The Healthy Frugalista

An Apple a Day

Maybe it’s an age thing, but I have been pondering the issue of health and heath care lately. I am one of millions of Americans whose main access to medical care is asking Dr. Google. But this post will not be about the health insurance crisis in America. It will be about the alternative and affordable possibilities.

On further thought, I realized two things: I can’t afford to get sick, and even with no real formal medical care there are things I can do to prevent or treat illness. In a world full of serious illnesses that I have no control over it felt good to create a plan to implement the things I can control (and afford).These suggestions are written for people that are on the edge with their medical dollars, but will still work even if you are wealthy. Preventative medicine is the best kind.

The first item is eating a good diet. As I have commented here before, you can’t really afford cheap food. But, even avoiding fast food and Velveeta sandwiches, there is a tendency to gravitate towards a carb-heavy diet when the cupboard is bare. One answer is to try some healthier whole grains, such as quinoa and barley. These foods are every bit as inexpensive as white wheat pasta and bread. Another solution is to seek out the inexpensive vegetables such as cabbage and kale. Check out this article for more ideas:

The second health preserving habit is free exercise. This is easy if you live the inner city or deep in the country. But if you live somewhere in between it gets stickier. Where I live there is a bike and walking trail about a mile and a half away. But it is impossible to walk to it. The road is narrow and heavily trafficked with big ditches on both sides. So, I settle for parking a few blocks from my destination on errands. If none of these ideas work for you it might be possible to run up and down every flight of stairs you see a couple of times. Or go out dancing and just buy one beer. Just move! Your life really does depend on it.

The third item is herbal medicine. Buying expensive supplements is out of the question at the moment, but healing herbs are inexpensive and have a track record that goes back thousands of years. There are plenty of good books on herbal medicine, both ancient such as Culpepper’s Complete Herbal (1653) available here free at bibliomania: or the works of Susun Weed.

Finally, avoid stress or work it out. When cash gets scarce tension naturally goes up. But it is a medical truism that stress kills. There has to be time everyday that is decompression time. Meditation is free, and so is beating a pillow or yelling. No matter how crappy things are talking to a friend can help. All of these things release stress busting hormones to counteract the killer hormones released when we get wound up. When things started to slide for me a few years ago I got into the habit of the 5 or 6 PM cut-off. No matter how bad the day, in the late afternoon I would just stop, turn it all off and pop in a Netflix or listen to loud shred music. No worrying aloud. Just dinner and entertainment.This turned into a habit worth keeping.

Everyone of these things are proven to preserve health even if you are broke. You may still fall prey to ill health, but that can happen even if you are possessed of great fortune.


One Response

  1. I find this, and other posting on this site to be of immense help. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: