Your most valuable possession is your health
“The race is long, but in the end it’s only with yourself.” – Line from the song Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann
Twenty years ago, Baz Luhrmann released his pop song Everybody’s Free, which was a 7-minute spoken word poem set to instrumental music, offering advice on health and happiness, which stressed above all else, wear sunscreen. The ultimate point of the song is that you’ll be much happier if you take care of your physical and mental well-being. Good heath is a wonderful thing to have, but it’s not a given. You still need to do the right things to care for your body if you wish to live a long life.
There are no certainties in life except death and taxes. I can’t explain why some people live to a hundred while others die at fifty. My father was a few weeks short of his 58th birthday when he passed away. He was overweight, smoked, drank, and didn’t exercise or eat the healthiest of foods. Clean living and exercise won’t guaranty that you live a long life, but they will drastically improve your odds. Because of advancements in health, medicine, and nutrition, people are living longer. Now I wasn’t even born fifty years ago, BUT by living a healthy, active lifestyle, there is a chance that I may yet still be alive fifty years from now.
This is 2018, fifty years ago it was 1968.
In 1968 these were some of the prices:
Average annual income–$7,844
Gallon of gas–$0.33
Gallon of milk–$1.21
Loaf of bread–$0.22
Now compare those with today’s prices. Imagine how expansive everything will be fifty years from now. I often hear people complaining about how expensive their prescription medication is. Imagine the cost of these medications fifty years from now. And now imagine if you required them because you failed to take preventative steps today to improve all aspects of your total lifestyle. This is why you have to not only take care of your finances, but your health as well.
As you know, in two prior blog posts, I covered the both the possibilities that your money might not last as long as you do, and the opposite where sudden death robs you of a well-deserved retirement. The THIRD item which you should be concerned about is your health. The most valuable possession you have is your health, and in many cases once it’s gone all the money in the world can’t replace it. This is why along with improving your financial situation, and increasing your knowledge base, you should be taking every step you can to achieve your healthiest physical potential. Just as living to a ripe old age with no money is a miserable existence, so is being so unhealthy that you can’t partake or enjoy activities that require you to be physically fit. Being the best you should encompass EVERY aspect of your life.
But health food and exercise equipment are expensive.
If you think health food and exercise equipment cost too much to fit into your budget, consider how expensive it is to be unhealthy and sickly. According to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) There are more obese US adults than those who are just overweight. Almost half the population of the US is overweight, BUT nearly one third of adults are obese. If a person’s body weight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he or she is considered obese. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.
Being overweight is expensive. Clothes cost more for one. When traveling on a plane, you may be required to pay for a second seat. You may require a certain model of car because you can’t fit into a compact model. Limited mobility from extreme obesity may require a person to need a motorized power chair for even short trips. You may need a handicap accessible house with special facilities and ramps. Have you noticed how many grocery stores and department stores like Wal-Mart have increased the number of handicapped parking spaces and have started providing motorized shopping carts? Next consider the secondary illnesses triggered from living an unhealthy lifestyle. Everything from high blood pressure and heart disease to adult onset diabetes. All of these require treatment with medications, which can be each have side-effects requiring additional medications to correct. Taking all of this into account, what’s REALLY more expensive? How much more expensive will it be fifty years from now?
First off, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol. These are expensive and bad habits that only deprive you of your health and wealth. If you are doing these unhealthy things, for God’s sake please quit doing them today. Then apply the money you same towards your new healthier lifestyle. You can always find ways to fit healthier alternatives into your budget. Secondly I’ve been a vegetarian since college. Ovo-lacto, NOT VEGAN. And no, I have no intention of going vegan either. I like my milk products, eggs and honey far too much. Going vegetarian will cut your grocery bill while improving your health. Meat is expensive and not really good for you either.
“Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”– nutritionist Victor Lindlahr
The shorter the ingredients list is, the better off you are.
Many of today’s groceries are filled with preservatives, chemicals, fillers, and dyes. Also they are overly processed and sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Some still even have trans-fats. No wonder diabetes and obesity are rampant in our country. We’ve become a nation of junk-food junkies.
I’m not going to tell you that healthier food doesn’t cost more than junk food, but good health is PRICELESS! The extra money you are spending for organic, non-GMO, ‘health’ foods, and supplements may seem pricey at first, but imagine how much better off you’re going to be in your golden years when you aren’t wasting all your money on dozens of medications to combat all the future health issues you prevented by living a healthy style today. Not all of the food-swaps you will be more expensive. Bottled spring water is cheaper than soda. V8 vegetable juice is good for you and has less calories per serving than soda or fruit juice. An orange or a banana are cheaper than most candy bars. Better for you too. Ditch white bread altogether! It’s one of the worst foods out there. Switch to wraps such as Flatout flatbreads, or sprouted grain breads like Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Bread, or Dave’s Killer Bread, the #1 best-selling organic, whole grain, Non-GMO Project Verified bread available. They even have bagels!
