The Only Honest Health Insurance

by Eric Everett, B.J., B.Sc. Pharm, FIACP, CCN

Four simple words have the power to send people fleeing as if ice had just fallen on the head of the Titanic’s night watch, or some foul, fatal plague was imminently contagious. The words, “I sell health insurance,” send most people running for cover.

And, if anyone is still around to talk to, I do sell health insurance — but not the typical health insurance most people think of.

Health insurance is not really insurance at all. It simply provides funds in the event of illness. It is an albatross that most people need and shouldn’t be without, and it is a charlatan for implying something totally unprovided. Health insurance, typically, does nothing to promote, guarantee or otherwise insure a quality of health or wellness.

But honest health insurance is at your fingertips, is very affordable, and does everything the words suggest. It can heal the sick, ease the suffering and almost assure a long, healthy life free from the worries of the aging diseases like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer. It is a life-long limited warranty.

Three things have this capacity, and each one is powerful. But combined, as they should be, they become the synergistic healing force that does more to influence health than anything from our pharmaceutical companies. Our three superheroes are diet, exercise and nutrition.

Diet modifications typically include a dramatic, if not complete elimination of animal fat, protein and dairy, along with decreased consumption of refined sugar, trans fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils. In other words, a dramatic increase of vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes and complex carbohydrates.

In 1989, the surgeon general’s office issued the findings of a study, summarized in the statement that two thirds of all deaths are diet related. That statement sends a strong message on the state of the standard American diet (S.A.D.). Unfortunately, most people hold a higher regard for their pet’s diet and nutrition than for themselves.

Exercise is unlimited in variety, and variety keeps it interesting. The best is to combine both strength and aerobic training, and to do one or the other several days per week, for at least a total of two hours per week..

Nutritional supplements are necessary for several reasons. First, because of modern farming practices, commercial processing of food and chemicals, our food has a fraction of the nutritional value it once had. In addition, so many of our problems are the result of poor food choices – literally destruction caused by our fork and spoon. Finally, our body’s needs for nutrition have increased because of the many stresses on our daily lives, including emotional stress, pollution, radiation, drugs, diets and lifestyle. Some of these stresses were minor or nonexistent only a few generations ago.

In a study sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, the diets of 21,500 people were followed for three days, analyzing ten specific nutrients. In three days, not one person received the recommended daily allowance for those ten nutrients. And the RDA, woefully unscientific and archaic, is considered by many to be the “minimum wage of nutrition.”

Nutritional supplements do just that – they supplement our nutritional deficits. With supplements, we can be sure our bodies have everything required to maintain balance and health. Nutritional programs can even be tailored to help with specific disease states like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and much more.

Diet, exercise and nutrition are truly dynamic, but they require your participation, and they need it now. Sooner or later you will devote a significant portion of your resources to your health. This will include time, effort and money, and a paradigm shift in your lifestyle. Unfortunately, the shift usually comes after the first heart attack or stroke, or the diagnosis of one of our aging diseases. Then we become eager to reverse the accumulation of 30 to 50 years of injury, but it is not as effective, and involves medications with side effects, doctor office visits, lab tests and hospitalization to name a few. At this time, we become more agreeable to modifying our diets and lifestyles. But why wait when it is so much more effective if you start today?

The question is really damage control versus prevention, reactivity versus proactivity. It is a little like closing the barn door after a portion of your prize stable has fled, and that prize stable is your health.

Proactive efforts will reduce and eliminate the diseases we fear most. If they occur, they will not be as severe, and medication will be reduced or eliminated, along with its serious toxicities and side effects. The disease becomes easier to manage.

We have all heard, “If you have your health, you have everything.” The opposite is also true. Think of all of the time we devote to families, relationships, jobs, hobbies, goals and desires. But the time devoted to our bodies, the vessels of our health and spirits, is typically zero. Often enough we even ignore the most basic calls of hunger, thirst and bathroom breaks, delaying them to a more convenient time. Our body is asked to suffer and endure until its signals become unbearable.

It is not being selfish or egocentric to direct efforts to maintaining your health. Nor can it be considered pampering. You can make the conscience effort to refuse to age, and to well into your 90s with no fear of cancer, diabetes, asthma, arthritis or the other afflictions we erroneously associate with aging.

True health insurance is available. Ask me. I sell it every day.

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