Authors Posts by Danielle Kosanovich

Danielle Kosanovich

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Danielle Kosanovich is a contributor for The Web Tribune, a brand manager for a marketing company, as well as the writer and photographer for her own blog. With a focus on lifestyle, travel, food, and overall wellness, she has been writing in some form for over a decade.

The Benefits of Being More Adventurous

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There is new research that suggests that adventurous people often consume more fruits and vegetables, making them healthier over all. So while there are some adventurous folk that might take riskier vacations, their day-to-day health is better due to their eating habits.

The adventurous type tends to be those who are more open, outgoing, and extroverted. Openness and a sense of adventure can go hand in hand, considering you need to be open to new experiences in order to be adventurous. On the same note, those who are open to eating a variety of foods are more likely to consume a broad range of healthy foods.

While the study shows some compelling association between eating healthier and being more adventurous, there is no causation effect. However, the relationship between the two definitely shed light on personalities and behaviors.

Overall, eating more adventurously can lead you to lead a more adventurous life too.

The World of Mardi Gras Recipes

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Mardi Gras is February 28th this year, so let the celebrations begin. Mardi Gras is known in some countries as Carnivale, and it is a day to celebrate with costumes, eating an abundance of food, and parading. All of this celebration is because of the upcoming Lent, a holiday in which people give up certain luxuries like sweets or specialties. Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. Cities around the globe associate certain foods with their Mardi Gras celebrations.

King Cake in New Orleans

The birthplace of Mardi Gras, New Orleans has created and maintained the tradition of baking a king’s cake for the annual celebration. The cake is a hollow, round shape, with the colors of Mardi Gras usually in sprinkles or icing (purple, gold, and green). Inside the cake is a hidden baby figurine. Whoever gets the piece of the cake with the figurine will have special privileges. The colors of Mardi Gras also have symbolisms; purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power.

Feijoada in Brazil

In Brazil, Mardi Gras is called Carnivale, and is just as extravagant as the original celebration in Louisiana. Instead of baking king’s cake, Brazilians make a dish called feijoada. A stew made with black beans and tender meat, feijoada is a staple in many Brazilian households. It’s a dish that brings many people together, much like the celebration of Carnivale.

Packzi in Chicago

Packzi (misleadingly pronounced ‘poonch-kee’) are Polish doughnuts filled with jelly or cream. In Chicago, Mardi Gras is also Packzi Day. There were many Polish people that lived in the city of Chicago, which is where the influence on packzi comes into play.

The Immigration Strike Across America

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On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, restaurants stood in solidarity with their workers that have been loyal and reliable by striking on their behalf. Michelin star restaurants in cities like D.C. and Chicago were closed for the day to show America what the nation would look like without immigrants. Chef Rick Bayless in Chicago chose to close some of his restaurants for the day, while others remained open and workers were encouraged to take the day off if they too wished to protest the immigration ban and the Trump administration.

Some would say that the unplanned closes were inconvenient, as some patrons had reservations for weeks. The restaurants retaliate yes, that’s exactly the point. The restaurant industry relies heavily on immigrants who have proven themselves to be skilled in the kitchen, reliable among the long, late hours, and hard-working when it comes to the immense work-load of a kitchen.

On Twitter, the hashtags #daywithoutanimmigrant and #adaywithoutimmigrants were trending where users showcased ways to boycott, highlighted businesses in support of the strike, and even called out businesses that were not supportive of the protest. Some tweets showed that while employees were protesting by not coming to work, they were also making sure to get their work done ahead of time by prepping food the previous day.

Immigrants and those supportive of the protest are acting in other ways, besides not going to work on the 16th. To show solidarity, people were encouraged to not go out to eat at restaurants that day, not go shopping, and not get gas, to show how immigrants contribute to the economy as well.

In 2006, a national march occurred with the same name, where one million immigrants and their advocates protested. In over a decade later, restaurants want to show Americans that with executive orders like the Immigration Ban, the industry would be devastated.

