One of the first lessons I learned, once I began earning a paycheck, was the importance of a budget.  My mother, who was my unofficial financial planner, showed me the “envelope trick.”

Mother patiently showed me how to identify my expenses, label an envelope for each expense, divide my money between each expense and put it in the appropriate envelope.  She explained that when the expense came due, the money would be “tucked” away.  All I needed to do is take the money out of the envelope to pay the bill.

And, my mother explained, once my expenses were provided for, I needed to prioritize any remaining money between needs, wants and building a nest egg; then make choices.

Choices like: wanting to go to the movies to have fun or needing to maintain my car.  Mother pointed out that the car would need tires, the oil changed and repairs; all of which, if not tended, would affect my ability to earn money.  The choice, and the consequence, would be mine.

It was like hearing Aesop’s fable about the grasshopper and the ants.  The grasshopper whiled away the summer – the ants worked to store away food for winter.  When, inevitably, winter came, the grasshopper starved and died – the ants did not.  The grasshoppler failed to budget.  The moral of Aesop’s fable is:  It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

The body is a marvel of engineering: joints, ligaments and muscles, working in synchrony to produce force and motion; cells, coordinating with one another, to produce energy, sensation and thought; systems for protection from external and internal agents that could disrupt the harmony that we describe as health; systems to repair damaged and injured cells and tissue.  The coup de gras is the miracle of regeneration that provides the ability for the body to completely rebuild itself, perfectly, every 7 years.

With one exception, this miracle of life happens automatically.  The body converts food, using water as medium and catalyst, into building blocks that are reassembled to become part of a healthy body, the systems that support it and then, dispose of the waste.

What is the Exception?

When you choose whole food: vegetables, fruit, whole grain, fish, poultry, lean red meat and water, your are meeting your health budget, with a little left over for emergencies.  These whole foods contain the building blocks on which your body relies: protein, essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins on which the body depends to flourish.  You will enjoy the bounty of health.

When you choose cans, boxes and bags of processed, packaged and preserved food, convenience and fast food, soda, artificial sweeteners, coffee and energy drinks, you are bankrupting your health budget.  The labels on these foods clearly proclaim that they contain flour, sugar and chemicals, the hyphenated words that you can’t pronounce, to enhance taste, color and shelf life.  None of which benefit your body.  If you aren’t sick, you soon will be.

When you choose a combination of the two, you are creating a deficit or, as my mother would say, “You are going broke slowly – ask for a raise or get a second job.”  Your body will do the best it can with what it has to work.  Lacking energy and endurance, obesity, frequent illnesses, declining quality of life and vulnerability to degenerative disease are all predictable outcomes.  You won’t be sick, but you aren’t healthy either.

Are you the grasshopper or are you the ant?

The grasshopper fiddled the summer away, while the ants spent time preparing for winter.  Enjoying a life- time of radiant health is truly a simple issue:  Are you investing in health or are you paying for sickness?

Do you want to know?  Find out with the NUPRO three step health plan.