These are the words of Dr. Tess Lawrie in a recent interview at the 2023 Jam For Freedom Festival in the UK. I find myself in agreement with Tess, however, the question then arises of “what does a health rebellion look like for different individuals?” Today, I want to explore some practical considerations and suggestions for a “health rebellion,” which factor in the role that finances, personal circumstances, and community can have. Not all of these solutions may work for everyone, and neither should they need to. This is about taking sovereignty over our lives and deciding what is going to work for us and what won’t.
“But I Can’t Afford to Be Healthy”
It’s no secret that modern living is saturated in chemicals and compounds that are harmful to our health. So, when evaluating what the average person may purchase and use on a regular basis, there are several things that jump out to me that could be cut out to both reduce expenditure – freeing up funds to, for example, purchase better quality food and household goods, and reduce harmful exposures.
One change that I found particularly easy to implement was cutting out unnecessary “care” products. I label them as “care” products as so many of them are not actually doing anything to care for our bodies (Johnny Harris, formerly of Vox, has a great video on shampoo) and often contain undisclosed ingredients that are harmful to health. The same can be said for oral health products. There’s generally no need to be using commercial mouthwashes, and making your own toothpaste with easily accessible ingredients will be more than adequate in keeping teeth clean. Check out Dr. Sam Bailey’s video below, where she explores more on these ideas and alternatives to using these products.
When cutting out things from my own life that were not serving to make me happy or healthy, I sometimes find I can generate some funds through selling whatever it was that I no longer needed. The biggest one for me was in getting rid of my smartphone and using a phone emulator on my computer instead, such as Waydroid on Linux (a good option for digital sovereignty enthusiasts) or Bluestacks on Windows or Apple devices. What did this do for my health?. First, I reduced my blue light exposure by not having a digital device with me constantly that could distract me. Second, I reduced my EMF exposure by not having a wireless device on me. Finally, I got some money back from selling the smartphone online that I could then put towards improving my health in other ways. I did something similar with alcohol, too, and I’ve been pretty much teetotal for well over a year. That saved a hell of a lot of money, in addition to avoiding the toxic effects of alcohol. I’ve never had a microwave oven of my own to get rid of, but given the negative effects that microwaves have on the quality of nutrients in food and the risk of EMF leakage, that might be a great option to consider too.
I like to think of this kind of approach as “minimalism,” in a more traditional sense of the idea. I’m not talking about the kind of “own nothing and be happy” minimalism that the global predator class wants for us. Nor the kind of minimalism that encourages us to live in white walls and have nothing that isn’t directly contributing to our biological functions, which seems to be what a lot of the modern minimalism movement has succumbed to. It is instead about prioritising the things that make us happy and healthy, along with clearing out whatever doesn’t. Exactly what constitues those things will be subjective between individuals, thus I would never want to go down the route of just getting rid of things from my life for the sake of getting rid of them. It may not be right for someone to sell their smartphone if it’s genuinely helping them to improve their life in how they use it, and the same could be said for alcohol given the social situations it may facilitate that can bolster wellbeing. We cannot make those decisions for someone else; they must come from the individual.
Invest in Health, Not Harm
So what’s the best thing to do with all this extra cash that I’ve now accrued? Seeking out organic, GMO-free, locally grown food is generally a good first bet. I used the money I was saving from not drinking to buy raw milk from a local farm with grass-fed cows and turn it into kefir to further boost the number of probiotics. Water filtration systems, barefoot shoes, kitchenware that’s free from non-stick coatings, wired internet connections throughout homes to avoid using Wi-Fi (I use a powerline adapter as a low-cost compromise) and clothes made from natural fibres can all be good investments in health as well. For those interested in self-sufficiency, the following video may be of interest:
However, “investment” shouldn’t just mean money. It should refer to time too. Being healthy is a responsibility that is going to require us to take time to adequately address this. It takes time to exercise, cook healthy meals and access nature. If you’re the kind of person who believes that they simply haven’t got the time to be healthy, perhaps it’s worth asking the question, “Is it really that there is no time to be healthy, or is it simply that you are unwilling to make the time?” Those might be harsh words, but I know for myself that there were so many situations in my life where I would tell myself I did not have the time to do something, when in reality, I was just too lazy and unwilling to take responsibility to do those things. I suspect I may not be the only person to have experienced this.
This doesn’t mean we can’t be efficient with how we spend the time that we dedicate to our health, and there are many different strategies to incorporate practises that promote health that can fit around our existing routines. Cold showers instead of hot showers in the morning are a good example. Orthodontist Dr. Mike Mew’s approach with short bursts of exercise throughout the day and Dr. Zach Bush’s Nitric Oxide Dump workouts are good examples of small but beneficial commitments that could slot into even the busiest work routines. Additionally, exercising in nature, as opposed to indoors allows for exposure to sunlight and thus Vitamin D synthesis. I like to plan time within my week for long hikes where I can both forage for food en-route (which will be healthier to eat than many items in supermarkets) and opportunities to do grounding while out there. That’s three wins all squeezed into one activity!
Focusing on good food, good exercise and good environments will cover a lot of bases in terms of encouraging ourselves to be as healthy as we can be.
It’s Dangerous To Go Alone
Why struggle by yourself? Chances are that, with the right time and effort put in, working with the people around you can help reduce the cost of a “health rebellion” and make things possible that weren’t before. Let’s say you want to grow some of your own food in a small garden that you own or have access to, because you know that you can have food for yourself that isn’t contaminated by pesticides and herbicides, is GMO free and so forth. It doesn’t make practical sense, however, to build a compost heap that would take up too much room in the garden and would produce far more than you could actually use, even if it would be a “healthier” approach to gardening and be cheaper in the long run. Well, why not team up with neighbours and locals who might also be in the same boat?
Collaborating with local communities confers enables everyone to use their strengths for the benefit of others. I regularly pass by an allotment on my walks which is always selling excess produce, often at far better prices than what the supermarkets sell and that are of better quality. Plus, the money goes directly towards the upkeep of the allotment. That’s a win for the local community. Attending local markets and fayres, along with getting to know local growers and tradesmen on a personal basis, allows for even further opportunities to open up. Perhaps you can offer a skill in carpentry or electrical work in exchange for some local, healthy produce?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in trying to do absolutely everything in one go. It seems far more reasonable to introduce changes gradually but have them stick into routines and lifestyles long-term. I would love to hear any success stories or suggestions you may have in the comments below.