a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey

Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition


Health is a Bargain
By: Ray Coffey

So why do we pay so much for health abuse? And why are we willing to pay in so many ways for the conditions we call disease?

Health is a bargain. And health is a normal condition. One which requires only sunshine, fresh air, clean water, fresh food, and an active body. The rewards are bountiful, costs are minimal, and the investment lasts a lifetime. Yet, in this throwaway society of ours, most of us don’t seek bargains, and along with our plastic plates and bottles, we throw away our health, our minds, our elderly, our lives.

What are some of the costs which we incur in our health abusive drive? Many people can readily point to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on hospital, pharmaceutical, physician and therapeutic care.

The costs are a significant portion of our gross national product, but as a nation those costs are not all bad. They provide ample livelihoods for the largest medical staff in the world. They provide income for hospital investors, insurance companies, and an ever-growing pharmaceutical industry.

But those are the obvious costs. There are many others not so readily identifiable. For instance, the lost work time due to illness increases the costs of products for consumers. The medical burdens on local, state, and federal budgets increases our tax load. And the ever increasing medical-related litigation further loads our judicial system.

The real costs of health abuse, however, is on the individual’s loss of energy, the restricted lifestyle which brings unhappiness, the ultimate crippling effects which bring despair, and the depression which disrupts family life and causes anger and grief.

How do we count these costs? As we begin early in life to destroy our health, we begin to lose cellular energy because our high protein diets drain more energy than they provide. This enervation, over time, will start the process of systemic malfunctions, leading to organic dysfunction such as hormonal imbalances, digestive difficulties, and emotional stresses leading to anger, frustration, phobias, and anxieties.

The price for all the animal products, the highly-processed foods, the narcotic and alcohol stimulants, the ease of fast-foods, begins to escalate. At this point the drugs and medical treatments are added, and the quality of life begins to rapidly deteriorate. How do we measure the cost of stress by continually worrying about what the next medical problem will be; how much the next operation will cost; at what point will incapacitation be a reality; will it be cancer or a heart attack? Or the cost to family relationships which are continually strained by angry or irrational responses to everyday problems? Or the cost in time, finances, and emotions of watching loved ones who agonize and wither away in illness? The health abusive lifestyle we now practice is the most expensive habit in which we can ever engage.

On the other hand, health is such an easy thing to attain. It relieves the pinch on the pocketbook. It relieves emotional tension. It takes away the stress of relationships with others. It provides a knowledge that life can be lived to the fullest. And the cost is minimal. HEALTH IS THE BARGAIN OF A LIFETIME!

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