Sunday, December 20, 2015

Eager Reader for 2016

I love reading. There is something about curling up on the sofa, opening published works and losing myself in a good book. I look at computer screens, phone screens and virtual text a majority of the day. You may have the same reality as me. 

In today's digital space, it is normal to look at screens all day. I think it is too normal. Our fast-paced society makes us hungry for quick, concise information. This isn't all bad. It increases our productivity, efficiency and ability to learn quickly. However, many don't know the simple joy of learning from others by reading.

Books read 2015

In 2015, I have started reading more. It keeps me learning new things, learning from other people and sharing what I learn each day. You know who reads most? People who want to continue growing and learning. To give you a scoop on the books I read (or at least remember reading) in 2015.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Thank you, Kale!

Mmmmm, kale. A healthy, fibrous green vegetable acclaimed by the health world as a "super food" and staple addition to a healthy diet. People in the health and food industry are always urging more people to eat veggies, "natural" products, that our bodies digest better and can be converted into healthy fuel for the body.

I agree completely. Eating more vegetables has helped me maintain and perform to levels I did not expect possible. Guess I should start eating more of this GMO.

Thank you, Kale

Yes, GMO. Kale is a GMO. Genetically modified organism. And it's a damn good one. A few more of its vegetable relatives are too.

Kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are just a few examples of vegetables that are genetically engineered for certain qualities we want. Many foods in nature today are not what they looked like many years ago. That's adaptation. Some of them, like the sweet potato, are naturally derived GMOs. Nonetheless, they are still good for you.

The term GMO gets a bad rep. Instead, first world people are obsessed with the terms like "organic, natural, gluten free", when those products may not have any other option to begin with. In today's age of technology, scientists and food production companies know the growing need for food diversity, instant meals, and more options to feed our extremely picky or extremely adventurous taste buds.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday reminder, thank the Ziglar!

Today's fast-paced society makes it ever challenging to make time to read. I've mentioned briefly in a few blogs that I am now an avid fan of podcasts. Today, as I was doing the dishes, listening to a podcast on the "The Ziglar Show | Motivation and Inspiration to fuel your life and success", I stopped for a moment. Here is the link for iTunes users. This podcast was released Dec. 9, 2015.

Show host Kevin Miller began a one-minute clip with a message from Zig Ziglar. If you do not know who he is, Google the man or follow the hyperlink. He may be one of the greatest sales people and inspirational speaker to have shared his experiences!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Get Strong and Healthy with Simple Spinach Dip

I love cooking. Experimenting with healthier recipes has been my mission the past few months during my off season for my bodybuilding show. Today, I have a Christmas Party with my church young adults group. I know many will bring the sinful sweets... which I may or may not partake in. I want to stay on the healthier side of the spectrum in my contribution as a guest. The holidays are great for enjoying this time with friends and family. It is really easy to indulge in too many good things. I know, how is that possible, right? Very easy to do.

Nonetheless, to help balance myself and others, I am bringing this delicious Simple Spinach Dip!

Simple Spinach Dip recipe

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fear of No and Failure

Thing about when you see someone interesting or attractive. Do you approach him or her and introduce yourself? Say hello? Or are you like the majority of people who will talk yourself out of stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance? Instead, you scour the Internet and social media to try finding that intriguing person... when all you really had to do was say hello. 

Imagine your last job interview. You spent a half hour or more being interrogated, probed about your experiences. Then, it was your turn. Ask away! What did you ask? Did you ask what other qualities you need to demonstrate to prove you were right for the role? Essentially, did you ask for the job? Why or why not? What is the worst that could happen if you ask? 

In both situations, you could be told no.

Why are we fearful of the "what ifs" and "could happens"? Why does the big two-letter word push our interests aside and keep us from potential? 

The biggest weakness in personal development and sales is fear of "no" or fear of "failure". You could be one of two people who have to this point:

Option 1. 
"Oh, I see what Caroline is getting at! I'll continue reading."

Option 2. 
"Pff, I don't care about personal development and/or I'm not in sales. This does not apply to me [as you close this screen]."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 30, agriculture

I save the best and most important for last. On the 30th day of November, I am thankful for agriculture.

