Easy Rice Bowl

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I am working from home today which means trying to keep on a normal work schedule is hard! To help stay on routine I allowed myself a 45 minute break to eat and write this post. I wanted something quick and easy but also nutritious and delicious! I decided to go with a brown rice bowl with simple ingredients. If you ever find yourself at home with a short amount of time to eat; I encourage you to try this recipe! I was surprised at how little time it took to prepare!

Ingredients:

1 cup of brown rice

Chopped Spinach Leaves

Chopped Parsley

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (adds zest)

2 thin slices of chicken

1 pinch of garlic powder

 

Okay back to sorting out evaluations! Wish me Luck 🙂

 

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Josie’s Eyes

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Josie’s Eyes

Grandpa, Dad, Megan, and I . . . and Josie’s eyes.
A generational affair, Josie is still walking in Grandpa’s path
on a trail from our farm’s start.
One man.  One cow.  Similar in the way they lead . . . acute to their surroundings.
 
The rest of us, farmers in training as dad builds up his herd 
with Josie as the head.
Our family farm has given us freedom 
and knowledge of how to use it.
My sister and I now stand on the horizon
ready to become part of a legacy 
viewed 
through Josie’s eyes.
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Lent: Day 7 of No Complaining

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Happy Hump Day!! I am excited to be writing another blog post. (I should be working on homework, but I got inspired when I took a break to make an afternoon protein shake. Actually Megan is the true inspiration of this post, my protein shake is just the sugar on top!

Lent began exactly 1 week ago today. Megan and I usually give up something like ice cream or coffee, etc. Something that is only going to better myself for the few weeks until Easter. This year Megan decided to give up complaining. What better way to be reminded of what Jesus sacrificed for us then to give up something that could bring us closer to God? Giving up something that is so challenging is bound to have some hiccups. I decided to join her on this journey. So far I have discovered that as humans we complain a lot! I found myself complaining about classes, schedules, getting up early, and even the bachelor not recording! Even if I fail miserably at not complaining entirely until Easter, it has added a whole new perspective into my life had I not braved the temptation.

1 Peter 5: 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

12717465_10207869154400472_2865064283965066350_n1 Peter 5: 6 shares an important aspect to lent that I had not ventured into before. Giving up something is not easy but God will lift us up in due time. In the past I believed that failing during lent was just awful. How could I not go 40 days without ice cream when Jesus went 40 days with the devil tempting him? But I now believe that we need God to help us do what we think might be impossible. I am going to take lent in strive and be an accountability buddy for Megan just like she will be for me. Not complaining is possible in due time! It only takes 30 days to make a habit ;).

While writing this post I sipped on a delicious peanut butter coffee protein shake! Recipe time for this beautiful Wednesday afternoon!

Peanut Butter Coffee Protein Shake

Blend all Ingredients:12646947_10207869154560476_3884140243225511852_n

1 Banana, 4 ice cubes, coffee protein (complete nutrition), unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop powder peanut butter, 1 scoop cocoa, 1 scoop flax seeds, and 1 spoon of coconut. I added a few marshmallows on top to add a touch of happiness 🙂

Enjoy!!

 

 

Recipe Saturday: Lettuce Wraps

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There is an amazing restaurant in Ames called the Cafe and they serve lettuce wraps with Mongolian beef and rice. I have been trying to recreate the recipe and have yet to succeed but Megan, Mo, and I did create a twist to the delicious lettuce wrap. This is a quick and easy lunch that can be made in minutes to satisfy your hunger on your busiest days.

Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce

Mexican Rice

Black Beans

Corn

Cheese

Onions

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 Steps:

  1. Stove top: Rice, beans, and corn
  2. Saute onions
  3. Combine all ingredients
  4. Scoop a spoonful onto the lettuce

Tip: Roll the lettuce sideways to reduce the chance of breakage

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2016 HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Health

As a college student with a crazy schedule I appreciate my work having a wellness center available to all employees. I have taken full advantage of this perk throughout my time at Iowa Farm Bureau. They really strive for employee happiness and well being. I only know that my schedule will get busier and busier as I inch closer to independence therefore I am taking control of my health now.

