Lose Your Gut With These Morning Exercises!

Mornings are perhaps the best time to exercise; training at this time means that your metabolism ignites, fat starts burning and pretty much everything needed to set you up for a successful day is kick started in an effective fashion.

It has been proven that the earlier your metabolism starts, the more fat your body is capable of burning throughout the day due to it getting a head start. Here’s a list of some of the most effective morning exercises to get your day started in the proper fashion.

Interval training

Interval training is fantastic for a number of reasons, one of the primary ones being its ability to burn fat over a sustained period of roughly 24 hours due to the oxygen deficiency it creates. Basically, your body ends up being in “debt” to the lungs, and needs to pay it back over a prolonged period. Interval training simply involves performing a certain exercise for a period of anywhere between 30-60 seconds at a moderate period, followed immediately by a 30-60 second high intensity period. This means that your heart rate is constantly elevating, then declining over a period of 15-20 minutes (that’s honestly as long as you need for interval cardio due to its high intensity nature.) As such, it takes up to 24 hours for it to regulate it self, all the while burning calories and melting fat. This one’s great for fitness too.

Steady state cardio

You can effectively ignite your metabolism and burn body fat by performing steady state cardiovascular activity too (also known as aerobic exercise.) In many ways, this training format is going to gel better with the majority of people due to the fact that it doesn’t demand a great deal of energy from the body at a time when, frankly, there isn’t going to be much available to begin with. Unlike interval training, steady state cardio is going to need to be performed for a period of roughly 45-60 minutes. This could be viewed as an inconvenience, or a gift; the great thing about it being a longer duration but low intensity is that it allows you to mentally conquer the day ahead before you even get to work. This training method is a great problem solver due to the mental space it provides, a great fat burner, and very accessible by most people unlike some of the higher intensity training types.


Or body weight exercises, in lay-mans terms. Calisthenics are a fantastic way to dive straight into exercise first thing in the morning without having to get to a gym or squeeze into running gear; they’re always available, easily accessible and can be used as part of a split body part routine in the same way you would train with free weights in a gym. Choose chest and Triceps exercises one day, back and bicep exercises another and leg exercises for the third day and you’ve got yourself a full body routine to hit every area. At the most you’d maybe need a home pull up bar and some suspension training straps, but these purchases are inexpensive and the cost is far outweighed by the benefits.

These training methods can be done at home, in the gym or pretty much anywhere else you choose. They’re effective, they help melt body fat, release toxins from the body and make your respiratory system tougher, healthier and stronger. It doesn’t matter which type you choose to do, just as long as you do something two to three times per week.

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

When it comes to high protein diets, it is relatively easy to get your daily requirements in due to the plentiful protein supplements available in the forms of whey, soy, beef and vegan blend protein powders. There are so many options. The question is though, is it possible to consume too much protein? The answer is yes but it is also due to a number of other factors too so let’s find out why.

It all depends on if you exercise or not
It takes the body roughly 3 hours to digest 30g of protein and longer to digest any larger servings. As long as you consume 1-1.5g/lbs of body-weight per day, you should maintain your muscle or grow more if this is your goal. A person who rarely exercises needs about half that amount because too much protein can impair kidney function and any unused protein can be stored as fat.

Potential weight gain
If you are consuming a high-protein diet you need to ensure that your food plan is balanced and the protein you are consuming is from lean, healthy sources or you run the risk of gaining weight from the extra fats you are eating. Also you need to ensure the amount of protein you are consuming is relative to the exercise you are doing or any excess will be stored by the body as fat.

You might miss out on other nutrients
Having a high protein diet can often mean that you may be missing other vital nutrients from your diet. With such a stringent focus on getting enough protein you may end up being in a nutritional deficit. It’s not just about the protein it’s also about the healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables too so don’t forget them.

Bloating and stomachache
If you are new to consuming excess amounts of protein or a balanced high protein diet, then you can potentially suffer from bloating and stomachache. Your body can sometimes find large amounts of protein a little difficult to digest so make sure you are eating slowly and drinking plenty of water as both of these things will help with digestion. Moreover, are you getting enough fiber? If not, then you can add more to your meals.

