It always saddens me to hear people say this, because the reality is…it’s expensive to be sick. The CDC reports that in America, 7 out of 10 deaths a year are from chronic diseases, with over 50% of all deaths from heart disease, stroke, and cancer. These are the leading causes of death, AND the most preventable diseases. Also according to the CDC, coronary heart disease alone was projected to cost the nation over 108 BILLION dollars in 2010. If you wind up with heart disease, you lose money if you can’t work because of it, you have to pay for medications, doctors visits, procedures, etc. And if you don’t have decent (or any) health insurance? This is the crisis we’re in.
So when people get sticker shock over the cost of real food, or quality supplements, you have to think of it in terms of spending now or spending way more later in money AND quality of life, happiness, security. Taking Omega-3′s every day, drinking water over sweetened drinks, and eating as much organic food as possible now will drastically lower your odds of having to take medications, or worse, down the line. We’ll scrunch our noses and pass up a bottle of super-food nutritional supplement because it costs $40 (or about $1 per serving), and then spend $4 a day on a coffee at Starbucks. People who WANT to be healthy, and who are genuinely interested in feeling better do this. The reality is, we’ve become a culture who’s only interested in the here and now. We’re not interested in gradual changes, and we think we’re immune to degeneration from our current daily habits because most of us don’t notice the subtle decline in health until it gets to a point of obvious disease and malfunctioning.
People, we have to stop living for instant gratification. Instant gratification is killing us. And it’s costing you and the nation serious money.
It may seem like staying healthy comes at a cost, and in a way… it does. My grocery bills would probably be less if I didn’t include supplements or much of the organic produce I buy in them. However, I do not buy juice, or soda, or frozen meals, or bags of chips and pretzels to keep around the house. There is no steady supply of ice cream in the freezer, or 6 boxes of Honey This, Cocoa That cereals in the pantry. The foods we have in the house are for the most part, simple staples that can be jazzed up with varying healthy condiments when we want a little something extra out of them. So, does it wind up balancing out for me? Would I spend what I spend now if I included the Standard American Diet staples into my grocery cart without my vitamins and organic apples and celery? I’m not entirely sure, but I can tell you this: it’s worth every penny extra if it still costs me $5 more per grocery bag than the typical American might spend. It’s worth not having the horrible allergies I had as an adolescent. It’s worth not having the eczema that tried to consume me in my mid twenties. It’s worth having a healthy self esteem about my body when it seems like everyone around you is unhappy with the way they look. It’s worth it to know that the choices I make today can help encourage others to go down the same path I’ve explored the past 7 years and lead them to a better place.
So, yes it may seem expensive to be healthy, but put things in perspective and assess your priorities. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you have to spend everything you would have spent on vegetables on life-saving procedures or risky medications with 47 possible side effects.
THAT is not worth it.