THE POWER OF HABIT



The Power of Habit


By Mikkel Gisle Johnsen


Humans are creatures of habit. Habit is the true ruler of our lives, and it can make us or break us! The concept of rhythm pervades everything from our bodies, the earth and the universe at large. We can either repeat the same cycle of bad habits day after day or we can perpetuate something new. When it comes to making positive changes in our lives, cultivating health, building a successful business or eliminating unwanted behavior, there’s no way around it – we have to address our habits.

Let’s jump right in and talk about why and how to do this, and why this knowledge will enable you to do whatever you want. Read on…


Everyone’s Different

Have you ever thought about the fact that all over the world, people live completely different lives depending on where they live? Different cultures and environments cause people to develop very different lifestyles. This means that there’s not just one way to do things for us humans, but many. How you eat, what you eat, when you sleep, how you socialize – it all depends on what you’re used to, your social, physical and cultural conditioning.

Once a certain way of doing something has become normal to you, it takes a surprising amount of effort to change – but it is possible. In fact, it’s been said that it only takes two to four weeks to build a new habit. The challenge though, is to actually do it.

A powerful way to shake things up and get into completely new patterns is actually travel! When you come back home from a nice ultralight backpacking trip, you are have a fresh mind and are ready to create new habits for sure!


The Business of Building Habits

Once you recognize that there is a need for change, the next step is to take action on it. Realize that you’ve already gone half the distance by recognizing what needs to be done and deciding to do something about it. The second half is putting it into action.

Whenever someone is trying to change their diet, start an exercise regimen or build a new business, they’re typically very focused on the how, when in reality the first step should only be focused on creating a habit. The habit lays the groundwork for everything else. It’s the framework of the whole thing. Let me explain.

The most important thing when building a business, is that you actually work. If you don’t put energy into it, it’s not going to yield any results either. The same goes for fitness and exercise. If you want the gains, you have to put in the work – on a consistent basis. It doesn’t matter how much you know about the biomechanics of a squat if you don’t do it on a regular basis!

In other words, the first step in something new should always be to establish the habit of doing it. You can work out the “how’s and what if’s” later once you’re consistent about what you’re doing.


Be Specific About the New Habit

Rather than deciding to “generally eat more fruit” for example, commit to making breakfast a fruit meal every day. Before you know it, it’s become an effortless habit.

By the way, there’s a lot of good fruity breakfast recipes in (affiliate link) The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Doug Graham!

Rather than saying “I’m going to exercise more”, commit to one hour of activity every day first – and then work out the details of what you’ll do and how. In the beginning it could be as simple as a slow walk. Eventually that walk might turn into a run, or an interval session or a trip to the gym. The point is to first get used to setting aside that block of time every day and building that habit.

Rather than just wanting to “make money doing something I love”, get into the habit of spending a certain amount of time every day doing something you love. Eventually you’ll figure out a way to make money from it as well, but if you never actually do it, it will always just be an idea.

Essentially, constructing habits is a really more about time– and energy management than anything else. It’s all about saying “at lunch I eat fruit” or “in the morning I go for a walk” or “from 10 am to 2 pm I work”. Get that framework going first, and the rest takes care of itself.


Sacrifice is Necessary and It’s Going to Be Hard

Building healthful and happiness-promoting habits means eliminating unhealthy ones at the same time. Eliminating a habit is no different from creating a new one, it’s just a matter of persisting and insisting for a few weeks until it becomes the new normal.

These few weeks though, they can be really hard. Your bad habit is ingrained in your very being and when you suddenly stop it, it can be very difficult. The same is true for making new ones. When you first start exercising several times a week, your body will resist it. It goes against the rhythm you’ve perpetuated for the last few months, years or even your whole life.

It might suck. It might even suck a lot. But stick with it! This is the important point I want to make with this article. The first few weeks of doing something new, whether that be ending a bad habit or creating a good one, are tough! It’s like starting a new drumming pattern in the middle of another song with another tempo! Stick with it though, and soon enough it takes over. The old pattern dies one and the new one continues. Within a month or so – you’re cruising along effortlessly. Once you’re “over that hump”, the grass is greener on the other side!


