Friday, April 29, 2016

Starting Over...

Your Struggles Today Are Your Strengths Tomorrow 

There really are no words to describe all that I have been thru in the last few weeks. Our emotions have traveled a heck of a roller coaster. We were on a high because after three years, we were some how able to get pregnant. Then a few short weeks later we learned that things were not looking great and we spent a few weeks being terribly worried. Only to later to learn that the baby was not going to make it. This past week I had my surgery to remove what remained of the pregnancy. To say it was hard, it a bit of an understatement. 

miscarriage, loss, infertility, 21 day fix, 21 day fix meal plan, 21 day fix results, 21 day fix women's results, sarah griffith,
Heading into surgery on Monday. 
I will be quite honest. When we learned I was pregnant, I was so afraid to mess anything up so I basically quit exercising. The doctors told me light exercise would be fine since I had already been active but I decided it was not worth the risk so I just stopped almost all together. Some would think oh no big deal who cares. Heres the thing though, for the last three years exercise was a part of my daily life. It was a part of me. The exercise was my stress relief. The workouts were not for weight loss they were for health and quite honestly it helped to keep my spirits up during hard times. I grew to really enjoy it and when I stopped I felt like a piece of me went missing.

All I was hanging on to was clean eating and truthfully that started to slip the more stressful things became as I learned something might be wrong with the pregnancy. I found myself slipping back to my old ways and getting lazy about what I was fueling my body with. The more junk I started to eat the more lousy I began to feel.  

I hit what I would call a bit of a rock bottom this week. Emotionally I have been a terribly sad and completely not myself. I spent much of the week recovering from the surgery I had on Monday. I went back to work on Thursday and Friday but have mostly been staying off social media and away from everyone. It seems the only person I feel like talking with is my husband and a very small handful of people. I realize it's not a great place to be but it's how I am getting thru and where I am right now. I also realize I need to get back to ME. While that may take time, I need to start somewhere and for me the only place I know can start with is my health. 

miscarriage, loss, infertility, 21 day fix, 21 day fix meal plan, 21 day fix results, 21 day fix women's results, sarah griffith,

It's what feels familiar, its my old sense of normal and it's what I can control. So that is my plan. Controlling the controllable and handling the rest day by day.

The game plan is to start Saturday April 30th with the original program that I started with three short years ago when I started my journey as a challenger turned coach. I will spend the next 21 days doing the original 21 day fix. I will be drinking my Shakeology daily and using the portion control containers with my meal plan and working out 30 minutes a day each day. I am certain there will be days when I just don't feel like it, but I am making no excuses. I want to feel better about myself again and this is where I can start. Since March I have gained 9 lbs all of which I am almost certain I can drop in those 21 days. If I don't, that's okay too. This isn't about weight loss it's about getting back to my old self. 

miscarriage, loss, infertility, 21 day fix, 21 day fix meal plan, 21 day fix results, 21 day fix women's results, sarah griffith,

I am asking for some support and extra cheering on in these coming weeks. I'm ready to turn my struggles into tomorrows strength. Your welcome to join me instead of just watching if you would like! Glad to have you along for the ride!

miscarriage, loss, infertility, 21 day fix, 21 day fix meal plan, 21 day fix results, 21 day fix women's results, sarah griffith,

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

21 Day Fix Graduate

21 Day Fix Challenger Success Story

21 day fix challenge, 21 day fix graduate, 21 day fix results, 21 day fix womens results, sarah griffith,

Today I wanted to give a great big shout out to one of my amazing challengers Adelle. She and I both went to college together and studied Business Education at IUP. After many years of not staying in touch she reached out to me this winter on social media and said she was interested in what I do as a coach. She mentioned that she has some baby weight that she was looking to get rid of and overall just wanted to be healthier. She was someone who was committed right away. Like no messing around. Sometimes I chat back and forth with people for months before they decide they are ready to commit. That was not the case with her. The same day she sent me a friend request was the day she mentioned she wanted to join my challenge group. That told me she was ready to go ALL IN. She was at while I like to call "rock bottom". Rock bottom is the best place to be when it comes to starting your weight loss journey. You are ready to go all in no matter what at this point. It's a beautiful place to be when it comes to your motivation and determination to do well with the program you pick.

She chose the 21 day fix as her program and chocolate for her flavor of Shakeology. When she joined, she was about to be taken on a journey of clean eating, daily exercise and learning a new approach to portion control. She knocked it out of the park. She is since down 11 pounds. She is feeling healthier and best of all has more energy to play with her kids. She's moving on to the CIZE workout program now. Getting her sweat on while she dances her heart out. Talk about a fun way to exercise.

Her commitment to the challenge group has been awesome. She's stuck with it and has refused to throw in the towel. Even if she gets off track for a few days, I know she will be right back at it. That my friends is how you lose weight for good and keep it off. You stay accountable and you stay committed to the goals that you set in the beginning.

Adelle thank you for allowing me to be the person to help guide you thru your fitness journey. Your doing an amazing job and have become such a healthy role model for your beautiful children. Way to lead by example for them. Mommy deserves to be healthy and feel great! Keep at it my dear!!
Adelle with one of her beautiful daughters! 
If you are interested in starting your own health and fitness journey like Adelle has please fill out the application below and I will be in touch shortly.

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5 Day Gluten / Grain Free Challenge

Wondering How To Go Gluten Free? Let Me Teach You How! 

going gluten free, how to go gluten free, grain free diet, gluten free lifestyle, hashimoto's disease, gluten free with hashimoto's, sarah griffith,

This past winter I decided it was going to be a good move to go gluten free. I had several conversations with my doctor and she agreed it was absolutely worth giving it a shot. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder which means that my immune system is attacking my thyroid. Thus putting lots of stress on my endocrine system. I take medication to help control this and while it has helped and my levels are considered optimal now, I was still feeling the effects of the disease. I had been doing my homework and had read over and over again that those with the disease were having lots of success by removing gluten from their everyday lives. While it does not make the disease go away, it sure does to help make you feel better.

Before making the decision to go gluten free, I decided I would pay close attention to my body after I consumed gluten. After lots of documenting and paying attention, I learned that I felt much worse each time I consumed it. The worst part - ANYTIME I had ANY gluten my belly would bloat out and make me look like I was expecting. The reaction would happened within minutes of eating. I decided this experiment was worth a try. I began in February it noticed a difference within weeks. I felt SO much better. Lots more energy, no crashing after I ate, no bloating. Lots of other great side effects. I also decided to see what happened after I ate it a few weeks into giving it up. Totally made me sick. It kind of helped confirm it was a good move for more. While I do not have celiacs disease, I do seem to have a gluten intolerance.

I also had been struggling with infertility for the last three years and some of the research out there states that there can be links between gluten and infertility. I decided I had nothing to lose. Sure enough a month after going gluten free, I was able to get pregnant. It could have been a coincidence or it could be that going gluten free reduced the inflammation enough in my body to create a more positive environment for pregnancy. Granted I did miscarry just recently but it's the furthest we have gotten with getting pregnant in years. I am taking that as a positive step in the right direction.

My plans are to continue with this new lifestyle. It hasn't just been a change for me but also for my family. Everyone seems to be getting along just fine with the changes. It was actually much easier than I ever could have anticipated.

I want to pay it forward and teach others what I have learned along the way. On May 9th I will be offering a free 5 day gluten/ grain free challenge for my social media followers. The event will be online and each day I will be sharing with you tips I have learned, meal plans, recipes, books that I have found helpful and many many other tips and tricks for going gluten free.

If you would like to join us, please fill out the application below and I will send you a link to join the group. It is going to be very informational and also very fun! Let me show you that going gluten free isn't as scary as it might seem.

Click here to join the group! 

going gluten free, how to go gluten free, grain free diet, gluten free lifestyle, hashimoto's disease, gluten free with hashimoto's, sarah griffith,

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Infertility Awareness Week

Struggling with Infertility? You Are Not Alone My Dear

April 24 - April 30th is infertility awareness week. I am not usually one to jump on all of the different "awareness" weeks, but this one hits home for my family and I so I thought I would shed light on the issue and talk about what our journey with this has looked like over the last three years.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,

I wish I could go back and sit down with the newly pregnant version of my younger self and tell her to enjoy it. Every single minute of it because doing this again will never be promised. I was so naive when I had my son. We wanted to start trying for a little one in June (I was a teacher so the summer was the right time.) I ended up getting pregnant in May. No planning, no worrying, no fertility drugs just a blessing in Gods timing. I sailed thru 10 months of pregnancy like a breeze. I made it look easy. No stretch marks, no issues with the baby, hardly any morning sickness, and a labor that lasted... wait for it... 2 hours. Yep I got lucky all around.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,

When he arrived we felt a love that we never knew existed. Motherhood changed me; but absolutely for the better. As he grew we shared many conversations about "when the next one comes" and his someday brother or sister. We never had any doubts that we would have a few more children. Shortly after his first birthday we started to try for another one.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,

Months turned into years and we started to question why it wasn't happening. After one year of trying with no luck the doctors were willing to move forward with testing to be certain the two of us had no fertility issues that we were now dealing with. They always began the conversations with "the good news is you have been pregnant before." It used to annoy the daylights out of me. Yes I realize we were able to get pregnant but we can't now. That's why we are here so help us figure this out.

