Homemade Facial Masks

Homemade Facial Masks

There is no need to pay tons of money to a fancy spa just to get a facial. With these effective simple homemade facial masks, you can pamper yourself in the comfort of your home. The ingredients are easy to find, you probably have them sitting at home, and the procedure is very simple. The benefits of these masks are amazing.

Banana Facial Masks

Many factors such as sun overexposure, pollution, or diet can leave your skin dry and this affects how healthy your skin is. Dry skin can also lead to a premature old look of the face. A natural treatment for dry skin is banana. That's right. Banana is not only good for you, as it is a source of potassium, but it also moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Banana also protects the skin from free radicals and, thus, delays the aging process.

Banana is good for your skin for many reasons. It contains vitamin A, which gets rid of dark spots and blemishes, apart from evening out rough skin. It also contains vitamin B, which delays aging, lessens dryness, moisturizes and lightens skin. Banana is packed with vitamin E, which protects your skin by battling out free radical impairment, boosting the skin's sun-rays resistance, as well as preventing and diminishing appearances of wrinkles. Lastly, banana is famous for being a source of potassium, which gets rid of dry skin by moisturizing and hydrating skin cells.

This treatment consists of applying a banana paste to your face and neck. You can make this paste by mashing up a medium-sized banana. Let it set for 10 to 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.

This is not the only banana mask out there. You can also use a medium banana and combine it with a quarter of a cup of plain yogurt and two table spoons of honey, and apply it to your face. Use the same procedure you used for the previous mask. Honey doesn't only moisturize your skin, but it is also a natural acne remedy.

Vinegar Facial Masks

Vinegar has been used as a skin toner for centuries. Mix 1 table spoon of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water and apply it to your face after washing it as you normally would. Use the vinegar mixture as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin. Alternatively, you can mix a quarter of a cup of vinegar with the same quantity of water, then apply it to your face and let it dry.

Milk Facial Masks

Make a think paste by mixing enough milk powder with water. Coat yourself with the mixture, let dry completely and then rinse with warm water. This mask will leave your face feeling refreshed and moisturized.

Oatmeal Facial Masks

A traditional facial mask is made with oatmeal. Combine half a cup of hot mater water with 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Let the water and oatmeal settle for a couple of minutes. Then mix in 2 table spoons of plain yogurt with 2 table spoons of honey and one small egg. Apply the mask to your face and let it settle for 10 or 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the mask off with warm water.

Lemon Facial Masks

Mix the juice from one lemon with 1/4 cup olive oil or sweet almond oil and apply to it to your face. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This mask both exfoliates and moisturizes your skin. Lemon also helps remove stains from your skin but you must be careful with the sun. Make sure you rinse it off properly as sun exposure while having lemon on your face can cause stains.

Egg Facial Masks

Egg facial masks are a great moisturizer. After applying it on your skin, you'll feel you have a new fresh face. If you have normal skin, you can beat an egg, apply it to your face and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then you can rinse it off. If you have dry skin, then separate the egg and use the yolk instead. Meanwhile, if your skin is oily, you'll need the egg white and you need to mix it with lemon and honey for best results. Same produce applies.

Natural Treatments for your Hair

Natural Treatments for your Hair

This day and age people resort to chemicals or brands to look after their hair and they forget that those didn't exists hundreds of years ago when women still had to find natural ways to repair their hair.

Here are some natural ways to improve your hair:

Shine-enhancing hair mask

This mask helps to repair dry and dull during the winter months. While the apple cider vinegar helps to remove product buildup that dulls hair, argan oil nourishes and softens unruly strands, and the rosemary nourishes a dry scalp. If you have greasy hair, you can still use this mask to repair your hair, but you must avoid spreading it on your scalp.

To make this mask, you need to combine the ingredients in a blender. Combine half an avocado, two table spoons of argan oil, 10 drops of rosemary essential oil and 1 table spoons of apple cider vinegar. Spread the mask all over your hair, from roots to tips. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and cleanse with shampoo. For best results, do this at least once a month.

Raw eggs

Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home, said “The (raw) egg is really the best of all worlds.” Accordingly, the white of the egg contains bacteria-eating enzymes that remove unwanted oils. Meanwhile, the yolk, which is rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing. This is an ideal treatment for all hair types.