Want more good advice?
Check out our article “Four Attributes of Successful People”



The Little Banana Book
The Little Banana Book
by Mikkel Gisle Johnsen – 58 pages

All you need to know about bananas in order to successfully eat a fruit based diet anywhere in the world!

This book will cover topics like:

  • Why bananas are so great for you
  • How to tell a good banana from a bad one
  • How to buy bananas in bulk at your local store
  • The best ways to eat your bananas – smoothie recipes included
  • Proper banana management – ensuring a consistent supply of ripe fruit
  • How to control the ripening process at home
  • Banana nutrition 101
  • learn more button

SURVIVING FAMILY DINNERS AS A VEGAN



Surviving Family Dinners as a Vegan


By Mikkel Gisle Johnsen


For a lot of us, Christmas is the most intense time of the year for getting together with family and friends to eat and share food. Personally, I love communal eating and I love Christmas. However, when you have dietary preferences that differ from those of the other people present, it can sometimes be challenging to get through the meal without friction. I’d like to talk you through exactly how I do it in order to minimize hiccups and maximize enjoyment!


It’s Not a Big Deal!

The first thing you need to realize, is that in the grand scheme of things – what you eat or don’t eat isn’t a big deal! Don’t get me wrong, food is a huge part of life and choosing the vegan path is a life changing matter worth talking about, but there are plenty of other facets of life that are equally important – like friends and family for example! If you want some tips on how to transition to a fruit based vegan diet, I encourage you to check out our coaching options!

Most people (including yourself maybe?) are quite sensitive about the subject of diet. It’s a very personal thing. Depending on the people you’re dealing with, it’s probably best to keep the conversation off the topic of diet and why you choose to be vegan. This is not because it’s not an important subject that you’re passionate about – but because you know it will cause an upheaval at the table. Try to keep in mind that the “objective” of a communal holiday meal isn’t to preach veganism or give nutritional advice, but to connect and share positive energy with your loved ones! Save dietary discussions to times where someone is genuinely interested, ideally in a one to one situation off the table.


No Apologies: Do Your Thing!

There’s no need to make a big deal out of the fact that you have special requests or bring your own food. Apologies just make the whole thing seem bigger than it is, and puts all the attention on you and what you’re eating. Just do your thing! Act as if this is the most normal thing in the world for you, which of course, it is! Whether you’re bringing persimmons, potatoes or a lentil loaf to the table – be chilled about it! Chances are people won’t even notice at first, but when they inevitably do your job is not to defend yourself, but simply to answer their question and move on.


Answering Questions

This of course, is where things can get tricky. Simple questions like “what’s that?” are easy to answer, but what about the why’s and the how’s? Here are three key concepts to keep in the back of your mind when difficult questions crop up: Keep it simple, stay calm and stay focused on you, not them!

Keeping it simple is a matter of conversational skills really. Eating should be a calm and relaxed experience, and highly emotional topics are best avoided. I don’t mean avoid as in literally barring it from even coming up, just not going in depth on those particular topics that tend to be emotional in nature. Since food and nutrition is one of those topics, I recommend that you answer the why questions simply rather than deeply to avoid stirring up a discussion while eating.

It might be a good idea to check out our extensive FAQ to get some quick answers to most of the questions that might come up!

Staying calm is very important. There’s almost always someone a little cocky at the table, and they might take a stab at you because of what you’re eating. If you choose to respond by getting emotional, losing your cool and defending yourself with strong argumentation – you’ll definitely ruin your own enjoyment of the meal but probably everyone else’s too! Take a few seconds to actively calm yourself before responding to rude remarks. Allow the person’s ignorance, whether it’s malicious or not, to remain their problem, not yours! Tackle the question swiftly by keeping it simple, staying calm and most importantly…

…staying focused on you, not them. This basically means that when someone asks why you don’t eat meat for example, you answer something like “I feel better without it and I actually enjoy eating fruits and vegetables”. This keeps the focus on why you do what you do, and not on what they are eating. The worst way to answer that same question would be something like “Because it’s really unhealthy to eat meat and unethical to kill an animal for food”. People tend to take this kind of statement as a personal attack – even though it really isn’t. No wonder they do, since they are sitting there with meat on the plate as you say it. It’s all about psychology – by emphasizing yourself every time you’re answering a question, you avoid making them feel accused of implicated.