Early Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Japan

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Japan is world-renown for its spectacular display of spring with sakura, or cherry blossom season. In the city of Kawazu, cherry blossoms have already begun to bloom for the year.

Kawazu is known as the city in Japan where you can see the earliest sakura sightings. On average, the cherry blossoms here bloom one month prior to the rest of Japan. There is a yearly festival in the town that celebrates the cherry blossoms, which is happening this year through March 10th.

More popular cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, can expect to see blooms in 2017 beginning the last day of March, through the first week of April. Every year, Japan Guide publishes a forecast on when to expect to see cherry blossoms in prefectures throughout Japan. However, experts are only able to predict prime cherry blossom sightings as early as January. By that point, many hotels and flights are already booked up, or are more expensive during sakura week. The window of time is so small, and many tourists from around the globe make their best guess to book their accommodations prior to the sakura forecast being published.

The start of the blooming cherry blossom trail typically begins in the south of Japan, and works its way north. Kawazu is somewhat in the center of Japan, on the Pacific Ocean coast, not far from Tokyo. For travelers that might be visiting Japan prior to the anticipated sakura forecast, they can day-trip to Kawazu to potentially capture the cherry blossoms as early as February.

Common Breakfasts From Around the Globe

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Whether you consider yourself a tourist, an ex-patriot, or a world traveler, you can learn a lot about the culture around you by the breakfasts that different countries eat. You might find yourself inspired to change up your morning routine. Take a trip across the world with a change in your breakfast plate.

China – If you’ve ever been to a Dim Sum restaurant, you may be familiar with Chinese breakfast. Dim Sum is small plates, usually served from a cart and eaten around brunch time. It’s common for the Chinese to eat dumplings, egg custard buns, and sponge cake for breakfast.

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Turkey – Breakfast in Turkey consists of small snack items like olives, jam, honey, bread, and cheeses.

Norway – Palegg is a common breakfast tradition in Norway, which is simply anything you can put on top of a slice of toast. From fish to cheese, it might be a simple equation, but the toasts always look delicious.

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Brazil – In United States, it is common to enjoy sandwiches for lunch. Meanwhile in Brazil, bread rolls, meat, and cheese are often enjoyed for breakfast with some fruit.

Japan – While it may be expected that the Japanese eat fish for breakfast, it may come as a surprise that they eat pickles and fermented soybeans first thing in the morning as well. Western-style food like eggs and toast is slowly becoming more popular in urban areas, but the traditional Japanese breakfast is still dominant.TWT-Image1920-25

Russia – A common breakfast in Russia are griddle cakes that are similar to crepes, layered with sweet jams, cheese, or kefir.

Israel – Shakshuka in Israel is a meal of eggs poached in tomato sauce and is incredibly common for breakfast. Cheese, omelets, breads and spreads are also a common breakfast here.

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Cambodia – A hearty breakfast for some, in Cambodia it’s common to have a rice noodle soup called Kuy Teav in the morning.

5 Tips for Overall Wellness

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These days it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Whether it’s the state of the union, or small grievances in your everyday life, stress has a way of taking its toll on your mind and your body.

If you’re feeling stuck or stressed, there are five different ways that you can boost your overall wellness. All changes take time, so start with something easy, and progressively work into more difficult changes that you might want to incorporate into your life.

Self-Care

Stay active doing something you love whether it’s running, yoga, or even walking your dog an extra 10 minutes. If you find yourself too exhausted to manage any sort of activity, take care of yourself in other ways. Treat yourself to a weekly hot bath in which you use a bath bomb or bubble bath, light a candle, and do a face-mask.

Mindfulness

Attempt to be present in the moment, and to be mindful of what you’re feeling. The ideal situation would be to feel the stresses of everyday life without judging those emotions. By being able to set aside the stressed feelings to focus on other feelings is a skill that needs to be practiced. You might not feel less stressed right away when attempting to be mindful. Instead, you could try reading a book or listening to a podcast, something to focus your thoughts, and to then reflect on those thoughts. These kinds of practices in active thinking can get your mind in the right place. Mindfulness helps you feel more content with what you cannot control.

