Change Your Diet, Change Your Life (and an Overnight Muesli Recipe)

5 from 5 votes

Going unprocessed, is, well a process.  I became vegan in 1977 for ethical reasons and was one of those junk food vegans who didn’t eat any fruits and vegetables. I ate from my own four food groups – sugar, flour, oil and caffeine.

Flash forward 26 years later, at the age of 43, when I woke up bleeding profusely.  I had several large adenomatous polyps in my colon that the doctor said, if not removed, would become cancerous.  Well, my colon was such a mess from years of eating processed food that they could not remove them during the sigmoidoscopy and said I would have to have surgery.

As luck would have it, I have a severe phobia of anesthesia, so instead I checked into the Optimum Health Institute on July 6, 2003.  I changed my diet and changed my life.  Within six months of eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Exclusive diet free of all processed food, and all sugar, oil, and salt specifically (all sugar and oil are highly processed), all of the polyps disappeared and I regained my health without drugs or surgery.

When I went back for a colonoscopy and everything was normal, the doctor actually accused me of having had the surgery somewhere else. He didn’t believe that diet could do it. But it can. Since then I have witnessed hundreds of cases of these “miracles” of complete disease reversal or remission associated with eating a nutrient-rich, whole-food, plant-exclusive diet.

Processed food is not food. You may eat it, you may enjoy it, and you may even be addicted to it, but it is not food. Food is not meant to come in a box, a bottle, or a can. Food should come from a plant, not be manufactured in a plant!

I don’t care if it’s called “Kraft Macaroni And Cheese” or “Amy’s Organic Gluten-Free Macaroni And Cheese.” We shouldn’t be eating processed food and we definitely shouldn’t be feeding it to our children. The human body simply was not designed to eat processed food.

If you don’t believe that processed food in general, and sugar, fat, and salt in particular, is addictive, read The End of Overeating by Dr. David Kessler.  He is the former head of the FDA and he will explain to you how the processed food industry evolved.  (Spoiler alert: They took the best doctors and brain scientists they could find to figure out the perfect ratio of sugar, fat, and salt to addict the average person to their product.)

Here is a quick and easy recipe from my next book “The UNPROCESSED 30 Day Challenge,” which is also a program I run in Los Angeles that teaches people how to adopt an unprocessed diet.  (The program will soon be available online for people who live outside of the Los Angeles area.)  Many people say they simply have no time to prepare breakfast in the morning.  By taking just five minutes the night before, you can have a hearty, healthy, and delicious breakfast ready for you when you wake up!

5 from 5 votes

Overnight Muesli

By: Chef AJ
Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. Muesli in its modern form became popular in western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in health food and vegetarian diets. Traditional muesli was eaten with orange juice and not milk.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 Tablespoons currants
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, here's how to make almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 apple, grated (I prefer Gala)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice or roasted cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla


  • Pour the unsweetened apple juice and unsweetened almond milk in a large glass and stir in the extract, spice, and chia seeds.
  • Place the oats and currants in a medium bowl. Grate the apple over the oats.
  • Pour the liquid mixture over the apple and oats and mix well. Place in the refrigerator covered overnight. The chia seeds will swell and become gelatinous and the next day will have absorbed all of the liquid and become almost like a pudding.
  • In the morning you can enjoy this dish cold or warm in the microwave. You can also add additional fruits and almond milk, if desired.


Both apple pie spice and roasted cinnamon is available at Ralph’s and Krogers. Feel free to substitute regular cinnamon. Apple pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. For a delicious variation, substitute a grated pear for the apple or goji berries for the currants.


Calories: 218kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Sodium: 46mg, Potassium: 360mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 4.9mg, Calcium: 104mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About the Author

Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss Book CoverChef AJ is a chef and culinary instructor in Los Angeles, and former Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante restaurant, specializing in in plant-indulgent food that is free of sugar, oil, and salt. She teaches how to create meals to transform your health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction, and addresses the emotional side of eating. Chef AJ is the author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A revolutionary approach to conquer cravings, overcome food addiction, and lose weight without going hungry.

Visit her website, her YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian, and find her on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram.

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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December 21, 2013 6:48 am

When you take out of the refrigerator, do you eat it hot or cold?

Also, you mentioned to flip in the dehydrator after 12 hours. Do you dehydrate another 12 hours on the other side?

Reply to  Philpa
February 26, 2014 8:07 am

5 stars
So sorry I missed this comment. Depending at what temperature you choose to dehydrate, ambient room temperature, how thinly you spread it on the sheets and how crispy you prefer it, it actually may be ready in 12 hours or require an additional 6-12 hours after flipping. They now sell dehydrators at Costco for $40, at Walmart for less.