I've been sitting here on the couch all day, alternating between NFL football and reruns of Anthony Bourdain. I've had a couple of beers, but nothing much more than that. Last night was a splurge – Round Table Pizza, a bottle of wine, followed by a few small gin martinis (featuring a new London dry product we'll be bringing in next week – more on that later). I had nothing to do today but veg out on the sofa, so choosing to stuff my face and pickle my liver were easy decisions. Today is a different story, however. Tomorrow morning is a run day, so I have to monitor my alcohol intake right now. Doing six miles after a night of session drinking has held disastrous results for me in the past. My desire to be both a booze professional and a healthy human being is contradictory by nature and it's taken me years to come to terms with what I can actually handle. There were dizzy spells, one fainting episode, and numerous other side effects from dehydration along the way to shape this evolution. I had to come up with some sort of schedule to keep my life in order, or face serious consequences.
Watching back-to-back episodes of Bourdain can make the food and drink lifestyle seem very romantic. However, there are a few moments where Tony opens up about his heart and cholesterol issues, as well as the meds he has to take to control these problems. One show about food bloggers documents the serious health effects, such as gout or hypertension, that have plagued those who literally live to eat. Passionate people simply can't say no sometimes. I am one of those people. I have two speeds: fast and faster. When you give me a bottle of booze, a camera, and a computer I can entertain myself for hours upon end. I go to sleep thinking about alcohol. I dream about alcohol. I wake up thinking about alcohol. It shapes my thoughts and ideas, even while my body works to rid its remnants from my system.
I have come up with a schedule, however, that works for me. Based on both my work and social schedules, this is how I regulate my drinking:
Monday – Run 6 miles in the morning, day off, free to drink that evening.
Tuesday – Work earlier, free to have a beer or glass of wine that night.
Wednesday – Run 6 miles in the morning, work, free to drink that evening
Thursday – Normal work schedule, one drink only that night.
Friday – Run 6 miles in the morning, work, free to drink that evening
Saturday – Work, free to drink that evening (sometimes rest if I add a Sunday run)
Sunday – Day off, a few drinks during the day OK, but the evening is for rehydrating and rest
This schedule has worked well for me so far. I know how I feel when I watch Bourdain. I feel inspired about food and travel. This makes me want to eat and drink terribly. I'm guessing that non-industry people reading whisky blogs feel the same way. Know this – I'm not running around San Francisco willy-nilly, drinking great booze to my heart's content. There's a lot of romance to this job, but there's a lot of reality as well. The reality is this: too much booze isn't good for you. Keep yourself and your booze schedule regulated. Your body will thank you.