Have you seen the headlines? “Wellness is the new luxury.” What do you think? Is it true? Or did you just have a massive eye-roll?
My experience losing my health… and my income
Looking back at my 20s… I was fit. I was healthy. I was physically unstoppable. Then my health fell out… and it cost me what was a successful military career. I lost everything dear to me. I lost everything important to me. I lost my abilities. I lost my income (was even denied welfare benefits). I lost my confidence. I lost my zest for life. I lost my ability to afford housing (without the state or veteran benefits helping me out with homelessness). In fact, if it wasn’t for a couple of friends, I would have totally homeless without a glimmer of hope. I could go on for days about everything that stripped away into nothing until I became a broke, self-loathing pile of flesh. I was humiliated, became cynical, and done with life. Looking back now… I can hardly recognize myself.
Candida being a “rich person problem,” even though in all reality, it is an every person problem. It just seems that those who are more financially well off are the ones more focused on remedying it. Wellness seems to be harboring the same accusations today.
Then something happened. My neurologist at the Veterans Hospital told me not to worry about any lifestyle changes because it would “kill [me] faster than [my] condition.” That was music to my ears. With failed suicide attempts, I was desperate for my suffering to end, and after several dozen medication failures, there was no relief in sight. So… with a weary head and a broken body, we worked up the nerve to give it a shot… only… it backfired.
I was shocked. Eating a paleo diet actually brought my average 6 seizures a day down to 2 each week. We saved money to afford higher quality of meat and organic veggies by growing most of our own veggies. After a couple of weeks of allowing our bodies to adjust, we were surprised by how little snacking we did too, which also saved money. With such dramatic effects, we started looking into chemical exposure around the house and were shocked again.
ALL of our every day products had harmful chemicals in them… and there I thought blowing through what was left of my $974 monthly disability income for “healthy/green” products was a good thing… nope! We ditched all of it, and started making most of what we needed just to ensure we were not using harmful chemicals in our home without worrying about how to afford everything.
Is living healthier more expensive?
You see… I was under the impression that living healthier through buying higher quality personal care products would break the bank, especially when I didn’t have a lot of “bank” to begin with. $974/month is not a paycheck to squander when having a car payment, phone bills, insurance, and living expenses.
I assumed looking at the price tag on the cheap Wal-Mart specials was significantly less than the “luxury, spa quality” items on the top shelf. While, yes, when you look at them side by side, the “luxury” items are much more expensive. However, those luxury items at Walmart aren’t at all healthier, and often don’t even last longer… so that isn’t a realistic comparison.
When you start looking into truly healthy options, they are a little more pricey, but not as much as I expected. I bit the proverbial bullet, and teared up a little spending $20 each on a bottle of shampoo and conditioner that were 8oz each for a pre-made healthy shampoo and conditioner that did not contain any known harmful chemicals, including “fragrance.” I was buying into the thought of “what is your health worth,” knowing full well if the experiment of removing harmful chemicals from our home would help me literally get back on my feet so I could work again, my health would be worth a hell of a lot.
Again, I was shocked. Shocked doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I used to by $10 shampoo and conditioners from Wal-Mart that would last me a month. Then I spent $40 total for shampoo and conditioner that lasted me 3 months (with long hair down to my butt being washed every day)!
Then I realized the healthier stuff can dilute even more! I started adding the shampoo into a foaming bottle and ONE $20 8oz bottle lasted us 7.5 MONTHS!!! (amazed me with having long hair down to my butt, and sharing my shampoo with my husband)
Instead of spending $120 a year on just shampoo, I only spent $40, and had some to spare. Using healthier products actually saved me money!
Same thing happened with my healthier face wash, hair conditioner, and body wash.
Are safer cleaners more expensive?
I had the same experience with my cleaner. I used to have a cleaner for everything. One for windows, one for counters, one for heavy cleaning needs, one for the oven, one for the shower, one for the toilet, one for the bathroom sinks, one for the kitchen sinks, three for the floors, one for the cabinets, one for dusting furniture, one for the grill… and don’t even get me started on the closet filled with laundry supplies!