Jessica Else, environmental reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe it’s not a lack of willpower that’s causing you to reach for that unhealthy food day after day. Maybe it’s bacteria.
Food addiction, elevated stress and a culture of unworthiness go hand in hand with many failures on the road to wellness, according to Kapaa man Benjahmin Koenigsberg, who will be presenting on the topic at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sun Village Clubhouse in Lihue.
“We’re superorganisms, less human that microorganisms,” Koenigsberg said, citing the scientific conversation about the abundance of bacteria versus human cells in the body.
Recent research out of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel shows an average man of 70 kilograms is made up of about 40 trillion bacteria and 30 trillion human cells, giving humans an average ratio of 1.3 bacteria to every human cell.
Many of those bacteria live in the human gut, and it is Koenigsberg’s understanding, and that of some nutritionists and medical professionals worldwide, that the bacteria’s demand for certain foods cause cravings.
“People are ruled by their gut bacteria to crave things like alcohol and unhealthy foods,” Koenigsberg said. “We can’t fight cravings. Using willpower won’t work. You have to change the makeup of the bacteria in your gut.”
Fruits and vegetables encourage the growth of different bacteria than processed foods, animal products and alcohol, scientists explain, and these little organisms can affect mood, too.
That’s according to a 2014 study published in BioEssays by the University of Mexico, which showed some bacteria are aligned with the dietary needs of humans and some aren’t.
So, the trick is to encourage growth of bacteria that are harmonious with the human body, scientists, and Koenigsberg say.
“I believe we can populate good bacteria,” he said.
But Koenigsberg’s theory on wellness is about more than just macrobiotics, throughout his journey implementing veganism, fruitarianism, and raw trends into his diet for years, he’s found what he calls a key wellness: starches.
He eats a vegan diet, heavy in potatoes, yams, corn, legumes, rice and beans, which helps keep him full longer and provide essential fiber and other nutrients.
“By incorporating more starch, we fill up the tummy and it’s more satiating,” he said. “Plus, coming from a diet that’s restrictive, it’s liberating to find that those are health foods.”
Much of his research on starch comes from the book The Starch Solution by John McDougall, which explains the theory that the human diet is naturally built on starches. He recommends a diet that consists of 70 percent starch, 10 percent fruit and 20 percent vegetables, while avoiding fats and processed foods.
“I’ll steam a yam and wrap it in tin foil, or make a pot of oatmeal and it’s satiating,” he said. “It’s so freeing.”
Life used to be made up of thinking about food for him, Koenigsberg said, and constantly deciding what to eat, and that obsession was something he’s working on letting go.
“I’m just looking for an accessible fuel source so I can be in personal relationships,” he said. “Now it’s about how I want to show up and serve the world. Relationships are the cornerstone of health and well-being.”
Trends of unworthiness extend beyond nutrition, Koenigsberg explained, and his passion is also focused on the unachievable standards men face in society, and how to break free from unrealistic expectations.
“What is masculinity and how has culture pushed men to believe masculinity is all about hypermuscularity,” he said. “There’s an extra stigma on men not to discuss these issues.”
In a culture “with terrorism occurring by white men dealing with anger management issues,” Koenigsberg said he thinks the conversation about social isolation and unachievable standards needs to be happening.
“I talk about, there’s a lot of stresses on the nervous system — chemical, physical and emotional stresses, and the body is reacting. Most of our functioning is subconscious,” he said.
How many of you would like to experience a sudden increase of successes or fulfillment in one or many areas of your life?
Why are so many of us in western culture and especially men in our society so driven to do everything on their own, so presumptionaly right about everything and dismissive of being coachable or advised by others
Many perceive doing things totally alone or all on self reliance is a sign of strength and determination,
I see it the other way around
I believe society has conditioned to be skeptical of receiving feedback and coaching from others
Although Virtually nothing gets done or inspired without a mentor of some kind.
Even a baby learning to walk and talk by mimicking its parents is aa form of mentorship. Uncles, teachers and even media personalities offer mentorship and coaching in some form
Despite the vast evidence supporting the extraordinary return on investment in different forms of coaching, many people are still hesitant to invest in one for themselves
Lets look at a few examples of how coaching is beneficial
-fatal car crashes are less likely for teen drivers who have completed driver’s education classes
-Weight loss and fitness goals are achieved and sustained with considerably more success and consistency by working with a personal trainer
-Students with below-average reading skills who are tutored show significant gains in reading skills when compared with similar students who do not receive one on one tutoring
The first major benefit of having a success coach
1. Accountability and Commitment
We know what happens when we are constantly late to work, We know the grim consequences of being late to pay a credit card bill
But who is there to hold us accountable to our ideal self and creative pursuits.
What if the same accountability and commitment to pay rent or our mortgage on time, we had for ourselves to finish the next chapter of our book on time for example or make sure we are investing in our inner and intra personal net worth
If we are late to invest money or time into ourselves, it is likely no one is there to hold us accountable and keep us to a larger commitment to ourselves
People spend tens of thousands of dollars on material things, investments, vacations and their children
But the thought of spending thousands of dollars on coaching for themselves to expedite their growth is seen as absurd, only because it has been less conventional in some circles and also because many of us have a habit of downplaying our on worth or significance
Many big decisions in life come with a substantial upfront cost. Going to college to get a degree or vocation, Putting a down payment on a house, undergoing surgery or starting a business for example all have financial barriers to entry
Investing a similarly large sum of money upfront in personal coaching is no different. If money is a representation of where we put our value and emphasis in life, why not invest heavily in the efficiency of our personal development
Personal Coaches and Mentors are there to hold you accountable and more importantly, provide a powerful opportunity for you to commit and be accountable to yourself at whole new empowering level!
