All the Trimmings with Raw Vegan Chai Nog and Cranberry Sauce Recipes


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Tomorrow is Christmas eve and we are busy getting ready for it around here. Christmas is mom’s favorite holiday and time of year. She used to start shopping for it in January and every year our tree was the best tree ever! She was always the happiest person around. That’s mom’s nature anyway and I am really blessed that she has this wonderful positive nature. This year, like last, it is harder for her to get ready for Christmas in the same way she used to. Her stroke left her with not being able to drive and even just going out and buying things is a challenge, but she is doing it as well as she can. She has an inner strength that is rare, and I wonder if I could even rise to the challenge as she has with this one.  So we are doing our best to make the season bright over here and I have found that it’s really the little things that make all the difference. 

About Mom and Aphasia

Mom stroke last year left her with something called aphasia, which affects mostly her communication and reading, and apraxia to a lesser degree, which affects her motor planning skills. She seems to be getting a little better all the time with both of these. With the aphasia it is kind of like she lost her English (her only language) and it is not quite like she has to just relearn the language because it seems some of the neural pathways have been broken. I am not sure exactly how it works but it seems like it is a little like listening to a foreign language that you know a little of. You get pieces and bits of information and have to try to piece it together. She can understand more from people she is close to and used to listening to. And similarly when she looks at a written page, she will just get a few words here and there.  She gets some but not all. It seems a bit cruel because mom was an avid reader and has floor to ceiling books on bookshelves and always had stacks of them everywhere. 

Mom has an awesome talent for going with the flow and some people she meets, like friends she hasn’t seen in years at the market and out when we are shopping, don’t even realize that anything is amiss. She is good at nodding at the right time and looking people in the eyes so that it seems like she can communicate a lot better than she actually can. Mom has always been very social and so this is especially hard on her.

She definitely seems to understand a lot more than she can get out. But she is getting great at communicating in ways other than language, like going and pointing to pictures of things related to get her idea across. Mom has an awesome speech therapist, Michelle, and we had been going regularly, and now occasionally, to learn strategies with communication. In January she will start in a group that runs 8 weeks and has 5 other people with aphasia. She went to another group Michelle put together last year and it was great. We are so thankful for Michelle and I am so thankful for mom’s support network of friends and neighbours around us here. They are angels and their patience and support is the best present ever for us!


Kaiyas Christmas present

My Parcel

So back to trimming and on a note still family related, I have to share the parcel that just came in the mail 2 days ago. This is a gift from my daughter and it made our, and I think the postman’s, evening! I love it. This big beautiful glittery box came without a scratch on it. The is even just lightly taped here and there with scotch tape and everything is perfect. I thought this was interesting that you can re-wrap gifts with brown wrapping paper, secure it with lots of packing tape and the box is likely to get banged up and thrown around. But this beautiful package, delicately wrapped, came unscathed. It is just interesting and I can think of many life analogies to go with this one. On a side note it made me feel great that she said she thought she got her love of packaging from me. ..and maybe it was me from my mom, etc, etc. Ahh! This is the beauty of Christmas. Love.

One more small side note: I put the lights on the tree but besides that Mom decorated it almost all by herself. I put a few decorations on, but I loved that she was doing it and so I worked on writing a  post here on my laptop beside her and the tree, we had Christmas music on, and she did it almost all that evening. Mom is loving getting ready for Christmas and doing more and more all the time.


Raw Vegan Chai Nog


2 cups Almond milk
2 Bananas
3 Medjool dates (or ¼ cup Agave or Honey)
1 tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Ginger – preferably fresh, if not, then use dried
¾ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Garam Masala
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼  tsp Cardamom
dash of Allspice, Salt and Pepper


Blend until smooth.

Photo Description

Assemble ingredients

Raw Vegan Chai Nog ingredients

Put all ingredients in a blender.

Raw Vegan Chai Nog ingredients in blender

Blend until smooth.

Raw Vegan Chai Nog blended


Raw Vegan Chai Nog


My Favorite Raw Cranberry Sauce


3 cups Cranberries – if they are frozen, let them defrost first
1 cup Pineapple- cut in chunks
1 cup Honey Dates or 6 Medjool Dates
1 Apple – peeled, cored and chopped
½ cup Orange juice


Set one cup of cranberries aside. Blend 2 cups cranberries with the dates until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and process well. Add the cup of cranberries that were set aside, and pulse chop them in.


Photo Description

Assemble Ingredients

Raw Cranberry Sauce ingredients

Process 2 cups of cranberries and dates

Raw Cranberry Sauce processing cranberries and dates

Add the rest of ingredients, except the cup of cranberries set aside, and process them all well together.

Raw Cranberry Sauce  process all ingredients

Add the cup of reserved cranberries and pulse chop them in.

Raw Cranberry Sauce pulse chop in cranberries

It is ready to serve.

My Favorite Raw Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is one of my favorite side dishes that makes the holidays special. I love this even more than the cooked version! It’s delicious and so healthy too. Vibrant and life enhancing, but mostly it just tastes great and I recommend that you try this one this year. Sometimes it’s the little things that make life special and this and the Chai Nog are a couple of mine!

Raw Vegan Chai Nog and fruit

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!!

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