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Healthy Living eBook

Not Just Another Pair of Sexy Genes

Not Just Another Pair of Sexy Genes

Table of Contents

About the Author

Why I Wrote This eBook

Your Sexy “Genes”

The Food We Eat

Water- The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Exercise- Or Lack Thereof

Environmental Toxins

Hormones- Not Just Your Mother’s Problem Anymore!

Stress and the Body’s Response

Sleep- Get More of It!

Your Drug Addiction

Now What?

Appendix A

Appendix B

About the Author

I’m Evie Maddox, owner of Eve’s Best, and natural health advocate. I have been in the learning process of natural health and prevention measures since 2003, beginning with cloth diapering my newborn daughter. Once the door to cloth diapering was opened, a whole world of alternative practices was made known to me, which led to a change in the way I did just about everything.

Over the years I have approached a number of illnesses with common sense and alternative thinking, saving thousands in doctor bills and prescription medicines. Taking a preventative stance against degenerative disease and childhood “bugs” definitely involves protecting the body with antioxidants, which I do daily- but that’s not all. While many people feel that taking vitamins and minerals are enough to prolong a healthy life, I believe it requires a comprehensive approach. This book shares what I have learned from various sources during the past decade and I hope that it helps you change your life for the better. While I am definitely not finished with the learning process, I realize that there are people who don’t know the simple basics, which I discuss here. I hope to add more to this eBook at a later date!

Why I Wrote this Ebook

Recently someone asked, “What did I do to end up with all of these health problems in my 60’s?” The only problem with my answer is that I didn’t know where to start! The truth is, you can do SO many things wrong to jeopardize your health. And sadly, most of us are doing just about everything wrong. We are eating the wrong foods, we are guzzling the wrong drinks, we are not moving enough, we are popping pills, and we are constantly under far too much stress. Unfortunately, we don’t know where to start to help ourselves, so we don’t bother changing until we have medical problems that we can’t get ourselves out of. Whether we are overweight, or suffering from arthritis, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, something finally smacks us in the head and we wake up wondering, “Where do I even begin?!”

As I searched for a one sentence answer, I realized that, “what you are doing wrong,” cannot be answered in one sentence. I decided that there are far too many people out there who get their knowledge from doctors who need to be re-educated about the body and how it is supposed to work. Contrary to popular belief, our bodies do not stop working because they need prescription drugs, and our bodies do not start working correctly because of prescription drugs. That is something you just have to get into your head or you are never going to get it!

To help you get it, I am sitting down for many hours to bring this information to you. I am not a doctor, and I am not a specialist. I have learned a tremendous amount from other people who have fixed their health problems, the health problems we have fixed on our own, and the people who have died as a result of mainstream medicine. For the past fourteen years, I have read and learned, changed our diets and improved our prevention strategies. We have definitely reaped the benefits, and now it is time to share what I have learned so that you, too, can stop throwing your money away on drugs and doctor visits.

Your Sexy “Genes”

Before I continue, I feel I must address the “gene factor.” I can’t tell you how many times people have blamed their genes for their health problems. Whether we have diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or high blood pressure, we all seem to think that it’s in our genes and there is nothing we can do about it. It doesn’t help that doctors have led us to believe this, while handing us prescription drugs like they were candy. Some doctors claim that they try to tell their patients to exercise more, eat better, and watch their salt intake. And some do. But hardly any take the time to make sure it’s actually done. They have no incentive for their patients to improve their health, so why would they push it?

What you need to focus on is not the negative genes you have been handed. You need to focus on the positive genes and what you can do with them. God gave you a body meant to work well when you treat it well. He gave you many more healthy genes than defective genes. But when we abuse our bodies, the defective genes scream the loudest.

Genes determine WHAT you will get if you don’t take care of your body. It is not a life sentence that can’t be avoided. With the numerous toxins in our environment today, it is critical that we protect our bodies so that our negative genes don’t pull us into a world of disease. There are many ways to protect your body, and that is what we will focus on. While you may be sick, there IS a way out, and I can tell you that prescription drugs are NOT the answer. But lifestyle changes will be necessary, so get ready!

The reason I entitled this book Not Just Another Pair of Sexy Genes is two-fold. First, just as we can’t blame our poor health on bad genes, we cannot give credit for our great health to our good genes. How many times have you seen someone in really good shape and said to yourself, “she’s got some GREAT genes?” Most likely, she put effort into that body and SHE should get the credit! Second, as you read this book I want you to imagine getting back into sexy JEANS and the only way you will do that is to stop blaming your GENES. All those sexy jeans you see walking around could be you if you put the effort into it. And we all know that sexy is NOT slouchy, flabby, pale, and wrinkly. Those things are just plain unhealthy, and whether you care about being sexy or not, you should at least care about your health! So once you get back into your sexy jeans, you can walk around with the knowledge that you are NOT just another pair of sexy genes, but someone who is working hard to improve your health who happens to feel (and look) great, too! Here we go…

The Food We Eat

Let’s start with our favorite part: the food we eat! There are so many things I can say about food! You probably already know that doughnuts, cookies, ice cream, cake, pop, and fried foods are all no-no’s. But you do it anyway, just like me. The key is: moderation. It is VERY easy to try having just a little, and before you know it, your entire diet consists of no-no’s. But those are the obvious. Here are some foods and ingredients that are not so apparent:

  1. white bread
  2. white rice
  3. white pasta
  4. white sugar
  5. white potatoes (see a pattern here?)
  6. high fructose corn syrup
  7. additives/preservatives
  8. artificial sweeteners like aspartame (the jury is still out on Splenda, but avoid it anyway)
  9. conventional red meat, poultry, and dairy
  10. margarine and other trans fat foods
What’s so bad about this list? You might have been prepared for number 1, but if you haven’t caught on to the low-glycemic craze yet, you may not understand the strikes against white food. Numbers 1-5 are all foods that will spike your blood sugar. This means that shortly after eating them, your blood sugar will shoot up, your insulin levels will also, bringing it crashing down, and making you- you guessed it- hungry again. That’s not anything you can’t solve with more food, but the damage to the body is done when the blood sugar spikes and plummets constantly throughout the day.

Glycemic Stress


Dr. Ray Strand, author of Healthy for Life, has coined the phrase “glycemic stress.” Explained simply, spiking your blood sugar causes free radicals, which damage the sensitive lining of our capillaries. Glycemic stress leads to insulin resistance, which can lead to full blown metabolic syndrome (also known as Syndrome X). Symptoms include high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, increased fibrinogen (blood clotting), cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. While warning signs are apparent to some doctors, you may not be aware of a problem until you have full blown diabetes. You can learn the specifics of this concept in Dr. Strand’s book, which I highly suggest you get.

Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup


I wanted to make sure to emphasize the danger in sugar as well. Apparently, otherwise intelligent people have been led to believe that sugar and candy is completely harmless. It is given to children every time we turn around, rotting their teeth, and doing all kinds of harm inside their bodies that we can’t immediately see. If you don’t understand why sugar is bad for both children and adults, please read both of these articles:

Sugar and Cancer

146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health

Find alternatives to sugar such as honey, real maple syrup, and molasses for baking. For sweetening fruit, tea, coffee, or lemonade, use xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol which actually helps prevent tooth decay. (Xylitol can be used in place of sugar for most recipes. Use the same amount of xylitol as you would sugar.) You also need to check labels for high fructose corn syrup. Just about everything contains this, including children’s drinks, soft drinks, and even ketchup! Here is an article regarding why HFCS is used and why it shouldn’t be:

The Murky World of High Fructose Corn Syrup by Linda Joyce Forristal

Additives and Preservatives

Number 6- additives/preservatives- are found in ALL pre-packaged food. You cannot avoid these if you don’t cook or prepare your meals from scratch. I have learned this the hard way in the past year. First, I picked up on my children’s behavior after consuming drinks and foods with artificial coloring. The main one was red food color. I eliminated it, and their behavior improved dramatically. They were 3 and 4 at the time.

More recently, I began cooking new meals from a whole foods cookbook. I noticed that my periodic fatigue seemed to disappear for a while. Then I made a trip out of town where I ate junk for a few days. My fatigue returned, but only for a day or so because I quickly filled up on my good food again. It really does make a difference. There are children in your very town (and possibly in your family) who are given cocaine-like drugs every day to control “ADHD/ADD” and it’s very likely that an improved diet is all these children need. Unfortunately, many doctors quickly prescribe drugs before mentioning a change in diet.

Kevin Trudeau, author of Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About goes so far as to claim that additives are purposely included in prepackaged food to make us hungrier, make us fatter, get us addicted to the product, and to give us diseases. I’ve read the book, and you should, too. I don’t know how much of what he says is true (he backs up a lot of his information) but I do know this: while there is something about Oreos that makes me eat one after another, I can stop at only three with the organic version of Oreos, “Newman’s Own.” Coincidence? Maybe.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, are other products to steer clear from. Unfortunately, it tends to be the first thing dieting people go for. Aspartame is a poison. As a matter of fact, there is an entire website devoted to aspartame called Sweet Poison. You will find a list of side effects on this website, so I won’t list them here. All I can say is if you have ANYTHING wrong with you and you drink diet soda, or eat foods with aspartame (“Nutrasweet”), you need to check out this site and find out if aspartame is to blame. (It is…) Stop immediately, and don’t try other artificial sweeteners, either! A new replacement sweetener, Splenda, has had some complaints, so it is best to avoid it as well. It was not extensively tested before being released for public consumption (presumably to quickly replace aspartame, which had already wreaked havoc on the general public) so don’t be a guinea pig. Avoid pop, and if you do “have to” drink it, drink the regular stuff. You already know that pop should not be a frequent drink in your diet, so I probably don’t even need to mention it. Diet or regular, soft drinks are just not good for you and you need to find a way to limit yourself! Again, use xylitol to sweeten foods where you would usually add sugar or artificial sweeteners. (Stevia works, as well!)

Conventional Meat, Dairy, and Eggs

While the other no-no’s may not be news to you, these might surprise you. You should avoid conventional meats, dairy, and eggs.

You should search for “organic” or “natural” meat that came from animals which were not given growth hormones or antibiotics. In order to speed a cow’s growth, it is given growth hormones by traditional farmers. These hormones end up in the meat, where it then gets eaten by you. These growth hormones have been blamed for increased obesity and early puberty in children, among many other health problems. Antibiotics are used to keep animals healthy, not to make sick animals well. They are given to all the animals for disease prevention, and again, end up right in your food. (This practice is commonly blamed for antibiotic resistant bacteria). How do you avoid it? (And why do you want to?) Do your best to find grass fed beef rather than those raised on grains, and locally produced so that you know the condition of the farm. Question the farmer on his pasturing, feeding, antibiotic, and hormone practices. Those doing things the “right way” will welcome your questions and will probably even invite you to visit the farm.

The Meatrix

During the process of writing this e-book, I received an email with a wonderful web link. It is appropriate to fit in here, and I think you will find it entertaining as well as alarming. It demonstrates the change in farming practices in the US much better than I can with words. The website is http://www.themeatrix.com/ . We get our meat, eggs, and raw milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese from a local farmer who provides the BEST grass fed products. The cows are able to pasture, the chickens roam free; it is what farms were “back in the day” rather than farms where the animals are miserable, crowded, sick, and fed grains. Until you can get your hands on meat from a place like this, you should definitely cut back. You can learn more about this at http://www.westonaprice.org .

Raw Milk

As an aside, while organic milk is better than traditional milk, I feel I can’t go forward without mentioning that even organic milk is not good for you. The only milk that actually has any health benefit at all is milk that is not pasteurized and not homogenized , from pastured cows (and organic). As a matter of fact, traditional pasteurized and homogenized milk needs to be a minimal part of your diet. Some people who are allergic to traditional milk can actually tolerate raw milk quite well. What does traditional milk do? While you can get the whole story in Kevin Trudeau's Book (page 79), traditional milk scars your arteries, and clogs your digestive system. Scarred arteries give places for oxidized LDL cholesterol to attach, which is one of the major causes of arteriosclerosis (a major cause of heart disease). This is not something you will hear from a typical doctor, because the only thing they know about cholesterol is to give you a drug. Do not take them!

Margarine and Trans Fats

Speaking of cholesterol, remember back when someone decided that eating fat is what made you fat (it isn’t) and decided to replace our “fatty” butter with margarine? I don’t remember ever eating butter growing up, but we always had margarine available. The truth is, if you eat a healthy diet, you DO need fat. And if you aren’t getting it from doughnuts, fried food, and Big Macs anymore, where are you going to get it? Butter is natural. Margarine is not. While the danger of margarines are the trans fats we’ve heard so much about in the media, many are replacing their product with non-trans fats. But it still doesn’t make it a natural product, and the oils they are using are still questionable. (What IS a canola?)

If you are eating margarine on everything, first you need to cut back to a respectable level. You know what I’m talking about. Then, you need to use butter (preferably from grass fed cows made from raw milk). When cooking or baking, use olive oil or butter at every opportunity. Also, don’t forget about coconut oil, which has become very popular.

Foods to Eat

Aside from raw dairy and grass fed beef, what else should you eat? There is a LONG list available, and it is going to take some work to get used to what to avoid and what to eat. Here is a start:

  • organic fruits and vegetables,
  • raw nuts,
  • whole grains,
  • legumes,
  • organic cheeses,
  • fish,
  • free range chicken and turkey,
  • omega-3 oils, and
  • organic eggs from free range chickens.
Replace “white” products with whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and red potatoes. You still need to eat these in moderation and portion control is key. You want to be especially concerned about getting enough essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and fiber into your diet. You can get EFA’s through fish oil supplements, or plant based oils like flax seed oil. You can also put ground flax into your food. Flax is also a good source of fiber, and so are all the fruits and vegetables you will be eating!

Why Organic Fruits and Vegetables?


I’ve watched with interest what has happened with the organic industry. First, mainstream media made people who eat organic foods look like hippy freaks and told everyone who would believe them that there is nothing wrong with eating conventionally grown foods. Then, organic foods became more mainstream and articles began popping up verifying that not only are organically grown foods safer, they are also more nutritious.

