How To Invest In Your Health And Avoid Snake Oil Salesmen
ON THIS EPISODE OF THE BEST MEDICINE PODCAST
Our Guest: Bogdan Chugunov
Today the wonderful Bogdan Chugunov returns to the show.
You can watch my first interview with him here.
Bogdan is a natural health advocate, particularly for using remedies such as Manuka Honey, ginseng, etc to treat common ailments. He is also the founder of Health Republic. You can find him on LinkedIn here.
DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse or recommend anything discussed in this episode as “medical advice.” You should speak with your own physician about which treatments and lifestyle changes will benefit you.
- Why You MUST Invest In Your Health NOW
- Why Health Is REAL Wealth
- Why Health Companies Are INCENTIVIZED To Become SNAKE OIL Salesmen
Health and Wealth
I’ve spoken at length before about the economic incentives in the medical industry being disastrous for people’s health and bank accounts.
Previously I’ve been rather hard on the “mainstream” side of the industry — but there’s just as much criticism to be levied against the “alternative” or “holistic” health market. They’re two sides of the same coin. I’ve always called it “symptom management.”
Patients who can be healed with knowledge are typically not customers.
Patients who can be healed in one, or a few, visits/interventions will need to continuously be acquired.
Patients who subscribe to a round of continuous pharmaceutical intervention or ongoing checkups are cash cows for pharma companies, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and more. But this is the same for people who subscribe to ongoing weekly crystal readings, fake manuka honey shipments, and continued “wellness consultations.”
The failures of the industry are upsetting. Mainly because some people get scared away from investing in their health at all.
In this article and podcast Bogdan and I hope to explain why you SHOULD invest in your health, and some ways to do it that won’t continuously drain your bank account.
We all need money and shouldn’t part with it too easily — but our health is one area where it’s better to spend sooner than later.
Health is an Investment, Not a Gift
The first principle to understand here is that health is not a gift.
We all “know” that disease or injury can happen to anybody — and ultimately aging will deteriorate all of us to some degree.
But we try to hide this fact from ourselves.
The Buddhists have a story about this. The Buddha was a prince — and his father, the king, was told a prophecy about him. Apparently, the boy would grow up to be either the king of kings or a wiseman. The king obviously wanted his bloodline to continue ruling the land and decided to make life as a royal seem as enticing as possible. He banished all sick, aging, dying and poor people from the land so that his son would never have to see them.
One day the young prince ended up venturing out of the castle and seeing the sick, aging, dying and poor people. He decided to renounce his wealth and royal status to pursue enlightenment.
So what does that mean? It’s quite the tale.
Here’s what I get from it:
Buddha realized that hiding from illness and death won’t prevent those things from existing and that to live a truly meaningful life we must actively contend with these realities. This might mean also sacrificing some of the things we “can’t take with us” to better live a life of moral, spiritual and physical integrity now.
We all have a chance to be like the Buddha in this story. We do not need to be as extreme as he was and take a vow of poverty. But we can all look around and see how hiding from the realities of our bodies have effected our society.
Pretending the standard american diet was healthy because it was cheap and tasted good ended up creating a world where ⅓ of our nation is obese. You can’t hide from health problems once you’re obese — yet people will try with the body positivity movement. There can literally be over 100 pounds of death and disease hanging off someone’s gut and they might still close their eyes to the future they’re allowing to unfold for themselves.
At scale, this is why Coronavirus killed so many people. Our inability to face death made an actual disease worse later on.
And of course Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca will make billions of dollars from our hiding.
People taking their youth and health for granted is what allowed coronavirus to kill as many people as it did. The best treatment for COVID was to NOT allow our population to become chronically obese.
And the way I think we get there is empowering people to realize that their health is not a gift that they get to keep forever. It is an investment.
Investing in your health is not expensive if you do it right.
How To Invest In A Healthier Lifestyle
You might be given a brand new car. But if you don’t maintain it then you won’t have the car any longer. You can not hide from this reality. It is YOUR obligation to maintain your “meat vehicle” as Joe Rogan calls it.
When we invest in maintaining the car regularly we are ensuring we DON’T spend thousands of dollars replacing parts before it’s necessary. We also ensure that we don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new car.
We will ALL pay for our health decisions. People who invest in their health upfront will end up paying less for their health overall than people who wait for expensive trips to the emergency room or dozens of expensive appointments and prescriptions each month.
Here are the 5 areas I would invest in now that won’t cost you more (or that much more) than you’re already spending.
Affordable Ways to Eat Healthy
We all buy food. This is an unavoidable expense. I was walking through the grocery store the other day and I saw that the price of snacks has sky-rocketed. Bread, chips, candies — they’re all more expensive than they used to be.
Fast food too is getting expensive. I remember when the “Dollar Menu” cost a dollar! Now everything on the value menu is at least $3 to $8.
This is a good thing. The common excuse for not eating healthy is that it cost too much. This is not actually true.
