How to Quick Pickle Beets

How to Quick Pickle Beets

Beets are a highly nutritious and colorful addition to your menu. This recipe makes it easy to turn raw beets into a tangy, pickled delight, and it can be done in less than an hour.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium beets (makes about 6 cups when sliced)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of white vinegar (alternative: apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 0ptional seasonings: garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves, rosemary, tarragon

Beets are often steamed or boiled to soften them. This process is not the most beneficial when it comes to the flavor of the vegetable. Roasting is a wonderful way to not only protect vitamins and minerals, but also to bring out the best taste in every beet.

Instructions

  1. Place the unpeeled but washed beets on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil over them and just slightly rub it into their skin. Adding a sprig of rosemary at this point will introduce another interesting layer of flavor to your beets. Fold up the foil on all sides and close it snugly on top. Poke a couple of small steam vents into the top of the package.
  2. Place package on cookie sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  3. Once cooled, the skin comes off almost by itself. Wear gloves if you are using your hands as the juice will leave stains on your skin. Cut the now-peeled beets into slices or cubes.
  4. Layer the sliced beets into jars or a bowl, alternating with layers of the thinly sliced onion.
  5. Now it is time to prepare the pickling liquid: Heat vinegar with sugar and your spices of choice. Pour over the beets and allow at least 30 minutes’ time for marinating.
  6. Enjoy!

Quick pickled beets can be kept in the refrigerator for about one week. They make an excellent addition to all salads, but they’re also a treat on their own, in the company of some goat cheese and walnuts, or mixed with sliced apples.

How to Quick Pickle Beets
 
Ingredients
  • 6 medium beets (makes about 6 cups when sliced)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of white vinegar (alternative: apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 0ptional seasonings: garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves, rosemary, tarragon
Instructions
  1. Place the unpeeled but washed beets on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil over them and just slightly rub it into their skin. Adding a sprig of rosemary at this point will introduce another interesting layer of flavor to your beets. Fold up the foil on all sides and close it snugly on top. Poke a couple of small steam vents into the top of the package.
  2. Place package on cookie sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  3. Once cooled, the skin comes off almost by itself. Wear gloves if you are using your hands as the juice will leave stains on your skin. Cut the now-peeled beets into slices or cubes.
  4. Layer the sliced beets into jars or a bowl, alternating with layers of the thinly sliced onion.
  5. Now it is time to prepare the pickling liquid: Heat vinegar with sugar and your spices of choice. Pour over the beets and allow at least 30 minutes’ time for marinating.
  6. 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.

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Six Easy Touches to Enhance Your Guest Room

Six Easy Touches to Enhance Your Guest Room

The guest room is often one of the most neglected spaces in the home. It’s usually tucked away as a spot with spartan decor and extra blankets. It may double as an office, storage space or even “the pet’s room.” However, the guest space has the potential to become a multi-purpose room that can create a true retreat for guests without extensive modifications. Here are some tips for creating a welcoming guest space:

Anticipate Linen Needs

A devoted space to hold extra towels and bed linens is a quick way to create an inviting space. Towels and blankets can be rolled and tied in simple wicker baskets by the bed for a truly pampered look.

Make Use of Closets & Luggage Racks

Most hotels provide access to luggage and linen storage in the rooms. Simple folding luggage racks or stands near the bed are multi-purpose and give guests a place to rest luggage away from the rest of the home. If the room has a closet, you can store extra hangers, linens, blankets, pillows and towels there. Try to clear a bit of space for the guest’s clothes if they wish to hang them.

Extend Armoires and Dressers

Make use of those unused television armoires and dressers to give guests a personal space to keep clothes and store extra essentials. An armoire can make a great extension to a closet or instead of a closet, for storage purposes.

Create a Mini Personal Spa

A tray of personal trial and travel sized bath products on a nightstand can give guests an ultra-luxury feel without too much extra work on your part. A variety of bath products can be purchased reasonably in bulk. Any leftover products can be used to take on a vacation.

Stock a Personal Library

Keep reading material nearby to enhance the coziness of the guest room and throw personality into the space. Books of interest in bookshelves can provide reading material in the evening as guests retire. It can also provide a topic of conversation later.

Vary Lighting Sources

The best guest spaces make use of dimmer switches on lighting and additional creature comforts for visual appeal like a small electric fireplace or accent lamps. Adding lamps can add to the cozy nature of a guest room.

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References

Anderson, Tracy; 10 Ways to Welcome a House Guest; Bob Vila; accessed Nov 9, 2014

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Give Your Confidence a Boost

Give Your Confidence a Boost

Are you suffering from low confidence or poor self-esteem? Contrary to popular belief, this is not all that uncommon. Many people suffer from this problem at least occasionally. However, boosting confidence does not necessarily take a life-altering event or a drastic change.

