Thursday, February 18, 2016

Trigger or Motivation...Become the Master

That pressure building…the walls closing in…that feeling of never catching up and no end in sight…
Stress is the ultimate thief of joy, but it can be a motivator if we approach it with the right attitude. It is a part of life and you had better learn how to deal with it. I am a full-time high school English teacher and yearbook adviser. This time of year is tough for me....tons of papers to grade and mot of my yearbook deadlines. Stress in the past often took me by the hand and led me down the difficult path of self-destruction. I would eat mindlessly, filling myself with empty calories and snapping at the people around me. I allowed it to steal my “happy” and I would dwell in the land of negativity. It became my excuse for poor nutrition choices and my lack of exercise.

That doesn’t have to be the case.  Life is all about choices and in the grand scheme of things, what you are stressing over probably isn’t worth the grief that it is causing.

There are a few things that I do when I am stressed to keep myself on track…

ü  Sip on a cup of herbal tea. It has no calories and still allows you to be “putting something in your mouth.”

ü  Chew a stick of sugar free gum. Again, it has no calories and gives you that chewing sensation.

ü  Keep lots of fresh veggies cut up and ready to snack on....because if I do cave and need to snack, it is easier to keep myself on track if there are "good" things ready to grab.

ü  Get my workout in. Usually once I get my workout in, I feel less stressed and more ready to take on the world....and I no longer feel like stuffing my face!

Personally, I spend a lot of time swimming in a sea of herbal tea and am a pack of gum a day kind of girl if that is what it takes. It is a whole lot better than coming out on the other side of an empty package of Twizzlers and finding out that my belly is suddenly rolling over my waistband, trying to escape my pants.

The crazy thing is, the stress kind of motivates me too. I try to make deals with myself to get one more thing done before I take a break or head to bed for the night. I am more apt to set goals for myself….and crush them.

It’s your choice. Stress can destroy you, or you can master it and use it to push yourself forward.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Shrimp and Avocado Summer Rolls

Do you know the difference between spring rolls and summer rolls? I didn't. Spring rolls are fried and summer rolls are not. Summer rolls are made with all fresh ingredients.

These were YUMMY! This recipe would make a great light dinner or lunch. I would suggest letting the rolls dry before cutting in half and eating because otherwise you may find them sticky. I couldn't wait and they were harder to eat before they had dried. Avoid soaking the wrappers for too long or they will be hard to work with. Part of the beauty of this recipe is that you can substitute, add or delete anything you want. Enjoy!

9 large shrimp, boiled, peeled, and halved lengthwise
red leaf lettuce, Bibb or Boston, rinsed, dried and torn to fit
2 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium seedless cucumber, julienned
1 cup red cabbage, shredded (I couldn't find any so I left it out)
1 avocado, sliced
About 1 ounce cellophane noodles, optional (also known as bean threads)
1 TBS seasoned rice vinegar (only needed if using cellophane noodles)
fresh basil
fresh cilantro
spring roll wrappers, round

Cover cellophane noodles with boiling water and let stand for ten minutes. Drain and toss with rice vinegar.
Prepare carrots, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and avocado.
In a round pie plate that's bigger than the wrappers, add enough hot water to come halfway up the side. Working with one wrapper at a time, submerge in water for 10-30 seconds until soft and pliable but not torn.
Lay the wrapper on a large piece of parchment. Place 3 shrimp halves, cut side up, in the middle of the bottom half of the wrapper. Arrange other ingredients with the shrimp leaving at least one inch on the sides.
Bring the bottom of the wrapper up and over the pile and begin to roll gently, making sure you get it tight but don't tear the wrapper. Tuck in the ends as you go.
Set aside until all rolls have been assembled. Cut in half and serve with dipping sauce. (I used low sodium soy sauce).

Learning to Love ME

LOVE yourself.
Sounds easy, huh? But it’s not.
It has taken me years to learn this and I am still not good at it. It’s so much easier to love your kids, your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your dog...heck, even your mother’s uncle’s cousin twice removed. It’s even easier to love those who have hurt us.
Been there. Done that.
Why? Well, maybe it has something to do with not wanting to appear full of ourselves, but I kind of doubt that. What is wrong with valuing ourselves after all? Society has taught us, however, that ego is equivalent to arrogance...but it’s not. Ego really revolves around valuing ourselves. Arrogance is another whole ball game. You can have a strong ego without being arrogant. I think it has more to do with doubt and comparison. We doubt our own opinion and ideas. We compare ourselves to those around us and in our eyes, we don’t measure up. Hogwash!
I grew up in a difficult environment to say the least. I won’t go into details...I am not ready to...but let’s just say that my early childhood was not conducive to a strong ego. However, it didn’t stay like that and I can blame my environment or I can move on and take responsibility for myself and my own happiness. I could blame my early environment for not loving myself...or I could change myself and how I think.
I choose the latter.
There are always choices. No matter how stuck you feel or how beaten down, there are always choices. You just have to make the right ones...and if you don’t, you have to pick yourself back up and keep going. I hear people all the time saying that they are stuck, that they CAN’T. Don’t ever underestimate the power of positive thinking. It will take you places you have only imagined. Try it for a week, a month...and see how it changes your life. I was such a negative thinker before, always seeing the bad in every situation. Let go. See the bright side, the good. Focus on possibility. Your attitude determines your day...your life.
Loving yourself is the first step to truly loving others. (Gosh….I wish I would have figured that out sooner!) Self-love involves treating yourself right and taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. You are stronger and more capable of handling things when you love yourself.
Repeat after me….I am beautiful. I am strong. I am GOOD.
Now...LIVE it. :)
xoxo ~Paula

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why I Believe...