Also do bear in mind that although it’s tempting to “speak up” for the animals or share vital information about the health destroying effects of certain foods – there’s a time and a place for everything. If you’re at the table with these people, it should be because you enjoy spending time with them and want to share love and positivity with them – not because you have a secret agenda to veganize them! Even if you did, it wouldn’t work anyway because if they are not open to your message they won’t hear it. Let it go for now, and enjoy other topics of conversation.


It’s All About Sharing!

Why do we eat together in the first place? It’s because we want to share energy with other people. The meal is almost like a ritual, or ceremony if you will. The food itself a sacrament. Without getting too spiritual on you, let’s just say: The communal meal is an excuse to sit down together to share and relax.

Since the food is the symbol in the midst of this exchange, it makes sense that the sharing of food itself is essential. In other words, if there’s something – anything actually – that you can consume together with everyone else, it makes the whole experience more magical. Maybe there’s a side dish on the table somewhere that suits your preferences? Accepting something from the host, even if it’s just a glass of water, is important to establish that acceptance of goodwill. The exchange is like a contract that says “I accept your love”.

Bringing your own food is great if you’re really particular about what you eat, but be sure to bring some to share also! If you’re keen on sharing some vegan food that’s a bit more mainstream, you could check out some of the recipes in this book! Teach by example!


Enjoy!

At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoyment. The vibes. The food. The people. Focus on enjoying the situation and all it has to offer. Remember that this will be difficult if you’re busy either defending your diet or worse yet, attacking someone else’s! Keep it cool, it’s Christmas after all!


Want more good advice?
Check out our article “3 Tips For Eating a Fruit Based Vegan Diet Around Others”



The Little Banana Book
The Little Banana Book
by Mikkel Gisle Johnsen – 58 pages

All you need to know about bananas in order to successfully eat a fruit based diet anywhere in the world!

This book will cover topics like:

  • Why bananas are so great for you
  • How to tell a good banana from a bad one
  • How to buy bananas in bulk at your local store
  • The best ways to eat your bananas – smoothie recipes included
  • Proper banana management – ensuring a consistent supply of ripe fruit
  • How to control the ripening process at home
  • Banana nutrition 101
  • learn more button

THE ONE THING THAT COMPLETELY CHANGED MY LIFE!



The one thing that completely changed my life!


By Mads Tobias S. Gisle Johnsen


I want to start out talking a bit about myself.

Between ages 6-20, I ate an extremely limited diet. About 70% of what I ate was plain bread, and the rest of it was pretty much just garbage. Chocolate spread, Doritos, and a little bit of ground meat on pizza. I didn’t even start eating cheese until I was about 16.

I might have had a glass of apple juice twice a week, and some tomato sauce on my pizzas, but other than that there were NO fruits and vegetables. I’m serious. Not a bite of an apple or a leaf of spinach for over 10 years. I can’t believe I survived…

Here’s what turned everything upside-down for me in a matter of months!


The key ingredient

Over the years, I’ve come to realize there is only one thing that truly can change how you live your life. Be it changing your diet, quit smoking, start exercising or spend more time with your family.

It’s pretty simple… inspiration. It doesn’t matter how much you learn about a subject, or hear someone tell you about how good it is for you. You need to be inspired, motivated and energized to make the change in your life.

What made changed my life? Two things in particular. Youtube and getting psyched up about health talking to my brother Mikkel. I started watching tons of Youtube videos from The Life Regenerator (aka. Dan the Man).

I’d been told my entire life that I should eat more fresh fruits and vegetable, but I never wanted to eat any until I started personally being inspired by people like Dan the Man. Why? Mainly because it made me think of fruits and vegetables as cool! This new shift in viewpoint totally changed everything for me, and I started chomping on every fruit and vegetable I could get a hold of. Within months I was pretty much raw vegan.

I didn’t even read the 80/10/10 diet until a few years into changing the way I ate, which then served to further inspire me about my healthy food choices.


