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, 27 May 2015 12:44:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 Eggs and the ER http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/27/eggs-and-the-er/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/27/eggs-and-the-er/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 12:44:21 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25541 There are many incredible things about the edible egg, but probably just not for me. Things were smooth sailing for Mr. Egg and I, until I landed in the ER last week. It all began on Friday, May 15. Late that afternoon, I had an upper-stomach punching. I thought I was getting the flu, but... 

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There are many incredible things about the edible egg, but probably just not for me. Things were smooth sailing for Mr. Egg and I, until I landed in the ER last week.

It all began on Friday, May 15. Late that afternoon, I had an upper-stomach punching. I thought I was getting the flu, but then about 30 minutes later it subsided. This pain returned for about 2 hours on Sunday, May 17. It was a dull, minor version on Monday the 18th and Wednesday the 20th. And then on Thursday, May 21 it got severe. Upon eating lunch, I couldn’t shake the terrible pains. I drove myself to urgent care. They sent me to the ER. Per the usual, the local ER was horrendous. I threw up, was shaking, in severe pain, but left the hospital that night with nothing more than pain meds/anti-nausea meds, a bogus diagnosis and a prescription for something I should have never been prescribed. (I never went to pick up the prescription the day after. More on this at a different time.)

I woke up Friday morning, ate breakfast, and the pain returned. Same thing happened right after breakfast on Saturday, May 23, and the final episode happened on Sunday. It was by far the worst episode, lasting from noon-6pm, almost sending me back to the ER.

On a scale of 1-10, my pain ranges from 7-10+. This is not the bloating pain I know all too well. This is a pain unlike any that I have ever experienced before. It begins as an upper-stomach punching pain. Then it burns all over. My stomach moves and twitches like crazy. I am crampy. The pain takes my breath away almost. I get goose bumps all over, but I sweat and have the chills. It is, quite literally a pain I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

Eggs and the ER. sarahkayhoffman.com

So back to the egg.

I am 189 days into working with my new doctor. During this time, I have meticulously tracked almost everything from sleep to food to supplements, symptoms and more. I am so grateful for this, and for my knowledge of food because I caught on to the common denominator immediately – eggs.

The times I had mild reactions (lasting less time), I had just finished eating chicken eggs.

The times I had major reactions (ER day + last Sunday in particular), I had just finished eating duck eggs.

For my first test, I ate minimal last Saturday, but breakfast included my new amazing protein pancake (1 duck egg + 1 tbsp. Nutiva Organic Coconut Flour + 1 tbsp. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein). I was sick for 3 hours. I wasn’t sure which piece it was, so Ryan said the next day maybe just do the duck egg.

On Sunday around noon I ate a duck egg. I had one duck egg, nothing else. Within 5 minutes my hell had arrived – literally.

Eggs. Chicken eggs, duck eggs…..eggs. They are either triggering these attacks or are they are the main cause for these attacks.

I met with my doctor yesterday on a last-minute notice.

He suspects: gallbladder, an ulcer, a (very uncommon) reaction post-Rifaxamin (unlikely, but can’t rule it out) or an allergy of some sort to eggs.

What next? I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday morning. In the meantime, I’m about as bland as I can be with my diet, greatly reducing fat. Since I’ve done this (2 days now), no horrible spells.

And of course, NO eggs. Like I imagine anyone with a severe allergy to a food feels, I am deathly afraid of eggs at this point.

Just when I solve one problem, another pops up. And for this reason, I am really, really, really doing my best to embrace my mantra today:

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

Xox,
SKH

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SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune Update http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/20/sibo-adrenal-fatigue-and-autoimmune-update/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/20/sibo-adrenal-fatigue-and-autoimmune-update/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 13:19:37 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25534 Someone reaches out and asks me about my healing progress almost daily. So I put together my SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune update for you today. It has been a little over 1 month since I ended Rifaximin, the SIBO antibiotic. I continue to heal. I continue to thrive. Here’s how: I cut fruit. I cut... 

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Someone reaches out and asks me about my healing progress almost daily. So I put together my SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune update for you today.

It has been a little over 1 month since I ended Rifaximin, the SIBO antibiotic. I continue to heal. I continue to thrive.

