Week Three Picks: Our friend Amygdala

The Amygdala (ah-mig-da-la) is a son of a bitch. But it’s your friend… your almond-shaped friend. It’s only looking out for you just like a protective mother. But like her, the amygdala can take protecting to another level.

The Amygdala

Referred to as the lizard brain, the amygdala is responsible your flight or fight responses, but mainly flight. Its main function is to control your emotions and motivations. The amygdala keeps a tally on your fear, anger and negativity for the most part. It’s literarily the voice inside your head telling you to “don’t do it,” “think about it,” or “what will (so-and-so) say/think about this?”.

One trick the amygdala performs is the art of combining your memories with your certain response to those events (i.e. how you felt when the bully punched you in the stomach on your way to Drama class or when Suzie Shakespeare said no when you asked her to prom).

It compartmentalizes every emotion and stores them in the appropriate areas of your brain for later use (i.e. “Hey Michael, you remember when “that” happen, WE WON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN!!!).

The amygdala is also why we can figure out what we were doing/smelling/eating/listening to when we heard two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, when O.J. was acquitted or when you crashed into that fire hydrant.

The downside is that too much of the amygdala thinking can lead to some bad habits such as obsessing over trivial matters, becoming too critical and just making excuses for yourself.

Whether it’s exercising or trying to figure out a project at home or work, there is always some seed of doubt waiting to grow (“I can’t do this,” “This is way too hard,” “What did I get myself into?”). The amygdala, out of concern and safety, whispers these lines consistently. With every setback, it grows louder and louder until your brain goes back to reference any minor or major failure to make you feel it’s okay to quit or delay things for a while.

That, my friend, is procrastination and it keeps you from succeeding. But there’s good news. It works the other way. A string of little successes can reinforce all of the mental triggers for future references when challenged in a similar situation (i.e. you don’t put your hand over the fire because you’ll get burned or the healthy feeling you’ll have when you decide not to pick up that cigarette).

I guess I’m simplifying, but that’s the short and skinny of our maternal friend, Amygdala. You can find a more technical analysis here.

Plus, here’s a nifty video about the lizard brain and ways to conquer it.


What are some of the ways that you conquer your lizard brain? Comment below! 

WEEK 3 PICKS

Last Week: 7-9
Season: 18-14
“Back to Life, Back to Reality…”

PICKS ARE IN BOLD.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT BUFFALO BILLS — 1:00 p.m.

TENNESSEE TITANS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00 p.m.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS– 1:00 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 1:00 p.m.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — 1:00 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 1:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — 1:00 p.m.

DALLAS COWBOYS AT ST. LOUIS RAMS — 1:00 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:05 p.m.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 4:25 p.m.

DENVER BRONCOS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

CHICAGO BEARS AT N.Y. JETS — 8:30 p.m.

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151 is a good number, but fish is good.

On the way home today, the recent construction was taking its toll on my street. What would usually take five minutes took nearly two hours. The slow crawl of traffic led me to the woman with the “Slow/Stop” sign.  The saving grace was the day that was as warm as her smile.

You must be loving this day, right?

Once she heard my voice, her face turned to stone. The sign in her hand transformed into a weapon.

Love is too young to know what conscience is, Yet who know not conscience is born of love?

Ahhh… okay.

My first thought was “Holy virtuous resolutions. She must be having a bad day with her man.” But ultimately, I understood her situation. Love is so complicated, especially in the beginning. And definitely, if you’re doing someone you’re not supposed to be doing, ya dig?

The construction lady was on the wrong side of it, I guess. Like the child Cupid, love is too immature to know what the conscience is. But everybody realizes it’s born of love, right? That’s how I see it.

Are you going to move, buddy?

Honking horns and slight obscenities later, I realized it was time to move on. Goodbye, my new friend. Triumph in love. Until we meet again tomorrow.

Tilapia Talk Back for Two
Two tilapia filets
Two tablespoons mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Honey to taste

Use a tablespoon of mustard on each filet.
Dump in the egg in a baggie. Shake it.
Take your pecans. Smash them. Roll the egg-soaked filet in it.
Preheat the oven for 350 degrees.
12 minutes in the oven. Then, drizzle it in honey.

