A couple of years ago I replaced all plastic bottles by BPA-free ones. I had heard that BPA is estrogenic, can disrupt your hormones and make you gain weight – yikes! So I thought BPA free plastic bottles were a safe option. Right? No they’re probably not…
BPA stands for bisphenol-A and is a synthetic compound you will find in many plastics, as well as in the lining of canned food containers.
It exhibits what is called ‘estrogenic activity’ which means that it can disrupt the beautiful and intricate system of your hormones.
When more people became aware of this, the industry had to shift. And voilá: the BPA free plastic was born.
But alas, it turns out that bisphenol-A isn’t the only bisphenol in the family. Many manufacturers simply swapped one bisphenol for another and started using BPS or BPF. So BPA free plastic is not a safe option!
Now even small concentrations of BPS and BPF disrupt the function of your cells in a way similar to BPA. So, BPA-free bottles are not the solution. And not many people are aware of this and that’s tricky… Because when something says it’s ‘free’ we think it’s safe… and it’s not!
On top of that: BPA is still around: in for instance
- Items packaged in plastic containers
- Canned foods
- Personal care products
- Feminine hygiene products
- Thermal printer receipts
- CDs and DVDs
- Household electronics
- Eyeglass lenses
- Sports equipment
- Dental filling sealants
So what can you do?
Although eradicating Bisphenol completely may be impossible, there are some effective ways to reduce your exposure:
- Avoid packaged foods: Eat mostly fresh, whole foods. Stay away from canned foods or foods packaged in plastic containers labeled with recycling numbers 3 or 7 or the letters “PC.” Make your own hummus from dried chickpeas in stead of a can!
- Drink from glass or steel bottles: Buy liquids that come in glass bottles instead of plastic bottles or cans, and use glass baby bottles instead of plastic ones. Now all our water bottles AND my water filter are made from steel!
- Stay away from BPA products: as much as possible, limit your contact with receipts, as these contain high levels of BPA.
- Be selective with toys: Make sure that plastic toys you buy for your children are made from BPA-free material — especially for toys your little ones are likely to chew or suck on.
- Don’t heat or microwave plastic: Microwave and store food in glass rather than plastic.
- Buy powdered infant formula: Some experts recommend powders over liquids from BPA containers, as liquid is likely to absorb more BPA from the container.
Golden or turmeric milk is a cow’s, nut or coconut milk, heated with a good amount of turmeric in it. I shouldn’t be saying this as a nutrition and herb expert because of it’s great properties, but… I didn’t like to drink it! The reason was that I used turmeric powder. That leaves you with quite a lot of bits in your milk and it has quite a strong bitter taste.
But now they’re selling fresh turmeric root in my local shop, so I decided to try again. Delicious! I loved it! Maybe you want to have a try as well.
Turmeric is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. And this is not something woo woo to brush aside: there are currently over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin.
In several of those papers the researchers compared turmeric to conventional medicine, and found out it worked equally well or even better than the pharmaceutical medication!
Recently turmeric has even been recognised for helping with depression!
Turmeric milk recipe
I like to use fresh ginger root in my turmeric milk as well, as it makes it nice and warming. And I do add a tiny bit of sweetener.
One warning: turmeric can stain your clothes yellow, so don’t wear your new white shirt and make sure you put on a apron!
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric
- Optional: a teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 mug of coconut milk from a can, full fat
- 1/2 mug of water
- Or; 1 mug of home made nut or seed milk
- A tiny bit of sweetener: 3 drops of liquid stevia or a teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup, optional
- Put all your ingredients except for the sweetener in a saucepan
- Heat gently until hot but not boiling
- Leave it on a very low heat for 5 minutes
- Pour through a tea strainer and add the sweetener if you want
Hummus is such a versatile and easy to make dish! I make this hummus recipe nearly every week because it’s a great one to have in my fridge in case of a snack attack. Or when the lunch of dinner I made is a bit bland or low in protein and healthy fats. This one is great for blood sugar and hormone balance!
It’s lovely as a snack with carrot, cucumber or bell pepper cut in sticks. A great one to bring with you when traveling as well!
Dried chickpeas vs cans
I use dried chickpeas, as ‘they’ use hormone balance disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA) for the lining of the cans. Even the organic ones. Yikes! And I can’t find any beans in glass near to me. Anyway, cooking your chickpeas is easy peasy and cheap.
I start with a cup of dried chickpeas and soak them overnight with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This makes them a lot easier to digest. In the morning I rinse them well and discard any dark ones. Then I gently cook them with some salt until they are firm and not mushy. It depends on their age how long it takes! If they are too firm, let them simmer for another half hour with the lid on.
This would give you enough to store some in the freezer so you’ll have enough for 3 or 4 batches of hummus!
- 1 heaping cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. You can add more after tasting.
- 1 big or two small garlic cloves
- 1 level teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ tsp of salt
- ½ cup of tahini
- 4 tbsp of water
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- optional: smoked paprika powder
You can use a small or big a food processor or a hand held blender for this. Don’t have any of these? No problem. You can also use a fork. Make sure you cut the garlic very finely or use garlic powder (1/4 tsp) to avoid having a big clump of raw garlic…
How to do it:
- Strain chickpeas
- Press or finely cut garlic
- Put chickpeas, salt, tahini, garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of water, cumin in food processor or container for blender.
- Blend and then taste! Make thinner with water and add salt, lemon, garlic or cumin to taste.
- Put in a bowl, drizzle the rest of the olive oil over it and shake some (smoked) paprika powder on for taste and beauty.
During the cold and dark winter months I have been enjoying a warming and nourishing drink: my healthy hot chocolate! And I’m happy to share my recipe.
The inspiration came around at a time where I decided to stop drinking caffeinated coffee because I wasn’t sleeping well. At the same time I was looking for a mid morning snack with a good amount of protein to keep me going without an energy dip. The idea was it would prevent a snack attack later in the day.
So this is what I came up with. I make my healthy hot chocolate with my homemade cashew nut milk, raw cacao, collagen powder, maca powder, a pinch of sea salt and a bit of maple syrup.
In case you didn’t know yet, raw cacao powder is so much nicer that the regular stuff. It has a delicate chocolate taste. It is much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. Cacao is thought to be the highest source of antioxidants and of magnesium of all foods.
Collagen powder has many health benefits. It improves the health of your skin and hair, reduces joint pain and degeneration. And since it heals and seals the protective lining of your gut as well it helps to heal leaky gut.
One of the benefits of maca root is that it increases fertility in both men and women. It’s a hormone balancer,and a booster for the immune system.
Maca is considered an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, demanding job, or illness, for example.
I notice that when I consume maca it gives me energy, like coffee would do, but without the crash afterwards. It makes me feel more grounded and alive. It helps me with restoring my hormone balance and it elevates endorphins, the feel good hormone. On top of that maca is its relatively high in protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium!
Healthy hot chocolate Recipe:
- Half a mug of nut milk or coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons of collagen powder
- 1 teaspoon of maca powder
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or use a few drops of liquid stevia)
- Pour the nut milk in your mug and then add water to top up.
- Pour this milk and water in a saucepan and add the powders and the salt.
- Heat it up, using a whisk to stir.
- Add the maple syrup and pour into your favourite mug when hot.
- Retreat into a quit place where no-one can find you and enjoy!