Tag Archives: energy

Why You Should Clean Up Fallen Leaves & How to Make It Easier

leavesBrightly colored autumn leaves are one of the greatest joys of the season. However, once these same leaves drop off the trees and land on your yard or your roof, they are usually no longer so welcome. Cleaning up fallen leaves is a time-consuming chore that most homeowners do not enjoy one bit. Here are reasons why this task is necessary and tips to make your work a little easier.

Why Clean Up Fallen Leaves

While it is by no means mandatory for you to track down and annihilate every last leaf on your property, copious amounts of large leaves like maple or oak will smother your grass and flowers if left as is.

In an autumn windstorm, your fallen leaves will blow onto neighboring yards. This is not a popularity booster.

Leaf removal may be required by your Homeowners’ Association.

Fallen leaves can carry diseases such as anthracnose, a type of fungus.

Foliage in your roof gutters will cause clogs, which may result in damage to your fascia and soffit boards, as well as rainwater and melted snow backing up into your attic. Eventually, when the temperature dips below freezing, clogged gutters tend to produce ice dams.

Clumps of dead leaves on the roof itself will trap moisture, leading the shingles underneath to rot.

rakeHow to Make Clean Up Easier

Prune any trees on your property that have become overgrown. Trimming will not only cut down on the amount of leaves to be shed, it also may offer protection against limbs being detached by winter storms. Be especially vigilant about boughs that overhang your roof.

Adjust your lawn mower to cut your grass short in the autumn — much, much shorter than you would normally do in full summer, when keeping its roots covered is important to hold in moisture. This way, the leaves falling from your trees are less likely to get caught in the grass.

Make use of some simple low-tech tools to help with leaf collection. For example, an extra-wide 30″ rake with special non-clog tines will simplify and speed up your task. Keep up the good work by utilizing your new utensil to rake leaves onto a tarp. Then use a leaf chute to help load your cargo into brown paper bags for curbside pickup by your municipality.

Rake on a still day, if at all possible. Should you not have a choice, work as efficiently as you can by raking in the same direction as the wind is blowing. Raking downhill and when leaves are dry will also spare your strength.

As an alternative to bagging, transform fallen foliage into mulch, which will keep tree trunks and garden beds cozy over the winter. Mulch acts to safeguard against harsh temperatures and slows down weed growth too. NOTES: Avoid mulching foliage which has been affected by powdery mildew, rust, or tar spot. Walnut leaves are toxic to certain garden plants and thus not a good choice for mulch.

Consider composting fallen leaves to eventually enrich your garden soil. This is easier said than done, because leaves break down quite slowly. However, you can easily speed up the decomposition process by shredding the leaves with your rotary mower. (Just be sure that your blade is sharp and the leaves are dry. Go over them 2 or 3 times.) Treat the leaf shreds as brown material and combine them with nitrogen-rich greens such as grass clippings, in a ratio of roughly 25:1. Compost a variety of leaf species together for the best results.


Source : http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-you-should-clean-up-fallen-leaves-and-how-to-make-it-easier.html#ixzz3p2aXBsjd

Simple Energy Boosters to Keep You Buzzing

We’ve all been there, packed agenda for the day……………but, you just don’t have the energy. You think of grabbing a coffee or some chips to fill you up for a quick burst of energy, or maybe an energy drink. You had a good breakfast and a healthy filling lunch, yet you feel so drained.  Did you know there are a few simple essential foods that can give us a natural energy boost when we incorporate them in our diet at the right time and in the right quantity during the day?

Eat more iron from plants

Certain nutrients, especially iron, may help you feel more energized. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue and impair physical and mental endurance. Iron is needed to deliver oxygen to cells, and too little has also been shown to decrease immunity. Great plant sources of iron include beans, lentils, spinach, and sesame seeds; eating them with vitamin C-rich foods can boost iron absorption.

Eat the right food combos

For maximum energy, combine a portion of fruit or vegetable, a whole grain, a lean protein, a plant-based fat (such as nuts) and a herb or spice. This combination work wonders for boosting energy levels and keeping our body in balance.

Up your intake of Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps produce carnitine, a molecule that helps our body burn fat for energy. You’re likely to have up to a 50% drop in muscle carnitine levels if you’re vitamin C-depleted. A glass of orange juice a day is a good source of Vitamin C, in addition to fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Incorporate lean proteins and complex carbs into every meal

Including lean protein and complex carbs in every meal (e.g. yogurt, nuts, beans, chicken, turkey, cheese, milk, granola, oats, quinoa and brown rice) will boost your energy by giving you a constant source of fuel during the day, as opposed to simple carbs such as sugar and white bread which only provide a short term energy source, leaving you tired and fatigued.