In fact, there are three simple ways to quickly boost confidence, which do not require much time or effort.

Get Some Exercise

Several studies suggest that a good workout can automatically improve mood and increase self-confidence, both in the long- and short-term. While this may be due to many different factors, exercising releases endorphins in the brain. Also, some will feel better about themselves because they are doing something that has a positive impact on their life; All the more reason to get up and get motivated.

Look to Your Surroundings

Several things in the environment can either make or break one’s confidence and outlook. Bright colors can make an impact whether through clothes or decor. It does not matter if they are bold hues such as reds or purples, or earth tones like yellow, colors can affect mood and ultimately, how we feel about ourselves. The same can be said of fragrances. Aromatherapy may be used alone or combined with color schemes to bolster confidence.

Manage Stress Levels

Most of us are aware of the negative outcomes associated with stress. Unchecked stress can lead to significant health problems, increasing risks of several conditions and can kill the mood, but it may also play a role in self-confidence. Taking some time for rest and relaxation, getting enough sleep and enjoying the simple things in life are all just a few ways that stress can be more effectively managed.

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.

Resources

Burton, Neel MD; Building Confidence and Self Esteem; Psychology Today; Accessed July 25, 2014

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Filed under General Health, Mental Health, Stress Management

Promoting Your Rewards Code Via a Blog

Promoting Your Rewards Code Via a Blog

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!

Promoting your Rewards Code via a blog is very similar to promoting your Rewards Code by creating videos. In both instances, it’s about sharing relevant content as well as having the ability to funnel the content through other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. More avenues to promote your Rewards Code means more chances for you to attract new referrals customers.  So let’s talk about how you can get started.

Select a Platform:  First and foremost, choose a platform that works best for you. Free to low cost blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Typepad are all available.

Types of Blogs:  After selecting a platform, you need to decide the focus of your blog. Be sure to find a topic or topics you’re passionate about.

  1. The focus could be specific:
    1. Makeup Tips and Beauty Product Reviews
    2. Gluten Free Cooking Tips and Recipes
  2. The focus could be more general:
    1. Healthy Lifestyle Blog featuring fitness tips and healthy eating

Blog Tools:  iHerb has created some tools that could be helpful for your blog.

  1. Rewards Code Graphic – You can download a graphic for free by clicking here. Once downloaded, add your Rewards Code and then place it in your blog’s side bar.
  2. Custom Rewards Link – This tool allows you to share any page on iHerb via a Custom Rewards Link that includes your Rewards Code. Click here to learn more about how to create Custom Rewards Links. Be sure to link your Rewards Code Graphic to your Custom Rewards Link.

Types of Blog Posts:  When people are looking for answers to their questions, the first thing they do is go online.  Your goal is to provide content rich blog posts that will help answer those questions.

Look below for examples of blog posts you could write:

  1. Product Reviews with talk points that could include:
    1. Product Info and Value
    2. Suggested Use(s)
    3. News about the Product
    4. Comparison with Similar Product
    5. What you like or don’t like about the product.
  2. Product Usage Tips Ideas
    1. Share a tip on how to use a specific product (eg. How to use the Real Technique’s Miracle Complexion Sponge)
    2. Share different usage ideas for a generic product (e.g. Olive oil can be used both for cooking as well as cleaning)
  3. Informational Blog Posts.
    1. Talk about what specific products may be beneficial for a certain condition and then give examples of products you use.
    2. Share information about working out along with products that could help you reach a specific fitness goal.
    3. Share recipes geared towards a specific dietary need featuring products from iHerb’s grocery category.
  4. If you are making any product claims, make sure that evidence exists to support it.

At the end of each blog post, do a short blurb about where to purchase the product (s) that is relevant to your blog post and include your Custom Rewards Link.  See example below:

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

If you’re looking for more ideas, click here to check out the iHerb Blog, The Healthy Haven!

The Healthy Haven Blog

Now that you’re done putting fingers to keyboard, it’s time to share your blog posts. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest are just a click away!

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

Next Up:  Promoting Your Rewards Code Using Your iHerb Page

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Tech Addiction: How Much is Too Much?

Tech Addiction: How Much is Too Much?

Thanks to the ever-expanding world of technology, it is rare to come across a person that does not own some type of mobile phone, tablet, computer or gaming system. Children and senior citizens are rapidly joining in the movement. However, while technology offers numerous benefits — readily available information, the ability to keep in touch with family and friends and a way to stay connected with work — there are also a few hazards.

Technology addiction is a very real problem that is affecting numerous people. These people become addicted to their games, websites, social media or find it impossible to put down their phones. This can lead to disinterest in many areas of life and poor concentration at school or work. It may even lead to more severe problems, such as depression and the inability to eat or sleep.

These are just a few of the ways that people can combat the potential for technology or social media addiction in their own lives.

