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November 20, 2017

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Q+A: Holly Madison talks marriage, motherhood, and returning to the Las Vegas stage


Denise Truscello/WireImage/

Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella pose for photos in front of the Ferris wheel where he asked for her hand in marriage during the 17th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella Wed on Sept. 10, 2013

Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella’s wedding on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Madison is pictured here with her bridesmaids. Launch slideshow »

Newlywed, new mom, reality TV star and former “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood headliner Holly Madison talks candidly about being married and plans to have more babies — and also return to the Strip as a headline entertainer.

In a no-subject’s-barred and emotional interview, Holly and I also talked about her recent 30-pound weight loss after giving birth to daughter Rainbow Aurora and eventual honeymoon plans with her husband Pasquale Rotella, head honcho of Insomniac and founder and creator of the Electric Daisy Carnival.

So you are loving and reveling in being a mommy?

Yes, absolutely, it’s a lot of fun!

How’s Rainbow sleeping at night?

She’s doing good. She’s really good at sleeping, she’s learning to sleep in her own crib. Things are going pretty smoothly; I’m lucky.

So you aren’t up all hours of the night as well as the day looking after her?

No, no, I get a good night’s sleep. I’m fortunate.

This is baby No. 1; when’s baby No. 2? Or two and three?

We definitely want to have more kids, we want to have a sibling for Rainbow. Hopefully they’ll be about 2 1/2 years apart. That’s a nice age; it will give me some time to work in between babies. I think it will be a nice balance.

And marriage? Is it everything or more that you wanted or expected?

Yes, I think marriage definitely adds a great layer to life, and the three of us — I look at my relationships with Pasquale and Rainbow — and I know we’re really happy.

And what has it given you in your life?

I think you just feel like your relationship is more secure. Going through something like planning a wedding, which can be very stressful, becomes a project that you guys learn to work together on and compromise and make things happen. It’s a good little obstacle course for couples.

2013 EDC: Pasquale Rotella Proposes to Holly Madison

Pasquale Rotella and Holly Madison attend the 17th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Did you run the course well?

Yeah! We had a few bumps in the road when it came to planning our ceremony, but it went off without a hitch, and we were really happy with it. All of our friends had fun, and it was a great time. The dream came true as I’d always wanted.

Honeymoon plans yet?

No, we never planned a honeymoon. He’s too busy traveling for the festivals, and we just got done traveling for four months straight. I just want to be home for a while. Eventually we might do a honeymoon, but it just may not be until our first anniversary.

You learned something about you and your body not only while pregnant with Rainbow but after she was born?

Nutrition has just become a huge interest of mine, and I love talking about it with my friends and helping other people to be healthy, so working on my diet with the “As Seen On TV” brand has become a really good fit.

Forgive me for being personal, but how much weight did you put on while carrying Rainbow, and what have you now come down to?

Well, I gained 30 pounds, so I was up to 140. I think I carried it pretty well, but I was going to the doctor’s office and weighing myself and going, “Whoa! It’s a healthy weight for a pregnant woman; it’s just a lot to have to lose.” I’m back down now to my target weight of 110, and I’m feeling good.

I don’t know if you ate badly or ate well before you were pregnant, but you did knock off weight every night dancing for “Peepshow,” didn’t you?

Yeah, that’s true. It definitely helps to stay very active, and I got cardio every night at “Peepshow,” but your body can get used to a workout routine like that. So when it comes to working out, you have to constantly keep challenging yourself and switching things up. For me right after having the baby, diet played a bigger part in losing the weight and getting back in shape because when you have a new baby, you definitely burn calories breast feeding.

Holly Madison Diet

Holly Madison Diet for Launch slideshow »

But I really didn’t have time to work out. I was getting used to being a new mom and just trying to find time to do my normal things, and that was a struggle. I kind of had this vision when I was pregnant of “Oh, I’m going to go work out and the baby will sit in the swing when I work out and be my workout buddy,” but it doesn’t work out like that. Having a diet plan really helped.

