The Cost of Preventative Health Care

My goal was not just to lose weight, but to be healthy. Not easy to do and certainly not cheap either! I feel much better now than I have in many, many years because I do eat healthy and exercise regularly.

In Canada one can pretty much get most drugs covered by health care, at least after a deductible is reached. Doctors who prescribe drugs for treating symptoms too, no problem! But this method of dealing with our health is not healthy. It is reactive and without forethought and in many cases, without effort.

But try and eat right. It’s not cheap!

At least my gym membership is very reasonable at $4 per week and I do have to mention and thank Trevor Linden and Club 16 for this. I spend at least 8 hours per week using a variety of equipment and weights they provide. Can’t beat $.50/hour. Complemented by my intense dog walks, I have no issues with the exercise side of my proactive health care.

I don’t really want to eat anything special though. Just meat and vegetables, legumes, grains, maybe some dairy – all natural and nothing more. I would like to maximize my health benefit and to be able to eat the food I can eat and nothing else.

50 or 100 years ago it was possible and probable since we ate what we grew and there wasn’t a lot of the great new farming practices nor the processing and ingredients we use to make and ship food all over the world.

I cannot eat artificial dyes. I may also react to artificial flavouring, but even if I don’t, I do not want it in my food so I don’t have to deal with future issues, or with “idiopathic” issues – that is issues of no known cause (as long as you ignore what we put in our food, that is).

I want to eat healthy so I want the natural flavour of food to guide my palette and not man made, money motivated, enhanced flavouring added to so much of our food to help us want more. Well I don’t want more. I simply want what I need. My world is a  minefield of over reacting mast cells and allergic reactions. I need clean food!

In order to avoid many food additives I have no choice but to eat organic food. Almost all non organic bread contains artificial flavours. Obviously this is so we eat more. But I don’t want more simple carbohydrates in my diet. I am okay with complex carbs and I get enough bread from the sprouted breads I do eat.

I cannot eat genetically modified foods either. There is no way I put glyphosate and the other toxic ingredients from Roundup and other weed killers they are designed to absorb and concentrate into my body. There is so much wrong with this idea for everyone, but for someone who is reactive to extremely minute quantities of natural pesticides (anti nutrients) in food; I  think it is likely a good idea for me to avoid the arrogant practice of lacing our food with “harmless” and “safe” poison.

The way we use antibiotics and hormones too is another group of sad farming practices. Motivated solely by monetary gain; bigger animals from both antibiotics and hormones, more get to market. Good for farmers, but not at all healthy for us. I am sure this was not Mother Nature’s plan.

Another lovely North American practice I choose to avoid is the fact that we maximize yield of our crops by spraying them with weed killers that do kill them, just prior to harvest. This makes all the plants sprout just as they are harvested for “maximum yield;” however again we are just poisoning the food for many and who knows how much damage is really caused to everyone.

I was not healthy eating that way. I cannot eat that way! I can only make myself sick and kill myself that way.

I am healthy now but I avoid most man made processes and practices and food additives. These things are motivated by money and sales and not health.

I pay extra for that. And I mean a lot extra. Since the only way to avoid it at all (and maybe I cannot truly avoid it and simply choose to minimize it) is to eat organic. For years I ate organic, but threw in a lot of fast food and other non organic food whenever I felt like it, candy, sugar, carbs… and I loved the artificial flavours in my fast food.

To the tune of 230 lbs! And it is not just man made toxins I react to. Who knows where my issues with mast cells and my allergic reactions to food comes from; but even in eliminating them, I cannot eat a healthy diet of what is actually good for me by just avoiding those foods I am allergic to. I have to cleans all toxins that I can.

The pesticides we add, the artificial dyes and flavours, preservatives, thickeners, the sugar and much more; all are deadly and are a considerable factor in what makes living healthy an almost impossible task.

If I eat the crap and stay totally sick, I get free and subsidized medical help. But I have to feel like crap, sick, overweight, headaches, cognitive difficulties, psychological challenges…

If I want to eat healthy and be healthy, I have to pay! And I am sure I pay double at least for the right to eat clean food.

I find this a very sad state. Proactive health care is costly, but beneficial to me and to society in reducing health care costs. As a behavioural specialist, I am pretty sure I know the benefit of treating illness as a preference, rather than preventing it. Reactive health care is big business. Proactive health care is small business.

There is huge money in feeding us crap and getting us to eat crap; making us fatter and unhealthy as we go. This creates a very significant stream of cash for some. Forcing us to pay so much to eat healthy makes it very unlikely that we all will do so and can afford to do so. I hear this all the time.

But there is nothing more important to me. And changing my diet is the most important thing I have ever done.

I am not free from illness but at least I feel I have some control over my health, whereas I did not before. As long as I can afford it, I will continue to eat healthy foods, free of pesticicdes where possible, free from artificial dyes and flavours, free from other additives and preservatives, free of antibiotics and hormones!

I figure I’ll pay either way so I choose to pay for clean food now and have fun while I can.

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