Make sure you are consuming the right amount for your lifestyle
It’s very easy to consume too much or not enough protein if you haven’t got a professionally tailored diet plan based around your needs. As with any diet plan and regime it is important to consume the correct amount of protein to help you reach your goals but how much protein do you need? This depends on your lifestyle and energy expenditure and it’s a good idea to use this calculator to input your individual details and find out.

Some of the above reasons may come as a surprise but the main thing to remember is ensure you are consuming enough protein in regards to your lifestyle.

11 Pumpkin-Infused Skin Care Products to Get You Pumped for Fall

From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie-flavored protein shakes, there’s clearly no shortage of things a pumpkin can turn into. And that is true even for skin, hair and body care products. The beauty of this is that, unlike the orange-hued lattes and protein shakes, pumpkin in beauty products is more than just a seasonal trend. Our favorite fall fruit really does have legit skin and health care benefits unknown to many. In fact, experts believe that a pumpkin contains more than 100 beneficial nutrients that can help reverse signs of aging.

“Alpha hydroxy acids have been shown to promote smoother, younger-looking skin by increasing the rate of cell renewal. Pumpkin is a rich source of antioxidants and enzymes that act like alpha hydroxy acids,” explains Santa Monica-based esthetician, certified health coach and spa owner Diana Ralys. “These enzymes help increase the skin cells’ natural turnover. They digest aged, dehydrated and useless skin cells to reveal healthier and younger-looking skin.”

Pumpkin also contains potent antioxidants vitamins A and C. New Jersey-based esthetician Silvana Kuchar elaborates: “Vitamin A stimulates collagen production and cell regeneration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, which can help remedy damage created by free radicals.”

Even the pumpkin seeds tout many benefits. Because of its high vitamin and mineral content, pumpkin seed oil remains a favorite ingredient in many anti-aging products. “Omega 3, 6, vitamin E and zinc are known for their anti-aging effects. But what makes pumpkin seed oil so special is that when these nutrients are combined in one, the benefits of each are heightened,” explains New York-based holistic wellness and lifestyle expert Victorine Deych. “Pumpkin seed oil is a super healer in that it expedites cell regeneration, which can help fight acne and improve the appearance of scars.”

Ready to enjoy the healthy goodness of pumpkins? Here are just some of our favorite pumpkin-infused skin, hair and body care products.

Benefits of Hops in Natural Skin Care

Hops are not just for beer

Hops — not just for brewing beer.

Hops in skin care
Hops are not just for beer — they have benefits in natural skin care products.

In fact, hops have many uses, including in natural skin care products.

Culinary Uses

Hops were mentioned by Pliny, the Roman scholar, as a cooking herb. The shoots were eaten in those times.

Hops have been used in brewing since the ninth century. Initially they were used widely as a preservative for beer. The brewers recognized that if they included hops, the beer lasted longer. Hops are said to have antiseptic properties.

Medicinal Uses

Making a tea of the leaves, strobiles and stalks is reputed to be a stimulant for estrogen production and useful for intestinal cramps. Hops are also known to depress the central nervous system. Therefore, the tea can be great during times of PMS stress and irritability.

The great herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said of hops:

“Half a dram of the seed in powder taken in a drink kills worms in the body, brings down women’s courses and expels urine. In cleansing the blood, they help cure the French diseases and all manner of scabs, itch and other breakings-out of the body.”

Hops are a sedative. because of this quality, their most beneficial use may be in a sleep pillow. In fact, historical figures as diverse as King George III and Abraham Lincoln are said to have used this sleep-inducing aid.

I’ve made different herb pillows, but the most effective one is filled with a combination of hops and lavender. In addition to its wonderful scent, lavender helps you relax. Add some mugwort if you want to remember your dreams. Making the sachet is easy — just add a quarter-cup of the dried herbs to an empty pillowcase and keep folding over until you have a small, flat packet. Tuck this inside your pillowcase under your pillow at night.

Hops for Skin Care

Hops tea is also beneficial for a sluggish liver and to promote hormonal balance. Both of these effects have positive effects for the skin. Likewise, the promotion of estrogen production, in miniscule amounts, makes hops useful as ingredients for organic toners, lotions and creams.

