Five Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

Five Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

The truth is, some conditions are easier to identify than others, and not all illnesses can be ruled out or confirmed by just performing a few tests. With this being said, there are five illnesses in particular that are misdiagnosed more than others.

Lupus

The symptoms of Lupus can often mimic that of other conditions. Therefore, it can be more difficult to diagnose. Because of the joint pain, malaise and other complaints, it can sometimes appear to be a different condition. Typical illnesses that it may be confused with include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Lyme Disease

The symptoms of Lyme Disease are often confused with other illnesses such as meningitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and even mononucleosis. Lyme disease, bringing on a stiff neck, along with chills, fever, headaches, joint pain and fatigue, can seem a lot like the flu. Without very specific blood testing, such as the Western Blot, for example, it is often misdiagnosed.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease, (PD), a movement disorder, may be diagnosed as several other conditions such as tremor, stroke, head injury and Alzheimer’s Disease. Symptoms can range from loss of smell to smaller handwriting, shaking, trouble sleeping and sleeping. Since there are no blood tests that can determine if an individual has PD, diagnosis can be difficult and quite a lengthy process.

Certain Forms of Cancer

Many falsely believe that cancer should be fairly easy to detect. This is not always so. Colorectal and breast cancers are two of the most commonly misdiagnosed cancer. Without proper screening at recommended intervals, they may be dismissed as inflammatory bowel conditions or infection as lymph nodes are near the breast tissue.

Fibromyalgia

Not only are some of the above mentioned conditions falsely diagnosed as fibromyalgia, but this condition itself may not be diagnosed properly. The symptoms, specific pain in the joints and fatigue, may mimic that of chronic fatigue syndrome. In some cases, physicians may diagnose Fibromyalgia as a behavioral health problem, such as depression or anxiety.

Looking for vitamins, herbal supplements and other alternatives to help you keep a healthy balance in your life? Check out the thousands of products we sell at iHerb.com. Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get  you $10 off any first time order with a $40 minimum purchase or $5 off any first time order less than $40.

References

AARP; 7 Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses; AARP; Accessed August 6, 2014

Cohen, Elizabeth; Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses; CNN; Accessed August 6, 2014

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Spicy Vegan Jambalaya

Spicy Vegan Jambalaya
Photo and Recipe from Jessie Johnson of the Life as a Strawberry Blog

Spicy Vegan Jambalaya

Ingredients
(serves 3 to 4)

  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1 heaping Tbs. diced jalapeño
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4-1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan (use one that has a tight-fitting lid).
  2. Add onion, garlic, celery, and jalapeño to oil and sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook an additional minute or two to soften them up.
  4. Add rice, vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to pan and stir to combine. Cover and bring mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-40 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and cooked through.
  5. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve immediately. Garnish with extra cilantro.
  6. This jambalaya has a nice kick to it – use more or less jalapeño and paprika depending on how spicy you like things. Add cooked shrimp or andouille to make this a heartier meat dish.

Spicy Vegan Jambalaya
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1 heaping Tbs. diced jalapeño
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4-1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan (use one that has a tight-fitting lid).
  2. Add onion, garlic, celery, and jalapeño to oil and sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook an additional minute or two to soften them up.
  4. Add rice, vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to pan and stir to combine. Cover and bring mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for 20-40 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and cooked through.
  5. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve immediately. Garnish with extra cilantro.
  6. This jambalaya has a nice kick to it – use more or less jalapeño and paprika depending on how spicy you like things. Add cooked shrimp or andouille to make this a heartier meat dish.

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

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Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

The tradition of Halloween is thousands of years old and is associated with both fun and mischief. This does not mean that your children have to be placed in harm’s way just to have fun; certain tips will help everyone avoid major holiday pitfalls.

Be Careful with Plug-ins

Not all risks are from strangers — mishandling props can also be dangerous. An example is the risk posed by outdoor wiring. Props with lights can be placed outdoors, so it is critical that connections and extension cords not be left in the rain. This can result in a short circuit. Even pulling the plug in morning dew is dangerous.

Beware of Combustible Materials

Makeup, hair sprays, scents and mosquito repellent all contain alcohol and are flammable. Chemicals should not be brought near candles or lanterns. Oils can heat up and penetrate the skin easily. Oils can also degrade in the presence of heat and become combustible. Candy should not be brought near flames. Don’t leave candles unattended.

Let Small Kids Go in Daylight

It might not seem as fun to trick or treat in daylight, but going out at nighttime tends to be riskier. Older children are apt to perform pranks and predators do occasionally take advantage of the confusion and the cover of dark. Visiting in the daylight makes it easier to see obstacles, and the early bird often gets the best items. Shopping malls and other shopping areas often make trick-or-treating available to younger visitors. Older kids should trick-or-treat in a group with at least one adult.

