Come the cold bright light of New Year’s Day, I, perhaps like the majority of the population, consider some New Year’s Resolutions. They usually last a week or so before being abandoned.
I think that New Year is possibly the wrong time to decide to make changes to your life. In the Northern hemisphere it is winter, dark, damp and cold. I struggle with the lack of daylight and find getting anything done a chore, setting high expectations is akin to donning a hairshirt and doomed to failure at the first hurdle, which serves to make me feel inadequate and miserable. Instead I have set a few goals, and have resolved to look after and value myself more. After all if I cannot do that for me, how can I expect others to?
Goals can be reviewed either when the clocks go forward, or at Easter, both times of spring, growth, rebirth and renewal, and longer lighter days which will put me into the right mind set to make changes, decisions and plans.
Similarly I am skeptical of the “January Detox” diet. This month I have planned to try and eat better, and am thinking of it of giving my system a break. I overdid it in both November and December and felt ghastly, also I have put on a few pounds, I want to lose them before it becomes a problem. I’ll try to eat a diet that is predominately plant-based, with perhaps more raw food than usual. I’ll try to drink a little less, and will certainly think before reaching for the bottle and corkscrew, but in the spirit of looking after me, if I think that having a glass of wine will bring me pleasure than I certainly am going to have one. Moderation is key, and, perhaps the only resolution that any of us need?
On to the Bircher muesli.
I have mentioned before how I spent most of my adult life thinking that I did not like cereal, when in fact it was an aversion to cow milk. It is one of the few breakfasts that keeps me going until lunchtime, which is always a bonus. Made the night before it makes the perfect breakfast to grab from the fridge before work and eat at your desk, far healthier than a Danish or bacon sandwich!
I make my own muesli, using a 4 grain mix of equal quantities of oats, wheat, barley and rye flakes (the last 3 are available in Wholefoods bulk section for a bargainous 99p a kg), then I add a mix of seeds, nuts and dried fruit. 80% flakes and 20% “bits” seems a good ratio. If you buy packed muesli check the ingredients, added sugar, and boring “bits” are common, and packet mixes are far more expensive than making your own.
Ideas for the bits are seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, hemp – there is little point in linseed – grind a spoonful and sprinkle then on instead. Nuts – raw cashews, almonds, walnuts, cob & hazelnuts. Fruit – unsulphured apricots (makes such a difference to taste), dates, figs, cranberries, raisins, currants, sultanas etc.
- 125 g jumbo oats, or a homemade muesli mix of oats and cereal flakes
- fresh orange juice, milk (dairy or plant), or kefir
- 1 apple (grated)
- 25 g Fresh berries or other fruit
- 2 tbsp Yogurt
- Seeds, nuts and dried fruit to taste
- Prepare the night before. Last thing at night, grate the apple and stir into the dry muesli mix in your breakfast bowl or in a container you can take with you to work.
- Pour the orange juice over the mixture. Give the muesli a good stir, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Add your choice of fresh berries, yoghurt, seeds and nuts before eating or taking to work.