Quick Start Guide to Good Health: Part 3 of the Good Health Series

By Cynthia DeWitte

Are you drinking coffee just to get going in the morning? Are you still tired at noon? Do you crash in the afternoon? Are you overweight and nothingcitrus in glass bowlseems to stop the scale from going higher? Do you have an auto-immune disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, renal disease, diabetes, heart disease or any other illness that is creeping up on you? Your problems may be a lot easier to resolve than you think. The following guidelines are a start to good health. Following these guidelines will give you a base of healthy habits for your body to use for healing and restoration. In some cases, things may be so out of balance that drastic measures or medical intervention may be required, but until you provide your body with what it needs to be healthy, you will not have the optimal environment to achieve good health through any means. 

Good health starts with proper nutrition, exercise, avoiding toxins, and caring for emotional and spiritual well-being. Here is something to chew on – If medication works to alleviate symptoms of disease and sometimes brings about cure, wouldn’t it make sense that good nutrition would have an even greater impact on alleviating symptoms and curing illness? A nutrient saturated diet contains all the building blocks the body needs for optimal health. There is a growing body of evidence that what we put into our bodies can hurt or heal. There are studies, books, research articles and anecdotal evidence showing a strong link between diet and many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, renal disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and even MS, fibromyalgia, and lupus. According to the research, many of these diseases can be corrected using the same dietary guidelines. Even some genetic conditions or conditions that appear to be genetic can often be corrected with nutritional and lifestyle modifications.  Below is a list of the basic modifications that have been shown to ward off disease and disability. 

Be encouraged! You can do this. At first it may seem like you are giving up a lot, but really you are only giving up what you are used to and trading it for something much better – Good Health. There are so many wonderful, delicious choices of healthy foods to eat. Feast on beautiful, flavorful foods full of health promoting goodness. You can eat right and still be happy and satisfied. With more energy and a sense of vitality, you will be able to enjoy your foods more fully knowing that good food choices are contributing to your happiness and well-being. If this seems too much all at once, start with one at a time and add to it over a period of a year. By the time a year has gone by, you will be surprised at how much you have accomplished.


Here is a list to get you started. The Good Health Series will cover these items in greater depth.

  • Drink at least eight 8 oz. cups of water per day. The bigger you are, the more water you need to drink. (Click here for  more information on water consumption.)
  • Increase vegetable and fruit consumption to nine cups per day. Don’t worry, there are many ways to do this that add flavor and interest to your meals. Your eyes will be opened to the countless selections available, along with interesting and appealing ways to enjoy them in many ways.
  • Learn to read labels, so you can recognize the items on this list that should be avoided.
  • Go organic whenever possible. Wash your vegetables before use, especially if you are not using organic. Place produce in a pot of cold water to cover vegetables and add ½ cup of vinegar. Soak for 10-30 minutes.
  • If possible eat meats from organic, grass fed animals. Wild game is excellent, including wild fish. Never eat tilapia.
  • Cut out all processed foods and refined carbohydrates. This includes processed meats, such as hot dogs and lunchmeat.
  • If you are eating grains, eat only whole grains.
  • Use only healthy oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, organic palm oil and organic coconut oil. Never use trans-fats, which are found in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils or are formed when heating certain oils. For example, if your oil smokes when you heat it, you have created a trans-fat and should start over with fresh oil. When shortening is needed, use organic palm oil.
  • Honey, maple syrup and some other unrefined natural sugars can be consumed in small amounts. Other than that, cut out sugar, including high fructose corn syrup and agave syrup.
  • Find out what you are allergic or intolerant to and cut it out of your diet and your life. Allergies cause inflammation, which is being studied extensively for all sorts of health problems.
  • If you don’t already know how, learn to cook. That is the best way to have a healthy diet. Relying on prepackaged foods can lead to sickness and disease. As this website is built, we will be adding information on learning to cook and will include recipes for healthy meals.
  • Cut out all artificial foods. Absolutely no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives. This would include most foods that come in a box. Watch out for fish with artificial colors.
  • Cut out fried foods. Fried foods are cooked at too high of a temperature which changes the make-up of the food into something that is unhealthy.
  • Cut out all GMO. Genetically modified organisms. Almost all corn and soy in our country is GMO. Organic is never GMO, so if you do eat corn, eat only organic.
  • Never eat microwave popcorn, not only is it probably GMO, but microwave popcorn has other ingredients that can make you sick. If you want to eat popcorn, buy organic and pop it on the stove or in a popcorn popper.
  • Avoid soy. There are many reasons to avoid soy, the fact that most soy is GMO is only the beginning.
  • Cut out soft drinks, including diet soda. There are a whole host of health problems associated with soft drinks. The sugar content is bad enough, but there are more issues with soda pop than the sugar.
  • Start an exercise program and begin to exercise at least four times per week. Start out slowly and work your way up. No need to be embarrassed by being out of shape. Don’t overdo or push yourself to injury. Take it easy and steadily increase the workout. If you are ill and cannot work out, do as much as your doctor allows, which could simply be getting up and walking around the living room a few times a day and working your way up to more as you are ready.
  • The key to all health could start with your spiritual life. The spiritual life has a significant impact on mental and emotional health, because it provides a sense of well-being, purpose and being loved. When the mind is set on well-being and is nurtured, it can impact all the systems in the body. Start by seeking God through prayer and ask Him to reveal Himself to you and to direct your paths.

Good Health: The Basics: Part 1 of the Good Health Series

Food: More Than Calories Count: Part 2 of the Good Health Series

Whole Foods and Real Foods: Part 4 of the Good Health Series

Mom Says, Eat Your Vegetables: Part 5 of the Good Health Series

Supersize Your Vegetables: Part 6 of the Good Health Series

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  • Willett, Walter C. “Balancing life-style and genomics research for disease prevention. (Viewpoint.)” Science 296.5568 (2002): 695+. Science In Context. Web. 16 June 2013 10.1126/science.1071055
  • http://www.gmo-compass.org
  • National Institute of General Sciences, The New Genetics: How Genes Work
  • Adam M Bernstein, Lawrence de Koning, Alan J Flint, Kathryn M Rexrode, and Walter C Willett; Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:1190–9 Soda Consumption and the Risk of Stroke in Men and Women

Article dedicated to Ellie-Mae Penner.

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