Friday, September 15, 2017

My Small, Simple Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle, Everyday.

As a busy mom of 4, taking care of my own health and wellness is super important, but it can sometimes take a backseat to my kids' needs.  That's why my favorite wellness tips are just small, simple steps that I can take each and everyday to ensure that I'm taking good care of myself as well.

Each morning, I begin my day by drinking a warm cup of lemon water while I pack my kids' lunches.  I do this to start hydrating for the day, as well as to get my digestive system up and running.  The vitamin C and mineral content of lemons helps to cleanse my body of toxins, while also boosting my immune system, which we can all benefit from during the 'Back to School' season, am I right?

Next up, is bus stop time.  Getting the kids ready in the morning, finding shoes, packing their backpacks and getting them out the door is a workout in itself, but I also make sure that we leave in time to walk to the bus stop each morning.  This includes a good 10 minute walk (more like a brisk speed-walk on the mornings we're running a little later) and once the kids are loaded on the bus, my littlest one and I take a stroll around the neighborhood with our cute little Jack Russell Terrier.  That way, I've gotten a fun, active workout in while getting the dog walked and entertaining my busy 3-year-old.  Finding time to stay physically active everyday is key!

Meal planning for me is also key!  If I don't prepare healthy meals ahead of time, then I'm much more likely to make unhealthy choices with my busy, on-the-go lifestyle.  When most people hear the work "meal prep" they get overwhelmed, but honestly, it's super quick and easy, but it does involve... wait for it... PLANNING!  I am always on Pinterest looking for new meal ideas and ways to save time on my prepping and planning.  I also use Tupperware containers to portion them out and store them in the refrigerator for quick and easy access.  And when in doubt, eat lots of veggies!  That's my motto!

And lastly, get your rest!  With 4 kids, a good night's sleep is not always guaranteed, which is why I try my best to stick to a routine and get to bed at a decent time.  The recommended sleep is 8 hours, but if we're being honest, that doesn't always happen.  But the nights where I make sure to get in bed by 10:30PM, I wake up feeling more refreshed, have more energy to keep up with my kids and our busy schedule and I have more motivation to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle.

Those are my favorite tips! What are yours?

And for those of you who may be interested in learning more about some new and exciting information of metabolism and the science of healthy living, I highly recommend that you check out this page on NAD+ and cellular health.  Whether you struggle with food, sleep, exercise or a little of everything, they have some great supplements that can help you get on the path to a healthier lifestyle with simple changes.

Photo Credit: Elysium Health

Monday, April 3, 2017

Maggiano's Rigatoni D Copycat Recipe -- DELICIOUS!

If you know me and my husband, then you know that Maggiano's holds a significant place in our hearts! Our first date was there and my husband proposed to me there, so whenever we have something to celebrate, we tend to head right over to Little Italy!

With 4 kids now, though, it gets harder and harder to make it out for a fancy date night out to enjoy their amazing Italian food, so we found a way to bring Maggiano's to US!

This is by far one of my family's FAVORITE dinners!  I have a couple of "picky eaters" in the family too, but I am excited to say that this one is enjoyed by EVERYONE! (which is probably why I make it ALL the time! It's rare we find a meal that the entire family loves)

So rather than bore you with the details, I figured I'd go ahead and share the recipe with you already! ;)


  • Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces of button mushrooms (I use more, usually, but depends how much you like your mushrooms!)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, pureed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 quart chicken stock
  • 2 -4 ounces marsala wine
  • 2 ounces white cooking wine
  • 12 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (and parsley mix)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated (I get the Sargento bags)
  • 2 ounces garlic butter
  • parmesan cheese, shavings(garnish)(or Sargento bag of cheese)
  • chopped fresh parsley (garnish)


  1. Heat oil.
  2. Caramelize onions.
  3. In separate pan, sauté  mushrooms with balsamic vinegar.
  4. Add onions to the mushrooms.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add garlic .
  7. Add chicken.
  8. Add chicken stock, Marsala, and white wine. Cook until reduced by half.
  9. Add cream and bring to a boil.
  10. Turn down heat and simmer to skim away any impurities.
  11. Cook rigatoni al dente.
  12. Add drained rigatoni to chicken mixture in pan and finish with basil-parsley mix, parmesan cheese, garlic butter, and salt and pepper.
  13. Add more Marsala for flavor as needed.
  14. Place in pasta bowl and garnish with parmesan shavings and chopped parsley.

It's really super easy to make and doesn't take much time!  The more you cook it, the better you get at it and the quicker you can get it all done.  The most tedious part it getting out all the ingredients and doing all the measuring, but I'm at the point now where I've got it all memorized and can have my 4 year old hop up and help out! :)
My little chef-in-training! (another favorite recipe pictured here!)

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  And if you try it out, be sure to comment and let me know what you think!  And for the picky eaters, you may have to take out the mushrooms the first couple of times, but my SUPER picky eater, now eats the mushrooms and says they just taste like the cheesy noodles! #MOMWIN!