Archive for June, 2012

THE SUPER EGG

How can you beat the mighty egg as an awesome Urban Survival food?  It has great nutritional value, is cheap and has a long shelf life.  There have been recent studies that actually show that eggs are good for you! Many of our Urban Survival recipes contain eggs.. the mighty matzo and the mighty ramen noodle to name just two.

To qualify as an Urban Survival food, a food must have nutritional value, be cheap, be able to be prepared quickly and be able to be modified for taste.  I just bought a carton of 18 large eggs for $1.99.  That’s cheap!  The egg also has great nutritional value (see below) can be prepared quickly and can be modified for taste.  Below is some egg facts I found.  Don’t let the bad reputation of eggs deter you- go try one of our recipes!

EGG FACTS

A large egg represents less than 4% of the daily calorie intake of a person eating 2,000 calories a day; it provides 10% of a person’s daily recommended protein, and valuable iron, B vitamins, and minerals, including the folate recommended for pregnant women.

A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. After the egg is laid, the hen starts all over again about 30 minutes later.

Egg protein is both high in quality and low in cost. It’s easy to compare the price of eggs to the price of other protein foods. A dozen Large eggs weigh 1 1/2 pounds, so the price per pound of Large eggs is two-thirds of the price per dozen. For example, if Large eggs cost 90¢ per dozen, they cost 60¢ per pound. At $1.20 per dozen, Large eggs are only 80¢ per pound.

Dates on egg cartons and all other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety. An ‘expiration’ or ‘sell-by’ date on an egg carton tells the grocer to pull the eggs if they haven’t sold by that time. A ‘best-by’ or ‘use-by’ date tells you that your eggs will still be of high quality if you use them by that date.

You can keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated in their cartons for at least three weeks after you bring them home, with insignificant quality loss. Properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. If you keep them long enough, eggs are more likely to simply dry up. But don’t leave eggs out. They’ll age more in one day at room temperature than they will in one week in the refrigerator.

Photo and fact credit:

http://photobucket.com/images/super-egg/

http://smarteregg.com/can-eggs-make-you-smarter/

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/eggs-friend-or-foe

http://www.incredibleegg.org/

 

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I know you are out there.  You sacrifice.  You work hard to provide. Most of all, you love your children with all of your heart.  Today, on Father’s Day you will not get the recognition you deserve. It may be because of the lingering negative effects of divorce or maybe because the economy forces you away from your children.  Whatever the reason, please know that I know you are out there and I know you are doing your best.  It is the easiest thing to give up, but you don’t.  Don’t ever give up…… Happy Father’s day!

PERSPECTIVE

per·spec·tive

noun

the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/perspective

We left off in part one talking about perspective in our decision making process.  We looked at adding the perspective of a third-party, thus adding another dimension to our perspective.  This additional perspective will help us make better decisions when in conflict.  But, is there a way we can still increase our perspective?

Let’s just say that while in conflict, you were able to stop time for a moment and fly up higher to the edge of a ridge overlooking your conflict.  Would your perspective change?  Yes, of course.  This perspective will allow you to see your opponent, your BFF, a greater sense of the terrain around you and it will also allow you to see in the distance.  If you are able to see in the distance you can see threats before you see them on the ground.  In effect you will be able to see in the future.

The intent of almost all decisions is to predict the future. Great!  If only we can freeze time, climb up on hills, we will greatly increase our ability to make better decisions while in conflict.  We can’t literally do that, but there are ways we can gain better perspective in conflict.

1.  Accept that there is uncertainty in conflict, but that uncertainty is true for all.

Often times we are in conflict in areas that are uncommon for us.  The MMA fighter has no problem getting in the ring but fears the courtroom the same as the lawyer has no problem in court but fears the octagon.  When we are in areas that are unfamiliar to us we feel less certain of the outcome.  Fear can be blinding and hinder our perspective. Accept it and move on. Uncertainty will have no bearing whatsoever in the eventual outcome of your conflict unless you let it.

