Shelley Shafran Insights for Tov Meod Teusdays!

What’s a girl to do when it’s overcast and grey? My mind was alight with visions, wrapped in warm blankets sipping hot chocolate before a roaring fireplace before the sharp chill seeped in through the cracks and corners ushering in a winter sadness and melancholy. So what do you do when you live in a small Jerusalem apartment with no fireplace to speak of and the only glow before you is a computer screen? How do you nourish yourself when the hot cocoa of your fantasies gives way to a sugar crash and lethargy of your nightmares? I present to you my “instant” sustainable mood-booster.

In the mornings I like to light my “bedroom fireplace”, tealights to bring warm light to a cool toned morning. Drop your favorite essential oils into your diffuser and you have yourself a mini-fireplace wherever you go. My go-to oils on winter mornings are sweet orange and lavender which are both known for calming properties and for uplifting the emotions without being overly stimulating. The fragrant citrusy orange scent in particular awakens my appetite for other seasonal smells and spiced treats, mulled wine with cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Yum!

And since we could all do with a little chocolate I invite you to perk up your day and savor this chocolaty treat:
2 tsp smooth almond butter
½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp honey
pinch salt
1 cup boiling water

Mix almond butter, cocoa, honey and salt together and pour water over the mixture stirring until dissolved and smooth. Alternatively, omit the almond butter and steam 1 cup milk of choice and dissolve cocoa and sweetener.
Get creative! If you’re a coffee drinker add in a shot of espresso for a mocha spin. Spoon in a dollop of homemade coconut whipped cream for indulgent decadence.
H/T to 100 Days of Real Food for the hot chocolate inspiration.

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