Kelsey, one of the wellness coaches, sent a #MondayMotivation list for us to keep in mind throughout the week. She had a paragraph next to each one describing the wellness goal. I took all key words and thought about what they mean to me personally. Do my goals align? And how do I see myself in each category.

My Thoughts:

  1. Be an Optimist. Particularly this year I have attempted to be an optimist. I have found that I am my happiest when I take things in strive. I have many things to be thankful for and I try to count my blessings as the day goes on. This is also one of the hardest things to remember when I am running on minimal sleep and working on homework till 10:00 pm on a Sunday night.
  2. Have Hope. In today’s society it may be hard to have hope but I have realized that things get accomplished when I have hope. It also makes me want to jump out of bed to go make my goals happen. Having hope generally makes a person happier.
  3. Accept Yourself. Self-Image is a powerful thing. When Kelsey placed this as one of her goals for employees I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to say under this category. It is a personal topic and I tend to stay away from personal issues on the internet but I am learning to be more independent and I believe college is helping me to become confident in my personality, image, and value.
  4. Stay Connected. Social media, connecting with others, and building a online community has been a positive addition to my motivation. My blog and social media is helping me to stay accountable for all things I care passionately about! Faith, Farm, Fitness, and Food (cooking and eating healthy).
  5. Express Gratitude. Appreciating all those around me is a little hard to do when I am in my own little bubble but when I think about expressing gratitude I need to thank my parents, family and friends who keep my happy and motivated to achieve all I am destined to do.
  6. Find Your Purpose and Meaning. College is helping me to find my purpose and meaning in life. I have built a closer relationship with God and it is nice knowing that he has a plan for me (even if I don’t know what that is yet). Agriculture has played a big role in finding my place.
  7. Master Your Environment. Mastering my environment is similar to taking daily events in strive. An Ag Leaders session taught me that there are at least 10 different ways to look at one circumstance. It is not the events in our life that defines us, it is the way we act that determines who we are.
  8. Exercise Regularly. This is one of the most important categories to me in this list. I have made it a habit to exercise on a daily basis and I have seen an incredible improvement in my motivation to achieve all my goals. They say exercising generates positive thinking and I believe this to be 100 percent true! I get crabby when I don’t get the chance to workout.
  9.  Practice Mindfulness. The definition of practicing mindfulness is to be in the moment. Megan and I have been working on phrasing our statements to say we are looking forward to… verse we can’t wait… Changing this little word means that I am excited for the future but I am happy with where I am today.

 

 

IFB Young Farmer Conference

12291747_910722268963806_2547358162115162639_oI wanted to write a post but pictures do more justice. I am very blessed to have had this opportunity to intern with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Last May I began this adventure and would not change a single moment. I have grown in knowledge, independence, and passion. I am excited to see what the future has to hold and I am looking forward to the rest of my time as the Leadership Development Intern.

 

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Farmer in Training- Posted on WIA LN

Capture_d400I am a blog contributor of the Women in Ag Learning Network and this is the post I recently published. I too am a Farmer in Training. 

I remember helping my dad bottle feed the calves when I was 9 years old. Little did I know that it would lead to a career in agriculture. I think many of us go on about our days without taking a moment to count our blessings for all the times we were “farmers in training.” Even playing soccer in high school was a real factor in becoming a farmer. Think of it this way, would I have the determination and put in the effort I do without learning those skills through both winning and losing?

Sara Shepherd’s story is no different, except for the fact that she treasured each and every “farmer in training” lesson she was offered.

