Final Video – M.Murrow

Get a feel for the USF Contemporary Art Museum.

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The Macrobiotic Diet

macrobiotics

This week I had the pleasure of reading ‘Zen Macrobiotics‘ by George Ohsawa – an essential guide for anyone desiring to follow a more healthful diet while being both mind and body conscious. The macrobiotic diet is meant to heal the human body by providing the exact nutrients that it is craving. By ascribing foods that are either less ‘yin’ or less ‘yang,’ the macrobiotic diet avoids the problem of unhealthful acidity within food. The main staples of the macrobiotic diet are grains and vegetables which supposedly make the task of achieving a more natural order of life less daunting.

 

Ohsawa’s Macrobiotic Foundation states, “Living within the natural order means eating only what is necessary for one’s condition and desires, and learning to adjust in a peaceful way to life’s changes. Learning the effects of different foods allows one to consciously counteract other influences and maintain a dynamically balanced state. The resulting freedom from fear and the new sense of control are two of the most important benefits of a macrobiotic practice.”

There are seven distinct diets outlined in Ohsawa’s Macrobiotic plan, but the most commonly used and critically acclaimed is Diet Number 7. This diet requires a very regimented amount of grain foods for a duration of 10 days. This is supposed to cleanse the body, giving it a completely “clean slate,” allowing practicers of Zen Macrobiotics to then choose their own regular diet plan and to feel completely healthy and rejuvenated.

There have been many studies conducted about the health benefits of following Ohsawa’s Macrobiotic Plan. But I encourage you not to take my word for it, do some research yourself. You’ll thank me later.

How Reading Benefits Cognitive Function

In January 2012, neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene published a study elucidating the impact that reading has on the brain. His analysis of 31 Brazilian adults who had learned to read from childhood, 22 adults who learned to read at an adult age, and 10 who had never learned to read was performed by implementing functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain function while the test subjects responded to oral language, written language and visual tasks.

Both the occipital and the parietal lobes of the brain are essential to human cognition. The occipital lobe is where the brain processes visual information and the parietal lobe is where the brain processes verbal information like words and thoughts. The imagination in a reader is activated, causing readers to be able to formulate visual stimuli which exercises the occipital lobe which has a large impact on decision making.  The parietal lobe is strongly associated with the temporal lobe in the process of reading, and thus causes a great increase in writing skills since the temporal lobe is responsible for information storage and overall comprehension.

Reading obviously causes mental stimulation which will in turn help to improve over all brain function. By exposing you to new ideas, word formations or mental images, your brain creates new neurons when reading. Creating new neurons in the brain exponentially increases your over-all comprehension since each neuron is likely to branch and attach to form associations and “judgments”/understandings of the world around you.

Reading a challenging book is one of the best time investments you can make because of the mental stimulation you will endure. I strongly encourage you, if you don’t do any other form of self-improvement today, to pick up where you left off in that book you started months ago and send your brain for a spa-day.  

Using Himalayan Salt Lamps

In the incredibly polluted environment in which we live, I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of my consumption – especially when it comes to my air. An inexpensive and relatively simple way to drastically improve your indoor air is by using Himalayan Salt Lamps. 

Salt attracts moisture from the air. The H2O molecules rapidly evaporate due to the heat from the light bulb inside the lamp. Negative ions are generated through the evaporation process and thus the air is improved. 

Negative air ion is generally a molecule of oxygen that has gained an electron. Negative ions in the air attract particles of pollution and give them a negative charge, making them seek an electrical “ground,” and causing them to fall to the floor where they cannot be inhaled or absorbed through our bare skin. Thus, we would ideally be surrounded by negative ions constantly in order to protect our health.

Using a salt lamp can reduce airborne bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses along with vastly reducing asthma and allergy triggers by creating an environment in which it is difficult for these pathogens to thrive. 

These lamps are also believed to reduce the toxicity of the electromagnetic frequencies emitted by our personal electronic devices and can assist in reducing the electropollution and radiation from the computer. 

If you think your mood and your health could stand to improve, you can buy your own personal Himalayan Salt Lamp off of Amazon here