What better way is there to start breakfast with something that is high in fibre and protein and low in saturated (bad) fat, salt and sugar? I know many of you are probably thinking that you only have time for a coffee in the morning but breakfast is a good time to get your daily dose of whole grains!
Bircher muesli is a favourite food of mine and here’s why.
Often muesli contains all sorts of ingredients including oats, bran, nuts, seeds, and fruit depending on the variety you choose. I like bircher muesli as is great to soak overnight, ready for those mornings when you really don’t have time to prepare breakfast. It can be confusing selecting which to buy with so many options available in the cereal aisle! I prefer to make my own muesli as I can add my favourite ingredients and keep the sugar content low.
Here’s my recipe for a nourishing bircher muesli:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 apples, grated
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup macadamia, chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 2 cups of milk of your choice
Soak overnight. Add fruit and yoghurt to serve.
Wholegrains – Oats are a good source of low GI, complex carbohydrates (released slowly into the bloodstream, helping maintain blood sugar levels and keeping you full for longer), fibre and offers some protein as well1. Oats also contain beta-glucans which I have discussed more about here.
Carbohydrates- I feel like these guys get a bad wrap in the weight loss world, however, your body depends on it for a fuel source, especially your central nervous system2. Your body breaks down carbohydrates turning it into glucose, which fuels the work of the cells2. It is the chosen fuel for your brain, nerves and to make red blood cells2. Without carbohydrates, your body will break down some of its protein tissues (taking it away from its usual jobs) and turning it into glucose2. Fat will also take a different metabolic pathway to ensure your brain isn’t starved2. This has undesirable side effects including bad breath and fatigue2.
Fibre- Keeps your gut happy and may help to prevent colon cancer. Fosters weight management as it only contributes a negligible amount of kilojoules as well as filling you up quickly, which deters overeating (if only chocolate had fibre). I have talked a lot about fibre in this blog and you can read more about it here1.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats to protect against heart disease. You will also find protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B & E in these guys1.
How many serves of grains should you be having a day?
Aim for 6 serves of grain foods per day are recommended for adults1.
This might sound like a lot but just 1/4 cup of muesli = 1 serve.
 National Health and Medical Research Council, “Australian Dietary Guidelines,” 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n55. [Accessed 17 November 2016].
 E. Whitney, S. R. Rolfes, T. Crowe, D. Cameron-Smith and A. Walsh, Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edition, Melbourne , Victoria : Cengage Learning, 2011.