In 2012 Sara’s dad was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). “I spent the year managing my dad’s farming operation-following step by step instructions he had given me during our farm lessons,” said Sara. Through Annie’s Project, many conversations with her dad, and careful planning, Sara jumped from full time employee to full time self-employed marketing consultant and farmer.

Sara credits early career experiences to her smooth but challenging transition. She was involved in 4-H, FFA, and the Iowa and American Junior Charolais Cattle Associations. Soon after graduating high school, Sara enrolled at Waldorf College in North Central Iowa where she majored in business, finance, and management information systems.

Sara was employed as a Chamber of Commerce Executive Director post-college working in an urban setting with economic development. It was important to Sara to help create strong rural communities with well-developed school systems and successful people.

Sara also worked for the European Potato Board after graduating from North Central. “I realized they work to promote, educate, and grow their agriculture base just like we do for corn, soybeans, beef, and pork. “We’re all really not that different,” said Sara. She began to think of new ways to utilize the experiences from her past to benefit her present and future.

“Doing chores and checking cows as I waited for them to calve really opened my eyes to how much I enjoyed farming, and the possibility that I could do this in the future,” said Sara. She began to discuss with her dad the possibilities of building a farm operation.

Through her prior experience, Sara was able to form a circle of experts and friends she could count on for help. Farming soon became her full time job with free-lance marketing on the side.

As Sara was creating her business plan, she decided to sell bull semen and direct market meat to her local community as a way to add value to her operation. Her prior marketing experience has been very valuable in marketing her bull’s semen. This year she has increased her bulls to 10!

It was important to Sara to really listening to the conversations she had with her dad during their farming lessons. She is utilizing and taking advantage of all the prior experience she has had during her time as a “farmer in training.”

Breaded Cauliflower Gone Hot!

DSCF8681_d400Happy Sunday! Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to assist with an Ag Leaders Session. The Ag Leaders Institute is a year long course for farmers to learn about cutting edge issues and leadership skills to address those issues. It was fascinating to watch the minds of 25 inspirational farmers connect and learn from one another throughout the weekend. Mary invited a local artiest from Boone, Iowa to speak with the group. David emphasized the idea of expanding creativeness and to use the resources we all have at our fingertips. He explained that our phones are like a advertisement agency. We can expand our reach with just one click of a button. He encouraged us to create a 6 word phrase that described what and why we do what we do. I began the process by jotting down words that remind me of the farm and in the end I came up with “Agriculture taught me freedom and knowledge.” Through this statement all things are true. I have found that I am truly happy connecting farmers to consumers. Before the Ag Leaders Institute on Friday we had a little incident at our apartment resulting in the fire department which is the real reason for this post!

Exactly one week ago, Megan and I decided that we were hungry for breaded cauliflower but trying to be the new, improved, and healthy us, we did not want to go into town. We found a recipe online and tweaked it to fit our taste buds. It started off as any normal cooking experience. I combined the ingredients and Megan cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. I had Garrett put turkey burgers on the counter grill and I added oil to the frying pan. With in seconds the apartment was flooding with smoke and I began to panic. We turned on the vent and opened the sliding glass door but even with all our effort the apartment stayed smokey. We opened the door to the hallway hoping to release some of the smoke when immediately all of the alarms went off. It was so loud I just knew it had to be the whole building. Ah man was I mortified!!! I looked out side and everyone from the building was standing outside in their pajamas! I called the Ames police right away to let them know it wasn’t a fire but that did not stop the fire trucks from pulling up to reset the alarms. They asked us what happened and once we told them they laughed and asked if it at least tasted good. I should have offered them some but we had already ate it while we were waiting for them to arrive. Haha I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life!!

Here is the recipe if you are also in the mood for breaded cauliflower but please cook it in a deep fryer or an oven! I sure learned my lesson!