Simply put, “organically grown” means that they were grown without the use of pesticides. You can recognize them by the signs at your grocery store, or by the sticker on the fruit or vegetable. If the code starts with a 9, it is organically grown. This is important to note, because I have caught some conventionally grown oranges mixed in with organic oranges. Some produce employees don’t know the difference, or simply don’t care to do a job well, who knows? But the point is, the majority of your fruits and veggies need to come from organic choices. And now is the time to start, because organic food prices are coming down.

Here are some great videos about organic farming that you can watch right now on-line. Organic Video 1; Organic Video 2 . You can also grow your own organic food in your own garden! We will be trying raised bed organic gardening this spring and hope to grow some delicious veggies!

If you live in a small town, you may have to travel to find organic options. Even then, you may not have a wide array of choices, so here is something to help you choose which foods are safer and which are not, when grown conventionally: http://www.foodnews.org . You should find on that site all the information you need to make your food choices. If you are still wondering why you should avoid eating foods with pesticides, perhaps you have been duped into believing that while pesticides KILL pests, they are safe for us. The Environmental Working Group has many great articles on why we should reduce the consumption of pesticide laden foods.

You should eat your fruits and vegetables raw as much as possible, and when you do have to cook them, don’t overcook! The more you cook them, the less nutrients you will get from them.

Treat Yourself


One thing that has dawned on me recently is that we don’t have to cut out any of our favorite foods if we eat a healthy diet. Want chocolate? Have some! Just don’t eat the entire candy bar right NOW. Eat it in small bites. I keep a bar in my fridge at all times, when I need a caffeine boost or just a little treat. But think about it: if 90% of your diet came from whole, fresh, unadulterated food choices, the other 10% could still be stuff you know you shouldn’t have, and you will STILL lose weight (or maintain it) and improve your health greatly. The problem right now is that you are eating 10% healthy and 90% NOT. Admit it; you know it’s true! If you are eating outside of the home, you simply need to stop. If you travel, you need to plan better. If you don’t feel unhealthy now, it is only a matter of time before your body will start yelling at you, whether it is high blood pressure, increased weight, allergies, or even cancer. Everything that can possibly go wrong is due to what you are eating and drinking, or NOT eating and drinking. It’s just the plain truth.

Water- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Realizing the number of people today who are still drinking water straight from the tap was instrumental in actually getting me to sit down and write this book. When you improve your food intake, it’s just as important to improve your fluid intake. Juices, soft drinks, and yes, even Kool-Aid need to be off your list! Juice is okay in moderation, and even then, you need to water it down. There is way too much sugar in ALL juice, natural or not. But what should make up the majority of your fluid intake? Your first choice should be water, then organic tea, and then organic coffee in moderation. Of course, your tea and coffee need to be made with water, so no matter what, this section is important!

What is wrong with tap water?


I’m glad you asked! Here is a short list of reasons to stop drinking tap water immediately:
  1. Pathogens. Bacteria, viruses, and other nasty bugs which can be fatal. In 2001-2002, more than 1,000 people got sick and 7 died in 31 outbreaks of waterborne diseases from drinking water (CDC).
  2. Lead. Found in public water distribution systems and water pipes in some homes (built before 1930). A poisonous metal, lead can cause anemia, high blood pressure, kidney problems, increased miscarriage and low birth weight risk, and it also interferes with brain development in children.
  3. Nitrates. Found in fertilizers and sewage. Can lead to blue baby syndrome which is potentially fatal.
  4. Pesticides. Known to disrupt hormones, and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and nervous system problems.
  5. Other contaminants. Arsenic, radon, disinfection by-products (chlorine by-products) and other additives like fluoride.
While municipal water systems use chlorine to get rid of pathogens in the water, the chlorine is NOT removed, nor are the dead pathogens. According to some studies, an astonishing 75,000 chemical compounds have been found in our water, yet the EPA has established enforceable safety standards for only 87. With additives like chlorine and fluoride, which are both proven toxic, we aren’t doing ourselves too many favors!

Is bottled water better?


In most cases, bottled water is better than tap. But there are a couple of problems with it as well.
  1. It is not well regulated (it is actually less regulated than tap water!)
  2. Toxins can leach from the plastic bottle into the water.
It has been reported that some water bottling facilities have used tap water to fill up their bottles! While rare if it is true, the absolute truth that you can’t ignore is that you really don’t know what you are drinking or where the water comes from when you drink bottled water.

Now what do you do?


You do have options. You can read about water comparisons and decide which is the best home purifying process; or I could just tell you.

Home Distilled Water


The absolute best water to drink is water distilled by you through a home distiller. Distillation, combined with carbon filtration, is the one water treatment technology that most completely reduces the widest range of contaminants, including biological, organic and inorganic elements. In fact, a quality distillation system provides water that is up to 99% free of impurities, including heavy metals and most chemicals. We have been drinking home distilled water since 2005 and I cringe at the thought of drinking other waters. We have a filter on our refrigerator, but even filtered, it tastes horrible.

While a home distiller might seem expensive, in actuality, it comes out over 70% cheaper than bottled water. And you don’t have to lug it home from the grocery store! You simply use the water from your tap, fill up the distillation chamber, push a button, and that’s it. A few hours later, your water is ready. You can drink it, cook with it, and even give it to your pets. Distilled water is simply the collected water vapor that rises during evaporation from boiling. While distilled water arguments are found all over the internet, you have to use common sense on this one. Some of the arguments against drinking distilled water are just ludicrous. For instance, one states that pop (soda) is bad for you because it is made from distilled water (which it is not) because distilled water leaches minerals from your bones (it doesn’t). While I can’t say all are not made with distilled water, I did call the largest soft drink manufacturer and verified they do not use distilled water. I can assure you that my family and MANY other families drinking home distilled water are as healthy as ever and will continue to be.

Benefits of Drinking Water


The benefits of drinking water are numerous, including
  1. Vastly improves your energy
  2. Sharpens your mental and physical performance
  3. Gradually improves your skin’s appearance and reduces wrinkles
  4. Fosters weight loss. F. Batmanghelidj, MD, author of the acclaimed book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, says that many times the body’s request for water is actually misinterpreted as hunger.
  5. Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
  6. Reduces headaches and dizzy spells
  7. Bolsters heart health. According to a 6 year study of more than 20,000 healthy men and women aged 38-100 in the May 1, 2002, American Journal of Epidemiology, it was found that women who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from heart attack than those who drank less than two glasses. The heart benefits were even greater in men.
  8. May relieve symptoms of asthma, allergies and arthritis

Low Grade Dehydration


Many health problems today can be blamed on constant low grade dehydration. Unfortunately, when we go to the doctor for problems mentioned above, they don’t usually ask if we are drinking enough water. They assume we are because we are still alive. But the truth is, most of us aren’t drinking enough and we know it. We are addicted to pop and can’t stop drinking it. Just because the liquid in fountain drinks and in the food we eat give us enough hydration to remain upright, it doesn’t mean we are optimally hydrated. There is a BIG difference there and the difference results in poor health versus optimum health.