Throw Away Treats with Tampered Packaging

Homemade treats should only be received from familiar sources. The risk of unhealthy additives in commercial candy is small compared to the risk of spoilage, poor cooking or in rare cases, tampering. Opened packages result in increased moisture and bacterial growth. Mold can grow in low-moisture environments, so sterility must be guaranteed.

Click here to check out iHerb’s selection of Children’s Health Products! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get up to $10 off your first order.

Reference

Halloween Safety Guide; Halloween Safety Tips for Grown-ups; Halloween safety; accessed October 18, 2014

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Promoting Your Rewards Code Using Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus

Promoting Your Rewards Code Using Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus

iHerb wants to reward you! Check back each Monday for the next few weeks to learn how you can rev up your iHerb Rewards experience to new heights!

The last couple of Mondays had been all about Sharing Your Custom Rewards Link and Sharing Your Shopping Cart, today we’re going to discuss the different ways that you can use your Social Media Accounts to promote your Rewards Code utilizing these tools.

It’s advantageous for you to share your Rewards Code using Social Media. Why? You get a bigger reach. Depending on who your followers are or how many you have, it gives you a chance introduce iHerb to people you may not regularly interact with; yet, who trust in your opinion.   It also allows for opportunities for your post to be shared, which means more potential referrals than ever before.

Here’s how you can promote your Rewards Code using Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Facebook / Twitter / Google Plus

  1. Where to Promote
    1. Your personal Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus Account.
    2. A custom Facebook Page, Twitter or Google Plus Profile you’ve created specifically to promote your Rewards Code
      1. Include your Rewards Code in the about section.
      2. Create banner art that includes your Rewards Code.
      3. Please be aware of the Terms & Conditions regarding intellectual property like logos and graphics currently on  iHerb social media accounts.
  1. Ways to Promote Your Rewards Code
    1. Post Custom Rewards Links of the homepage, category pages or product pages.
    2. Post a message that includes links to your Shopping Cart.
    3. Promote iHerb Sales via Custom Rewards Links back to the sale page.
    4. Share info about new products via Custom Rewards Links back to the product page.
    5. Promote iHerb Shipping Promotions via Custom Rewards Links back to the home page.
    6. Share relevant content that may include a link to the article as well as to the appropriate product page (e.g. Share a link to an article about Maca as well as a Custom Rewards Link back to the iHerb Maca product page).

As you can see, being able to create and share Custom Rewards and Custom Shopping Cart links come in very handy. We give you the tools to create the links and then it’s up to you how you want to curate the content through Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

For examples of how to promote your Rewards Code check out our Facebook Page and our Twitter and Google Plus Profiles.

Facebook Page

Next week, we’ll talk about how you can promote your Rewards Code using Pinterest and Instagram.

To learn more now visit: Rewards.iherb.com.

Next Up:  Promoting Your Rewards Code Using Pinterest and Instagram

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Do It Yourself Yoga Mat Cleansing Spray

Do It Yourself Yoga Mat Cleansing Spray

When a yoga mat isn’t properly cleaned after each use it can lead to a dirty, smelly mat. Not only is exercising with a mat that has a foul odor unpleasant for you and those around you, it can be distracting and spread bacteria. Keeping it clean helps maintain the surface of your favorite yoga mat, ensuring it smells fresh and is rid of any harmful bacteria. Luckily washing your yoga mat is easy to do either at home or at the studio.

A solution of vinegar and water is ideal for hand washing your yoga mat. Use a clean, empty spray bottle and fill it with equal parts water and vinegar. For a nice, light scent add a few drops of essential oil, such as orange or eucalyptus.

At the conclusion of each class, shake your bottle and lightly spray the solution over the surface of your mat. Wipe the mat dry with a clean towel. Once the mat has dried completely, roll it up and it’s ready for the next class. Allowing it to dry completely will prevent mildew from forming on the mat.

If you are in a hurry to leave the class, loosely roll up the mat and take it home. Once you have more time, use the water and vinegar solution to clean the mat.

There are times when you may have worked extremely hard during class and feel that the mat needs to have a strong odor removed. Just add a teaspoon of baking soda to the solution, shake well, mist the mat with the mixture and wipe with a clean towel. Empty the bottle when you are finished, rinse it and replace with equal parts water and vinegar.

Since your feet are on the mat during yoga, it is a good idea to make sure they are clean before class commences. This ensures that the surface stays free of dirt and grime that can be passed from your feet to the mat.

By properly maintaining your yoga mat with the proper technique and ingredients, you are ensuring that it stays clean and fresh for years.

Looking for vitamins, herbal supplements and other alternatives to help you keep a healthy balance in your life? Check out the thousands of products we sell at iHerb.com. Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get  you $10 off any first time order with a $40 minimum purchase or $5 off any first time order less than $40.