The cost of buying a bag of chips and a soda might be $10. This is enough to snack on while watching a movie for one person, perhaps. But $10 could also buy you 2–4 pounds of ground beef (depending on where you live). That’s enough protein and fat for at least 4 meals. That’s taco night for a family of 4, a half week of the carnivore diet, or a meatloaf to split between two people over one or two nights.
Here’s a fun fact though, all the research that’s coming out is pointing towards the benefits of Intermittent and prolonged fasting for health. You don’t need to go crazy like my previous guest Garrett Dailey and fast for 40 days straight, but you could probably stand to skip breakfast.
If money is tight, you can not afford to eat poorly. It is becoming more and more affordable to eat well (by comparison) as time goes on.
Affordable ways to Invest in Exercise
Exercise is an essential. But if money is tight you don’t need to invest in a $80/hr personal trainer, or a $47 e-book on weight training.
You can watch a few Youtube videos about the exercises of your choice (I like CrossFit) and do the exercises yourself.
A one-time investment in 3 or 4 kettlebells of different weights, a weight-vest, some good running shoes, and a pull-up bar might cost $300 or $400 but it will last you forever. It won’t get shutdown by the government, and it won’t require you to spend gas money to workout.
Many people say “how could you have a Netflix and Hulu and Spotify subscription but not a gym membership?”
I’ll one-up that!
We all need entertainment in our lives — especially in these dark times.
Keep the Spotify Premium and listen to music while you run.
Keep Audible and listen to audiobooks while you swing kettlebells.
Keep the Netflix account and do yoga while your documentary is on.
Then your workouts will be more fun. If the only way you’ll DO your exercises is if you have fun while doing it — then invest in the entertainment.
The one small purchase needed to stay hydrated
This one is simple. Buy a (BPA-free) water bottle.
We all know drinking water is important. How many of us will spend money on coffee, alcohol or soda, but don’t even drink water when it comes out of the walls for free? It’s one of the foundational requirements for carbon based life to exist and most of us don’t even drink it.
I’m not gonna tell you to STOP drinking soda, coffee and alcohol (but as your doctor, I’d advise you to cut down on them).
Just buy a water bottle and keep it on you all the time. Being hydrated helps optimize literally every single bodily function, part and system. If $20 on a great water bottle spent maybe once every year makes the difference between drinking water and not drinking water, then you should spend the $20!
Sleep more! It’s Free!
Sleep is the most important bodily process. Here’s what you need to sleep well:
- 7–8 hours of it
- In a cool, dark, quiet room
- On a suitable surface
You don’t need the $30 melatonin pack, or Nyquil or sleeping pills or the $100 hypnosis audios. You just need those three things. The first one is free. Changing to a 7–8 hour sleep schedule from a 6 hour one is completely free and will revolutionize your life.
There is no better investment in your life than knowledge.
Finally, knowledge. Many of us hide from the realities of health and aging because we are intimidated by the “confuseopoly” of information about these topics.
Some people advocate the vegan diet. Others advocate carnivore. My guest today advocates Manuka honey — other advocate essential oils. Some folks like crossfit, others like weight lifting.
There is a limitless amount of bullshit marketing surrounding every possible thing in the health and fitness world.
I don’t think most people really need an exceptional amount of high-level knowledge that would require them to spend tons of money.
I think a reading habit is fine! Plus, reading will stave off neurodegenerative illnesses such as Altzheimers.
You don’t need to buy a $1000 course from some guru, but a $30 book once a month or once a quarter can go a long way. Read on the subjects of:
- Personal Development and Mindset
Or heck, dont read about those things. Read a novel, or a business book, or a biography. But reading is a core habit you should form for your health. Gathering knowledge in anything will allow us to be more confident and competent in that area. Then when we engage with that part of our lives we will feel less stressed and perform better.
To bring it all together, here’s one ritual you can engage in which is practically free. It’s the one thing you can do every single day which is guaranteed to improve your health over the short and long term.
A daily walk.
Go for a 30 to 60 minute walk every single day. Bring some water on the walk with you and listen to an audiobook or educational podcast you enjoy. Walk while you’re intermittent fasting so that you burn more body fat.
This ritual hits all of my main points and is borderline free. It even helps sleep — regular walking outside exposes our body to natural sunlight which helps us produce the correct sleep/wake cycle hormones at the correct times.
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We spoke a lot about investing in your health in an affordable way today.
I tried to give you the most affordable investments you can make that will disproportionately benefit your health for the long term. But sometimes things go wrong.
Sometimes you get sick anyways. Sometimes you get injured anyways.
If you want to speak to a doctor but don’t want to break the bank listening to somebody advertise a pill or surgery to you then I recommend trying out Wellspring.
Wellspring is a cash-only telemedicine clinic that you can go to even if you don’t have health insurance. Every session for every person costs $50 and we offer 100% money back guarantees if you’re unsatisfied. Check wellspringcare.org to learn more!
Dr Bradley Werrell