I speak from experience. As a long distance swimmer, I didn’t realize the importance of hydrating during swim meets. After swimming the mile at swim meets, I suffered serious headaches, and I had no idea why. Years later, I figured it out. But day to day life requires water as well. After suffering poor health and kidney problems about a year ago, I decided to increase my water intake. My energy level increased as well. Most people have to make a conscious effort to drink more water, and I am certainly not immune.

As I type this I realize how badly I’ve been doing, and right behind my desk sits our home distiller! Now is a good time to stop and get a drink of water! (You, too!) Aaaahhhhh. That was good. You might be wondering how much water you should be drinking. I’m not going to tell you to drink a gallon of water. What I will tell you is to drink water with every meal, drink it with your snacks, use it to take your vitamins, and when you have exercised heavily. Simply replacing what you are drinking now will make a world of difference. You should drink fairly frequently, and drink 6-8 oz at a time. And make sure you are drinking pure water!

If you want to learn more about drinking pure, home distilled water, here are some books to read at your leisure. One thing to help improve your health habits is to read about positive changes every week and keep them at the forefront of your mind. Books and magazines are wonderful for this purpose.

Exercise- Or Lack Thereof

Yep, here it comes…. But let me side with you for a second. How many times have you seen the “experts” on The View, Today, Good Morning America, or any other media outlet they appear on tell men and women across the country that they should be exercising an hour and a half every day, and it isn’t worth it if you don’t come out drenched in sweat? How many times have you scoffed at shows like The Biggest Loser or Celebrity Fit Club, because there is no way that you would work that hard for anything? I hear you. And I promise that you don’t HAVE to work that hard for it! People aren’t unhealthy because they aren’t running a marathon every year. We are unhealthy because we have stopped moving all together. As a matter of fact, excessive exercise actually creates free radicals in the body which can be damaging. Of course if you are taking the vitamins that you need (See Appendix A), it will prevent free radical damage, but if not, you can really damage your body.

Brian Maxwell, inventor of the PowerBar, died March 19, 2004 at the age of 51. A highly ranked marathon runner, Maxwell was on the 1980 Canadian Olympic Team which boycotted the Moscow Olympic games. Cause of death? Heart failure. We hear of even younger athletes, some dying right on the field. Every year, the numbers seem to increase. While some of us sit on the sofa, eating chips and dip, others are out there overexerting their bodies without proper nutrition. We have to find the balance for people like us who are not star athletes, but who want to stay active. I can tell you for me, that does not entail spending two hours every day dedicated to the gym. (But hey- if you have the time and the desire, go for it!)

Just Get Moving


For the rest of us- make small, daily changes. For these, you have no excuse because it isn’t going to cost you anything.
  • If you have small children, get out and play with them. Do what you can, as often as you can, and you will see your energy and ability increase.
  • If you have a baby, get out the stroller and take your baby for a walk. Do this frequently, because it’s good for both you and your baby.
  • When you go to the store, don’t fight for the parking spot right next to the handicapped spot! Park further away and walk.
  • Use the stairs when you only need to go up or down a few flights. If you are unable to do any of this, see Appendix A.
It is also important to do weight bearing exercises. Not only does it increase muscle mass, which increases your metabolism, but it is also important in preventing osteoporosis. Use small weights and do bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, and bench press. Also do squats, lunges, leg curls, leg extensions, calf raises, and make sure you stretch daily as well! If you don’t know what any of these mean, find out. Get an exercise video, get a trial membership at the gym, or ask a friend who knows. You can do these exercises while watching television! As a matter of fact, make a deal with yourself that you can watch program XYZ only if you have already done your exercises, or do them while you watch.

Pilates is a popular exercise choice, and one not mentioned often is rebounding. If you prefer to work out at home, and have a little money to shell out up front, a rebounder is an excellent asset to your exercise program. You can get videos, or you can simply rebound while you watch television. It is more efficient than a treadmill, and you are able to move your body in various directions, alter the intensity, and have more fun with it than a repetitive “walking” motion. There are so many benefits of rebounding, I could go on all day.

The main thing you need to do is find an exercise program that you enjoy, and you will continue to do. You could also take up dancing, swimming, tennis, soccer, etc. Just pick something that gets you moving, and keeps you moving. Be less concerned with how much you sweat, and more concerned with how it makes you feel. You will probably be a bit sore the first couple of days, but eventually your body will get used to being worked again.

Why is exercise important? Exercise provides the following benefits:
  • Helps prevent diseases
  • Improves stamina
  • Strengthens and tones
  • Enhances flexibility
  • Controls weight
  • Releases stress
  • Improves quality of life
You may not need this pointed out, but for you slow learners, here’s the flip side. What will lack of exercise result in?
  • Disease
  • No stamina
  • Weak muscles and flab
  • No flexibility
  • Overweight
  • Accumulated stress
  • Poor quality of life
Which list sounds like you? If you find you are too weak and tired to even think about starting an exercise program, see Appendix A. You can change that rather quickly, and it is imperative that you do. After all, don’t you want your sexy genes to be handed down to your children and grandchildren?

Environmental Toxins

Environmental toxins affect just about everything possible when it comes to your health: they can taint the water and food that we have already discussed, they can infiltrate your home via seemingly benign home and personal care products, and they can work throughout your home electrical outlets while you sleep. Environmental toxins are everywhere, and how harmful they are (and even their existence) is constantly up for debate. You can probably guess on your own that the side in denial of the danger of environmental toxins are those that create them and the government officials that are paid off to deny them, while the other side is made up of scientists, doctors, and environmentalists who are largely ignored when they make their alarmist claims. Since it is much easier to pretend that our government is doing everything possible to protect us (they are not), many of us simply don’t know what we are using and how dangerous it is.

By definition, a toxin is simply a chemical or poison that is dangerous. It is also a “substance that can cause injury, illness, or death.” You might be thinking of poison bottles with the skull and cross bones, and I wish it were that easy. Many toxins are not marked, barely identifiable, and barely studied before they are put on the market.
Here is a great article from Dr. Mercola.

How to Avoid the Top 10 Most Common Toxins

One of the major problems with environmental toxins is that we don't realize that we're being affected until we come down with a chronic disease after years of subtle and often consistent exposure to a combination of these toxins.

This makes it almost impossible to pinpoint a specific environmental toxin as the source of illness, yet when you look at the facts -- the increasing numbers of cancers, immune system disorders, neurological problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, allergies and hormonal disturbances that are facing the nation -- it is hard NOT to take notice. Consider these statistics:

  • Some 77,000 chemicals are produced in North America
  • Over 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply
  • More than 10,000 chemical solvents, emulsifiers and preservatives are used in food processing
  • 1,000 new chemicals are introduced each year

Where do all of these chemicals end up? They are absorbed into our groundwater, rivers, lakes and oceans, spewed into our air, and added, quite intentionally, to our food supply.

The Effects of Toxins on Your Body

A study in last year's British Medical Journal estimated that perhaps 75 percent of most cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, including exposure to chemicals. Another report, this one by the Columbia University School of Public Health, estimated that 95 percent of cancer is caused by diet and environmental toxicity.