I usually like eating a PB&J sandwich for lunch, and when I do I ONLY use the BEST peanut butter Crazy Richard’s (which has ONE ingredient: PEANUTS), and my favorite pepper jam from Jacky’s Jams and Jellies. Jacky’s Jams are handmade, all natural, fat free and no gluten added. Also no preservatives or food coloring added. Just a few simple ingredients.
Here’s some other suggestions you can do to improve your health:
Keep track of where you are in your journey to better health
Most successful fitness enthusiasts keep a fitness journal. This can list everything from the days you exercise to your weight or what you eat. I’ve been recording my weight weekly for years. Having something to chart my progress really helps to keep track of where I am, where I was, and where I want to be.
Add supplements to your diet
A multi-vitamin can help supplement some of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. You decide what’s right for you. Just be mindful of the dosages. Some discount vitamins may not pack as much punch, or lack potency due to inferior contents. Do your research and always remember that you get what you pay for.
Look into Chiropractic care
I’ve been seeing a chiropractor regularly for years. I feel they are essential to good health, a credit them for my lack of back and neck pain. Again you decide if this route is good for you.
Treat yourself to a massage to release toxins and improve circulation. I go monthly for a 90-minute full body massage. It’s worth the expense and I feel wonderful.
“You can do it.”– Fitness guru Tony Little
Join a gym.
The average monthly cost of a gym membership in the US is about $40 a month. Look around, there are some discount gyms out there. Planet Fitness offers memberships for as little as $10 a month. I have the Black Level membership which has a few extra perks and just cost $21.99 a month. I like the fact that they are open ’24/5′ M-F, 7am to 7pm Sat & Sun. It fits my busy schedule. The advantage of joining a gym is that you’re not buying expensive exercise equipment that you’re only going to use a few times and then hid in the basement.
Of course you can always do sit-ups, push-ups and jog for free.
No matter what you do, the only way to effectively lose weight is to eat right, eat less, and exercise.
Look what’s for dinner!
Skip eating out, fast foods, or frozen microwave dinners. Cook fresh healthy meals at home. Subscribe to a meal-kit delivery service. They deliver the meals to your door in kit form. You just follow the recipe and do the cooking yourself, all the ingredients are provided (excluding butter, cooking oil, salt and pepper). There are four major meal-kit delivery services that I know of in the USA. FULL DISCLOSURE: The ONLY one I have used is Hello Fresh. Some of my friends and co-workers have tried the others. I am one-thousand per cent satisfied with the vegetarian menu from Hello Fresh. I had a discount code to try it, (most do) and I decided to give Hello Fresh a try for one month to see if I liked it. I didn’t need a month. ONE BOX was all it took. I have cooked some of the most amazing, healthy, flavorful meals I have ever eaten. I URGE you to try a meal-kit delivery service, and I will let you chose which is right for you. They all appear to have similar offerings, websites, and prices. Most run about $60 a week for three two-person meals. As I am single, I usually cook the meal, eat one serving and have the second serving the next day as leftovers. Because you’re dealing with fresh foods, you MUST cook the entire three meals within five days max. If you decide to try Hello Fresh, use my promo code EXPRESSOM to get $40 off your first box.
Four Popular Meal Kit Services Listed In Alphabetical Order.
I have been using Hello Fresh now for three weeks. I have cooked some amazing meals.
This is in the Hello Fresh box. Three recipe cards, some promotional offers, and a big insulated cold bag with an ice pack containing, three 2-person meals, each meal separated in a smaller paper bag.
This is the contents of one bag, the Yellow Squash Flatbreads meal.
Here’s the finished meal. Delicious!
Who needs to go to a restaurant when you can cook fine meals like this at home? Fresh herbs, fresh ingredients, few if any preservatives. If you have basic cooking skills and a basic assortment of kitchen utensils, pots and pans, you can cook these meals easily in about 30-50 minuets, prep time included. Discover what great food tastes like.
Another benefit of the meal kit is that it helps teach you portion control. The caloric information per serving is listed on the recipe cards. As each meal makes exactly two servings, you become accustomed to what is a healthy amount of food. Binge eating is disastrous to your health. Like I said, I cook the two person meal and eat the second serving the next day for dinner as left overs. So my three meal Hello Fresh box is providing me almost a full week of healthy dinners.
Again, all of these suggestions are just that, suggestions. Only you can decide what’s right for you. Fitting all of the above into your budget may be tricky and take time depending on your financial situation, but neglecting your health all together will prove to be far more expensive in medical costs decades from now. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. As always, I wish you happiness and success!