Inspiration 101

Practically speaking, there is no one answer for all of us. What inspires us can be anything! We always hear of people who only stop smoking when they get diagnosed with a lung disease. What made them suddenly change? They were inspired to make a change in their life because of the will to keep on living healthfully.

We need these “catalysts” to actually make change. As long as we keep thinking “Oh, I should start exercising…” but don’t really want to, we’re invariably going to end up quitting the exercise regime after a short while, simply because willpower only lasts so long. Inspiration is more long term.

If there is something you want to change in your life, you need to seek out every avenue of inspiration. Youtube videos are an epic source, as you get to look up to people who you dig. I thought Dan the Man was awesome, and that’s why I started thinking fruits and vegetables was awesome. See?

I hope me and Mikkel inspire some of you guys as well! In fact, our Patreon is a great place to get inspired, as we do Q and A’s, live streams and talk with you guys through the timeline there!

So, if you want to start exercising, start watching exercise videos, follow people on Youtube who you resonate with, and I pretty much guarantee that you will soon want to be able to do what they can do.

The reason this stuff works is probably because of the way we’re hard wired to look up to those who do things successfully. We look up to our older siblings, parents, teachers (the good ones), and try to emulate what they do. Not because we think we should, but because we’re inspired to do the same things they do because we think they’re cool!


What if I never get motivated?

We’ve all been there… Feeling like we should be doing something or even thinking we want to do something, but it just never happens. We might even start a project only to stop halfway.

The truth is that most of the time, the answer is simply to let go of your desire to do the things you feel like you should do. It’s NOT worth your time and energy to keep thinking and fretting about doing something you don’t actually want to do!

That said, if there is something you truly believe you would benefit from, like changing your diet, it might be worth investing some energy into consciously blasting your mind with inspiring content.

Mikkel wrote an article on “The Four Attributes of Successful People” which is pretty awesome.

Watch Youtube videos. Talk with people who are doing the things you want to do successfully. Listen to podcasts about the topic you’re interested in. It’s all about getting deep into it.

If I can go from nearly gagging on a piece of apple, to eating 100% fruit in a few months… I’d say pretty much anything is possible with the right amount of inspiration-juice!


Want more inspiration?
Check out our article on Three Factors That Will Make You Want to Exercise




The Way of the Fruitful Traveler
The Way of The Fruitful Traveler
by Mikkel Gisle Johnsen – 148 pages

Learn how to travel the world for fruit, sunshine and health – while carrying no more than 5 kg in your backpack!

This book will cover topics like:

  • Planning and preparing for a trip to the tropics
  • What to pack in order to travel light (ultralight packing list included)
  • How to travel with little or no money
  • How to source, transport, store and eat the best fruit on the planet
  • How to travel with or without a bicycle
  • How to make your dreams come true and create the life you always wanted.
  • How to stay safe and healthy while traveling
  • learn more button

FOUR ATTRIBUTES OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE



Four Attributes of Successful People


By Mikkel Gisle Johnsen


What seperates the succesful people from the so called failures? What makes some people really good at what they do while others never seem to reach their goals? Despite circumstances, how come one person can seemingly pull something off with ease, while another person struggles in those same conditions? It comes down to a few different factors – or attitudes if you will. Let’s explore four of those today, so that you in turn can make them your own!


#1: Viewing failure as a good thing!

Succesful people aren’t succesful because they don’t encounter obstacles or make mistakes. They are succesful because they keep trying after they fail! You can’t expect to become good at something without making mistakes along the way! In fact, every time you make a mistake, you learn something valuable! This in turn makes you stronger and gives you a better insight into what it takes to become the best at whatever you’re doing! Indeed, the path to success is through a series of failures! Unsuccesful people are the ones who gave up along the way!


#2: Willingness to take risks!

We can’t expect to grow or evolve as long as we’re within our comfort zone. We must move beyond what fees safe and secure if we are to break new ground. This means that in order to be successful at something, you must be willing to take risks. You can calculate those risks to some degree, in order to prepare for what’s coming, but in the end you can never see the whole path before actually walking it. Taking risks means the difference between achieving something new or just repeating what’s already been done. Follow your gut!


#3: Attention to detail!

