Getting things off to a good start

Happy New Year! This time of the year really fascinates me, mainly because of all the noble yet predictable new years resolutions people make and their wide-eyed optimism that somehow this year is going to be different. As perhaps you can tell from my tone, I’m not a big fan of making new years resolutions, mainly because I make mine on my birthday. This doesn’t make much difference timing-wise as I’m a December baby but for me birthdays seem to be a more appropriate time to make personal changes – new age, new you etc etc.

All that said and done, I have great respect for people who make resolutions and stick to them, regardless of the time of year that they are made. Sticking to something, no matter how simple it sounds in theory is always a lot more difficult in reality.

My “new age” resolution is to make the time I have completely to myself more meaningful. For me this time is usually first thing in the morning, virtually the only time during the day I am by myself and have an opportunity to get into the right head space for the day ahead. It seems like a pretty silly thing to make a resolution about but mornings are my favourite time of the day yet all I ever seem to have time for is getting ready for work and going to work. Boring!

So my mission is to find an extra hour in my morning and make it completely mine, whether it be for meditation, a walk, swim, trip to the gym, whatever. As part of my new morning routine, I’m also going to make sure I sit down and have a proper breakfast!

Bircher muesli is one of my favourites. I used to order it at every opportunity I got (and still do if I’m at the Austi Beach Café!) but once I realised how easy it was to make at home, I have it all the time. Oats are an excellent source of fibre and can help to lower cholesterol with the right diet. Plus they keep you full for ages – no mid morning snacks required with this brekky!

You can do whatever you like to this recipe (if you could even call it that!) to make it your own – take out the cinnamon and ginger and add some vanilla paste; swap the berries for mango, passionfruit and kiwi; use different yoghurt; add poached stone fruit; swirl some jam through it; replace the runny honey with fresh honeycomb for added flavour and crunch!

Bircher muesli with fresh berries and minty yoghurt (makes 5-6 serves)

  • 200gm rolled oats
  • 2 cups water (or fruit juice if you’d prefer)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • greek yoghurt with a handful of shredded mint leaves
  • Mixed berries or other seasonal fruit
  1. Add the oats, spices, dried fruit, lemon juice and zest, almonds, honey and water together (the water should just cover the oats but only just).
  2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge to allow the oats and dried fruit to absorb the liquid.
  3. Serve with the minted greek yoghurt and your choice of mixed berries – my suggestion is raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Hope you like it and for those of you who did make resolutions this new years, good luck with them, I’d love to hear how you’re going!