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?




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! ;)

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions

  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!

ENJOY!




Friday, September 2, 2016

Easy 5 Day Detox (FREE to join!)



This is seriously one of the easiest challenges that you may ever get yourself into, BUT just because the tasks will be easy, doesn't mean that staying committed and accountable to those tasks will be easy!


In this challenge, I'm simply going to introduce 5 super simple steps that you're going to take with me over a period of 5 days to detox your body, cleanse out some of those toxins that may be slowing you down and give you more energy by the end of all of this! 


Doesn't that sound GREAT!?

Want to join my Free 5 Day Detox?

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Quick & Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe (Maggiano's Inspired)

So for those of you who don't know the story, my husband and I's first date was at Maggiano's Little Italy Italian Restaurant! Fast forward about 2 years and he proposed to me at the very same place! So I guess you could say that anything Maggiano's or Italian is like a little reminder of that first date where we practically fell head over heels for each other, right from the start. 

But rather than bore you with my love story, let's just cut to the chase and I'll give you this delicious "Maggiano's Chicken Marsala Copycat Recipe" that my husband and I found!



  • Makes:  4 servings

Ingredients:


1 cup flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded lightly to tenderize
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (about)
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
½ pound button mushrooms (whole or sliced)
¼ cup Marsala
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth or veal stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 well-packed tablespoon freshly chopped basil

Preparation:


In large, shallow bowl, mix flour with garlic powder, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Cover both sides of chicken breasts in the seasoned flour and shake off excess. (I actually grabbed a large freezer Ziplock bag, threw all the ingredients into the bag and tossed the chicken breasts in it until they were all covered in the flour mixture... less mess and one less dish to wash)
In large sauté pan, heat oil about 20 seconds over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Oil should immediately sizzle. Add onion and sauté chicken about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
To pan with onions, add the 1 tablespoon butter and melt. Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring, about 2 minutes. Take pan off flame and add Marsala, then return to heat and cook until most of the liquid in pan is evaporated.
Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook 4 to 5 minutes or until sauce thickens enough to coat back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Add basil, then swirl in remaining 1 tablespoon butter; mixing until combined.
Place chicken breasts on individual serving plates and top with sauce.

*This is a great dish to make with spaghetti noodles. When everything is cooked, just throw the chicken on top of your heap of pasta and then top everything with the mushroom sauce! Then you've got your own Maggiano's Italian dinner at home! 
Just click here for more of my favorite recipes, including stuffed portabella mushrooms, skinny crock pot enchilada soup and honey dijon and garlic salmon... just to name a few! ;)

xoxo,
Crystal

Find me here, also:
Instagram: @Motivating_Fitmom  and @Crystal_Chelle

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lose Weight, Get Healthy & Be Bikini Ready This Summer: Bikini Body Bootcamp Challenge


I am looking for just 12 more women to join my upcoming online *Bikini Bootcamp Challenge*, which is set to start on Monday, April 11th!
If you or someone you know is excited about an upcoming trip this summer, a wedding, or just wants to *RoCk a BiKiNi* with confidence and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices, while becoming part of a fabulous 'fit fam' then please fill out this application so that I can get you more details: 

The Secret to Success: Struggles and Failures?

This weekend, I learned a very valuable lesson that I felt I had to share with you!

At my coach conference, I had the chance to listen to some super successful people including Tony Horton, the creator of P90X.

I had never known much about his personal story and how he got to where he is today, but I noticed one very common denominator in many people's journey to success-- and that is STRUGGLE!

We all struggle at some point in our lives, but if we learn to use that struggle in order to grow, learn and make positive changes, then that's how we ultimately succeed in this life.

You can either let your struggles define you and hold you back, or you can learn from them and become a better version of yourself by having experienced the tough times in your life... The choice is yours.