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.


1 Judy 05.09.07 at 3:53 am

I really need to hear more of this — especially the lemon cleanse. I have tried an herbal clense and wound up with itchies all over my body. I want to keep my gut working after so many years of having to use stomach acid to move the wastes out — barely
My web site is for my complaints but you’ll learn more about me there.

2 Mehdi 05.09.07 at 10:42 pm


Good article. My view on your post:
* Green veggies & fruits all the way. Go organic if you can afford it.
* Happiness is a state of mind. Never let your happiness be influenced by what happens to you.

Check out the lemonade diet if you want to cleanse. Cleansing is radical. Not everybody agrees it to be healthy. If you have acidity problemes: eat more green veggies & try some digestive enzymes.

Cleansing won’t remove the source of the problem, which is often bad nutrition choice.

3 Ed 05.10.07 at 8:12 am

That’s good advice. It is true that cleansing is not for everyone. It’s good if you can talk to someone who knows about cleansing, just be careful you don’t listen to someone who says everyone needs cleansing, because they’ll say you do, whether you really do or not.

Lots of fresh veggies and whole grains are another way to improve elimination, because they are high in fiber.

4 Prosperity Red 10.29.09 at 1:20 pm

You have a great site full of wonderful and interesting information. I enjoyed reading about five ways to improve your life and agree with you. I might suggest one you also include EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique in one of your future articles and how it can improve your health.

5 Monica Junck 12.14.09 at 11:28 am

Hi Edward

Just thinking about eating 9 serving of Veggies a day. Wow that is challenging. I find I can do 6 fairly easily. Some days I don’t even eat 3 meals just 2 and a snack. So you must eat veggies 3 times a day? I suppose I could organize myself that way. Any suggestions? I did find it easier when I focused on pH and ate raw. I haven’t paid as much attention to pH since I eat all cooked foods. Though if I ate 9 veggies a day I am sure my pH woul be alkaline!

6 Ed 12.15.09 at 11:34 am

Hi Monica,
Actually is 9 servings a day, combined fruits and vegetables. If you are a snacker, like me, it shouldn’t be hard getting them in. Also, a serving is smaller than you might think. Most people who like vegies get well over a serving per meal.

7 Sonja 11.15.12 at 6:28 am

That’s really great advice. It’s crazy to see those numbers about how eating fruits and vegetables lowers your risk for stroke. You don’t really think about that on a day to day basis but overtime, wow!

8 Joondalup Acupuncture 12.11.12 at 12:22 am

These are really 5 important keys in making to reach optimal health level. We need to appreciate each level because most of them can be acquired free.

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