Forced to drop medical aid focuses on living without insurance.
The article in the Witness (September 17, 2020) will confirm what most of us already know. Medical insurance has increasingly become out of reach for the majority; and since lockdown the industry is expecting a surge of cancellations from those with serious loss of jobs.
Many are no doubt extremely worried; both patients who will lose their insurance and doctors who will forfeit an assured income.
And yet for us at Our Green Home, dropping all medical insurance turned out to be a profoundly positive step. Let me explain.
Having been on NMP for thirty years in SA and for seven in the Netherlands where it is compulsory for all, we were shocked on our return to these lovely shores to be told that there was a huge premium to be paid “because we had not been on a medical-aid.” We exploded in indignation.
There followed a time of contemplation; dare we go off all health insurance? What would happen if one of us was to get cancer?
Gradually peace came to our hearts and we decided to take the plunge but with a proviso. We were going to vigorously apply our minds to the precepts of better health; and set aside a sinking-fund. Many thought we were crazy. Others called us fanatics; my relative said I had become a food snob.
They were all correct but in retrospect it was one of the most beneficial decisions we ever made. We have hardly been sick in thirteen-years, with only one serious hiccough; and take no medication.
That is pretty unusual in one's mid seventies.
Have we got it all right? Certainly not because greater well-being is a moving target; but it is better to aim your best shots, missing periodically than be ostriches and pretend sickness will never breach the moat.
With hindsight, where would I start after ten years of doing our damnedest to be disgustingly healthy? Oddly it would be with making a probiotic. Kefir was our choice, but it could be this homemade sauerkraut recipe or kombucha, for example.
There is a huge amount coming out in the scientific literature about the great importance of a healthy microbiome; the bugs inhabiting out intestines.
Our first step in fact was to start an organic garden. Enjoying a large part of our food, freshly-picked and with no toxic pesticides provided the many coloured fruits and vegetables that we consume daily.
Research revealing that those eating at least 7 coloured foods daily have a 35% lower all-cause of death had a profound effect on our thinking. We aim for ten to fifteen.
The benefits of kale made an huge impact on our thinking, and we eat it daily, usually in Eggs-Hilton; it is the richest source of a very important phytonutrient called lutein.
Our second step was to ensure that we made
time for moderate exercise every single day. Whether it was a stroll in
the neighbourhood, a walk down the garden to pick our lunch or starting a
compost heap, daily movement we believe is a non-negotiable.
The third came directly from a fascination with the longevity in the five Blue Zones of the world; where ten-times as many people reach a hundred and vital old age is the norm.
In all five quite independently the people are gardeners, all planting and enjoying growing broad beans. They are horrid unless freshly-picked and eaten young; they are the only source of significant amounts of levodopa.
It is the precursor of dopamine,
a very important neurotransmitter; a deficiency causes a serious
neurodegenerative disease. You are unlikely to find broad beans at the greengrocer or in cans. They are also known as favas.
None of these steps were costly except in time; and the sweat from our brows. There were many others on our journey to greater wellness, too many to mention but baking our own 100% wholemeal easy sourdough bread daily has to get a mention.
There is a huge mass of literature about the benefits of whole grains. It meant finding a farmer able to supply 200kg of wheat and buying a mill. Thereafter it's just five minutes a day for the best-tasting and most nutritious loaf in the world.
One of the immediate benefits was the discovery that greens at least twice a day permanently cured the stubborn constipation that had plagued me all my life. An egg on a bed of spinach for breakfast may seem strange but it has worked wonders. When you are forced to drop your medical aid then one focuses perhaps for the first-time on prevention; always better than a cure.
And lastly from reading the scientific literature that it is refined carbohydrates, and not fat that in the main raises blood-glucose, causes obesity and diabetes; and inflames our joints, muscles and organs.
Oddly once the decision was made, eschewing everything made with sugar and cake-flour proved easier than I thought. Even our raw honey we limit to three teaspoons a day despite the fact it does not raise blood glucose.
Your own natural honey on freshly baked sourdough bread is without equal; but I try to follow a starchy meal like this with a short walk.
Keeping bees is a sound progression from using sugar for sweetening to your own natural honey.
For the record I’m not recommending you quit your medical-aid; but
being forced to drop it need not necessarily be a disaster. In fact,
welcomed and wholly embraced, what appeared to be a very dark cloud could
have a silver lining. It has saved us a huge amount of money, not to mention pain and sickness.
Yes it all takes time. Hours we think well spent, less probably than we would instead have spent consulting doctors and being indisposed; and maybe dead. Having been forced to drop medical aid due to the dumb insurance company policy turned out to be a great blessing; but only because we enthusiastically embraced this new lifestyle.
Forced to drop medical aid can be immensely beneficial if we happily embrace a different lifestyle.
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