SIBO, Adrenal Fatigue and Autoimmune Update sarahkayhoffman.com

Here’s how:

  1. I cut fruit. I cut it completely for a few weeks, and then I added in one piece every few days. This past week I’ve had more than usual, and my stomach can tell it. I’ll cut back again. Fruit is subjective for everyone on any journey at any moment. I have learned so much about it these past several months. For the most part, keeping it out helps me thrive.
  2. Greens times a million. I eat over a pound of greens per day. This has been critical to my healing, I believe. I don’t eat all greens (i.e. broccoli), but I do drown my system in greens (like Asian greens) daily.
  3. L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine helps repair the gut lining, while also helping to preserve muscle mass. It’s doing a double bonus for me, and I am careful to take it 2 times per day (I incorporate it into my gut-healing chia seed pudding).
  4. Fish. While I love my grass-fed beef, these days I’m eating much more fish like salmon and trout. I eat red meat only about 1-2 times per week typically.
  5. HCL. My stomach acid is still low. How do I know this? Because I am still taking 6 HCL about 3 x’s per day (with heavy protein meals). HCL has been critical.
  6. Dr. Schweig Supplements. My regimen is still grueling. I still have to take way too many supplements, but I am consistent with them and I believe they have been instrumental to my healing.
  7. I quit caffeine. I wrote about this. Here is how I quit caffeine.
  8. Minimal workouts. I told myself for a very long time, “But working out a ton helps me release stress.” Turns out, it was only causing me more stress – stress on my mind, body and soul and dangerously affecting my gut and healing. I quit running and have returned to lifting primarily. I am currently almost at the end of (Phase 2) Nia Shank’s 15-week Muscle Sculpting Program, and I am totally loving it. Simple. Sane. Effective.
  9. Understanding of all food properties. My background has equipped me for this. I understand all food properties/categories (FODMAPs, starches, sugars, fat, nightshades, etc.). Because of this, I am able to easily navigate the everyday food options.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’m nervous.

I’m nervous for a SIBO relapse. Most people, research has shown, relapse as soon as a month after the antibiotic is finished. For this reason, I am doing everything I can to avoid a relapse.

I have only had a couple days where I’ve felt off, but during those couple of days, I have felt very uncertain about what might happen next.

I will see my doctor again within the next couple of months, and I’m guessing we will be retesting levels soon to know more about where I’m currently at.

For today, though?

I feel grateful to be in such a wonderful place, in remission.

Xox,
SKH

p.s. You can now hire me to “pick my brain.”

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6 Reasons I am a Long-Distance Running Dropout http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/13/6-reasons-i-am-a-long-distance-running-dropout/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/13/6-reasons-i-am-a-long-distance-running-dropout/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 12:47:29 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25510 Each year come spring, I do something crazy….I sign up for a summer half marathon or I begin training really hard in anticipation for a fall half marathon. A couple weeks ago, like clock work, I had the urge again. I have not run since November/December-ish, but the urge was there. I was going to “ease”... 

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Each year come spring, I do something crazy….I sign up for a summer half marathon or I begin training really hard in anticipation for a fall half marathon. A couple weeks ago, like clock work, I had the urge again. I have not run since November/December-ish, but the urge was there.

I was going to “ease” into it with a one mile run after I lifted at the gym. I got on the treadmill, turned the speed way down (to average only about an 11 minute/mile) and began. Not even 5 minutes had passed and I was completely and totally over it.

I got off the treadmill, went home and went for a nice, long walk.

I knew that night that I was for sure a long-distance running (or maybe all-distance running) dropout.

6 Reasons I am a Long-Distance Running Dropout

  1. Colitis. Running is hard work, and no matter what we try to tell ourselves about “running to reduce stress,” fact still remains that running long distance puts a ton of stress on the body. At this point in my life, there is no need to attach anymore stress where it simply doesn’t need to be. Just take a look through my blog alone, and you will find several flare ups during half marathon training. This is not coincidence, it’s reality. I’ve been flare free for a very long time. I must keep it that way.
  2. Cramps. I am not sure what triggered these, but about 5-ish years ago, they started. I wrote about these cramps in 2013, and you can read about it here. I don’t need to “test” those waters again, and I don’t need to have workouts leave me in crippling pain for 10-20 days per month.
  3. Time. I have a full-time job with Nutiva. I have a start-up business, A Loving Spoon (p.s. Vote for my business to win a Whole Foods Market Small Producer Grant HERE!). I write here. And most importantly, I have a beautiful 20-month old, a family and a life. While I could make the time for long-distance training, I don’t want to. When I was an awesome runner in 2009, I didn’t have nearly the things I do today, and so I gladly devoted my time to running hours on end. But not anymore. I want workouts to last no more than 45-ish minutes.
  4. Muscle Loss. I know there are long-distance runners who have found the magic piece to maintaining muscle and running, but I have not. Every single time I start running a lot, I lose all muscle quickly. I’ve been focusing on building it up, and I’m not willing to be counterproductive.
  5. It’s Not Fun Anymore. There was a time when I got a “runners’ high” like none other. I dream about those days sometimes. But even last summer and fall when I was running, it just wasn’t as fun as it once was. It certainly wasn’t fun the other day. I don’t believe that everything in life has to be fun and entertaining to be worth it, but when it comes to health and fitness, I actually do feel that way. I’ve never built health and fitness habits out of things I did not truly enjoy or feel a deep passion towards.
  6. Adrenal Fatigue. I have a severe case of adrenal fatigue, in case you didn’t gather that from this post. My doctor told me that if I didn’t get better by the time I tested again, we’d have to “take extreme measures.” I don’t know what that means, but I don’t want to find out. The underlying adrenal fatigue is what has been my ultimate roadblock for healing and so many other things in my life. To run long distance would only put my health more at risk. I am 32, and I am not willing to take that risk any longer.

Before my SIBO went into remission (YES!!! I have arrived. More on this soon!), I could not eat eggs. It was so hard! I tried desperately, on several occasions to eat them….plain, in baked goods, anything. They would always rot in my gut, and the outcome was never pleasant.

Today, I eat eggs probably 2-3 times per week with zero effects. It’s like a miracle.

I view long-distance running like I do the eggs. No matter what I do, long-distance running is not for me, not for now. And yet, I am fully aware (and hopeful) that someday I’ll be able to run again with zero effects.

For now, I am just proud to be my own SHERO and a brave long-distance running dropout.

6 Reasons I am a Long-Distance Running Dropout sarahkayhoffman.com

 

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For You Without a Child This Mother’s Day http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/08/for-you-without-a-child-this-mothers-day/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/08/for-you-without-a-child-this-mothers-day/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 04:34:10 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25498 On Sunday, I will celebrate my 2nd Mother’s Day. This is solely by the grace of God because for many years my heart ached on Mother’s Day. And so today this post is for you without a child this Mother’s Day. I can write this letter for you today because I’ve been in your shoes.... 

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On Sunday, I will celebrate my 2nd Mother’s Day. This is solely by the grace of God because for many years my heart ached on Mother’s Day. And so today this post is for you without a child this Mother’s Day.

I can write this letter for you today because I’ve been in your shoes. There is a whole section of my blog devoted to infertility. The struggle is real, the pain is deep. I lived it for several years. I am still “infertile,” but I am now complete. I don’t sympathize with you like many others will. Instead, I empathize with you.

And so I wrote you a letter.

Samarah and Ryan holding hands. Jennifer Nace Photography on Adoption via SarahKayHoffman.com ennifernace.com

For you without a child this Mother’s Day

Dear you, beautiful you:

Today you’ll wake up. Life will be the same as it was yesterday, likely wishing you were hearing a baby crying or screaming, “Mommy” from his crib.

But there is no baby there, and so you get up, get dressed, grab your coffee and begin your Sunday; it’s peaceful on the outside, but scared, sad and cloudy on the inside.

You go to church and the focus is on Mothers. You think about your own Mother, how wonderful she is and how you can’t wait to be that same mom to your own little angel someday.

The rest of the day fills out with food, laughing and time with family, friends and your husband.

To you, it’s just another day…just another reminder.

You should know that it’s okay to feel thankful today for your own mother, grandmother and all the other wonderful mothers on this Earth.

