Saturday, August 15, 2015

Savor the Flavor!

Summer = ice cream!  

I'm a coffee or chocolate chip mint with rainbow sprinkles cone girl myself.  My husband goes for vanilla dipped in chocolate. This time of the year just would not be the same without regular trips to the ice cream place.  Part of the fun is getting to pick which of the all the amazing flavors to enjoy.  

For kids who have life threatening allergies things are very different.  Dairy or nut allergies make a simple summer ritual almost impossible.  

In my family we have an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts.  Many people may think that means staying away from certain flavors.  Not a big deal, right?  It is not that simple.  When we go out for ice cream we all stay away from any nut related flavor, however my daughters choices are even more limited.  Any flavor has potential to be cross contaminated by nuts and therefore they become off limits for her to even try.  We look for places that have soft serve machines with vanilla and/or chocolate and double check that they are they only flavors every put into the machines. Toppings and cones?  Nope, probably not.  Unless a topping label can be checked for nuts and a completely new container is willing to be opened, it becomes off limits as well.   
Today I am not writing to elicit sympathy or even educate on food allergies.  

The purpose of this post is to recognize the importance of savoring and appreciating the little things that make life so beautiful and good. 

 A few months ago an ice cream place opened up in NYC called A La Mode. They are completely nut free and have some dairy free options.  Mark and Sandy, the owners of the shop recognized a need for a place where kids with allergies can go and not have to be limited or miss out on this experience.  For us to go to the shop it was an all day affair.  Early morning train into NYC and heading north and east to 55th street and 1st avenue, but well worth it.  

Getting to walk into an ice cream place and pick any flavor, topping and cone without fear of an emergency trip to the hospital (or worse) is a luxury most children get to experience as a regular part of summer.  Thanks to A La Mode we did too!  

We are truly grateful for the opportunity to have an experience that most take for granted and recognize the importance of appreciating the little things that bring joy.  

As you go about your summer rituals and experiences, take a moment to imaging what it would be like if you weren't able to do whatever it is you enjoy and then savor and appreciate the joy and awesomeness of the experience! Taking time to enjoy living in the moment and savoring those little things that often get taken for granted...

and if you happen to find yourself on the upper east side of NYC, definitely try the ice cream! 

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