This is really not surprising when you consider that estimates show most Americans have somewhere between 400 and 800 chemicals stored in their bodies, typically in fat cells. Some of the short- and long-term effects of these toxins include:

  • Neurological disorders (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Cancer
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Muscle and vision problems
  • Enzyme dysfunction
  • Altered metabolism
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Immune system depression
  • Allergies/Asthma
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Chronic viral infections
  • Less ability to tolerate/handle stress

The 10 Most Common Toxins

The following toxins are among the most prevalent in our air, water and/or food supply. This list is by no means all-inclusive, as thousands of other toxins are also circulating in our environment.

  1. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls): This industrial chemical has been banned in the United States for decades, yet is a persistent organic pollutant that's still present in our environment.

Risks: Cancer, impaired fetal brain development
Major Source: Farm-raised salmon. Most farm-raised salmon, which accounts for most of the supply in the United States are fed meals of ground-up fish that have absorbed PCBs in the environment and for this reason should be avoided.

  1. Pesticides: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. Alarmingly, pesticide residues have been detected in 50 percent to 95 percent of U.S. foods.

Risks: Cancer, Parkinson's disease, miscarriage, nerve damage, birth defects, blocking the absorption of food nutrients
Major Sources: Food (fruits, vegetables and commercially raised meats), bug sprays

  1. Mold and other Fungal Toxins: One in three people have had an allergic reaction to mold. Mycotoxins (fungal toxins) can cause a range of health problems with exposure to only a small amount.

Risks: Cancer, heart disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes
Major Sources: Contaminated buildings, food like peanuts, wheat, corn and alcoholic beverages

  1. Phthalates: These chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften plastics.

Risks: Endocrine system damage (phthalates chemically mimic hormones and are particularly dangerous to children)
Major Sources: Plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers. All of these can leach phthalates into our food.

  1. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): VOCs are a major contributing factor to ozone, an air pollutant. According to the EPA, VOCs tend to be even higher (two to five times) in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in so many household products.

Risks: Cancer, eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment
Major Sources: Drinking water, carpet, paints, deodorants, cleaning fluids, varnishes, cosmetics, dry cleaned clothing, moth repellants, air fresheners.

  1. Dioxins: Chemical compounds formed as a result of combustion processes such as commercial or municipal waste incineration and from burning fuels (like wood, coal or oil).

Risks: Cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, chloracne (a severe skin disease with acne-like lesions), skin rashes, skin discoloration, excessive body hair, mild liver damage
Major Sources: Animal fats: Over 95 percent of exposure comes from eating commercial animal fats.

  1. Asbestos: This insulating material was widely used from the 1950s to 1970s. Problems arise when the material becomes old and crumbly, releasing fibers into the air.

Risks: Cancer, scarring of the lung tissue, mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer)
Major Sources: Insulation on floors, ceilings, water pipes and healing ducts from the 1950s to 1970s.

  1. Heavy Metals: Metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum and cadmium, which are prevalent in many areas of our environment, can accumulate in soft tissues of the body.

Risks: Cancer, neurological disorders, Alzheimer's disease, foggy head, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels
Major Sources: Drinking water, fish, vaccines, pesticides, preserved wood, antiperspirant, building materials, dental amalgams, chlorine plants

  1. Chloroform: This colorless liquid has a pleasant, nonirritating odor and a slightly sweet taste, and is used to make other chemicals. It's also formed when chlorine is added to water.

Risks: Cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage.
Major Sources: Air, drinking water and food can contain chloroform.

  1. Chlorine: This highly toxic, yellow-green gas is one of the most heavily used chemical agents.

Risks: Sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) (a type of asthma)
Major Sources: Household cleaners, drinking water (in small amounts), air when living near an industry (such as a paper plant) that uses chlorine in industrial processes.

Babies in Utero Affected

Until recently, scientists believed that babies in utero were protected from environmental toxins. But even those babies have been found to be contaminated when the Environmental Working Group studied the cord blood of 10 newborn babies in 2004. What they found was alarming! Searching for 413 chemicals, including a diverse range of pesticides, flame retardants, and stain- and grease-proof coatings, scientists found 287 present in babies’ cord blood. At least one toxin found, (PCBs, as mentioned above), was banned in 1976, but has persisted for decades and has tainted our food chain.

We also have evidence that multivitamin use during pregnancy may stave off brain tumors in children. This tells us that not only are there dangers in utero, but we can prevent them with the proper vitamins and minerals before our babies are even born. Imagine what they do for all of us!

If you are wondering about possible toxins in your home, here is a test you can take, or at least look at to see how you are doing. If you use personal care products that contain parabens or phthalates, you will also want to learn what the Breast Cancer Action group has to share about cosmetics and personal care products which contain these possible carcinogens.

Why does it matter?

  • 150 chemicals found in the home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. (Source: Consumer Protection Agency)

  • Babies’ DNA can be damaged even before they are born if their mothers breathe polluted air (Kenneth Olden, Director National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)

  • The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL CODE OF REGULATIONS exempts manufacturers from full labeling of products if used for personal, family, or household care. (USA FCR: Section 1910, 1200C. Title 29, Section 1500.82 2Q1A)

  • Out of 2,435 pesticide poisonings in a one year period, over 40% were due to exposure to disinfectants and similar cleaning products in the home. (State of California Study)

  • Most laundry detergents contain a form of NTA. NTA is a substance we may reasonably anticipate to be a carcinogen. (The Merck Index)

  • Household bleaches which claim to disinfect are classified as pesticides under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. (Guide to Hazardous Products Around the Home, Household Hazardous Waste Project, 1989)

  • In one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma (29% for men, 82% for women). The higher rate for women is believed to be due to women's longer exposure times to household chemicals. (Center for Disease Control)

  • Diseases that used to occur later in life are now appearing at younger ages. Diseases that used to be rare are more frequent, for example: There has been a 28% increase in childhood cancer since the addition of pesticides into household products. Cancer is now the #2 killer of children - second only to accidental poisonings. Since 1977 the rate of cancer among American children has been steadily rising at a rate of nearly 1% each year. (National Cancer Institute)

  • Warning labels on containers refer only to toxic hazards from ingestion, however, only 10% of health problems from chemicals are caused by ingestion. 90% are caused by the inhalation of vapors and absorption of particles.

A great article that you will want to check out is Growing Up On Chemicals: Our Children’s Toxic Environment by Jane Sheppard.

What can you do to protect yourself from environmental toxins?

  1. As already mentioned, drink distilled water and eat organically grown foods

  2. Eat a diet high in varied organic fruits and vegetables AND nutritional supplements. These will keep your cells protected from free radical damage from toxins. (Please note that you need to take the proper levels in order to do this. You will never reach the proper levels if you don’t take nutritional supplements).

  3. Use personal care products without Parabens and phthalates

  4. Make your own non-toxic cleaning products

  5. Use clothing, towels, and bedding made from organically grown cotton.

  6. Purify the air in your home or office with an Airwise air purifier

  7. Use a shower filter in your shower

  8. Do not swim in a chlorinated pool, and if you do, make it an outdoor pool

  9. Stop treating your home and yard with pesticides and herbicides

  10. Use non-toxic paints, flooring, and furniture in your home.

If you want your sexy genes handed down, making these changes is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE. Toxins can damage our DNA and are implicated in causing cancer. If we don’t protect our cells against damage from the continual assault of toxins, we are destined for a life of dying rather than living. And while that may not bother you right now, it will definitely bother those who have to take care of you long before they should have to. Why put them through that? And for those of you who are already there, you don’t need to be concerned about handing down your sexy genes, but you need to work on getting back into yours!