Strive for Balance

Although technology and social media can be positive forces in life, a proper balance is needed. Individuals need to remember that their phones and tablets do not need to come everywhere with them and that they need to set priorities throughout their days. Sometimes, it is far more important to spend time with friends and family rather than to check the latest social media updates.

Turn off Devices

Individuals should choose time throughout the day when their devices are turned off. For example, mealtime, time at the gym or an hour before bed are all times that computers and phones could be put to sleep.

Try Counseling or Recovery Groups

For those who are suffering from some of the more extreme symptoms, such as disruption at work or inability to sleep,  finding an addiction counselor or a group, such as Online Gamers Anonymous, may be helpful.

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

Tyler, Mara; Video Game and Technology Addiction; Healthline; accessed October 20, 2014

Soong, Jennifer; When Technology Addiction Takes over Your Life; WebMD; accessed October 20, 2014

Technology: The New Addiction?; Cigna; accessed October 20, 2014

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Creating a Living Wreath

Creating a Living Wreath

Making living wreaths can be very simple; yet the results can be quite breathtaking. Generally, living wreaths are made with succulents, but they can include other plants as well. Succulents are popular because they are plants that have thick leaves that are filled with fluid. The ability to store water is what makes them so wonderful in living wreaths; you don’t have to take the wreath down to water it very often.

Most every wreath starts out with a wire form, which you can find at most craft stores or online. Not all wreaths need to be round; you can find them in almost any shape, including alphabet letters. After you have selected your form, you will need to line it with sorghum moss. Line the inside of the form so that the moss covers the bottom of the form. Fill the open area, which is like a trough, with planting soil. The soil should be added until the wreath is full. Slightly dampen the soil and pack in densely into the form.

Once your soil is in place, you can then begin to transplant your succulents into the wreath. Each wreath will be individualized depending upon which plants that you use. To help keep the plants in place before you hang the wreath, many living wreath makers use green florist wire to help the plants stay attached to the form.

Once the plants are in place, give the wreath a good watering and let it sit in the sun for about a week or so until the plants are well established in the soil in the wreath. Be very careful and make sure your plants are established before hanging it up. You can check this by gently pulling on the plants to see if there is any tension, but don’t pull so hard that the plants come out.

Once your plants are stabilized, you can hang the wreath using a wreath hook. These living wall and door hangings are a great way to decorate your home.

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.

Reference

Planting a Living Wreath; Better Home and Gardens; accessed on November 11, 2014

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Almond Milk and Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Almond Milk and Quinoa Mac and Cheese
Photo and Recipe from Lindsay Amabile of The Local Taste Blog

Almond Milk and Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa pasta according to package.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until it darkens.
  4. Turn heat to low and slowly stir in milk. Turn heat back to medium and whisk until mixture thickens and there are no lumps. Should take 1-2 minutes to thicken.
  5. Stir in grated cheese and continue to stir until it’s melted.
  6. Stir in cooked quinoa pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Almond Milk and Quinoa Mac and Cheese
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-8oz. packaged of cooked quinoa macaraoni or your favorite quinoa pasta
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. white unbleached flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened or vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa pasta according to package.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until it darkens.
  4. Turn heat to low and slowly stir in milk. Turn heat back to medium and whisk until mixture thickens and there are no lumps. Should take 1-2 minutes to thicken.
  5. Stir in grated cheese and continue to stir until it’s melted.
  6. Stir in cooked quinoa pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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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The Healthy Aspects of Vitamin E

The Healthy Aspects of Vitamin E

Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is a common fat-soluble vitamin. However, because it may not be as familiar as other vitamins, such as vitamin C or the B vitamins, many do not know much about its uses. This vitamin has a wide range of health benefits throughout the body and can be used as a topical oil in some instances.

One way to get the vitamin E that one needs is to consume foods that are rich in this nutrient. Some of the best options include leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, nuts, vegetable oils used for cooking or baking, as well as eggs. However, those who do not eat these foods often should consider taking a supplement or a multivitamin to supply the nutrients they are missing.

Whether one gets vitamin E from foods or a supplement, these are some of the benefits with which they will be rewarded:

Heart Health

Vitamin E prevents the platelets in the blood from clumping together; this may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke and blood clots throughout the body. In addition, studies have shown that consuming vitamin E daily can help to reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscles in the blood vessels, while its antioxidants may help to prevent high blood pressure in the first place.

Healthy Skin and Hair

Vitamin E can keep help skin smooth and firm and create soft, shiny hair. It does this by increasing blood circulation to the skin and scalp. As an antioxidant, vitamin E destroys free radicals that damage hair, skin and nails. By protecting the hair and nails from damage, vitamin E promotes healthy growth of the skin and hair. Vitamin E oil can also be used topically as a skin softener.

