When you are new to the Overcoming MS program, food can be one of the biggest challenges, particularly at Christmas time. It should be a fun day spent with family and friends, not stressing about what food you can eat or feeling as though you are missing out.

I’ve come up with an Overcoming MS friendly seafood filled menu that you can use with your family this Christmas. You will find all the recipes on the forum posted by Kaybe, with Christmas in the title.

For starters there are fresh oysters with three dressings, fresh prawns (shrimp) with a mango or chilli dipping sauce, and mini crab salad in cucumber cups.  

For main, a whole roast/BBQ salmon with either roast vegetables or your favourite salad.

and for dessert how about an Overcoming MS Christmas pudding with vanilla soy custard

 or frozen fruit sorbet?

Preparing the food for Christmas day can mean a lot of work, especially for MS mums, so here are some tips to get the food on the table without the stress:

  • Divide and conquer – delegate tasks to other family members. Perhaps each person can be responsible for a particular course, or for serving up a dish, or clearing the plates. Many hands make light work.
  • Make a plan – Even if you’re not a lists person, Christmas is a time to be organised. Work out what your menu will be and put all the recipes together. Write an ingredients list so you are not caught on Christmas Eve with no soy milk in the house. Don’t forget to adjust amounts if you are doubling a recipe. Write a time plan or run sheet for the cooking, so you know what has to happen and when. For example, the fish can be prepared in the morning and kept in the fridge, but the dipping sauces for the oysters are best made just prior to serving.  Tick each item off as you go.
  • Prepare as much as you can in advance – This will make your day so much easier. The Overcoming MS Christmas pudding and sorbets can be made a month before. That’s dessert already done. The custard can be made the day before and re-heated. Set the table the night before, that’s one less thing to worry about on the day. Make sure you have cleaned out the fridge in advance so there is plenty of space for your food and drinks. Aussies fill your esky’s with ice.
  • Buy it – If you are short on time and help, or perhaps you are not feeling so well at the moment, then look to buy some ready-made food. You can buy pre-washed and cut vegetables to roast, or salad leaves. There are many good commercially prepared sorbets on the market, just read the labels. You can buy plenty of nibbles such as hummus, olives, and nuts. If you have a big grocery list, get it home delivered to save your energy.
  • Simplify it – Consider setting up a buffet table so people can help themselves rather than having to serve. To save on washing up, you can serve sorbet in pretty cupcake liners with plastic spoons and use paper napkins.
  • Relax –If you're relaxed, you won’t get nearly as stressed. Things like wearing a Christmas apron and playing a little Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin Christmas music to get you in the Christmas spirit. Other advice could be to embrace the slow food movement. Take your time and enjoy your food and your family. Laugh and sing – it’s fun.

Wishing everybody a happy and healthy Christmas. All of these recipes can be found on the Overcoming MS recipe forum too.