Your Greatest Wealth

by Jodi Krizer Graber

The greatest wealth is health. I believe that but I cannot take credit for the quote. It is attributed to Virgil, one of Rome’s greatest poets who lived from 70 BC – 19 BC. So we’re not talking “new age-y” thoughts here; it seems more like tried and true fact after all these years. Trust me, I’m not suggesting money isn’t important, let’s face it, we all need money to live (and buy healthy food), but I’m afraid that we take our health for granted in the pursuit of wealth. It should be the other way around: go for health with your all might and you will live a rich life.

Think about it – when you aren’t feeling well, even with “just” aches and pains due to the common cold, can you be at your best? Are you able to concentrate at work and generate income? Could you get up in front of a room full of investors and pitch your company? Sometimes the fatigue can make you cranky and tired and you end up forgetting to pay a credit card bill by the due date. That’s a lot of money being spent on account of poor health.

Too often people believe that “getting healthy” these days costs too much money – a gym membership, a personal trainer, organic food, etc. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some no-cost/low-cost physical activity ideas: walk/run outdoors, walk the stairs in your apartment or office building, buy a yoga/pilates DVD, purchase a set of resistance bands, get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. What’ll it be?  It’s a good thing money isn’t an issue here – it’s all up to you.

Regarding organic food, yes, if you put a conventionally-grown apple next to an organic apple, there is going to be a price difference. A carton of organic milk is going to cost more than “regular” milk. Don’t think of the cost of healthy food as organic versus conventional; think of it as a big picture. How are you spending your money? Do you eat out a lot or get take-out? Are you buying a lot of junk food? Do you spend $5 a day (or more) on coffee? These dollars and cents add up quickly and could instead be spent on more nutritious options at the grocery store.

And it still doesn’t all have to be all organic. I certainly believe that organic food is healthier and worth the investment, but if you are just getting used to the idea of spending more per item, it may seem daunting. We need to start somewhere, so choose one item to buy organic. What’s the product you (or your children) consume the most? Milk? Eggs? Broccoli? Apples? Cut down on expenses where you can (think about that $5 cup of coffee) and start buying one item organic from now on. It won’t hurt your wallet and you might even save money because a healthier you means less doctor visits.

Your health is your greatest wealth. What investment are you going to make today?

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