Wellness ... Where You Least Expect It

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cars are a bellwether of American culture: faster and bigger in good times, great gas mileage in leaner years.

So we knew wellness had reached a new level of significance when Nissan announced that its new cars will pump Vitamin C to moisturize the driver's skin. Using Sharp technology, the cars will not only make your skin dewier, but recreate the natural chemical process that purifies the air in the Earth's atmosphere. (By the way, Nissan is also upgrading their anti-collision technology – but that’s not the headline.)

According to one engineer, 'we want drivers to feel that they are healthier staying in the car instead of on the outside.'

How far can the trend in wellness mashups go? Well, consider this:

While doctors in New England have started to write prescriptions for zucchini, researchers in the UK have concluded that burger joints should hand out … statins. Yes, that’s right - The study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, says that “statin therapy can neutralize the cardiovascular risk caused by harmful diet choices,” specifically “a 7-oz hamburger (Quarter Pounder®) with cheese and a small milkshake.”

The authors go on to their radical recommendation: “Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments.”

In a world where we can soon expect to have our cars give us more beautiful skin, is it too much to foresee a day when a burger will come with a side of … Lipitor?

We’ll see!

Hope this finds you well,



You Are What You Eat? Uh-Oh.

>> Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This morning was a regular morning. Some catching up on office gossip. Checking in on some of my favorite college basketball discussion forums. Reading through last night’s work emails.

And then I made the mistake of opening my Gmail. The first note was from my wife, with a link to
this article about the foods farmers will sell you, but won’t eat themselves. The premise of the article is that you never know what food you’ve been eating every week for years will suddenly be discovered to cause some horrible disease.

It’s even worse when you find out that the food is something you feed your kids every week. Which is what happened to me this morning.

Thanks to this article I will now be soaking beans from a bag, not popping open a can. Tomatoes will have to come from a glass jar – if I can even find them distributed this way. My apples and my potatoes will be organic or they won’t be in my fridge.

And forget about microwave popcorn. That’s right. Microwave popcorn is out.

Wellness has a great deal to do with making choices. Choices that will help you be physically healthy and mentally well. But these days, as we learn more and more about the unintended consequences of industrialized food, I’m finding that some of my most consequential choices are the ones I didn’t even know I was making. Which is really stressful. And stress isn’t good either.

So today I’m once again reminding myself – as every parent must do pretty much every day of their life – that there’s only so much I can do. And the rest will just have to work itself out. It’s not an easy thing to get used to, but accepting that there’s very little I can actually control has been a big part of my personal wellness.

I am going to miss microwave popcorn. At least until 2015.

Hope this finds you well.

Jacob Braude
VP, Strategic Planner


The Art of Summer Fridays

>> Monday, August 9, 2010

Every year, we are fortunate to have smart, motivated college students join us as summer interns. Justin Kosloff, who joined our strategic planning department for the summer, has been spending a lot of time doing research at his computer ... but like all good agency people, found there is inspiration outside the office as well.

Take it away, Justin!

A Valid Reason to Leave Early!

I recently came across a blog post about how getting out of the office and exploring other places, whether a different continent or simply a nearby neighborhood, benefits one’s creativity. This blog commented on how working at the same place every day has the advantage of making us concentrate and “focus on the facts at hand.” However, that same restricted focus can also generate negative consequences, such as the inhibition of imagination.

When I first heard that many advertising agencies give their staff half-Fridays, I thought it was just a great perk to working in the industry. However, after reading this blog, I think that half-Fridays also have the unintended benefit of giving employees an opportunity to feed their creativity. Having to work only half a day on Friday leaves us free to do whatever we want for the rest of the day – go to a museum or to a park, take a three-day weekend somewhere close by, or a multitude of other options. Choosing any of these many options greatly improves one’s perspective, opens up the brain and re-invigorates the imaginative mind.

Because of the strides in technology, we think we have the entire world at the tips of our fingers through our keyboards. However, looking at the world through our computers in our offices does not compare to experiencing it first-hand. When we watch an interesting YouTube video about the art of juggling or see the paintings from a great exhibit online, we are prevented from fully digesting the inspiration these experiences can provide because we still have our unfinished work assignments lingering in our minds.

When we experience a circus instead of a YouTube video on juggling, the Picasso exhibit at The Met instead of a slideshow of paintings on a website, our minds detach from our restricted office walls and the stressful tasks that come with work. We become blank slates open to absorbing not just the information from these experiences, but also the atmosphere and people that accompany them, all of which help to inspire us and revive our imaginations.

Hope this finds you well,

Justin G. Kosloff

Strategic Planning Intern