Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Ever since I had this at Buca di Beppo, I have always wanted to make this meal. My girlfriend and I looked up various recipes for this meal. Instead of following just one, we edited this one then added a few more things to make it our own.

– 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
– 1 tablespoon garlic
– 1 tablespoon red pepper flake
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 1/2 cups alfredo sauce
– 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
– 1 lb rigatoni noodles
– 2 tablespoons butter
– Whole bag of grated Parmesan cheese


The recipe of the Spicy Chicken Rigatoni is listed below, where you can add or subtract anything to the meal if you would like (before you start cooking, you need a boiling pot, a cooking pan, a cutting board, a knife, a mixing spoon, a pasta drainer, and tongs)


Prepping the pots and pans
Pot for the noodles
1. For the pot that will be used to heat up the noodles, fill the pot up around 3/4 to the top
– can be changed based on how big your pot is
2. Place that pot on the stove
3. Turn the burner on high to begin boiling the water
Pot for the chicken and the sauces
1. Make sure you have a pan that is big enough to fit the chicken, the alfredo sauce, and the marinara sauce
2. Place this pan on the stove without turning on the burner
Prepping the chicken
1. Place the chicken on the cutting board
2. Use half of your salt to season the chicken (on both sides)
3. Use half of your pepper to season the chicken (on both sides)
4. After the chicken is seasoned, cut the chicken into small thin slices
Cooking the chicken
1. Once the chicken is cut, turn the burner underneath the pan for the sauce and chicken on high
2. Wait a minute for the pan to heat up
3. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on the pan
4. Spread the olive oil around the pan
5. Turn the burner from high to medium
6. Place the chicken on the pan
7. Use your tongs to flip the chicken back and forth to make sure it cooks evenly on both sides.
Adding the sauces
1. Pour the marinara sauce over the chicken
2. Mix the marinara sauce evenly on the pan with your tongs (make sure all the chicken is equally exposed to the marinara sauce
3. Pour the alfredo sauce over the chicken and the marinara sauce
4. Mix the alfredo sauce to make a pink colored sauce.
Seasoning the sauce
1. Add in the rest of the salt and mix
2. Add in the rest of the black pepper and mix
3. Add in the garlic and mix
4. Add in 3/4 of red pepper flakes and mix
5. Mix sauce to ensure all the seasoning is infused into the sauce
6. Turn the burner from medium to simmer

Prepping the pasta
1. Pour whole box of pasta into the boiling water
2. Turn the burner from high to a med-high setting (3/4 of the strength of high)
3. Wait 11 minutes for pasta to cook
4. Drain pasta
5. Place butter in the pot
6. Place pasta back into the pot and mix so pasta soaks up butter
Mixing the pasta and the sauce
1. Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta
2. Stir for a minute
3. Pour the rest of the olive oil in pan
4. Stir for a minute
5. Turn the burner from the med-high setting to medium
6. Wait 5 minutes
7. Add 3/4 of Parmesan cheese into the pot
8. Stir evenly for a minute
1. Pour the food into its serving container
2. Garnish the pasta with the rest of the Parmesan cheese
3. Garnish the pasta with the rest of the red pepper flakes


I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!



Happy make a wish day to all my readers!  Its 11/11!

This is the 3rd week of the case study, therefore here are the results of the mid-report measurements of the study:

  • Heart rate – 53 BPM
  • Weight – 173 lbs
  • Average mile time – 7:55
  • Times ran in previous week – 3
  • Times lifted in previous week – 3
  • Ordered out in previous week – 2


In my last post, I was impressed with the fact that I did not order any take out and well last week.  That all may change.  Prior to that last post, I was working once a week at Crepe and Gelato Boulevard in Armory Square.  As of last Friday, I am the new barista at Funk’n Waffles and am scheduled to work at least three times a week.  Now how does this pose a problem for the goals I set when I started this blog you ask?  I will be working at a place where I get free drinks and food, virtually at any time during my shift.  I was surrounded by food at my last job, but none of it was appealing to me.  I was tired of the crepes and, oddly, I didnt want the gelato as much as I thought I would when I started working there.  At Funk’n Waffles, they have wings, amazing waffles, and quality drinks like milkshakes and smoothies on top of coffee.  I know I am an impulsive person, so being surrounded by all those things will make it hard to resist the unconscious eating.