You have the diet done and are launching it now — and you’re onto developing a line of foods, healthy snacks and candy bars?

Yes, we’re developing some products. We’ve developed a snack bar that I’m really proud of. I get really frustrated because you know it’s really nice to have these snacks on the go because we all get busy and we don’t want to get stuck out on the road with a major fast-food craving. Most of the snack bars on the market today are not healthy; they’re full of sugar and chocolate chips. They’re more like desert bars, so I was really happy to develop my own that’s sweetened with dates and figs. It tastes delicious and is really healthy.

We’re also developing green smoothie powder because I love making green smoothies. They were one of the big factors in me getting healthy and getting back in shape. Sometimes you don’t have time to keep the fresh fruits and vegetables stocked in your house or you’re traveling or on the go, so it’s good to have these green powders so you can make smoothies wherever you are easily.

Rainbow is now 7 months old?

Yes, almost 8 months.

So she’s too early in life to worry about food, right?

I don’t think it’s ever too early in life to worry about food. She’s definitely too young to be worrying about her weight, but you want health and nutrition to be a top priority for your baby. I make most of her food by myself. She doesn’t eat very much commercial baby food. I make her food at home with the Baby Bullet; it’s all organic, fresh food.

Is her baby food included in your plan?

No, that’s no incorporated into my diet plan, but the great thing about the Holly Madison Diet is you can customize it to your own interests. There are low-carb options and vegetarian options that were really important to me, but there are also appropriate diet plans for a pregnant woman who wants to stay healthy and get the most nutrition possible and maintain a healthy weight, and for people who are breast feeding who want to lose weight but still get the extra nutrition they need for their baby.

When you started looking for books or information on the web before you became pregnant and when you became pregnant, were you surprised at the lack of good nutritional information out there?

I got some of the more popular books, not only just for me for being pregnant, but also baby food books, and they’re saying, oh, here’s a healthy recipe. There are things that I don’t consider healthy. There would be large amounts of dairy products, not that I’m anti-dairy, but there were large amount of dairy products and sugar and things that I just don’t factor into a healthy diet. I wanted that challenge and to find better recipes that tasted great but were truly healthy.

Holly Madison, Pasquale Rotella and Rainbow Aurora

Holly Madison, Pasquale Rotella and baby Rainbow Aurora, 1 week old, at their Las Vegas home as featured by In Touch Weekly Magazine in March 2013. Launch slideshow »

Do you have a favorite?

A lot of my favorites actually come from my mom. I take recipes I grew up with and change them a little bit so that they are healthier than what I was eating 20 years ago. Those are my favorite. I love my mom’s pasta salad recipe. When you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t want to eat a lot of pasta, but most of the meals can be centered around a very large salad, and if you want a little bit of a pasta dish on the side, it helps you feel really satisfied. She also has a couscous dish I really like.

Couscous with quinoa or couscous with rice?

I like both!

Is your project with the line of doggie biscuit products still on?

Lucky Pet Products? Yes, I’m definitely excited about developing a new round of products. I love that line because a portion of the proceeds goes to help the Animal Foundation here in Las Vegas.

So you’re becoming a little tycoon-ette?

Trying to! It’s harder than people think. You come around and 1 out of 10 things works and you find good partners and it’s good.

Do you enjoy the rough and tumble of the corporate world?

I do; it’s a lot of fun. When you find the right people to work with and they know what they’re doing and you know what you’re doing and can bring some things to the table, it’s a lot of fun.

Any updates on your next steps with a show or television?

TV is always up in the air. It’s always a case of trying to find the right thing. I was happy with the baby special I did. I think that will be something really fun for Rainbow to watch one day. I’m open to TV; it just has to be the right thing to fit in with me and my family.

You’re guest starring with “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s in December. How do you feel about a full-time return to the Las Vegas stage?

That looks like it’s going to happen early next year. I don’t have final details yet, but it looks promising. We kind of know what it might involve, but nothing is signed off just yet. We’ll talk about that fully when the time is right!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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