Amanda Kraft Wellness » A guide to living an Unboxed Lifestyle

What it means to “Live Unboxed”?

Like so many, we were packaged food junkies.  I remember walking the aisles of the grocery store filling my cart with oreo’s, frozen turkey tv dinners, and pre-made mashed potatoes and thinking nothing of it.  During our first few months of marriage, I was trying to be the good housewife while running my photography business making quick, boxed “healthy” meals. Bring on the stovetop stuffing WITH mashed potatoes and a frozen turkey tv dinner – this was a weekly meal not a spin off of Thanksgiving!  Yep, it’s no wonder we both gained weight or lacked motivation.  It wasn’t until I made the choice to change my way of eating that we started to phase out packaged foods.  Even during my 12 week eating program designed by my coach at the gym there was still wiggle room for processed and packaged junk to line the shelves of our pantry.

It took two friends convincing me to go Paleo that we became “unboxed”

On August 1, 2013 – we did our inaugural round of Whole30 and haven’t looked back.  After a kitchen makeover we road tripped to the nearest Whole Foods to stock on a few Paleo essentials and fresh ingredients – this was us Living Unboxed.  Everything changed for us; better sleep, more energy, feeling stronger, focused throughout the day, and pretty dramatic weight loss.  Patrick lost 22 pounds within those 30 days and I was happy with the 8 that I had lost. We learned to try new recipes, cook with different ingredients and actually taste and enjoy food in it’s most natural state.

Our family and friends thought we were crazy, we packed our own meals for family gatherings, politely asked for our meals to be prepared specifically to our Unboxed way of eating and living when dining out and the dedication paid off.  For the past 12 months we have been following the Whole30 plan 80% of the time and 20% of flexibility. Patrick seems to struggle a little more than I do. I am up for the challenge and would rather reap the health benefits over the 5 minutes of eating something that I know won’t agree with me afterwards.

We still have an occasional trip to a frozen yogurt shop or sneak in a bite or two of mac n’ cheese when our favorite food truck is in town, but for the most part we are embracing our version of Living Unboxed.  This also applies to our workouts – we workout when we can, alternating between cardio, weight lifting, paddleboarding, hiking, yoga, and pilates. We believe that there will never be a time when we are 100% with our paleo lifestyle and we are okay with that. It works for us and at the end of the day, that’s really at that matters.

A little crash course on what Living Unboxed is all about:

  • We eat animal proteins (beef, chicken, pork, and seafood) + fruits and veggies + healthy fats (avocados and coconut oils) + seeds + nuts
  • We avoid: grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and alcohol

In my 21 Day Healthy Living Bootcamp I help those who are looking to transition into eating whole foods that fuel and nourish the bodies paired with ease.  We use a plug and play meal plan paired with daily workouts and superfood shakes to get their bodies back on track, firing on all cylinders, and shedding pounds in no time.  If you think you might want to try and “Live Unboxed” send me a message, I’d love to help you get started on your journey and reap all of the amazing health benefits.

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Chili might be one of my favorite go-to recipe meal options. I seriously can’t get enough of it and have a nice big bowl on hand just about every week. Give it to me hot, cold, or straight out of the dutch oven! We’ve experimented with several variations of paleo chili’s and this might be our favorite! I made a few variations to the original recipe because I was short on a few ingredients, but I am super happy with the outcome!


Ways to take your Chili to another level:

  • Top a baked sweet potato with a cup of chili
  • Make walking taco’s using the chili
  • Top a leafy green salad with a cup of chili

Click here for the full recipe

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This summer has been filled with plenty of high school senior portrait photo shoots.  Each and every photo shoot is treated as something bigger.  It’s more than wear a cute outfit and a few accessories from Francesca’s.  It’s an opportunity for my client to really express who they are at this stage of their life.  We talk wardrobe and what looks suit their personality best, should we include any props, how will hair and makeup be done in order to enhance their natural and inner beauty.  So when someone says to me - “Can’t you just take a few photos?”  The answer is – No! I don’t want to be taking a “few”photos, I want to create a portfolio filled with the best photographs of this moment in their lives.

Allow me to introduce Katie!  A girl with so much style, smiles, and soul. 

I have a very limited number of fall bookings available.   For more details on the high school senior portrait experience is all about click here.

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Over the past eleven years, I’ve had the pleasure to photograph large weddings with upwards of 700 guests to small intimate weddings with 18 guests.  I’ve grown to really love the smaller weddings with 25 – 30 guests.   The focus is on the couple, their relationship, and the bond with those in their tight inner circle.  Steph and Thom planned a beautiful elegant hippie wedding on a perfect August day with those  nearest and dearest to them.  Sadly, Thom’s family was unable to attend, but technology allowed his relatives in Poland to live stream their beautiful, heartfelt ceremony.  Everything about their wedding was local including all of the ingredients for their amazing vegan menu paired with local beers and wine.


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