Archive for November, 2009

Wine As Part of an Intelligent Diet

November 28th, 2009 • No Comments

The Sniff

It’s very controversial in the U.S. to consider an alcoholic beverage as part of a healthy diet. Study after study has shown pretty conclusively that consuming wine daily (especially red wine) in moderation is healthy for you. Yes, there are many caveats and risks, but no more so than taking the majority of pharmaceutical drugs which often have side effects that are dangerous in themselves! Here are some basic points to consider:

1. Consume wine with meals.

Wine was meant to be enjoyed with food – period! Wine adds pleasure to the enjoyment of food and is much better for you than a can of soda. Generally, low in sugar, fat and calories (and protein for that matter), it enhances the flavor of food. The other benefit of eating and drinking together is food slows down the absorption of alcohol in your system, the two essentially bind together. Because of this fact, wine is actually a foodstuff and, assuming you drink it with food in moderation, can actually aid digestion, fight bacteria and other microbes and increase pleasure. The last fact is the one most ignored but should be taken into consideration. Unless you eat purely for nutrition or out of hunger, enjoyment of the consumption of food should be taken very seriously. If you’re brain is happy, then your body will follow, and just as in food, if you over-consume, you will feel the consequences later!

2. Consume wine every day

Again, the majority of studies suggest that consuming red wine is most effective if you drink it every day – again, in moderation. The term “moderation” is a bit controversial, because a few studies suggest that one glass per day for a woman and two glasses per day for a man are the optimal consumption, but this ignores many personal factors: your weight, metabolism, lifestyle and activity. I’m not a doctor, nor am I suggesting that I know the ultimate good or bad consequences on your body if you consume various amounts of red wine, but for myself, I seem to handler three to five glasses per day with no hangover, no residual cloudiness of mind function and no identifiable negatives. I recently had a complete physical and even my liver is working in good order – my cholesterol is a bit high, but I drink red wine, so I’m not concerned!

Some of the benefits mentioned of daily red wine consumption (I added daily, but again, that’s what the studies base their claims on!) are lower rates of heart disease, less chance of getting Diabetes, reduction in the severity of some forms of cancer, and less severe Alzheimers. Red wine has various anti-oxidants like resveratrol which are derived primarily from the skins of red grapes. Yes – you could simply eat red grapes – but some of the benefits also accrue from alcohol itself, so you would have to add a shot of liquor or two! Of course, there are some negative studies as well, but overall, many physicians today agree that red wine can be part of a healthy diet. As with all things, you will have to decide for yourself, but if you exercise and eat right, a few glasses of wine could be an added benefit.

3. All Things in Balance

The usual quote here is “all things in moderation” but that can be very misleading. Of course, you should consume wine “moderately”, but one person’s moderate is another person’s over-indulgence (or under). An added benefit of wine is that it promotes sleep. Americans tend to work until they’re exhausted and then they often find difficulty getting to sleep. In European countries, they have longer vacations and often take a daily nap which promotes a healthier lifestyle and less stress. Consuming wine in balance with the rest of your life means that it should be part of a healthy lifestyle which includes proper rest (power naps are very good for you!), stress-control and relaxation, and generally overall good health. The latter point is directed primarily to weight-control. The biggest health factor after stress itself is being overweight. If you balance your lifestyle, then you can have your glass of red wine, your power nap, a nice vacation, and be thin at the same time! Yes, wine promotes a good appetite, but it also enhances flavor which means you can eat less and enjoy your food more!

These were just some thoughts to post about wine and health during the post-Thanksgiving and holiday season when people tend to get out of balance a bit. Wine consumption is looked on critically by many people in America because it’s connected with alcohol, but you rarely hear anyone tell you enjoy your holidays in moderation. So here’s wishing you a holiday season – drink your red wine, EAT in moderation, and enjoy the company of others!

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler

Self-Esteem, Self-Loathing and Self-Publishing

November 26th, 2009 • 1 Comment

Charlie Adler Schlurping!

I just submitted my final edited manuscript to my publisher Book Surgeon Monday, November 23rd, 2009 – a Big Yayyyy (my editor would shoot me if he or she–they is incorrect– as well as these dashes, I think I need an em dash, but that’s a whole other story!)!!! OK, back to the real world.. I spent about two weeks going through the final edited version of my book “I Drink on the Job: A Refreshing Perspective on Wine” which included inserting 36 images of me (that’s Charlie Adler!) in various poses demonstrating different aspects of my teaching style. The book is based on a popular wine class I’ve been organizing and teaching through my company TasteDC TasteDC.com in Washington, D.C. for the past twelve (not 12) years called Wine Basics 101. I still have to finish final design of the cover and interior of the book, but since my publisher’s team of designers handles primarily handles that, I’m just giving them as much direction as I can, and that’s not very much! The following are some observations from what I’ve learned so far about self-publishing:

1) Self-publishing means you need to purchase the various components of your book.