Never underestimate the importance of little things. Whether it be inwardly towards yourself or outwardly towards others, tiny details make all the difference. Have you ever thought about why you like some stores, restaurants and businesses better than others? It probably has more to do with lighting, colors, feel and the attitude of the employees than it has to do with their actual product or service. Do your best in everything you do, and it will likely shine through and make you a more successful person. Consider all the factors equally important when you build your projects. As they say in sports: Train smarter, not harder!


#4: Staying consistent!

Good things are built slowly. It takes time. Rome was not built in a day. In other words, staying consistent on a day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year basis is key if you want to be successful at what you do. It takes about a decade of dedicated training for an elite athlete to reach his or her potential in the sport. That’s built through daily focus and consistency over time. Check out ”The Three Master Keys to Building Fitness” for more on that! A little bit every day goes a lot longer than “too much” one day followed by three days of nothing. Consistency makes for steady gains over time. It’s exactly the same in business. A successful business is built on a day by day basis, but the growth is only visible once you take a step back and look at the progress over time!

So there you have it, four powerful attributes that you can adopt today and apply in your life. It doesn’t matter what you do, as these principles are universal. I wish you all the best with your endeavors – you can do it!


Check out our article on how to stay Perpetually Motivated to Live Healthfully




The Way of the Fruitful Traveler
The Way of The Fruitful Traveler
by Mikkel Gisle Johnsen – 148 pages

Learn how to travel the world for fruit, sunshine and health – while carrying no more than 5 kg in your backpack!

This book will cover topics like:

  • Planning and preparing for a trip to the tropics
  • What to pack in order to travel light (ultralight packing list included)
  • How to travel with little or no money
  • How to source, transport, store and eat the best fruit on the planet
  • How to travel with or without a bicycle
  • How to make your dreams come true and create the life you always wanted.
  • How to stay safe and healthy while traveling
  • learn more button

DON’T MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS



Why I Don’t Do New Years Resolutions And Why You Shouldn’t Either


By Mikkel Gisle Johnsen


The final days of 2016 are upon us, and it’s a great time to look forward and set the direction for the year to come. Many of us choose to do this by making ambitious new years resolutions. Unfortunately, as most of us have learned, we rarely end up sticking to them. Personally, I never make new years resolutions – and there are some very specific reasons why! In this month’s article, I’d like to share those reasons with you and tell you all about what I do instead – in order to make my life as productive, fulfilling and satisfying as possible for the year to come! Continue Reading →

EATING A FRUIT BASED VEGAN DIET AROUND OTHERS



3 Tips For Eating a Fruit Based Vegan Diet Around Others
      – Without Making It a Big Deal!

For a lot of people, the greatest challenge of eating vegan and especially a fruit based diet, is dealing with the social aspects of it. Eating is such a central part of our social structure and it’s usually all about sharing the food, which makes it a little bit more difficult for someone who’s dietary preferences fall outside the norm. Whether it be a family gathering, dinner with a friend or lunchtime at work – here are three powerful tips on how to deal with these situations like a pro!


Tip #1: Bring Your Own Food!

It’s usually best to bring your own food, rather than relying on your host being able to cater for your exact wants and needs. If you’re eating exclusively fruit, chances are that even if they did have fruit on hand it wouldn’t be ripe and there wouldn’t be nearly enough of it to satisfy you calorically. Save yourself, and the host, a whole lot of awkwardness and just bring your own food! No big deal!

If you’re eating some cooked foods in addition to the fruit, things get easier, but not a whole lot. Most people will probably be able to serve you up some potatoes, but there’s always a risk of them being drenched in oil, and there’s probably not enough potatoes for your carb strong appetite anyway!

In the end it boils down to this: If you have any preferences whatsoever when it comes to what you put into your body, chances are you’ll be better off bringing your own food. First of all you save yourself the stress involved in having to ask for special food and try to explain the details of it to someone who does not understand why you are so particular about it. Secondly, you save the host form having to worry about it at all.

Social EatingThe downside of bringing your own is that it becomes the center of attention once everyone notices that you have your own, personal plate – full of fruit! But if you think about it, being served special food would probably draw even more attention. Just bring your own food and stay relaxed about it. If people ask, give them simple answers like “I just prefer to eat fruit” or “The mangoes are just too good this year” – no need to defend yourself.