Best thing about agriculture is that I know all of you are thankful for it too. It's all of our livelihood. We all eat. We all wear clothing (or at least I hope so!). We all use paper, plastics, rubber, wood, and many other materials.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 29, learning

I love to learn. I have all of my life and plan to do so the rest of my life.

Life long learning
Photo courtesy of Tumbler:

What is one thing all successful people in this world have in common? They have never stopped learning. It could be focusing all their time on learning one specific trade or skill. It could also becoming more knowledgeable about the entire world around them! The best thing about it is, everyone can learn. This is why I dedicate today's gratitude to learning.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 28, coaches and mentors

Have you ever tried to figure out everything on your own? When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Personal goals, relationships, finances, career ambitions, beliefs, athletics, etc.
If you have, please comment. You must be superhuman and I'd love to connect with you!

I know I certainly cannot figure out everything on my own. Most cannot. That's what makes coaches and mentors so valuable in life.

Today, I am thankful for coaches and mentors. I have had and currently have many in my life. Some I talk to more frequently, others, we may not talk for months but can pick up right where we left off. It amazes me how working with others can help you gain insights, discuss different options and perspectives, and ultimately see things beyond your view.

coaches and mentors
Buckeye BarBELLEs and first few
months building relationship with
my current fitness coach, Alycia!
She is the one in the red jacket.
In more stressful, pressing times in life, I tend to shut people out and not talk with people. I do not reach out to my mentors and coaches like I should. I am learning to do better at asking questions, seeking help and not being ashamed or afraid to.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 27, vibrant economy

Today was Black Friday. I stayed out of the stores. Many of my friends did not. Whether it was slick deals or Christmas gifts, many were out and about the past few days to spend some cash (or check or credit cards) and "save".

Dave Ramsey shared a unique thought today:

Ask yourself why you’re buying those gifts this #BlackFriday #DaveDaily
Posted by Dave Ramsey on Friday, November 27, 2015

We buy many things we do not really "need". However, I am not really complaining. It is great to have the opportunities to embrace life, develop business interests and pursue passions. Today, I am thankful for a vibrant economy.

Stop. I know what you are thinking.

"America is in debt." and "People are out of work."

This is not all true. Unemployment has decreased to 5% nationally, and people have more wealth than ever. This is a whole other discussion, but, we are fortunate to have so many goods and services provided around the world. We do have a vibrant economy, hence, all the choices.

I hope you will take the time to consider all the choices you have. Are you looking to create more choices? How will you do that? Ponder these questions and figure out how you can take some time out of the day every day to improve and reach that next stage to enhance our economy. Happy Shopping! I think Cyber Monday will be ever in my favor. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 26, freedom

It's Thanksgiving day and I am sitting in a recliner at my friend's house preparing to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Holidays are known for traditions. Spectating and marveling over the unique, creative floats is one of my traditions. I am not with family. I am not at "home" to enjoy regular holiday festivities. However, I am free.

Jamestown, Virginia

Freedom is often unappreciated. If you have watched any news media in recent weeks, we Americans are extremely fortunate. We are mostly safe and free to do as we please. We take this for granted. Just like I have the freedom to go where I want for Thanksgiving. Many people across the world do not have that freedom.

I am blessed for freedom to make my own choices, while adhering to laws and regulations, and live a happy, healthy life. As you may have read in my past blog posts, I am grateful for many things. On Thanksgiving today, I am thankful for the freedom provide in our country that originated from the pilgrims and Christopher Columbus seeking freedom to explore the "New World'.


We are here thanks to them. We maintain this freedom thanks to our troops. These soldiers often give up their personal freedom so we can enjoy ours. Today, I will enjoy some yummy turkey, vegetables and desserts in honor of these people. They deserve freedoms too. I pray they can experience that same freedom in the near future.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 25, my sister

She is my little goof ball. Kelly (aka Keke) and I have had our highs and lows as siblings. Growing up, mom and dad tried their best to keep us separated... we were often up in arms about who was picking on who. They tried to keep us from attacking one another.

christmas 2014

When I went off to college, things changed. I missed having that one other family member to confide in. I missed having someone I could just talk to... even though she judged me sometimes and I did the same. That's the nature of our relationship.

sisters at the zoo

Since then, things have changed. We live 13 hours apart; I miss her. We talk more now than ever before. Even with her busy college schedule, we do our best to make time to catch up and talk. She is doing remarkable things. She has a job, is very focused on her educational and career goals with music, just auditioned for one drum corp and is auditioning this weekend for another. I do not give her credit she deserves. When she actually sets her goals (which is sometimes a daunting task), she works her tail off to accomplish them. And even if she does not, she keeps pushing forward.

