From the category archives:


The Five Keys to Optimal Health

by Ed

Key #1 Nutrition

After spending billions of dollars, over the past thirty years, the American Cancer Society has begun to realize that searching for a cure may not be the answer. Now they are focusing more on prevention. And what is the best way to prevent cancer? Fruits and vegetables.

There has been a lot of controversy lately over the best diet: High protein? High carbohydrate? paleolithic? Mediterranean?

But one thing the experts agree on is that we need more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Dr. Bruce Ames, a leading cancer scientist has said that if you aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you might as well be standing in front of a low level X-ray machine, all day.

You may have seen the American Cancer Society’s ad campaign: “5 A DAY”. Actually, they recommend 9 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables, but they think five a day is easier to sell to
the American public.

The Framingham study looked at Stroke risks. They found a direct correlation between 3 servings a day and a 22% reduction in strokes. 6 servings a day; 44% reduction in stroke. 9 servings a day, 66% reduction in stroke. Now that’s pretty remarkable.

Let’s face it, most of us are not big fruit and vegetable eaters. But we should be. Fruits and vegetables are full of disease preventing phytochemicals, including the now famous antioxidants. We have
discovered hundreds, so far, but there are still many we don’t know about. And that’s one reason that taking vitamins is not the answer for a poor diet. I could go on for pages about other reasons. If you want more information on the research, let me know and I will send it to you.

Key #2: ExerciseEveryone knows we need more exercise. So, what’s your excuse?
Not enough time? Not enough energy? too boring?

In fact, once you get on a simple exercise program you create a spiral of success. More time, more energy, more joy in every area of your life

So how to start? Well, you need at least a little energy to get started. It may be that you need to improve your nutrition to get that energy. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less fat, especially saturated
and trans fat.

Ok, back to exercise: You should aim for an hour of exercise, almost every day. However, you can break it up into 6 ten minute chunks, throughout the day. During coffee break take a ten minute walk or
climb ten flights of stairs.

Buy one of those six foot rubber bands designed for exercising. They are great for mini work outs. Buy several. Keep one in your desk, one in the car and one or more at home. Buy a brand that comes with a video so you can learn the exercises. Then buy some cheaper ones for different places. Any time you have five to ten minutes pull it out. Learn a few different short routines and alternate them. One for strengthening the arms and upper back, one for the abs and lower back, and one for the legs. Plus one or two good stretching routines.

Once you start feeling healthier, you can sleep thirty minutes less and use that extra thirty minutes for a good aerobic workout, three days a week. On the other four days, you can meditate or read a good book
or enjoy a sunrise.

Obesity is becoming an American epidemic. One that leads to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The only healthy way to maintain a healthy weight is sensible eating and exercise.

Exercise improves our mood, our immune system, our stamina, our bone mass, and our ability to assimilate the nutrients from our food. So get up and have some fun.

Play with your kids.
Join a team.
Walk your dog.
Have fun!

Key #3 OxygenAre you breathing? Many people seem to barely breathe when under stress, sitting at a computer, and other times. Some people seem to barely breathe, all the time. Abundant oxygen is vital to our wellbeing. It is even more important today, than it was 30 years ago. Besides all of the toxins in our water, food and air, and our stress levels, all of which require more oxygen to healthfully process, we have a lot less oxygen in the air we breathe. You have heard about greenhouse gases and global warming, by now. Did you ever stop to think what all those greenhouse gases are replacing? Oxygen. Oxygen levels are getting dangerously low, about three percent lower than they were a few decades ago. Levels are within a couple of percent of being unable to sustain our lives, especially in cities with high smog levels.

We need to be breathing more deeply just to maintain normal levels of oxygen, let alone levels necessary to help us combat pollution and stress. Get more aerobic exercise and take several deep breathing breaks, throughout your day.
Key #4 CleansingIn the 21st Century it is impossible to escape toxicity. Our air, food
and water are all polluted. Not to mention all of the toxic ingredients
they put in our personal care products and packaged foods.
Regular internal cleansing has become essential to maintain good

The two main areas that require cleansing are the digestive tract
and the Liver/ Gall Bladder. For most people, I recommend an
intestinal cleanse and a Liver cleanse, as well as a Gall Bladder
flush, every Spring. Many people with allergies, for instance, find
that a regular Spring cleaning brings a lot of relief, through out the

Because cleansing can release toxins into the body, it is important
to be careful. I always recommend a gentle cleansing. Eating lightly
with an even greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables
(I suggest 5 servings of each during non cleansing times),
is always a great way to reduce our toxic burden and begin a

It’s important to cleanse your digestive tract gently so as not to shock your system or release excess toxins into the body. An herbal fiber supplement makes a great colon cleanse because herbal fiber can work slowly to thoroughly sweep the colon clear of impacted waste and toxins without disrupting daily life. When combined with herbs to soothe and stimulate the digestive tract, a fiber supplement can make a great spring cleanse. 

