I have been very excited to write this particular post! Admittedly I have a very sweet tooth and find it very difficult, at this time of year, where there are piles of chocolates and sweet treats wherever I look. Just yesterday I was given two huge Lindt Santa chocolates and a massive tin of Quality Streets - two of my formerly favourite Christmas treats! I must admit that the temptation to have 'just one bite' does rise up in me, in the presence of such guilty pleasures. But could I stop at just one bite? I know myself and I seriously doubt it! Just one bite and that pleasure centre in my brain would come alive - begging for more until I finally give in and start guzzling. Remember that sugar is highly addictive!
However, the thought of feeling ill and symptomatic for the next few hours stops me from taking that bite. This is honestly what happens if I eat chocolate. My gut feels crampy, my mind feels stuffed with cotton wool, I'm exhausted and I just want to lie on the couch and not move for hours. I may even get some tingling in my legs. Too scary! Why would I do that to myself?
In this post I'd like to chat about some tips to avoid eating the sweet treats that you know are not part of your MS diet. I know that you want to enjoy yourself and feel as good as you can feel as you spend time with your loved ones. I'm sure most of you will also have the pressure of producing the Christmas meal and perhaps getting your house ready for guests. This is stressful but if you are sticking to your MS diet, you will take this in your stride and feel relaxed, calm and in control.
Avoiding the Unhealthy Christmas Treats
Don't buy any! It's as simple as that. You don't want these temptations hanging around your house. If you are having guests around, then ask them to bring the desserts and chocolates.
Give leftovers away. After the Christmas meal, give the leftover desserts and chocolates to your guests to take home. I'm sure they will be only too pleased and you won't have these nasties calling to you from your fridge!
Be prepared! Stock your cupboards and fridge with treats and snacks that actually make you feel good. Every time you are tempted to indulge in something you shouldn't, reach for one of your pecan, maple & oat balls or sweet potato brownies. I also like to have a container of delicious mixed nuts available for snacking. Choose exotic nuts such as brazil, macadamia and hazelnuts as a special treat. There are so many other raw and sugar free recipes out there for delicious snacks and desserts!
Let everyone sample your treats. Yip, change the status quo at Christmas! Serve up your MS diet snacks and treats and let everyone taste and see how marvellous it is to eat this way. They'll feel so good that you'll definitely be getting requests next Christmas!
So, onto today's dessert recipe. It's melt in your mouth gorgeous! The best part is that it's completely raw and packed with antioxidants and nutrients. So, you'll actually be contributing to your healing by eating this treat!
Raw Cacao Tart with Berries
It seems to have become a tradition, in our family to have our main celebration meal on Christmas Eve. This year we are packing up the kids and heading to friends, about an hour south west of London, in a little town called Cranleigh, Surrey. It's actually about ten minutes away from the village of Shere where the movie 'The Holiday' was filmed. It's really pretty down there and I'm so excited to get out of London and have some breathing space. I'm hoping to wow our hosts with this incredible tart. It seriously is one of the yummiest MS diet treats I have ever tasted. Every mouthful is a treat for the tastebuds and best of all, it will leave you feeling at your best. The raspberries really make the dessert. They add a tartness which tones down the richness of the cacao. It's pretty easy to make so, give it a try!
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup medjool dates
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
raspberries for garnishing
Soak the cashew nuts overnight.
In a food processor blend the walnuts and almonds until they become a small granule size. Add the dates and blend well. Press the mixture into a lined springform tin and refrigerate.
Melt the coconut oil and cool. Place the drained cashews, coconut oil, and maple syrup in the blender and process. Add more maple syrup to taste if necessary.
Slowly add the water until the mixture becomes smooth but not too runny. You may not need to use all the water.
Pour the mixture over the base and refrigerate the tart for at least 3 hours to firm.
Serve with raspberries or any other berries.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas. I trust that it will be a happy and healthy one for you and that you'll be able to avoid the pitfalls of sugar and fat laden food. Remember that there is no need to feel deprived at this time of year. You can still eat incredibly delicious food. It just takes a little forethought, creativity and time. However, it will be fully worth it when you emerge from the silly season feeling good and still on track with your MS diet lifestyle. I'm looking forward to hearing your Christmas meal stories!
Blessings to you!