sarah kay hoffman http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com When gravel roads are all you've ever known, you learn to find beauty in the dust. Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:33:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Hawaii Vacation of Firsts http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/09/02/hawaii-vacation-of-firsts/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/09/02/hawaii-vacation-of-firsts/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:33:30 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25937 Today marks the end of our 7 night, 7.5 day family trip to Kauai, Hawaii (and thus, crossed off number 19). In addition to this being my first time to Hawaii, it marked a vacation filled with several other firsts. There were two major firsts that sort of paved the way for all the others: I […]

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Today marks the end of our 7 night, 7.5 day family trip to Kauai, Hawaii (and thus, crossed off number 19). In addition to this being my first time to Hawaii, it marked a vacation filled with several other firsts.

Kauai Lychee. Hawaii vacation of firsts. sarahkayhoffman.com

There were two major firsts that sort of paved the way for all the others:

  1. I have never felt better in my life, and thus it became the first vacation I’ve gone on where I’ve been able to indulge in, enjoy and appreciate local food. Furthermore, even as I indulged and enjoyed anything and everything (minus gluten of course, always) desired, not once was I bloated, sick, in pain or misery. My body acted just as it should.
  2. “Family” vacation. It was the first big vacation I have gone on (we have gone on) where it wasn’t just Ryan and I, but instead the addition of a wee little one.

Samarah and Mama Kauai. Hawaii vacation of firsts. sarahkayhoffman.com

And so, with the above two things, all of these happened:

  • I did a massive brain dump.
  • I actually played in the sand, with a bucket a shovel.
  • I ate fresh coconut from a whole coconut that had washed up to the shores.
  • I woke up early to watch the sunrise. (No, the dogs weren’t there, but oh well – crossed off number 37.)
  • I ate dried Guava.
  • I ate fresh Dragon Fruit.
  • I toured a coffee farm.
  • I wore a bikini every. single. day. And I never thought twice about it.
  • I went on a train ride at an organic farm, and Samarah fed all the little piggies with her daddy.
  • I went to a local Kauai Farmer’s Market. While there, I had the best pineapple “Phrosty” ever (ingredients: organic frozen pineapple only, but totally tasted like ice cream).
  • I ate way too many fish tacos.
  • I also ate way too many Taro fries, but they were amazing all fried in coconut oil.
  • I rarely drank (probably 5 drinks total), and when I did, I made them count (Dirty Lychee Martini + a Chi Chi = Pina Colada with vodka vs. rum).
  • I hiked the scariest, but most beautiful hike I’ve ever done.
  • During said hike, I took my shoes off to cross the river, and then left them off to play in the dirt. It felt so awesome.
  • I went to bed before 9pm every night.
  • I woke up between 3:30-6am each morning.
  • I met a man who inspired me beyond belief.
  • I did a 3-hour chocolate tour, where I toured a fruit, flower and cacao farm and learned about Kauai, organic and a million other little things. (Like, did you know that there is not a single snake in Kauai?! I always knew I’d love this place.)
  • On above said tour, I tasted every kind of Hawaiian fruit you can think of (Lychee might be my new favorite), enjoyed 9 different chocolate tastings and even ate a raw cacao pod (not yet even dried or roasted).
  • I ate at an organic, farm-to-table restaurant and they had just one gluten-free dessert on the menu: Banana Coconut Cream Pie. Think we got a piece?!
  • I enjoyed the peace and quiet, without the chaos, work and constant go.

Side note: several of the above I’ll be writing more about in future posts.

Gluten Free Banana Coconut Cream Pie. Hawaii vacation of firsts. sarahkayhoffman.com

And mostly?

I fell in love all over again with the little girl who has changed our world, and the man who lets me fly.

Samarah at farm. Hawaii vacation of firsts. sarahkayhoffman.com
I sure am going to miss Kauai. But here’s what I know….I have some big things coming up, and we have some big things coming up and when real life returns tomorrow, I’ll be getting ready to share.

Ryan, Samarah and I hiking. Hawaii vacation of firsts. sarahkayhoffman.com

Hope to see you back here soon!

