The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide on how to prevent disease, lose weight, improve energy and live vibrantly.

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Change Your Lifestyle for Health

My Story
In 1990 my life changed forever—and for the better—when I decided to adopt a strictly vegan vegetarian diet after reading Diet For A New America by John Robbins. A vegan (pronounced vee-gan) vegetarian doesn’t eat anything that comes from animal sources, including meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Within months of adopting this lifestyle I lost 40 pounds, my health improved, my energy and stamina increased and I became a lot more pleasant to be around! At the time, I thought that being vegetarian was enough to keep me healthy. Several years later, though, I discovered organic farming, macrobiotic eating, botanical body care, whole food supplements, natural medicine, holistic dentistry, non-toxic cleaning supplies, natural foods stores, and so on, until I was firmly rooted in what is now termed “natural living.”

My interest in this lifestyle continued to climb, and by 1999 I had read dozens of books and scanned hundreds of Web sites on the topic. I applied what I learned to my daily living, with great success, and decided I wanted to share with others what I had discovered. In June of 2000, while living in Bozeman, Montana, I was inspired to launch and publish a natural living magazine, even though I had no prior publishing experience. By August of 2002 I had successfully launched, published and sold two advertiser-supported magazines devoted to natural living—one in Montana, the other in Seattle. Over the course of those two years I distributed 16 issues with a combined circulation of over 250,000. Today, the Montana Natural Life News & Directory—with a current bi-monthly circulation of 12,000—continues to thrive and grow under new ownership. Unfortunately, the Seattle-based EcoVision Journal folded after I sold it.

Meanwhile, I have turned my attention toward putting my knowledge and experience into this book, which is the result of thousands of hours of research and practical application, as well as feedback from friends, clients, magazine readers, and professionals from diverse fields within the natural/holistic lifestyle community.

Natural Living Principles
The principles of natural living are based on the belief that there is a divine intelligence behind the operation of the body, as well as all of life. When given the right conditions, divine intelligence heals, rejuvenates and facilitates vibrant health. Conversely, when given the wrong conditions, divine intelligence is unable to operate properly, and sickness and disease can take hold. This book is about understanding both the right and wrong conditions that can lead to vibrant health or degenerative disease.

There is perhaps no greater way to understand divine intelligence than to observe the workings of nature, which is where the word “natural” in natural living comes from. Accordingly, natural living lifestyle adherents consciously choose to use products and services that are as close to nature as possible (e.g., in their original state), including food, remedies and philosophies; and they avoid products, services and philosophies that are not in harmony with nature (e.g., poisonous or slightly toxic substances found in most of today’s food, beauty and cleaning products, conventional cleaners, etc.).

Each chapter in this book focuses on a specific topic that will help you join the growing number of people living (and loving!) a natural lifestyle.

Live Naturally: Improve Your Health Today

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Lifestyle Choices for Health
There is a philosophy to the natural living lifestyle: we have the power to create either right or wrong conditions for the divine intelligence flowing through us. The goal is to make choices that encourage the right conditions and diminish the wrong conditions. Based on my research and personal application of these principles, here is an outline of the right conditions, which are the foundation of this book:

• Don’t consistently pollute the body with minute amounts of toxins.
Chapters 1 and 2

• Detoxify the body of chemical toxins and biological pathogens.
Chapters 7 and 8

• Feed the body the highest quality nutrient-dense food available.
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the Appendix

• Choose plant-based (botanical) body care and household products for their safety and effectiveness.
Chapter 4

• Use nutrient-dense supplements to ensure maximum nutrition.
Chapter 6

• Exercise for energy, weight management, confidence and detoxification.
Chapter 8

• Build the “life force energy” in the body for maximum endurance, poise and power. (In Oriental medicine this life force energy is known as “chi.” It runs through all living things, and its unblocked flow through the body ensures optimal health.)
Chapter 9

• Utilize holistic dentistry, holistic medicine and holistic remedies to address the root cause of health issues and to support and facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Question toxic medicine, which manages symptoms with drugs or surgery, sometimes suppressing natural bodily functions, and prolonging problems indefinitely.
Chapters 10 and 11

• Continue to learn, and apply, the teachings of experts in the field of natural living.
Chapter 4, Resources and the Bibliography

• Apply these principles simultaneously for a comprehensive multi-dimensional upgrading of your health or remedying of problem conditions.

There are a wide variety of resources available that teach certain aspects of natural living. While most of them delve into a narrow range of specific topics, I have chosen to give you an overview of the essentials of multiple topics. I want you to get the “big picture” so you can quickly embark on the natural living lifestyle. This book will bring you up to speed on most of the issues so you can intelligently choose the best course of action for yourself and your family. Once you have this overview and embark on the natural living lifestyle path, consider gaining more in-depth knowledge about these topics by reading the selected resources I highlight and hyperlink throughout the book (this book is available in both print and e-book formats), or read some of the many sources of information found in the Resources and Bibliography.

The Media, Government Agencies and Big Business
By the time you finish reading this book, I suspect you will see that big profits, inordinate power and systemic corruption can cloud the judgment of many who set governmental policies, practice medicine, report on health-related issues or develop and sell products. Most of what you will read in this book is not reported in the mainstream media because the mainstream media is owned and controlled by its advertisers: pharmaceutical giants, multi-national biotech food companies, chemical producers, medical conglomerates and the like. The media follows the lead of their advertisers, otherwise advertising dollars would be yanked and the media empires would collapse.

Governmental agencies such as the FDA and the USDA are very heavily influenced by the well-financed multinational corporations who have a vested interest in their profitable products, even if they are not good for us. Governmental agencies don’t always provide their intended protection and can be hoodwinked into allowing harmful products onto the market. Worse still, truly helpful, safe and effective natural therapies are often locked into legal constraints that make it difficult, or illegal, for consumers to obtain them. I discuss this at length in Chapter 10. [For an excellent discourse on how natural remedies have been and are being deliberately suppressed, read John Robbin’s Reclaiming Our Health.] 

Sadly, this brings us to the allopathic medical establishment, which makes more money by keeping us slightly sick (with drug management) than from following effective natural cures. The use and discussion of natural medicine is heavily discouraged and even mocked among their ranks, as you’ll soon discover. [In reference to allopathic medicine, I’m referring only to the standard treatments of degenerative disease, not for the acute care of trauma-induced injuries from accidents or corrective surgery due to birth defects and such, as allopathic medicine is quite helpful in these circumstances.]

Your best protection is education, and I don’t mean from your family M.D., TV nightly news, the daily newspaper or weekly magazines. Rather, check out my Resources and Bibliography (in the printed book version) for Web sites and books and I highly recommend. John Robbins is one of my favorite authors in this regard, and there are plenty of other writers and sources offering sound, practical and well-researched advice for the natural living lifestyle. The book section of any natural foods store is a great place to continue your education in these matters.

Finally, living a natural lifestyle is easier than you think, and very rewarding. Everything discussed in this book is easy to do, once you form the habit. In the Conclusion I put everything together for you so you can quickly and easily begin the natural living lifestyle—for better health, happiness and prosperity!

>>> Continue to Chapter 1: Pure Water