On Her Own

Why lunch is important (and it’s not what you think)

I’d like to share with you something I’ve been cooking a lot lately but OHO is not going to become recipe blog, so I’m going to start with the recipe then tell you more about it:

Fridge Clean-Out Scramble Omelet-ish Thing
-A couple big handfuls of those sad salad greens in the bottom drawer of your fridge, more than you think you want
-Some melty cheese, just about any kind will do. Or feta if you like, I guess
-Optionally, some leftover protein: the bit of leftover steak from that excellent dinner out, or the half chicken breast you couldn’t finish last night
-Some eggs

Drop the greens into a medium-hot frying pan with a bit of your preferred cooking oil, and season with some salt and pepper. As they wilt and shrink, dice up and toss in the protein if you’re using any. After the greens have cooked down and the protein is warmed through, push everything in the pan to one side, and crack your eggs into the empty side. Season them and give them a minute to start firming up, then break up the yolks and mix everything together. Do not feel compelled to be neat about this. Add cheese, and mix it all up some more. It’s ready when the eggs are done enough you’ll eat them and the cheese is melted to your satisfaction. Dump it out onto a plate and enjoy an easy lunch or dinner. Or eat it out of the pan, standing over the stove. I won’t judge.

It’s not much of a recipe, but then again, I’m not much of a cook. I wanted to share it with you for a couple of reasons, though.

Cooking doesn’t seem like it’s within the scope of a discussion about self-defense and personal protection, but I’d argue it’s part of the core. Nourishing yourself is vital to survival, and doing so in a sustainably affordable way helps keep you afloat in other ways. It’s part of how you can avoid being taken advantage of by someone who offers what you are unable to do versus choosing not to do. It’s not so much that you need to be self-sufficient in all ways and always do everything yourself, but knowing how to allows you to be thoughtful and deliberate about when and why you have someone else doing the thing for you. When you are able to do that, you are less likely to be trapped in unhealthy situations and cycles. That goes both for things like abusive relationships where you decide you can’t leave because you’re afraid you won’t be able to manage the mechanics of solo life, and for your personal ability to, say, balance eating with actually having money to pay rent and utilities, let alone save for emergencies.

Eating well is also part of the equation when it comes to having the energy and strength to learn how to and then actually physically defend yourself from a bad guy. You can fuel yourself on junk food, but it won’t go well for you as you get older. A meal like this might not be the most ideal macro breakdown ever, with or without a slice of toast, but it’s a decent mix and certainly better than a fast food burger. This isn’t a lecture on not being worth learning how to deal with attackers if you’re in danger of a heart attack, or saying that you must eat a nutritionist-approved diet to survive….though you might want to think about where you’re putting your focus if you’re worrying more about the outlier event of a stranger attack than about the everyday dangers of poor health. This is just pointing out that the pure training and fighting part requires calories. No matter how good your skills are or even how many weights you have lifted and sprints you have run, keeping your body well-fed is necessary to being able to use it in defense of your life – even if your plan is to just run away.

Besides, “recipes” like this are a good way to use up ingredients before they go bad, to use up small amounts of leftovers while adding variety to your diet, and to eat tasty food quickly and on the cheap. They’re simple to make with a single burner, one frying pan, and one spatula, maybe a cutting board and knife if you’re fancy. They’re proof that you don’t need complicated recipes in order to eat well with limited ingredients, time, and skills. Most everything that goes into it is either moldering in your fridge already or an easy and common kitchen staple. If there’s anything you need to buy, it’s the kind of thing that will last a long time so you don’t need to think ahead. More than once, I’ve saved a bag of salad I’ve forgotten about by putting them in the freezer to use in this recipe, so they didn’t go entirely to waste even if they could no longer go in a bowl with dressing. Most cheeses can go in the freezer as well, so you can grab a bag of shredded whatever on sale and stash it against the day you have nothing else to eat in the house and can’t or don’t want to pay for takeout. This particular formula also makes it easy to painlessly put an extra serving or three of vegetables into your day (you’ll be amazed at how much the greens shrink), and leave out meat if you like.

So uh, what are you having for lunch?

Hi, I'm Annette.

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