The healthcare industry is a multi-gazillion dollar industry (I’d look up the real numbers but Wikipedia is holding a sit-in because they don’t want the government’s hands in their business and I can’t say I blame them) and in my opinion, that’s a problem.
See, I don’t have company-sponsored health insurance. And I’m older than 26 so I’m not on my parents’ insurance. I have catastrophic insurance, which is code for “if something terrible happens I will still have to fork over thousands upon thousands of dollars but I won’t have to give up my unborn first-born” which means, I won’t be going to the doctor with a runny nose.
There’s a link between cheap food and the need for health insurance, to be sure. The cheaper the food, the more likely it is to do damage to a body. And I cannot afford to damage my body.
Last year, I was training for a half marathon. I ran three times a week, my long run was on Sunday, and it was fine. Only I wasn’t losing weight. That wasn’t really the goal, but I didn’t like the fact that I was gaining weight. Also, food was hurting my stomach. I read an article somewhere that told me that certain foods might be causing me to be in pain.
They suggested I cut out wheat, corn, rice, potatoes and sugar for 30 days. It was close to April 1, so I thought, why not? What better day than a foolish one to try something so silly? So I did. Except sugar. Turns out, that stuff is addictive.
At first, it was really hard. Cutting out all my favorite foods? Goodness gracious, what will I eat? The answer, it seemed, was meat. And vegetables. And fruit. And nuts. The only reason I continued was because the idea was just 30 days. I can do ANYTHING for 30 days, I reasoned.
Then I started feeling better. Way better. I found an online community — one in which I’m frankly not very comfortable, since it’s a little extreme. The Paleo idea is that we should eat like cave people — and avoid everything past the advent of agriculture. Also, we should be barefoot and lift heavy things (or do Crossfit) and we should use a lot of coconut oil. The primal version is better, easier to fit into my life as a clothes-wearing, desk-sitting, grocery store shopping person.
After 30 days, I started adding things back in. My body said no thank you to wheat, corn, and rice, and didn’t protest too much with potatoes.
Now, it’s the way I eat. I am sensitive to cheap food, it turns out. But I’m healthier than ever, and I’ve completely adapted to this way of eating.
I do spend more than the average person at the grocery store. But I’m not likely to end up at the doctor’s office with inflammation, diabetes, or heart disease. That’s worth the price of organic meat right there.
- Frugal fun: PDX Winter Food Swap (frugalportland.com)
- Ways to Manage Your Own Healthcare Without Health Insurance (savings.com)
- Dinner and Breakfast with a side of Paleo (pastafreerunner.com)