We went thru a battery of expensive tests to figure out if anything was wrong with is. Your husband has to be a good sport if your going to travel this road, because they analyze his fertility too. None of these tests are fun and often times, none of them are comforting because many come back showing nothing is wrong with you or him. It leaves you scratching your head and having to go thru more tests to rule other things out. It often will begin with many different blood tests for both of you. That is actually how I learned about my thyroid condition. It is one of the first things they check for actually because your thyroid controls your entire endocrine system which plays a huge role in your fertility. If your thyroid is off, your wasting your time trying to get pregnant. You need that regulated first. Any level between 0 - 4.0 is considered normal but for fertility reasons they like it to be between .5 and 1.0. Mine started out in the high 13's. Which for us was clearly one of our big issues were were up against. It took from November to January to get those levels down to where they needed to be. The medication helped a lot.

Once we got the thyroid issues taken care of, we moved forward with seeing a fertility specialist. I shopped around a few times before settling with Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh. You have to like who you are working with. If you feel like just another number when you are there, keep looking. There are plenty of compassionate doctors out there who are great to work with. Sadly, there are also others who will treat you like just another number.

After lots of blood work, they often will do a test to be certain your tubes are not blocked. This is called a hysterosalpingogram. Good luck trying to pronounce that one. ;) You are awake for the test. It is often done at the hospital. They put a catheter up thru your cervix then push dye thru it and watch it with x ray monitoring. They are looking for the fluids to "spill out" thru your tubes. This tells them if there is a blockage and where. That test hurt a bit. Lots of cramping and burning during it. They will let your spouse in the room while they do it. At least they did let mine in. It was nice to have him there because that test made me nervous. They also tell you that often times after that test your fertility goes up a bit because things have been "cleaned out."

You can't move forward with any fertility treatments until you do that test because if your tubes are blocked your wasting your time trying. So be prepared to cross this test off pretty quickly. We did this in January of last year. They suggested waiting three months to see if things happened on their own because of things being cleared out.

Three months passed by very slowly with no luck so we moved forward with our next try. Clomid. It's an oral pill you take that will stimulate your follicles to make certain you are producing an egg or quite often many eggs. You take this at the beginning of your cycle then are monitored thru ultrasound to see where the egg follicles are in regards to ovulation. Once they give you the green light to try, you do that then wait to see what happens. I should warn you though, Clomid comes with a boat load of pardon my french, but shitty side effects. It made me a monster. Headaches, sweating, emotional, cranky and flat out mean while I took it. My husband dreaded Clomid time in our house and quite honestly so did I. It also increases your chances of having multiples and not just two babies but sometimes several. We were nervous about that part but knew we wanted to grow our family and if it meant a few more than we planned for than so be it, we just wanted more children however we had to go about doing it.

After three months of taking clomid and not having it work each time, it got us pretty down. I went thru a hard time emotionally trying to accept that fact that we STILL had no luck. It also made us start to rethink all of this and start to look at parenting thru new eyes. We began to realize that we may only ever have one. We spent the summer and fall just taking in our sweet little one. Everything became different. We stopped saying things like when we have another one or when we do this next time around. Those conversations came to a bit of a halt and we started to just live in the moment with our son. Which we should have been doing all along.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,

While we were okay with the break we had taken from the fertility options, we knew if we wanted to have another one our next step was IUI or Intrauterine Insemination. It starts with blood testing during your period, then you take a drug similar to clomid (some do clomid.) I was supposed to do femera instead for a few days at the beginning of your cycle. Then you go for ultrasound testing. Once they give you the go ahead you take a trigger shot (in the butt) called ovidrel. This causes the egg to drop then you have a very short window to get your butt to the hospital where they are caring for you. Then they take your husbands sperm and "spin it or wash it" this takes a few hours and its so that they can ensure the have the best ones to use. Shortly after using a catheter, they inject the sperm into your uterus and you wait and hope that it works. At best you have between a 10 - 20% chance of it working each cycle. Depending on where you go it can cost you between $1,000.00 - $4,000.00 each round. They tell you up front you will most likely need to try three to four rounds. Many do not have success on the first round.

