Pancake day. A day that is loved by all my family. For anyone it is a day that we remember making a mess out of the kitchen, failed pancake flips and choosing from an wide range of tasty toppings. It was an excuse to have a treat tea. Never do you get the excuse to have a breakfast/ dessert meal for your dinner. For our household it was a day I mot look forward to back in my childhood. Diet wise we were always brought up on good homemade and healthy foods. Chocolate and sweets weren't bought in or around the house, so Christmas, Easter and pancake day were so special to us. It made the days so much more meaningful, excited and we appreciated them far more. You learn quickly to savour the food and appreciate it because it wasn't a daily occurrence and I think that is a valid lesson to learn.
People would joke that it would take me 3-4 months to get through my Easter & Christmas chocolate and my brother's would all be gone in a couple of days. It was a treat and to me, I felt it was more important to experience a little a day rather than have it all at once and have to go cold turkey for a few months. It is a little crazy looking back now because we never really went 'cold turkey' and if we are totally honest I wasn't really that fussed about chocolate and sweets. Maybe because I hadn't been brought up eating a lot of it, I just didn't really mind not having it. I would enjoy something else, like a fruit bowl or jam sandwich far more. (BREAD) NOW, there is the real weakness, I would miss that too much! I would still go from bread over a sweet treat today.
Last year I didn't have any pancakes at all. I didn't know or think there was a product out there that wouldn't have something upsetting to me ingredients wise. I am right.. you can't make pancakes without certain ingredients which I am intolerant to all of them, and of course you can't fry without oil. In the past I have used coconut flour, rice flour & the spray oils so that I didn't cause bad reactions but the pancakes either came out too thin and fell apart or too heavy that they didn't cook through. I guess my mood this year, can be seen as a little more 'risky'. I am frankly fed up with missing my favourite foods and still even being careful causes upsets. So, why am I bothering? I have spent a lot of time in the last few months becoming more upset and frustrated by this fact. So, now I feel like having the foods anyway. Not go to the excess because like I say, they do make me feel lousy but just to be able to feel a little more 'normal' and a part of life goes a long way. To enjoy the food that brought happiness through your childhood and days. Some of my most memorable memories are meeting friends for cake, eating massive ice cream sundaes in the summer and going out to Italian restaurants and ordering pizza's that were MASSIVE and eating every last piece.
Don't get me wrong, I am SO BEYOND grateful to food companies really stepping up their game and offering better and better alternatives every year and am so much more appreciative and thankful for the smaller things in life now because of illness. Of course, food doesn't complete me or my life but it does hold so many precious and dear memories for me that often when we are feeling unwell in ourselves and we go through the grieving stage we just miss some form of 'normality' and the pain-free, hassle-free days.
I am always trying to break free of the cage, think outside of the box, find ways of dealing with the circumstances that I am facing at this current time. It is not always easy. I try to feel pumped and motivated about new products and healthier life choices around my chronic illness but often it doesn't soothe the loss of the past. The products make our home lives so much easier but we haven't crossed that bridge where outings aren't complex, aren't often upsetting and disappointing. We are reluctant to go out, we don't want to make people feel uneasy, cause a scene and on top of the exhaustion, have to handle the reactions.
Pancakes... pancakes, just the word makes me think of sugar and lemon. Funny times in the kitchen attempting to flip pancakes and my Mum shouting 'Don't make a mess!' 'Don't get fat on the painted walls.' It is a fun day. For so many it will hold amazing memories. The bottom line is if we can tolerant a few, or even just half a pancake. Whether it is a staple pancake or a FreeFrom one, just to have taste and be a part of the memories being made and the day may slightly affect your physical health but it could really do some good for your mental health.
I always used to think about life as living as long as possible and as safe as possible. Illness has taught me the BEST lesson, that safe and long is ZERO fun. Life is about memories, love and experiences. The quote, 'quality not quantity' is really true. Now I am more present. We can't look into the future or know what truly lies ahead. Don't get me wrong, we work hard and we try to make the future as bright as possible but we can't get tunnel vision. Illness is unpredictable - we only have hear and now. Time is precious and we should make the most of it, and appreciate every second.
So that is why, YES my throat isn't my friend right now because of the oil in the Genius pancakes but I have been a part of the day. I haven't let it go by and played safe. Anything could have upset my throat.. these days we are on a winner if it isn't sore. I hate always having to check foods and labels down to the last word to see if it has hidden threats in it. My stomach is always a mess... and it is something I am trying to live with, work with and make the best of the situation.
I don't want to get emotional, or leave on a dampen but health is an upsetting subject, it is an annoyance, it is painful and a job to juggle in itself. There isn't a right or wrong. We just have to do our best but remember that we still deserve the enjoyments in life, to make memories and make our lives full of sun and not rain.
Please, enjoy this day as much as you possibly can. Capture some messy pancake pictures, chocolate covered faces and messy kitchens - that is what life is all about.
Love always & Happy Pancake Day.