Make a fresh start to the day
Q. I would like to eat muesli for breakfast but most brands seem to contain a lot of sugar and salt. Can you advise me what to look for? A. Developed in the 1900s by Swiss physician Dr Maximilian Bircher-Benner for his patients, muesli can be helpful for your digestive system as it supplies good levels of fibre. But nutritionist and author Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville.com) agrees that ‘many brands can be laden with high amounts of added sugar and salt, which turn a seemingly healthy breakfast into an unhealthy one’.
Ingredients to look for are oats, rice and millet, rather than wheat. Add in nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts and flaxseed for omega-3 essential fatty acids. Nuts and seeds also add protein to the carbohydrate grains, which lowers the glycaemic index (GI) of the muesli and gives you more energy for longer. Including natural yoghurt (see recipe below) will also provide some protein.
Avoid products with lots of dried fruit (especially cranberries, which often have added sugar), chocolate or palm oil (high in unhealthy omega-6).
Check for added sugar in any form: the ingredient will have -ose on the end. Also avoid any product that contains more than 1.5 g salt per 100 g (or 0.6 g sodium).
How you eat the muesli is important. Raw grains contain phytates, which act like a magnet for vital minerals, including zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium. The minerals bind to the phytates and, if you don’t absorb them, are excreted. To make sure the nutrients are well-absorbed, soak the muesli before eating, as in this recipe.
75 g organic porridge oats 25 g organic dried apricots or raisins 100 ml oat or almond milk, or organic apple juice, full-fat organic milk or water juice of half a fresh lemon 1 organic apple 1 tbsp ground almonds 1 tbsp flaked almonds 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tbsp organic natural bio-yoghurt 75 g berries
• Cover the oats and dried fruit with the milk (or other) and lemon juice. Leave in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
• In the morning, grate the apple (with skin) and stir into the oat mix with the ground and flaked almonds, cinnamon and yoghurt.
• Top with berries and a little extra cinnamon.
IF THE BRA FITS
According to consultant plastic surgeon Mr Atul Khanna, many women with large breasts considering reduction surgery actually need a better-fitting bra. ‘Ill-fitting bras cause a range of problems, such as back and shoulder pain and even sores or welts as a result of straps and under wires digging into the skin – many women seek breast-reduction surgery as a last resort,’ he says. His research led to a collaboration with experienced bra fitter Sue McDonald. Optifit offers a new bra design that ‘will elevate your breast without pressure or distortion’. Determine your size at home with the Optifit-Measure, £4 redeemable against first purchase. Bras cost from £49.99, www.optifitbras.com, 01457-810628.
SPRAY NO MORE
A reader says her asthmatic teenage grandson has greatly reduced his need for medication since he swapped aerosol deodorants for roll-ons. Cans carry warnings not to use in enclosed spaces as the fine spray disperses particles widely. Asthma Australia (www.asthmaaustralia.org.au) has a helpful section that explains the problem of inhaled chemicals, including cleaners, paints and pesticides.
Practising yoga... ...can help you cope when life is tough. But this may be when you have no time or energy to go to a class or practise at home. That was a colleague’s dilemma when her mother died suddenly. Then Victoria discovered Movement for Modern Life, which is essentially an online yoga studio offering quality classes of varying lengths and styles with top teachers that she could do at home. It’s a great travel companion and there is a dedicated section for beginners.
Free 14-day trial, then £15.99 a month or £10.99 a month if you sign up for a year at www.movementformodernlife.com