Among all the cheese, fondue and the chocolate in Switzerland, there is one healthy thing I got hooked to: BIRCHER MUESLI – a healthy breakfast that honestly it is worth making at home and having every morning for a proper and healthy boost of energy. This breakfast option is gluten free if made with certified gluten-free oats.
So what is Bircher Muesli? It is a popular breakfast meal in Switzerland and parts of Germany and it is based on uncooked rolled oats and other products based on grain, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, soaked in milk or soy milk or plain yogurt or/and freshly squeezed fruit juice (depends on preference, on diet, on whether you are a vegetarian or not).
I honestly felt in love with its taste, and it goes perfectly with freshly squeezed orange juice and a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Takes me throughout the day until lunch time with no problems.
So, I wanted to share with you below the original Swiss recipe for Bircher Muesli that was developed around the turn of the century with my comments added. It’s a very tasty combination when made this way. You can prepare it in the evening for the next morning, or on Sundays and make a larger portion to last you a few mornings refrigerated of course.
Morning preparation time: 5 minutes
Overnight soak possible: 6 hours
- rolled oats
- soy milk or soy yogurt or goat yogurt or simple plain yogurt
- a spoon of honey (depends on the quantity you are making) – optional of course
- lemon or apple juice
- apple, grated with the skin
- hazelnuts or almonds, chopped
Optional to add:
- A grated carrot, a sliced banana, sliced strawberries and orange sections to your oats.
- Soften raisins with the oats.
- Add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried goji berries, other rolled grains.
The original recipe is a mixture of raw foods developed around the turn of the 20th century by a Swiss physician named Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner. Dr. Bircher went against the accepted medical practice of the time of thoroughly cooking food, thought to be healthier, and introduced a small bowl full of rolled oats and raw apple as an appetizer before most meals.
Mix the oats and water and let them soften overnight in the refrigerator.
I let them soften for a just few minutes. Oats do not need to be soaked for hours to make them digestible, although other grains do.
Add the yogurt/milk/soy milk (take your pick) and the lemon juice to the oats and stir.
Don’t add the lemon juice directly to the oats and milk because it will curdle. Sprinkle it over the apple, instead. You can add honey, agave nectar or Stevia, for a sweeter taste, avoiding sugar this way.
Add the grated apple – the must have ingredient, stir, sprinkle with raw chopped almonds or hazelnuts and there you go! It is done!
Try it out once when you feel inspired or bored. I am sure you will like it. Plus, it is a very healthy breakfast option. Enjoy! 🙂
They say that after a break-up people improve their appearance and look better, probably having more time to dedicate to oneself or proving a point of what their ex missed out on or simply because it is time for a new better version of oneself. Singlehood brings about new people in one’s life, new experiences, new challenges, so an improved self is a must-do.
Well, this is to share with you how my break-up with Coke Zero/Light changed me…for the good. It has been a very long-term relationship that we had. I believe more than 10 years. So, yeah, it has been hard to let go, but I knew it was a toxic relationship to me, and it would get me nowhere, so one day I said I must let go.
Actually, I tried throughout the years to give up Coke several times, but somehow I relapsed, always finding some good excuse: exams, workload, stress and so on. Exactly like a girl in need holding on to her boyfriend for no actual good reason that I could articulate. I think my friends knew I could almost endorse Coke :).
Then, in April last year I took the decision to follow a healthier lifestyle – move towards a vegan diet and healthy living. I did all that, and still the last toxic element in my diet was Coke Zero. I felt like a hypocrite for a while: talking about a vegan lifestyle, but ingesting tones of aspartame and toxins through Coke.
Yes, other Coke drinkers, as much as you would like to defend this drink, it is ultimately very unhealthy, and I will not go on and on why, just point out two main indicators (Google and valid research studies from reputable institutes can fill in the dots): aspartame & the “delicious” Coke bubbles (the acid and blotting they cause).
Now let me tell you what happened exactly once I reduced the amount of Coke I was drinking and then completely cut it off my diet (aspartame is addictive, thus phasing out the quantities is the best way to give up the toxic drink) – my body really started hydrating. I was drinking a lot of water before, but Coke is actually dehydrating, so my body was never fully healthy ingesting the full amount of water it needed. And this is what real uninterrupted HYDRATION brought about:
- My skin got better – no more dryness, more elasticity
- My face is glowing, my eyes look more rested and stand out even more
- I never have a swollen face after sleep in the morning, because I have enough water in the body
- My muscles shaped during my workouts faster (I can actually tell shapes of muscles on my body and believe me I work out like a healthy person, not like a manic), and my skin is more elastic
- I feel lighter somehow, and weirdly enough slimmed down
- I feel even more energetic – if that were possible in my case 🙂
It is amazing what proper hydration can do to your body and appearance. It is also amazing how we can ruin our appearance and health with bad stubborn habits.