Remember that if you want to be in control of your health, you also have to be in control when it comes to what you eat. If you constantly have to leave it up to others to provide what you need, you’re at the mercy of the circumstances, and let’s face it – most circumstances these days aren’t in favor of optimal health!


Tip #2: Mind Your Own Business!

Eating is very personal. It’s kind of like sex, religion and politics – everyone has their preferences and that’s the way it is. Just like how you’re hoping that everybody else will respect your choices in terms of diet – you also have to respect theirs. This means that even though someone around the table might be eating something you don’t, that’s their choice. This is often difficult, especially in the case of animal products, since vegans are very passionately against animal exploitation, but in the name of compassion, respect and empathy – core ethics of veganism – we shouldn’t attack out fellow human beings for doing what they believe (knowingly or unknowingly) is right. Doing this will only lead to isolation and loss of health. Community is an essential part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

An important strategy in this regard is to answer diet related questions at the table, in a positive way rather than a negative. What I mean by that is that if someone asks why you’re eating only fruit, tell them why fruit is awesome, rather than why cooked food and animal products are less ideal. If you tell them why eating meat is bad for you, you’re essentially criticizing what they are doing – right when they are doing it! This will usually prompt them to start defending themselves and their choices, and before you know it you’re in the middle of an intense debate. Leave the “educational and informative” comments for later and focus on the main reason why you’re there in the first place; to connect with friends and family in an effort to transcend the differences and enjoy each others company!


Tip #3: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Whenever you do something that’s different from what everyone else is doing, it’s bound to draw attention. In the best case scenario this might be nothing more than a friendly question about what you’re eating, but sometimes it might even be a case of loud ridicule. Here’s the thing though – how people react to things, is a reflection of them, not you! If someone ridicules you for being different, it’s because they are insecure about themselves and they don’t know how to react to the situation. My best advice is to let it slide. Most of the time, it’s just a quick remark, maybe a direct question. Responding in a sharp and defensive way will only prolong the situation and make it worse. Stay cool!

Jackfruit Consumption Another thing to realize is that you are strange – at least in their eyes! Compared with most people, eating a fruit based, or even a standard vegan diet, is very different. I’m sure most of us, including myself, didn’t grow up as vegans, and I clearly remember, back in the day, thinking that vegans were a little weird. The first time I heard from a friend of mine, who was a raw vegan, that he ate 8 bananas for breakfast I was shocked! So cut people some slack and let them react. If they are part of your family or inner circle of friends, they will quickly get used to it. Before you know it, no one’s going to lift as much as an eyebrow, let alone their voice, next time you bring out your bowl of peaches.


There’s More To Life Than Just Food

Don’t get me wrong, food is a big deal, but let’s face it – if the diet we eat makes it impossible for us to socialize and enjoy the other aspects of a happy life, it’s not worth it! Find your compromise! Yes, you have to endure a little bit of social awkwardness if you wish to eat healthfully in an unhealthy world, but get over it 🙂 As a matter of fact, you’ll get used to it! When questions invariably arise, use the opportunity to show people how happy you are about what you’re eating and how awesome you feel doing it! Enjoy the best of both worlds by eating your food, and still enjoy the company of your fellow human beings and the glorious “pleasures of the table”.

Don’t forget to bring a little extra to share – you never know when some of those other, unrealized frugivores, might suddenly get a craving for some of that sweet and juicy deliciousness on your plate!

The information in this article reflects the views and opinions of the author and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. This is not medical advice. We are not responsible for any action you may take based on the information given in this article. For medical advice please see your medical professional.

The Little Banana Book
The Little Banana Book
by Mikkel Gisle Johnsen – 58 pages

All you need to know about bananas in order to successfully eat a fruit based diet anywhere in the world!

This book will cover topics like:

  • Why bananas are so great for you
  • How to tell a good banana from a bad one
  • How to buy bananas in bulk at your local store
  • The best ways to eat your bananas – smoothie recipes included
  • Proper banana management – ensuring a consistent supply of ripe fruit
  • How to control the ripening process at home
  • Banana nutrition 101
  • learn more button