Kaysha Weiner Photographer »

Today, I’m getting personal. As much as I love sharing session after session, I’ve been spending much of my off season focusing on my work life balance and overall health. This is something so many of us ignore, even though we know changes need to be made. So it’s time to mix things up, and share a little more of my behind the scenes journey. Here goes nothing! ;)

When I committed to doing my first Whole 30 at the start of 2016 I had no idea how much would change in those 30 days. My hopes were to gain a better understanding of how my body reacted to foods, and hopefully drop a few of those holidays pounds. What I got was a complete overhaul of how I think about food, and it’s profound effect on my body.

Throughout most of my life I picked foods based on what I was craving. This meant lots of carbohydrates, sugar, and dairy. Running a small businesses means my time is limited, and more often than not I grabbed what is quick and easy. It’s no wonder the pounds increased, my priority wasn’t on the quality of what I was eating. Even worse I would get so distracted by work that I didn’t eaten anything until 2-3 in the afternoon. This is a recipe for disaster on so many levels. Needless to say there was lots of room for improvement in my diet, and Whole 30 was going to be the first time I really stuck with an eating plan for more than a few days.

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After successfully completing Whole 30 along with the reintroduction phase, I wanted to share the top 6 things I learned. This is solely based off my experience and opinions, but I hope it’s helpful to you some small way.

I actually liked the food! At first I was not happy about giving up grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol and dairy, but there are so many great resources for meals that I found myself really enjoying the food.

Planning ahead is crucial. This means cooking, and a LOT of it. I underestimated this for sure, but if you have approved food around you at all times you will make the right choice. This requires a lot of prepping, but if you make larger portions each time you cook you can extend the life of a meal for a few days. This saved us on so many occasions.

Keep food with you. I quickly learned that as long as I had good food with me, even if that just meant a Lara Bar in my purse, I made better choices. If I allowed myself to skip a meal or go past the point of hunger I would reach for whatever was close, regardless if it was good for me or not. This puts you in dangerous territory, and you’ll be making bad food choices before you know it.

A support system is key. Since my husband and I did this together (along with a few friends), we were able to share our experiences, keep the house full of healthy whole foods, and support each other throughout the 30 days and beyond. Doing this with your family, coworkers, and friends will help you tremendously! I also joined a wonderful Facebook Group lead by The Organic Kitchen, which was a great source of inspirations and advice.

The cravings will go away. I have a serious sweet tooth, so for the first few days I had terrible headaches as my body adjusted to not having a constant stream of artificial sugars. After the first week these cravings went away, and before long I wasn’t controlled by them anymore!

You’ll gain energy. Within the first 2 weeks I noticed a dramatic change in my energy levels. I was more alert, excited and driven throughout the day. I didn’t crash in the afternoon like I used to, and I even found I slept better.

I could talk about Whole 30 for hours, but I want to share a little of what I learned in the process. If your curious or unfamiliar with what Whole 30 is check out their website for a full description. Since completing Whole 30 I have never felt better, and I am in control of my diet for the first time in my life. It will be a continual learning process, but I now have an understand of what my body needs in order to thrive. When it was all said and done I lost 7 pounds, but the change in my body and mind is the real success.

Have you done a Whole 30? Are you curious about how to get started? I would love to hear from you in the comments!!

  • John - Great Work! Proud of you!

  • RoBert - Great job! Love your top 6

  • Rachelle - Great job! You have inspired me to get back into a healthier eating routines! Thanks for sharing your journey!! :)

  • joel kaufmann - I am always delighted to see your work and how you are growing with your craft. You should be proud of your growth.

  • Dan Head - I’m on day 6 and going strong! I have more energy and WAY less cravings now. Thanks for your encouragement. :)

Vanessa and Justin light up when they are together. Their connection is undeniable and being around them will instantly put a smile on your face. After spending the afternoon with them in Old Town Orange I am even more excited for their intimate wedding celebration with Intertwined Events in a few short months.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I love engagement sessions. They are such an important and wonderful part of the wedding photography process. More than anything I enjoy spending this one-on-one time with my couples, and the trust it creates between us. I am a strong believer that in order to really capture your subjects, you must take the time to get to know them.

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  • Rachelle - Such a cute couple and my favorite location!! Great job Kaysha!!