Electromagnetic Fields

Another environmental hazard not mentioned yet is electromagnetic fields. This is a highly debated topic and worth mentioning. I don’t want to hit too strongly on it, but I do suggest doing some research on it. I simply can’t elaborate on every topic or I would go on forever (and I know you don’t want that!)

Hormones- Not Just Your Mother’s Problem Anymore!

This is a tough subject. Hormones are one of those things that most people need professional help to figure out. I’ve got a couple of books, but will not begin to try and tell you what you need based on your symptoms. What I will tell you is that if you are doing everything else right, and you still have symptoms that have no reasoning, you might want to look at your hormone levels. What many young women don’t realize is that peri-menopause can begin at approximately age 35. Basically our hormone levels decrease, they get out of whack, we start having weird symptoms that we attribute to aging, and we try our best to live with the “aging” process. During the writing of this book, I saw Suzanne Somers on The View, and she has written a book called Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. She stated that most women get breast cancer during peri-menopause because their hormone levels decrease drastically. I had never thought about that before, but it does make sense. Another great book which I personally own is From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well: Discover Human-Identical Hormones as a Safe & Effective Treatment for PMS, Perimenopause, Menopause or Hysterectomy .

You will have to do some searching to find a doctor in your area who knows how to help you balance your hormone levels. Here is a good place to start. Many doctors simply don’t know what they are doing, and the last thing you want to take is synthetic hormones. If your doctor prescribes them to you, do not listen to anything else (s)he says about hormone replacement.

So what are symptoms of hormone imbalance, anyway?

  • Allergy symptoms
  • Depression, fatigue and anxiety
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Hair loss and facial hair growth
  • Headaches, dizziness and foggy thinking
  • Low sex drive
  • Osteoporosis
  • PMS
  • Urinary tract infections and incontinence
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Weight gain, water retention and bloating
  • Wrinkly skin
This is a short list, so if you have other symptoms, don’t rule out hormones. The point is that we tend to think of hormones as older women’s problems and it simply isn’t. (Unless you consider 30 something old!) What I suggest is to do EVERYTHING else right, and if you still don’t solve your “problem,” get help. There are natural progesterone creams available, which I have used. You simply use them on alternating arms, breasts, etc. I also don’t trust all the products on the market- especially not products with parabens, which have been implicated in breast cancer. There is plenty of information available on the internet if you think hormones might be to blame for your problem. I just want you to be aware that it’s a possibility so that you can fully check it out if necessary.

As of 2017, I have gone through perimenopause and I'm very near menopause, having only random periods every few months or so. I was able to get rid of hot flashes using progesterone/estrogen cream from Organic Excellence. . I am currently using no hormone replacement at all and I feel great!

Stress and the Body’s Response

One thing many people don’t understand about stress is that it isn’t the stress that matters, it’s how you deal with the stress. How your body responds is what dictates how your health is affected by stress. For instance, a death in anyone’s family is going to be stressful. But each person affected by that death is going to handle it in a different way. One person might feel as if the death is a part of the cycle of life- “we all have to die sometime.” Another person might have had things left unsaid, and the death is especially traumatic. Another person might feel that the death was the worst thing that could have happened, they don’t know how to move on, and they go through a six month depression. Each of these responses to the same person’s death will affect the body in a different way.

As you can guess, each of these responses comes from our personalities, our outlook on life, and our personal experiences. While our ability to handle stress does come from our innate, inborn abilities, these are also affected by the experiences we have had growing up. Let’s face it, some people handle great amounts of stress with no problem. Others can’t handle any amount of stress and their bodies are continually under attack of adrenaline from stress. What’s important is to know where you stand with stress and how to cope with it.

Why Stress Matters

Knowing your stress tolerance is very helpful when it comes to your health. It is even more important if your stress tolerance is low, since you are the one whose body will be more affected by stress. Don’t think that you are in the clear because you have had a pretty easy life and nothing traumatic ever happens to you. Your day to day stress can be more than what you are able to handle, whether it is your job, your children, your spouse, your living environment, etc. You may have already been placed on an antidepressant by your doctor, which is a common response if you have typical “stress” symptoms. As a society, we have put ourselves under a great deal of stress, and we tend not to give our bodies a rest from it. For more information on stress I have found these great resources:

How Does Stress Affect the Body?

How the Body Responds to Stress

Common symptoms from prolonged stress include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • indigestion
  • spastic colon
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • constipation
  • colds and sinus infections
  • vaginal yeast infection
  • bladder infections
  • fibromyalgia
  • arthritis
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • hyperventilation
  • asthma
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • cancer

Stress is such a huge factor in overall health that I will go so far as to say it doesn’t matter what you eat or drink if you aren’t going to manage your stress levels. Eating well and remaining under constant stress is like stopping smoking, and picking up drinking. It is a necessity if you want to be healthy. Some ways to deal with it:

  • Praying
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Floatation
  • Massage
  • Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  • Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
  • Don't rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.

As a person with a very low tolerance for stress, I completely understand what it can do to the body. At the age of 10 we learned this fact when I began developing a facial tic and my hair started falling out in response to high levels of stress from being a competitive elite athlete. Twenty-five years later, my days are riddled with stressful events which most people would not be phased by at all. My children playing on the jungle gym stresses me out. The dog getting out stresses me out. (We had a dog hit by a car not long ago). Constantly staying busy stresses me out. I can literally feel the physical response in my body when the “fight or flight” impulse takes over. It is a constant battle to control stressors, minimize my response to them, as well as practice relaxing or just “being” for a while without allowing stressors to invade my life.

Antidepressants for Stress?

I will never forget feeling really achy all over, tired, and headachy long enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. After barely looking over me, the doctor wrote a prescription for Prozac. Even more surprisingly, she did not expect a follow-up visit, which is suggested with ALL anti-depressant/ anti-psychotic drugs. That was the last time I went to the doctor with any complaint. That was about 7 years ago. A few months after that visit, I ended up quitting my job and within a week all of my symptoms were gone. So sometimes we don’t need drugs, we need to quit our jobs! It was then that I realized how symptoms can creep up on us from daily stress that we won’t stop to notice if we don’t think about it. And I wonder how many of us are on prescription drugs simply because we have too much stress?

Sleep- Get More of It!

Sleep, stress, and hormone levels are so completely intertwined, it is difficult to separate them. Trying to limit stress and get your hormone levels corrected is impossible if you are not getting enough sleep. As a matter of fact, correcting poor sleeping habits is a pre-requisite to improving stress and hormone balance.

The Problem

If you are like me, you find at the end of the day that you did not get as much accomplished as you planned, so you stay up and work. You stay up WAY later than you should, disrupting your sleep cycle. You may even have to get up at a certain time in the morning, completely cutting back your sleep hours to just a few. Doing this occasionally is one thing. Doing it every day is another. The more frequently you cut into your sleep, and the later you stay up, the worse off your health will be.