We explored it actually before we tried clomid but didn't want to take this aggressive step until we ruled out the easier methods first. As you know most often these types of treatments are not covered by your insurance company so it leaves you footing the bill for these procedures that often have very small guarantees of success rates. Not only do they have your heart and emotions tied up in all of this, but also your wallet. We finally decided to go forward with IUI this past January. We didn't want to question for the rest of our lives if we should have tried. We needed to rule it out so we could begin to move forward. It was ironic, the day I went to Magee for my ultra sounds and blood work I was supposed to start the drug that night but it all came to a halt. I had an endocrinologist appointment that same day. She put the brakes on me going forward because she did not think my body was up for the challenge just yet. My blood work was telling her something other than my thyroid was wrong. Thyroid was fine, it was either my cortisol levels or insulin that was wrong. She said not to lose faith, we could figure it out but she needed time and we needed to do more tests. It was a huge let down but we knew it was for the best. We were glad that we did not invest our emotions and our money in the IUI  that day. Shortly after we learned from doing the 6 hour insulin resistance test, that I was struggling with some major blood sugar issues that we needed to fix.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,
The morning of my insulin resistance testing. He was by my side thru all of these tests we have encountered. It's absolutely been our journey not just mine. He's amazing. 
That was our sign to stop. My husband and I were sick of the let downs, the sadness and the emptiness that goes along with infertility. We both knew what the other was thinking. Enough is enough. We were done. We knew there were lots of other and even more expensive options we could try but we had enough. We had to stop living in this place of uncertainty of will we have another or not? We both agreed we would be okay with the cards we were dealt and we would pick up and move forward as a family of three blessed as can be. No more wishing for more. Just living in the moment loving and appreciating the one that we do have. We even made a plan that we would give all of our sons childhood belongings to a mother in need this coming winter when our son turns five. We were okay with our plan and we were finally at ease with our decision.

Then a month later, we found out we were expecting. All on our own. No fertility drugs, no help,  just a special blessing from God. Sadly the blessing only stayed with us for six weeks and tomorrow I will be having surgery to remove the babies remains. It was a hard pill to swallow after having such a hard few years with infertility. To have been given this blessing and have it taken away so quickly rocked us and tested our faith.

infertility, infertility awareness, infertility awareness week, pcos, hypothyroidism, hashimoto's disease, Magee Woman's Hospital, miscarriage, unexplained infertility, sarah griffith,

Like all of the other disappointments we have experienced with infertility we will move forward and with time we will be okay. For now, we are not, but with time we know that we will. God has a plan that is bigger than ours. Somedays it's just hard to understand the plan.

To make a long story short. My advice to anyone going thru this awful storm is to keep the faith. Lean on your husband or partner and go thru this together. Let them know how hard it is for you and listen while they share their feelings with you too. It is just as sad for them as it is for you. Make it your journey together. This has made our marriage stronger but for some it can cause marriages to fall apart. Don't let that happen to you and yours. Know that it's absolutely okay to be sad, mad and even question your faith some days. Realize that it's going to hurt when your friends all around you are getting pregnant. Stay out of the baby section in department stores and Target and know that it's okay to skip out on baby showers and visiting new babies if your not ready. I had my share of skips. I was not in a place where I could go. With time, I am sure I will be able to, but that time is not right now and thats OKAY! Know that there are people you can talk with who are professionals if the sadness is too much for you and lastly I encourage you to SHARE your story. Share it with your friends and your family and own it. Do not be embarrassed that you are struggling with infertility. You are not alone. There are SO many women out there who are going thru the same thing or who have went thru it and went on to have successful pregnancies. Use those people as hope for you. Keep praying about it and keep your chin up. God's plan is playing out. Your time will come and if it never does, know that there are children out there who need someone to love them. While I realize giving birth to your own child is something that many long for, it is not always in the cards. If it isn't and you truly from the bottom of your heart want one, be brave enough to take the steps to move forward with a different approach. If you want to be a mother you can be. You just have to have patience my dear.

