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Staying Healthy, the Natural and Affordable Way

If you’ve sat in an urgent care waiting room lately, you’ve probably noticed two distinct types of worry on patients’ faces: what’s my diagnosis and how much will it cost me? Flip on the news any day of the week and you’ll hear politicians arguing about health care reform. However, these noisy debates depersonalize the subject and draw our attention away from worries of people who simply want to feel better and be treated with respect. Access to decent medical care is a very personal and emotional quest, especially as we get older and are faced with more financially challenging diagnoses.

Staying healthy means more than just finding quick fixes to mask symptoms. While yearly medical exams help diagnose serious problems in their early stages, you should strive to stay as far away from the examination table as possible between those checkups. To start with, daily exercise can save you a ton of money. Some people  are convinced that they need a fancy gym membership and a costly personal trainer to get in shape. But with a little self-discipline and a little support from your loved ones, you can probably cut a few financial corners and still get results. If your body is healthier, it will be less likely to land you in the doctor’s office, pulling out your wallet for copays and prescriptions. You’ll also be less likely to use up all your sick days at work, setting you up for increased performance  and chance of a raise.

But as you walk through the grocery store aisles with the best of intentions, you might become turned off by the high prices on foods marketed as healthy, all-natural, and organic. Chips and soda are priced cheaply because they’re mass-manufactured in unsustainable factories with artificial ingredients. Those artificial ingredients take a serious toll on your waistline, your teeth, and your energy levels, sending you back to that dreaded examination table in no time at all. It’s common knowledge that fast food is bad for you but it also becomes expensive over time, causing you to waste your money on lower nutrition and unhealthy cooking methods.

Fresh leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, collards, chard, and kale are some of the most nutritious and least expensive items in the market. You can pick up some natural beans, grains, and herbs for next to nothing and build a cheap, creative, and flavorful dinner. Meat products are usually the most expensive items on your list, but you don’t necessarily have to become a vegetarian to save money. Try cutting back on meat a couple times week and replacing it with beans, lentils, and eggs to get the protein your body needs.

When it comes to supplements, make sure you are buying the real thing. It’s a good sign if the company selling the product is also the one making it from their own raw materials. Supplements can be a great way to expand your nutritional intake and keep you healthy.

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Lauren - Can you do an article about how to introduce healthy eating to the family? I grew up on processed foods with my mom but when I moved out for college I started cooking for myself I found I much more preferred to nibble on carrots instead of chips! When I moved back with my family I tried introducing healthy eating but it’s like pulling teeth!

Sammy Largo - Or find a local urban farm and get the hook ups 😉 I agree about the raw materials coming from the supplement company, that’s why I like Seagate and have been a faithful customer. I like knowing where the ingredients come from!

sarahluvzveggies - lauren, i think a good thing is to try to explain to your mom why eating healthy is ideal and emphasize that it is for her own wellbeing too as well as anyone who is in the home. try to not diss her cooking because that won’t go well, just show that you care and want the best for everyone.

todd the toad - i do like to much on chips every now and then, can you blame me…? lol yeah that’s no excuse, i know, i know. my girlfriend picks up veggie chips when she goes to the store which is ok. we have even made our own potato chips before which are awesome.

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