How Economics Saved My Life

In 2010, I was an economics PhD student at Clemson University. Economics was my passion, I absolutely loved it. My idea of a good time was listening to Milton Friedman on YouTube. Nerdy, I know…

But during that summer of 2010, something changed, my husband got really sick, really quickly, and I discovered I had chronic fatigue and full-blown candida overgrowth.

We were pill-popping, fast food eating standard Americans so when the medical community struggled to diagnose and help either one of us, I started looking for my own answers. This is how economics saved my life and just possibly the lives of many others too. I started asking the simple questions I would ask in any economic situation or potential research question. I asked “Why—why is the world this way; what are the incentives?”

So in this particular case—why am I sick, why is my husband sick? Which led to me fully needing to understand what sickness is—the lack of health, the lack of vitality. For some reason, my system was burdened and could not maintain a healthy state, a state full of energy.

I knew my body was doing the best job to maintain an equilibrium with the resources it was given at any given point. I realized however, that I was in “nutritional bankruptcy”—in feeling exhausted all the time, my inputs and processes were not covering the daily energetic costs of life. And I began to think about why…the inputs and processes I was using to run the business of my body clearly were not efficient enough to yield optimum health.

So I started thinking about what efficient processes and inputs would actually look like—and I looked to the end result. Who are the healthiest most radiant people in the world? If I could find them, I could recreate that health in me.

After lots of research I settled on two very different groups—Buddhist monks and primitive tribesmen/women. I choose them because of their gleaming wrinkle-free faces and full-sets of teeth – even at age 90+, 100+.

I began to implement some of the inputs (foods) and processes (when to eat) of these two groups using part common sense and part research. Eventually, I found bits of scientific research to support some of the various processes I was implementing and before I knew it, I had created a new diet—an Equilibrium Diet—a way of eating that yields vitality for a lifetime—and not just physical vitality—emotional, mental and spiritual vitality too. And that is how economics not only saved my life, but changed it irrevocably, forever.

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