Have you seen the headlines? “Wellness is the new luxury.” What do you think? Is it true? Or did you just have a massive eye-roll?
My experience losing my health… and my income
Looking back at my 20s… I was fit. I was healthy. I was physically unstoppable. Then my health fell out… and it cost me what was a successful military career. I lost everything important to me.
- I lost my physical abilities.
- I lost my income (was even denied welfare benefits).
- I lost my confidence.
- I lost my zest for life.
- I lost my ability to afford housing (without the state or veteran benefits helping me out with homelessness).
In fact, if it wasn’t for a couple of friends, I would have totally homeless without a glimmer of hope. I could go on for days about everything that was stripped away into nothing until I became a broke, self-loathing pile of flesh. I was humiliated, became cynical, and done with life. Looking back now… I can hardly recognize myself.
During that time, I remember seeing a post on Pinterest, talking about Candida being a “rich person problem,” even though in all reality, it is an every person’s problem. It just seems that those who are more financially well off are the ones more focused on remedying it. Wellness seems to be harboring the same accusations today.
Then something happened. My neurologist at the Veterans Hospital told me not to worry about any lifestyle changes because it would “kill [me] faster than [my] condition.” That was music to my ears. With failed suicide attempts, I was desperate for my suffering to end, and after several dozen medication failures, there was no relief in sight. So… with a weary head and a broken body, we worked up the nerve to give it a shot… only… it backfired.
I was shocked. Eating a paleo diet actually brought my average 6 seizures a day down to 2 each week. We saved money to afford higher quality meat and organic veggies by growing most of our own veggies. After a couple of weeks of allowing our bodies to adjust, we were surprised by how little snacking we did too, which also saved money. With such dramatic effects, we started looking into chemical exposure around the house and were shocked again.
ALL of our everyday products had harmful chemicals in them… and there I thought blowing through what was left of my $974 monthly disability income for “healthy/green” products was a good thing… nope! We ditched all of it and started making most of what we needed just to ensure we were not using harmful chemicals in our home without worrying about how to afford everything.
Is living healthier more expensive?
You see… I was under the impression that living healthier through buying higher-quality personal care products would break the bank, especially when I didn’t have a lot of “bank” to begin with. $974/month is not a paycheck to squander when having a car payment, phone bills, insurance, and living expenses.
I assumed looking at the price tag on the cheap Wal-Mart specials was significantly less than the “luxury, spa-quality” items on the top shelf. While, yes, when you look at them side by side, the “luxury” items are much more expensive. However, those luxury items at Walmart aren’t at all healthier, and often don’t even last longer… so that isn’t a realistic comparison.
When you start looking into truly healthy options, they are a little more pricey, but not as much as I expected. I bit the proverbial bullet, and teared up a little spending $20 each on a bottle of shampoo and conditioner that were 8oz each for a pre-made healthy shampoo and conditioner that did not contain any known harmful chemicals, including “fragrance.” I was buying into the thought of “what is your health worth,” knowing full well if the experiment of removing harmful chemicals from our home would help me literally get back on my feet so I could work again, my health would be worth a hell of a lot.
Again, I was shocked. Shocked doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I used to buy $10 shampoo and conditioners from Wal-Mart that would last me a month. Then I spent $40 total for shampoo and conditioner that lasted me 3 months (with long hair down to my butt being washed every day)!
Then I realized the healthier stuff can dilute even more! I started adding the shampoo into a foaming bottle and ONE $20 8oz bottle lasted us 7.5 MONTHS!!! (amazed me with having long hair down to my butt, and sharing my shampoo with my husband)
Instead of spending $120 a year on just shampoo, I only spent $40 and had some to spare.
Using healthier products actually saved me money!
The same thing happened with my healthier face wash, hair conditioner, and body wash.
Are safer cleaners more expensive?
I had the same experience with my cleaner. I used to have a cleaner for everything. One for windows, one for counters, one for heavy cleaning needs, one for the oven, one for the shower, one for the toilet, one for the bathroom sinks, one for the kitchen sinks, three for the floors, one for the cabinets, one for dusting furniture, one for the grill… and don’t even get me started on the closet filled with laundry supplies!
