Want to save yourself some serious cash? Stop going to the doctor.
This dawned on me over the past couple weeks…as my wife started a new job and one of the things we had to run the family numbers on was health care.
Specifically – the HMO? The PPO? Which plan? How much of a deductible? What about all those medications?
Joe Cross’ film “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” might change the way you think about how you eat – and what that food is costing you.
The skinny on the movie: we eat too much processed stuff, and not enough fruits and vegetables. Changing how you eat can change how you live – and that change can impact all sorts of things, such as what medications you need (or don’t need), how much energy you have, how well you’re sleeping, your mood…
And, of course, how often you have to go to the doctor.
Joe Cross is into juicing – and not everyone has the time and patience for that. But even making the change away from processed garbage and toward eating real food – not necessarily organic but just real food – can have a real effect. On your pocketbook.
So, in the interest of the 10KaYear mantra – save more, spend less, earn more and maximize your money – here is…
The true cost of eating like crap
Can I put an extra $10,000 in your pocketbook with this post alone? Probably not. Still, follow along:
Fewer trips to the doctor
Let’s do a little quick math. Let’s say you eat junk a lot – fried, processed, fast, quick crap. Let’s say you go to the doctor three extra times per year because you’re sick. (Watch the film and then tell me that what you eat doesn’t have an impact.)
If a doctor’s visit costs you $200 (even if you’re on insurance, somebody somewhere is paying that $200), those three extra trips are $600.
Fewer trips to the pharmacy
Even better – you have to go on some sort of something to get rid of that illness you got. A Z-pack at $50, or some other anti-something at $25. Let’s add up another $100.
Running total: $700.
Monthly “maintenance” drugs
If you’re on an anti-depressant or an anti-anxiety medication, that’s another $100 a month.
One of the characters in the movie was on…oh, I lost track of everything he was on. AND it’s stuff he was able to completely get rid of through diet and exercise. (But it started with diet.)
Anyway, tack on another $1200 and our new running total is $1,900.
Less…trips (e.g., walk more, drive less)
Not everybody lives in a walking city. But just about everybody can tack on a little more walking and a little less driving. (When the weather gets nicer, for instance, we’ll walk to the Farmers’ Market as opposed to driving. And we’ll buy better food while we’re there.
Continuing with this train of thought, what about an organic food co-op you can join? Again, waiting for better weather, but still – pretty nifty to have someone deliver the goods every week or so. Right?
Since it WILL cost you more to eat better, but you’ll offset those costs with savings from not driving as often…we’re going to subtract $25 a month from the running total. So we’re now at $1,600.
The priceless addition: how you feel
I’m going to be honest – as much as I have tried over the past several months to avoid eating like crap, it’s not always easy. In fact, I just noshed on some leftover pizza. It had spinach and mushrooms in it, so that’s a plus – but the rest of it was a testament to what’s wrong with my own diet (fat, grains, calories, processed stuff) and what I can do better.
The flipside: I have a smoothie addiction. I sneak in as much organic anything, as well as some greens when the kids aren’t looking. Some flax seed, some chia seeds…you’re getting nutrients. Lots of nutrients.
And, yesterday afternoon’s smoothie meant that dinner wasn’t all that important. A little, not a lot.
The $1,600 I just found you? Pales in comparison to how you will feel as a result.
It’s expensive to eat like crap. Try to avoid it.