If you have normal hair, proceed to use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair and use yolks to moisturize dry, brittle hair. Use half a cup of egg mixture and apply to clean and damp hair. If there isn't enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave whichever egg mixture is suitable for your hair on for 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water to avoid cooking egg on your head. Then wash your hair with shampoo. For best results, use the whole egg and yolk treatments once a month. Whites only treatment can be used every two weeks.

Dairy products

Dairy products such as sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse the damage caused by styling products and air pollution, which sometimes leave a film that dulls the hair. According to Lisa Belkin, author of The Cosmetics Cookbook, “lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturizes.”

Apply half a cup of either sour cream or plan yogurt into damp hair and then let it sit for 20 minutes. After leaving on for that long, rinse with warm water to remove the dairy from you hair, then rinse it with cool water. After rinsing your hair, wash your hair with shampoo as you normally would. You can use this treatment every other week.

Lemon and olive oil

Use a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair if you have an itchy scalp caused by poor diets, stress and climate. “The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturizes the (newly exposed) skin on your head,” says Cox.

You can make this mixture with two table spoons of fresh lemon juice, two table spoons of olive water and the same quantity of water. Apply this mixture and then massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and wash your hair with shampoo as you normally would. You can use this mixture every other week.


It turns out beer is actually good for you. The fermented drink contains vast supplies of yeast, which plumps tired tresses, according to Cox. You can use it for limp or fine hair.

You need flat beer for best results, so pour it into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to drain it of carbonation. Then mix half a cup of flat beer with 1 teaspoon of light oil, either sunflower or canola, and a raw egg. Apply this mixture to dry hair and let it sit for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse your hair with cool water. Alternatively, you can pour flat beer into a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. According to Belkin, “when the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair.” Either one of these treatments can be applied every other week.


“Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture,” says Cox. This is a very good treatment for dry or sun-damaged hair. Honey can help rehydrate your hair after it has been damaged by either sun overexposure, hard water or a flat iron.

Apply half a cup of honey on clean, damp hair; then massage your hair and scalp, and let it sit for 20 minutes. After that time, rinse your hair with warm water.

How to whiten your teeth

How to whiten your teeth

Whiter teeth is admired and coveted by the whole world. White teeth make your smile shine bright and it gives the impression of cleanliness.

Teeth get yellow because of different reasons, including genetics, what kind of food and drink you consume, and your oral hygiene. A tooth consists of four tissues. Enamel is the strong white tissue that covers and protects the tooth. A second layer is called dentin, which holds the enamel and is a hard yellow material that encompasses nerves. A third layer is the pulp, which is at the center of the tooth and contains blood and lymph vessels. The last one is the cementum, which covers the root of the tooth.

The enamel and dentin layers are responsible for the color of the teeth. While some drinks and food may stain the enamel, the decisive factor is the erosion these elements have on the layer over time. While most remedies focus on whitening teeth that have already lost some white enamel, it's also important to take measures in order to protect the enamel and hinder further erosion.

Baking soda

One famous natural remedy is baking soda. Since baking soda - sodium bicarbonate - is an abrasive compound that can remove the stains that are caused by drinking coffee, tea, smoking, among others, and the debris on the surface of the teeth. Therefore, after the treatment, teeth appear to be whiter and brighter.

Baking soda can be used with water to scrub away the stains on the surface of the teeth. If you want to heighten the whitening effects you can use the baking soda with some hydrogen peroxide. You can also use baking soda with regular toothpastes. In fact, bicarbonate is used commercially in some teeth whitening products and toothpastes.

Baking soda is not only useful as a cheap whitening method, but it can also neutralize and counteract bacterial acids in the mouth too. Additionally, due to its abrasive properties, it can remove plaque which leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Coconut oil rinse

A coconut oil rinse has been traditionally used to whiten teeth. Coconut oil whitens your teeth because of the lauric acid it contains, which cleanses your teeth of the bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow. Apart from its whitening properties, by ridding your teeth of the bacteria found in plaque, it also enhances gum health and keeps your breath fresh.