So for those of you that are still hitched to Coke or any kind of soda, or actually if you over react with any drink or food (except water), rethink it a bit and see what long term implications it brings to your organism.
Choose a long term healthy living over a short term taste satisfaction! 🙂 And believe me, you can give up on any addiction with some determination and focus! 🙂
Juicing vs. Smoothies? Smoothies and juicing have been the hype lately with all these new blenders and juicers being manufactured. While both can be healthy and boost your fruit and vegetable intake, and are great for getting a variety of nutrients into your diet, one is the better choice.
That’s SMOOTHIES. Why? Juicing leaves behind a pulp – which contains fiber and nutrients that you end up tossing away, thus you lose most of the benefits of whole fruits and vegetables. Blending produce into a smoothie, however, preserves fiber and a smoothie can deliver an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals because it often includes fruit skins and pith. If your smoothie includes yogurt or kefir, you get some calcium too. If your smoothie includes nuts and/or seeds, you get even more vitamins and minerals. If your smoothie includes supplements and super foods, the sky is the limit. Blending, however, introduces oxygen and sometimes heat, which will knock out a little vitamin C and some B vitamins. But no big deal really, as most of us get plenty of Vitamin C and produce isn’t a top source of the most sensitive B vitamins.
Either way, enjoy your fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and even nut butters in a homemade smoothie or juice. Start your mornings with a natural energy boost by juicing and/or blending a nutritious smoothie. For smoothies, I suggest buying a blender. 🙂
But… smoothie-lovers and juicer-lovers beware, though. Smoothies and juicing can easily turn into high-calorie, sugar-delivery devices if they include sweetened yogurt, sweetened juice, sorbet, frozen yogurt or ice cream (that’s called a milkshake!!!) and, sadly, many made-to-order and bottled smoothies and juices include these ingredients. That’s why it’s important to make and blend your own nutritious smoothie and juice your own juices at home with organic fruits and vegetables, raw super foods and natural wholesome ingredients.
Below are some nutritious smoothie and juicing recipes…
It is a true story, my story, and I decided to share it after a talk I had with a very good friend of mine. I think that it might encourage others to believe and do something about preventing cancer and maybe give hope to those that already suffer from this condition or have symptoms and are scared of what may follow.
It all started in end March 2013 when one dear family member was diagnosed with breast cancer. It raised a red flag for me that one day you can be super healthy and the next wake up and start a fight for your life. So, to help her and stand by her, I decided to go vegan, eventually getting raw vegan. And yes, I have written about this before, that it made me more energetic, more fresh and it has been a decision that helped my body in many ways.
What I did not know then, is that the vegan healthy lifestyle would also solve another problem I had and I was scared to investigate. For at least 3 years, I had this lump in my breast, but I never wanted to think it was serious. It got bigger in time and even my boyfriend made me promise I would check it out. I did not want to, because I just did not want to think of it. Then came this news, with my dear someone…and still I was scared to go and check it out. I think I thought it would just go away…even though by its size it was a bit unrealistic it would.
Someone told me that developing cancer is also strongly connected besides a high level of stress, to not loving your body enough, so in addition to going vegan in March, I decided to love myself more. I have always been a perfectionist, so I was always very critical of myself, my body. Thus, I learned to loosen up a bit, embrace who I am, love every part of my body and feel proud of it and this included my breasts. I started loving my flaws and changed my perspective as seeing them making me unique and who I am. I never saw my breasts as flaws, but I remember that I was ashamed of them in school when they started growing and I hid them for a while, then I always wanted they would be perfect – you know like you see in magazines the women with implants, but I failed to see their beauty as in the fact that they were natural no matter how many boyfriends told me that :). A first step to change this was to look in the mirror when I woke up and realize I am beautiful with some flaws that made me special, my body is beautiful and this is a wonderful day to be healthy and alive, so I should cherish it. So, here I stand today, with a different view about myself, loving and accepting myself more exactly how I am, loving my flaws (but I call them now characteristics:)), on a healthy vegan diet, and exercising at least 3 times per week to freshen up my brain into thinking in the right direction.
And I tell you all these because after 8 months…I recently noticed that my big lump in my breast vanished away… I was amazed and I realized that all those things that people preach about alternative treatments to cancer, the right mind set getting you through this condition are true, and not just motivational speeches.
It is encouraging at least to know that we can prevent our body from getting sick through loving it and that means offering it the right nutrients and also love for ourselves.
I really believe we have the power to change anything if we really want to and we have all we need in our willpower and nature around. I wish more people would take their diet, importance of exercising and thoughts about themselves more seriously. I think this would make a better world for all of us, a healthier one and a happier one for that matter.
So EAT RIGHT, your body deserves it! EXERCISE, it boosts up your mood! LOVE YOURSELF, you are beautiful!