DSCN2611
Rice not included

I love seafood. It’s brain food. My wife hates seafood. But I still love her. Boo! Enjoy.

LAST WEEK: 9-6
SEASON: 64-42

Carolina at Tampa Bay 8:25 PM CAROLINA
SUN, OCT 27 TIME (ET)
Dallas at Detroit 1:00 PM  DALLAS
Cleveland at Kansas City 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY
Miami at New England 1:00 PM NEW ENGLAND
Buffalo at New Orleans 1:00 PM NEW ORLEANS
NY Giants at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
San Francisco at Jacksonville 1:00 PM SAN FRANCISCO
NY Jets at Cincinnati 4:05 PM CINCINNATI
Pittsburgh at Oakland 4:05 PM PITTSBURGH
Washington at Denver 4:25 PM  DENVER
Atlanta at Arizona 4:25 PM  ATLANTA
Green Bay at Minnesota 8:30 PM  GREEN BAY
MON, OCT 28 TIME (ET)
Seattle at St. Louis 8:30 PM  SEATTLE
·Bye: Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston

What makes me happy? (cryptic message ahead)

You know what makes me happy?

Going 9-7. Having a winning start. Getting off on the good foot. Football is back and I’m ever so glad. I LOVE simple pleasures.

It was a very good day for that exact reason.  Today, my friend Amy posted a link about reasons why you shouldn’t send your daughter to college. Needless to say, I was so shocked reading it that I began to read again. And again.

And again.

It was like Rebecca Black’s Friday. My anger turned into giddiness. It was a very fortunate moment that I was able to witness the most crackpot of a blog post ever. I can sit down with my kids and tell them about a time when someone shamelessly attempted to put women in their general place.

Bravo! 1950s man, Bravo!

Well, all this misogyny has gotten me hungry.

To my lovely friend who once shared a lunch table with me in high school, I will propose a dish that has NO MEAT.

White Sauce Pita Pizza
(1) small whole wheat pita
White sauce = 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1/4 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
(1) sliced green onion
(1) tablespoon part-skim mozzarella cheese
(3) slices of tomato (for Shakespeare In The City) or 1 ounce of smoke salmon or 1/4 cup of precooked chicken (Personally, I never buy that because of the boatload of sodium. So, I bake it in the oven, then chop, chop, chop…)

Spread your white sauce evenly on the whole wheat pita. Top it with the aforementioned ingredients and put it in the oven (475 degrees) for about six-eight minutes. Then, DONE!

White Sauce Pita Pizza

We are eating and laughing at the stupid guy from Fix The Family.

254 calories for my fish & chicken brethren and 231 calories for the professor at San Francisco State University.  I hope she is happy now. I am.

Until next time…

MY PICKS (Sorry, dbmeow 😦 )
LAST WEEK: 9-7
OVERALL: 9-7

Week 2
THU, SEP 12 TIME (ET)
NY Jets at New England 8:25 PM NEW ENGLAND
SUN, SEP 15 TIME (ET)
St. Louis at Atlanta 1:00 PM ATLANTA
Carolina at Buffalo 1:00 PM CAROLINA
Minnesota at Chicago 1:00 PM MINNESOTA
Washington at Green Bay 1:00 PM GREEN BAY
Miami at Indianapolis 1:00 PM INDIANAPOLIS
Dallas at Kansas City 1:00 PM KANSAS CITY
Cleveland at Baltimore 1:00 PM BALTIMORE
Tennessee at Houston 1:00 PM HOUSTON
San Diego at Philadelphia 1:00 PM PHILADELPHIA
Detroit at Arizona 4:05 PM DETROIT
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 4:05 PM NEW ORLEANS
Jacksonville at Oakland 4:25 PM OAKLAND
Denver at NY Giants 4:25 PM DENVER
San Francisco at Seattle 8:30 PM SEATTLE
MON, SEP 16
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 8:30 PM PITTSBURGH