God bless you all! I pray your walk with infertility is a short one with sun at the end of your rainstorm. Please share this post with your friends or family who could benefit. Let me know if I can pray for you! I would be glad to!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten free baking, gluten free cookies, fixate cookbook, gluten free, chocolate chip cookies, sarah griffith, top beachbody coach,

Since going gluten free, we have been on a quest to find new things that we love and taste great. We had our first attempt at chocolate chip cookies recently and LOVED THEM! The almond flour gives it a delicious buttery taste unlike regular chocolate chip cookies. I actually got this recipe from the fixate cookbook and wanted to share it with all of you. The fixate cookbook has been my saving grace while I transitioned to gluten free because many of the recipes are already adapted to be gluten free. You can click here to check it out on my website. 

3 cups almond flour
1 tsp. baking soda, gluten free
1/4 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan Salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 large egg
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Directions Preheat oven to 375Line two baking sheets with parchment paperCombine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set asideBeat oil and maple syrup in a large mixer bowl until creamy, approximately 4-5 minutesAdd egg, egg whites, and extract; beat additional 2 minutesAdd almond flour mixture and mix until blendedDrop rounded TBSP not prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies with a spatula if desired. Bake approximately 14 minutes or until golden brown.Store in airtight container

Avocado Eggs

Hearty Protein and Healthy Fats Combined

healthy fats, healthy breakfast, avocado, avocado recipes, sarah griffith, top beachbody coach, protein, protein breakfast,

Lately I have been trying my best to include avocados into my food options as often as I can. I love the taste and I love the health benefits that come from including avocados into your daily diet. Just one avocado contains around 10 grams of fiber, it can help lower bad cholesterol levels and are said to be an anti- aging powerhouse. Just a few reasons to give them a try.

I had seen a lot of people using them to cook eggs in on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try myself. It was so simple. I cooked them in the oven for about 20 minutes on 375 degrees.

I took the center out of the avocados and some of the avocado meat then cracked my egg into it. I topped it with a tiny sprinkle of cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

I loved it! I also had a slice of bread (gluten free for me) and spread it all over the bread almost like a topping. It was a fabulous combo!

Enjoy! Your going to be glad you included this in your breakfast meal plans!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Six Special Weeks....

infertility, miscarriage, dealing with loss, sarah griffith,

For the last six weeks, my husband and I have been enjoying keeping a very big secret just between the two of us. In early March we discovered after three years of dealing with the dark road of infertility, we were somehow suddenly expecting. We were in shock, beyond excited and somewhat nervous. It seemed way to unreal after so many months of nothing happening. The cool part was that it happened on it's on. No fertility treatments. Just a special blessing from God.

We decided to keep our special news between us for a few reasons. The first is that we didn't want to get everyone in our family excited and then have to go thru the loss in the event that things didn't work out. The second reason is because my life as a coach requires me to live my life out loud on social media. We share it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. We do it in hope of encouraging others, but some days it is hard to share it all. It felt really fun to have a secret that was "just ours" these last few weeks.

Our first appointment got us hopeful of what was to come. It also brought back really special memories of our initial appointments we had when we were expecting our son Carter. The ultrasound showed the pregnancy was in the beginning phases of development. It seemed like such a miracle. We left with a picture that was the beginning of what was going to soon take another place in our heart.

They wanted us to come back two weeks later to get a better idea of the dates and how big the baby was. This past Monday I went for an ultrasound and saw something that brought tears to my eyes and caused them to stream down my cheeks. Not only did I get to see our tiny baby, but I also saw the beautiful sight of a heart beat. I saw life inside of me. I saw a miracle and I saw hope.

That afternoon I got a phone call that they were worried about a few things. The heartbeat seemed slow. It was 92 bpm. They like to see it between 100 - 110 bpm. The baby also seemed a little small to them for as long as I have been pregnant. Lastly, they shared that there was a small blood clot in my uterus. All things that made them apprehensive but for now, nothing to worry about yet. They wanted me to come back Friday for another appointment and ultrasound so we could see what we were dealing with. I was told to lay low for the week until we got things "figured out."

That phone call hurt. It put worry in my mind that I never wanted to have to experience. It made me fearful but faithful. My husband kept reassuring me everything was going to be okay. Until someone told us we had something to worry about, we needed to stop worrying. Easier said than done I suppose. It has been one of the longest weeks of my life waiting on Friday.

