Sunday, November 29, 2009


(Taking one day off from discussing the GAPS Diet to reflect on Thanksgiving.)

Truly, I am THANKFUL. 

There are so many things day-in and day-out that go wrong, in our own lives and in the world in general. But as a whole, I believe we have so much to be thankful for. I'd like to share my Top 7 (in no particular order):
  1. Ryan, Reagan and Fiona - our family. I love knowing that they are the first people/things I see when I wake up and the last before I fall asleep. I love my husband's heart, the unconditional love and the smiles he creates around our house. I can't imagine life without any of them. I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  2.  Family - back in Minnesota. I miss them everyday, sometimes too much. But I know that they are there - always there - and that even though we are so far apart, nothing changes because we love each other all the same. I could not have asked for a better Mother, Father and Brother. I was blessed to "inherit" unbelievable in laws. Family is the most important thing to me - always will be. I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  3.  Friends - near and far. There is nothing like good friends. Good friends become almost like family. I always have a guard up when it comes to good friends; they are rare to find. But when I do find them, the relationship is priceless to me. They are always the friends that would drop anything and everything in a heartbeat if needed. And even more importantly, they are always the friends that just "come easily." There is no work involved. They love, respect and understand. Most of my best friends don't even live in a 100-mile radius (and another one soon to be leaving:(), but while it kills me the friendship is all the same!  I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  4. Health - not something I may have said last year at this time. You don't know how great it is until you don't have it anymore. I have finally figured out how to stay healthy. And when I stray from that (like I have so often lately) I really realize how thankful for good health I am. I am thankful that I know how to control "feeling well." And I am thankful that I have had some key support to get me from there to here in this past year. Having good health allows me to be active, which is one of my favorite things in the world. I am so thankful for health each and everyday. 
  5. Success - through hard work. Success is measured in so many different ways. I am thankful for success through hard work. I am thankful in knowing that because I am driven and strive for the best in everything I do, success can always be looming around. I am so thankful for success each and everyday. 
  6.  Life - simple. I am thankful for this life that God gave to me and continues to give to me and the ones I love the most every day. I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me each and everyday. Sometimes I can't even believe that life is so great - that the world is so beautiful - that the possibilities are endless. Sure, I have bad days - we all do. But as a whole, life is great. We have to appreciate all the small things and not sweat all the little things. Tomorrow will always be another day - we can be thankful for that idea, as not everyone will have the chance for a "tomorrow." I am so thankful for life each and everyday. 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

GAPS Diet: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD


She is the face behind the GAPS Diet. According to her site:

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride holds a degree in Medicine and Postgraduate degrees in both Neurology and Human Nutrition.  In her clinic in Cambridge she specializes in nutrition for children and adults with behavioral and learning disabilities, and adults with digestive and immune system disorders.

Dr. Campbell-McBride set up The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in 1998.  As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, she was acutely aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and she has devoted much of her time to helping these families.  She realized that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults to overcome their disabilities, and has pioneered the use of probiotics in this field.

She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject.  In her clinic, parents discuss all aspects of their child's condition, confident in the knowledge that they are not only talking to a professional but to a parent who has lived their experience.  Her deep understanding of the challenges they face puts her advice in a class of its own.
If ever there is a day that I get to meet Dr. Natasha, I will be in awe! I admire her for 4 main reasons:
  1. For evolving the SCD in a way that perhaps aided in benefiting above and beyond what the SCD does/did for so many. 
  2. For taking concepts she already believed in and people she admired and transforming them into her own through diligent studying and research.
  3. For taking an unfortunate situation with her own child and investigating healing through nutrition vs. relying on a doctor to medicate.
Finally, and most importantly, I admire her because she spoke the truth. She was not out to provide "just another" useless self-help book. This resource she provided CHANGED MY LIFE. YES - I can say with 100% conviction - The GUT & PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME DIET has CHANGED MY LIFE!

I will forever be thankful for you, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.

Back to the Basics: GAPS Diet


I have been getting many questions lately about the GAPS Diet. The 2 most common:
  • "What is it?"
  • "Why do you do it?"
Along with it, I get comments. The 3 rudest:
  • "That's weird."
  • "You must have ADD/ADHD/Schizophrenia if you do that."
  • "Just be normal."
Due to the amount of questions & comments, I decided - for myself -to get "back to the basics." And by "back to the basics," I mean: Educate myself on the Diet even more so that I can educate others in an understandable way. I have been spending most nights and every break during my days that I can re-reading this amazing book. You can see it HERE.

I will not be doing this in one blog post, but rather over the next several. There is a plethora of great information that I believe people will find interesting and also beneficial. 

It is NOT my intention to have you think that what I write and discuss is the be all, end all. It IS my intention, though, to share what I know though the passion I have towards it. I once heard from a teacher in junior high, "Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read." That being said, take this information for whatever it's worth to you!

Stay tuned....


