The First Steps to Health

By Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards
June 19, 2014 Updated: June 20, 2014

When someone shows interest in natural health, the first question is often, “Where do I start?” Organic food is often prohibitively expensive or hard to find, and there are thousands of supplements pushed, each marketed with its one promise to magically cure what ails us. It can be overwhelming, and getting started is, for many people, the toughest part.

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that there are some very easy, relatively inexpensive steps almost anyone can take to holistically improve their health.

The bad news is that health and vitality is not to be found in a bottle or some other form of packaging.

I, the owner of Green Lifestyle Market, a company that sells supplements, am here to tell you that if you’re looking for a quick fix, an item you can purchase and consume to allow you to continue living a toxic lifestyle, this is the wrong article. And anyone who tells you that you can get all of your daily nutrition in one shake, smoothie, pill, or powder is only trying to sell you something.

Drink Lots of Good Water

I weigh 210 pounds and I try to drink a gallon of water a day. I need less water when I eat more raw produce, but I still shoot for a gallon of water a day. I get spring water when I can, fresh from a spring that I trust. But if you don’t have access to a spring, or if you have a seriously compromised immune system, distilled water could be a better choice, initially. Just make sure you’re not drinking a gallon of tap water a day. Tap water is toxic, and fluoridated water is a crime against humanity.

Sometimes just plain water is boring. I usually make cranberry stevia lemonade. I take fresh lemons and pure bottled cranberry juice and sweeten it with stevia. For more, check out our Stevia Lemonade with Cayenne within our Cheap and Easy Detox Diet Plan article.

I find that this lemonade is easier to drink when I am not feeling particularly thirsty, and there are tons of health benefits! The lemon and the cranberry help flush out toxins and balance the body’s pH while providing you with electrolytes and other nutrients.

Epoch Times Photo

Eat More Raw Fresh Produce

I eat a huge salad almost every day. If I make rice and beans, I add avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and shredded carrots right on top. If I eat soup I add shredded and diced vegetables right before eating. When I snack, I choose fruit and vegetables. I eat red bell peppers like other people eat apples. Approximately 80% of my diet (by bulk) is raw fresh produce. Check out my salad recipe in that article, too.

As the editor and chief of Organic Lifestyle Magazine, I am telling you that “organic” is not the most important thing.

When you’re shopping for produce, if you can afford it, and if it is available, buy organic. By all means, this is very important and you will feel the difference. But when choosing between organic frozen carrots and fresh conventional carrots, I’m picking fresh almost every time. I draw the line at genetically modified foods. To understand what foods to be aware of in order to avoid GMOs, read our Foods that are GMO article.

Cut Out These Foods



Soy should not be consumed unless first fermented and not genetically modified. Over 99% of the soy we consume is terrible for our health. Soy naturally has enzyme inhibitors that wreck havoc on our hormones. The way Asians were eating it for thousands of years included fermentation, which nullifies the enzyme inhibitors. This is why health nuts soak and sprout their nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Like soy, conventional corn and potatoes that you find in your grocery store are almost always GMO and should be avoided.


There are two problems with wheat. The first problem is that through our farming practices we have genetically modified the gluten protein. This is not to be confused with what we call GMOs. Hybridization is the practice of cross-pollinating plants. For instance, the bananas we eat today are hybrids. They are nothing like the bananas of our ancestors. So, at a genetic level the bananas and every other food we eat today are actually genetically modified, but this is not the same thing as what we refer to as GMOs.

So while our hybrid practices has made much of our food more palatable and more nutritious, it has changed the gluten protein in wheat into something we cannot properly digest.

In addition to the modified gluten, we also do not make bread the way we used to. Our technique for making bread included a fermentation process using lactobacillus bacteria that broke down the gluten proteins and rendered the wheat digestible, or we would soak and sprout the wheat before making the bread.

For most people, cutting out wheat in their diet yields amazing vitality. Try it for a week and you’re bound to notice a difference.

Refined Foods

Your food should give you nutrition. But refined foods rob your body of nutrition. Consuming white rice, for instance, is acidic. Your body uses minerals to balance out the acidity in order to keep your body’s blood at a slightly alkaline pH. If not, you’re dead. So every time you eat white rice, you’re robbing your body of alkalinizing minerals to maintain this balance. Brown rice has these alkaline minerals. This is true for white flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and almost any other refined food. Eat whole foods that have all of their nutrition. Once your taste buds adjust, you won’t even be able to stand the refined crap everyone else ingests. It’s very much like quitting smoking. You wonder how you ever put up with the smell, because now it makes you sick!


Some people tolerate raw (unpasteurized, un-homogenized) cow’s milk from grassfed healthy cows very well. Others don’t.  But nobody does well on conventional dairy products. It’s not natural. And milk is a very poor, toxic source of calcium. If you’re looking for calcium, eat green vegetables.

Epoch Times Photo


We are meant to squat. We squatted to go to the bathroom, we squatted to hide from prey, we squatted to hide from predators, we squatted to keep our asses off the ground while relaxing, we squatted many, many times day. In the wild, if we couldn’t squat, we didn’t have much more time to live. Squatting is the most important exercise you can do. It even helps detoxify the body. It puts gentle pressure on your organs while aligning them properly to help eliminate waist. Squatting can even help with several ailments including constipation, kidney infections, back pain, and even baby malposition during labor.

We should all be able to do 100 squats in a row, going all the way down. Most people can’t do 10.

If you cannot squat, try get-ups. Lay down on the floor. Get up. Lay back down on the floor.  Alternate the leg you use to get up.

If you can’t do get-ups, sit in a chair, and stand, and sit, and stand some more. Try to use your legs as much as possible while using your arms and momentum as little as possible.


Many people read an article like this and ask with disdain, “So what can I eat?” There are so many choices out there. But the problem is not so much a lack of choice as it is a lack of convenience. You’re not going to get healthy nutrition from packaged, processed, easy foods. If you want fast food, that’s what fruit is for. But if you’re making dinner and you want to prepare a healthy meal, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make a meal from scratch using whole, unadulterated foods.

There are so many other things you can do for your health. For instance, a huge step you can take is growing your own food. If you can do this, the return on your investment will be a bit slow, but hugely rewarding once realized. But for most people, nothing else need be done until these steps are first realized.

*Images of “squat“, “strawberries” and “footsteps” via Shutterstock