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I took copious notes during this event, but when I got home I couldn’t find my notepad!  Forgive me, as I’m going off of memory for this.

I was so excited when I received an email from Cigna asking if I would like to attend a blogger meet-up during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!  I went to check out Cigna’s website to familiarize myself with the company and they are a health insurance that believes in keeping it’s customers healthy and happy, which makes perfect that they would be the main sponsor of the Disneyland Half Marathon.

The meet-up consisted of going through 4 cooking demonstration stations and then a sit down lunch in Napa Rose restaurant at the Grand Californian Hotel.  I was way excited for that because I had never been to the Napa Rose restaurant.  It was really pretty!

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Once we signed in and everyone had arrived, they opened with their Cigna nutritionist who talked about helping Disney cast member reach their health goals.  I think it’s so inspiring listening to someone who has seen results, like people getting off medication because they have gotten their health back on track.  It really makes you realize how important it is to keep moving to stay healthy.

The Cigna nutritionist

The Cigna nutritionist

Then they had a speaker, Laura Flores, who talked about running her first 5k, just that morning.  How both her parents were diabetics, so she was very aware of ensuring her family lives a healthy lifestyle.

Laura

Laura

After that, we were broken into 4 groups. Rob and I were in the Pluto group.  All the recipes we were learning were from the Grand Californian banquet team – so if you ever have a meeting or event there, you may see some of these on the menu!

Our group started at the chicken station.  We watched Chef Chris prepare the whole chicken with a kale pesto and fresh veggies.  Watching him chop up the chicken was pretty impressive! I wish I could use a knife the way he did.  Maybe I just need a better knife.  He also made farro with smoked cheese – oh my goodness…heavenly.

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Next we went to the dessert station where we learned a fruit crisp.  First, they passed around a few different types of fruit for us to try.

The first thing we tasted were cotton candy grapes – ummmm, I had no idea there were grapes that tasted like cotton candy…amazing! There were also figs, plums, peaches, melon and gooseberry covered in white chocolate.  The crisp part was made with rolled oats, sugar (brown and white) and flour.  It looked super easy to put together and was delicious.

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Next station we headed to was the smoothie station.  We learned a pre-workout recipe and a post-workout recipe during this station.  The pre-workout was a coco coffee crispy smoothie.  It had some coffee in it, unsweetened coco powder, almonds, ice, soy milk.  I tried it, but I don’t like the taste of coffee, so didn’t love it, but my husband really liked it a lot. The recovery smoothie was super yummy.  It had dragon fruit, flax seed, ice and almond milk.  I liked this one, it was sweet, but not too sweet and seemed like it would be super refreshing after a hard workout.

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After the smoothie station we moved to the final station, the salad station.  First, they asked for volunteers to help make the vinaigrette, so I volunteered, who doesn’t love to volunteer and learn to make something new?

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My vinaigrette was made with honey and my fellow volunteer’s vinaigrette was made with sugar.  I thought they both tasted great, but the group voted the honey one tasted the best.  They put the salad together with the lettuce, fruit and julienne endives.  It was so pretty!

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After we finished up we had a special guest appearance – Chef Mickey!!  We all got to take photo’s with him, which was super fun.  Then it was time to eat!

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Rob and I sat at a table with a lot of the Cigna representatives.  We were able to tell them how awesome this event was and how lucky we felt to be invited.  I think it’s a great idea for the sponsor of a big race like Disney puts on to have an event where bloggers can get to know them a little better and spread the good things they’re doing.

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I want to thank Cigna for inviting me (and letting my husband tag along) for this great event!  We had such a great time and the food was amazing.

Stay tuned for my Disneyland Half Marathon race review coming soon!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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