Sousa Concert
Sousa Concert 2014.

I am thankful to be able to share that music with her and hopefully continue sharing fitness as a shared interest. We also both love to travel and went on a sister trip after my college graduation and her college graduation. Looks like another trip is in the works for next spring. Where to? Not sure yet. But, we will certainly figure it out! :)

Caroline OSU graduation
My OSU graduation day.

Kelly Otsego Graduation
Kelly's Otsego graduation day.

Weihl Sisters in Maine
Sister Roadtrip 2015 in Maine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 24, my dad

A farmer, handy man, do-gooder, cat lover, environmentalist, wannabe "Gibbs", the master, cow whisperer, husband, mechanic, salesman, auction goer, Elks member, son, man of God, Chevy fan, midday napper, dog trainer, Blue Shirt, old school, brother, Western watcher, hunter, NASCAR driver in his dreams, leader, impatienter, agriculturalist, philanthropist, learner, ice creamaholic, work harder than anyone else, and my father.


Many of the characteristics above have been pasted down to me. My dad is a man of integrity. Even though he drives me nuts half the time, I cannot help but be thankful for him and the impact he has on the community and agriculture industry. Love you, dad!

family on the farm

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 23, my momma

Yep, I'm thankful for my mom. I definitely do not tell her enough or prove it enough how much I care and appreciate her. This weekend, she was definitely the listening ear and thoughtful role model I needed.

Most recent photo of mom, dad and me.

Today, she sent me a funny photography of their house cat and it definitely made me laugh. Even living so many miles away, she is one I depend on. She helps me get back to reality. She works her tail off at home and keeps the farm going. She is a damn good mother. Her love is unconditional.

Even though I will not be home this year for Thanksgiving, I hope my momma knows how proud I am of her. :) Unfortunately, I don't know where this is a photo of just her and I. So, the one of mom, dad and me from my short stint in Ohio a couple weeks ago will have to do. Love you, mom!
alien cat
When she wanted to send a picture of grumpy kitty,
turned into alien kitty!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 22, the checkered flag

I am a person of vision. I need the big picture, the end goal, the checkered flag to focus and truly excel. This mind set is similar to that of NASCAR drivers. Today is the final race of #TheChase at the 2015 NASCAR season. These drivers prepare and focus on the end goal: seeing the checkered flag wave at the last lap. 


Jeff Gordon 2014

I am thankful for the checkered flag. I am a NASCAR fan and today is the end of an era. Jeff Gordon is racing his final race before retirement. He also is one of the four contenders for the championship cup. The only thing he needs to do to secure that: be the first to reach the checkered flag. He knows his goal and has the potential to reach it. 

Jeff Gordon entry

Jeff Gordon wave

Last July, I had the chance to witness Gordon win at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. Definitely a cool experience, followed by even more fun with kissing the bricks (even though they were not where Gordon and other winners have), waving to Gordon as he headed to the press box and getting to see the winning car! Reflecting on that day, I know that focusing on the checkered flag is the major component of success. 

Jeff Gordon winning car

Find your checkered flag. Become an icon and a legend for that. Today, I am #24ever. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 21, Buckeyes

Today was a hard day to be a Buckeye. Nonetheless, I'm blessed to be one! My alma mater makes me proud. Not only do we have outstanding athletic programs, but also phenomenal educators, faculty, staff, students and community.

I am more proud each day to be part of the largest alumni network in the world from The Ohio State University. Next weekend, the best rivalry in college football will commence. Here's to the Buckeyes!

OSU versus Michigan

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 20, animals

I grew up surrounded by animals on the farm. Cattle, goats, alpacas, cats, and dogs. I feel like the past two weeks, all of my friends have been sharing videos of their cats and dogs. I am thankful for animals in my life.

Shorthorn cow and calf
Mother and calf at my parents' house. Babies are so cute.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 19, high school

This afternoon and evening, I hosted a booth for the first annual Northwest High School Career Fair. It has been a while since I have interacted with a large group of high school students. It makes me thankful for high school.

