Thursday, 23 October 2014

07:45 – The morning paper ran the headline of the century this morning: Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

How bizarre is it for a tobacco company to ban smoking in its own facilities? It’s as if–to name two other industries that North Carolina used to dominate and that the federal government has pretty much destroyed–furniture companies encouraged their employees to stop using furniture and textile companies encouraged their employees to stop wearing clothes.

Oh, RJR will still have designated smoking areas and allow electronic cigarettes facility-wide, but even so. I remember the good old days, not long ago, when visitors entering the RJR Headquarters Building were greeted by signs that said “Thank You for Smoking”. One was not just allowed but encouraged to smoke anywhere in the building: offices, conference rooms, bathrooms, elevators, and so on. It was a much more reasonable time. It’s obvious that the anti-smoking nazis have won. Even in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for heaven’s sake.


10:35 – I’m sure it will come as a shock to everyone who knows me, not least Barbara, but I’ve decided to cut way back on my consumption of Coca Cola and Sprite. Not for health reasons, but for dietary reasons.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve gradually eaten less and lost weight. The days when I routinely ate 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day without gaining weight are long gone. I’m not sure what my total daily intake is now, but I’d guess probably between 2,000 and 2,500 calories, of which probably 1,200 are in the form of the high-fructose corn syrup sugars in soft drinks. So, instead of drinking two liters or more of soft drinks per day, I’ve decided to substitute two liters of beer, wine, and scotch per day.

Only kidding. I don’t really drink alcoholic beverages, other than a beer sometimes when we’re out to dinner with Paul and Mary. Actually, I’m going to start drinking more coffee, which I drink black, and tea, which I drink with about 1.5 teaspoons of sugar (~ 15 calories) per cup.

In March, WHO reduced its maximum recommendation for sugars from 10% of daily calorie intake to 5%. Not that I pay any attention to WHO. Even the 10% was ridiculously low. But I’m currently at probably 50% to 60%, which doesn’t leave all that much room for calories from protein, fats, or other carbohydrates, so I’ll probably shoot for reducing that to maybe 25%.