Productivity

While everyone is trying to be more productive and efficient with work, there is a balance to a more productive home-life as well.  It’s important to not just do chores around the house after working all day. Be sure to make time to be with family, watch a movie that you’ve wanted to see, or make a magnificent dinner. By setting aside time for things you enjoy, you will force yourself to be more productive in the times that you need to accomplish something like laundry or cleaning the bathroom. Schedule your fun time just like you would schedule your work time.

Minimalism

While minimalism is attributed to being a lifestyle in and of itself, there are small changes we can all make to our lives that will give us one less thing to worry about. Attempt to de-clutter your digital life. You can start with certain apps that you don’t use, or social media profiles that you rarely update. From there, on your computer you can remove bookmarked websites that you no longer visit. Find your favorite and inspiring digital areas, and stick to those. The less options that you have, the less time you will spend in the digital world.

You can also designate one room in your home to be clutter-free. While it may be impossible to have a living room as a clutter-free space due to toys and it being a shared area, perhaps you can designate your kitchen to be where you take time to have a soothing cup of tea and a quiet moment. If it’s the kitchen that is the messiest place with a junk drawer and dishes always piling up, perhaps take some solace in your home office, or bedroom, where ever you can find a space away from too much visual stimulation.

Personal Growth

Set a goal, and work towards it. It can be the smallest of goals, like meditating for 10 minutes a day. Or it could something big, like planning and putting money aside for a dream vacation. Be sure that the goal is something positive, something where completing the goal itself is a reward.

A healthy mind and body will reflect outward to other aspects of your life. While overall wellness is something that we can all strive for, it’s not something that is easily achieved. The work toward a sound body and mind is a journey worth taking.

Women’s March on Washington Around the Globe

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The Women’s March on Washington has been highly covered news this past week following President Trump’s inauguration. Women and their allies in Washington D.C. chose to march the morning of January 21st 2017 in protest to the now President of the United States and his policies. Cities across the nation, and later, across the globe, marched in unison with the women in D.C.

The name “Women’s March on Washington” was inspired by the March on Washington in 1963, the rally in which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the momentous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Across the globe, seas of women with messages on signs and pink hats marched together in solidarity. While not all people see the benefits or practicality of protests such as these, the overall message of the marches were of equality, love, and hope. Many of the messages focused on women’s rights, immigration reform, racial issues, and LGBTQ rights, all issues that are against the message that President Trump represents.

Protests are a form of democracy and instill hope within a group of people that are feeling hopeless. Cities across the United States worked on getting permits, securing road closures, and preparing for thousands of marchers. By working together with local law enforcement and by showing up in numbers, indicating how many people do not agree with the President’s ethics, the Women’s March on Washington has been considered a success. Millions of women and allies marched on January 21st in solidarity, hoping for future change.

Why Working Too Much Lowers Productivity and Efficiency

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Wouldn’t you love it if you went to the doctor for your cold, and not only were you prescribed some medicine, but your doctor also instructed you to work less? More and more, people are finding that over-working is not as rewarding as one would think. The classic work/life balance has been a struggle for many employees through the years. These days, it’s up to employers to ensure that their most valuable assets don’t work so much that they can no longer work.

With France’s new law allowing workers the legal right to not check email out of work hours, many employees are re-evaluating their work/life balance. Even outside of France, many American companies have employees that can – or already – work virtually. With the onset of bringing work home, in addition to working a full-time job 40 hours a week, overworked employees may be more of a common theme.

Though there are some weeks where we can’t escape the busy season, it’s important to not turn a blind eye on coworkers and staff that might need an extra hand. Workers might find it in them to work harder when needed, but over time, it’s not sustainable. When people are overworked, they can make mistakes, they get sick, or they get injured, resulting in having to take unplanned time off, which puts a dent in a project’s timeline that relies on multiple staff members. This can and should be avoided by ensuring that when employees work hard, they have each other’s support for breaks, before requiring a longer leave of absence.

