Healthy Meals of the Military – Examples For the Busy Man

The typical work day is often so hectic and unpredictable that we often insist that nothing could be busier or worse. This is not really or honestly the case, when you seriously stop and think about it. If there is anyone who truly fits the definition of being a true Busy Man, that person is without a doubt a member of the military armed forces. This is someone who is called to respond to orders and situations on a moment’s notice, and this does not always leave room or time in the schedule for eating at a leisurely pace. However, this does not mean that the soldier has to make do on only crackers and water. Great care in research, planning, and preparation has been made in ensuring that the caloric and nutritional needs of fighting men and women are properly met, not only in the case of members of the US military, but in military forces around the world. Much has been said about the feeding of soldiers in the past, with stories and legends about C-rations and K-rations, but what about the present day?

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is the organization within the US Department of Defense responsible for supplying services and materials to the various branches of the United States’ military forces. According to the DLA, the current successor to the C-rations of the World War 2 era is the MRE. Formally, this is listed in official documents as “Meal, Ready-to-Eat.” These were developed by food researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier Center in Massachusetts, and first introduced to combat troops between 1981 and 1986. The designated purpose of the MRE is to provide sustenance to someone involved in strenuous activities such as military training, or while engaged in some military operation or endeavor, where access to regular food service facilities is not available. In other words, this is for the individual in training or on the battlefield who cannot get to a regular cafeteria, mess hall or tent, or a fast food restaurant.

The typical man who is busy during the day, who similarly cannot stop to get something to eat, would usually bring his lunch or meal to work with him. In the case of the US soldier, the “brown bag” is in the form of a plastic bag. Actually, these are items contained in a plastic six-inch by twelve-inch “meal bag,” as the DLA calls it. A soldier is often on the move, and needs to carry supplies with him or her, so items cannot be either heavy in weight or bulky in size. As described in the document “Operational Rations,” the items contained in the meal bag are made up of an entrĂ©e, other elements that civilians would call side dishes and dessert, a beverage, and accessories such as condiments, a spoon, and a napkin. The meal itself, according to the DLA, provides about 1250 calories on average. This is broken down to roughly 13% protein, 36% fat, and 51% carbohydrates. It is also noted that one such meal provides one-third of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of essential vitamins and minerals, as determined by the US Surgeon General. The overall calorie goal for active soldiers is 3600 calories per day, not much different from an athlete in training for sport or competition.

To address the issue of boredom, and variety in the menu choices, there are currently twenty-four different meal plans listed on the current MRE menu, issued by the Defense Logistics Agency. This is updated frequently, and as of January 2010, the current “MRE Individual Menus List” is designated “MRE, XXVIII.” According to the DLA, menu items are evaluated as to their ability to remain shelf stable and nutritious after preparation and preservation in foil and plastic storage pouches, and are tested for taste and appearance by the most demanding audience, the soldiers themselves. In examining the listing, there are food items in each menu, covering the breakfast, lunch, and dinners meals, as well as a snack or two. Some menus are clearly intended for the breakfast meal, and others can easily be taken as either lunch or dinner.

A breakfast menu on this list is Menu 4. Items include an entree of a cheese and vegetable omelet. Side items described include granola with blueberries, toaster pastry, a plain cracker, apple butter, a cinnamon scone, and French vanilla coffee. Salsa verde is listed as the particular condiment offering, and a spoon accompanies these meal elements. There is an accessory packet along with this meal. The list of items in this includes apple cider (a dry powder to be reconstituted with water), salt, gum, matches, tissue, and a moist towelette.

A lunch menu on this list is Menu 12. The items here include an entree of veggie burger in barbecue sauce. The side items listed include dried fruit, a chocolate banana muffin top, two wheat snack bread pieces, and a carbohydrate electrolyte beverage. Hot sauce is the listed condiment, and a spoon is also included for this meal. The accessory packet for this meal includes lemon tea, salt, gum, matches, tissue, and a moist towelette.

A dinner menu on this list is Menu 24. The entree listed here is chicken breast strips with salsa, and fried rice. Side items listed include a shortbread cookie, a vegetable flavor cracker, and jalapeno cheese spread. Green hot sauce is the condiment included. Mocha coffee and a spoon are also detailed. For this meal there is included a mix of candy: plain chocolate disks, chocolate with peanuts, and peanut butter disks. The accessory packet for this meal contains lemon tea, salt, gum, matches, tissue, and a moist towelette.

There are similarities to the eating requirements for members of the military and men who have both busy schedules and are in a fitness or sport training program. There is the need to be able to get nutritious and filling food quickly, especially when time is at a premium. There is also the problem of receiving a meal that is properly balanced, to allow for peak and efficient performance when under physical and mental stress. Members of the military have the benefit of researchers, dieticians, and professional chefs, to address these problems. Civilians can learn from these lessons as well, and this involves careful planning and preparation for the activities involved, whether to simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, improved physique, or in fueling and nourishing the body for engaging in a muscle training or conditioning program.

