Andreas' Birchermuesli

111 years ago the Swiss physician Maximilan Oskar Bircher Benner (1867-1939) opened his sanatorium Lebendige Kraft - Living Strength (later called Bircher-Benner clinic) not too far from the prestigious Hotel Dolder in the sunny Zürichberg (up the Zurich Hills).

He was a pioneer nutritionist - and quite a criticized one - in the raw fruits and vegetables diet being firmly convinced that raw fruits and vegetables were much more nourishing than cooked ones, and by far healthier than meat. Bircher in fact based his patients' strict diet on uncooked and unprocessed food banning can food and processed aliments, like white flour and crystal sugar, from his patients' menus.

                                      Maximilian O. Bircher-Benner (1867-1939)

                                      Maximilian O. Bircher-Benner (1867-1939)

Not only did Bircher prescribed his patiens a diet strongly based on raw food, but also encouraged them - almost ordered them - to outdoor movement, sport and air baths. Only today we can recognize that Bircher's theories were years ahead of his time and we can simply admit that he was right.

Bicher's most famous dish is the one that was named after him - the Bircher Müesli, a bowl of oats and fresh fruits. This dish was meant to be eaten for breakfast, evening snack and never as a full meal. This was the original recipe:

  • 2-3 apples (peel and seeds included)
  • 1 Tsp of oats (soaked for 12 hours in 3 Tsp of water)
  • 1 Tsp of grated walnuts, grated hazelnuts, grated almonds
  • 1 Tsp of sweetened condensed milk
  • honey
  • 1 squeezed lemon

I learnt an adapted version of this recipe years ago from my dearest Andreas, who thaught me well. That pinch of salt, the grated ginger, all those seeds, berries and that bit of curd cheese he added in his recipe, give his muesli a splash of flavor making it by far the best one I have ever tasted. And it tastes even better if eaten at the lake on a sunny Saturday morning after having attempted my first swim, just few hundreds meters from where the original recipe was once created back in 1897.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As mentioned in other posts your brain does not have a storage place for fuel and it is particularly affected by lack of food. If your brain's fuel source - glucose isn't refilled after a night's sleep, your brain won't function at its best level. Every student willing to learn, every business man craving for the perfect presentation, everyone wanting to perform simply needs to eat breakfast.


to the recipe

The Ultimate Brainburger

burgers as brainfood? you must be kidding me! this only if you think of mc donald's burgers not if you think of one of mines, like for example - The Ultimate Brainburger!

quinoa, oat meal, beetroot, parsley, avocado, curd cheese, lime, eggs, arugula between two fluffy whole grain buns sprinkled with flaxseeds and pumpkinseeds. these ingredients would make the top 10 among all braingredients. whole wheat as well as oat meal and beetroot increase blood flow to the brain which means a higher quality and quantity of brain function. they also contain a lot of vitamin B6 which is great for everyone trying to improve their memory. eggs are full of vitamin B12 and, if not eaten too often, can prevent your brain from shrinking thank to their essential fatty acids. quinoa is the healthiest and maybe oldest (it in fact dates back about 4000 years) ingredient of all. it is a complete protein, it is full of fibre, magnesium and iron which in short: prevents heart disease by lowering blood pressure, may help you lose weight as it makes you feel fuller for longer and helps your concentration. AND IT TASTES GREAT!!

let's not forget that our brain represents only 2% of the body's weight but uses an incredible 20% of the energy produced by the body. i have recently come across an article saying that a person can be as much as 200% more productive just by making better eating choices. you can promote quicker and sharper thinking, better memory and concentration, improved balance and coordination, and activation of your feel good hormones just by eating correctly.

eat what your brain tells you!


to the recipe

BRAIN FOOD at McDonald's

i’ve been meditating about my first post for weeks now. i wanted something special, something tasty and tasteful, appealing to everyone. i wanted the nr. 1 brainfood dish with the perfect picture to be my first post. you know one of those pictures you’d like to rip out of the book and start eating so good it looks.

well little did i know that these would be my first words: brain food at mc donald’s.

shocking as it might sound mc donald’s in aarau switzerland is now selling quite a wide range of meals as brainfood targeting those who need it probably the most - students. ’BRAINFOOD - enjoy your lunch break with a student meal for only 15 CHF’ is what the add says. the first thing that popped to my mind was: what? has mc donald started selling brain food meals? what ingredients can i expect in these meals: apples? a nice fresh salad? broccoli maybe? nuts? definitely whole grain bun... beetroot… and perhaps a slice of avocado!!

well almost: 

chicken nuggets, chips and coke or


cheeseburger, chips and coke or


big mac, chips and coke 

for only 15 CHF. 

hmm, these meals don't seem to be very new. have people been eating brain food at mc donald’s for all these years without even knowing it? or have mc-ingredients changed in the last couple of days? have mc-researchers found the true brainfood components? it’s hard to say. it is a fact though that mc donald's brain food doesn't sound nor look very sexy!

one thing i learnt about brainfood is that if you want to keep your brain fit and awake, perfectly working even after your lunch break you should NOT be eating:

food high in calories


food with too much sugar (like coke & ketch-up)


refined grains (like white bread)

as this could negatively affect your digestion as well as your brain performance. unfortunately that thin slice of tomato, which is indeed quite a good braingredient (well done mc!) and that tiny little piece of lettuce do not supply your body with enough vitamins. in order to get the vitamin C that you need in a day, you should in fact eat 16 double hamburgers.  the only problem is that in doing so, you would also eat 8 days of fat and about 2.5 days of carbohydrate which doesn’t really add up. 

could this be just a spelling mistake?

unfortunately i don't think so.

what should you eat then for lunch in order to show a top performance at work or at school? well keep it light! you don't want all your blood rushing down to your stomach in order to digest that huge amount of fat and sugar. have some fish or chicken with some steamed vegetables, a slice of whole grain bread, an apple and some water. doesn't this sound sexy?! 

 wanna feed your brain properly? follow me on here. next time the perfect brainfood burger!