Living On Less: Can Be A Better and Healthier Choice

The struggle to make more money to support one’s lifestyle is robbing many of some very precious years – and it will tax the health of these driven individuals who put the quest for income first.
It is a sad fact that those who don’t realize what is truly important in life will suffer the consequences later on. Long hours devoted to the job over the years without sufficient attention being paid to the real necessities such as, eating right, proper rest, sunshine, healthy relationships, etc., will eventually take a toll…and it will cost them everything they have struggled to obtain. I learned this firsthand as I saw people I cared about succumb to major illness, because they didn’t follow basic health laws.

There are people I know who aren’t interested in learning more health information; they already know enough. It’s been said that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It’s so true.
New information is surfacing continuously. One must be open to learning to survive. Many people are adverse to change. They want to eat the way they want to eat; and live the way they want to live; and simple truths are disregarded. Success and money are more important, but what good are they, if your health suffers in the process of acquiring them? What good are material things you have strived for, if you wind up ill and dying, because you have ignored the basic fundamentals? It doesn’t take a lot of money to be healthy, but it does take time to learn what to do in order to be healthy and stay fit.Health is true wealth! Poor health is ultra costly; as the medical care system does not provide information that will keep you out of their offices. Drugs, vaccines, medical treatments and operations are expensive band-aids.

As a child of the Great Depression I learned very valuable lessons. The major lesson was how to survive on very little. Our household income was extremely limited; less than forty dollars a month. A major portion of it was spent for rent. Very little was left for food. However, it is amazing that we spent nothing for doctor bills. We were healthy…and spent every summer living in the sunshine and fresh air. We did a lot of walking, biking, swimming and roller-skating all over the entire city. I don’t know any other family in our area of Pittsburgh who were as active. I kind of think that Kahlil Gibran’s words are thought provoking: “Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.” I wonder, if we were being nourished by the sunlight and oxygen.

Looking back in my mind to my earliest memories…and I can easily go back to two years old. I remember one place we lived in and how empty it was. There was an icebox, but no table in the room. I can not remember sitting at a table and eating. I don’t remember food. My sister said that she remembers seeing a scrap of bread on the ground and she dove for it. I don’t recall being hungry, but those early years were like a blur to me. They took a mental toll on my ability to learn, when I went to school. It is a total miracle to think how my siblings and I survived those early very lean years – and we are all still here.

It has given me a great deal of faith in the power of the Almighty who sustained us. I have totally trusted in the Power all my life. All my needs have been met, even though money was scarce.
I have worked hard over my lifetime. There were no allowances. If I wanted something I had to earn it myself. I started earning money at eight, babysitting a neighbor’s child in the afternoon. I had a great deal of personal experience from the age of five on, taking care of my younger siblings. I was trusted starting at five to watch them, when my parents had to go out for a short time. I also earned money distributing flyers (circulars) for a local market at nine; cleaning houses, when I was ten; shoveling snow I made $20 a day at eleven; and babysitting for many teen years. When I was seventeen, I worked as a soda jerk; at eighteen I worked in a market’s produce section; and at nineteen, I was a waitress for a summer in Ocean City, N.J.

Money was very limited, but I said a prayer when I applied for college at seventeen – and a real miracle occurred. Two weeks, before school started my mother who was a school teacher got a raise. I have had many other fortuitous situations occur in my life through totally trusting in Higher Power. I had little money, but somehow I made it for 78 years. I want people to realize that money is not the end all of being. It is important that people are aware that each one of us has talents that need to be used…and if we find a need and fill it…the money. we need will be there, when we trust in the One who made us.

When I married at 22 in 1956, I did marry a man who had a college degree and the ability to provide for a family. We struggled and saved for many years. I was given $20 a week to run the household. I paid for groceries, laundry supplies and incidentals out of the $20. I did not have any other money. My husband paid all the other bills and we worked together toward the future. It took 9 years, before we purchased our first home. My husband spent all his time at the office getting his business off the ground… and we didn‘t see much of him. In 1961 I started studying nutrition. Every spare cent I got went into buying books and supplements. It was fascinating learning about health and nutrition, as my son had health issues. I found out, when I opened the first book, what caused them; my reliance on inept doctors.

In 1961 I discovered some simple answers, which changed my son’s life. Through nutritional changes in his diet, I got him off tranquilizers. However, other health problems surfaced within two years.
I followed advice from a very well known nutritional health writer. Her information put my son and me into the hospital. We both had our tonsils removed in 1963. We had coughs, colds, sore throats and lots of mucous from the high protein diet she recommended. She advocated 100 plus grams of protein daily. This was bad advice. The standard today is about sixty grams (too much). Excess protein contributes to obesity, heart disease and cancer, etc. It was costly paying for the animal protein she recommended – and then for the doctor and hospital bills that occurred. Save money: and your health. Limit the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, you eat. The max amount of protein most people need is 35 grams daily. My protein requirement is: 22 grams.  The older you get, the less you need. It is so easy to overdose on protein.

Eating right will save a great deal of money. Avoiding processed foods, will help both health-wise and cost-wise. Put more money into unprocessed organic fruits and vegetables for better health.
It is expensive to eat out…and you really have no idea what ingredients you are getting in this food. In the past, after I have eaten out, the next morning when I looked in the mirror…my eyes were puffy from excess sodium…and my scale would jump up 1 – 3 lbs. It was not the amount of food, but the wrong ingredients that were holding fluid in my body. Over-time this damages the kidneys and other organs in the body. Lose your desire to eat foods and beverages that don’t belong in your body. Don‘t compromise your health..

