5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families

This post on 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families was sponsored on behalf of RAYCOP. All opinions stated are my own.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I never fussed too much about being healthy until Addie was born. The term “wellness” wasn’t something that I’d ever really used, and I didn’t think much about taking care of myself until I became pregnant. Now that I’m a mom, and one to a medically fragile toddler, my eyes have been opened up to an entire new world. During the wintertime, all I see on Facebook are people talking about how sick they are or how entire families have been inundated with illness. My Facebook memories pop up each morning when I log on, and even I am reminded how frequently I was sick during this time of the year! Ever since Addie was in the NICU, I’ve learned some amazing winter wellness tips and I wanted to share them with families that are sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #1: Wash your hands. It sounds simple enough, right? Yet, more germs are passed around because we simply don’t wash our hands enough or wash them as long as we should. Here’s a tip for you, when washing your hands, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice in your head. It may seem a long time, but it’s just the perfect amount of time to help you wash any little germy friends on your skin.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #2: Drink Kombucha. I’m a HUGE fan of drinking Kombucha because of all the amazing health and wellness benefits it provides. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has live bacterial cultures in it, like a probiotic does. You can make your own, or you can purchase some at your local grocery store (usually in the healthy living aisle). Drinking Kombucha every day will help protect your body naturally by supporting your gut. In fact, 70% of your immunity is in your gut. Your health starts in your gut, so you need to support it year-round, but especially in the winter. Not comfortable with the thought of Kombucha? Grab yourself a probiotic. We’re huge fans of Young Living Life 9.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #3: Sanitize your home. Here’s the thing- we have a TON of people in and out of our home because Addie requires nursing, therapies, and medical supplies. To say our door is revolving would be an understatement. Now that the holidays are here, we’re having more friends over for different events like Friendsgiving and our upcoming Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Christmas Party! Of course, we love diffusing Thieves to purify the air in our home after we have guests, but have you ever thought about the germs on your couches? What about your bed after you’ve been around a lot of people? It’s something many people don’t even think about, but it’s one that’s on my radar often. We just recently got a RAYCOP RS2 and it is AMAZING for sanitizing any fabric surface in your home. After TWO seconds, it is able to extract 99.99% of bacteria, 99.8% of pollen after 1 minute, and can extract 90% of household dust in just 3 minutes. Insane right?!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

After my recent Friendsgiving party I decided to give my RAYCOP RS2 a whirl. I can’t chance having any of our family members or nurses sick,  especially because of Addie’s respiratory needs. Every RAYCOP purifier uses patented RayClean Technology® to efficiently sanitize fabric surfaces. Unlike a regular vacuum, RAYCOP purifiers have a dual filtration system incorporating a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter which is proven to capture 99.9% of common allergens like dust, pollen and mold, and UV light technology that deactivates the DNA in dust mites, bacteria, pollen, mold and mildew. Of course, don’t take my word for it- they have tons of research and development to back up their claims. I’m all about research (hello, oily mom here!) so it made me happy to see that on their website.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I love love love the RAYCOP RS2 for my couches, Pearl’s dog bed (because let’s face it, pets bring in lots of stuff from the outdoors), pillows, beds, and even blankets. I am also planning to use it on my curtains that have been hung in our dining room for 2.5 years and need a good cleaning. It’s a great way to save water by not having to physically wash them! I never even knew a product like this existed until recently, and I’m so thankful for it. I’m always looking for natural yet effective ways to clean our home and this is just an amazing product that is going to make such a difference for our family- especially Addie. If you want to snag a RAYCOP RS2 purifier, grab it today at raycop.com/shop.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #4: Keep exercising. When I started Camp Gladiator a little over a month ago, everyone kept asking me why I chose this time of year to start working out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized, “Why not?!” This is the time of year when indulgences are high for many, weather is chilly (because, you know it doesn’t truly get cold here in Texas!), and it gets darker faster. You have every single excuse to not work out, but this is the best time to push those excuses away. Working out is what is going to keep your body in tip top shape. Not into working out outside like me? Try a workout DVD, head to your local gym, do laps in a heated pool, or find a partner that will bundle up with you and will go for a walk!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #5: Add spice. When I think about the holidays, I always think about the different spices of the season: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, orange. Did you know that all of these spices are eaten this time of year for a reason? Each spice has its own health benefits that are crucial to keeping you and your family healthy during the winter season. We love using Young Living Vitality Essential Oils in vegetable capsules, but adding spices to your foods will naturally aid your body in wellness. How cool is that?!

Using these winter wellness tips you’ll be set to fight off all the stuff that winter brings! Check out the giveaway from RAYCOP below for your chance to enter their lightest and most portable purifier, the RAYCOP Lite! It is a must-have for every home. I’m so thankful for it! 

RAYCOP Lite Giveaway



Picking the Perfect Holiday Card with Minted + Giveaway

I received product from Minted in exchange for this post on Picking the Perfect Holiday Card with Minted. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!The holidays are here and I already started playing Christmas music a week ago. We finally got a cold front in Texas and although it’s almost the end of November, I’m actually getting to wear long sleeves! We’ve grabbed hot cocoa, I bought pumpkin and mini chocolate chips to make some delicious cookies, and last week we were able to take some time to not only have pictures with Santa and Addie, but family holiday card photos as well. Picking holiday card designs is one of my favorite things to do each year, and this year we’re picking the perfect holiday card with Minted!

