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Enjoy the benefits of hormonal health in full bloom

September is the beginning of a new season and a good time to relook your hormonal well-being. We’d like to focus on women’s health, starting with an intro to menstrual cups, a quick look at seed cycling and we have a beautiful quinoa porridge recipe to share – and here’s how they all work together:

MENSTRUAL CUPS

Photo by Rubycup

A menstrual cup is a flexible rubber or silicone cup designed to use inside the vagina during your period. The cup collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it like tampons or pads do. Tampons are also made from cotton, which is bleached with chlorine. This chlorine is an ingredient that is sadly tested on animals.

Advantages of using a cup:
They are reusable so you save money and there is less landfill waste.
Vaginal pH and beneficial bacteria stay in place (tampons absorb all of these).
You can wear the cup up to 12 hours before emptying and it is easy to use.

All menstrual cups sold at Shop Zero are made from silicone, so they are suitable for latex-sensitive ladies. And remember, the only way to know if a menstrual cup is right for you, is to give it a try – and we are always happy to share our experience and advice here at Shop Zero. Your monthly cycle is about so much more than just your period – which is only the first phase of your cycle. Using a cup also puts you in touch with your body, giving you a better insight into your flow and anatomy.

SEED CYCLING

Image supplied by Francesca Rose

Seed cycling is a gentle way to balance your hormones throughout the two phases of your menstrual cycle by using the nutrients in seeds. All you need is two tablespoons of seeds each day. The first half of your cycle you’d eat pumpkin and flax seeds which help with producing, metabolising and detoxing estrogen. In the second half of your cycle you’d eat sunflower and sesame seeds to help with progesterone production, metabolisation and detoxification.

Women struggling with symptoms of PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), post-birth control syndrome (PBCS), irregular periods, acne, and breast tenderness could greatly benefit from seed cycling. Local women’s wellness enthusiast, Francesa Rose, focuses on balancing hormones through balanced meals. She has developed an inspiring 200-page ebook packed with information and recipes, and was kind enough to share one with us.

Berry Quinoa Porridge
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
1 cup water
5 chopped dates
1 cup mixed berries (I used strawberries, cherries and blueberries)
1 ripe banana
1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1-2 tsp beetroot powder
1 tsp flaxseeds (freshly ground)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
A dash of Himalayan crystal salt

TO SERVE
Some beetroot slivers
A drop of beetroot sprouts
A dollop of coconut yoghurt (feel free to mix it with some beetroot powder for a fancy pink hue) A drizzle of tahini (or roasted almond butter)
A sprinkle of activated buckwheat

Image supplied by Francesca Rose

METHOD
Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Grind the flaxseeds in a coffee grinder or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Roughly chop the pumpkin seeds and dates. Gently mash the banana and berries with a fork. Keep the juice from the berries.

Bring the quinoa, water and almond milk to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the mashed banana and berries (with its juice) halfway through cooking. Stir in banana and the berries to ooze out the bright red colours.

Once the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, remove from heat and add the cinnamon, vanilla, beetroot powder, flaxseeds, pumpkin seed and dates. Stir to combine. Cover and let stand for five minutes. Taste and adjust flavour as needed. Add a bit more almond milk if you prefer the texture thinner. Serve up the quinoa in a bowl and top with your desired toppings. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for breakfast for the following week!

For more delicious recipes like this one, check out Francesca’s Rose’s ebook. It features 28 vegan recipes that work with, and correlate to your menstrual cycle and the moon cycle, based on the concept of seed cycling. Follow @francescaeatsroses on Instagram for amazing tips on period health, healing and getting your period back!

On Sunday, 22 September Shop Zero is hosting an informative Women’s Health Workshop with @hormonal.harmony and @rona_mindful_cycles_sa. The morning will be about Aligning with the Rhythm of Nature: Conscious Consumerism & your Menstrual Cycle. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media. This event will take place at our store and tickets will be available soon.

What better way to introduce spring this year than celebrating the natural rhythm of death and rebirth that occurs in women’s bodies every month. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the menstrual cup and your cycle… please share any insights here.