Not only did I have some interesting conversations, but I reflected back to my high school days. The days of the unknown future. What did I want to do when I grew up? Where would I go to college? What FFA activities did I want to excel in? Which classes should I take these last few years that will get me closer to life-long goals? How could I get the most out of high school?

high school ffa
Freshman year, FFA soils contest. That shirt though...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 18, inspiring peers

Do you have someone at your workplace who you can talk with about goals, learn different perspectives, push you past your limits and is all around a fun, inspiring peer?

inspiring peers

I'm thankful for one of my inspiring peers. Logan and I completed the developmental sales representative training program at Syngenta together. The first time I met him, I was intimidated. He played college football and is simply "a big dude". But, after talking with him in the first few meetings of our training, we became good friends and coworkers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 17, food

Mmmmmmm, FOOD! Who does not like food? Seriously? It is funny because I have grown up surrounded by food options my entire life. Dang, I'm lucky. I'm so very thankful for food.


It nourishes my body. It comforts me. It brings people together. God has blessed me with it.

Roast and Veggies

But guess what else? It causes wars. It creates food fights, miscommunication and manipulation. It causes gluttony and unhealthy choices. It could destroy us.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 16, drive time

Weird, right? Why would anyone, particularly someone in sales, be thankful for drive time? Well, let me tell you, drive time can be optimized in many ways.

I listen to a lot of new music on my drives, thanks to Pandora. I have increased my news and current event awareness by hearing information on the radio. Podcasts are great to continue learning. Many phone conversations are had during drive time. Best of all, it allows alone time to think.

Reflection is one thing many of us forget to do. I take advantage of drive time to do this. How was my day? What did I do well? Was I productive? What could I have done differently? How will I do better tomorrow?

This weekend allotted a lot of drive time. I try to balance it among the options listed above as much as possible. I am thankful for it nonetheless.

What do you do to make the most of your drive time?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 15, love

One of the most heart warming things to see is people in love. Weddings are the best place to find that feeling. The past year, many of my friends have gotten engaged and/or married. I also have many friends in serious, long-term relationships.

Love is a beautiful thing. Today's thankful 30 is for love. If you are a Christian, you know that to live a faith-based life, you must love. As God loves each of us and all of our faults and sins, we must share his love with others around us. It becomes easier to do that when others around you exemplify those characteristics and actions daily.

Blake and Brent are a fantastic example of that. I have witnessed their relationship strengthen in love and faith the past few years. Not only do they both know what they believe, they demonstrate it daily. You could feel it in the church and at the reception yesterday. It was divine.

blake and brent wedding

It makes me hopeful. My patience (the little I have) is growing. God's love for me is evident. He has a plan for me. To be loved, I must first love others. The rest will happen when He deems I'm ready.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 14, distant friends

Distance makes relationships stronger. What's even stronger is friendships that no matter how long you go without physically seeing one another, you pick things up where you left off the next time you are reunited.

On day 14, I'm thankful for distant friends. Growing up, I never had those "close" or "one" best friend. When I went to college, I made a life long friend. Libby and I live miles apart. Howver, even in sporadic text conversations or phone calls, we have a stronger friendship than ever. I'm thankful she puts up with my indecisive shopping habits, random thoughts and workaholicism. :)

I've stayed with her the past two days and we are running in a 5k on Sunday. Whenever we get even short bursts of time together, it is well spent.

Find your true friends in life. Distance is no obstacle when you have the strongest relationships possible.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 13, rest

I don't rest much. Ok, I don't make time to rest hardly at all. Last night, I drive from Nebraska to Ohio. That drive straight east was tiring. I arrived to my parents house at 5am. What did I do when I arrived? Hit the pillow.

I probably got about 2 hours of sleep. However, I am thankful for rest, no matter how little it is. My body needs it. And even though this weekend is going to be a quick, busy one, I can rest once I get back to Nebraska.

Be thankful for what rest you can get. Take advantage of it. I definitely didn't do that in kindergarten or college. :D

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 12, spontaneity

I used to hate surprises. I would always need a plan to function. Spur of the moment scared me. Not anymore. For today's thankful 30, I'm blessed for spontaneity in life. It is now exciting and fun. Less than a month ago, I decided spontaneously to drive to Ohio for Blake and Brent's wedding and to run in a 5k (first one ever) with Libby. Why not, right? Sometimes, the life we want and need isn't fully planned. Do you embrace it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 11, veterans

Today was an easy choice for my thankful 30. I thank our veterans for Veterans' Day. Many of the men in my family have served in the military. I am compelled to not only thank them, but the men and women who have stood next to them to protect and serve this nation.

