I have learned 7.5 million things about gut healing. But of all the things I’ve learned, there are a few that stand out more than any others, namely you must live life.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Beach Samarah

In The Emotional Side of Illness, I mentioned:

I also believe with all my heart that this battle can be won by focusing on two core components: letting go of control while simultaneously understanding then addressing the gut-brain axis.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Ryan and Isaiah

That very same day I began to let go of control.

My immediate changes included

  • No more food analyzing
  • No more tracking symptoms
  • Quitting my Gut Healing Bullet Journal
  • Eating based on hunger signals and desires (God forbid we do that!) vs. anything some “expert” has recommended
  • Reaching out to trusted professional friendships
  • Making the decision to transition my blog from a how-to-heal the gut tutorial to a how-to-be inspired by….life story (this was a huge one!)

You Must Live Life

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

And then finally, this past Saturday went on a little day trip with my family.

Ryan wanted to go to the beach for Father’s Day weekend, so that’s what we did. But we did so without any real planning, which is something I working on doing more and more.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Ryan, Samarah and Isaiah

On our way to the beach, we drove past this little farm, and on a whim decided we would take the kids there on the way back.

We went to the beach. It was beautiful, albeit cold. The kids and Ryan played while I grabbed pictures of them all.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah in Half Moon Bay

I’m learning with every day that passes why I take so many pictures. Days and weeks might be tough, but moments pass quickly and being able to look back on those moments as part of the bigger picture is priceless to capture.

It was early afternoon by that time, so we went to lunch. I ate the things that sounded good to me, not the things I analyzed for their ability to help my gut heal.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah, Ryan and Isaiah beach

After lunch we headed out, stopping at that little farm we saw on the way in.

We got out, and did the things Samarah wanted to do.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Lemons Farm Goat

Feeding goats.

Riding horses. (Side note: She sang to herself the whole horse ride. The girl is sweet as heck.)

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com Samarah riding pony

And when it was time to head out, we all piled in the car. The babies dozed off, and I began thinking.

Healing the gut requires a solid foundation (the right combination of diet, supplements, lifestyle and maybe even medications and/or antibiotics). I know, without a doubt, that every single morsel of gut healing knowledge and building blocks I have put together these past several years were critical. No one can deny that without that solid foundation you will ever be able to heal.

But I’ve had that down for several years.

I am now trying to “finish” building this house, completing this race (because guys, when you have been sick this long you never are cured, but you can be placed into full remission).

I am confident that the secret to healing the gut, being in remission and living symptom-free, is that you must live life.

In an email newsletter I sent out yesterday I stated,

I realized that it’s not a sweet potato or rice or legumes or a cupcake or anything else that make us (and keep us) sick. No, instead, it’s the control we try to keep around all of it and the attention we give to the details. We miss the forest for the trees.

It’s kind of like this.

You Must Live Life sarahkayhoffman.com

No matter your circumstances, you must live life. I have been afraid of so many things for the past few years. This hold has been paralyzing, and living life the way I desire to live it has not always happened because of it.

I can name specific events, outings, gatherings and just about every other kind of “life moment” I have failed to participate in (whether via body or spirit) because of this illness.

But there is no single food, supplement or daily choice that makes or breaks healing.

The sum of the parts are always greater than the individual piece.

Later Saturday night, we got home, grilled some awesome burgers on my homemade bread and enjoyed our night as a family.

I woke up the next day, stomach now approximately 99% sans bloat, all to reconfirm that you must live life.


Similar Posts


  1. I get it, but please tell me how you live life when it feels like there’s a bowling ball in your gut. Cuz I can hardly move on those days, much less get in the car and go somewhere.

    1. Honestly? I’ve had SO many of those days and on THOSE days if you want the real truth, I don’t go anywhere. I typically stay inside, sulk and “feel bad” for myself. It’s not pretty. It’s probably not okay, but it’s the truth. You are ALLOWED to feel that way. My point, though, is that you should not define the rest of your life in that way. You must live life, so you must figure out how to live with vs. against SIBO. All my love and best! xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *