Health & Wealth

 

Do you have to be wealthy to stay healthy? Many people believe they can’t afford healthier options because at first glance, organic produce, higher quality prepared foods, and alternative health modalities appear more expensive. But fiber rich, nutrient dense food is almost always the best bargain for your health and wallet. For example, the plant based option in restaurants is always less expensive than the meat and fish, sometimes by half. When cooking at home, you can feed your whole family for a few dollars with delicious, infinite variations of beans, rice, and veggies.

Not only that, but healthier choices are becoming less and less expensive as they become more mainstream and widely available. There are so many organic products at discount stores like BJ’s, Target, Cosco, and Walmart making it more affordable than ever to eat abundant whole, plant foods. You can get fresh pressed, unpasteurized green juices in most Target stores now! Also, alternative health care modalities like chiropractic are getting better coverage by insurance companies.

Families that embrace good nutrition and natural health save big time on copays and medical bills. In our families, we can count on one hand the times we needed over the counter or prescription medication or went to the doctor for anything besides well checkups and the occasional sports injury. We also save time, miss less work and school, and most importantly, enjoy feeling our best!

Not only do you save money on the usual pesky annoyances like colds, flu, ear infections, cavities, etc, but you save long term by avoiding the big chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Reams of studies have proven beyond a doubt that nutrition and self care make a huge impact on disease risk. Check out inspiring health documentaries like Forks over Knives, Food Matters, Hungry for Change, What the Health, or Fed Up. Most are available on Netflix or YouTube.

In the US, kids at younger and younger ages are getting the chronic diseases previously associated with old age. Children as young as 10 are getting Type 2 diabetes (previously called “adult onset” diabetes) and atherosclerosis. So US children are going to become patients at a much earlier age, requiring expensive drugs and medical interventions for many more years than ever before. No matter what insurance system we end up with, this is unsustainable from a broader perspective. It may be our patriotic duty to care for our health at this point!

One last thought… It’s interesting that many people who are reluctant to spend a couple extra dollars on organic produce don’t bat an eyelash for expensive {unhealthy} restaurant meals, alcoholic beverages, daily Starbucks, etc. Is there an overall trend in your spending that could be shifted towards healthier options? You could upgrade some choices (for example, getting the veggie stir fry instead of the steak) or set some parameters to limit spending on unhealthy options (for example, getting Starbucks once a week instead of five days a week). Let’s invest in our health rather than subsidize illness!

Photo credit: Rachael Mair

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