If you get a fancy literary agent, or you’re lucky enough to have a major publisher throw beaucoup dollars at you with an advance, then you actually have money in your pocket when you start the publishing process. I considered sending proposals to publishers and literary agents early in the process until I met with my old neighborhood buddie, Dan Moldea. Dan is an investigative journalist, he’s written eight books that have covered everything from the Mafia to O.J. Simpson (his website is at Dan Moldea’s Website I met him at his hangout in DC, Morty’s Deli back in early 2008 to discuss writing my first book. What Dan told me was fascinating. In his experience, he never felt he was treated very well by the major publishers, in fact, he felt they pretty much forgot each of his books about eight months into the marketing of his book. Yes, he received advances and he also made some good money on the O.J. title which was a timely best-seller, but he guided me away from going to a traditional publisher. He mentioned a company called “BookSurge” which is a self-publishing company owned by Amazon.com.

In a nutshell, Dan told me that self-publishing was the way to go: yes, I would have to purchase all the services from editing to layout, but there were numerous benefits. Some of the benefits he mentioned include the ability to continue marketing and promoting your title for as long as you choose, higher royalty fees, and setting your own deadlines for production. Just so you know, the latter may or not be a benefit, I started my first book almost two years ago, I thought the process would only take six to nine months! There are some negatives as well, such as the fact that I won’t have my book for sale in traditional book sellers, but frankly that’s probably a good thing. Realistically, how long do brick and mortar bookstores have left in the commercial world, and even if they survive the internet, they also hold the right to return unsold books. Add the lower royalty to selling through a traditional bookstore, and it becomes obvious why selling on Amazon.com and other internet retailers makes more sense. It’s all about On-Demand publishing, books are printed as they are ordered on Amazon.com, but that’s a story for another Blog entry.

Almost forgot to mention: The actual cost of self-publishing my first book including interior photographs, publishing services and a dedicated website will be around $10K. Could you do it cheaper? Yes, there are ways to save money, for example, you could create your own website and forego hiring a photographer. Other ways to save money include using Booksurges standard templates for cover and interior, and learning to edit yourself, but I felt these were outside my expertise. Let’s just say, you need a few thousand dollars to self-publish a full book.

2) You must give yourself plenty of time.

As I mentioned in the prior paragraph, my first book has been about a 24 month process – that is IF I finish it by the end of January, 2010, but that seems realistic at this point. If you have a full-time job and a life before you start your book, one of them will have to give way for the book! I know that life isn’t fair, but you can’t have it all, and you need immense concentration and free time to finish a book. You’ll most likely turn into a moody, overly emotional vagabond..well, OK, that’s a bit extreme, but I have definitely developed a personality “edge”, although some people say I’ve always been this way.

My publishers told me that slow and steady is the way to go. They suggested that hurrying a book is not a good idea, most authors only regret it later. I’ve taken plenty of time for each process, I even hired a PR company to handle my book and then decided a few weeks later that they were not right for me. Since I didn’t really need to do much research for my book because I am the subject of the book based on one class that I’ve taught for twelve years, I put my efforts into organizing and re-organizing all the information. I have spent time with a photographer for interior photos, promoting myself to local wine festivals as a speaker, networking at various charity and wine events, and now I’m working on www.idrinkonthejob.com as the main book web site and re-designing this Blog. You can’t hurry time, you just learn to deal with delays..

3) Self-publishing means you need to be self-motivated.

If you’re used to having a boss, a weekly paycheck and you follow orders really well at work, then self-publishing might be self-torture. Since I’m entrepreneurial and I’ve run my own company TasteDC for over twelve years, I’ve learned to stay focused and motivated. I have a personal trainer, I get a “therapeutic” massage every Friday like clockwork, and I generally stay in shape to keep my mind and body sharp. I’ve even added self-hypnosis tapes to increase my concentration, relax better and ultimately I lost forty-seven pounds as well – an important feat because I’m on the cover of my book! I wake up when I need to, I eat when I need to, I write/edit when possible, I run my full-time wine tasting business in-between, and I sleep when I need to. I’ve learned to balance my work and my book, my social life has been reduced significantly. Sometimes I think about all the fun things I could be doing other than writing a book, but I know from experience that the payoff will take time. The first book may not sell well, but that’s irrelevant to me. I’m writing the book for credibility and as a vehicle for self-promotion-OK, there’s a bit of ego involved, but I accept the worst-case scenario of failure and I can live with it. Self-motivated people are used to rejection and negative reactions in general, frankly I find it motivates me to another level. When I’m at the gym with my personal trainer and he tells me to do 50 push-ups, I do 55 if I can. There are no excuses in life–especially when you rely only on yourself!

Cheers everyone and happy Thanksgiving!

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler