Welcome to my little slice of the interweb. Allow me to introduce myself; I’m Amanda – a food photographer and certified holistic health coach with a serious love for beautifully plated foods, travel, and great danes!
My journey to health and wellness wasn’t a life long dream. In fact, my life long dream was to graduate from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and move to New York City and become a fashion photographer. Graduate from AIFL did happen in June of 2003, but New York would have to wait, the universe had other plans for me. Shortly after I returned to Pennsylvania I met my now husband and opened a fashion inspired boutique photography business that allowed me to travel the world.
Becoming a holistic health coach wasn’t part of the plan, again the universe had other plans for me. When my photography business opened in 2003, I had a lot of quick success and my business grew quicker than I could manage. Majority of my days were spent sitting in front of computer for hours on end editing- often until the wee hours of the morning. I ate, slept, and breathed building a photography business that I had dreamed of since I was a little girl. Workouts had become non-existent with the exception of an eight to ten hour wedding day or running to the door to accept a FedEx delivery. My body functioned poorly on highly processed, packaged, carb-ified foods. I used my business as an excuse, until the excuses had excuses. Surrounded in a pile of designer duds that no longer fit, shit hit the fan, and I had an uncomfortable heart to heart with myself.
Several weeks later, I found myself walking into a local gym filled with shame, guilt, and embarrassment for the person I had become. Hidden in layers of fat and excess weight, I knew the women that I dreamed of being somewhere inside. She just had to fight like hell to reconnect with her. Twelve weeks later, my life changed. My weight dropped, my business was restructured, and I was beginning to find me. Two years later, my love for health and wellness continued to increase and I decided to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and become a certified holistic health coach.
I’ve merged my love for photography with health and wellness to create a lifestyle that I am incredibly passionate about and created a way to share my message and personal mission. I want women to exist in their family photographs not by force, but because they are confident, strong, and feel incredibly beautiful with who they are on the inside as well as the outside.
On more occasions that I can count; clients or family members of clients have asked me to shove them in the back-row of a family photo, use a child or pet to strategically block their bodies, requested that I “photoshop the hell” out of them, or flat out refuse to be in a photograph.
Sadly, if this continues we will be missing from the photographs that our children's, children will be looking at in the years to come. We simply need to exist in our family legacy. Yet, discovering how to improve our health and wellness in a way that suits our lifestyle, bio-individuality, and aligns with our core beliefs seems to be an on-going challenge. My mission is to show women how to overcome chronic yo-yo dieting and yo-yo living by transforming their relationship with food, movement, and self care to support their health and wellness goals while becoming their own before and after photograph.
My focus is to help my clients create a “new normal” for themselves and it can be whatever that means to them. We work together to create a lifestyle that aligns with their core beliefs and desires. While one client might thrive on a plant based lifestyle filled with yoga and green juices, another might excel following our Live Unboxed whole food paleo-ish lifestyle with crossfit/insanity style workouts. I meet you where you are and guide, support, and motivate you to where you want to go. Tough love is applied when necessary!
When, I look at photographs of myself from four years ago, I am shocked at who I had become. I was so unbelievably unhappy on the inside, but became a master of masking it on the outside. My transformation wasn’t easy, nor did I expect it to be, but the outcome was so worth it to the point that I wish I would have done it sooner! My entire life changed from a fifty-five pound weight loss, to a new career path, unbelievable amounts of happiness, and a lifestyle that aligns with me instead of one I thought I had to live to be happy.
My husband, Patrick and I “Live Unboxed” – which is our version of a whole foods paleo-ish lifestyle. We can often be found in local cafe’s on Sunday mornings chatting up our upcoming week, planning our next adventure, or hanging out in the kitchen doing a bit of meal prep. We are proud parents of two great danes, Jax and Winston. We are stronger together today, because of the fire that we walked through.
Graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale - 2003
Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - 2013
All photography provided by Amanda Kraft Photography unless otherwise noted.
If you are ready to end the trend of yo-yo dieting and reclaim your relationship with food, movement, and self love than let's get started! There are handful of ways for us to work together! Maybe you need a quick call to chat through what you've been doing, gain a bit of clarity of ways to shake things up moving forward or perhaps you've tried countless programs, often start great out of the gate and then tend to lose steam, working with me privately would be ideal for you. Private (1:1) coaching with me is a very personalized experience and your unique needs are may differ from another lady I coach. If you aren't sure which option is right for you, I highly encourage you to schedule a quick 15-minute call with me so we can get to know each other better and decide what program would be most beneficial to you.
LIVE UNBOXED - Recipes made from whole foods grain free and full of flavor!
LIVE UNBOXED - Recipes made from whole foods grain free and full of flavor!
We spend a large part of our day thinking about what to eat for breakfast, pack for lunch, and make for dinner is something that happens daily. It's on repeat in the back of our minds constantly, and for most, it's a point of contention when trying to determine everyone likes/dislikes, what's on sale, the ease of a new recipe, questioning if you have time to make said recipe, and the list goes on.
The biggest challenge many of my clients face is getting a handle on meal prep. They think in order to change their relationship to food; countless hours need to spent in the kitchen, endless kitchen gadgets need to be purchased, and strange hard to find ingredients need to be found. I'm here to tell you that is the further thing from the truth!
When I was first introduced to clean eating I was a bit overwhelmed, yet amazed at how simple meal prep could be. Then, as I continued my journey into becoming a certified health coach and personal trainer I quickly learned that my clients success would be directly linked to keeping things simple. Overwhelm and time are the two things that often cause people to quit on their dreams; in life, health, and wealth!
I'll hand hold you through the entire process of what is involved with weekly meal prep. You'll have a copy of our exact grocery list, strategies to use for bulk meal prep, and several of our favorite go to meal ideas with recipes. Overwhelm and the kitchen don't mix, if you've seen Hell's Kitchen than you know what I mean.
If you've stood in the checking lane within the past several years, you know that most magazines claim that ab's are made in the kitchen. Well, this is rather true. The foods we eat have the power to help with weight loss, trim our waistlines, and reduce excess body fat. By opting for weekly meal prep you are ensuring that you will stick to your health and wellness related goals because you meals are fully prepped for you. There is little to no prep work at meal time unless you prepare a fresh salad or steam fresh vegetables.
One of the comments I hear often is that it is so expensive to eat healthy and I have to disagree to an extent. It would be safe to say that the average meal out for two is around $50 - 60 dollars. Take a moment and recall the past week of meals- how many times did you catch yourself opting for a meal on the go, a coffee, or even multiple dinners out. Creating a solid foundation with weekly meal prep will help to eliminate the excessive coffee runs, meals on the go, and dining out. Plus, when you start to create meals at home you are in the drivers seat of how the food will be prepared and seasoned.
I had completed the initial questionnaire about myself and it stood out to me that I really needed this and I prayed I would be selected as one of her pilot program members. I wasn’t sure exactly what to say in some of my answers. I had always battled with food. Never a naturally skinny girl if I was “thin” I had to work really hard at it. After having my first son 5 years ago, then another baby 20 mos later I had pushed myself to the bottom of the priority totem poll. Two years ago I had pulled myself back towards the top and had lost nearly 30 lbs…but decided later that year to have a “third baby” and open up my own small business.
In our twelve week program not only did Amanda help me lose almost 20 lbs and 12 inches; she helped coach me through high weeks, low weeks, normal weeks, ho-hum weeks, stressful weeks, and the “jealous that my husband still weighs what he weighed in high school” week. But it wasn’t just about the weight loss... and to be honest only about 10 minutes of our 30 minute phone call was focusing on how and what I ate and what exercise I did in the last week. The rest of the phone call was about helping me find the BALANCE in the other aspects of my life so that I could focus on myself and my health. We worked at pinpointing where the “problem” was that week and brainstormed ways to find solutions.
As an example, week two I set a goal of taking my bedroom back. Sounds simple… and it was… kicked out the kid’s toys, put away some laundry, made our bed daily, a nice clean bedroom… this simple task allowed me to take back some me time and space. Our weekly calls allowed me to find my balance between all of my roles and to prioritize (which not every week was the same priority) so that I could focus on what I wanted to focus on for the week, so that my health and wellness wasn’t what was suffering. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Yes. Did it get easier? Absolutely. I’m now six weeks out from our 12 week transformation and am so happy that I’ve continued my own health journey. What was once hard work towards my goal is now habit. I’m proud to say that at least 3 times a week I’m still exercising… that I’m still losing weight at a rate I’m happy with… and I’m still feeling like I can work to achieve this balance where I’m not at the bottom of the totem pole.
A definite shift in mindset that I can embrace now--a result of hard work backed by your steady support. I can do this and I am forever grateful to you for helping me realize that.
Your shot are beautiful and I can see in my eyes the certainty you saw, too. "I've got this" and I thank you for your support every step of the way. xxx M.B."