Xox,
SKH

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Painting, and Wellness http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/24/painting-and-wellness/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/24/painting-and-wellness/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:21:18 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25927 On Thursday night I took my first furniture-painting class. We moved into a new house, I bought this piece and well….Pinterest. So I figured it would be worth my time and money ($95 for two hours) to learn a little bit about how to paint (in order to restore) furniture. Going into the night, I […]

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On Thursday night I took my first furniture-painting class.

Painting, and Wellness Health 28-Day Gut Healing and Peak Wellness Intensive sarahkayhoffman.com

We moved into a new house, I bought this piece and well….Pinterest. So I figured it would be worth my time and money ($95 for two hours) to learn a little bit about how to paint (in order to restore) furniture.

Going into the night, I thought that when the class was over, I would be able to go home and paint a piece of furniture with ease. I mean, how much could there really be to it?

But as the class started, I quickly realized how much more to painting furniture there was than simply to just paint furniture.

Depending on the look desired, your technique changes. A painting brush is not just a painting brush. There is a craft to coordinating colors. Did you know that it’s okay to use chalk paint while pregnant, but not the wax finish (due to the petroleum)? But did you also know that in order to preserve the paint job, you have to use wax as the final coat and that there is a soft (clear) wax and soft (dark) wax, and the final look you desire determines which you would use? And really, how awesome is Annie Sloan?

I could go on and on and on.

As it turns out, I knew nothing about paint and/or painting furniture and yes – yes there really is so much more to know.

But this isn’t about painting.

It’s about wellness, healing the gut and becoming the healthiest version of ourselves.

Painting is not my expertise, but I have a strong desire to learn more about it and to make it a hobby. And so I spent $95 for a 2-hour class…..because I wanted to learn from someone who is an expert, and from someone who could teach me the basics of where and how to start.

We have just launched a new group program: 28-Day Gut Healing and Peak Wellness Intensive.

28-Day Gut Healing and Peak Wellness Intensive Health Coaching sarahkayhoffman.com

Like me + painting, most people expect to learn something new and to go from 0-to-100 in one day or less.

Healing and true wellness, like painting, simply do not work that way. But if healing and true wellness are important to you, you’ll start where you are, learn the basics and then become a student who is passionate about the topics.

For just $10.60 per day, you will get all of this.

I didn’t get where I am today by sitting through one 2-hour class, leaving and then just getting lucky by hoping for healing.

No, I got here because I studied, worked hard on myself, practiced and held the hands of hundreds of other women to do the same. (Just click HERE to see what some of them have said.)

I hope you’ll consider joining us.

It’s time to paint your own beautiful piece.

Painting, and Wellness 28-Day Gut Healing and Peak Wellness Intensive sarahkayhoffman.com

Xox,
SKH

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Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble {gluten free, dairy free} http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/19/baked-apple-stuffed-crumble-gluten-free-dairy-free/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/19/baked-apple-stuffed-crumble-gluten-free-dairy-free/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:23:01 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25852 My Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble was such a hit last year for the holidays that I simply couldn’t wait to release the full recipe prior to fall officially launching. Where we live, it is still 90 degree+ nearly daily. To say that fall seems like an eternity away would be an understatement. But I don’t care. […]

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My Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble was such a hit last year for the holidays that I simply couldn’t wait to release the full recipe prior to fall officially launching.

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com Fall Baked Apples

Where we live, it is still 90 degree+ nearly daily. To say that fall seems like an eternity away would be an understatement.

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com Organic Apples

But I don’t care. I will will it to be here. Last weekend I bought about 20 organic apples at my local farmer’s stand and made homemade applesauce for us to enjoy. From here on out, this is something I’ll do weekly while organic apples are in season.

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com Organic Dates

When organic apples are in abundance during the fall, I get creative with them. Last year my Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble was a part of 4 recipes I developed for the Nutiva Holiday e-book (which you can download HERE).

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com Blender Crumble

The recipe is timeless, and so I wanted to share it with you today. Serve it for the holidays and you’ll be a hosting favorite.