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Combating Turkey Day Bloat

Thanksgiving is still one week away, but I can already smell the Thanksgiving Day feast!


This is OK. This is normal! BUT.......BEWARE! Thanksgiving is loaded with calories. Furthermore, Thanksgiving is the "kickoff" to a season of feasting on foods that only come around one time a year. And because these foods only come around one time a year, we think we can gorge day in and day out. The problem is, the season lasts for 1+ months (if you consider that you don't stop until your "New Years Resolution").

This year, join me by kicking off the "season" right!  
Here are the Top 3 Things I'm doing to Combat the Turkey Day Bloat:
  1. Move It to Earn It - That's right, you've got to move it to earn it! I would guess that most of you will not do a Thanksgiving Day meal until at least 11am. Even if you choose not to wake up until 10am that day, you would still be able to get in a good half hour walk/run/lift/swim/bike/etc. Any way you can move prior to your meal will help in combating the Turkey Day Bloat. Better yet, lift your weights in the morning or do a circuit training workout. Both will help burn optimal calories post-workout! I will be leading a 10K Turkey Trot at our local Club, which will be a fun way to move it and earn it!
  2. Protein + Favorites - If your Thanksgiving is anything like ours, it includes plates and platters and dishes and tins and jars of item after item. There really is no end in sight. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. But, Thanksgiving is not the day to be on a "diet" or attempt "self-deprivation." ENJOY yourself, but do it in moderation. I will load up with turkey and any other proteins I can get my hands on (mostly because this is part of my GAPS Diet I follow). After that, I will look at my options and I will choose a few that look the best to me, even if they are the highest in calorie. Eating something that's second best in order to skimp on a few calories will not do you any good. In the end, you'll end up going back for seconds, thirds and fourths - all because you aren't getting what your body is screaming at you to take! Protein + (moderation) of only your favorite items will help reduce the Turkey Day Bloat.
  3. Start Today - Start preparing for Thanksgiving Day today! No, I do not mean physically preparing food. I mean, work a little harder at the gym and be a little more conscious about your current food choices. If you ran on the treadmill for an extra 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days, did one extra set during your weight lifting sessions and skipped dessert just 3 nights, you will have saved up (or earned) about 1,000 calories (give or take, depending on the various factors). And couldn't we all use those 1,000 calories to combat the Turkey Day Bloat?
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving! I love knowing that I work hard almost every single day of the year, so when it's time to eat a little extra on Thanksgiving I can do so - with Thanks - and a full, (unbloated) stomach!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Top of the World

My husband and I recently got back from a mini-trip for our 1-year Wedding Anniversary. We went up the coast to Mendocino and Sea Ranch.

I am still planning on doing an entire Blog posting about our time there, but I have one picture Ryan took that is just amazing.

Ryan titled it, "Sarah On Top of the World." And how could you not call it that? These views were incredible! Living in such a beautiful place makes your mind free, heart open and opportunities limitless!

When you step back, take it all in and look around you realize that, YES, you can feel On Top of the World! Happy Wednesdsay!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Where I Run

I wanted to share with everyone my new Blog.

The new Blog I created is called "It's Where I Run!" I encourage you to check it out, as it goes along with my whole "vibrantly living" ideas!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice, relaxing weekend! Cheers!

Spicing up Breakfast

I have decided to dive into my GAPS Diet book again. I am excited about this!


This morning
I made "Eggless banana mini-muffins." So yummy!

Here is the recipe I used (there are modifications to everything):
  • Coconut flour (Organic, Bob's Red Mill)
  • Gelatine crystals
  • Very ripe, smashed bananas
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
The consistency is not what we are used to. As a matter of fact it was the consistency of cookie dough. (I believe this is because I used Coconut flour and not Grounded nuts, since I couldn't find them at Raley's yesterday.)

These are wholesome, all natural and healthy mini-muffins, but I made them mini for a reason - they are super high in calories and fat. I tend to worry much less about that now than before, since finding a "great treat" like this for me is so rare!

Even if you do not follow the GAPS Diet or any diet for that matter, I highly recommend trying this recipe out!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Brazil Nuts & Red Wine (Two Items I Never Had Growing Up)

It's Friday! Finally Friday! I had off last Monday and yet, still, Friday could not have come soon enough.

But here we are - Friday! In light of it being Friday, I figured I'd better not complain about anything, but just be thankful for the day and talk about Brazil Nuts & Red Wine.

Yes, weird, but nonetheless I am looking forward to both of these tonight!

Brazil Nuts


Growing up, my parents always had several jars of peanuts, nuts and mixed nuts in the cupboard (all salted of course - I don't eat nuts of any sort salted). To this day, every time I go home, it's guaranteed that we will have a few drinks at night and eat from their "nut" jars. There was always one nut, though, that no one ate - the Brazil Nut (or as my Mother calls them, Filberts). I avoided them for most of my life because I just automatically thought they were "gross."

And then one day I decided to try them. I have never looked back, since!

Not only do I think they taste great, but these Brazil Nuts are so good for us, too! According to one site, they are one of the Top 6 Healthiest Nuts!
These nuts are extremely nutrient-rich and contain protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works to neutralize dangerous free radicals. A study at the University of Illinois even found that the high amounts of selenium in Brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer.
I like eating them plain - raw. I don't like to put salt or anything else on them. But....the next time I'm in Minnesota, having drinks with my parents, you can be certain that I will be the one to finish the Brazil Nuts in the Mixed Nut jar - even if they do have salt on them!

Red Wine


Red Wine was also another item we never had growing up. Yeah, clearly I wouldn't have been allowed to actually drink it, but what I mean is that my parents never had any in the house. They don't drink it. They don't care to drink it (my Dad drinks Miller and my Mom drinks Miller Light, with the occasional "other" drinks here and there:)).

It wasn't until Ryan and I moved to the West Coast that I got into wine - and Red Wine in particular (I used to be a fruity, White Wine girl.)

I am now hooked on Red Wine. There is nothing like a good glass of Red Wine! Price doesn't matter - taste does. We're always on the hunt for our "next best Red Wine." Getting to the "next best Red Wine" is part of the fun, too. Trying several never killed anyone! As a matter of fact, Red Wine is good for our health!
  1. Red Wine has antioxidants
  2. Red Wine has heart protection
  3. Red Wine has cancer protection
I wonder what glass of Red Wine I'll get into tonight? Whatever it is, you can be sure that I'll tell my Mom about it and she'll say, "Yeah, ya know I've just never been a Red Wine drinker (in the greatest Minnesota accent of course!)

Perhaps tomorrow I'll discuss coffee.....and did I mention ever that that's also a drink/item I never grew up with? To this day, neither parent drinks coffee. They don't like it - at all!

I guess I've ALWAYS marched to the beat of my own drum!

Happy Friday (go out and get yourself some Brazil Nuts & Red Wine)!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

if better is possible - good is not enough

I found a Nike Blog post in July stating that they were looking for "Nike+ 10K Human Race Ambassdor's."

It sounded like fun to me. I applied on July 30th. The first two sentences of my email stated,

Choose me to be one of your Nike Ambassadors!

I promise to make Nike proud!

On August 3rd, just days after, I received an email from Nike. Their first two sentences were,
Congratulations! You have been selected to be a
Nike+ Human Race Ambassador.

Life has not been the same since! I have a quote that says, "if better is possible - good is not enough." This quote should have been my Human Race Ambassador Motto; I am now certain of that.

From August - October 24, 2009, I would habitually wake up everyday at 4:30am. I would check my email and respond to new or existing Pied Pipers. I would then head to my favorite coffee shop to "strategize, plot and plan" until about 6am. At 6am I would hit the gym to run and/or lift weights. (Since I was asking my team to run and then run some more, I felt it was nothing less than absolutely essential for me to be doing the same. I believe: Leadership does not exist without the leader doing as they wish to have done.) I would get home around 7:30am, at which point I would check more emails, shower and head to work. I would work my regular, full-time job, from about 8:30-5pm, fight traffic and get home. The rest of each and every night was devoted to the recruitment, development, inspiration, motivation and Social Media Marketing for the Nike+ Human Race promotion and the Pied Piper Team I worked so hard for!

And then on October 25, 2009 it was over. I had given the "run" everything I had. My only hope and wish at that point was that the team I had built enjoyed it all, ran their hearts out and (mostly) respected, appreciated and were (even more than before) motivated by not only Nike+ & the Nike+ Challenges but also by me, Sarah Kay Hoffman!

On October 29, 2009 it was announced that my team, Team Pied Piper, had WON the Nike Human Race Ambassador's Challenge!

Here is what they did during that short amount of time:
  • Built my Pied Piper Facebook Fan Page to 723 Fans
  • Grew to a team of 1,039
  • Ran 114,390 miles (whew!)
In addition, the Pied Pipers had the most people sync their 10K runs on 10.24.2009. Mission was 100% accomplished! THANK YOU!

The Nike+ Human Race might be over, but I still believe...."if better is possible - good is not enough." I found my Passion in recruiting, developing, inspiring, motivating, leading through Social Media Marketing and through this wonderful (and yet crazy) Virtual-osity. I am not ready for it to be over. I am not ready to stop doing what I love so much! I can't wait to help the next person and/or company get from HERE to THERE! I can't wait to watch myself get from HERE to THERE!

Thank you, Nike (for the opportunity)!
Thank you, Pied Pipers (for having Passion and spreading that Passion)!
Thank you, Ryan (my husband who didn't see me for 3 months, for supporting me)!

Tonight I'm just simply thankful.

Tomorrow morning, I'll just simply be thankful for my coffee and the opportunity to "strategize, plot and plan" my next endeavor!