Perhaps that is not your problem, but you try to sleep and you can’t. Sleep disorders/span> affect approximately 40 million Americans each year. One thing you may notice by improving your diet, avoiding toxins, exercising, and releasing/reducing daily stress is that positive changes begin occurring and symptoms begin improving. (Especially if you follow the advice in Appendix A). Your ability to sleep should improve as well. Whether chronic pain, depression, or neurological disorders have led to your sleep disorder, with proper care of the body these things tend to work themselves out. What happens if you keep stubbornly refusing to rest, or you don’t work on improving the quality of sleep you receive?

The Symptoms

  • Impaired memory: Drowsiness during the day interferes with your brain’s ability to concentrate, learn and remember things.
  • Physical impairment: Simple tasks may prove more difficult to perform and complex tasks may become seemingly impossible.
  • Emotional response: You may become anxious, moody, and impatient, and notice increased difficulties during interaction and cooperation with others.
  • Severe sleep deprivation can lead to physical incapacity, hallucinations and mood swings. Proper rest supports the body’s ability to perform at its best whereas sleep deprivation impairs the body and mind, preventing optimal performance.

Sleep deprivation is actually used by the military to torture prisoners into giving up information! It’s amazing that we do these things to ourselves. Sleep also affects hormones. While hormones affect our sleep, sleep also affects our hormones. Unfortunately, doctors don’t frequently discuss life changes to improve hormone levels and they put us on synthetic hormones that cause even more damage in our bodies.

The Solution

One thing you should recognize is that our bodies were made to rise and set with the sun. There is a rhythm of the world and a rhythm in our bodies, and God would not put us into an environment in which we cannot flourish! Before electricity and television, people went to bed when it got dark and it’s not a coincidence that families were much larger back then! If you live in northern Alaska or other places with irregular days and nights, obviously God did not intend for people to live there! Just kidding. But you do have certain challenges whether it is getting enough sunlight during dark periods, or getting enough sleep in light periods. Those of you like me simply have to decide to go to bed and finish the work tomorrow. Do not sleep with a nightlight, television, or radio on. This helps those with sleep disorders as well. If you like watching television in bed, make sure you set the sleep timer so that it will turn off after you have fallen asleep. Keeping these things on not only prevents us from getting good quality sleep, it also provides constant electromagnetic chaos during the time our bodies are trying to rest and recoup. If you have trouble sleeping, examine the suggestions in the links above and find something that works for you. Do everything you can to avoid prescription or over the counter sleep aids. ALL drugs have negative consequences and should only be used as a last resort.

I have discovered that when I can't sleep, which is rare, it actually helps me to turn on the television (or watch something on the Kindle). I usually fall right back to sleep, even if I've gotten into a show that I want to finish watching! So that might work for you, and it's worth trying if you haven't.

Your Drug Addiction

Yes, I am talking to you. How many prescription drugs are you currently taking? If what I’ve already shared with you is news, I’m betting you are on at least 3 different prescription drugs, and more than likely, you are on more than twice that. I am not telling you to stop taking any medication. What I want you to do is improve your health so that you don’t need them anymore. According to Dr. Ray Strand,

  • The use of prescription medication is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • An adverse drug reaction is five times more likely to kill you than an automobile accident or AIDS.

Some more statistics from Mercola.com you might be interested in are (In Deaths per Year)

  • 12,000 -- unnecessary surgery
  • 7,000 -- medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 -- other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 -- infections in hospitals
  • 106,000 -- non-error, negative effects of drugs.

This is why we do everything we can to avoid the doctor’s office. I shared already that I had gone through a period of urinary and kidney problems, which I ended up solving naturally. But one evening, I had such terrible kidney pain I found myself in the emergency room. They didn’t find any stones with the ultrasound, so I still don’t know what the pain actually was. But I will never forget the terror I felt knowing that I was at the hospital being treated by people who have possibly killed someone. The pain medication put me to sleep, so I missed half of it, thankfully. And had my husband not been there to make sure I was taken care of, I probably would have refused the medication.

Recently, my father stopped breathing during a routine colonoscopy. Since he was still talking rather coherently, the anesthesiologist kept giving him more sedative. Apparently, the amount went “over” because he stopped breathing. What happened next we will never know. One nurse said his breathing became shallow. Another said bluntly, “no, he stopped breathing.” He was resuscitated, and since his chest was sore we can only assume that they really did have to resuscitate him. Of course none of this information was shared clearly by anyone, including the doctor. And this is the best part: the doctor said he could go the next day to a different hospital and have the colonoscopy done. If you are not aware of the prep required, you can read it here. Needless to say, he didn’t care to continue his liquid diet another day and he did not go back. Perhaps he decided the risk of cancer was smaller than the risk of dying during the procedure.

I guess I have to mention my mom, since I don’t want her to feel left out! She listens to me, about half the time, I guess. Her doctor had recommended the new osteoporosis drug, Boniva. It is a once a month pill that is supposed to help with bone loss. After reading the side effects, I told her under no circumstance was she to take that pill. So she didn’t. Months later, her doctor pushed it on her again, and something made her do it. She soon endured almost every single one of the “rare” side effects and she thought she was dying. Maybe she will listen to me more often!

Stories like this happen all the time. You probably have a few yourself. The point is, what is wrong with you has a reason and a solution. Prescription drugs are not the solution. Your body is not working properly because of something you are doing (or not doing); it is not breaking because it needs prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry has us believing that we need a pill for every ache and pain. Not so! If you really need a good scare, I suggest you get Dr. Strand’s book, Death by Prescription.

Breaking the Habit

If you are dependent on prescription drugs, you need to look at each one and examine why you are taking it. Likely, you are taking some to relieve the side effects of others. Do you even know the side effects? Look at the ones you don’t think you can live without, and find out what you need to do naturally to get rid of your “disease.” Start at Appendix A. Do everything else as described above. Do it consistently! Then, go to your doctor. He may say that the medication is working. It isn’t. It’s the changes you have made. If you have high blood pressure, have your doctor wean you off of your drugs slowly once you suspect it is coming down on its own. Get your own blood pressure kit and check it regularly.

There is a possibility that you will still need certain medications. The goal is to take as few as possible. One that you should not take EVER is cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs, statins, do more harm than good, especially considering that half the people who die from heart disease have totally normal cholesterol! You can learn all about cholesterol, statins and their side effects in Dr. Ladd McNamara’s book The Cholesterol Conspiracy.

What am I saying?

Start looking for natural solutions to fixing what is wrong with your body. Take care of it to prevent prescription drug use. And take care of it to stop prescription drug use (when your doctor says it’s okay.) We have been duped into believing that drugs make us well, when in fact, drugs only make us sicker.

Now What?

You are probably STILL wondering where to start. Perhaps you know a few things now that you didn’t realize before. Maybe you were already doing some, but not all of these things. Wherever you are, start something. Start somewhere; start anywhere.