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com Nutiva Organic O'Coconut

Oh, and hey hey – look what I did below! You can *finally* print my recipes. After receiving so many emails and messages with, “Hey, make it easy for me to print,” I have finally enabled this feature. You’re welcome. It’s because I love you. Just give me some time to go through old recipes and update (it might take the next 7 years).

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble gluten free, dairy free sarahkayhoffman.com

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble

{This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, refined sugar free and free from all chemicals and preservatives.}

Baked Apple Stuffed Crumble {gluten free, dairy free}
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking dish with tinfoil. Pour in ½ cup water.
  3. Wash apples and cut off the apple tops to about ¼ way down (you want a large enough opening for the crumble to fit). Remove as much of the core and seeds as possible without cutting through to the bottom.
  4. Set apples on tinfoil, and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble by placing the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend to a crumbled consistency (scraping down sides as needed).
  6. Transfer crumble to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Once the apples are done, remove from oven, add ¼ cup more water to the bottom of pan. Then, stuff each apple with the crumble.
  8. Bake for another 15-18 minutes. Serve warm.
Notes
You can serve this with a homemade whip cream (a dairy free whip cream found HERE or fresh ice cream, if desired.

{Click HERE to share this recipe on Facebook. Click HERE to save to your Pinterest for later.}

Xox,
SKH

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Food, Then and Now http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/18/food-then-and-now/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/18/food-then-and-now/#respond Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:44:29 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25753 In 3 Shocking Things I Learned About Healing, I told you about how “hobby restriction lead to forced restriction.” And recently, I’ve been getting a lot of messages and questions via private emailing days about how I used to eat vs. what I eat these days. I have reflected on food, then and now a […]

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In 3 Shocking Things I Learned About Healing, I told you about how “hobby restriction lead to forced restriction.” And recently, I’ve been getting a lot of messages and questions via private emailing days about how I used to eat vs. what I eat these days. I have reflected on food, then and now a lot during these past few months so I thought I’d share today.

(Remember, if you came here from my personal Facebook profile, please remember to either subscribe to my e-newsletter or via Bloglovin’ as I don’t typically share these posts there. If you didn’t come here from there, you should still subscribe because, after all, friends:) )

Food Then (Then)

From about age 17-ish to 30-ish, I tried every single diet in the book. I’ll go into this in detail at some point but I did everything from low calorie to Atkins, Weight Watchers to a strict 1,000 calories per day (like who even made those horrible, awful, no-good “rules” anyways?).

Food Then

Once I started to truly heal (and realized that gut healing was not a diet), I was still on a very restricted diet. Only then, it was forced by my doctor because I was actually sick and needed to starve gut bacteria, not myself. From age 30-ish up until just a couple months ago, I lived on a mostly Paleo + SCD + GAPS Diet. None of these are easy on their own, and when combined, some days were just grueling. I know the ins-and-outs of the Paleo + SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) + GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diets, and when I was much younger I used to “wish” I needed to have a restricted diet like those. Now? I’d never wish them to be forced upon anyone. (Don’t get me wrong, all 3 of them have amazing benefits with strong core values, but feeling confined to any “diet” where you think that jumping outside its borders will be damaging is anything but sane.)

Food, Then and Now sarahkayhoffman.com

Food Now

All gut issues went into 100% remission (and by 100% I mean, I don’t feel any effects – though I know I’ll be healing forever). In addition to the round of Rifaximin I ultimately took, I believe there were several other things I did that helped me heal, that took me to this place I am today. I still drink bone broth nearly daily. I make 95% of the food I eat, and I don’t buy products that are processed and unrecognizable to the digestive system. (And for anyone who tells you that you can “eat whatever” if you have autoimmune + all the “Colitis gurus” out there – don’t believe it. Look at their lifestyle, inquire about their medications. Don’t mistake their happy faces while eating donuts, sugar-filled coffee drinks and processed garbage for healing. Smiling and (true) healing are two very different things. I will stand by that until the day I die. Because I’ve lived it.)

