Have you ever thought about the connection between your physical health and your financial health? You might be surprised to find that being healthy saves you money! If you’d like to improve your financial health, a good place to start is actually in your kitchen.
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Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. This is our personal experience, and your experience may be different than ours. You should do your own research before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle especially if you have a health condition.
Healthcare is expensive. We all know it, and most of us just accept it as a part of life. A necessary evil, if you will. But have you ever stopped to think about how your physical health affects your financial health?
I believe part of a good financial strategy is keeping as much money in your pocket as possible. That includes keeping your money away from the healthcare system. Doctor visits, medication, supplies, and surgeries—those things aren’t cheap, and they add up quickly!
Funneling your hard-earned money into the healthcare system, all as a result of poor health, is essentially sending money down the drain. Because the fact is this: you have the power to improve your health and, consequently, your financial well-being.
We did it, and so can you!
Let me share with you how we avoided a financial disaster by improving our health, how being healthy saves you money, and what you can do to improve your physical and financial health.
Being Unhealthy Costs You Money: Our Personal Case Study
If you’ve been here before, then you’ve probably read about our personal struggles with health. In 2015, my husband, Josh, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease similar to Crohn’s where his body attacks his colon. Like most diseases, it’s an expensive one.
I’ve talked plenty about the seriousness of Josh’s disease, but I haven’t really talked about its financial implications. Let’s explore that side of the disease, shall we?
The Cost of Ulcerative Colitis
Beginning in 2015, Josh started taking Lialda, an ulcerative colitis medication that suppresses his symptoms. Initially, two pills per day were enough to keep his symptoms under control. When that dosage stopped being enough, he had to increase his dosage to four pills per day, plus take a steroid medication.
When he first started taking Lialda, we had to pay $75 out of pocket (after insurance) each and every month. We eventually discovered a pharmacy savings card that dropped the cost to $10 per month. We were very happy with that little card!
But it didn’t last forever.
Fortunately, Josh was able to cure his ulcerative colitis (more on that later) before the company discontinued the pharmacy savings card, so we never had to go back to that $75 per month cost.
But what if we had? Let’s do some simple math.
The Lifetime Cost of a Single Medication
Doctors told us that there was no cure for ulcerative colitis, and that Josh would have to take varying doses of ulcerative colitis medication for the rest of his life. So, assuming we had to pay $75 each month for the next 45 years (and that’s a conservative lifespan!), we would have to pay a whopping $40,500 just for one medication!
Unfortunately, the sad fact is that medication isn’t the only cost that accompanies ulcerative colitis. Doctor visits, colonoscopies, a possible colectomy, and the necessary supplies that accompany a colectomy are all expenses we could reasonably expect to incur over Josh’s lifetime.
Not gonna lie, my heart is racing right now just thinking about how much money all those things would cost!
It’s a big deal, my friend. Poor health can literally make us poor!
Being Healthy Saves You Money: How We Prevented a Financial Disaster
In 2016, about a year after Josh’s diagnosis, we learned about the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. We learned that it has the ability to prevent, halt, and even reverse serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and others. We had high hopes that it could work for Josh’s ulcerative colitis too.
After making the transition, Josh’s ulcerative colitis flares happened less frequently, and eventually they stopped altogether.
This health breakthrough happened just in time, too!
About a year and a half into our plant-based journey, we learned that our beloved pharmacy savings card was being discontinued. By then, we already suspected that Josh’s ulcerative colitis was gone. However, the discontinuation of the pharmacy savings card was the push we needed to finally wean him off of his medicine and find out for sure.
I’m happy to report that as of this writing, Josh hasn’t had a single ulcerative colitis pill in over eight months, and he hasn’t had a flare in over a year and a half. That whole food, plant-based diet cured his expensive, “incurable” autoimmune disease!
Divine Intervention at its finest
Note: If you don’t believe in God, feel free to disregard this next part.
We believe that The Lord gave us the vital, health-changing information we needed just in time. While it was nice only paying $10 per month for Josh’s medicine, that pharmacy savings card couldn’t last forever. The Lord knew what a financial burden Josh’s disease would be in the long-term, so He led us toward a path of healing instead.
As you might guess, I’ve made it my mission to share our story with as many people as possible in the hope that it inspires others to take control of their health.
The fact that a whole food, plant-based diet can dramatically improve one’s long-term health isn’t something we hear about very often. In fact, a lot of information out there intentionally tries to steer us in the opposite direction. But I’m here to tell you that being healthy saves you money, and if you want freedom from unnecessary healthcare costs, then eating more whole plant foods is the way to go.
How You Can Improve Your Physical Health and Financial Health at the Same Time
Improving your physical health and financial health really isn’t that hard. All you have to do is adopt healthy eating habits! Specifically, eating an abundance of whole plant foods – fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds – will have the biggest positive impact on your physical health and, consequently, your financial health.
Here’s what I know to be true: You’re going to spend money on food for the rest of your life.
On the one hand, you can spend your money on standard American diet (SAD) staples such as meat, dairy products, and processed foods. According to Dr. Colin Campbell’s extensive research in his book The China Study, animal products and processed foods feed and promote disease, so disease is what you’ll very likely end up with.
If you choose to spend your money on SAD staples, you’ll end up spending even more money on medical costs such as medications, doctor visits, medical supplies, and surgeries because those are the negative health consequences that accompany this way of eating.
On the other hand, you can spend your money on whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are the staples of a whole food, plant-based diet, and they are the foods proven to promote long-term health.
Benefits of Going Plant-based
When you really think about it, it doesn’t make much financial sense to spend money on food and medical costs. Instead of buying SAD foods that are going to give you a lifetime of illness, why not just buy the plant foods that are going to give you a lifetime of good health? The benefits are numerous.
- Save money in the short-term because plant foods are much cheaper than meat, dairy, and processed foods. If you’ve been told that eating healthfully is expensive, I’m here to tell you that that just isn’t true. We spend so much less eating this way than we ever did when we ate the standard American diet!
- Save money in the long-term by avoiding unnecessary healthcare costs. Remember, being healthy saves you money!
- Reap the benefits that come along with good health such as more energy, vibrant skin, a healthy weight, and so much more.
Wrapping it Up
If you want to maximize your long-term financial health, then it’s in your best interest to place a high priority on your long-term physical health. That way you get to keep your money in your bank account rather than funneling it into the healthcare system. Remember, being healthy saves you money, so there’s plenty of incentive there to prioritize a healthy lifestyle!
The best way to do that? Eat an abundance of whole plant foods! Your body and wallet will thank you for it.
If you’d like more information about the whole food, plant-based diet, I highly recommend reading The China Study. In my opinion, it’s THE BEST plant-based resource that teaches you all about the science behind this way of eating. It tells you why and how a plant-based diet works so well, and it also offers some helpful transition tips to make your plant-based journey a little bit easier. I know you’ll love it just as much as I do!
Other Health Posts You May Enjoy
- Plant-based Shopping List: What to Buy When You Follow a Plant-based Diet
- 15 Plant-based Recipes You Need to Try
- The Best At-Home Workout Programs for Women Who Hate the Gym
- 3 Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
- 12 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
- How to Win with Your New Healthy Lifestyle
Other Finance Posts You May Enjoy
- How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
- Cheap Healthy Food: Affordable Options for the Savvy Budgeter
- Want to Take Charge of Your Finances? Dave Ramsey Can Help
- 30 Ways to Save Money So You Can Reach Your Financial Goals
- The Best Financial Advice I Ever Received
What about you? Have you ever thought about how being healthy saves you money?
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