'Oh the weather outside is frightful.' This line from the popular Christmas song has been twirling around in my head since the autumn leaves started to swirl. I try my best to cope with the dreariness of this time of year but it does get me down at times. I'm used to beautiful hot days, blue skies and swimming pools at this time of year. My home town of Johannesburg literally has the best weather in the world. It's not too hot and never really gets too cold. So Christmas is a barbecue affair! Having said this, my first few chilly Christmases in London were a novelty. I do love the lights and the cosy nights. The Christmas markets are so beautiful and of course there is always the chance it will snow! But still, I need some sunshine and natural vitamin D!
Even though I miss my family (and the weather) too much at this time of year, I do really try and put on a brave face and make it a happy and festive affair. Children help with that too! I love seeing their little excited faces with they see the lights and decorations. Magic!
It's also a real therapy to experiment with festive flavours. The year I started the MS diet, I found and tweaked a recipe for Vegan Eggnog. I wasn't so sure about it then but it has grown on me and now I have perfected it. It's so delicious and I think I'll have one every day in the run up to Christmas! It's creamy, comforting and spicy and just brings little festive happiness into my day.
To be honest, I have never tried real eggnog but I know it's full of nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and cream! The spices are great but it's definitely better to steer clear of the sugar and dairy when you have MS. Instead of a sugar high and then a sugar low, you will feel even keeled, energetic and clear minded for a few hours after drinking this Eggnog Smoothie - perfectly MS diet friendly
It contains so many delicious and heathy ingredients that will fill your stomach and heart with Christmas cheer. The creamy ingredients are the avocado, cashews and coconut milk and the natural sweeteners are the banana and maple syrup. The avocado and coconut milk contain healthy fats that will keep your cholesterol levels low and your nerves firing smoothly.
Onto the Spices: Nutmeg, is another magic ingredient which is helps to ease fatigue, stress and even alleviate symptoms of depression. It is also known to improve concentration and focus – great for the stressful and tiring holiday season! Cinnamon is known for its anti-inflammatory properties so make use of it liberally!
I will be serving this to my Christmas Eve guests as they arrive instead of the customary champagne!
Nutmeg & Cinnamon Eggnog
Prep time: 10 min
Serves: 4 small glasses
1/2 ripe avocado
1 handful cashew nuts
1 banana (preferable frozen)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
500ml coconut milk
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Serve in small cups and enjoy immediately. You can also drink the whole thing yourself if you're having it as your morning smoothie or a mid afternoon snack.