For this, you need about a tablespoon of coconut oil. Before you brush your teeth in the morning, scoop out a tablespoon of coconut oil. You can either put it straight in your mouth or soften it first. Push, swish, and pull the oil through and around your teeth for 10 to 15 minutes. After that time, you can spit it out, rinse with water and proceed to brush your teeth.

Oral hygiene

If you brush your teeth after eating or drinking, your teeth will be whiter. This is hard to achieve as sometimes you eat outside of home and you don't have access to a toothbrush. However, if you are persistent and try to brush your teeth as often as you can, then your teeth will probably be white.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is not only a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, but it also helps to remove stains on the teeth, particularly the ones caused by common culprits such as coffee and nicotine (smoking). Studies show that ACV works as well as professional teeth whitener.

The secret of ACV is that it contains acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes, which kill germs and at the same time foster the growth of beneficial “good” probiotic bacteria. Due to its acidic nature, it also helps break down plaque and other substances stuck on the teeth. The pH of apple cider vinegar can remove stains from your teeth, and therefore whitens your teeth naturally.

The key to whitening your teeth with ACV is being consistent. You have use it for at least a month before you can see results. Although it is a natural product, you must be gentle, since it contains so many acids, it can remove the enamel on your teeth if you brush too hard or use too much. Make sure you brush your teeth with regular toothpaste after brush with ACV. Rinse your mouth out well.

Here are some of the reasons your teeth turn yellow, beige or brown: drinking coffee or tea, smoking cigarettes, thinning tooth enamel due to aging, a poor diet (consuming processed foods high in acid, including soft drinks/soda, candies or certain fruits; some supplements can also damage enamel due to their high content in acids), suffering from dry mouth (less saliva means less protection for enamel), breathing through your mouth due to blocked nasal passages (this results in less saliva and prevents the teeth from getting moisturized), antibiotic use, excessive fluoride intake, and genetic factors.

Inspiring fashion quotes of all time

Inspiring fashion quotes of all time

Everyone admires fashion and style because it is not only about how someone looks but it also reflects who they are. Style is not only about aesthetic appeal but it's also about intellectualization. A simple item work wonders when it is used in a fashionable way.

Here are some of the most inspiring fashion quotes by everyone's favorite style icons:

“Life's too short to wear boring clothes.” - Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, Cucnie et Ochs.

“I loathe narcissism. But I approve of vanity.” - Diana Vreeland.

“You either know fashion or you don't.” - Anna Wintour.

“The joy of dressing is an art.” - John Galliano.

“Fashion is what you're offered four times a year by designers. And Style is what you choose.” - Lauren Hutton.

Coco Chanel has been one of the most important fashion designers of all History. Her clothes follow the premises of comfort and simplicity and with this modernist philosophy made her one of the most figures in the 20th century fashion.

“I don't do fashion. I am fashion.”

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself aloud.”

“Caring about how you look has to start in your heart and soul. Beauty products on their own won't help.”

“Fashion is architecture: It is a matter of proportions.”

“Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.”

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

“A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous.”

“The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.” - Coco Chanel.

Sophia Loren is not only a beloved actress but she is also a fashion icon. She once said: “Any woman can look her best if she feels good in her skin. It's not a question of clothes or makeup. It's how she sparkles.”

“Elegance is a statement, an attitude. Elegant women are women of character with confidence.” - Elie Saab.

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” - Harry Winston.

“You can have anything you want if you dress for it.” - Edith Head.

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” - Karl Lagerfeld.

“Always dress like you're going to see your worst enemy.” - Kimora Lee.

“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It's not about brands. It's about something else that comes from within you.” - Ralph Lauren.

“I like money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.” - Carrie Bradshaw.

“Pure, intense emotions. It's not about design. It's about feelings.” - Alber Elbaz.

“What survives the whole process is what people wear. I'm not interested in making clothes that end up in some dusty museum.” -Marc Jacobs.

“I don't approach fashion. Fashion approaches me.” - Daphne Guinness.

“Fashion is like eating. You shouldn't stick with the same menu.” - Kenzo Takada.

“I want people to see the dress but focus on the woman.” - Vera Wang.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” - Rachel Zoe.

“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.” - Alexander McQueen.

“You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It's a way of life. Without it, you're nobody.” - Diana Vreeland.

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” - Coco Chanel.

“I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect. They are much more interesting.” - Marc Jacobs.

“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” - Vivienne Westwood.

“Clothes are like a good meal, a good movie, great pieces of music.” - Michael Kors.

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” - Bill Cunningham.

“Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, where you are going.” - Pharrell Williams.

“I wanted to be a certain kind of woman. I became that kind of woman.” - Diane Von Furstenberg

“Fashion has always been a repetition of ideas but what makes it new is the way you put it together.” - Carolina Herrera.

Shopping in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok

If there is one city that is completely obsessed with shopping then that is Bangkok. With its numerous malls, arcades, swanky department stores and floating markets, Bangkok is the perfect place to go on a shopping spree.

While the Siam Center and Paragon are well placed and are loaded with higher-end shops, some of the best shopping can be had in the night markets and Chinatown, where you can bargain and have fun. Best buys in Bangkok include imitation brand clothes, silk items, sunglasses, gold and jewelry.

Siam Square

Located in the center of Bangkok, Siam Square is Bangkok's Times Square, which is home to glitzy shopping malls connected by a group of walkways.

From the legendary MBK to the sophisticated Emporium, trendy Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza or the huge Siam Paragon, Bangkok caters to every taste and every whim.

These malls house the city's finest fashion stores, global brands, book shops, specialty stores, accessories and all kinds of luxury designer lifestyle goods. As they are modern and air-conditioned, shoppers flock to these malls to escape the warm weather and humidity of Bangkok.

Siam Paragon

Home to a range of international high-end fashion brands, Siam Paragon shopping center (in photo) is a shopaholic's paradise. Conveniently located in front of Siam BTS Skytrain station, this immensely popular shopping mall is fairly compact and provides mainly luxury items for well-heeled Thais and international visitors with cash to splurge. This is the right place to purchase something special and of high quality. The mall hosts stores of designer brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace. You can apply for a Tourist Discount Card at the information desk on the ground floor and get up to 5 percent discount on most purchases.


Open since 1995, MBK is one of Asia's oldest shopping malls and one of Thailand's most famous shopping centers. Packed with small independent shops - mostly Thai brands and designs - MBK is very popular among the younger buyers. This is a great place for bargain hunters looking for Thai-branded clothes.


Bangkok's main thoroughfare, Sukhumvit is lined with shopping plazas and department stores all the way to soi (street) 63 at Ekkamai. The best shopping takes place during the day.


Home to dozens of smart shops and arcades, Silom Road is the commercial heart of Bangkok. You don't have to go far before you come across Surawong Road, which is also popular. When the sun goes down, Patpong Road comes alive with its market; this is a great place to shop as the city is cooler at night.


Chinatown is a formidable alternative to the massive shopping malls in Bangkok. Yaowarat Road and Sampheng Lane are the main Chinatown thoroughfares, featuring a range of jewelry shops and clothing stores. This is a great place to buy the elephant pants that are so popular in Thailand. They are fresh and they look great. While you shop, you can stop for a Thai massage, a bite or get someone to read your fortune on Tarot cards.

Chinatown is the best place to find the best bargains in Bangkok but bartering is necessary. There's nothing you can't buy in Chinatown. Head to Balanna Plaza for all kind of shoes (beware of fakes). The best thing about shopping in Chinatown is that you can stop for snacks and drinks every now and then as it is home to the best street market in the city. In fact, Chinatown is responsible for making Thailand famous for its delicious street food.

Shopping tips

Bangkok's weather is hot year-round, so wear cool clothes. To avoid rush hour, you might want to do your market shopping in the morning. There are no set prices, so always make sure you compare prices between one stall and the next. Don't forget it's Thailand and there haggling is a national sport, so don't be afraid to barter. When you shop in the market, check for any flaws before you purchase any clothes.

If you need some motivation to go shopping, here are some quotes to awaken your inner shopaholic:

“Born to Shop! Forced to work.”

“I shop like a bull - I charge everything!”

“I love to go shopping. I love to freak out salespeople. They ask me if they can help me, and I say, ‘Have you got anything I'd like' Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, ‘Extra medium.'” - Steven Wright.

“Shopping is my cardio.” - Carrie Bradshaw.

“Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness didn't know where to shop.” - Blair Waldorf.

“Danger women shopping.”

“Take me shopping and I'm yours.”

Fitness motivation

Fitness motivation

Staying fit is not easy as you have to give up delicious meals and make an effort by exercising. Here are some ways to motivate yourself to workout:

Give yourself a reward

Although most people are motivated by goals such as better health or weight control, others need to resort to other measures. According to journalist Charles Duhigg - author of The Power of Habit: Why We do What We do in Life and Business - some people need more immediate rewards to keep themselves motivated. These immediate rewards include treating yourself to a smoothie or an episode of The Leftovers after the working out session.

He advises you to create a neurological “habit loop,” which consists of setting up a cue that triggers your behavior (leaving your spinning shoes next to your bag), creating a routine (making it through spinning class) and getting a reward. “An intrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” he explains. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.” By creating this habit loop that culminates in a reward, motivation becomes natural, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins - feel-good chemicals released after a work-out session which make you feel exhilarated. Over time, your brain starts to recognize the work-out session as a reward in itself and it won't even need an external treat anymore.

Make a commitment

Studies show that we are more likely to follow through when we make promises in front of friends. You can sign a contract agreeing to pay a friend a certain amount of money each time you skip the gym. “It's a simple notion of changing the cost,” explains Jeremy Goldhaber-Fieber, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University who studies health decision science. “I say I'm going to make a commitment to do something for a certain amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. If I don't do that, I'm going to pay some kind of penalty, whether it's monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn't live up to may word.”

“We have to get past the initial experience of displeasure in order to recognize the longer-term benefits,” he says. “The challenge is designing tools to help make that happen.”

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking consists in visualizing the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. You also have to figure out what's holding you back and come up with a way to overcome it before it becomes a real problem.

“After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan,” explains Oettingen.

Get paid

Research on how monetary incentives affected exercise found that people who were paid $100 to go to the gym doubled their attendance rate. “You just need to get people to keep doing an activity, and paying them money was effective,” explains study author Gary Charness, PhD, behavioral economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Whether you get a reward or pay someone to keep you on track, you'll know you've succeeded once you can't go on a day without exercising. You succeed the day you view your workout as an addiction, a pleasure or an escape. What matters is that you are doing it on a regular basis and you are doing it for your.

Here are some motivation catchphrases to get you going:

“It takes 21 days to make or break a habit.”

“I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don't.”

“Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.”

“When you feel like dying, do 10 more.”

“Today's actions are tomorrow's results.”

“Be the girl who decided to go for it.”

“3 months from now, you will thank yourself.”

“The hardest thing about exercising is to START. Once you're exercising regularly, the hardest thing to do is STOP.”

“I'm not trying to build a summer body. I'm trying to build a lifestyle.”

“Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving up.”

The Benefits of Drinking Tea

The Benefits of Drinking Tea

Just a cup of tea can keep the doctor away. Perhaps that phrase wasn't intended for tea, but it can be applied to it, nonetheless. Researchers attribute tea's health properties to polyphenols (a type of antioxidant( and phytochemicals). Studies have shown that teas can help protect your teeth and your heart.

Here are some of the health benefits tea has:


Hot water per sé helps digestion of food at the time it helps to detoxify the body. Some herbal teas, as well, stimulate digestion; for instance, a few slices of ginger root in boiling water, or chamomile, peppermint and cinnamon will help you process your meal faster.

Water retention

Horsetail tea is a powerful diuretic, making you urinate more often and helping you reduce water retention. As a diuretic, horsetail affects the kidneys, increasing the amount of water and salt released into the urine. Apart from being used as a diuretic, horsetail has also been used for skin and nail care, wound healing, osteoporosis, and bone repair. Pu-erh and green tea are also powerful diuretics.

Speed up your metabolism

White tea is known for speeding up metabolism and increasing how many calories you burn a day. It also detoxifies your body. These properties can also be found in Pu-erh and green tea.

Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body's ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance. Tea also has an energizing effect in some people.

Fight diseases

Drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack, protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. “There's a lot of literature out there on tea and heart health,” says Anna Ardine, clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “This is a health effect for which there is the strongest evidence.”

It can also help protect against a boatload of cancers, including breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers.

According to Leslie Bonci, nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice, studies on how tea may help battle cancer are mixed. In the meantime, however, “ if you've go a strong family history of cancer and you want to do anything you can, you might increase your tea consumption,” she adds.

Drinking tea is also linked to a lower risk of Parkinson's disease and could be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. According to research, compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars.

Tea is packed with antioxidants

Antioxidants prevent the body's version of rust; therefore, it helps to keep us young.

Tea is good for your teeth

“Japanese researchers have found that tea can decrease tooth loss,” Ardine says. “It changes the pH in your mouth when you drink it and that may be what prevents cavities.” Beyond that, tea, unlike many other beverages does not appear to erode tooth enamel, Bonci says.

Here are some quotes about tea to inspire you:

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C.S. Lewis

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground.

“I shouldn't think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” - Dodie Smith, I capture the Castle.

“In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better.” - C. E. Murphy, Urban Shaman.

Boost your metabolism

Boost your metabolism

Although genes are relevant when it comes to determining your metabolism, you can trick your body into burning more calories efficiently. One of the best ways to do this is by hitting the gym. According to human studies professor at the University of Alabama Gary Hunter, by strength-training a few times a week, you'll reverse 50% of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age.

Ramp up the intensity

When you exercise - run, swim, or even walk - ramp up the intensity for 30-seconds intervals, returning to your normal speed afterward. This strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy, according to Mark Hyman, an integrative and functional medicine specialist in private practice in Lenos, Massachusetts. He is also the author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss. “You increase the number of mitochondria and how efficiently they burn throughout the day,” he explains. Therefore, you can burn more calories in less time.

Get your omega-3's

Back in the 90s a war against fat started. This war targeted all food that had any fat in them. Today, this theory has been proved wrong. Not all fats will make up stock up kilos. What you need to avoid are the trans-fats. However, healthy fats will help you lose weight. Eating plenty of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring and tuna) will help you balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which is linked to how fast fat is burned. A study in Obesity Research found that rats that ingested large doses of fish oil while exercising lost weight.

Strength-training boosts your metabolism

Muscle uses more energy than fat. Studies find that an average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means that you are burning extra calories even when you don't go to the gym.

Turn to green tea

Although green tea has always been praised for its antioxidant polyphenols, new evidence suggests that this kind of tea has catechin which may crank up metabolism. According to a study, catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis - the latter is your body‘s production of energy from digestion. If you drink five eight-ounce cups of green tea a day, you can increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories a day. If it's summer, you can also opt for iced tea.

Don't starve yourself

While many dieters resort to cutting out too many calories, this is not the best way to lose weight as your metabolism thinks your there's a scarcity of food and stops fat burning to conserve energy. The trick to keeping your metabolism revved up while dieting is eating enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate (what you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day).

Don't skip breakfast

Eating a nutrient-rich morning meal shortly after getting out of bed will get your metabolism up and running. “Eating breakfast gets the engine going and keeps it going,” Hyman explains. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 78% of the people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off more than five years had breakfast every day.

Say “no” to trans fat

These are the types of fat you must avoid. They are not only unhealthy but they also slow down your body's ability to burn fat. “They have an altered shape and make your biochemistry run funny,” Hyman said, explaining that trans fat binds to fat and liver cells and slows metabolism. Trans fat also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which slow down metabolism and can lead to weight gain.

Trans fat products include doughnuts, cookies, muffins, pies and cakes - particularly with frosting. Although breakfast sandwiches might save you time in the morning, these usually contain 1 gram of trans fat. If you look at the ingredients, you are likely to find partially hydrogenated oils in the top five. Besides, they are packed with sodium. Margarine might also contain trans fat. The trick is that if you can keep them in your fridge for a long time, they probably have trans fat. Avoid fried fast food and frozen pizza at all costs as they will hinder your weight-loss efforts.