The American Flag

Take the time to honor our flag, country and citizens who have protected us since the beginning. I challenge you that the next time you see someone in uniform or veteran apparel in a public place, say "thank you" or salute them. They do not receive enough recognition.

At lunch today, I just so happened to see a Korea War Veteran. I was walking to the bathroom when I noticed his hat. I did my business and returned to shake his hand and thank him for his service. My late grandpa Nachtman had served during that war. This man had a huge smile upon his face with gratitude and proceeded to tell me that he did not go to Korea but worked in developing ammunition. I thanked him for his bravery nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 10, broad shoulders

This morning, I felt like Batman. Why? The past few weeks, I have been falling... not anymore.

batman image

It is hard to get past tough times. I am lucky. My struggles are primarily internal and emotional. This weekend reminded me there are many other people facing greater hardships than I could ever imagine.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 8, supportive employers

We often forget to give thanks to the people who help coach us, connect with us in our development and continue to give us advise on our goals and objectives in our jobs. Today, I give thanks to the many people at Syngenta who have initiated, continued my development and I expect will continue doing so in the future.
thankful 30 supportive employers

Vern Hawkins and Robin Thomas were two of the first people within the company I connected with while seeking job opportunities. I am pleased that they not only recruited me to join Syngenta, but continue investing time and energy to see my grow as a young ag professional!

Who is it within your company, not necessarily a line manager, that continues to enhance your experience as a leader or professional? How do you recognize his or her work? A simple 'thank you' is a great place to start.

caroline and robin

caroline and vern

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 7, leadership collaboration

Today was filled with deep thoughts. I am thankful for the chance to collaborate with recognized and developing leaders in agriculture. The best way to learn is from experience. There were many years of experience in the business sessions of the AFA Alliance Forum, as well as at the AFA Leader in Agriculture Award Dinner last night.

In reality, I'm still processing much of the insights shared today. One thing that comes to the front of my mind is this: live out your passions and values and never stop learning.

How do you continue collaborating with leaders to learn and develop your best self?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 6, technology

droneWe live in a technology society. Advancements are happening quickly, especially for agricultural production. At the AFA Leaders Conference and a session for the AFA Alliance Forum, I had discussions with college students and agricultural professional peers about technology.

Everyone know it is expanding. New iPhones, iWatches, drones, data management software are just the beginning. What is next? Programs to coordinate health systems, soil metric measuring developments? Who knows. All I know is, there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time.

Lucky for us, we can be thankful for what we have now. Internet connections, email, cell phones, cable, cloud storage, GPS, field mapping, computers and countless other devices that I cannot remember. But there is more to come. How will we enhance it to make the most of agriculture, medicine and life? I guess we shall see. There is a lot of opportunity for my generation. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 5, beauty in nature

Never overlook the beauty that surrounds you. On my drive today, I saw a rainbow. It did not last long. Within a minute, it had vanished. Take in the little miracles around you. On day 5, I am thankful for the beauty in nature.

Beauty in Nature

Photo taken in Missouri. Look for more things I'm thankful for as I spend this weekend in Kansas City at the AFA Leaders Conference and AFA Alliance Forum!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 4, safe, bountiful harvest.

In agriculture, this time of year is busy and dangerous. In south central Nebraska, harvest is finishing up. On day 4, I am thankful for a safe, bountiful harvest for my customers.

Safe, bountiful harvest

My Syngenta Seed Advisors have been hard at work to make sure the local farmers are having a safe, bountiful harvest. Lucky for me, I get to be out in the field more to meet the growers, ride in the combines, measure hybrids weights and moistures and discuss hybrid performance and see those results!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 3, band aids.

We all have wounds. Scratches and bruises. Burns, blisters and scars. How do we help them heal?

thankful 30 - band aidsBand aids.

I have been using quite a few band aids recently - figuratively and literally. For some reason, my skin has been super sensitive and I have needed band aids. For example, I have a band aid on my thumb right now where my cuticle is sore and swollen. The cause? I have no idea. Luckily, the band aid can help it heal.