Along with the new job at Funk’n Waffles, you are looking at the new intern for the Vitality! program at the Institute of Human Performance.  My obligations as an intern are to help out with exercise prescription for the elderly, the obese, and the unfortunate (those that have diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, etc).  Christian, why are you telling this to us you ask.  Well not only do I have to study and attend classes, I have the added elements of work and my internship.  This affects my eating habits because I no longer just have Tuesday Thursday classes, I have an 8-5 Monday-Sunday until the end of the semester.  I do not have all the time to prep food I would like to eat, nor will I have the option to work out whenever I want.

As announced in the first post of the blog, there will be a mid-regimen update.   Here it is.  My current resting heart rate is 53 bpm, my average mile time is 7:55, I lifted three times and ran three times this past week (and the week before that), I ordered once last week, and I weigh 173 lbs.  Those are all improvements from the baseline measurements.  I hope I can gradually see results like these, even though they are minor.  Any improvement is better than none.

As for an update on the most recent week, I lifted three times, ran three times, and ordered out once last week.   I lifted on last Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday  and with back, leg, and chest day done, respectively.  I did the same workouts for the chest and leg day as previously stated in my last blog but I increased my sets from 3×5 to 3×10.  With those exercises, I focused on controlled explosion.  Controlled explosion to me means that I go as fast and as strong as I can on the exerting phase of a repetition and go really slow on the relaxation phase of the repitition.  Since I did not do a back work out last week, I focused on strength just for this day.    Back day workouts consist of pull ups, T-bar rows, lat pulldowns, single armed dumbbell rows, and dumbbell rear delt raises with my chest resting up against an incline bench.  Because this was my first time doing a back workout for this regimen, i did 3×5 sets for this day.  Regarding the aerobic component of this regimen, I ran the same route as the week prior on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.  I feel more lively even though there is an added stress of exercise in my schedule, but it is a good kind of stress.  I don’t physically see any changes in my body, but I do feel better about life in general.  That’s all that matters to me.

I had a setback this week when it came to ordering out.  I basically have eaten the same things for the past few months during this week.  My goal for this blog was to order out less.  I began this blog with ordering take out an average of twice a week.  Last week I didnt eat anything but the groceries I bough a few weeks ago.  Last Thursday I ordered honey barbecue wings from Wings Over Syracuse.  It tasted so good but i felt guilty eating it.  This is only a minor setback that I can recover from.  We shall see what happens with my new schedule with exercise and eating well.


This past week, I ran three times (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday).  I ran the same exact course for those three days.  The route I ran begins on the corner of Kensington Road and Ackerman Avenue and ends at the same place.  I head east on Kensington, turn right on Lancaster to go South, turn left on Broad to go East, turn right on Wescott to go south, turn right on Andover to go West, turn right on Lancaster to go North, turn left on Broad to go West, turn right on Ackerman to go North, and end back where I started (on the corner of Ackerman and Kensington).  The course has a change in elevation so there is both an uphill and downhill component.  If I were to rank the run, it would be at a 6 out of 10, unless I run at night, which makes it harder because of the drop in temperature.  It is not a far run, only 1.2 miles.

Along with those three runs, I went to the gym three times this week.  Just like last week had a main physical focus, this week’s focus was on increasing strength.  During those days, I concentrated on my legs, shoulders, and chest.  Monday was leg day with sets 3×5.  Leg day workouts consist of squats, power cleans, step ups, and one legged leg presses.  Thursday was shoulder day with sets 3×5.  Shoulder day workouts consist of dumbbell shoulder press, barbell shoulder press, frontal raises, lateral raises, rear deltoid flies with my chest pressed up against an incline chest press bench, and some rotator cuff strengthening exercises.  Saturday was chest day with sets 3×5.  Chest day workouts consist of barbell flat bench press, barbell incline bench press, dumbbell flat bench press, dumbbell incline bench press, dumbbell pec flies, dips, and pushups.

My exercise goals for the past week have been met.  I was able to work out six times this week, with three sessions at the gym and three runs implemented in my schedule.  On each day that I ran, I felt absolutely exhausted.  I decided to push through the fatigue anyway and improved my mile average mile time to (8:16 on Wednesday, 8:10 on Friday, and 8:08 on Sunday).  Regarding the gym, I feel great that I am getting back in a routine.

The most important finding of this week is that I did not order out at all in the past week.  I feel as though I was disciplined in the food I ate.  In the morning, I prepare my omelet shown in my most recent post.  The only changes I made in order to add variation to my breakfast is that I sometimes switch the basil leaves for oregano leaves.  I couple my breakfast with 2 large cups of black coffee in the morning, which comes out to 5 cups.  After my coffee is finished, I start to hydrate myself with almost 3 cups of water before I leave for class.  The only downfall to that is the fact that I have to go to the bathroom a lot because of all this liquid.  For lunch I have either a salad or a bowl of granola and almond milk.  And for dinner, I would either prepare rice and some variation of chicken or pasta with some chicken and vegetables.