Almond Oil and Organic Skin Care

Sweet almond oil is an emollient and nourishing natural oil, softening to the skin and hair. Widely used for massage and in natural skin care products, it is extracted from almond nutmeats. Sweet almond oil aids dry sin. It is used ad a makeup remover, massage oil and a bath oil.

Historical Mentions of Almonds

There are numeroud biblical references to the almond. In Genesis 43:11, the Patriarch of Israel commanded his sounds to carry into Egypt gifts from Palestine. These gifts included almonds.

Almonds were mentioned in Greek mythology. The Muhammedans associated almonds with hope since the beautifully scented blossoms appear on bare branches.

In Eleisabethan England, “An almond for a parrot” was a popular proverb in which the almond was considered to be a mouthwatering temptation. Thus in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Act V, Scene 2, Thersites says, “The parrot will not do more for an almond.”

John Gerard (1597) observed that almonds keep a fasting man from being drunk.

In the 17th century, Ninon de Lenclos, a French woman of fashion, recommended almond-based cold cream. This was said to have preserved her beauty and kept her face free of wrinkles until she was 70.


Almonds have symbolized good luck for many centuries in southern Europe. Traditionally, candied almond nuts are given away at weddings in Greece as tokens of long life and happiness. When two good friends of mine were married a few years ago in a Greek Orthodox church, they had candy-coated almonds at their reception for this purpose.

Almonds and Organic Skin Care

Ripe almonds can be ground up in a blender into almond meal that is wonderful as a skin conditioner, pore cleanser and refiner. You can use this alone or mix the almod meal with honey or yogurt. Apply this as a mask, leaving it on for 20 minutes for full benefit.

Almond oil is a top ingredient in most natural skin care products. It is perfect to use alone as well. It has been used for centuries as an all-purpose humectant, as a soothing oil, in face lotions, in shampoos for dry hair and in both massage and bath oils. It is also a key ingredient for making your own herbal oils.

Almond oil is a wonderful remedy for dry skin. It can also be used as a gentle non-soap makeup remover. It is healing and soothing to the skin. I include organic almond oil in several of my products, including Lily Farm Fresh Rejuvenating Seven Facial Rejuvenating Oil Treatment.

Best Smoothies For Your Skin

Smoothies cater for almost every nutritional need we have; they deliver vital minerals and vitamins to the body and safeguard us against disease and illness, as well as promoting healthy respiratory function and serving as an almost “glue” like influence for our internal workings. That is to say, they can; it’s all down to the ingredients.
Combine this with their high level of digestibility, and they really are an almost miracle like source of health for us to consume on the go. These miraculous properties don’t just stop on the inside of the body either; with the right ingredients, you can also take care of your skin and make it glow in a brilliant and healthy manner. Time to stop spending hundreds on overpriced skin care products, these smoothies will take care of everything.

Green everywhere!
The list of ingredients in this one will seriously clear up and detoxify your skin, as well as leaving you full of energy and generally feeling, well…uplifted! Give it a shot.
You’ll need:
• 1 medium cucumber
• 3-4 celery sticks
• ½ cup of pineapple juice
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 large kale leaves
• 1 pear
Mix it all together and reap the rewards!
Banana, green tea and walnut smoothie
Another fantastic treat for the skin, this one is also fantastic for the immune system due to the omega 3 fat and antioxidants it contains. Whip this one up if you’re feeling slightly “off” and want a delicious tasting natural health booster that’ll also leave you with radiant skin!
• 1 medium sized banana
• 1 handful of walnuts
• 1 cup of green tea
• 1 handful of kale
Blend up, serve up and enjoy!
Citrus goodness
When you not only need healthier skin, but tingling taste buds too! This citrus delight will leave you wholly satisfied in your pursuit of a great tasting and highly beneficial cup of nutritional perfection.
• 2 cups of green cabbage
• 1 cup of water
• 2 peeled oranges
• 2 cups of diced pineapple
• ¼ cup of peeled and diced golden beet
• Juice of ½ a lemon
• 2 table spoons of flaxseed oil
Throw it all in a blender, and throw it down the hatch!
Kiwi-mint delight
A refreshing and delightful health kick in a glass that will leave you looking and feeling brilliant. Here’s what you’ll need:
• ½ cup of almond milk
• One medium banana
• 1 cup of spinach
• 1 cup of mint leaves
• Juice of ½ a lime
• 1 small kiwi
• ½ a cup of Greek yoghurt
Get this awesome blend mixed up and consumed!
So there we have it, a modest yet potent list of some of the best smoothies available for your skin. Your immune system will benefit massively, your skin will look superb and you’ll feel totally replenished.
Whilst it’s still a good idea to continue using your favourite off the shelf products (if they’re working for you) adding these smoothies into your repertoire will make a world of difference, and at least enhance your existing efforts. If you don’t typically use any health and beauty products, simply try drinking these smoothies instead as they may just be all you need!

