Jeannette BessingerJeannette Bessinger, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of Balance for Life LLC, is a co-author of the upcoming book Whole Life Nutrition A Simple Approach to Nourishing America's Busy Families, and the meal and recipe designer for the Dr. Jonny Bowden’s The Healthiest Meals on Earth 50 Recipes and Why You Should Eat These Foods (release: spring of ’08). A motivational speaker and health/nutrition educator, Jeannette regularly gives talks and classes to businesses, corporations, non–profits, wellness centers, hospitals, colleges and faith–based organizations with an interest in wellness and disease prevention. Jeannette has provided services in health education and prevention for individuals and groups in a wide variety of venues for fifteen years. Her professional specialty is the development and facilitation of unique, effective lifestyle change programs targeting complex health and wellness issues such as obesity, chronic stress, family balance and disease prevention. Creator of the Whole Life Nutrition™ approach to health improvement, she currently runs these successful lifestyle change programs in both hospital and holistic settings. Jeannette acts as a lifestyle health consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities. She was a lead investigator and strategist on a citywide assessment and intervention plan for obesity funded by the RI Department of Health. She also designed and facilitated an obesity prevention program for Head Start with a grant from the American Association of Pediatrics. A graduate among the first class of women at Columbia College, Columbia University, Jeannette has pursued an extensive, multi–modal education in teaching, health and wellness. As a very busy wife and mother of two children, she understands first hand how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle as a working parent. With a personal history of autoimmune disease and diabetes, she knows how vital it is to put your health first on your priority list. Much of the depth and practical nature of Jeannette's material arises directly from her own efforts to meet the challenges of balancing health, family and a lively career.
Jennet Bessinger: I'm Jennet and I'm with Balance For Life, and we are making healthy breakfast. Right now I'm going to show you how to make muesli, which is a cold cereal, very very healthy using all raw ingredients. If you were to buy muesli at store, you will be paying a lot of money, it's actually quite expensive. So, it's a cost saver to make your own, and it's actually quite easy. If you just want to make a small amount say for two people, here are your basic ingredients. The base ingredient is raw whole rolled oats, you don't want to use instant oats, you want to use not the fast cooking but just regular raw oats. So in here pre-measured we have about a half a cup, we will put that into the bowl, if you like sweet you can choose raisins, this can be two tablespoons to a quarter cup depending on what you enjoy. This is about a quarter cup here, you can also use other dry fruits such as cut up dates, cut up prunes, you might choose apricots, they are delicious but you have to chop them up a little bit as well. I'll just add them right into the bowl. Thirdly we have our nuts and this is chopped almonds, you can also chopped walnuts, chopped pecans. I like a generous serving of this so this is a quarter cup, but you might prefer less than that, may be two tablespoons or so. There is some nice protein in the almonds so that's up to you and then these are raw sunflower seeds, also known as sunnies, they are very chewy when they are not toasted, they are delicious, very high in nutrients. In addition to that if you want to add a little bit of spice, you can choose a sweet one like Indian cardamom, or you can do in addition to a little bit of cinnamon, but this is really optional, also if you do want to add an extra sweetener, if the fruits don't think - you don't think that will be enough for you, you can use a Agave nectar, which is a very low glycemic load sweetener, meaning that your body - when your body absorbs it, it has a very gentle insulin response, which is really nice if you are sugar sensitive, we will put a little bit in there, on the top. Just a little maybe half a teaspoon or a teaspoon. You can also use honey if you don't have Agave nectar on hand, I know thats not a common ingredient, and then just give it a gentle mix, you are just combining there is no need for heavy mixing here. Then this is a portion that would serve two to three people, you can use any form of milk that you like, the rice milk is very gentle and easy to digest, so about three quarters of a cup, just to the point where you are able to soak all of the ingredients, Now this muesli is actually ready to eat just like this, or you can let it sit for little while to let the grains and the seeds soak up some of the liquids and if you wish you can actually even add some fresh fruit on top, blue berries are in season right now, or you might even enjoy some sweet slices of banana which are easy to get all your around. It's absolutely delicious. So this is how we make bowl of muesli and if you would like to make some a larger quantity and store it, so you don't have to put it together in the morning. You can start off with two cups of raw rolled oats, half a cup of whatever nut you prefer, we talked about almonds, pecans or walnuts, a half a cup of raw sunflower seeds and about a quarter cup of dried fruit, again apricots, raisins whatever works, toss it all together put it in airtight container and it will store in a cool dry place or upto two months. So that is our fresh muesli and we will move on to hot cereal.