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

Povoa De Varzim on the Costa Verde of Portugal

Located just 15 miles from Oporto in Northern Portugal, Povoa de Varzim is a major seaside resort on the Costa Verde (Green Coast). Originally a major fishing town in the area, the resort has become a delightful cosmopolitan summer retreat but still with reminders of the towns origins. The town boasts historic churches, museums and a beautiful harbour which is protected by an 18th century fort and is where the local fishing boats land their catch of sardines, hake, sea bream and seaweed which is dried and then sold as fertilizer. Povoa de Varzim is an attractive, sophisticated town with traditional black and white mosaic pavements, beautiful gardens and a town hall where a monument to the town’s most famous resident, the 19th century novelist Eca de Queiros, stands.

About 20 miles inland you will find the intriguing town of Braga (the Portuguese Rome) which is famous for its superb Italianate churches, 18th century houses and wonderfully landscaped gardens. The town also holds spectacular torchlight processions during Easter Holy Week which are not to be missed if you are lucky enough to take one of the travel deals available at this time of the year.

Not to be missed is a visit to Oporto, home to the famous port wine, Romanesque cathedral and the Ribeira. Explore the heart of the city which is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Wander along the narrow cobbled lanes lined with traditional houses, restaurants and bars. There is a choice of ways to explore the town, on foot, by boat on the River Douro or by the tram (electrico) which runs along the coast. Take a leisurely stroll across the Dom Luis Bridge and view the Ribeira on one bank and the Vila Nova de Gaia where the famous port cellars are located on the other bank.

Explore the Douro Valley which is another UNESCO Heritage Site. With an absolutely stunning backdrop of old terraced vineyards and towns, the valley can be explored by boat from the River Douro, by steam train, road or by hiking along the many trails.

Povoa de Varzim has over a mile and a half of beautiful sandy beach where visitors can relax in the sun, take a dip in the crystal clear waters and even try their hand at surfing. At the northern end of the beach there are hotels, restaurants, bars, beach bars, a casino, water sports facilities, water slides and tennis courts. The resorts’ busy harbour stands at the south end of the beach. Outside the town there are two excellent surfing beaches, Salgueira and Agucadoura. The quieter Rio Alto Beach is where naturists go to laze in the sun between the sand dunes.

A visit to the neighbouring fishing port of Vila do Conde is a must on your direct holidays to Povoa de Varzim. The town is famous for its beautiful lacework and scrumptious pastries, including its sweet cakes, pasteis de Santa Clara. This quiet town also has a lace-making school and museum which are well worth a visit. Nearby Guimaraes was Portugal’s first capital and is a World Heritage Site. Here you will find a well preserved medieval quarter with some amazing Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. In the town of Rates there is the interesting 12th century church of Sao Pedro.

The resort has a vibrant nightlife with lively clubs and discos along the beachfront. Evenings in Povoa de Varzim can be spent dancing the night away in the clubs, having a flutter at the popular casino which is the biggest in Northern Portugal or just relaxing over a meal at one of the resorts restaurants. Delicious locally caught fish and seafood dishes are served at the towns restaurants, don’t forget to sample the tasty traditional fish stew, Caldeirada a Povoa.

How to Write a Green or Environmental Business Proposal

Does your business promote energy efficiency or protect or clean up the environment? These days, working in an environmentally related business can mean a lot of things. You might be running a janitorial service or a construction cleanup business, where you need to safely handle and dispose of all kinds of waste. Or maybe you’re promoting green energy, like solar and wind power and alternative fuels. Or retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency. Or managing an environmentally friendly recycling program. The list of environmentally related business situations is long.

You know your business inside and out. You know your capabilities and what your clients need from you. You’re also looking for new clients and more business or an investor for the next revolutionary green product. So are all your competitors; these days all businesses are clamoring for attention. Sending out a form letter or posting an ad in the local yellow pages is not usually the best way to stand out in the crowd. The best way to succeed in growing your client list and landing more jobs is to master writing a business proposal.

Never written a proposal before? Don’t sweat it. Basically, all you need to do in a business proposal is:
1) introduce yourself,
2) show that you understand your prospective client’s needs,
3) highlight your goods and services and present your costs and
4) persuade the client that your organization is right for the job. Using pre-designed templates and samples along with some automation software can help you write your proposal quickly and efficiently.

Writing a business proposal for an environmentally related business is actually pretty straightforward. That’s because, no matter what your business is, all proposals follow the basic four-part structure listed in the previous paragraph.