BUT…..

I eat nearly 1,000 more calories than I was during the “food then (then)” days. I – GASP – eat gluten free oats and rice – and sometimes other gluten free grains as well. My diet is chock full of both prebiotics and probiotics. I have gone from less than 50g of carbs per day to 150g+. Legumes are not “Paleo” either, but they are good – and my body loves them now (p.s. they are packed with fiber!) And living without peanut butter is not now (nor has ever been) an option. We eat it DAILY!

Purely-Cacao-Wooden-Spoon-alovingspoon.com_1

And I thrive.

I have gone from deep, dark days of fueling myself with 100-calorie packs of fruit snacks (Food Then Then) to healing and oftentimes hard and lonely days with broth, meat and oils (Food Then) to now.

Now where I eat. Now where I nourish. Now where I wear swim suits. Now where I have energy. Now where the kitchen is actually fun.

Now where food finally has no control over me. (Looking to arrive here, too? Brand new program coming in September! Click HERE for interest.)

Xox,
SKH

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The Hawaii Swimsuit Diet http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/14/the-hawaii-swimsuit-diet/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/14/the-hawaii-swimsuit-diet/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 00:05:06 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25832 While in Minnesota this past July, I wore a swimsuit for the first time (Saturday, July 18, to be exact) in probably 2 years so I could go paddle boarding. And thus, I was able to finally cross it off my list. It sure does sound ridiculous…..and it is ridiculous, but I have been avoiding it […]

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While in Minnesota this past July, I wore a swimsuit for the first time (Saturday, July 18, to be exact) in probably 2 years so I could go paddle boarding. And thus, I was able to finally cross it off my list.

The Hawaii Swimsuit Diet sarahkayhoffman.com

It sure does sound ridiculous…..and it is ridiculous, but I have been avoiding it for so long because “I wasn’t swimsuit ready.”

But then Samarah came along and she loved the water. She would swim for days with her daddy, and it started to hit me that:

  1. I never want to be a negative role model for her, and
  2. I am not willing to miss out on anything in Samarah’s life for any selfish tendencies of my own

So I wore a swimsuit that day, and now that our new community has a pool, I’ve worn a swimsuit several more times.

I get in the pool with Samarah, and help her float on her back. I help her practice her crazy kicking. I turn her over when she’s about to roll to her stomach. I flip her upright and bounce along the perimeters while she giggles. I duck underneath the water because she thinks it’s funny when I disappear and then reappear. I give her baby water kisses.

And not once do I think, “I should have never put on a swimming suit.”

We are going to Hawaii in less than two weeks for Samarah’s big “Gotcha Day” getaway.

In the past, beach vacations always meant less food, more time at the gym and staying “on point” so that I could wear a swimsuit.

But not this time.

This time my Hawaii swimsuit diet includes about 1,000 more calories than I was eating then and far fewer hours in the gym.

It has taken me years to realize that I am more than what I used to believe I had to be.

But it sure does feel nice to finally be on this path. (If you’re not already on it, won’t you join me?!)

And besides, who else is going to eat that “butter, butter” with Samarah at night :)

Xox,
SKH

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Healthy Gut Chia Pudding http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/11/healthy-gut-chia-pudding/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/11/healthy-gut-chia-pudding/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 18:49:30 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25818 The best form of collagen we receive is that which comes from the consistent practice of making homemade bone broth. But along my healing journey, I have added in Great Lakes Gelatin in many different ways, for many different applications, as well. I started making this healthy gut chia pudding a couple months ago when I […]

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The best form of collagen we receive is that which comes from the consistent practice of making homemade bone broth. But along my healing journey, I have added in Great Lakes Gelatin in many different ways, for many different applications, as well.

Nutiva Chia Seeds + Great Lakes Collagen Healthy Gut Chia Pudding sarahkayhoffman.com

I started making this healthy gut chia pudding a couple months ago when I increased my fiber intake from less than 10g per day to (upwards of) 40g per day. I am a total fiber machine these days, and I won’t ever give up this practice again.

