National Public Radio just ran a history of USDA dietary advice from 1943 to the present.
The only problem is that they forgot the most important one: the Drink Your Carbs Food Pyramid, the only pyramid that allows dieters to continue enjoying alcohol.
According to Forbes Magazine, only 8% of Americans achieve the goals set in their New Years resolutions. Every one else fails, bombs, flops, nosedives or otherwise falls short of their own expectations. Forbes presents this as bad news.
The mere fact that 92% of New Years resolutions fail presents the very solution for anyone who desires to make personal changes in the new year. Look at it this way: if you design your resolutions such that failing would result in your betterment, the odds suddenly shift into you favor. This is beauty of math about which mathematicians prattle endlessly.
Allow us to offer a few personal examples. This year, we resolved to start smoking, exercise less and dramatically increase our sugar intake. As we have mentioned, we have only an 8% chance of meeting these goals. Or, if you prefer, we have a 92% chance of finding ourselves at the end of 2016 having eaten well, exercised constantly and, once again, failed to pick up a cigarette dependency.
We all simply need to skew our goals such that failure is the preferred outcome. We can’t promise 100% success, but 92% is still beyond the wildest dream of the greediest gambler.
This year may your headwind be strong and your obstacles great. We hope that you fail miserably and become a fitter, happier and healthier person as a result.
Happy New Year from all of us at DYC.
When did science become public enemy number one? Every time a study is published, politicians and public figures emerge to question the new data. “I’m not a scientist,” they customarily begin. “But this new data must be wrong because it contradicts one of my childhood beliefs.”
We hold a very different attitude: When data contradict our beliefs, we lean towards the data. If the data are compelling enough, we will abandon our previously held beliefs. In other words, if your beliefs crash headlong into reality, it is unlikely that reality is the problem.
“Are you excited that the book is done?” We were asked this question a thousand times after the book was published.
“Of course,” we lied. The truth was too embarrassing to admit. The only emotion we felt was dread. When you release a book, you lose control. We like the book. We think it’s funny. But it was possible that everyone else would find it Old Yeller depressing. You never know how people will react; if you don’t believe us, ask anyone who has a Twitter account.
Aside from one, “Stop trying to take away my Fruity Pebbles, Haters!” the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Allow us to share a few of the responses we’ve received:
Can you hold our drinks while we go up to the podium to collect our Nobel Prize?
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Selection Committee, esteemed colleagues and people who snuck in here because they heard about the open bar. This is a huge surprise. Neither of us are doctors. We have only one advanced degree between us. Steven has a Masters degree in Godzilla. Hardly the background from which one expects recognition on this level . . .”
[If you are already on DYC or you’ve been following the blog for some time, you may want to jump straight to the bottom where you can leave us angry comments about being repetitive.]
We often describe DYC as how to guide for cutting calories and losing weight without giving up alcohol. But this only tells half the story. DYC started as a joke. In many ways, it’s still a joke. It just happens to be a joke that actually works.
The first time we tasted Amaro was in Florence, Italy more than 20 years ago. Andrea pointed to a strange looking bottle on a high shelf in a small restaurant and asked, “What is that?”
The waiter rolled his eyes, “That is for old Italian men.”
Andrea didn’t miss a beat. “Perfect. We’ll have two served however the old men drink it.”
Our drinks arrived straight up in dessert wine glasses. They were the color of long-neglected motor oil. They tasted like a mishmash of vanilla, caramel, juniper berries, peppermint and Vicks VapoRub. If we believed in past lives we might claim that we were once old Italian men because we fell instantly in love.
We do not promote binge drinking. We do not binge drink. We have, however, occasionally gone beyond our own healthy drinking guidelines. It is far from a regular occurrence. When it has happened, it is almost always following a particularly long and intense workout. On the theory that “we earned the extra calories,” we allow ourselves to call for one more round.
We recently came across several new studies that forced us to rethink our behavior. It turns out that the aftermath of a killer workout is exactly the wrong time to indulge. The days when we hit the gym the hardest are days that we should be the most restrained.
Don’t take this wrong. We still believe that alcohol is fully compatible with serious athletics. In fact, in lesser quantities it may benefit recovery. The key appears to be dosage. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. We will let the research tell the story.
If Colonel Sanders ever embraces Drink Your Carbs, this will be the replacement for the Original Recipe™.
This is highly unlikely since the Colonel died in 1980, but it is not impossible. All it requires is a monumental shift in KFC corporate philosophy and Tupac’s special effects team.
We typically write about alcohol, diet and lifestyle. Not today. Today we go jazz, lose our fear of playing the wrong notes and put our crazy on public display.
The machines are going to kill us all.