I have been dyiiiiing to share this shoot ever since we wrapped shooting a few months ago. Not only did everything come together perfectly, but the shoot took place at our office in Costa Mesa. The light here is the stuff of dreams, so I’m always extra excited when I get the opportunity to utilize the space.

My lovely office mate The Joy Parade was the brainchild of this project, and her concept thrilled me from the moment I heard it. The result is unexpected, romantic, timeless, a little bit moody, and I am in LOVE! I have complete confidence in everything The Joy Parade is behind, her design esthetic is on point and I just adore seeing what she comes up with. In addition to some jaw dropping floral design by Rebelle Fleurs, it’s no wonder this shoot was such a success and featured today on Ruffled!

Special thanks to the team who made this shoot possible. You are all amazingly talented, and I’m so grateful we get to work together!!

Design/ Papergoods: The Joy Parade | Florist: Rebelle Fleurs | Dress Shop: Mary Me Bridal |  Dress Designer: Tara Keely | Hair & Makeup: Face it Sugar | Suit: J.Crew | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Specialty Tableware: Borrowed Blu | Runner: Mod Mix Studio | Table Numbers: Gauge NYC

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  • Rachelle - Love the bright fushia! Such a modern and fun look. Gorgeous!!

  • COurtney - Awe Thanks Gal!! I’m always so excited to collaborate with you. Your support means the world to me, and the way you captured this one is on point!!

Over the years I’ve learned that my happiness relies on working smarter, not harder. This is a lesson I am constantly re-learning as I navigate the waters of self employment. One of the many things that have made my life easier is creating systems and utilizing resources to help save me time.

Today I wanted to share 6 of my favorite business tools to help you in your job, passion project, or maybe just in life. The best part is these aren’t all specifically related to being a photographer, and none will break the bank.

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Tave

I have been using Tave since the start of my business, and it has helped me organize everything from client information to contracts. I believe having some sort of management software is invaluable for any business. I think of it as my home base, as I can always check in there to see what needs to be done. The best part is most tasks can be automatized which means I can spend my time focusing on other parts of my business and life.

Boomerang for Gmail

Ever wish you could be reminded to follow up with an email in a week, or schedule emails to be sent the following day? Well ladies and gents, I’m about to rock your world! Boomerang does this and so much more. I love to work late into the night, but I don’t always want to be sending emails at midnight. Boomerang has helped me stay on top of email communication, on my terms.

Canned Responses for Gmail

If you find yourself sending the same emails again and again, canned responses will be your new best friend. This Gmail lab is free and will save you SO MUCH TIME! You can save responses for commonly asked questions, new inquires, the possibilities are endless!

Audible

With my busy schedule I find it very challenging to find the time to sit down and read a book. That was until Audible! Now whenever I’m in the car driving to a shoot or wedding I can listening to a new business book, or murder mystery (my guilty pleasure). This has really helped expand my horizons, and I find I’m more productive while editing and listening to audio books – score!

Passion Planner

I looooovvveeee planners, they are my kryptonite and every year I would buy a new one from a completely different designer. That was until I found my Passion Planner. This is the first planner I’ve owed that really feels like mine. It’s flexible enough to be used by all sorts of people; but the real gold is in the goal setting weaved throughout each day, week, and month. It helps keep my goals and dreams in the front of my mind, exactly where it should be.

MileIQ

This is a fairly new addition to my favorite business tools, but boy has it been a game changer. I used to record my mileage at the end of each month, but it was one of those tasks that I dreaded doing. Now with the MileIQ app it tracks all my drives from my iPhone. All I have to do is open the app and swipe left for personal, and right for business trips. Easy as that!

I would love to hear from you, what are your favorite tools or hacks that have made your business or life easier?

Last weekend when all of Southern California was covered in clouds we found a bright spot in Santa Barbara. Actually more like an ommggg can this day get any more beautiful, kind of bright spot!

Jen picked a stunning location for their engagement shoot at the Douglas Family Preserve. This oceanside nature center was an absolute dream, and so were Jen and Brian. Sometimes I have to pinch myself things come together so perfectly, making for one very happy photographer!

Spend a few minutes with Jen and Brian and it’s clear these two have an unshakable connection. They have this ease about them, plus they are adorable together, making my job very easy and a whole lot of fun!

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