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.