Cold cereals have long been touted as an easy, healthy, convenient food for busy people. But you may be surprised to learn that breakfast cereals are NOT actually a healthy option. Packaged breakfast cereals are unhealthy because they’re made from refined grains and are often made through a process called extrusion–a high temperature processing that shapes the cereal and denatures many of the beneficial fatty acids. Cereals also come loaded with many unhealthy added ingredients like extra sugar and bad oils. Cereal boxes are riddled with health claims like “low fat” and “whole grains”, but don’t let all that false marketing fool you: sugar is usually the second or third ingredient added, and this is probably the single worst added ingredient in the modern diet contributing to obesity and adrenal fatigue. Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, causing a crash a few hours later where your body will crave another high-carb meal or snack, creating a vicious cycle of overeating. If you’re suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetes, do not touch cereal with a 10-foot pole.

What’s the alternative for busy mamas? One convenient, healthy breakfast that you can rotate into your diet is muesli. This is a dry, raw mix of oats, nuts, seeds, and occasionally dry fruit that is high in fiber and whole grains, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. You can buy muesli pre-made, but have you ever inspected the ingredients? The only way to ensure good quality muesli is to make your own. It takes only 5-10 minutes to whip together a batch that will yield enough muesli for at least 8 meals!

The keys are to make it nut and seed heavy, keep the oats raw, and limit your serving size to ½ cup muesli maximum.