Amanda Kraft Wellness » A guide to living an Unboxed Lifestyle

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I am a sucker for dried apple slices and always have a baggie in my purse for those moments when I need something to snack on!  Last Christmas, I added a dehydrator to my wish list and was so excited when I opened gifts on Christmas morning to see that my wish had been granted! I’ve experimented with other fruits and jerky, but apples are still my favorite.

Last week, I needed a few ingredients for dinner and found myself in the apple section of the grocery store and couldn’t help but notice the bags of apples that were more than likely headed to the trash in the next few days. Rather than see the apples go to waste, I brought home 2 bags of apples and began the process of washing and slicing.

Each bag filled all of the trays of our dehydrator and 24 hours later, I had fresh homemade dried apple slices.  Plus, when you make homemade dried apple slices that aren’t filled with extra sugars or chemical/ingredients.


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I am hosting a FREE 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge for anyone who is looking to keep the holiday calories at bay and also interested in seeing what health and wellness coaching is all about.  The 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge is open to all – you are also welcome to bring a friend or two!  To join click here!

Also, another round of 21 Days to Your Skinny Jeans will be starting on January 1st!  To date one of my clients has lost 8 pounds in just under two weeks by following the done for you meal plan, being active for 30 minutes a day, indulging in a superfood shake, and staying accountable and motivated in our private facebook group!  For more details on how to sign up, click here!

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Dairy is one of the hardest food groups for most to go without, unless of course you are lactose intolerant.  My initial reservations to transition to paleo were based around my love of dairy (mainly string cheese) and bread.  I do love lasagna, mozzarella cheese sticks, philly cheese steaks, and swiss on my Cuban sandwiches from time to time, but dairy and I no longer get along.  Prior to my paleo transition, I was constantly breaking out and was rather embarrassed by the poor quality of my skin.  I accounted my poor skin condition to the massive amounts of greasy, fast and highly processed foods we were eating.. Yet, when we cut the greasy foods from our diet, my breakouts still occurred.

After going dairy free for a month, I noticed my skin change and it began to glow, and my breakouts were/are much less and far more manageable.

I was introduced to Cashew Cheese a few months ago and I am happily hooked!  First of all, it’s easy to make and far less processed than deli cheeses. I’ve used this recipe in  butternut squash casseroles, dips, and a broccoli casserole that my grandmother would make every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Stay tuned, because I will be sharing this recipe in the coming weeks and it’s a winner!


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This week Patrick, Jax, and I adopted a 6 month old harlequin great dane puppy, named Winston.  Winston is such a sweet little man, with endless energy, and a contagious personality.   If you follow me on social media, you have seen the influx of photos.  I’ve become a crazy dog lady, but truthfully this is nothing new!  

I’ll admit, I’ve become accustom to my routine with Jax and his incredibly relaxed nature that Winston threw me for a loop.  I wasn’t prepared for how different my daily routine would become.  Even though Winston has only been apart of our family for a few shorts days, he’s taught me so much. 
What a four legged 80 pound puppy has taught me about health and wellness. 
Have Patience: 
For some reason we forgot to have patience when it comes to losing weight, transitioning to into a new style of eating, starting a new workout program, or a experiencing a complete change to our daily routine.  We have come to expect instant results and over night success.  Instead, we need to practice to the art of patience and that anything worth while will take time and effort. 
This morning, Winston reminded me to have patience.  While, he resisted going into his crate, I was left with two choices to show compassion or get pissed off and quit.  I opted for compassion and patience. 
Puppy Proof Your House: 
j a-There is no price tag to put on this (4)
The day before Winston’s arrival, I was on a mission to puppy proof our house. Picking up little trinkets, shoes, and other items that would peak his interest and cause potential problems. 
Same tip applies when beginning a new eating plan. You need to “puppy proof” your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.  Rid yourself and your home of any unwanted junk food that may cause temptation or potentially cause you to slip up.  By being pro-active and removing those items in advance you are far more likely to stick to the plan and not be derailed.  
Find Your Source of Motivation: 
What is your motivation for changing your lifestyle?
  • Is it because you are sick and tired of being sick and tired?
  • Are you tired of shopping for larger sized clothing?
  • Do you have a special event or milestone approaching?  
At 6 months old and 80 pounds, Winston’s motivation is completely food related.  From sitting and shaking, to signaling us for a potty break, food is his primary source of motivation. 
Determine what your motivation is and let nothing get in the way of what it is that you want for your health and wellness. 
Be Coach-able: 