Ingredients:

– 1 head of cauliflower

– 1 tsp of garlic powder

– 1 tsp of onion powder

–  Egg yolks

– pepper

– salt

– sugar

– 1 cup of flower

Steps: 

1. Clean and cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces

2. Combine all dry ingredients into one bowl

3. crack 1-2 eggs into a bowl and whisk

4. dunk the cauliflower into the egg and then into the flower mix

5. Fry in oil for 2-3 min

6. Enjoy!

To modify for a healthier version- bake cauliflower in the oven with similar ingredients.

Extreme Revolution- Workout Addition

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! The start of the semester has been busy, but I am determined to post once a week! I can do this!!

Just to let everyone know my new healthy lifestyle has had its challenges, (especially when I want to go back to my usual habits of sipping hot cocoa/marshmallows while I power through my homework) but I have yet to stumble and I believe my blog will help keep me accountable! Ever since I got my Fitbit for Christmas (thank you grandma)! I have been able to keep track of my steps, water intake, sleep, and food!

So what is the Extreme Revolution- Workout Addition you may ask!?!? Well, I have the opportunity to intern with one of the best organizations in Agriculture. I have learned so much through my experience and I am excited to see what the future holds. An added perk to the internship includes a gym and a personal trainer. That’s right! A personal trainer for all employees. The trainers offer classes morning, lunch and evenings. With New Years behind us and resolutions in the works, the trainers are offering extreme workout classes. I thought, this is going to be perfect! Ill get my workout in during lunch and I will feel great for Spring. Trust me, I enjoyed the session, but I had to talk myself out of laying down in the middle of the gym haha. Anyone who wants to join the journey with me is more than welcome! Below is the cardio session I attended with other workouts incorporated.

Warm up for 10-15 minutes to allow your muscles time to adjust.

Stretch

Here is where it gets fun! 🙂

3 sets

30 second killers

30 second high knees

30 second shuffles

30 second high jumps

Rest

Repeat 2 more times- resting in between each set

3 Sets 

30 second plank sprints (Planking and sprinting every 5 seconds)

30 second bur-pees

30 second moon crawls (Sticking your butt in the air and walking on all fours)

30 second plank

Rest

Repeat 2 more times-resting in between each set

Walk 2 laps

Stretch

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks for checking out Picking Wild Flowers!

Morgan

Wine and Fish Night

January 10th, 2016 marks my first post! I can not believe I am the owner of a blog. I have been inspired by other blogs over the past three yearCapture-11_d400s and decided it was time for me to start my own journey. It is the night before school starts back up again and while in the motivated state my sister and I decided to try a new recipe.

I had a great start to my morning, I attended Harvest Vineyard (a local church) where the pastor seemed to talk directly to me. He made a great point about relationships and belonging.  1st Corinthians 12:12-27 states that we are all one in the body of Christ. Sometimes I feel like society forgets this. Pastor Josh made a valid point that when he is in a fight with his wife and he wins the argument they both lose. It is not about what team wins or loses because we are all playing on the same team. We should be encouraging others around us and not only thinking about ourselves. As second semester kicks off, I am going to remember this throughout my relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

Okay back to the recipe that brought all of you to this post. 🙂

Fish and Wine Night

I like to wing the food that I cook and this recipe turned out to be the perfect combination. The base of the meal was created with Tilapia and a lemon wine dressing. If you are making this with the ingredients in your home be creative and don’t be afraid to swap a few. I am going to list the steps Megan and I took but feel free to use what you have in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

Frozen or fresh Tilapia fish

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups brown rice

5 cherry tomatoes

3 sweet peppers

1/2 onion

3 garlic cloves

5 cilantro leaves

Steps:

1. In a large skillet, cook the fish in 2 T. of olive oil. Leave whole or cut into bite size squares

2. In a small sauce pan- combine the wine and lemon juice to a small boil

3. Add all vegetables to the fish and allow 15 minutes to cook into the fish

4. pour the lemon wine dressing over the fish- simmer for 10 minutes

5. Cook the rice on the stove or in the microwave and serve fish over rice

6. Enjoy!