I personally believe that everyone should start at Appendix A. But that might be something you “can’t afford” (read: “don’t want to spend the money on”) because you don’t think it will work for you. I know otherwise, but we all learn at our own pace, so it will hit you one day just like it did me! Start with the things you are willing to do now, and work your way down the entire list. I suggest changing your foods over to healthy options and weeding out the junk in your cupboards. Don’t do this to lose weight. Do this to get healthy. The weight will adjust accordingly, but you are looking for a healthy body, which is much more important than what your scale says this week, or next week, or next month. You know as well as I do that the scale not moving fast enough for you will be discouraging because we all want immediate gratification. Focus instead on how you feel, your energy level, your ability to think more clearly, etc. Those things will happen fairly quickly.

Increasing your water intake will make a big difference as well. I suggest doing these things before starting an exercise program. Certainly don’t change everything all at one time. Approximately two weeks after improving your eating and water intake would be a good time to start exercising (as long as you have your doctor’s permission).

You will not get your sexy genes back overnight. It took years to develop poor health, and it will take time to get healthy again. Look for the little victories daily, and remind yourself that everything you are doing is paying off. If you have children at home, now is the best time to change your habits and change theirs as well. Of course they won’t like it at first, but they will quickly get over it. I promise, they will!

What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?

That is the title of my favorite Peanuts video, which I try to watch every Memorial Day. And it is a fitting question here. What have we learned? Until we change and make our own discoveries, learning has not occurred. The words above are simply words on a page and have no meaning until they are implemented. And a word of caution: I barely touched on these topics. While I didn’t want this book to seem incomplete, I didn’t want to freak anyone out. Nor did I want this writing to take 5 years, when I know people who need the information TODAY. As you begin your own healthy living adventure, you will discover other interesting and useful information. You will also come across a LOT of information that contradicts each other. Whether you believe in a sixth sense or the Hand of God guiding your decisions (or both) you will find your way through and you will make the right decisions for your body and your life. The only thing you shouldn’t do is nothing. Doing nothing never got nobody nowhere. Or something like that. Be good, and take care of those sexy genes!

Appendix A

I’m glad you made it to Appendix A! This is where you really should start, but I didn’t make it the main focus of the book because I understand that some people really can’t afford the nutritional supplements that we all need. It is sad that our health really does come down to whether or not we can afford to take care of it, and most of us choose drugs and doctors because our insurance or Medicaid pays for it. But I must say now that if you really want good health until the day that you die, you must find a way to afford nutritional supplements.

If you have any health problems at all, you should start with nutritional supplements.. We personally know people who are alive today only because of vitamin-mineral supplements. Do not think that your health problems are more serious and cannot be solved. They can. You may not believe in nutritional supplements because they are not all equal. You may even know someone who took them daily for decades and ended up very sick anyway.

I dragged my feet until I was nearly knocked on my back by allergies for over two weeks. My 3 year old was getting his first bout of allergies and asthma after suffering from respiratory problems since birth. I had just learned about the supplements, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try them. I was amazed at the results. We have been taking them ever since and we have been much healthier on them. We no longer have allergies or asthma and it has been two years!

When I first sat down to write this book, I was involved with a company that sold nutritional supplements. We did take them for about a decade, but due to financial constraints, we have switched to a product that I have discovered is very close in quality and in the results we see, but less than half the price. You can see the nutritional supplements we take and our experience with them. I'm sure there are others that would help as well, but we have stuck with what we know. No matter what vitamins you want to take, you should do your research online and see what's in them.

Appendix B- Additional Resources

Here are the resources already mentioned above as well as additional resources we thought would be useful to you.

Healthy for Life Book by Dr. Ray Strand
Sugar and Cancer Article by The Alternative Medicine Research Foundation (non profit research group)
146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., www.nancyappleton.com, author of Lick The Sugar Habit
Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About Book by Kevin Trudeau
Sweet Poison Website discussing aspartame poisoning and symptoms related to it as well as cleansing the body.
The Six Dangers of Common Beef, and How to Avoid Them Article by By Dr. Joseph Mercola with Rachael Droege
Raw Milk Info  
Organic Video 1 Videos about organic farming with Richard Lentz, Founder and President of SeaGate
Organic Video 2  
Raised Bed Organic Gardening An introduction to raised bed organic gardening
Fluoride Resources on the danger of fluoride and why it should not be supplemented
Water Comparisons Different water treatment and effectiveness
Water distillers Where to buy water distillers
Cost Comparison- Home Distilled and Bottled Water Compare the prices in distilling your water at home and purchasing bottled water
Books on Water for Health Books describing the importance of drinking water and the best water for the body.
Benefits of Rebounding 33 Benefits of Rebounding
Find a Natural Hormone Doctor  
What's In You? While body burden lab tests are prohibitively expensive, you can take this simple "virtual" body burden test to learn about the industrial chemicals are likely to be in you
Breast Cancer Action Cosmetic companies and cancer
Growing Up On Chemicals: Our Children’s Toxic Environment Excellent article by Jane Sheppard
Nutritional Supplements Nutritional supplements that everyone should be taking
Cosmetics without Parabens and phthalates Cosmetic companies that don’t use Parabens or phthalates in their products
Non-toxic cleaning products Learn how to make your own cleaning products at home
Airwise Air Purifier Purchase your own Airwise air purifier and breathe easier!
Shower Filter Purchase your own Showerwise shower filter
http://yourmedicalsource.com/content/how-does-stress-affect-body
http://www.floatation.co.za/Stress.htm
Stress Resources
Sleeping Getting the Sleep You Need: Sleep Stages, Sleep Tips and Aids
Mercola.com Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 225,000 Deaths Every Year
Death by Prescription Simple guidelines to help readers protect themselves and their families from suffering adverse reactions to prescription medication.
The Cholesterol Conspiracy Touted as the best treatment for high cholesterol, Dr. McNamara sheds light on the adverse effects statins have on the body and what the pharmaceutical industry won’t tell you about reducing the risk of heart disease.
Cure Your Asthma in Just One Week Become Naturally Free From Asthma with a safe, fast-working and drug-free treatment proven by clinical trials. With the report, you can start the home program immediately.
Natural Cancer Treatments Learn about more than 350 drug-free, alternative cancer treatments used by thousands to aid their recovery from cancer.
Janet Hull’s Detox Program Ebook on How To Prevent Radiation, Heavy Metals, Mercury, and Food Chemicals From Destroying Your Health
Natural High Blood Pressure Solutions Lower Your Blood Pressure, Eliminate Ghastly Prescription-Pill Expenses, And Maintain A Totally Stress-Free Life!
Sanoviv Medical Center A licensed medical hospital and health retreat that strives to eliminate toxins that inhibit the body's ability to heal. The Sanoviv medical team is a highly experienced, internationally trained group of physicians, nutritionists, psychologists, and fitness experts committed to treating your whole being: mind, body and soul.
Breast Cancer Action Organization that educates consumers about toxins in personal care products and their effects on breast cancer. A great place to get informed and advocate for prevention.
Food News Everything you wanted to forget (and no longer can) about pesticides in food and why you should buy organic or “safe” foods.
Better Basics “Better Basics” for Non-toxic Living- a website full of information on healthy living