But you should also know that it’s okay to feel something less than joyful on this day when your dreams of becoming a mommy haven’t come to fruition quite yet.

I thought of you this week when I ran across something Oprah stated,

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

You are entitled to feel thankful, and you are entitled to feel sadness today.

But if there is one thing I want you to feel more than anything it’s hopeful.

Your time is coming. The plans He has for you are greater than you could ever imagine. If I would have read Oprah’s quote 3 years ago, I might have laughed. I never knew that being a mother would have almost nothing to do with carrying child for 9 months.

I have had many people tell me that ‘”they could never adopt because either she or he felt it wouldn’t feel like their “own” child.”‘

Adoption has changed our lives. I know no other way than to love Samarah like she was my flesh and blood. She is our “own.” Biology and motherhood do not hold a direct relationship.

And even though adoption might not be in your cards, something is.

You just have to believe it. You must have hope.

Today might be a hard day for you so be good to yourself.

Get some rest, enjoy every moment of peacefulness because before you know it, little footsteps will be running down the hallway screaming, “Mommy, mama, mommy.

And guess what? In those moments you will look back on today and say,

The wait was worth it.

Xox,
SKH

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How I Quit Caffeine http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/06/how-i-quit-caffeine/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/05/06/how-i-quit-caffeine/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 13:18:37 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25487 Quitting caffeine for me didn’t happen overnight, but I knew it needed to happen, and since many people have asked how I did it, I thought I’d share how I quit caffeine. When my medical records proved that my adrenal glands have essentially bottomed out, I knew things in my life needed to change. I resisted many of these... 

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Quitting caffeine for me didn’t happen overnight, but I knew it needed to happen, and since many people have asked how I did it, I thought I’d share how I quit caffeine.

When my medical records proved that my adrenal glands have essentially bottomed out, I knew things in my life needed to change. I resisted many of these things, but the thing I probably resisted the most was giving up caffeine via coffee.

Coffee is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I am the girl who will buy a cute coffee mug for inspirational mornings even though we have one too many the way it is. I am the girl who loves nothing more than silence in the early morning with nothing but me, my thoughts and that warm cup of coffee. I am the girl who could justify “I am certainly not addicted” so that I’d never have to give it up.

Coffee Beans How I Quit Caffeine sarahkayhoffman.com

I “quit” caffeine on Saturday, March 21, 2015. (Note: “quit” in quotations is because on this day, I had decaf coffee, which still has a little caffeine.)

I might never forget that day because it was horrendous. My friend Susan was having a garage sale and Ryan was out of town for the weekend, so Samarah and I got up early and headed to Susan’s to hang out. That day, I brought with me to Susan’s one small, organic, fair-trade, decaf coffee. I was used to drinking no less than 2 c. of regular coffee a day, but I still figured I’d be just fine. Wrong. About 10am I wanted to go straight back to bed. No headaches, but the super fatigue set in. It took everything I had to be present and able for Samarah all day. I even napped when she napped that day (I never do this). I struggled to pull it together after nap time. I couldn’t even eat dinner I was so tired, and subsequently fell asleep when it was her bedtime – 8pm. The struggle was real.

I was addicted to caffeine via coffee.

The next few days were hard, but not nearly as hard.

The next couple of weeks all the same.

Each day I’d aim to have a little less decaf coffee. I’d replace it with water or tea.

And then I started figuring out how I could cut even decaf out of my life.

I don’t believe in coffee substitutes because for years people told me that Green Tea was an appropriate substitute, and I laughed at them silly. Sorry, but Green Tea will never be a coffee substitute. Green Tea makes a great compliment, but not a substitute. The flavors and rituals are completely different.

How I Quit Caffeine. Chicory Root kBulletproof Cinnamon-Spice Chicory

That said, I’d always heard that some people use Chicory as a substitute. I began researching it. After telling myself “no way” a zillion times, I decided to buy a pack of Organic Chicory Root Roasted.

I brewed my first cup just a couple short weeks ago.

I’ve never looked back.

My cup of Chicory has replaced the cup of coffee. (Click the image below to grab my super simple Chicory Tea “Coffee” recipe.)

How I Quit Caffeine. Bulletproof Cinnamon-Spice Chicory sarahkayhoffman.com

I currently enjoy it one of two ways:

  1. Chicory Root + coconut milk light + 1 drop organic stevia
  2. Bulletproof Cinnamon-Spice Chicory Tea (click HERE for recipe)

Caffeine is not just found in coffee. Caffeine lives everywhere, and it’s sneaky. I don’t do energy drinks or soda or even chocolate. The only caffeine I consume these days are the nil amount in decaf coffee if I’m out-and-about without Chicory and/or the nil amount contained in my Purely Cacao Peanut Butter.

And guess what? I survived! I no longer feel the caffeine-withdrawal fatigue. I have more energy in general. I am not perfect, but quitting caffeine via coffee was probably a huge overnight boost to my adrenal glands.

Will I ever have caffeine via coffee again on a regular basis? Probably, but not until my adrenal glands are functioning like a normal, alive human being.

I am doing everything I can to get well, and I am confident this was a very good decision.

Bulletproof Cinnamon-Spice Chicory Holding Chicory Root Cup sarahkayhoffman.com How I Quit Caffeine

Xox,
SKH

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How I Became the SHERO in My Own Life http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/27/how-i-became-the-shero-in-my-own-life/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/27/how-i-became-the-shero-in-my-own-life/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:07:01 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25475 I have been exploring me lately, something I failed to do for the first 32 years of my life. Today I am sharing with you how I became the SHERO in my own life. Last Tuesday, I posted this to my Instagram: I captioned it: Bought this tank, #SHERO from @niashanks about 1.5 years ago. I... 

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I have been exploring me lately, something I failed to do for the first 32 years of my life. Today I am sharing with you how I became the SHERO in my own life.

Last Tuesday, I posted this to my Instagram:

How I Became the SHERO in My Own Life sarahkayhoffman.com

I captioned it:

Bought this tank, #SHERO from @niashanks about 1.5 years ago. I wore it to the gym yesterday for the first time in a very long time. It was my reminder that I am enough….the best (s)hero in my own life. I am over a week out since my antibiotics stopped, and still feeling amazing. My gut is #healing. I am winning over #SIBO. I am embracing #AdrenalFatigue, and finally off all caffeine. I started a full time position with @nutiva yesterday while running my boutique company @alovingspoon #nutbutter & working hard as ever for the company’s #mission to give for the benefit of orphans and foster children. I run sarahkayhoffman.com to spread my message and share life as an alternative mama. And finally, I give my whole heart daily as a mama to a beautiful little girl, Samarah Josephina who is still not officially ours, but who is the baby I always prayed for. My life is no better than any others, but it is different and I have finally embraced being the (S)HERO in it.

I wrote about the SHERO in December, 2013. For the most part, I always looked to others to be the SHERO for my life. And while there are so many, it never occurred to me that perhaps I needed to be that same person for my own life.

I got by for many years on going, doing, being and pleasing in ways I thought would make me the SHERO for someone else. And while I attribute those doings to various successes, a lot of it also lead to the slow breakdown of body and self.

In November, 2014, I decided to start truly getting a grip on my health. And each new milestone I made with my health only made the desire to be even more for me stronger. I didn’t stop with learning my medical testing results.

I did all the things my doctor said would help (even though it’s been somewhat of a part-time job), and then I went above and beyond.

I quit caffeine (aka coffee for me).

I made personal business and work decisions.

I started saying “no” –  A LOT.

I began prioritizing, while figuring out a life, work and health/fitness balance.

I learned how I could “have it all,” without forcing (and actually reducing) my stress levels anymore.

I investigated deep down all the things that lead me here in the first place. (<– This might be one of the most crucial things I’ve done.)

Healing my inside, on all levels, has helped heal my outside, on all levels.

I think better, look better, react better, feel better and in general am better.

But I am now better for me. I have a long ways to go in so many ways, and my life is no better than any others, but it is different and I have finally embraced being the (S)HERO in it.

Xox,
SKH

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What We Feed to Our Baby Samarah http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/23/what-we-feed-to-our-baby-samarah/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/23/what-we-feed-to-our-baby-samarah/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:47:45 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25467 After I published “Please Don’t Feed My Baby,” I received so many comments and messages. I loved hearing all your stories and different perspectives. As promised, and because so many people ask me daily, today I’m sharing with you all the things we feed our baby Samarah. Many things on this list are fairly typical,... 