Finally Friday came. I walked into the doctors nervous but ready to get this show on the road. I was hoping and praying I would get to see a heartbeat into the hundreds and a baby measuring much bigger than it had looked earlier in the week.

The ultrasound tech's face said it all before she had to say anything. I saw a look of disappointment across her face. Then she had to look at me and tell me that the heartbeat is barely there and that the baby was measuring smaller than it did on Monday. She could not get an accurate measurement of how many beats per minute but it certainly was no where near 92. In fact, she couldn't confirm it even still had one. It could in fact just be my pulse.

I tried to be strong and not get emotional. I didn't want to be a mess in the office or walking out of there. The last thing I wanted in that moment was sympathy, I just wanted to be left alone and by chance I was actually was alone. We had a busy week with Carter being sick and Kevin already missed two days of work to be home with him. Because of that, he wasn't able to be there with me. It's funny how well you can keep your composure when you have to. After changing, I choked back enough tears to get me out of there before breaking down into some big sobbing in my car on the way home. What I had been fearing all week had suddenly become a reality. I was so sad and quite honestly so mad that after three years of disappointment with our infertility struggles, we would have to face a loss. It really felt unfair.

Now we have to continue to play the waiting game. We will wait until there is no longer a detectable heartbeat anymore, then I will have a surgery shortly after to remove what remains of the pregnancy. Once this happens, I will become a member of a club that I have never ever wanted to be a part of. A club that has experienced a miscarriage. That stats are that 1 in 4 women will have one. During our fertility appointments we were told that each month most couples have a 20% chance of getting pregnant. Our chances however were only around a 3% because of how long we had been trying and the health conditions that I have. That 3% sure seemed like getting pregnant would be impossible for us but somehow we beat those odds. Sadly, I doesn't look like we will beat the 1 in 4 odds of experiencing a miscarriage.

Right now all of this stings, it hurts and it's been hard to go thru alone. Because of our choice to not share the news with anyone, it also meant we have had to deal with the worry and now sadness of this alone. We decided we now need the prayers more than the privacy, so please if you would keep us in your prayers it would mean a lot to us. Pray that it happens quickly, the surgery goes well and that with time we heal.

The sadness of all of this makes us cling tight to the sweet little boy we have been blessed with. We are still feeling very sad that he still won't have a little brother or sister like he keeps asking for. But we are still in awe of the miracle that we do have. Makes you appreciate the beauty of life so much more.

Thanks for keeping our family in your hearts! We appreciate it as we begin to navigate the dark days ahead of us while we deal with some of the grief. Until them we will cling to this verse "the pain that you have been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming." Romans 8:18

The Griffith's

Monday, April 11, 2016

Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal Breakfast

gluten free breakfast recipes, gluten free breakfast, baked oatmeal recipe, strwaberry banana baked oatmeal, sarah griffith, top beachbody coach,

During the weekdays my breakfasts are pretty simple and plain because I simply don't have the time in the mornings to do anything fancy. The weekends however, are a different story. I like try new recipes and now that I am gluten free I have been experimenting with lots of new combos. This weekends recipe was out of this world yummy! I will be making this one again. I was asked a lot by my followers why I needed to buy oats that were gluten free. They did not understand why it would have gluten in it. The answer is that oats do not have gluten in them, but because of the way the oats are grown there is a chance of wheat cross contamination so I needed to buy the gluten free kind. This recipe would work the same without gluten free oats or even steel cut oats. You could use regular oats instead. Either way you make it, I am sure you will love it.

2 cups of steel cut oats ( I used the gluten free kind. I like the Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp organic cinnamon
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup berries (your choice) I used strawberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 cups vanilla almond milk
1 large organic brown egg
3 tbsp organic pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2 -inch slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously spray a 2-qt pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half of the walnuts, half of the chocolate chips, and half the berries.
In another large bowl, mix together milk, egg, butter, and vanilla extract.
Add the oat mixture to the baking dish. Add the remaining walnuts, chocolate chips, and berries. Add the banana slices in a single layer on top.
Pour the milk mixture over the whole thing and shake the pan a bit to make sure all the oats get soaked evenly.
Bake it for 30-40 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and the milk has set. If you want it extra sweet, just sprinkle some more brown sugar on the top. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl

gluten free, gluten free breakfast, bobs red mill, oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter, organic breakfast, breakfast bowl, sarah griffith, top beachbody coach,