Additional information and tips concerning nutrition, healthy eating, and fitness for men can be found at Nutrition and Fitness For Men

Auto Sales Success Increased Commissions Through Business Thank You Cards

High income car sales people know that consistent value added contact results in higher commissions. Joe Girard, listed as the greatest salesman in the world by Guinness World Records, proposed a rule suggesting each person you meet knows approximately 250 other people. Translation, each time you sell a car, if managed properly, you will have access to the roughly 250 people your new customer knows. You will have access, that is, if you farm the opportunity.

Joe Verde, trainer, coach, and mentor, states that every one of your sold customers knows someone who will be purchasing a vehicle in the next ninety days. Translation, if you had a hundred sold customers, that would be a hundred opportunities over the next 90 days. Imagine if you had a thousand customers!

Unfortunately, the majority of car sales people miss these opportunities. First, most fail to train their customers to contact them when they hear someone is in the market for a vehicle. Second, they fail to keep their name fresh in their customer’s mind.

Business thank you cards, followed by a regularly scheduled sequence of business greeting cards, is a strength of auto and RV sales professionals. It is essential to note that true sales professionals rarely use electronic greeting cards. E-cards often end up in the receiver’s spam folder. And, unlike paper greeting cards, E-cards fail to demonstrate any sincere time investment in their creation.

How should a business thank you card be created?
1. It must be a paper card,
2. It must include a personal note from the sender,
3. It should be posted with a real stamp,
4. Proper etiquette for a business thank you card is to show you are sincere,
5. Do not sell in a business thank you card. Saying thank you, or happy birthday, or Merry Christmas, and asking for a referral is poor taste.

Cultivating repeat customers, and their referrals, is a process that starts right at time of delivery. While doing the orientation, make it a point to explain to your new customer that as a commission sales professional referrals are important. Ask them to call you each time they hear someone mention about purchasing a vehicle. Be sure to give them several business cards and hint that you will be following up from time-to-time, especially on special occasions. That clears the way for your business thank you cards.

Bob Burg, in his book Endless Referrals, wrote “The pros, the champions, the ones who are determined to succeed, do the little things right consistently.” He emphasizes that personal notes, like business thank you cards, are a way of establishing yourself and your credibility.

Similarly, David Fry, author of the Small Business Marketing Bible, describes a system for getting more referrals using a hands free follow up process. What is important is that he demonstrates how it engenders a deep relationship with customers. The nugget is that the system requires very little effort. Write me for a link. Take a few minutes and see just how important regular follow up is to your business growth and income.

Remember: Nothing happens until someone sells something.
Sales Champions Make It Happen!

Black Bean Chips – Salsa De Verde Is Big Business

When we sit down to dinner at our house, there’s just something about the conversation. Recently my son-in-law came up with the brilliant idea of opening a restaurant. He’s an Army cook, so that wasn’t a big stretch for him, but the concept was flying right over my head, until he shared that he wanted me to help run it.

Ping… I’m awake now.

What? Me run a restaurant? Okay, it’s not a huge leap, I did it before. But seriously? Now?

Okay… breathe. What’s on the menu?

My recent ventures into glutton free eating raised a giant red flag and the world stopped turning, then he said, “We could do a specialized menu for people who have stopped eating junk food. Limited portions, good food with real flavor but glutton free?”

Bea Kuntz suggested a sustainable restaurant on Sit and Sip, her Facebook group where foodies discuss… um, food. Bea is the gardeness at Sage Hill Farms, a fresh produce and herb garden in middle Tennessee. The thought definitely struck a chord with me. I love Bea’s teas. They’re an amazing addition to our diets and we all sip them eagerly in the mornings, as the fog lifts and life becomes busy again.

Sustainable menus in a restaurant that specializes in glutton free recipes. This could be a real deal. How about it? What do you think?

The next words out of his mouth sent me reeling for paper and pen, I had to take notes. Not only did the menu for our restaurant begin to take shape, but the process of putting it all together morphed into a planning session. While we chattered, he pulled out a bowl of fresh Salsa de Verde and we nibbled on glutton free black bean chips and salsa as we discussed the options of building a restaurant based on healthy food in healthy portions – reasonably priced, healthy portions, even.

These concepts came out pretty fast:

  • Create a sustainable menu that appeals to most age groups
  • Provide healthy, attractive children’s options on plastic dinnerware
  • Design a light, bright, appealing logo that says “food” in healthy proportions
  • Flavor has to be a BIG part of the package
  • Increase personal awareness of diet, nutrients and sustainable food sources
  • Magnify healthy options while keeping traditional flavor opportunities
  • Make sure it’s not only healthy but tastes great too!

The easy methods of starting a business were pretty much ironed out in that first discussion. The hard parts will be ironed out over the next several months as he’s deployed and returns to live his dream via a family restaurant where he’ll be manning the chef’s table with his mother-in-law. How fun!