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After I published “Please Don’t Feed My Baby,” I received so many comments and messages. I loved hearing all your stories and different perspectives. As promised, and because so many people ask me daily, today I’m sharing with you all the things we feed our baby Samarah.

Many things on this list are fairly typical, but some definitely are not. And I like that about us:)

For the record, Samarah is (currently) a living, breathing human consumption tank. Some days I think she’ll eat us out of house and home. But she is also a typical toddler in the sense that she goes through phases with food….she eats similar things over-and-over and then she’s done with it for awhile. All of this is perfectly okay.

Samarah’s Grocery List/Menu Items

Samarah with Nutiva Coconut Oil www.agutsygirl.com

*I’m not breaking these down by breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks because the truth is that we don’t have a standard “breakfast meal” or lunchbox. Most of the items below are Organic (especially any on the Dirty Dozen list).

  • ‘Nanna Oats (or a version of them)
  • green olives
  • chicken apple sausage
  • bone broth
  • sardines
  • organic black bean spaghetti
  • bananas
  • cod liver oil
  • applesauce
  • CHIApple (Nutiva’s new applesauce)
  • turkey
  • peanut butter (but only from A Loving Spoon nut butter: Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter + Purely Cacao Peanut Butter)
  • Coconut Manna
  • strawberries
  • tuna
  • homemade pancakes (Coconut Manna Chip Pancakes + Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Pancakes)
  • bread (Dave’s Killer Bread or Alpine Valley)
  • raw honey
  • various oils: coconut oil (her favorite), hemp oil, olive oil, red palm oil
  • riced cauliflower
  • salmon
  • milk = almond milk (almond milk + water only) + goat milk + coconut milk
  • baby red potatoes (she likes them with Ghee butter, and she tolerates the Ghee just fine)
  • sweet potatoes
  • mint chocolate ice cream pops (from my summer eats, treats & desserts ebook)
  • beef
  • chicken and chicken liver
  • green beans
  • Luna & Larry’s Mint Galactica
  • organic squeeze packs
  • squashes of all sorts
  • quinoa, plain or quinoa with honey, almond milk and cinnamon (thanks, Jen!)
  • blueberries
  • Chia Seed pudding
  • homemade JELLO
  • lemons
  • smoothies (made with about any and every fruit and vegetable possible, sometimes blended with hemp protein)
  • beans
  • ham
  • kale chips (she loved them, but couldn’t grasp the texture)
  • cod
  • hempseed flatbread
  • avocado
  • apples (chomping on with her daddy)

{I am feverishly trying to get her to love eggs. Sadly, she still does not.}

This is the bulk of what she currently eats, and what she currently loves to eat. Every chance I get, we try new things. I want Samarah to love food for what it is without the need to pump chemicals, additives and other unnecessary ingredients. I never want to be the mother who has to “trick her” into eating fruit, vegetables and other nutrient dense foods.

I realize that when she’s big enough, she’ll be choosing her own foods. And that’s okay.

For now, it’s my responsibility to give her the very best I can with the knowledge I have so she keeps on growing and thriving like the beautiful butterfly she is turning out to be.

Xox,
SKH

p.s. The above list is one reason why 99% of the time I will never work with baby food brands and companies. If you notice, most of what we do is whole, real foods. I have chosen this over “baby food” for the most part, and I think it serves my family and your families best for me to be honest about what we do and to not be the “baby product mama” for a few extra bucks:) Take it for what it’s worth to you.

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Please Don’t Feed My Baby http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/20/please-dont-feed-my-baby/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/20/please-dont-feed-my-baby/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:06:39 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25433 Please don’t feed my baby. These are words you will rarely ever hear me say, but words I think almost daily. Samarah cannot have dairy. If it were up to me, she would have raw milk poured over her “oats, boats and bugs” oatmeal, Organic yogurt with fruit and raw cheese at night with her... 

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Please don’t feed my baby.

These are words you will rarely ever hear me say, but words I think almost daily.

