I’m guessing everyone will have their list of things the simply CAN’T do without.

For many, it’s coffee – the No. 1 consumed drink in the world.

The range of items here will be as unique as we all are.

I have plenty of them. I suspect you don’t get into your fifties and beyond without having your “go-to” collection of things you prefer/desire/want…

I have three items that immediately pop into mind, on which I simply WILL NOT compromise. And yes, they do happen to be health-related.

Here they are:

1) My mattress. I never understood the concept of buying a cheap mattress on sale. Yes, I agree that mattresses can be remarkably expensive. I’m not saying that I have an unlimited budget here, but going for a bargain brand will hurt you badly in the end.

You spend upwards of 1/3 of your life on a mattress. It can impact your overall health, recovery, mood, etc.

I actually take a LOT of time picking out a mattress; testing, comparing…etc.

The last mattress I had before my current one was a letdown. It was a top brand and we tested it out thoroughly, did the research, all that…but a couple of years in, we were living with a “valley” that formed where I was sleeping.

(Hey, I’m kinda dense…in the body mass sense.)

Over time, this huge divot formed and I tolerated it MUCH longer than I should have.

With my current mattress, I went all in and I couldn’t be happier. I sleep like a log and it’s adjustable the whole thing. And yes, it was pricy, but what’s consistent, deep sleep worth to you?

For me? Priceless.

2) My shoes. Let’s face it, if you’re not on your mattress, there’s a high likelihood you’re in a pair of shoes of some sort.

I spend about 90% of my waking hours in the same type of shoe (sneaker). It’s a brand called Hoka. They’re fairly pricey but worth every penny.

I have REALLY bad feet.

I started out with flat feet as a kid and then proceeded to lift ridiculously heavy stuff for the next few decades. At one point rupturing my plantar fascia in my right foot. In fact, if I walk around barefoot for more than an hour, my ankles start throbbing and I’m limping shortly thereafter.

(PLEASE don’t send me any information about how I should be walking barefoot all the time with those special, flimsy, toe-sock thingys if I want optimal foot health…they don’t work if the bones and ligaments in your feet are trashed. Tried ‘em.)

As a result, the Hoka’s are the only shoes that allow me to run, jump and walk for as long as I like without pain.

3) Red Meat. Yup, one food group made the list.

True Story:

When I was younger, my mother (as was the pattern for that generation based upon budget) would buy a particular cut of meat at the supermarket.

To say this meat was tough was a bit of an understatement…

If it was late at night and you were walking home alone and saw this piece of meat coming at you, you would cross the street to avoid any confrontation with this slab of sinew…

NOTE: My mom reads these posts. In fact, she edits them. I made my thoughts known on this topic long ago. We’ve both moved on from the trauma caused by these meals…We’re good now.

I remember one day finally saying, “Mom, I would rather go two weeks without meat, save that money up and buy a really high-end cut. Can we do that?” She agreed. Thanks Pat! 🙂

Today it’s grass-fed beef or bison. If that’s not available, I’ll go with fish or chicken.

As I said, everyone has their preferences for a wide range of things we use, eat, watch, etc.

But I’m curious to hear what your “non-negotiables” are…

Do you have any?

Let me know!

Stay strong. Make things happen.