Green Vesper

Vesper Martini
Image via Wikipedia

Ever since watching Casino Royale a few years ago, I’ve become a fan of the Vesper martini (and is the sole reason I own a bottle of Lillet blanc). And I had my first taste of absinthe at Bar 89 (yes, the one with the cool bathrooms) around the same time, just after it became legal again in the US. Thus, you can imagine my delight to read the Wikipedia article describing a “green vesper” variant of that cocktail.

I’ve strayed a bit from the original recipe, using what spirits I have one hand, so forgive me a bit for using Tanqueray and  Svedka in place of the originals, with a half-measure of Pacifique absinthe.

What a punch! The refreshing herbal gin followed by an almost biting sting of anise made for an exhilirating libation, one that I will surely return to on a regular basis (alternating with various single malts, of course!).

New Year’s Resolutions… in April

Two New Year's Resolutions postcards
Image via Wikipedia

Today is day 103 =  3-1/2 months = week 15 of this year, and where are we with our previously-new resolutions? My list has been:

  • Study Japanese everyday
  • Go to gym ~3 times a week
  • Do weekly budget
  • Iron clothes
  • Take vitamins

I’ve certainly not studied Japanese everyday, not even close… despite what Khatzumoto has to say about it, I haven’t been able to consistently do it with my work schedule (although that shouldn’t be an excuse).

I’ve intermittently been to the gym, although also not 3 times a week as prescribed, again, secondary to work… but at $500/year, it’s not something I should be ignoring!

I have keep up to date with my budget, with an elaborate spreadsheet for tracking debt/assets and using Mint.com assiduously.

As far as ironing goes, I do want to look good for work (and play!) and so iron when necessary, but it’s fairly common to see a dozen shirts draped over a chair waiting for the touch of steam. I got a new Rowenta iron (yes, a German-made one) so I’ll try to keep on top of that better.

And vitamins, even though I set an alarm every night to remind me to take them, I just can’t bring myself to pop in the Centrum… and calcium… and vitamin B complex tabs. They’re easy and certainly help since I don’t get any sunlight, and they sit right on my table, but… I have no excuse.

I know it’s a joke to make fun of new year’s resolutions and how no one ever keeps them, but what if we did? Imagine how much healthier a population we’d have, eating well and exercising, not abusing substances, doing jobs we loved, in happy relationships, Getting Things Done, living in clean houses, taking time to play everyday…

Physical Health

Image representing Livestrong as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

I’ve been using MyPlate from Livestrong for a couple of years now to track my food and exercise intake, and initially saw very impressive results – over about 10 months I dropped from 205 to 168 pounds. I would go to the gym in my apartment to do the elliptical for ~30 minutes three times a week or so and tried to eat as healthily as possible, mostly keeping track of foods and being aware of what I was eating so I would ration my calories (“I could eat this candy but it’s 45 calories and I only have 200 left for today…”).

I certainly didnt’t subscribe to any new fad diet or anything, I basically ate the usual foods but exercised portion control. And as I’m fond of saying, I’ve discovered the secret to weight loss: eat well and exercise. I recently heard of Timothy Ferriss‘ 4-Hour Body and it sounds like an interesting idea, although as an MD myself, I’m certainly skeptical; maybe I’ll give it a read in my spare time.

And despite being a doctor myself, I make sure to have my own primary care physician to make sure I’m getting the necessary “health care maintenance” advice and screening. A few months ago, I had somewhat elevated triglycerides but an otherwise good lipid profile (LDL 70’s and HDL 50’s) and was told to cut out things like pastries and take-out food… not that I have. I recently came across the FitBit and as a gadget-oriented guy, I thought it’d be neat to get one, but just like those fad diets versus eat well and exercise, I feel the $99 price tag is not justified in my case. It’d be just as effective making sure I take time to get to the gym and remain mindful of my eating (and logging it in MyPlate!).

What do you think? How much do you depend on gizmos and gadgets and the latest in weight-loss hardware and software to maintain a healthy lifestyle?