There is nothing fancy or complicated about how I do this, and the secret is that as long as you get the “base” right, you can dress it up however you’d like.

Healthy Gut Chia Pudding sarahkayhoffman.com

What you’ll need (for sure):

  1. 8oz jar (I always use a recycled one from the Purely Cacao Peanut Butter)
  2. Water
  3. 2 tbsp. Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds (Yes, this is the company I work for, but no, I do not make any money when you buy from them. I’d recommend them 100% even if I did not work for them.)
  4. 1 tbsp. Great Lakes Gelatin

Optional (and bonus) items:

  1. Trader Joe’s Organic Liquid Stevia (I know many of you do not have a Trader Joe’s nearby. If you do, this Stevia is there as well.)
  2. L-Glutamine Pure Powder (I am currently working on a post about L-Glutamine and gut healing, but it’s something I take daily)
  3. milk of choice (my current favorite is: Chocolate Coconut Almondmilk)
  4. fruit of choice
  5. any other pudding/parfait/yogurt toppings desired

Ready to make it? It’s going to take you less than 3 minutes.

Healthy Gut Chia Pudding sarahkayhoffman.com Nutiva Chia Seeds

How to make my Healthy Gut Chia Pudding

  1. Take your 8oz jar, and fill it half way
  2. Place the chia seeds and collage in the water
  3. Put the cover on the jar, and shake vigorously
  4. Place the jar in the fridge until mixture is firm (in as little as 30 minutes)
  5. Remove from fridge, and add any of the optional ingredients on top
  6. Stir, and enjoy

(Make note: Chia seeds, while they are low-FODMAP, don’t always work for everyone in the early stages of gut healing.)

Healthy Gut Chia Pudding sarahkayhoffman.com Bananas Coconut Milk L-Glutamine

Not only is the “base” a gut healer, due to the collagen, but it also packs in 10g of fiber! Add in all the other bonus ingredients, and you have a healthy (and super, duper simple) gut chia pudding that can’t be beat.

I eat it at least once, if not twice, per day. (And by the way, it’s a supplement snack, not a meal replacement because this is what happens when you do not eat enough.)

If you try it, let me know what you do with yours!

pssst….know someone who could use this recipe? SHARE IT with them!

Xox,
SKH

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What Happens When You Do Not Eat Enough? http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/10/what-happens-when-you-do-not-eat-enough/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/10/what-happens-when-you-do-not-eat-enough/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:39:52 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25564 What happens when you do not eat enough? This is not a trick question. {p.s. If you stumbled here from my personal Facebook, please know that I am not likely to share these posts there. As I will be writing more about this, don’t forget to subscribe to my e-newsletter so you don’t miss a […]

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What happens when you do not eat enough?

This is not a trick question.

{p.s. If you stumbled here from my personal Facebook, please know that I am not likely to share these posts there. As I will be writing more about this, don’t forget to subscribe to my e-newsletter so you don’t miss a post.}

Your body shuts down, maybe not immediately and maybe not even noticeably in any foreseeable future.

But the damage is being done, and your body is shutting down.

What Happens When You do not eat enough? sarahkayhoffman.com

I know this because I have lived through this, and I am (sadly) living the rest of my life trying to undo the damage from this.

When we chatted over bone broth recently, I told you,

Lately, I’ve been caught up with the idea that things from my past have affected my current and future. That bothers me. 

And this is exactly what I was referring to.

A past life of hobby restriction lead to a “healing life” of forced restriction; neither restrictions are any I’d wish upon anyone.

Chris Kresser published this post, “8 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough.”

Upon reading the article, I felt it deep in my gut to finally bring it to the surface.

For 15+ years I did not eat enough. The result of that ended with 6 of the mentioned “problems” from the post:

  1. Your weight isn’t budging
  2. You can’t get pregnant
  3. Your blood sugar is a roller coaster
  4. Your mood is totally unpredictable
  5. You’re chronically constipated
  6. You’re always cold

And for me, even more things happened.