Have you every thought about what you don’t know you don’t know? Well thats kind of a trick question because since we don’t know about it, its hard to think about or it.
We spend most of life in the sphere of what we know, and some of us are learning things that we know we don’t know, so eventually we can know them:)
An outside perspective is often required to help turn something we don’t know we don’t know into something we know or know we don’t know.
What if this blindspot of our lives held significant opportunities and insights that could lead to break throughs?
There is a saying that says a miracle is just a change in perspective. When something becomes known that was previously unknown, an obstacle can immediately be overcome or removed causing a dramatic increase in personal development and fulfillment
As many college and post college graduates have found out, many to their dismay, is that having a degree or even a doctorate doesn’t also translate into how to make a substantial income in a job that you love or how to have peace of mind, fulfilling relationships or exceptional health.
So then if people go into debt tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree and dedicate themselves to areas of study, then why are we not investing equal if not more in education that teaches us how to actually be happy and joyous in life or to help us make more money in a ways we are excited about, since more money, we know, doesn’t by itself equal more happiness
I went through years of vocational school and training and barely learned about business. I learned nothing about marketing myself or long term professional development. What is the use of knowing how to heal someone as a fantastic massage therapist if I don’t know how to share my knowledge in a sustainable way
“Neuroplasticity is the property of the brain that enables it to change its own structure and functioning in response to activity and mental experience.”
― Norman Doidge, The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity
Contrary to the old saying, which implies that adults or elderly are set in their ways and unable to learn new skills, brain researchers have found that the brain and many parts of the nervous system are malleable, adaptable and receptive at any point in life, not just during childhood.
This concept is known as neuroplasticity, referring to a plasticity, or mold-ability of the quality of the tissues in the nervous system.
Change does not always come easy, but because of nueroplasticity, those of us, regardless of age are very encouraged to know that with work to grow, we can learn new skills and replace long lasting habits with brand new healthier ones.
The science of this aspect of human biology couldn’t be more timely. In this time of rapid change, so many of us can benefit from reshaping our brains and perceptions. From workers needing to learn new skills, people needing to learn new languages, and those just wanting to improve their confidence and mental wellbeing…..the possibilities are endless for anyone!
One of my favorite studies highlighting neuroplasticity is when NASA mandated a group of astronauts to wear special convex goggles 24/7 that literately flipped their world upside down. They wanted to test how spatial distortions would effect their brain. At first the astronauts were ill, but soon adjusted. But between the 26th and 30th day of the experiment, each one of the astronauts began to see the world normal again with the convex goggles still on! The pathways in their brains had flipped the images.
This study proves that in order for a new habit to become easier, we need to stick with it for at least 30 days continuously. After 90 days of continuous action it becomes more “second nature”.
Mindset refers to the crucial distinction between life circumstances and our perception of them. Many people think that life is the way it is, without accounting for how their experiences are filtered through their unique perceptions.
I was a person, who despite having many blessings, chose to have a negative mindset by focusing my attention only on the bothersome. Plus I would love to commiserate with you and get your validation.
Here are three ways I have improved my mindset and now experience greater joy in life because of it.
1. Taking 100% Responsibility for your choices and experience
We always have a choice of the thoughts we entertain in our mind, what we say and the action we do or don’t take. We often forget or don’t recognize this, and use life events as reasons or excuses to justify our behavior.
Often when finishing up a phone call, many people say “ I should let you go”, instead of saying “I’m ready to wrap up our conversation and say goodbye now”. Although the latter may sound unfamiliar, it is a small, yet powerful way to use language to take ownership of our truth and not use someone else as a substitute of our experience.
Another instance is, instead of saying, “I have to”, using the words “I choose to”. Going to a job we don’t like doesn’t feel like a choice, however we are choosing to work the job vs. facing consequences of not having rent money for example.
I often hear people saying that others ‘make them’ feel a certain way. This is a missed opportunity for us to see that we are choosing an emotional state in response to someone’s specific behavior or action.
2. Adopting a Growth Mindset
I used to live in what I now can identify as a ‘fixed mindset’. Everyday I woke with anxiety because I had this looming voice of authority in my mind judging me for everything in life, even little things like leaving clothes on my bedroom floor or forgetting to floss.
A baby learning to walk is an example of a ‘growth mindset’ in action. A baby simply learns by doing, by imitating those who are walking, not by comparing and feeling unworthy because they cannot already walk. A baby must tumble and fall again and again. This is true for most new things we choose to adopt. Imagine if babies gave up learning to walk because they fell 100 times and decided it wasn’t for them. With a growth mindset, we see that perfection never actually existed. Failure doesn’t exist either, simply growing as we learn new things, face new circumstances and take action towards what fulfills us!
3. Self Re-Hypnosis
Hypnosis refers to a state of consciousness involving focused and limited attention on something. Many of us have spent years and even decades focusing is on our flaws, shortcomings and often very specific things we don’t like about ourselves. The consistency and intensity of these thoughts over time can create a type of self-induced hypnotic state many of us are unaware of. With the understanding that we are largely controlled by our subconscious mind, we can consciously use hypnosis techniques to bring positive influences and perceptions to our subconscious success mechanisms
One of my favorite techniques is to fall asleep listening to positive subliminal messages. You can easily find affirmations for love, health and financial abundance online, for free, to listen to. Because the messages work on a subconscious level, they reprogram beliefs on deep levels of our psyche, even while we sleep. The key is to listen to them consistently, as change can take time.
With these empowering mindset shifts, you can start or continue reaching for your big goals in life, not needing to know how to advance or be perfect. You can also harness the power of your subconscious controllers and use different forms of affirmations to reprogram your self-image for more automatic success. And now, the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of getting aggravated, you can choose to stay jovial and imagine that they had an urgent need to go to the bathroom.