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Cigna Run Together Blogger Meet Up

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This week has been a whirlwind for me.  Coming home after a racecation always takes a few days to find my bearings and right the “mother” ship so to speak.

But this Friday is NOTHING like last Friday.  I ran the Disneyland 5K on a smidge of sleep and followed that experience up with the Cigna blogger meet up at the beautiful Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Guys.  After the travel and the crazy of Thursday night into Friday morning, I was tired!

And rungry.  It’s a darn good thing our friends at Cigna decided to feed us!

We broke into four groups and made our way through stations around the restaurant.  My group was the Pluto group, and Chef Mickey let me know we were his favorite.

blogger meet up cigna

Okay, so he didn’t really.  I’m sure he loves us all equally.

We started in the kitchen with Chef Chris.  Here we learned about preparing a healthy chicken dish with kale pesto and fresh vegetables.

It was fascinating watching him butcher the chicken.  The secret must be in using a high-quality knife because my chicken slicing skills do NOT equate! (ps- putting knives on my Christmas list.)

cigna collage

I was almost drooling by the time Chef Chris plated the meal.

Thankfully we were promised a taste once the sessions were complete!  And it was, indeed, delicious.


The second station was all about fruit and dessert.  I love fruit.  I love dessert.

These were my people.

I’d never had the cotton candy grapes before (oh my word- delightful!).  The peaches were also a huge favorite for me.

But I fell in love with the cape gooseberry dipped in white chocolate.

cigna collage 2

After desserts, we headed over to smoothie-ville.

Now, I can’t cook.  At all.

But I can blend like no one’s business.

I took notes on this one because I’m putting these bad boys into my smoothie rotation.

cigna 4

Pre-Workout Crunchy Coffee Cocoa Smoothie

  • 1 cup ice
  • half cup coffee (chilled)
  • 2 tsp agave
  • half cup almond milk
  • 3 tbs unsalted Almonds
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and a half bananas (freeze the night before.)

Cigna 5

Post-Workout Blueberry Cactus Pear Smoothie

  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • quarter cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbs ground flax seed
  • half cup blueberries
  • quarter cup cactus pear
  • half cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • half cup soy milk

Our final station was the salad station.  Volunteers made a salad and fresh vinaigrette dressings.  One had honey in it (my fave!), and the other had sugar in it (also delish).  Both of these were fresh and surprisingly easy to make.

cigna 7

My take away from this meet up is that healthy cooking isn’t hard.  It just takes a little more effort to prepare.

Let’s be honest: that’s the hard part of cooking for yourself or your family.  But coming up with a plan and following some simple recipes will pay dividends to your health.

The chefs demonstrated that creating simple yet healthy recipes wasn’t outside of my wheelhouse.  Start with the freshest, seasonal ingredients and you won’t fail.

And man, was the food good!

Thank you, Cigna and Chef Mickey, for hosting this fantastic experience!

chef mickey

Disclosure: Cigna invited me to this event.  I received a swag bag and a lovely meal.  All opinions about the event are my own. 


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Friday 11th of September 2015

Totally trying the coffee smoothie. Sounds like a good plan since I don't really like to eat in the morning before I run. A smoothie I think I could handle. When I first had cotton candy grapes one of my thoughts was to wonder what kind of amazing dessert wine they would make ...


Friday 11th of September 2015

Oh my gosh on the wine! Really! Let me know what you think about the smoothie.


Friday 11th of September 2015

oh cactus pear! I love it. Wish it was easy to find on the east coast because I bet it is delicious in a smoothie. I'm totally trying that coffee cocoa one tomorrow. Skinnytaste is a great site for easy healthy meals.


Friday 11th of September 2015

It was fabulous! Luckily I'm in Arizona for the cactus pear shouldn't be an issue. As in my neighbors yard. Hahaha!

Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy

Friday 11th of September 2015

That is exactly why I started my Friday food porn -- to show that eating healthy can be good! And it's not always hard, either. Now I realize I need to put together a page with links to everything in one place!

I just recently tried the cotton candy grapes myself. Totally addicting!


Friday 11th of September 2015

Aren't those the best?!