They are not just to prevent injuries, but protect against further damage and to help accelerate the healing process. Unfortunately, band aids aren't always the solution... This morning, I dropped a workout box on my toe. Not just any toe. Right on top of my big toe. It is now black and blue and a band aid will not help that. Nonetheless, band aids are a great addition to healing wounds that are frequent, vulnerable or sensitive.

Not just my skin, but also emotional wounds, scars and burdens need healed. I put weight on myself to succeed, overcome personal challenges and emotionally beat myself up when I don't. I need to do better at healing. I cannot let all of these "things" become like my toe injury in the gym this morning. I need to find band aids in life that can help me heal quicker, and protect me from further damage. How do I do that?

Relax, breath slowly, drink water, read more books, talk to friends more often, stop fretting over the little things, enjoy a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream every now and then, and go back to the Thankful 30 - Day 1. Band aids will peel off when they are ready. Sometimes, you won't be fully healed. But, it will be the right time to appreciate the healing it provided. We need that time. That is why I'm thankful for band aids.

Now, hopefully, my thumb will heal faster...

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 2, leg day.

Yes, I am serious. The second edition of my #thankful30 is leg day.

Humans are an amazing creature. We have opposable thumbs and walk on two legs. These legs of ours can handle not just our weight, but also stresses and impact around us. Sometimes, I take for granted that I have the ability to walk on my own, feel my feet, jump, run, and of course, do squats and dead lifts (my favorite!). None of this is possible without functioning legs.

There are many amputees, people with disabilities or injuries, and elderly who do not have full functionality of their legs. Therefore, it is important to not only take care of your joints, but be appreciative of the things you can do with them if you have them!

In the spirit, here is a great leg workout to work your booty and hamstrings.

Thankful for Leg Day Workout 

(rest 30 seconds to 1:30 minute between each round, and about 2-3 minutes between sets)

+ Barbell Squats (increase weight each round) - 5 rounds: 20 reps, 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
+ 4 rounds: Barbell Walking Lunges 12 reps per leg (24 total),
immediately followed by 20 Jump Lunges
+ 4 rounds: Glute Hamstring Raises 12 reps (machine, bosu ball or improvise),
immediately followed by 15 Hamstring Ball Tucks
+ 4 rounds: Wide Smith Squats 12 reps, 
immediately followed by 15 Goblet Squats (lower weight)
+ 4 rounds: Romanian Smith Squats 12 reps per leg,
immediately followed by 12 Leg Curls

Work those legs and be thankful for leg day!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thankful 30 - Day 1, thanking God.

To get back into the habit of writing and blogging, I am doing a Thankful 30 series. There are so many things in life to be thankful for and many times, I [and many others] spend too much time focused on the negatives, bad scenarios and unhappy life moments. Let's change that. For the next 30 days, I will share a different thing I am thankful for.

Day 1 - God

Thankful 30 Day 1 : Caroline's Cues

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

7-year trend comes to an end

The past seven years, I have spent the last week of October focused on the same thing. The National FFA Convention and Expo has had my undivided attention. This trend is coming to an end. Unfortunately, I will not make it to the convention this year. But, that is OK.

Receiving my American FFA Degree 2013

Sometimes, our responsibilities and priorities shift. The National FFA Organization is near and dear to my heart. It has shown dramatic impact on my personal development and aptitude for my career in agriculture. Whether it was getting my start in public speaking or learning about soil science, I learned much through my local, state and national participation. If there is one thing I learned and took for granted through FFA but now understand and implement today, it is that putting yourself in environments of change and discomfort yield the greatest results. I have said this a lot; change is tough. Let me reiterate:

Putting yourself in environments of change and discomfort yield the greatest results.

I shared in a past blog post about my various experiences at FFA Convention. Last year, I judged Supervised Agriculture Experience finalists and chapter awards, in addition to mingling with guests in the Syngenta booth in the Expo. Each of my convention years were different. This year, now that I will not be there, is the most different of all. Instead, I will be in Nebraska, working with my customers, closing out harvest 2015 and attending a district sales meeting.

