what I had been doing. No more grains, so I was mourning the loss of Mr. Rice. No more sugars or Booch, so I was mourning the loss of many things. And so much more. I didn’t even have a banana for a few days.)
  3. HCL like a champ. I had gotten lazy with the HCL, but since I know that’s my main (at least one of them) issues with SIBO relapse, I started consistently taking HCL about 3 times a day.
  4. Digestive Enzymes. No matter what I was eating, I started getting help with the Digestive Enzymes again. My personal favorite are THESE (always has been).
  5. L-Glutamine. (Inserts me pouring it over my life.) I put it on and in everything. NOW Foods says 1 tsp a day (5 mg) for starters, but I’m doing more like 15 – 20 mg a day.
  6. Gelatin. (Also insert me pouring it over my life.) Without consuming any smoothies, this one was more challenging to do, but I added it in it a weird way. I’d make an entire bag of green beans, then once they were super hot, I’d pour Liquid Coconut Oil over them, add in any meat, and quickly sprinkle as much Gelatin as I could without it getting clumpy. Then, I’d stir until it was mostly added in. Worked like a charm (the secret is that the food has to be hot and you have to use enough oil, which, by the way, is also great for gut healing.)

And that is it. 

Stupid simple; just not stupid easy.

 

From my Ebook. ✨ It’s the truth. And here’s the deal, if you want a little truth time……people are constantly coming to me complaining about their gut, energy levels, and everything in between. But when we talk diet and lifestyle they “just can’t” for this reason or another. ⠀ ✨⠀ You know what my (NEW!!!) Functional MD said to me at my appointment today, “I give you so much credit; for how much you know and how you keep fighting.” ✨ It always boils down to —> How bad do you want to feel good? How desperate are you to not feel bloated, miserable, and in pain daily? ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ Find hundreds of gut healing posts via www.agutsygirl.com. (Make sure you’re following @agutsygirl and click “Turn on Post Notifications” in the upper right corner so you never miss a post). Grab the 286 page gut healing e-book, THE GUTSY GIRL’S BIBLE: AN APPROACH TO HEALING THE GUT, 3.0 now via link in profile.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #agg #agutsygirl #lifestyleblogger #IBS #sibodiet #iin #guthealing #ibd #healthcoach #guthealth #leakygut #autoimmunediesease #colitis #ibsdiet #crohns #lowfodmap #gutfriendly #chronicfatigue #lowfodmapdiet #guthealing #glutenfree #aipdiet #Adrenalfatigue #aip #healthylifestyle #SIBOdiet #chronicfatigue @nutritionschool #ketogenicdiet #healthcoaching #leakygutsyndrome

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But listen, YOU have a choice. We all have choices, and our choices make or break us. 

In no way, shape, or form did I want to do any of the above. It’s a pain in my a#$, takes time, and costs money. But on May 23, I sort of just snapped. I was SO sick and tired of knowing my cystic back acne was caused by gut inflammation and not doing anything about it.

If you have cystic acne, a rotten gut, your starving, and gaining weight (or losing too much), depressed, anxious, and/or anything else, you must look within and really assess the situation before putting the blame on someone else or throwing the hands in the air saying, “I’ve done everything, though.” 

Because, have you really done everything?

I tried telling myself that I had done everything.

Clearly I didn’t because all it took was one week for insane turnaround to happen.

If you’re sitting there reading this today and asking, “Could my acne be caused by gut problems,” know that the answer is YES.

You have the power TODAY to start making changes.

I’m always here to listen and to help.

Happy to answer any questions via email and/or in the comments below.

p.s. For another day, but great skin starts with the gut and is maintained day-in, day-out by the skin and body care products you choose. That’s why I choose Beautycounter, over-and-over.

Xox,
SKH

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Fixing http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/04/fixing/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2018/06/04/fixing/#comments Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:59:21 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=37351 I’ve been feeling it for awhile…..that something needed fixing, but I wasn’t sure what.  And then on Thursday, May 3, 2018, it all started to surface. The way it surfaced was the least desired way imaginable, but nonetheless it happened.  My very first step was admitting – in a real and honest way with myself and […]

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I’ve been feeling it for awhile…..that something needed fixing, but I wasn’t sure what. 

And then on Thursday, May 3, 2018, it all started to surface. The way it surfaced was the least desired way imaginable, but nonetheless it happened. 

My very first step was admitting – in a real and honest way with myself and in discussion with Ryan – that fixing had to happen.

The problem? I still couldn’t fully put my finger on it. 

Part I of this story/process was: Healing vs Wholeness.

Part II is: Fixing. 

Fixing

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Even though I couldn’t put my finger on what was happening, what I could understand is the part that said, “everything has become too much.” 

I wanted to make a change, but wasn’t sure of the right changes, so I just started.

I closed down paleoishmama stating, “I learned some hard lessons this past week, and with them, decided on ACTION vs. TALKING. One small step and then the next. I started Paleoishmama after someone made the comment to me on my personal Instagram that they didn’t care about food or food I was creating, sharing, and eating. When I separated the “lives,” I only created more (pointless) work. And for who? For what? Certainly not for me. And what happens when you create work like that? Right. It takes away from all the other meaningful (MEANT TO) work you should be doing. @sarahkayhoffman is who I am, and if a food pic, two, or a hundred goes up there, then so be it. I have enjoyed getting to know the paleoish community here, and I’d still love to connect via @sarahkayhoffman (personal) + @agutsygirl (all the gut). But for today, I’m signing off here. Xox

After that undesirable conversation on May 3 happened, I felt like I personally needed fixing. But then I stumbled upon this brilliance from Alexander Den Heijer, and I have read it daily ever since.

Fixing www.sarahkayhoffman.com flower grow quote quotes

I don’t need fixing. My environment; both personally and professionally, though, does need fixing.

It’s been a month of me sitting on all of this, and over the weekend I started making decisions and making plans for how fixing would, could, and will happen.

I started by addressing my professional life (because I already know what needs to be done in my personal life, and that post is coming soon). 

I listed out each and every single client, what I do for each, and how many hours per week. Then, I dug deep to realize the pieces of each work that I love doing most. 

And what happened? 

It became very clear to me that I have far too many clients with far too many tasks. My brain runs with 1,000 tabs open a day, essentially leaving me too empty to give the best pieces of me to anyone.

I began subtracting. I took my list of things I loved doing on a daily basis; those that were most in alignment with this season of life and how I want to grow after it, and kept them. And then, even though it was hard, made the decision to let go of other clients.

I returned to this simple idea:

When things aren't adding up, start subtracting. sarahkayhoffman.com

I am going to learn to be perfectly okay with less clients and less projects, at least during this season of life. 

Here’s the thing that’s really interesting about less clients and fewer tabs open in my mind…..when I realized fixing needed to happen, it didn’t start here. 

It was never about work – about there being too much or that I don’t love it a thousand fold. 

Work was just a product of the chaos and not the chaos itself.  

It is completely like healing the gut. Bloating is just a symptom. SIBO is even just a symptom. I have had to (and currently still am) dig super hard and deep to find the root where fixing needs to happen.

Likewise, I think I discovered the root in this area of my life, too.

I’ll share it soon. I can promise it’s not what you think.

p.s. You may have noticed that I skipped the May 2018 Chat Over Bone Broth this month. I’ll be back for it in June.

Xox,
SKH

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