References

Kristoffer, Heidi; The Best Way to Clean Your Yoga Mat]; Shape; Accessed October 8, 2014

Ireland, Kay; Can You Wash A Yoga Mat? Healthy Living; Accessed October 8, 2014

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Filed under Fitness, Nutrition and Weight Loss, Healthy Home and Garden

Some Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Some Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Meatless meals tend to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat. Well-planned meals are full of vitamins A and C, which are found in plant-based foods. There are other beneficial nutrients, such as lycopene, fiber, potassium and beta-carotene that are components found in a balanced meatless diet.

Red meat has a high concentration of saturated fat, which raises cholesterol and may subsequently increase your risk for coronary heart disease. Studies have shown that vegetarians have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you are concerned about your heart health, consider eating a diet that is devoid of meat products.

Another benefit to a vegetarian diet may be a reduced risk of developing certain kinds of cancer. Studies have linked a high consumption of red meat to colon, pancreatic, prostrate, breast and gastric cancer. It is theorized that foods with a high level of fat could stimulate hormones that promote the growth of cancer cells, although more studies are needed to confirm this.

A vegetarian diet is also good for the environment. More greenhouse gases are released into the air from raising cattle for beef and dairy consumption than all of the vehicles on our roads. Livestock also takes up precious natural resources, land and water, which cattle require. The pollution livestock causes to waterways rivals that produced in most other industries. Many people are also concerned about the method that animals are raised, citing complaints about tiny cages and sick animals being packaged to sell.

Substituting one vegetarian meal instead of a meat-based lunch or dinner saves gallons of water, dozens of square feet of land and pounds of carbon dioxide emissions to the environment. In as few as three meatless lunches you can save more water than you would if you switched to a low-flow shower head.

If you want to maintain health and be kind to the environment, then you may want to consider a vegetarian diet.

Click here to check out iHerb’s selection of Vegetarian Foods! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get up to $10 off your first order.

References

Magee, Elaine; The Part-Time Vegetarian; WebMd; Accessed October 18, 2014

Van Deusen, Amy; 6 Reasons to Eat Less Meat; Women’s Health; Accessed October 8, 2014

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Filed under Food (Benefits, Cooking and Nutrition)

Promoting Your Rewards Code: Share Your Shopping Cart

Promoting Your Rewards Code: Share Your Shopping Cart

iHerb wants to reward you! Check back each Monday for the next few weeks to learn how you can rev up your iHerb Rewards experience to new heights!

Last week, you learned how easy it is to share your Custom Rewards Link either directly to friends and family or through your social media accounts. Another way to promote your Rewards Code is by sharing your Shopping Cart.  Do you know what’s great about being able to share your Shopping Cart?

First, if you have favorite products that you’d love for people to know about, the Shopping Cart allows you to curate those products in one easy link.  Second, you’re further able to customize your Shopping Cart by just promoting specific types of products (e.g. Beauty Products or Gluten Free Foods) if that’s your preference.

In both instances, a link to your Shopping Cart is created that allows you to either send the link through email or private messaging via Facebook or Twitter to family and friends.  You also can post the link to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and your Blog for anyone to click.  If anyone makes a purchase after clicking these links, you then get Rewards Credit.

Learn how to create your own Shopping Cart link below:

1. To create a Custom Shopping Cart, sign in and then add products to your shopping cart.

2.  While inside the shopping cart (near the top) select “Share Your Cart” button to generate a link that includes your Rewards Code. The video below will illustrate this sharing method.

3. You can also  create a Custom Shopping Cart features products from your Wish List or from a Previous Order. Click here to get more info! 

Now that you’ve learned about how to Share Your Shopping Cart, check back next week on how you can promote your Rewards Code using Social Media.

To learn more now visit: Rewards.iherb.com.

Next Up:  Promoting Your Rewards Code Using Social Media

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What Makes a Product Fair Trade

What Makes a Product Fair Trade

There are so many considerations to take into account when purchasing basic food items. Are the fruits and vegetables organic? Do the manufacturers use “green” practices? However, one other increasingly important consideration is whether the product is “fair trade.”

To define it simply, a fair trade product is one for which a fair price is paid to the initial producers. The Fair Trade Labeling Organization normally certifies these products. This certification ensures that the product has been sold for a fair price in order to provide a living wage for the farmer or other tradesman who produced it. This process can help reduce poverty throughout the world and can help farmers reinvest in their businesses.

In addition, these farmers are encouraged to use sustainable farming and production practices. Although there are several emerging fair trade products, such as clothing, spices, fruits and vegetables, those listed below are among the most common.

Coffee

This was the first fair trade certified product and can be found in thousands of stores and cafes today. With over 500 varieties of certified fair trade coffee, gourmands can find almost any type, including newer single-use varieties.