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!Merry Christmas Magic

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!Fun Holiday Script

Getting holiday cards is always one of those things I really try to do early, and then somehow I end up forgetting all about them until the second week of December…which ensues scrambling. This year, I’m determined to get our holiday cards out the first week of December, which is why we got our Christmas pictures taken last week! Thankfully, Minted is great about sending emails in November so I wouldn’t forget to get my holiday cards ordered. They have gorgeous foil-pressed cards, letterpress photo cards, Booklette cards, and even completely custom cards.

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!Rustic Name

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!Luke 2:14

What I love about Minted is that it’s super easy to pick the perfect holiday card because you can personalize the design with many different options such as adding your favorite holiday photo, the color and shape of your card, and of course, what text is on it! I personally LOVE the Find it Fast feature because then I don’t have to guess whether or not my picture will look good with the card. You upload your picture and then you can see it in all of the holiday card designs that Minted has to offer.  Takes a lot of the guesswork out, doesn’t it? Of course, whenever you finish designing your card, you can use the Address Assistant and have your envelopes addressed. No hand cramping over here!

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!

Y’all are in for a treat, because Minted is giving TWO lucky readers of mine $125 towards a purchase for your very own holiday card!

Get help choosing the perfect holiday card with Minted, plus enter to be one of two winners to receive $125 towards holiday cards of your own!Joyful Greetings

Enter the giveaway below!

All you need to do is click here to fill out the form with your name and email address and you’ll be entered to win. The giveaway will run until November 22nd so make sure you enter the giveaway ASAP! Plus, Minted is having a sale on holiday cards going on now until November 22nd, where you will receive 15% off orders of 150+ and 10% off order of 100+. How awesome is that?!

Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake

This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

This week I’m super excited for an annual party of mine- Friendsgiving. It’s something I started last year for my Young Living team and I plan on doing it every year. Cooking for people has been a love of mine since I was in high school. My best friend, Sarah, introduced me to the Food Network in the early 2000’s and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love taking unique spins on recipes or changing them up so they’re “fancy” while still being easy. One of my newest dishes that has become a fast favorite? My Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate!

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

There’s something about cooking that has always fascinated me. As a little girl, I would go to my Memaw and Pepaw’s house after school and I’d help make homemade flour tortillas. I had such joy rolling out the tortillas in different shapes! My Memaw and I would make the dough from scratch and would eat homemade macaroni and cheese while we waited for the dough to rise. I had the best memories at their house just cooking away. I loved watching my Memaw add freshly ground comino (that’s Spanish for cumin!) and garlic to her recipes, and how everything she made was amazingly delicious.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

During the holidays, I remember cooking with my mom, my aunt, and my Grandma for Thanksgiving. Ruining Thanksgiving cornbread was a talent I once had (ha!) but I redeemed myself by making the green bean casserole. For Christmas, my Aunt Gloria would invite me to her home to make homemade Christmas cookies with my cousin Monica. It was always such a fun time and I looked forward to it each year.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

There was just something about cooking that always fascinated and inspired me. I’m also really competitive so cooking was a way to compete with myself. How can I get the most reaction out of people that I feed? How can I get this meal to top the last one? Honestly- this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake made with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate takes the cake! Not only that, but since I’m working out with Camp Gladiator right now, I really am watching what I eat and I track my macros. I challenged myself to make this as lightened up as possible without sacrificing any flavor. I think you’ll agree with me that this dish is a perfect one to make during the holidays, for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or even a Christmas Eve meal.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week!
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil cooking spray
  • 20 oz uncooked butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed
  • 1 box La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate
  • 2 oz Pancetta, chopped
  • 1¼ cups 2% milk
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, fresh
  • 2 Tbsp Sage, ground
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Shaved Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Thinly coat a baking sheet with coconut oil cooking spray. Thinly coat a 9x11 glass baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Place butternut squash onto the baking sheet. Salt squash with 1 tsp salt. Roast about 20 to 30 minutes. Mash the butternut squash on the baking sheet and put to the side.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After the butternut squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate for 7 minutes; drain and return to pot. Penne will be very al dente.
  4. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat, stir in mashed butternut squash, thyme, and 1 tbsp sage. Add the sauce to the penne and mix with a silicone spatula.
  5. In a small pan, cook chopped pancetta until brown and crispy. Drain grease, set aside.
  6. Transfer the penne mixture to your oiled baking dish. Dot the top with small spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with parmesan and pancetta. Sprinkle remaining sage and bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 329 Fat: 5.1 Carbohydrates: 51.1 Protein: 13.5

This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is definitely one of our newest meals for the Fall and Wintertime. It’s hearty and makes you feel like you’re being “bad” and eating comfort food, but it’s actually low in calories! The sage and thyme in the Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake are really what make this meal taste like the holidays, and honestly, the taste is so delicious, you won’t think it’s low calorie at all. Because I count my macros, I was able to eat a portion and have seconds- and I didn’t feel one bit guilty! I grabbed the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate at Walmart. To find La Moderna where you live, check out their product locator.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

I want this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake to become a staple in our home for the holidays. I want it to be that one meal that people remember years from now as being so delicious that they couldn’t get enough of it, just like I used to do with my Memaw, my Grandma, and my Aunt’s recipes. I want them to say, “Remember that pasta bake Stephanie made that one Friendsgiving? Oh man I really want some of that right now!” There’s something so wonderfully satisfying knowing that a recipe has left a mark on someone’s heart!

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #adI’d love to know: What occasion will you be making the Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake? What’s one holiday recipe that’s left a mark on your heart?