While my gut issues and autoimmune (Colitis) might have been bound to surface, I firmly believe that the fire was ignited by a disordered past. After all, it takes a trigger to “turn on” an autoimmune condition (I had a few).

There was a reason my SIBO and all gut issues went into remission in the first place, but maybe even more important than that is the reason I continue to stay in remission and thrive. (It rocks!)

I cannot change my past, but what I hope is that my story – the stories I’m going to tell – will help someone else never find themselves on the road I travelled.

Xox,
SKH

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Lucky Girl, My HERLIFE Magazine Cover Story http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/04/lucky-girl-my-herlife-magazine-cover-story/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/08/04/lucky-girl-my-herlife-magazine-cover-story/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:29:07 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25779 I have never considered myself a lucky girl. In the August edition of HERLIFE Magazine (with my story on the cover), Editor in Chief, Kimberly Mullen, states (on page 12), Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. And again, I’ve never considered myself a lucky girl. Everything I have in life, I have worked really, really, really […]

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I have never considered myself a lucky girl. In the August edition of HERLIFE Magazine (with my story on the cover), Editor in Chief, Kimberly Mullen, states (on page 12),

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

Lucky Girl, My HERLIFE Magazine Cover Story sarahkayhoffman.com

And again, I’ve never considered myself a lucky girl.

Everything I have in life, I have worked really, really, really hard for. Earlier in life (in high school), I made it to the National DECA (an International Association for Marketing Students) Conference (coincidentally in California) not because I got lucky, but because I worked hard. When others were on the bus (headed to the state conference) talking and playing around, I was studying for the written test I knew we’d have to take upon arriving (because written tests are a weak point for me).

“Luck” perhaps got me on the Nike+ Human Race Ambassador Team, but winning wasn’t luck. It was purely hard work + a ton of intentional effort.

When I got sick with Colitis (then a trickle effect to SIBO, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, extremely low B12, perioral dermatitis), I wasn’t healed due to luck. I didn’t sit around and make excuses for why I couldn’t get better. I took action. And then I realized what had really happened.

I didn’t get lucky with building a thriving health coaching business. I studied long and hard at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (and years prior to and after) to ensure that those who worked with me would start to see their own light at the end of the tunnel. I wrote several e-books to ensure success, and proved it with testimonial after testimonial.

A Loving Spoon nut butters definitely have not made me a lucky girl. If you only knew the sacrifices I have had to make to keep my business running so that it can contribute to the greater mission of giving to foster and orphaned children, you might think I’m nuts (though, you probably already do!) For the most part, I am the only one running the company. I drive over an hour to produce the product in a Commercial Kitchen. I hand label each and every single jar. I source all ingredients. I maintain all inventory, and manage the shipping department. I do 100% of the sales, outreach, PR (although my friend Karen is the PR diva who landed me this front cover story) and marketing. I put every single last penny I have back into the business (because no I still have not taken $1 from it, not even to cover the time I put in).

And as the article states, “….she continues to work full time.” I am the Social Media Manager at Nutiva, and getting the position wasn’t by chance. I contracted with them for a year prior to accepting a full time position. I went above and beyond the duties they expected out of me because (in return) they gave me so much and because when I commit to something I expect nothing less than 100% out of myself.

The physical things and possessions I have in my life have been obtained through means other than luck, and so I’ve never considered myself a lucky girl. (As such, telling you the above is not to paint me as wonder woman. I am so far from that, but I do hear frequently that I have been “so lucky,” and that has simply never been the case. I am just the SHERO in my own life. And by the way, you can be, too!)

I’ve never considered myself a lucky girl until I read Kimberly’s forward to my magazine article.

I cried.

In that moment, I too, felt like a lucky girl.

Lucky Girl, My HERLIFE Magazine Cover Story sarahkayhoffman.com Flowers with Samarah For many years, we put in so much hard work with attempts to conceive our own child….naturally, artificially, IVF, all of it. The hard work didn’t pay off, and that’s exactly what finally made me a lucky girl.

In her article, Kimberly describes all the “what if’s.” She then concludes,

The only answer I can land on is simple. I am a lucky girl.