Tea

Many teas, including bags and loose-leaf varieties, are also fair trade certified. Many restaurants offer fair trade teas as well.

Spices

Several brands of spices and herbs are fair trade certified with most familiar options — including cinnamon, cloves, pepper and nutmeg, represented.

Chocolate

With so many varieties of chocolate on the market today, it is important to find fair trade options in order to support and reinvest in farmers. This product can be found in high-end baking bars to chocolate chips.

Sugar

Certified cane sugar is most often found sold separately for baking and home sweetening purposes. However, some companies use this sugar in everything from ice cream to bottled and canned beverages.

Click here to check out iHerb’s Fair Trade Foods! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get up to $10 off your first order.

References

What Is Fair Trade?; Green America; accessed October 7, 2014

Shopping Guide; Fair Trade USA; accessed October 7, 2014

What Is Fairtrade?; Fairtrade International; accessed October 7, 2014

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The Top Natural Wrinkle Fighters Revealed

The Top Natural Wrinkle Fighters Revealed

Along with controlling lifestyle factors — such as maintaining healthy eating habits, managing stress levels and avoiding extensive sun exposure and cigarette smoke — the use of safe and effective skincare products can go a long way in helping to reduce and prevent premature wrinkles.

Natural ingredients are aimed at supporting the collagen production that slows down with age, forming wrinkles that eventually become more pronounced as collagen-filled tissues are increasingly damaged by time and free radicals.

Vitamin C

One of the most popular ingredients shown to boost healthy collagen levels is vitamin C. While consumption of this nutrient is critical for maintaining overall health, science has demonstrated that using it topically in body care products is approximately 20 times more effective than taking it internally. It is thought to rejuvenate skin by improving collagen synthesis, along with providing protection from free radical damage.

Antioxidants

Other powerful antioxidants such as CoQ10 and green tea have also been touted as valuable components to include in a natural skin care protocol. Along with essential oils of rose and geranium, they rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles and maintain optimal cell health.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Botanical sources of alpha-hydroxy acids that encourage the production of hyaluronic acid, a natural tissue plumping agent that aids in maintaining supple skin, are also recommended. One can also use hyaluronic acid topically.

Plant Stem Cells

Along with these popular beauty staples, one of the more recent advances in the field of natural skin care involves using plant-based stem cells to diminish wrinkles and other signs of aging. Active plant stem cells are said to restructure and renew the skin’s epidermis as well as increase protection from environmental stressors.

Many of these stem cells are derived from fruits. For instance, certain species of apples may have the ability to awaken dormant cells, making them act younger by stimulating healthy cell renewal and delaying cell aging. The anthocyanins in grapes could provide similar encouragement of healthy cell behavior along with the added benefit of increasing the skin’s UV tolerance, and argan fruit stem cells appear to accelerate the skin’s natural repair process.

Click here to check out iHerb’s selection of Wrinkle Creams!  New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get up to $10 off any first time order.

References

Plant-Based Stem Cells: the Future of Anti-aging; Whole Foods Magazine; accessed June 10, 2014

Revitalizing Aging Skin With Topical Vitamin C; Life Extension; accessed June 10, 2014

Silverman, Charles ND; Natural Treatment for Wrinkles; Homemade Medicine; accessed June 10, 2014

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Fall in Love with a Healthier Apple Pie

Fall in Love with a Healthier Apple Pie

Apple pies are often loaded with trans-fats, cholesterol and refined white flour and sugar. Substituting healthier ingredients for the unhealthy can help. Make your favorite pie crust with coconut oil instead of shortening. Substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour. Use fresh apples instead of canned filling. Refined white sugar can be replaced with Sucanat (unrefined whole cane sugar), brown sugar or maple syrup.

Healthier Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice apples. Toss with flour and lemon juice and set aside. In a small pot over low heat, combine syrup, spices and vanilla. Bring the mixture just to a boil. Pour over the apples, coating them well, and let sit for an hour or more.
  2. Prepare the crust. Mix flour and salt in a food processor. Add coconut oil and process until pea-sized lumps form. With the machine running, slowly add the syrup and water until the dough forms a ball. Place dough on a floured surface, divide into two equal parts, and flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for twenty minutes.
  3. Once chilled, roll out the dough enough to line a pie plate. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees°F. Pour filling into crust, top with second crust, and slice the top of the dough with little steam vents. Pinch crusts together to seal the edges and brush crust with melted coconut oil.
  4. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool completely before serving.

This healthier apple pie really celebrates autumn’s bounty. Enjoy!

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

References

Author unknown; History of Pies; American Pie Council; accessed October 7, 2014

Alderson, Ella; Apple Pie (Without Refined Sugar); Naturally Ella; accessed October 7, 2014

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