The Quintifecta

January 07, 2018

Hi everyone:

I’m on call in the MICU this weekend, so this will be short. 

Foodies have a near-religious devotion to the core elements of eating well: bread, cheese, chocolate, wine, and coffee.  I mean the good stuff: an artisanal miche, a tangy Gorgonzola, a dark Valhrona, a rich rioja, and a fine Italian Roast.  Let’s call it the quintifecta, the five ingredients essential to culinary bliss. 

Last weekend, I was reading an op-ed about New Year’s resolutions, which convinced me that we need an analogous quintifecta for living.  The approach usually taken to losing weight, exercising, or correcting bad habits almost always fails because we focus on trying harder, even though we all know trying harder almost never works by itself.  The article suggested that we adopt better mindsets, emphasizing gratitude, compassion, and simple pride: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/opinion/sunday/the-only-way-to-keep-your-resolutions.html.

That makes sense: the right mindset seems crucial. To round that out, I’d like to add four more elements to the list, which we can call the “Resolution Quintefecta”

1. Mindset: As above- gratitude, compassion, and pride.

2. Sleep: Make sure you get enough.  While we all have to deal with sleep deprivation sometimes, almost everyone needs seven or eight hours a night for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

3. Nutrition: as above. You need a balanced diet and a delicious array of foods. It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Don’t skimp.

4. Exercise: when I reached my late 30s with two kids, I suddenly found myself in terrible shape. My back was killing me on MICU rounds. Now I bike and hike whenever I can.  I just bought some dumbbells.  Don’t let yourself go- you always feel better when you’re in shape. 

5. Friends and Family: Cultivate your relationships. We can accomplish anything together: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/opinion/sunday/happiness-is-other-people.html.

So what are your resolutions for 2018?  Here are mine: lose five more pounds (there, it’s out there), stop checking my cell phone so much, and remember to leave time at the end of the day to relax.  I’ve failed repeatedly in these efforts before, but then again, I haven’t always committed myself to the Resolution Quintifecta. 

What are your resolutions?  How are you going to make them happen?

Okay, I’ve had a good night’s sleep (#2), just finished a bowl of Chobani French Vanilla Greek Yogurt with a French Roast French Press (#3), plan to exercise when I get home tonight (#4), call my Mom and have a lovely evening with my family (#5), and, of course, take time today to realize how fortunate I am to be here, right now, with all of you.

And now, it’s off to the MICU,

Mark

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on January 08, 2018