Click here to see my other posts on cleansing.

Key #5 State of mindCheck out my many posts on the importance of our state of mind, particularly this one. Positive states of mind keep our immune systems robust, and help us ward of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A positive state of mind makes it easier to maintain the other four keys. See this post for tips on staying happy.

The Master Cleanse

by Ed

The Master Cleanse is a lemon juice fast created, as far as I know, by Stanley Burroughs. You can read about it in his little book, The Master Cleanser.

One thing I’d like to say is that the master cleanse is not for everybody. If you are underweight, I would not do it, unless you are under the supervision of a qualified health professional who has experience with the master cleanse. Other people who generally do not do well on it are people with what Chinese Medicine calls a cold stomach. If you have a hard time digesting cold foods, raw fruits or vegetables, or cucumbers, you have a cold stomach.

If you don’t have any of the above conditions, and you feel in need of a stronger cleanse than the one in my earlier post, then definitely check out the Master Cleanse.

Gall Bladder Flush

by Ed

Continuing with my Spring Cleaning series:

Keeping your gall bladder working well is important to good digestion, particularly digestion of fats. If you feel sluggish or bloated after eating oily or greasy food you are probably overdue for a gall bladder flush. It’s a good idea to have one once a year in any case. If gall stones run in your family, or you know you are prone to them, twice a year might be better.

There are a few variations on the gall bladder flush, some of them take only one day. I prefer this five day version. It is very easy to do.

Eat normally during the five days, except add four to five organic apples or four to five glasses of organic apple juice every day.

On the fifth day, do not eat dinner. At 6pm take a tablespoon of epsom salts in a half a glass of warm water. Do the same at 8pm. Be sure to get epsom salts for internal use. The large containers for bathing have impurities in them.

At 10 pm get ready for bed. Last thing before getting into bed drink half a cup of olive oil mixed with half a cup of lemon or grapefruit juice, preferably fresh squeezed. Get straight into bed and lie on your right side with your right knee pulled up. That will help the oil move into the gall bladder.

All of these procedures help to soften the stones, open the bile duct or increase movement in the gall bladder.

The next day you should find a number of small green stones in your stool. Some “experts” say the stones are just the olive oil mixed with the epsom salts, but the first time I did this I had at least a dozen little stones, and the second time I did it I had none. Usually I find a few, depending on how long it has been since I last did it. The first time I did it, it made a huge difference in my ability to digest oily foods.

Cleansing the Digestive tract

by Ed

Every Spring is a good time for internal cleansing. I suggest starting with the digestive tract, then doing a Gall Bladder flush. While these cleanses are safe for most people, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified health professional, especially if you have any significant health concerns. After doing a cleanse many people find they have more energy, clearer skin, fewer allergy symptoms, and many other positive effects. It is certainly helpful for anyone with constipation.

One simple and safe way to cleanse the digestive tract is to do a short juice fast. Three days is safe and effective. Only drink juice of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Drink them immediately after juicing them, as they lose their goodness, and start to oxidize very quickly. Besides drinking fresh juice, you can drink herbal teas, ginger is particularly good. Also, first thing every morning, mix one teaspoon of psyllium husk in a glass of water or juice. It does not have a pleasant flavor, so you probably want juice. Psyllium husk is known as intestinal broom because is sweeps out the old debris that lines the intestinal walls. You may want to continue the psyllium for a few days after the fast is over.

While generally regarded as safe, a small minority of individuals do not tolerate psyllium well. Those experiencing discomfort should discontinue use, or start with a very small amount to allow the body to adjust. However a feeling of bloating, especially the first time you take it, is normal.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of prescribed lithium.

Use of psyllium can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Do not use psyllium within two hours of any medicinal substances. Use at least 30 minutes prior to eating.

Psyllium is generally safe and helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and colitis.

Spring Cleaning

by Ed

Spring is definitely in the air in the Northwest. I don’t know how the rest of the world is doing. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. It is also a good time for internal cleansing. Over the next couple of days I will be talking about cleansing the digestive system, the Gall Bladder, and the blood. Today I want to talk about clearing the cobwebs from the mind.

Every year, when gardening season starts again, I feel totally rejuvenated by getting my hands into the earth. I think as we have moved into the cities and let other people take care of our food production, we have lost an important part of our wellbeing. I feel more grounded, more at ease, more alive, when I am digging in the earth. Walking in the forest can have similar benefits. You could say it’s the fresh air and exercise, and those two are both very important, but I am sure that there is something about our connection with earth that our souls need.