By these same tokens, with our angel Samarah Josephina Hoffman, I can officially admit that, I too, am a lucky girl (and probably more importantly – that the Lord makes everything beautiful in its time).

I really hope you love the article. If you are in the Central Valley, look for it at your favorite local shop/store! Click HERE to read it! Click HERE to share on Facebook, and click HERE to share on Twitter. And then, be sure to grab yourself a jar (or two) of A Loving Spoon nut butter (psssst….you can now grab the new flavor, Honey Roasted Peanut Butter with a touch of Fleur de Sel.)

Xox,
SKH

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Unlikely Friendships http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/07/27/unlikely-friendships/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/07/27/unlikely-friendships/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:17:47 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25768 “Let me know when you want this video for your blog,” she said. “Why would I want to put the video on my blog?” “To tell some sort of inspirational story,” she replied. “Inspirational story,” I replied. “There is nothing inspirational about it.” She said, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t […]

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“Let me know when you want this video for your blog,” she said.

“Why would I want to put the video on my blog?”

“To tell some sort of inspirational story,” she replied.

“Inspirational story,” I replied. “There is nothing inspirational about it.”

She said, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do it…..and then you did it. There you go.”

Here’s the video (you’ll grasp the idea even though Jen was holding baby Jack while doing the video):

I laughed. (“Don’t even. I will kill you Jennifer.” ha)

And I concluded that there still really wasn’t anything inspirational about this video.

We moved into our new house this past week. Thankfully, Ryan’s parent’s have been here since Thursday to help us.

Saturday we went to pick up this piece – this vintage shabby chic dining set cabinet – piece (which by the way I adore). But here’s the deal, since it’s not junk furniture, it is heavy and bulky. So my friend Jen and her husband Will helped us pick it up, then move into our house. The only problem was that because of its size and weight, Ryan and Will could not do it all alone. Ryan’s dad and I had to assist.

Unlikely Friendships sarahkayhoffman.com

You saw, we got it into the house. My arms were shaking because I was so afraid I was going to drop it. But nonetheless, safely into the house it arrived.

Clearly I worked up a thirsty appetite! Jen and Will brought over a bottle of wine to help us celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened this past month. We all drank the wine with Ryan’s parents and hung out with baby Jack (their baby) and Samarah for a couple hours.

And then they left.

Later, Jen sent me the video. In that moment, I realized where the real inspiration was.

And it was all Jen.

For the past 7 years, we have lived right down the street from Will and Jen (friends, though, for just a few years). Jen was the one who once told me,

Friendships are there for a specific reason and during specific seasons, and not all friendships were meant to last forever.

Our friendship, truth be told, was kind of unlikely.

In many ways we are similar, but in many others we are very different (hello – she likes to hunt and I just like to eat her delicious hunted game).

But Jen has always been the friend to drop whatever to help out. She has always been the one to invite us to holiday dinners and fun when we were here in California, away from our our own families. And as you saw in the video, she of course has always been the directive and get-it-done friend. She also instilled my love for vintage bikes with baskets (have I even shown you mine yet?!), and the art of Kombucha (even though she still can’t successfully make her own – ssssshhhhh…..don’t tell her I told you)!

Jen was right that not all friendships were meant to last forever. And even though this one was sort of unlikely, something tells me we have many more seasons of ours.

p.s. Yes, I will be sharing more about our house, what we’re doing, new things I’m up to, etc. Just not until we are a little more settled. It’s been insane around here!

Xox,
SKH

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Adoption Finalized, So Now What? http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/07/20/adoption-finalized-so-now-what/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/07/20/adoption-finalized-so-now-what/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 21:41:11 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25743 It’s kind of odd, but I really have been asked this already a lot, “Your adoption has finalized, so now what?” The adoption has finalized, and so – truthfully – life kind of feels like it’s just beginning. Our Offline Life Today we returned to California, after a 9-day stay in Minnesota. While there, I […]

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It’s kind of odd, but I really have been asked this already a lot, “Your adoption has finalized, so now what?”