The length of your proposal will vary depending on the size and needs of the client as well as your type of business. The average proposal is five to ten pages long, but a complex proposal could have dozens of pages, and a very short one might include only an introductory Cover Letter, a Work Order, and a Price List. A government RFP response could be 30 pages long or more.

The key to a successful proposal is to tailor it to the party who will receive it. Put yourself in the other party’s shoes. If you don’t know them well, you may need to do some research about their business and history, but this effort will pay off in creating a customized proposal that is much more likely to succeed than any form letter or price list.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t reuse a lot of the same pages for multiple proposals; it simply means that you need to target each proposal to the specific client’s needs. A proposal is a sales document meant to persuade potential clients to give you their business. To do that, you must instill trust that you can deliver the goods, research or services they need.

So, following the general order described above, you should start your proposal by introducing yourself with a Cover Letter and Title Page. The Cover Letter should be a brief; just explain who you are and include your company contact information. You should print your Cover Letter on your company letterhead. The Title Page is exactly what it sounds like: a page that introduces your proposal and names the specific project you are discussing. Some examples might be “Cleanup Services for the Ryleston Building Construction Project”, “Proposal to Construct Wind Turbines in the North Valley”, “Proposed Conversion of Corporate Fleet to Alternative Fuels”, and so forth.

After the introduction comes the client-centered section. Add topics that show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on the complexity of the project you are proposing, you may or may not need to start off with a detailed summary (called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project). In this client-centered section, demonstrate that you understand the prospective client’s requirements, needs, and concerns. For example, you might want to include pages that discuss issues generated by the specific project workspace or by the hazardous materials to be handled. This is not yet the place where you talk about your goods or services. The client’s concerns come first.

After the client-centered section comes your turn to shine. Add pages that describe how you can provide solutions for the client with your goods or services. You’ll add pages with titles like Products, Services Provided, Benefits, Price List, Services Cost Summary, Warranty, Guarantee and so forth-include all topics you need to describe exactly what you will provide and how much it will cost.

Depending on your business or the project you’re proposing, you may need specialized topics, such as pages that address specific concerns such as your employees’ training in safety or hazardous waste handling, etc. Add pages with details the client will want to know, such as descriptions of your Personnel, Training Plan, Safety Plan, Insurance, Equipment, Security, Quality Control, Certifications, Environmental issues, and so on.

A building retrofitting company may have to deal with many different topics at once, such as selling both services and products as well as servicing multiple locations for a client, along with all the associated equipment and logistical needs.

A recycling company may need to discuss Transportation and Facilities issues as well as Handing input, output, and waste.

Specialized cleaning services such as accident, crime scene, fire, or flood cleanup companies should include topics to discuss hazardous or biological waste handling and environmental protection issues.

A company selling “green” products may want to list materials or describe special features of their products, certifications, discuss how their products compare to competitors, or list special bundling deals or volume discounts.

After you’ve described what you are proposing to do comes the final section, where you provide your company details. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by convincing your client that you can be trusted to deliver the goods or services you have promised. Here, you’ll add pages like Testimonials, References, Awards, About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Qualifications, Our Clients, Customer Service, and so forth-all the topics you need to persuade the client that you have credibility and can be trusted.

There! You’ve written a proposal. But you’re not quite finished. Take a little time to make your proposal visually appealing; remember, you want to stand out from competing proposals. Add color and graphics by incorporating your company logo, using colored borders, and/or selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business’s style.

Carefully proofread and spell-check all the pages. It’s difficult to catch errors in your own work, so it’s always a good idea to have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal do a final proof. Spell check will not catch correctly spelled but misused words.

Save your proposal as a PDF file or print it, and then deliver it to your potential client. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, keep in mind that a printed, signed, and hand-delivered proposal may impress the client more. If the new business is especially valuable to you and your competition is tight, you should put more personal effort into the proposal and delivery.

As you can see, a proposal for an environmentally related business will mean something different to everyone who needs to write one. Each organization’s specific proposal pages will be different, and for maximum success, each proposal should be customized for the party receiving it.

The good news is that all proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you don’t need to start from scratch-you can find templates for all the pages mentioned in this article in Proposal Kit. The templates include instructions and examples of information that should be included on each page. The product also includes a wide variety of sample proposals, including samples for all sorts of environmentally related businesses. Using the templates and studying these samples will spark your imagination and make it easy to create your own winning business proposal.