Overall, I feel great about the past week in a sense of exercising and eating well.  Not only do I feel great, I feel much more alert when I am working or doing school work.  I really hope I can keep this up!

My signature Omelet


My signature Omelet

This is an omelet that is vegetarian-friendly.

– 2 eggs
– 1 cup of shitake mushrooms
– 1 cup of spinach
– 1/8 of a bell peppers sliced very thinly
– 1/4 of a sweet onion
– 1/4 a teaspoon of basil leaves
– 1/8 of a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
– 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
– 1/4 cup of colby jack cheese
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon of butter

The recipe of my signature omelet is listed below, can add or subtract anything to the meal if you would like (before you start cooking, you need a mixing bowl, a fork to stir the egg, 2 different pans, a lid of the pan used to cook the egg, a cutting board, a knife, a spatula, and tongs)

1. Crack two eggs into the mixing bowl
2. Add the basil leaves, red pepper flakes, and black pepper into the mixing bowl
3. Stir the eggs with the additional flavorings until there is a yellow consistancy of the egg,
Now that the eggs are ready, you need to cut the vegetables
For the bell pepper
1. Wash your bell pepper.
2. Grab your bell pepper and lay it on the cutting board.
3. Have the bell pepper positioned so the top (where the stem is located) is pointing to your left and the bottom is pointing towards the right or vice versa.
4. Cut the pepper in the middle so you have two sides, the stem side and the bottom side..
5. Take the stem side and use the knife to cut out the stem.
6. Once the stem is cut out, make sure you take out all the seeds.
7. Rinse the inside of the stem side to ensure the hard to reach seeds are take out as well.
8. Cut out an 1/8 of the bell pepper.
9. Thinly slice pieces of your bell pepper.
For the onion
1. Peel the onion.
2. Wash the onion.
3. Cut the tips off to make a flat bottom and flat top.
4. With the onion standing on its bottom, cut it directly in the middle vertically.
5. Now lay the onion along the longer flat edge you created from the previous step.
6. Thinly cut the onion from either the bottom or top edge you created in step 3 until you have a 1/4th of the onion thinly cut
Now that you have everything prepped, place both pans on the stove tops, turn on the stove on the middle configuration between high and low for two stove tops for a minute.
With the pan that will be used by for the vegetables
1. Pour your olive oil on the pan.
2. Swirl the olive oil in the pan to ensure it is fully oiled.
3. Place the handful of mushrooms, handful of spinach, and the other vegetables on the pan.
4. Use your tongs to spread the vegetables evenly.
For the pan that will cook the egg
1. Place the butter on the pan.
2. Spread the butter evenly on the pan.
3. Pour the egg mixture onto the pan.
4. Swirl the egg around slowly to make sure the flat part of the pan is fully covered by the egg mixture.
5. Place half the amount of cheese on the egg.
6. Place the lid on the pan.
Once the lid is put on the pan with the egg
1.  Check on the vegetables and stir them around to see if they are cooked enough (I personally judge by the spinach – once the spinach looks a bit damp and a darker shade of green the vegetables are ready).
– Usually the other pan has cooked the egg to the point where you are able to start manipulating the egg with ease).
2.  Use the tongs to transfer the vegetables on top of the omelet.
a. When transferring vegetables, place them on the bottom half of the egg, so the vegetables don”t move when folding over the top half of the omelet.
3.  Place the rest of the cheese on top of the vegetables.
4.  Use a spatula to fold over the top of the omelet.
5.  Place the lid back on the pan.
6.  After 30 seconds, take the lid off and flip the omelet over and place it on the pan again.
7.  After 30 seconds, get rid of the lid and increase the stove to high.
8.  After 15 seconds, flip the omelet.
9. Place your omelet onto the plate you want to eat your breakfast on.

Now that you have the Christian Uy special omelet, you can start your day off in a great way!


This is the first week of the case study, therefore here are the results of the first measurements of the study:

  • Heart rate – 56 BPM
  • Weight – 174lbs
  • Average mile time – 830
  • Times ran in previous week – 2
  • Times lifted in previous week – 2
  • Ordered in previous week – 0

Unfortunately, a trend I have observed here at my time being a student at Syracuse is a decrease in the number my of workouts within a month.  Prior to attending this school, I was in the gym at least five times a week.  I would not necessarily say I qualify as one of the fittest people amongst the people I associate myself with nor am I just an average Joe, but I feel as though I would be ranked somewhere in between.  It is midway through the Fall 2013 semester and my goals that I made prior to the beginning of this school year to be consistent with my physical activity are no where near being fulfilled.  I decided to create this blog in order to motivate myself to change my current physical inactivity because I have been told that individuals who write about their exercises and how they feel about those workouts helps with exercise retention.  My initial reaction to that was, “Why don’t you try it until it fails?”