Truthfully, I forgot that all of us (Patrick, Jax, Winston, and myself) would need to learn from each other.  Winston would have to educate us on his eating, sleeping, and potty schedule just as we would have to coach him on how our house hold runs. 
You must be willing to be coachable. By leaving your ego and/or the I already know that mentality at the door.  Too often, we reject or avoid hard issues because we think we have the answers already. Rarely, this is the case.  Even if the concept has been shared with you before there is a reason it is coming up again and again.  Instead of discounting or casting off the idea/suggestion we need to embrace the idea and allow ourselves to be coachable. 
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help:
Winston reminded me to ask for help.  After reading countless blogs on how to introduce your older dog and puppy, making crating him easier, and just general training we decided to reach out to a professional who specializes in training Great Danes.  Why, because our D-I-Y approach isn’t working for him or us. 
Same can be said when it comes to your health and wellness.  Don’t get me wrong the internet, pinterest, and you-tube can be a great resource, but it won’t provide you with the same level of support, accountability, and motivation that a coach can give you. Your success level will vastly different when you have someone to keep you accountable than by going on this journey alone.  
Asking for help is a lot easier than you think. In fact, there is no shame in seeking help to tackle your health and wellness related concerns.  I offer complementary breakthrough sessions several times a week to help potential clients learn more about heath and wellness coaching and determining  which program might work best based on their needs.  To schedule a complimentary session please complete this form and I’ll be in contact to schedule your breakthrough session. 
Fill out my online form.
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Ugh!  Yikes!  Shit! 

Are the three words that I found myself muttering yesterday.  While, I was “active” on our Thanksgiving vacation, I was certainly far from following my daily routine.  Over the course of my four year journey into health and wellness I have come to learn that it is easier to fall out of a routine than it is to stick to one. 
And if I am being honest and transparent, I had ample time to squeeze in a 30 minute workout on top of our daily walks this past week. In fact, I packed my weights and two different workout dvd’s and never touched them!  It came down to poor choices; laying around taking mid-afternoon naps, over indulging in paleo goodness, and not drinking enough water. Some might say that I “needed” the downtime – but truthfully, it would be an excuse to even utter those words.  It was pure lack of self respect in my book! 
As I was standing in the bathroom yesterday in a pair of spandex workout pants and sports bra – the words ugh, yikes, and shit began to flow. Standing there surveying the damage, I wasn’t plling on the self hate or gilt.  Instead, I was finally able to realize that I want the results more than I want an extra bite of dessert or a power nap. It was in a moment of raw, tough love that I had a light bulb moment. Reminding myself –  change happens only by pressing play, following my workout routine, drink water, and using my own done for you meal plan!  The results I want won’t happen by watching tv, spending hours looking at decorating ideas and recipes on pinterest, or simply avoiding reality all together.   
The only way for me to become the best version of myself is to take action and follow my own lead rather than trying to lead from the sidelines.  As my clients begin their 21 Days to their Skinny Jeans tomorrow (12/1), I am training right beside them and because I don’t want to have to ask Santa for ab’s this year.  I want to earn them on my own!
The above photos were taken during the same time my tough love moment happened.  I was standing in the bathroom blow drying my hair when shit got real.  
Maybe you have been watching my transformation from the sidelines and have been toying with the idea of getting started.  I’ll be hosting a January round of 21 Days to Your Skinny Jeans and would love to have you join!.  More details will be emailed later this week.   Please sign up for my FREE weekly newsletter to be the first to know about my coaching services and how working with a coach is easier than you think.  As we close the chapter on 2014, let’s write a brand new book for 2015. Checking off all of the resolutions that you have started in previous years that you have yet to finish!  
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