  • Gluten free steel cut oats  - I like the Bob's Red Mill Brand
  • Natural organic peanut butter
  • Shredded coconut flakes 
  • A few dark chocolate chips 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Peanuts (garnish) 


  • Cook oats according to package. 
  • Once oats are cooked add in the following ingredients and stir:
    • 1 tablespoon of natural PB 
    • 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips 
    • 1 teaspoon of coconut flakes 
    • Dash of cinnamon 
  • Once you stir all of this in place in a bowl and garnish with a bit more peanut butter drizzle and coconut flakes. Add 1 tablespoon peanuts for a garnish. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety Support Group

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While most think of the spring as an exciting time of year. While I would agree that it is, it can also be a time of year that causes stress and extra anxiety for some. We tend to be more busy in the spring as we begin to engage in extra activities and experience the wrap up of the school year. If you have children or if you are a teacher yourself, it tends to be very chaotic. Fun, but chaotic.  The spring actually reminds me of the fall when I think of my schedule. I know working in a school district these two times of year are always the most stressful for me.

When I am under stress or have anxiety about something, I find myself not taking care of my own health needs like I should be. I put off working out. I stall when it comes to meal planning and meal prep. I binge on junk foods late at night, my sleep suffers and just overall I feel like I am in a slump during these times of year. I have been planning and thinking a lot about this spring and how I am going to get thru these next few months WITHOUT this extra anxiety and stress I often feel each year.

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I remember in the fall there were mornings where I would wake up feeling like I couldn't face all of the things I had to accomplish in one day knowing that I had so much going on. It was not a good feeling. It paralyzed me some mornings and the stress of knowing about the daily stress caused more stress if that makes any sense. My daily to-do list became overwhelming and I had so much to-do I didn't know where to begin. I spent some time figuring out how to cope with all of it and found out very quickly that taking things one day at a time, one task at a time made all of it more manageable. I focused on taking care of me and getting enough rest and soon I started to feel much less stressed out, much happier and began to take care of myself in a much healthier way.
tips for stress and anxiety, mindfulness, piyo, piyo program, sarah griffith, stress relief, clean eating, yoga, piyo, top beachbody coach, sarah griffith, anxiety,

I began to think about others and realized that surely I am not the only one who struggles to balance it all during this time of year. I thought it would be great to offer a challenge group for those looking for help not just with nutrition and motivation to workout, but also offer coping skills to handle the spring season of chaos with more grace than they typically do.

I am planning to do the PiYo program and will be following that meal plan that comes along with it. In addition, I will continue to drink my daily dose of Shakeology to help me ward off cravings of junk food. It's a time of year for me that I often fall back into bad ways of take out and not so healthy foods. This will help to prevent me from doing that.

tips for stress and anxiety, mindfulness, piyo, piyo program, sarah griffith, stress relief, clean eating, yoga, piyo, top beachbody coach, sarah griffith, anxiety,

I had been doing the Hard Corps program for the last few weeks. While I love it, I think my focus needs to be on mindfulness and peace. I need to slow things down a bit and rebalance. I have noticed that I have been doing a lot of high intensity programs for several months now and my body needs a bit of a break. While I have gained a lot of muscle strength and "leaned out" quite a bit. I have noticed the my balance and flexibility have suffered because of it. It has been months since I have done any form of pilates or yoga. Quite honestly, I am looking forward to this a lot. PiYo is not often my program of choice because I always like to "go go go" but it will be nice slow things down a bit. I think it will help me deal with the stress that I know will be coming my way shortly.

I am really excited to share some of my best tips that I have learned along the way with anyone who would like to be a part.

Some of our weekly topics will include:

*Stress eating
*Learning how to stop overcommitting
*Getting enough rest
* Healthy ways to overcome daily stress and anxiety
* Plus much more!

tips for stress and anxiety, mindfulness, piyo, piyo program, sarah griffith, stress relief, clean eating, yoga, piyo, top beachbody coach, sarah griffith, anxiety,

If you would be interested in joining, I would need for you to sign up for a free team Beachbody account so that I can be your coach. You can do this by clicking here and clicking JOIN. Once you sign up for your free account you will need to reach out to me letting me know you would like to be a part of this. I will get you added into the group shortly after that. We will begin on Monday April 18, 2016. While many of the group members will be doing the PiYo program, you would still be welcome to join us in the event that you wanted to use a different Beachbody program instead.

If you would like to learn more about the PiYo program, take some time to watch this quick video explaining what it is all about.

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