Supplements, groceries, gym memberships, programming, blue blocking sun glasses, comprehensive lab work, unfortunately it all costs money. This post is about breaking down the cost of attempting to be awesome. Health in our current climate takes effort and is expensive, but the alternative is likely much more expensive. I mean how much does a heart attack cost?
ummm 10 grand at a minimum, throw in some kind of higher end surgery and it’s pushing 50k. Lifetime cost of a stroke $100,000 dollars and perhaps not being able to move one side of your face.
Cancer somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 to 120k, depending on the type and where you live.
Diabetes a cool $13,700 per year.
Now you might say well I don’t have to pay all of those medical costs, to which I would answer, someone does. Like it or not the US of A is one big Team. If all the tubbie Marthas decide to go and get diabetes, have a heart attack, survive, and then get put on dialysis it will be a huge financial burden on the rest of us. So tubbie Marthas get your shit together and start front loading your costs so we can all relax.
Now you might not care at all about Martha and only care about lifting weights more better and running more faster, this is fine, whatever drives you to do the right thing for the rest of us. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this and how I feel/look is what ultimately drives me more than anything. Figuring out your why is important, and for some people it’s all about the money.
Thus, let’s break this down and start with the biggest chunk of cash – Food.
I eat a lot and my grocery bill with all organic produce and meat is $150-200 a week at a minimum. My wife who doesn’t eat nearly as much me spends $100-$150 a week, but she likes fancy stuff. We also live in Texas, so if you live in a more urban area like Chicago or LA this figure will likely be more.
If you are an athlete let’s call it $600-800 a month.
If you just want to be healthy, more along the lines of $400-600 depending on how many coupons you can dig up.
or better yet Medical Foods which have guaranteed Potency and Purity, but can only be sold by health care professionals.
If you think you can get all your nutrients from food alone, it’s just not possible anymore (without an awkward amount of chewing), only 7% of our farm land is rated prime and since the 1970s the nutrient content of our produce has dropped anywhere from 15-30%.
These are the Bare Minimum supplements I believe most people would benefit from and can take with very minimal risks. I will not give dosages as these would depend on the person. These prices are also reflective of very high quality products with third party testing.
High Quality Fish Oil and make sure it has been tested by a third party for purity.
Greens Powder jam packed with organic phytonutrients
Liquid Vitamin D
An athlete will also need:
Some sort of protein powder
Gen Pop – $70-150 per month
Athlete – $140 – 265 per month
*Some people may spend a lot more in this category in the beginning when they are healing their gut, mitigating the stress response with adaptogens, or balancing the immune response – I could go on for a while, but I’ll stop there. Also, people should have exit plans on supplements and if someone needs to be on a supplement forever they should be told this. The above supplements should be in the mix all the time, and some in and out with proper cycling.
Comprehensive lab work should cost you about $250 to 300 a pop and then depending on who your practitioner is anywhere from $250-1,500 to get a good and proper interpretation/feedback. You can do this biannually or annually. If any serious underlying conditions pop up you may need to run more testing and test more often, but it is obviously better to catch these type of things early.
$500 – 1,800 per year or…
$42 – $150 per month
I believe these cost anywhere from $100-300 and it may be a good investment to work in a one-on-one or small group setting with a well-regarded coach/trainer who can not only get you moving appropriately but teach you how to fish for yourself. One could also front load their costs and build their own home gym for about $2000-3000 or $150-250 a month if you spread that investment out over the year.
Grand Total for The Economics of Doing Stuff Good
Athlete – $882 – $1515
Gen Pop – $612 – $1100
Now with going out to eat and buying expensive processed nonsense the average American spends $151 a week or $600 a month on food. Wait what? Yo bro that’s not even that much more different.
This means that caring about yourself, your loved ones, and this planet costs an extra $7-500 bucks a month and that very roughly means 5 years of doing stuff good equals just one year with diabetes. This post is purely about money and doesn’t even take into account how one will feel or increased production at life and work. It’s all about finances because a lot of people have this cemented idea that being all granola, annoying, and organic is just too expensive, however the truth is that it costs everyone much more beyond dollars and cents not to care.
By: Ben House PhD Candidate, FDN, fNMT
* All of these numbers are from national polls and/or my estimations. I know it’s crazy but these numbers could be slightly off, yet if someone from the national math nerdery wants to run this analysis that could make for an interesting read, just sayin.