Samarah cannot have dairy. If it were up to me, she would have raw milk poured over her “oats, boats and bugs” oatmeal, Organic yogurt with fruit and raw cheese at night with her daddy.

Please Don't Feed My Baby sarahkayhoffman.com

This is not me forcing my limitations upon her. This is reality; she is intolerant to dairy.

People feed my baby for two reasons:

  1. Out of the kindness of their heart
  2. Because they think I don’t let her be “normal”

In the case of the former, I always understand. I just have to set very clear reminders about the dairy factor.

For the latter, patience runs thin.

I can’t count the number of times people have said to me, “Oh, I feel so bad for her….she can’t have Girl Scout Cookies,” or “C’mon let her be normal and have Cheetos.”

I used to (almost) agree, until I realized that there is nothing sad about the fact that Samarah cannot eat processed, chemical-filled junk. In America, we reward our children with things other countries ban.

And the next question, of course, is always,

Then what does she eat?

I know it may come as a shock to many, but Samarah eats things she loves - really loves – daily.

I spend a lot of time preparing food for her, and I spend even more time racking my brain around how to make her things she loves, but that also fit within how I think she will thrive. These are not only hypotheticals, but instead they are realities. She was born at 2.5 pounds and she has indeed thrived in ways doctors sometimes can’t believe.

I ask myself often, “How is this, and how are these ways any different than the mother who insists you not feed her baby due to a peanut or shellfish allergy?” Our children all have special circumstances for which we are not held liable to justify to anyone or anything. They are choices we make because we know what’s best for them at any given moment.

Just as my medical records and reasons why I choose to live in the way in which I do are personal so is the way in which we have chosen to feed baby Samarah.

Samarah has no complaints. (Mint Chocolate Pops - dairy, gluten, grain, soy, corn and refined-sugar free – from my summer eats, treats & desserts ebook)

Please Don't Feed My Baby. Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Pops Dairy Free. sarahkayhoffman.com

And I am perfectly confident being an alternative mama.

So what does she currently eat? I’ll share soon.

Xox,
SKH

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This is a Blog For http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/15/this-blog-for/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/15/this-blog-for/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:33:49 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25447 This is a blog for thousands of people, but also a blog tailored for those select thousands. With the way we have progressed (or should I say potentially regressed) as an ever-growing sick population (70+% of the immune system lies in the gut), this could be a place for millions in the coming years. I have been... 

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This is a blog for thousands of people, but also a blog tailored for those select thousands. With the way we have progressed (or should I say potentially regressed) as an ever-growing sick population (70+% of the immune system lies in the gut), this could be a place for millions in the coming years.

I have been here in this little space on the Internet since 2009. I have been singing bone broth‘s praises since 2009, way before it was posh and on the trend spot.

I have lived with this beautiful gut mess since 2001/2002.

Like my faith, I have reached the point in my life where my convictions for real health are the strongest they have ever been.

If you follow our adoption journey and read, “Today She is 19 Months,” you were likely thinking, “Why was that post put on the A Loving Spoon website?

My story is long (and, truthfully, deep on many levels). Samarah and the adoption journey is, by far, the best part of my life – of my story. But I have come to a place where the missions of Sarah Kay Hoffman and of A Loving Spoon don’t necessarily match up. This is a blog for thousands of people, but not necessarily for that piece of my story.

For me, like it or hate it, what I’ve learned in the past couple of years, (I know because I have been feverishly tracking) is that this blog is a place where people come for hope and inspiration, help and friendship on their gut and autoimmune journeys. And I get it, I really get it. This whole autoimmune journey has been SO HARD for me, and I wish that 14 years ago I would have stumbled upon a blog like this one I have created to give me the hope I desperately needed and the courage to actually change my life.

Autoimmune Living with Hope Courage This Blog sarahkayhoffman.com

And so this blog is going to remain just that….a place to provide hope and courage, information and thought leadership as it relates to IBS, IBD, SIBO, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and autoimmune in general.

This is a blog for true wellness NOT healthy lifestyle, and I believe there is a distinct difference between the two.

This is a blog for those who seek alternative answers to the conventional “wisdom” we’ve been passed along.

This is a blog for self healing and love AND for raising baby and children in the same, alternative manner.

Our adoption journey has been moved to A Loving Spoon, where we have the mission to help children, orphans and foster children through the donation of 10c per jar purchased. It is my greatest joy, my deepest passion and my most loving mission for life.

But at the end of the day, it is different than this huge piece to my life – the part I’ve invited you to take part in for the past several years.

And so, what remains here is my story (which I’m about to tell more of), healing and living this alternative lifestyle as an individual and as a mama.

I hope you’ll love it.

{Don’t miss a post on our Adoption Journey(s)! To subscribe to the A Loving Spoon nut butter email, click HERE. To subscribe to the newsletter for this blog, click HERE. You can also get these posts in your Bloglovin’ feed by clicking HERE.}

Xox,
SKH

p.s. We just started Monday. You can still join for the next 26 days:)

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Never Give Up. Ever. http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/13/never-give-up-ever/ http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/2015/04/13/never-give-up-ever/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:20:57 +0000 http://www.sarahkayhoffman.com/?p=25438 I reflected on my journey a lot this past weekend. And it made me so proud that I have lived and breathed each and every single day, “Never give up. Ever.” I have suffered from something “mysterious” since my Freshman year of college. This past week, though, my world was flipped upside down when seemingly miracles began... 

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I reflected on my journey a lot this past weekend. And it made me so proud that I have lived and breathed each and every single day, “Never give up. Ever.

Never Give Up. Ever. sarahkayhoffman.com

I have suffered from something “mysterious” since my Freshman year of college. This past week, though, my world was flipped upside down when seemingly miracles began to happen.

After I tolerated the egg, I knew I was healing, and I knew the answers to these past 14 years were all right within reach.

I have lived and breathed food and food properties (as they apply to gut healing) since about 2009, and so I spent the weekend soaking in the knowledge, stringing the pieces together.

For my final “test,” I included cauliflower into our meal last night. The big bowl consisted of: riced cauliflower + swiss chard + Asian greens sautéed in hemp oil. It was accompanied by Organic grilled chicken drummies and wild shrimp, topped with moringa and cilantro. It was absolutely lovely.

Cauliflower Rice Best Image Never Give Up. Ever. sarahkayhoffman.com

And then I woke up this morning with a gut that agreed – amazing dinner.

For the past 14 years, every single doctor has missed the SIBO factor. I cannot ever know for sure if I have had SIBO since my Freshman year of college, but based on when my gut began to (literally) rot and wreak of it (and also when I began to become intolerant to eggs), I can only conclude that shortly after I came down with an awful 2-week sickness that year is when SIBO manifested.

14 years with no answers, and it makes sense why I have to do B12 injections 3 times per week at home (anaerobic bacteria sucks B12 away). My SIBO was so severe, and the truth is that no diet change would have ever been my miracle cure.

The miracle cure was two-fold: this antibiotic that I hate to admit has been critical + my drive to never, ever give up.

What I have learned is that in order for the pieces to the puzzle to fit, you must find out what is medically wrong with you. Guessing won’t cut it. As a matter of fact, guessing and then eliminating foods based on what you think makes us worse. I can promise this. I have lived it.

People always want to “pick my brain” to help them with a diet for healing the gut. And while I am confident that I am an expert in food and food properties (as they apply to healing the gut), I am also confident that if I don’t know what’s medically wrong with someone, my knowledge is no better than an empty library.

And this is why I will now heal even more…..because I have an accurate medical diagnosis. I know what I can and what I cannot eat, but for the first time in about 6 years, I am eating more – more variety and nutrient dense foods than ever before, than ever imagined.

I am going to be updating my story soon now that the pieces to the puzzle fit.

I am going to share even more because what has happened to me in the past 14 years has been about much more than just food.

But mostly? I am going to make it my mission to see you to answers, and then help you into the best life you have ever imagined.

Don’t miss it.

p.s. For the record….no I am still not eating processed foods, chemical anything, gluten or dairy. I have no intentions to ever live beyond true wellness. My life has no place for it. I am, for life, an alternative mama who believes in the power of real, whole foods and never rewarding with junk “because the day warranted it.” I stand tall on my convictions. But adding in a pound+ of organic greens and vegetables a day? Always!

Xox,
SKH

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