I ditched it all. I will never forget filling two 13gal-sized trash bags of cleaners and personal care products and tossing them in the trash. I sat in the living room glued to the window, watching the dump truck come down the street, seriously contemplating jumping out and retrieving everything. I was shaking. That was several hundreds of dollars just sitting in a trash can. My anxiety took over. And then it was gone. The trash cans were emptied, and contents hauled away. Ironically, I felt oddly ok with it. Then I felt relieved.
I replaced it initially with citrus rinds soaked in vinegar, and was surprised with how well that worked, especially when using baking soda as a soft scrub. Later, I added a fully natural, plant-based option that was infused with essential oils.
The household cleaner I tried was admittedly much more expensive on the initial purchase. I choked a bit about it but had faith this would end up with similar results as my shampoo experiment… and I was surprised again.
One large bottle cost me $85, and lasted 15 MONTHS being my ONLY cleaner – including:
- deep cleaning 3 houses,
- laundry booster,
- laundry detergent,
- carpet cleaner
When looking at the long-term game, I saved significantly more than I spent.
Wellness vs toxin exposure
Is wellness the new luxury? I don’t think so. Looking back on my failed health, my health recovery, and my journey through poverty, I feel different from most people.
I truly believe we all deserve to be healthy and feeling well.
I believe we all deserve to use quality products that are not going to poison our bodies, regardless of our economic standing. I believe we all deserve to love ourselves and treat ourselves well, regardless of how much money we bring in.
No one deserves to go through the Hell I endured, filled with autoimmune nightmares. Especially when so many of the chemicals included in most personal care and cleaning products are known for bioaccumulating and causing health ailments.
Unfortunately, I know this is far too common among an alarming amount of the population… too many people are enduring unexplained symptoms, and doctors are spinning their wheels largely not knowing how to help short of prescribing medication in attempts to numb the symptoms.
What if there is more to wellness than we thought…
What if your cologne/perfume could actually make you feel better, give you more energy, help you sleep better, and help you lighten your mood to feel happier?
This became my reality using essential oils. It’s one of those things that you don’t think will work until you try them and form an instant bond with wanting to be around them all the time, totally blown away by how amazing you feel when you’re near them. And they don’t have to cost a lot, especially when using diffusing jewelry (anything with a porous stone, felt, or leather).
The War on Welfare That Implies Wellness May Be A Luxury
This is a very real thing. Too often does it seem that companies think it’s ok to add harmful ingredients to their cheap products just because they’re cheap… never mind the same products are sold overseas for the same price or less and contain healthier ingredients. There really is no excuse for it, aside from the lack of human decency. I’ll be the first one to shout it out: you deserve better. Your family deserves better. And making the shift doesn’t have to completely destroy your wallet!
It doesn’t matter how much we make. What matters is we are human beings. We are souls. We are Children of God.
We deserve to be treated better by the companies we pay to provide us with items to clean our bodies and homes. We deserve to feel like we are worthy enough to use quality products that won’t poison our bodies and minds.
At some point, we need to stick together and stand up to bullying companies that do not value us as a collective and let them know enough is enough in the only way they will listen: through their wallets.
What an amazing world this would become if companies actually served their customers instead of relegating their customers to believing they aren’t worth being treated with standard human dignity.
This is what I see and dream of for our future. And I’m so thrilled to be part of that change… and I do genuinely hope you join us on that mission.
Do you believe in yourself enough to see how much you deserve a life of wellness?
Let’s talk! Shoot over a message on our Contact Us page and let me know you’d like more information, share your concerns, and talk with a real person about finding solutions to your individual needs. We believe in you, and your right to use products that aren’t going to harm you or your family.
Want more info on living healthier without changing your lifestyle?
For more information on living healthier, check out our Healthy Home, Happy Life online course! In this course we will go room by room, showing you where to find common household products that contain toxic chemicals that may be harmful to your and your family’s health. We will also provide you with some DIY recipes and non-DIY solutions to help you replace harmful products with safe alternatives that doesn’t require you to totally shift around your lifestyle.
A Note From Nicole
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Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.