A bit of mourning

I love tradition. Almost to a unhealthy point. The fall starts five months full of wonderful traditions that my family does. (State Fair, apple picking, pumpkin patches, harvesting the garden and canning, Halloween, Thanksgiving, baking bread, Christmas, the first snow, looking at Christmas lights, etc.)

When I am nostalgic and think on these things, all of these strong memories are intimately connected to food. Food is the key ingredient to my memory. The smells. The tastes. The making food in my kitchen with my kids.

My heart is sad today as I think about all the things I can't eat this year.

Catching the Ice cream truck one last time before he's done for the season.

At the State Fair there won't be any Annie's cookies, Cheesecake on a stick, hot dog, lemonade, Carmel apples with ice cream, sugared almonds. The list here could go on and on.

Apple picking always boasts of cinnamon donuts, apple cider, apple crisp, and old fashion licorice.

In the fall I used to bake a batch of fresh bread once a week. It was simply divine. The smell, the taste, the warmth. My mouth is watering now.

Fall also boasts of candy corn with peanuts. Mmmm. I love those.

Fall also brings the best craft shows and with them some really yummy delicious baked goods to enjoy while you shop. It's the only way to do a craft show.

Halloween. We love trick or treating. Enough said.

Bonfires with roasting marshmallows. In our house we have a bonfire almost every weekend once the sun starts going down earlier. We loved roasting marshmallows.

In Nov. I have a tendency to bake all sorts of speciality breads, and warm pies. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without pumpkin pie.

The month of December is probably when I bake and cook the most. Christmas cookies, pies, treats, soups, etc. And the candy canes. And Christmas candy.

Wow, looking at all of it written down, it's a lot to give up.

However, when I read what I'm giving up, most of it is donuts, candy, cookies and pie. I can feel my extra 5-10 pounds each Jan that I swear I won't get next year, but always do.

I also understand that there are some of these sweet memories that I can still do, just in a healthier form. Apple crisp with honey and GF oats or GF cookies (maybe not as many varieties, but that's OK). I also understand that there are GFDF breads out there I can make. I think if ever there was a time in our life when giving up all these things, we are in the best time. There are dozens of recipes and websites out there to help those of us who eat different still thrive in our world.

I also have to remember, that my children don't have 32 years of expectations in their hearts and minds. I am the one that thinks, "I've always had pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving." We are able to start our own new traditions and expectations for the different seasons and all they bring.

The last thing I have to remember is that not everyone approaches holidays and seasons like Americana's do. We over indulge and maybe go over the top in regards to decorations, sweets, treats and food that is hard on our bodies and hearts. Most of us feel guilty or know we shouldn't eat half the stuff we do during holidays, just ask your local gym and see how their memberships rise in Jan.

I have the opportunity to create good and healthy traditions for my kids. It will consist of less cookies and maybe popping popcorn to string on the tree. It will consist of having a bowl of nuts and carob covered raisins out instead of candy corn. Its bringing Hot Chocolate while cutting down our tree instead of cookies. It's finding healthier ways to create the memories that I hold so dear. I don't have it all figured out just yet, but I will.

Today with the hint of fall in the air, I started to crave my traditions and all their goodness. Then I remembered, my life is different now. Healthier, happier, with children who posses more joy and self control. That will make these next five months worth it.

I just hope I can make it through the fair. One step at a time I guess. Tearing down old habits and creating better, healthier ones.

And yes, my children will go trick or treating, we have a plan for that, but that's for another day.