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Shop Zero turned 1, and they’re only getting started…

  • Pop-Up Shop in the Woodstock Co-Op

Shop Zero has officially celebrated their first birthday.  Those who have been following them will know that Shop Zero has had an online presence since August 2017.  Since then they have been ‘hustling’ hard to make Shop Zero, and what it stands for, accessible to as many people as possible.

Shop Zero’s journey over the last 12 months:

  • In October 2017 they crowdfunded and raised R35 000 towards opening Shop Zero – thanks again to everyone who believed in the concept.  Your names will never be forgotten.  Literally, they are printed on Shop Zero’s shelves!
  • In September Janneke, Shop Zero’s founder, was joined by Elza and Abi as business partners.
  • From November to January, Shop Zero had a presence at various Western Cape markets and started selling some of their products via their Facebook Shop, while looking for their perfect shop space.
  • In February, Shop Zero opened their brick and mortar pop-up shop in Woodstock, Cape Town.
  • In April, Shop Zero also started trading permanently at the Old Biscuit Mill market on Saturdays.
  • In May, Shop Zero launched their online store, www.shopzero.co.za, with nationwide delivery of all their lifestyle goods.
  • During this time Shop Zero also hosted a few workshops in their pop-up shop ranging from Zero Waste Basics, natural DIY Body Products Workshops through to delicious & nourishing Smoothie Bowl Alchemy Workshops, with many more to follow.  They even threw in a FREE Zero Waste Workshop in celebration of their 1st birthday.
  • Shop Zero has also successfully started hosting corporate Zero Waste Workshops – an exciting platform to help incorporate Zero Waste into your home and business.  Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you would like to host a Zero Waste Workshop at your business or collaborate on a workshop with them.  These events are a great way to learn and interact in a fun and inspirational way.

What’s in store for the next few months?

  • We are excited to announce that Shop Zero will be opening its permanent Cape Town branch, just down the road from their pop-up shop.  From September 2018 you can find Shop Zero at 403 Albert Road, Woodstock (right next to the Old Biscuit Mill).   This means the pop-up shop will be closing down to make way for the new shop space.
  • Joining them on the premises in their own right is Flourish Bistro: a vegan, plant-based, gluten and refined sugar free bistro.  Being a zero waste, plastic-free lifestyle store with vegan pantry essentials and specialty foods as one of Shop Zero’s trademarks, Shop Zero and Flourish Bistro are a match made in vegan heaven – plus the food from Flourish Bistro is simply amazing!
  • Last but not least, Shop Zero will be adding Zero Waste Bulk Product Delivery (food & cleaning products) to their online store (Cape Town only) – with reusable packaging that uses a deposit system and is of course … plastic-free!  They are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of their electric scooter, which means they’ll then deliver with zero emissions.  This will be an SA first!  Watch this space, more details to follow very soon.

And there you have it.  We’ll let you digest this all for a while we get back to the business of zero waste.  Because we love this planet, and we love helping you look after it!

Until next time,

The Shop Zero Team

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Shop plastic free online

We’ve arrived online and we’re so excited: our zero waste, plastic-free online shopping site is now live and ready for you.  Now you can Shop Zero from the comfort of your home, making zero waste options even more convenient.  If you are looking for sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle solutions, you have come to the right place.  Shop Zero has the answers!

Choose from our wide range of reusable cups and straws, zero waste skin, body and hair products, and other environmentally friendly items.  We are vegan-based and inspired by everyone and everything that is kind and fair to our beautiful planet. We also deliver nationwide in South Africa.

WHAT DOES ZERO WASTE MEAN?
If you are new to the concept of zero waste and how to shop sustainably, stick around. We’ll be posting regularly to guide you in the right direction by giving tips, advice and solutions to everyday waste problems.

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
Quite simply, we’re here to eliminate the single use of plastic, which is the main threat to the livelihood of our oceans and the reason our landfills are overflowing. On our website and in our shop in Woodstock (Cape Town), you will see a vast range of alternatives to the single use of plastic, showing you how to shop and live plastic free.

Welcome to your zero waste community, welcome to Shop Zero.

shopzero.co.za