Age-Related Eye Conditions

This vitamin can also be used to prevent eye concerns, such as macular degeneration and cataracts, due to the high amount of antioxidants in it. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), vitamin E, especially when combined with other antioxidants such as zinc, beta-carotene and vitamin C, appear to protect people from developing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the US among people over 55.

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

References

Top 5 Health Benefits of Vitamin E; Newsmax; accessed October 20, 2014

Ratini, Melinda, DO, MS; Vitamin E; WebMD; accessed October 20, 2014

Kannall, Erica; Vitamin E and High Blood Pressure; Livestrong; accessed October 20, 2014

Vitamin E; Mayo Clinic; accessed October 20, 2014

Vitamin E; UMMC; accessed October 20, 2014

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Natural Blood Sugar Support for Type 2 Diabetics

Natural Blood Sugar Support for Type 2 Diabetics

Diabetes is a disease in which an individual’s body cannot create enough insulin to process the sugar, or glucose, in the blood properly. This heightened glucose level can lead to an array of other complications such as nerve pain and nerve damage, poor eyesight and slow wound healing. Out of the two types of the disease, type 2 diabetes is more easily managed by dietary changes and oral medications.

Many diabetics are discovering the array of natural supplements that may also be used to control the disease or improve side effects.

B Vitamins

Several of the B vitamins, specifically B1, B6 and B12, are important for proper functioning of the nervous system. These can help with some of the neuropathies common with diabetes.

Vitamin E

This vitamin also protects the nervous system as well as the blood vessels while potentially decreasing the incidence of cataracts and improving glucose control.

Magnesium

Magnesium has been found to decrease insulin resistance in the body. In fact, many people with diabetes have been found to have low levels of magnesium in their bloodstreams.

Chromium

Chromium is a trace metal that may help lower glucose levels by aiding in the metabolism of sugars. However, it should only be taken in low doses.

Cinnamon

Often thought of only as a kitchen spice, cinnamon actually has a wide range of supplemental uses. For diabetics, it can serve as a natural and safe way to regulate blood sugar levels.

Vanadium

Another trace mineral, vanadium is thought to work in much the same way as insulin does in the body — by lowering blood sugar levels.

Banana Leaf Extract

Coming from Asia, this extract may decrease blood sugar levels by increasing glucose uptake into the body’s cells.

Bitter Melon

This botanical is actually a vegetable that can also be taken as a supplement to potentially lower blood sugar levels.

Click here for iHerb’s selection of Blood Sugar Support Products! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get up to $10 off your first order.

References

Orenstein, Beth W.; 9 Supplements That May Help Diabetes; Everyday Health; accessed September 23, 2014

Kiefer, Dale; Herbs and Supplements for Diabetes; Healthline; accessed September 23, 2014

Whitaker, Dr. Julian; The Best Supplements for Diabetes; Dr. Whitaker; accessed September 23, 2014

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Five Unhealthy “Kids Foods” and Their Alternatives

Five Unhealthy “Kids Foods” and Their Alternatives

While lots of parents agree that they want to fill their children’s bodies with fresh, healthy foods, many have trouble preparing these foods and getting kids to eat them. Others eat the same unhealthy foods that their children do simply because they are easy to grab — saving time on busy school days. However, the reality is that more children today are overweight or obese than ever before, eating more fast foods and getting less exercise.

Here are five top culprits in typical homes and the delicious foods that can replace them:

Sugary Cereals

Cereals that are marketed to children are notoriously filled with high amounts of sugar and artificial colors, with little fiber or whole grains. For a nutritious start to the day, parents can consider serving hot oatmeal or unsweetened adult cereals. Another option is yogurt with fresh fruit.

Fish Sticks

Many parents and kids alike enjoy these fried finger foods; however, there are unhealthy fats contained in the breaded crusts. Parents can serve fresh baked or grilled fish instead as a healthier option.

Fruit Snacks

Parents are often confused by these easy snacks because they seem healthy. Instead, many of these snacks are filled with artificial sweeteners. A tasty alternative is unsweetened dried fruit or sliced fresh fruit.

Sugary Juices

Many juices contain only a small percentage of actual fruit juice and are instead loaded with sugar. Parents should choose only 100 percent fruit juice, if they serve juice. Freshly squeezed juices are packed with nutrients.

Hot Dogs

Filled with dangerous nitrites as well as lots of fat, hot dogs are not the most nutritious item. Fresh lunchmeats and even turkey or chicken dogs are much healthier alternatives.

 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

Port, Dina Roth; The 14 Worst Kids’ Foods: Are They in Your Kitchen?; iVillage; accessed August 27, 2014

Avvocato, Alexander; 6 Kids’ Foods Never to Eat; Prevention; accessed August 27, 2014

The 20 Worst Kid’s Foods in America; NBC News; accessed August 27, 2014

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Filed under Children's and Teen Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Weight Loss, Food (Benefits, Cooking and Nutrition)