Natural Health Tips for Tight Times

We know it is too expensive to get sick, but is it too expensive to stay well? Healthcare expenses continue to absorb a larger and larger percentage of our budget, and financial times are already difficult enough. Costs are rocketing out of control, and even though the Supreme Court has put a period on the argument about who will be required to buy health insurance, the controversy over healthcare remains. With more and more people looking to cut corners, the question prevails: how can you stay healthy on a tight budget?

Does living a healthy lifestyle cost too much? When answering this question you must consider two sides of the equation: How much do healthy choices in food, personal care products and other household items cost when compared to their non-healthy counterparts? Also ask yourself, how does being sick affect your productivity and ability to earn money as well as your healthcare expenses? When you add up both sides, you soon recognize that you cannot afford to be sick. Staying healthy at any cost is infinitely less expensive than being ill!

To all those charged with stewarding their family’s health and their finances, be encouraged; there are options. This article is dedicated to everyone who is responsible for making wise health choices. The apostle Paul instructed, “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Here are some practical things you can do to become a wise manager.

Lower your shopping bill
Nutritious foods help you eat less because your nutritional thermostat, the part of your brain that regulates cravings, will quickly turn down your hunger and turn up your satiation hormones (satisfaction chemicals).The following tips can support a healthy lifestyle when finances are limited:
Invest your money in foods high in nutritional value like organic seeds, nuts, cold pressed oils (coconut, olive, flax), beans, rice and grains. These foods offer the lowest price per calorie and also give good nutritional intensity.

Purchase dry goods at bulk discounts and store them in food-grade air-tight containers.

Protect your organic produce by storing it in a cool and dry place.

Eat far less meats, fish and chicken, but when you do eat those sources of protein, buy only organic and grass-fed protein where available.
Use organic whole eggs which are an excellent source of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals and are not expensive.

Nearly as important as knowing which items to use, is recognizing which items to avoid
Don’t waste your dollars on packaged junk food.

Eat home-prepared meals as opposed to eating in restaurants or even store-prepared meals.

Stay away from processed sugar. It is the single most common damaging habit on the planet!

Avoid as many chemicals, toxins and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides.Replace them with non-toxic alternatives. The price of the negative health effects far outweighs the increased expense.

You can make inexpensive “homemade” non-toxic substitutes for many of your staple products; just check the internet for the recipes.

Easy cooking and food prep tips for making delicious healthy meals
Eat as much of the whole food you buy, raw. Consuming fruit and vegetables raw preserves the nutritional content.

Clean, chop and bag your produce in advance for ready use. It will save you from wasting all those items that get lost in the dark recesses of the fridge. Having salad items ready-to-go practically guarantees you will eat more live food and waste very little of your precious produce.
Prepare stews and soups. They are an inexpensive staple in a healthy, budget-conscious diet. Stews and soups are a fantastic way to use up those leftover veggies, and stretch a small piece of a high quality meat (which are nutritionally dense).

Invest a little time and bake your own bread. Fresh, organic, whole grains are under one dollar per pound and you can bake a loaf of bread for a fraction of the cost of store-bought ones, which are ten times more nutritious than store-bought bread. Don’t be intimidated; my ten-year-old son can do it without a recipe!

The cheapest way to  get organic
Buy local produce. There are plenty of local farmer’s markets where local organic farmers sell their fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and even meats all at super savings.

Eat from local trees where available. Florida is loaded with citrus, papaya, mango, avocado, coconut, and many other fruit trees.
Grow a small vegetable garden. It takes very little space to grow an abundance of produce.

Consider all you can do to lower your medical and life insurance bills
One hundred years ago there was a 5% rate of chronic disease in the United States. Today it is over 45 %.  A healthy lifestyle will eliminate practically every risk factor that makes you more prone to chronic disease, which is the greatest strain on our personal and national budgets. Try to:

Cut out the stimulants (alcohol, caffeine and tobacco); they are waste of money and are totally nutrient depleting.

Maximize your digestion by using enzymes (especially if you are over 40). Poor digestion is the most common health problem in the world and leads to every type of disease.

Poor farming practices and soil depletion have rendered even the best foods, nutrient deficient. Use an affordable super food. Super foods are inexpensive whole food concentrates that insure you are getting all of your basic nutrition.
Make sure you are getting your essential fatty acids, adequate sunshine and Vitamin D.

Stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. According to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, poisoning by prescription drugs has now surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need medications. Consequently, you will save a fortune over your lifetime of medical expenses.

Exercise programs you can do at home without expensive equipment
In June of 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a research paper that had some “not so shocking” conclusions. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic illnesses that can be prevented or improved if they simply participated in 20 minutes of heart-pumping cardiovascular exercise three to four times per week. It emphasizes how devastating to our health and budget it is to be overweight and how more than two-thirds of the U.S. population suffer. Obesity is the number one contributor to early death and costs hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Simple solution:

You can exercise and lose weight for FREE; how is that for “natural health on a budget”? Walking, swimming, biking, running, stretching and even resistance training with your own body weight can all be done at no cost.

The key is consistency and high intensity, not duration. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, fat burning, strength and energy.

Lose your fat while you save money
Since being fat is such a risk to your health and your wallet, let me give you a few tips to help you make the correct choices to get your body composition back to normal.
Whole foods that are high in water content and nutrient dense will prevent you from overeating.
Remove processed dairy, grains, flours and sugars as well as fried foods from your diet.

Guard yourself from the low-fat diet lie. Our bodies need “good fats” or it cannot burn fat or absorb certain vitamins. A healthy immune system, endocrine system (hormones), and the brain and nervous system all require fat to function.

Fats give you energy and help you avoid eating damaging, processed carbohydrates for calories.

Good fats come from nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, olives, eggs, fish, grass-fed beef and raw dairy.

Stress reduction and a positive attitude
You cannot be healthy if you do not address the emotional side of your health and longevity. Emotions play a role in nearly every physical condition. Coping with stress is a major factor affecting longevity, as it has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely. Fortunately, as believers we have the greatest mechanism to deal with stress. We have God and his Word. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest […] For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28, 30).

As you can see, there are many things you can do to stay healthy on a budget. Ultimately, it is much more affordable to stay healthy than to pay for illness. Sure, you might have to change some things; but is that not what your life in Christ is all about, putting off the old and putting on the new? Accept the challenge. You can depend on “Obamacare,” or you can take personal responsibility for your own health and well-being. You make the choice.

Dr. Jeff Hazim is a Chiropractor and nutritional counselor practicing in Ft. Lauderdale (TheBrowardCenter.com), and Executive Director of “Biblical Health Television” (BiblicalHealth.tv).  Weekly Radio Broadcasts:  TalkRadio.com/BiblicalHealth

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