Change is difficult, but change is good. I have now been a Seed Advisor Manager for 8 months and have learned a lot. It is crazy that we are already in the thick of selling corn and soybean seed for 2016 and my Seed Advisors are well on their way to reaching and exceeding goals. I have much more to do and learn before I will feel more comfortable in my job. Thankfully, the FFA paved my path towards being active in agriculture and better serving the farmers I work with.

Lucky for me, the trend of change continues. My time attending FFA Convention may be coming to a stall, but definitely not a close. Whenever my next appearance there is for, it will be a new experience. Who ever say they want to remain the same for the rest of their lives? If they did, they must already have reached their life's ambitions...

I am openminded. What big change or end of a trend is upon you? Are you ready? Can you be openminded and embrace it? Your choice. I know I do not settle for mediocrity.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Curbed my craving: Homemade Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Caroline Cauliflower Pizza Crust RecipeWe all get cravings. Sometimes, it is for sweets and desserts. Other times, it is for salty, greasy, fat-loaded foods. I had the sodium cravings last weekend. I wanted pizza. Instead of going out and spending extra money I don't have in my budget, I made one. The crust was made from cauliflower and then I loaded on veggies, chicken and turkey bacon!

Cauliflower is a great option for someone looking to cut out carbs and fats found in premade bread crusts. Below is my recreation from a Sam's Club magazine article. I also included macronutrients of my pizza in case you'd like to make it the same. To fit my daily intake, I ate two pizzas-- you could easily eat just one... or the whole thing if you choose! :D

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw, processed cauliflower (about half of one large head)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder OR 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. pizza seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheese OR 2 mozzarella string cheese sticks

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PB&J Quest Protein Muffins for National Dessert Day

Happy National Dessert Day! I needed a dessert after a long workday. Lucky for me, I was feeling adventurous in the kitchen and threw a few cupboard and refrigerator staple items to make a new, protein-packed recipe self titled, PB&J Quest Protein Muffins.
Caroline PB&J Quest Protein Muffins

The recipe yields 4 muffins, 100 calories per muffin. You can customize this recipe however you like. I chose to add a tablespoon of Justin's almond butter on top of mine because I needed some more healthy fats and protein for my daily macronutrients. (That is not included in the 100 calories)

Rome and the Italian Outskirts

Since my mom doesn't even read my blog posts to their fullest, let's see what happened on the last leg of my European vacation. :)

The last two and a half days on my Europe escapade were spent in beautiful Italy. I truly wish I could have learned Italian before going on this trip. The culture, history, and people were remarkable and I would love to go back to Italy for a longer experience.

Roma, Italia

We took an overnight train from Milan to Rome. That was a unique experience on its own. I managed to sleep a bit, among my excitement and the normal challenge to get a good night's rest in new places with new people. My group started the day by getting some espresso. Me and another gal split from the group to go to Vatican City. It was the last Sunday of the month and gave free admission all morning. The line only took 30 minutes to get through and we were in.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Muscle Mint Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats

Since I am on my "off season" from competition, I have been playing with new recipes and counting my macros. Breakfast has always been my favorite. I workout in the mornings and enjoy coming home and making something fresh or having something flavorful waiting for me when I arrive.

Pinterest has been overflowing with the sensational "overnight oat" recipes and I had yet to try one. Until now. I think I am in love. I created my own spin on this overnight oat recipe. Thanks to my awesome app, MyMacros+, I was able to put together my recipe and calculate my macronutrients from it.

So here it is, the Muscle Mint Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 300
Proteins: 31.2g
Carbohydrates: 34.2g
Fats: 4.5g
Fibers: 6g

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Caroline's Moments in Milan

Harvest is upon me in Nebraskan and I have yet to share some of the great moments from my short day in Milan. When we arrived that day, it was a warm one! Mid-90 temperatures had us melting under the sun as we approached Duomo, one of the most well known churches in the world. Like many other old structures in Europe, it was under renovations, as seen on the left side of the building. It is nice they are attempting to maintain the history of the cities, but it can certainly take away from the whole ambiance.

Duomo Church
As you may know, Milan is known for fashion and high value brands. Within Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, you no longer find the niche, small stores it housed when it first began. Now, you must be a high bidder like Prada, Valentino, and others to maintain your spot in this high traffic strip.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - oldest shopping center in the world!

When in Milan, you shop. Or try not to melt in the high 90 temperatures.