2. Know your own strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

It is said that in physical fights we revert back to fighting the way in which we fought our last fight.  For instance, if you are 30 years old and the last fight you had been in was in 6th grade, you will fight like you are in 6th grade.  If we consciously take an honest mental accounting of our strengths and weaknesses we can then plan a strategy for defense or offense. Let me emphasize you must make an HONEST accounting of your strengths and weaknesses.  I have in the past overestimated my weaknesses and have paid the price.

3. Have short-term goals and long term goals and act accordingly.

Ask yourself, what do you want and when do you want it. Looking at short-term and long-term goals forces us to make decisions on a time continuum.  Often we are concerned with specific bits of time.  Today, tomorrow, ten years from now.  Instead we should be thinking of time as a continuous flow. As you move along in the conflict things will change, it is inevitable.  Those changes will not be so dramatic; they may ebb and flow or increase or decrease.  Keeping a clear set of short and long-term goals will give you a better perspective of time and help you decide when to change a strategy, if needed.

4.  Pick a course of action based on 1,2 and 3 and plow through, if it doesn’t work change your plan and plow through.

This is harder than it seems.  If you are fearful (see#1) then you are also hesitant in your actions.  Make the best decision you can make given all of the information you have at the time, then plow through.  If you see that you need to change your actions based on your strengths, weaknesses, goals, changes as a function of time (people get older, tired, etc.), then change your actions and plow through.

I remember when I was going through my horrific divorce.  I was scared I was going to lose my kids, I did not know how the system worked, I had no confidence in my attorney, I was literally frozen and getting battered. I decided to take a break and went on a retreat to a Buddhist monastery.  While there, I asked a  monk what I should do.  He said that I should make a decision, then put all my energy in that decision.  No doubts or worries.  Just plow through.  So, I’ll add…..Fight and when you’re tired, rest.  Then fight again until you are successful.  Acknowledge and appreciate each victory, learn and move on from each defeat.  It’s a matter of survival.

We prepare, we practice, we may even really engage in…. combat.  

In reality, we are in combat everyday.  It may or may not be the types of scenarios we discussed previously in our “what would you do if…” series but when you are dealing with an abusive ex or just trying to renew your license at the DMV…. you are in conflict.

Urban Survivalists, Preppers, Martial Artists all aspire to predict how they will react in conflict.  Surprisingly, those people (myself included) don’t always react in the way in which we anticipated.

 

What is the process by which we make those decisions while in conflict?  Can we make better ones?  One of the ways martial arts helps us, is that martial arts provides us with a mechanism to role-play.  We can practice being in conflict (attacks) and then practice a response (defense).  Role playing is one of the best tools we can use to make a decision, in particular a decision while in conflict. But even martial artists make bad decisions in conflict. Why?

Lets’ say this is you

YOU

You become in embroiled in a conflict with another person

You would make a decision on what to do by assessing what is around you, correct?  You would assess who the person is in front of you, their perceived capabilities, the enviroment, your own capabilities, etc.  You would have to do that all while actually being engaged in conflict.  You are in real-time.  That is, you are reacting as things occur, you do not have the time to look back at the past (how the heck did I get here) nor can you see the future (more on this in part 2).  You see only what is on this plane of existence. But this position provides only a small amount of information and it is occurring during active conflict.  Our view is here is limited and that affects how we make our decisions.

One way to expand our field of view is to ask for help.  In this scenario our help will just observe and report what he sees to you and maybe offer advice (sort of like a BFF).

A little help here…….

Your BFF’s perception now includes what he sees you doing (which you don’t), what your opponent is doing (more so because he is in a different position), he is not engaged in the conflict thus he has a little more time to assess, decide on an action and then recommend an action to you.  People use others they trust to help make hard decisions all the time.  Marksmen use spotters, I pay a divorce attorney (well maybe that is not a good example) and even Generals use forward scouts.  Obtaining help from others gives us a greater perspective of our conflict and will inevitably help us make better decisions.  More in Part 2.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”   Sun Tzu

Photo/video credit:

http://www.123rf.com/photo_6375709_two-fists-punching-each-other.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni89mBXwKZg