As a Health and Exercise Major at Syracuse, classes praise the of the concept that supplementing workouts with a healthy diet.  I have come to the realization that I cannot follow a specific diet with certain restrictions.  I eat somewhat of a hearty diet.  Most of my meals consists of a variation of eggs, chicken, pasta, rice, spinach, onions, tomatoes, and sauces (like sauces for pasta – Alfredo and tomato sauce- and other things like balsamic vinaigrette, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and buffalo chicken).  I am pretty generous with the vegetables that are used in any of the meals I do make.  The only form of sweets I buy for groceries is Kashi granola with Almond milk.  My friends ask me if any of those meals get too repetitive or tiring to me, but I have had this “diet” since the summer and there is no problem the meals I have.  My goal for these next few weeks is to limit the amount of food I order in.  Some days, cooking just seems like a hassle which makes take out a much more viable option.  In retrospect, ordering food is usually an impulsive move.  I do not necessarily need to order food elsewhere, but I want to.

College has an inverse relationship on my diet and exercise.  Coincidentally, the less exercise I do, the more I order out.  What the goal of this regimen is to flip that trend upside down – order less take out and exercise more.  At the end if this 6 week regimen, improve those aforementioned stats, by increasing the amount of days I lift, and lower my weight, average mile time, resting heart rate, and possibly diminish the times I order in food.

Within this past week, my focus was to increase my cardiovascular endurance.  Since my current semester was lacking in physical activity, I believe the best place to start is my cardiovascular function.  If i can increase my exercise capacity first, I believe that will be the best way to tackle my sedentary-ism.  On Tuesday I went for a run, without timing it in order to judge my current fitness level solely on my thoughts and opinions.  On Friday, I ran to Archibold gym from my house at a speed I normally run at and timed it (thats where the average mile time of 8:30 came from).  Once I arrived at the gym, I observed the machines and the equipment that was available.  I tried to create an exercise regimen, basically plan out a 5 month program in that instant, but realized that I should just exercise based on how I feel at the present time.  Anyone can make a 5 week workout plan, but what happens if life happens?  What happens if there is a test, or something unexpected pops up in their life?  So over these next 5 weeks, I will emphasize eating well and exercising, but I cant force myself to do something I hate.


The early 20s is a period of time in a person’s life where they develop habits they will take with them for the rest of their life.  There are many factors that affect how an individual may go about their day to day business; family, friends, work, school, the weather, and many more.  Your 20s is a time where the excitement of being an adult slowly starts to subside and real life sinks in.  After high school ends, individuals go off into college or maybe into a job they will have for the rest of their life.  Time management becomes a critical skill to develop, otherwise life becomes extremely chaotic.  In this time, one has to decide, with all the things going on in their life, how to take care of themselves.  Is sleep more important that the work that needs to be done?  Do i cook food or do I just get take out?  I have a pain in my chest, what do I do about it?  Those are all simple questions, but sometimes we are too busy to find time to answer those questions.

As a Health and Exercise Science major at Syracuse University, I have decided to use my  a test dummy for all my readers.  I plan to use the information that I learn from school and articles I come across to show how easy it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The misconceptions of that prevent most of the individuals in my age group from leading a healthy lifestyle are as follows: (1) I don’t have enough time in the day to exercise and prepare a meal for myself, (2) eating healthy is very expensive, (3) I am too tired/sore to work out.  Many questions arise regarding how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but lack a thorough explanation or run through of how the individual did it.

For the next 5 weeks, my blog will give the readers insight on my attempt to analyze the effects of a healthy diet accompanied by exercise on individuals in their early 20s.  By tracking my progress with a daily food and exercise diary, this process may be replicated by others regardless of their past diets or levels of health.  To quantify the results of this regiment, baseline measurements of weight, heart rate, the amount of times I order food within a week, and the time it takes for me to run a mile will be taken.  The measurements for those categories will again be taken at the halfway point and at five weeks.

This blog will supplement the trials and tribulations of this regiment, along with the benefits I feel during this period.  My goal is to show that the common misconceptions about a healthy lifestyle can be overcome easier than expected.  For this week I will leave you this quote to contemplate on and address it in my last blog of this 5 week program.  “Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent.  We cannot nurture others from a dry well.  We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance” Jennifer Louden