I have to say that I have been recently obsessed with food and the makings thereof. How in the world did it get so complicated? In my quest to better my life and habits, I have realized two things. Number one, I'm getting older. Big surprise, I know. But hey, life is short and as a person who has had no health insurance benefits for the last year and who quite possibly could be in this boat for quite some time, this concerns me. Also, I realized that my physical health is greatly improved by making changes in the way I eat, drink, sleep, etc. For instance, I have bad knees. Ok, well they aren't so bad, but they seem to talk to me quite a lot and not in a friendly voice. So, I started to listen. I also started asking questions to people that knew a bit about this little conversation I was having with my knees, like my mom and my mother-in-law. Then I started doing my own research, if you will. Turns out, there's a lot of things you can do to avoid "cranky" knees. I tried to break it down into simple bites, so that it wouldn't be so overwhelming. I gave myself two things to do; avoid wheat and avoid dairy. Not hard, right? Ok, I'm not gonna lie. At first, when I was doing my shopping and looking at the ingredient lists of everything, I sort of panicked. Really? Tortillas? Cream of Mushroom soup? The list of wheat packed items was growing and growing....But, the funny thing was after about a week of not eating wheat or dairy I started to feel amazing. I mean, like my knees were not even my own anymore. Those 90 year old knees that invaded my body had taken a silent vacation and my uhmm...30 something, ok 40-ish knees, had come back to see me, if only for a moment or two. So, it wasn't such a terrible thing when I read on a box of crackers that it had wheat, because I knew if I just found an alternative, I would continue to feel better in the weeks, months, even years to come! So, yes my shopping trips took three times longer than before, but I left feeling good about my decisions and knew that I could eat anything that I purchased and know that it was good for me and it would nourish me and make me whole again. I will say in all honesty, that I have had some serious cravings for cheese. But, I have found that a little bit of the taste of cheese from my nutritional yeast flakes takes it away, as well as using olives and olive oil. I also try and find at least one thing healthy for me, that I have never tried before, each time I shop. This makes eating an adventure in healthy living and I feel pretty good about it. Now, the realization of getting older, isn't quite so scary and I look forward to growing old with style, grace and in good health.