Many people have been asking me what made me turn Vegan and more over why I strive towards Raw Vegan actually. Then questions come like: “How can you live without meat, steak, prosciutto crudo, ribs and so on?”. Well, I can, and honestly I do not crave for them anymore. I did for a month at the beginning I think, but that was before feeling the way the Vegan lifestyle energized me and changed my body and looks also in the best way possible.
The truth is going Vegan was not a voluntary decision I took one day, but more like a way of being solidary with a dear person to me that was diagnosed with cancer. That is when I started reading about nutrients, healthy food and vitamins in general. I have to say I was kind of an ignorant before. I was always careful about what I ate because being fit was important to me, but I never considered the nutritious facts of what I ate.
The first thing my dear one had to do after starting the fight with cancer was to eliminate from her eating habits all that was regarded as unhealthy/processed food and everything that would feed the cancer cells – which meant meat, diary products, fried food, too salty or fat food. It was hard for her, so that is when I decided, in end March 2013, to do the same, follow her diet, so I could guide her better and be there for her.
I must say that it was one of the best decisions of my life for my future health and body. One month after I started eating Vegan, towards Raw Vegan – eliminating processed or cooked food, my organism and body received a great energy boost. I eliminated meat from my diet, but I kept raw salmon and tuna. I also eliminated all cow diary products, and I started eating only soya milk and goat diary: yoghurt or cheese as our organism is prepared to digest and assimilate nutrients better from goat while from the cow it lacks the enzyme necessary to process them. Now, I am in the process of transitioning to soya yoghurt and milk. And, I find it delicious :).
I eat as many salads, fruits, vegetables and seeds I can, and it keeps me full of life and energy. One other thing I noticed after I turned Raw Vegan, was that my blue/green eyes are even more intense in color, which is a clear indication of a healthier organism. And honestly, this is a perk I love a lot! 🙂
As I am a motivated person, I am strict about this lifestyle now, but as I am also a pleasure and life lover, I do offer myself small escapes, like Italian ice cream (my weakness), La Duree macarons or soya milk Starbuck’s coffee. I do not do it often though, as my main lifestyle has to be healthy and stretched towards Raw Vegan, but I think it is necessary for my mental health and enjoyment.
What I also realized with the Vegan diet, is that it gave me great energy to exercise, unlike what other people may believe. Because as long as you eat seeds (that have proteins) and also vegetables or bananas (especially in the morning) or the occasional raw salmon, you manage to get the exact necessary among of nutrients to keep you boosted for a gym workout also – believe me!
So, here I am, 8 months later of Vegan lifestyle and I have never felt better!
Below, I would like to share with you a regular day of my Vegan lifestyle in case you are curious:
I usually go for muesli (without any sugar added) and seeds with goat yoghurt or soya yoghurt and then a freshly squeezed fruit juice. I go for orange in winter for the vitamin C and for watermelon in summer as it hydrates me. Another option is eating two bananas and drinking half liter of water afterwards. The breakfast has to be very nutritious. Having a good breakfast does not mean eating a lot because that is what you think gives you energy all day. There are certain things we may eat at breakfast that drain us out of energy. A good breakfast actually means eating the RIGHT things for energy shot: vitamins and fibers. And they have value when they are as in a unprocessed state as possible.
Lunch is my main meal usually after the nutritious breakfast. I always go for salads without any dressing. I go wild on the vegetables I eat, including the ones with carbohydrates, changing them every day for variety. The no dressing aspect is very important – you can destroy a salad with what you think is a tasty dressing, making it more unhealthy than a McDonald’s burger. The only thing I add to salads is Aceto Balsamico that actually helps the organism assimilate better and faster the vitamins from the vegetables. I sometimes eat humus with a tabouleh salad, or go for vegetable fresh soups.
This is when sometimes I eat smoked salmon with avocado. I love it. Or have salmon or tuna in my salad. I tried to boost my diet here with proteins too, but I do not mix them with carbohydrates. It is either one or the other.
During the week, I usually eat fruits for dinner – a lot of them! Or I snack some seeds after a workout at the gym. I also go for sushi, seaweed salad or a tabouleh salad. And I am not running away from proteins at this time at the day either, as I have an active lifestyle and I workout, so I need them, especially if they lacked at lunch.
Another important aspect of this lifestyle is hydration. So drink as much WATER as possible – it purifies your organism. Try to drink at least half a liter in the morning when you wake up, and end up with at least 2L at the end of the day.
If you ever decide to go Raw Vegan, read about it first, do it gradually and try to have fun and enjoy doing it. You have to start knowing your body and watch out for the ingredients it does not like. Eliminate those first. Try to keep in your diet whatever you think was boosting your energy before. You cannot refuse the things you pleasure a lot (don’t overreact here-just choose a few), and leave room occasionally for small treats (not more often than once per week), focusing that on the daily basis you eat healthy. Your body and also mind will thank you later, but you will also feel different, kind of REBORN. 🙂