People, being social creatures, love to socialize. I attend a bi-monthly (buffet) dinner meeting for a book publicist’s group. I avoid the salads with their multi-ingredients and value-less ice berg lettuce. I only eat some Pacific salmon as my entrée. I also meet at a coffee shop with friends occasionally. It is best to forego eating out. Eating at home is less expensive and healthier as you have control over the food. People would not think of putting arsenic in their mouths, but arsenic is used in the commercial raising of chicken. I used to entertain more at my home, but have very little free time to socialize.  Now my whole life is primarily devoted to health research and focused on doing a new book by 2014.

I just met with my tax accountant after spending four days going over every expenditure I made in 2011. Decided I wanted to see how much I could cut back in 2012.  I fully intend to spend less; not more. I will pass along some of  my money-saving tips to you. I consolidated my land line and cell phone into a package. I do have a plan where I can call anywhere in the nation at any time for a set fee. I like this, because I do nutritional consultations over the phone and also do activist work, calling Washington, D.C.  regarding health or environmental issues. I also consolidated my condo and automobile insurance into one package; plus lowered it more by cutting back on driving. My insurance company gave me a price break for low mileage. I got a better deal on my Internet by setting up an automatic payment. I did this with my gas and Department of Water and Power bills. It saves stamps…and the time to write out checks. It also guarantees no late charges.

The biggest savings is not running up interest payments by never putting anything on my credit cards I can’t pay off in one month. It is no bargain, when you pay 19% – 25% interest monthly or more. People who don’t want to touch their savings to pay off a credit card bill are foolish. It is the greatest feeling in the world – not to owe anyone anything. After I left my husband, I paid off the condo my mother put a down on. She added me on the title as joint tenant. In as short a time as possible; by paying extra each month I paid it off. Unfortunately, though some unconscionable machinations, I had to pay it off twice. I learned a great deal about unfair laws. It was a costly lesson.

Other ways to save…Exercise at home cleaning windows, walls and the floors. Why pay someone else to do this and then pay to work out at a gym? Movement is Life. Housework is healthy activity. The Karate Kid was a movie that influenced me. The Karate Kid’s mentor had him focus his mind on polishing the car to develop his body. When I do the windows I think about the exercise my arms are getting. I like to get down on my hands and knees to clean the floor. It feels good to get the body into this stretching position. It isn’t possible to get the floors really clean with the average cotton or sponge mop. I spot clean the carpets, touch up paint, and do my own laundry. It is saving money, when you aren‘t paying someone to do work you can do. I spent 21 years as a housewife – and learned to enjoy it. Attitude is very important. Another Kahlil Gibran quote: “Work is love made visible.”

Another way to save money…my son bought me a car duster. I use it all the time to keep the car free of dust. It saves putting out money for frequent car washes and lowers water consumption, too. I try to limit the amount of driving I do and when I have to do errands, set them up, so as to put on as little mileage as possible. I keep a mileage record in my car…and transfer this information into another more detailed record book I have in the house. I know precisely how much I spend on a yearly basis for my car. I have a reliable Geo Prism that gets fairly decent mileage…and it is 19 years old. I couldn’t care less about impressing anyone with a late model car…I would rather be debt-free and stress-free.

The psychology of spending money is based a lot on one’s own self-esteem. People who are insecure spend to impress others. People who have good self-esteem don’t need to impress anyone. Ever since I was a little girl I have had friends who liked me. I always knew who my friends were. People who have a lot of money can’t always say the same thing. Money can be a burden. It is not always a blessing. Many spend money to feel good, but possessions lose their glitter – and when the bills come in – stress follows.

My first 21 years were money-free; my second 21 years were money-free; and my next 21 followed suit. Finally in my 70’s life became a little easier…and I am hopeful the future will be even better.  I am praying I will be able to manifest more money in the future for the causes I believe in. I am very happy with what I already have; the means to do the research I enjoy doing; and being in a position where I can share information with family, friends and other health seekers. My needs have all been met.

Material possessions others think are important – aren’t worth the time and energy. Sacrificing one’s life and health to obtain expensive clothes, jewels, furs, a big house is far from wise. It is folly.  I learned the price of an outfit should not be the criterion. If your figure is decent you will look good in almost anything. I learned a lesson about labels. One pays a fortune for the name, but the quality is not much better. It is fun to shop in thrift shops. I have found some beautiful clothes for very little money. I am not into jewelry and would not want to be seen wearing furs. I had a big beautiful house – and walked out and left it. A House is Not a Home. I don’t smoke, drink, or gamble. If you don’t spend, you save. You’ll be healthier mentally, physically and spiritually for it.

Another thing I don’t spend on is travel. I like being in my own place. I have everything I need to be comfortable and with TSA monitoring the airports…I have even less desire to go.  Being radiated in order to get on a plane and then experiencing intense radiation at 20,000 feet is a total turn-off. I have no burning desire to go to other countries, because I am aware that ingesting the wrong foods can be harmful. Eating many different cooked food is far from healthy. I enjoy meeting people from other countries, but I can meet them here. It is easy to live on less, if your wants don’t exceed your needs…or income.

I am not bored. I find life very exciting. I wake up happy and go to sleep happy on a daily basis. I am where I am supposed to be at all times…totally part of the Creator’s Wonderful Energy that created all life.  I feel very blessed to have my health and to know “every day in every way I am getting better and better“…just as Emile Coue said in the early 1900s. This was a wise psychologist’s prescription for good health. It does not take a fortune to be healthy, it primarily takes common sense. Living on less is a challenge, but it will do more for your health and your bank account than you ever dreamed possible.

Healthfully Yours,

Barbara Charis

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