I drink Shakeology. I am not a salesperson and I am not someone who pushes her opinion on others. I believe that everyone has his or her own ideas and opinions and it is only right to respect that. I am just a normal working mother of four who has found something that helps her to succeed in her weight loss journey...and I coach others to help them find the same success. I don’t know if it will work for you.
Here is what I do know. I know that Shakeology has helped me to curb my cravings for sweets. I know that I no longer get hungry halfway through the morning. I know that I have more energy since I started drinking it. I know that I feel less bloated now than I did before I was drinking it. I know that once my husband started drinking it regularly, his blood pressure went down. I know that one of my challengers has said that she sleeps better since she started drinking it. I know that my coaches and clients have had similar positive results to mine...or even more.
Will it work for you? Maybe...but it takes a commitment to your nutrition that goes deeper than that. You need to really commit to eating clean which means that you cut out processed foods. Shakeology was the first step for me and it helped me to get on the nutrition bandwagon. It continues to help me to stay focused and get rid of my excuses. If you are truly serious about making a change, you need to start in the kitchen. Shakeology might be the first step for you.

Want to try it? Let me know! :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

What About YOU?

Take time to focus on YOU.

Your journey and YOU matter.
Making the choice to focus on you is HARD. As a mom (or even a single person), you can be filled with many emotions.
ü Am I being selfish?
ü What if I give up and it was a waste of time?
ü I CANNOT do this. I always gave up before and I will give up again.
ü That money is should be used for ____ instead of on me.
ü My kids/significant other's needs should be put before mine.
I often call motherhood a journey of guilt and all of the above are the reasons why. When we are mothers, we put ourselves last.

It isn’t only true of mothers. Fathers or people without children often bow to many of the same pressures and concerns. I truly believe that while we have been so concerned about RAISING an egocentric generation focused solely on their own self-satisfaction, somewhere along the way we have thrown out self-care. We have driven home the notion that putting yourself first is selfish. Period.

But, when you make a choice to focus on YOU, your whole life changes for the better. You have more energy and you are happier. You enjoy and look forward to that little bit of time for yourself. Exercise has been proven to release endorphins that really do make you happier…and who wouldn’t want that?

I was BAD about making time for myself. I wanted so badly to be a mother…and not JUST a mother, but the very best mom I could be…that I made that my sole mission in life. I lived for my kids. I threw elaborate birthday parties and planned out every detail.

The reason why so many of us coaches proudly talk about how happy we are and how our lives have changed, is not for a sale. It's because we think EVERY person DESERVES to feel this way.

YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. Make the change today!

*This month I am collaborating with a fellow blogger on the topic of balance. If you would like to read more on the topic of balance, check out my friend's blog at

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Six Roles

What are YOUR six roles?

Thinking about my six roles in life is something that I learned as a Beachbody coach. If you are a working mom like me, there are probably dozens of things pulling you in different directions. If you spread yourself too thin, you can’t do a great job at anything. That’s where your six roles come into play.

Think about all of your roles in life. Then think about which ones are your top six. Only six! For me it was really tough to narrow it down, but it finally came down to mother, wife, fitness coach, teacher, daughter and sister. These are the roles that are most important to me and the ones that should lay claim to most of my attention and energy. You cannot be all things….and you shouldn’t even try.

Once upon a time, I did try. I tried to do it all and I burned myself out. I did it for a long time and eventually found myself heading down the slippery road of depression because somewhere along the way I had lost myself. Don’t let that happen to you. That was a turning point for me and I came out of it a better person. I learned that in order to take care of others, I had to take care of myself and learn to say no. It’s not selfish. It’s survival.

The percentage of working mothers has increased by 800% since 1860.  More and more of us are working outside of the home and need to find a way to balance it all. Limiting yourself to six roles will help you to achieve that balance. That doesn’t mean that because friend isn’t listed in my six roles I can’t be a friend to anyone. It just means that the other six roles are my top priority. Those are the roles that I will focus on and pour my energy into.

And those roles may change….just as I may change along the way. 

Hopefully you will too. Life is a journey…hang on for the ride!

I am participating in a linky where I have joined with other bloggers this month to write about the topic of balance. If you would like to read more about balance, go to my friend's blog at

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

PERFECT sweet treat! These really hit the spot! I love homemade cookies...they are my kryptonite....and I have a hard time staying out of them. I am always desperate for a healthy cookie option because, let's be honest, life is just NOT the same without cookies!

Beware, however....these cookies are addictive! Just because they are healthy doesn't mean that you can eat the whole batch in one sitting...but you can have one or two...or three? ;)

2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper. I didn't have any so I lightly greased it this time). Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy! :)