The adoption has finalized, and so – truthfully – life kind of feels like it’s just beginning.

Our Offline Life

Today we returned to California, after a 9-day stay in Minnesota.

While there, I went MIA from here. I went MIA from most things, except for Nutiva. I had to because all I wanted to do was soak up some time with Samarah.

The first weekend during our stay, my family had a “Welcome Home to the Ranch” Gotcha Day party for her, and it was incredible. I was surprised, and grateful. (We are also now thinking of doing her new room in a ranch theme!)

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Hoffman Ranch Gotcha Day Party sarahkayhoffman.com

They put together a Wishing Tree for Samarah. I about cried, and I’m looking forward to reading through what everyone wrote in the near future.

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Gotcha Day Party Wishing Tree sarahkayhoffman.com

That day, we also did pictures of my cousin’s two girls, Samarah and my other cousin’s baby girl. My cousin is my best friend, so this picture of her two girls with Samarah just completely stole my heart. The innocence is so beautiful.

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Chasity Photography sarahkayhoffman.com

The second weekend, Ryan’s family had a “Winnie the Poo” Gotcha Day party for her up in Northern Minnesota at the lake.

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Gotcha Day Party Winnie the Poo Cake

When it was time for her cake, the theme was clearly, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

We got several pictures of Ryan’s cousins and family with Samarah, but I have not gotten permission to use their children’s images here, so we’ll save those for another day:)

Going back to California means the grand parties (except for the party we are throwing her) are ending. But as I said before, our life with Samarah kind of feels like it’s just beginning.

We tried to describe this to people while in Minnesota when they would say, “Congrats, although she’s always been yours.” And while that is true, having it official has lifted this huge weight off our shoulders. Imagine giving birth, then each day of your child’s life (until almost 2 years of age), you had to worry every single day:

Will they be taken today? Will a family member come out of the wood works and take s/he? Will the court system just decide it would be in the best interest of the child to not be with us? Etc.

But we are passed that. We came out on the other side. And it just plain rocks!

We are taking Samarah to Hawaii in August, a trip we had planned for Gotcha Day several months ago (and then just prayed it would be final in time). This will be the first trip we take outside of California where we won’t need to get a court order. It will also be one of the first trips both Ryan and I have taken (since our honeymoon) where we will not work at all, but instead take real vacation in order to soak it up with Samarah. Because she deserves it.

Our Online Life

My life is on a blog, and I run it as an open book.

Bloggers with children all make the decision at some point: How much do I share about my child(ren)? How much do I include them on my blog? How often do I show their faces?

I am no different, and now that I have introduced her to the world, I have had to make these same decisions.

Publicly, I will never share Samarah’s story. This is my blog, not hers; my story, not hers. Samarah will be present on my blog when I tell stories about life that includes her, but not that are about her. Her beautiful face will pop up now and again, but as this is not a blog about babies, toddlers, children and how to parent (because let’s face it – I know nothing about any of that), she won’t be included in daily/weekly posts. The lifestyle stories stay here, our Adoption Journey here.

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Samarah A Loving Spoon peanut butter sarahkayhoffman.com

 

And finally

I have been humbled, overjoyed and choked up numerous times during this past week by hearing your online and offline stories about how vested and interested people became in our story, our journey, the ups and the downs of these past couple years.

I had no idea, and if you want to know why I even did it in the first place, it was because I knew that going from here to here would change my life. I wanted a journal, a written trail of sorts, to document all that God would do in my life so that it would inspire us and most importantly, inspire someone else.

I believe that what I set out to do with telling our stories came back full circle (people have messaged me multiple times, “You have inspired us to foster and/or adopt.”)

And so, I’ve decided to keep on telling them.

It’s no secret that we are doing this again, likely sooner rather than later (all we told the state is to please let us have our time alone with Samarah in Hawaii and get moved into our new house).

Adoption has changed our lives. And so our journey continues….

Adoption Finalized, So Now What? Samarah Lake with Ryan sarahkayhoffman.com

Xox,
SKH

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