What Causes YOUR Hair To Turn Gray?

The age-old question ‘what causes grey hair’ is one pretty much everyone wants answering. Grey hair can make you feel as though you are aging faster than you deserve or it may inhibit your confidence if you feel it’s affecting your look more than you’d like.

Below you will find some of the main causes of grey hair, if you know the cause you can adopt the solution before the grey hairs appear! Prevention is better than the cure.


Stress is one of the biggest causes of grey hair, especially premature grey hair. Stress can have many negative effects on the immune system making it weak and vulnerable, these can show on our skin and hair. Stress can cause you to develop premature grey hairs so it’s imperative to always give yourself time to de-stress.

Oxidative stress

The term ‘oxidative stress’ can be defined as the state in which your free radicals (from pollution, poor diet, stress, etc.) outnumber your antioxidant defenses (from healthy diet). Greying hair can be a strong indicator of oxidative stress-induced damage.

Your background

Grey hair is unfortunately an inherited trait so there may not be an easy escape for you. If your parents went grey early there’s a good chance that you will too. The bad news is that Caucasians seem to go grey earlier and some health conditions may cause premature greying such as diabetes, pernicious anaemia or thyroid problems.

Normal aging is the biggest offender

Sadly aging is something you can prohibit. Aging is the biggest, natural cause of grey hair and there isn’t a great deal anyone can do about this other than use a good quality, grey coverage hair dye. Hair changes texture with age and looses its colorpigment, which leaves you with grey hair.

Your lifestyle may have an affect

Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of water can cause stress to your hair and skin alike. Low Vitamin B12 levels are renowned for causing the loss of pigment in your hair. Foods packed with vitamins and antioxidants are great way of trying to delay the onset of those pesky grey hairs.

It’s not your hair that goes grey…

Did you know that it isn’t actually your hair strand that’s responsible for the grey color you see? Every time you lose a hair and it has to regenerate you also have to grow the pigment-forming cells again and these simply wear out meaning no color is supplied to your hair.

We all hate grey hairs so much because no matter what our age is, we associate them with aging. Just like wrinkles in our skin and dark circles under our eyes we hate grey hairs because we feel like by having them we are losing a little bit of our youth! Sometimes grey hair can be delayed with the correct diets and lifestyle choices but sometimes they are simply part of our genetic makeup.

Avoid These Common Skin Care Mistakes

It’s no secret that, at Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care, we are passionate about healthy, natural skin care products that promote radiant, youthful skin. But even the best in skin care products, organic or not, can’t work to their full potential if you’re committing these skin care sins. Avoiding the following skin care mistakes will ensure a higher degree of health for your body’s largest organ – your skin.

Not cleaning off your makeup at bedtime. Sleeping with a face full of makeup can cause acne and enlarge pores. Make sure to thoroughly clean your face every night to remove imbedded dirt, oil and makeup.
Not protecting your face from the sun. Where we do have some issues with packaged sunscreens as they all contain various chemicals, we do believe in protecting your skin from harmful UVA rays. A wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses can help tremendously. Make sure that you’re taking care of the rest of your body too and stay out of the sun as much as possible if you are sensitive to it or burn easily.
Not using a daily moisturizer. Like sun protection, moisturizing is an important step for healthy skin all over your body, not just your face. Keeping your skin hydrated can help fight against dry, chapped and flaky skin and even help with more serious issues like eczema and dermatitis.
Not staying away from smoke. Smoking can cause wrinkles and make your skin take on a leathery appearance by restricting blood vessels and inhibiting the production of collagen. Aside from the more serious health issues, smoking ages your skin quickly and irrevocably.
Not drinking enough water. Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Your skin traps toxins and needs to be flushed from the inside. Keeping properly hydrated on a daily basis to keep skin supple and more youthful.
Not using chemical-free skin care products. Adding chemicals like perfumes and dyes to your skin on a daily basis can cause irritation and adverse reactions. Use natural skin care products to avoid detrimental effects from toxins.
At Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care, we believe that natural skin-care is the best skin care. We never use any chemicals in our natural moisturizer or organic skin care products and every one of our products comes from the ingredients grown on our farm. Our passion is create products with the health of your skin in mind.

Toxic cosmetics

Do we have to suffer for vanity’s sake? Since time immemorial humans have used a host of products to beautify the skin. Many of these historical ingredients were toxic and some even lethal. Cosmetics have an ugly side that shows how humans in their vanity are capable of suffering — a lot.

The beautiful Cleopatra eyes that we see in the movies are often achieved with galena (lead sulfide), a neurotoxic chemical. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, kohl, a paste made with ground galena, has been used for centuries as mascara. Galena is just one example of the long history of the use of lead in cosmetics.

Lethal lead
Continued exposure of the skin of the eyes (more absorbent due to its thinness and transparency) to ground galena has produced (and continues to produce) saturnism (lead poisoning).

The effects, now well documented, range from anaemia to cancer and neurological diseases, and in extreme cases, death. If the patient recovers, the consequences can be as severe as mental retardation or blindness.

Skin-whitening mercury
Mercury-based facial powders, popular since time immemorial, can causes cracked skin and even madness or infertility. They were used by the ancient Egyptians and by the Romans, who complemented the powder with a touch of a red lead compound that brought a “healthy” pink glow to the cheeks.

Some experts even suggest that the widespread use of mercury — a very toxic heavy metal — may have contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire from the physical and mental decline of their ruling classes.

And a touch of arsenic …
In Elizabethan England and ensuing centuries, ladies wore arsenic-based face powder to whiten the face. However, since makeup was typical of prostitutes, a discreet and elegant solution was a homemade vinegar-based application containing chalk and arsenic. Yes, arsenic, the legendary poison used by royalty to settle inheritances.

In the early twentieth century, despite knowing the dangers of arsenic, products as radical as arsenic pills were sold by some doctors. The resulting anaemic pallor was assured — while other vital organs deteriorated due to lack of oxygen.

Horror in industrial quantities
Sold also in the early twentieth century were rubber masks coated with “curative agents” to treat freckles, liver spots or other “imperfections” of the skin. ¿Cucumber extract? Nonsense: nothing like a bit of acid to perfect the skin!

Users (both men and women) participated in this vicious circle of using horrorific cosmetics based on lead, mercury, arsenic and other hazardous elements. After a while using these products, which literally ate into the flesh, all kinds of rashes and scarring resulted. And the only solution was to use more of the same or worse, thereby only aggravating matters.

In most cases the use of toxic cosmetics was not accidental. The consumer boom and extraordinary development of advertising in the Roaring Twenties in the USA — birthplace of the modern cosmetics industry — led to the development of more or less toxic products and ingredients that were not controlled by any authority.

In her book American Chamber of Horrors, published in 1936, Ruth DeForest Lamb, head of education for the US Food and Drug Administration, called for regulation of the industry in view of frequent harmful outcomes resulting from the toxicity of certain ingredients.

This author described, in crude detail, some of the scandals of the era, such as the 1933 case of Lash Lure mascara, containing coal tar, which burned a woman’s eyes, or the depilatory cream Koremlu, containing thallium acetate (also used as rat poison) that caused baldness, pain and paralysis.

Who is in control?
Today, many regulations and controls, especially in the Western world, ensure that every cosmetic ingredient is exhaustively analysed for acceptable toxicity levels. But we should never lower our guard. If an inexpensive ingredient has a powerful positive effect on the skin, it will logically attract the attention of the cosmetics industry. What matters is for consumers to have guarantee of no adverse effects for our health.

And that very much depends on where we live. While the European Union has banned the use of more than 1,000 ingredients in cosmetics, the US Food and Drug Administration has banned just a few dozen, while regulations vary greatly in other parts of the world.

In 2004, the American Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a highly recommendable resource, called Skin Deep, a database of toxicological information on some 64,000 products, all investigated by EWG’s own scientists.

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