When employees work overtime regularly, it wears them down so that they are only operating at half-capacity during the hours that they do work. Ensuring that staff has a designated amount of time to get their work done will ensure that they are more productive when they are at work, versus them feeling the need to bring their work home. Employees are human resources – they are not computers that can be reset by holding a button for 30 seconds. Burnout can happen to the best of employees, so being more productive within time constraints (9am – 5pm for example), versus attempting to be productive 24/7, is the clear winner.

Employees that can take hour long lunch breaks and two week long vacations are able to learn how to manage their time better when they are in the office, that way they can feel completely relaxed when they are out of the office. This mindset of working smarter, not harder, allows staff to be more efficient with the time that they are given, being that they are able to walk away from their work and focus on their personal and families lives. Whether it’s been one hour for lunch, or two weeks for a vacation, when employees come back, they will be refreshed and rejuvenated.

With the evolution of how we use technology in the workplace, work environments are still expected to shift. Companies with overworked employees are not going to see any gains, only losses, and it’s up managers to set the precedence for valuing employee’s time at work, and their time at home.

More Travel on the Horizon for 2017

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While New Year’s Resolutions may change each year from person to person, we know that travel often finds its way onto many people’s resolution list each January. Looking ahead, we can see people making the most of travel in 2017 for various reasons.

Airfare prices are down, with some people being able to find $50 one way tickets from Boston to Chicago the night before a flight. That’s not just for national flights, but great deals during specific dates are on international flights as well. If you’re headed somewhere within driving distance, even gas is less costly this year in January versus last year.

Travel agents forecast that lodging rates will not increase in 2017. That paired with the popularity of sharing economies AirBnB and Uber, makes it easier than ever to save on lodging and transportation, while also creating a specific itinerary of exactly where you want to visit and explore.

The a-la-carte mentality is here to stay. It was about a decade ago that the airline industry started charging checked baggage fees rather than including the first bag free. From there, we’ve seen less complimentary snacks and free meals. Some people are willing to pay for the extra legroom and the in-flight Wi-Fi. With all of these items being separate, you would think that this would cost you more, but instead, it allows the traveler to only incorporate what’s important to them. Southwest has always boasted including checked bags, and some travelers swear by flying with that airline so they don’t have to think about baggage fees. Other airlines like Delta, continue to serve snacks complimentary. By picking and choosing, it’s up to the traveler to decide what they want to pay for.

Each year, different destinations are on trend. One way to travel more would be to travel to the most cost-effective destinations. Seek out the next affordable city or country by researching peak seasons and off seasons. In some cities, lodging and public transportation is extremely affordable, like Buenos Aires. AirBnB apartments in Buenos Aires average $30 a night, while taxi rides are $2 per mile.

European vacations are usually a dream for those who have never been. With the news of the Brexit vote, the United States dollar is gaining considerable value against the pound, meaning the dollar will go farther on a vacation to Britain!

While travel isn’t always an option for everyone, there are a few small ways that add up over time to travel more often. You can seek out the most affordable flights, and the most cost-effective cities. With that, you can ideally squeeze in more trips this year than last year.

LIFESTYLE – The Forthcoming Food Trends of 2017

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Food trends come and go each year, some quicker than others, some staying long-term. There was the cronut, chicken and waffles, cake pops, and more recently, the sushi burrito. But then there are other food trends with more staying power such as avocado toast, ramen noodles, and micro-brewing. Before the days of social media and online sharing sites like Pinterest, trends would take years to spread. Now, when new trends appear at hip restaurants, in three months time home cooks will be bringing those trends into their homes.

Here are the 2017 food trends that are already making their way into people’s homes.

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Poke is a Hawaiian dish made of marinated, raw fish over rice. Poke is often made with tuna, which offers plenty of health benefits. Healthy eating is itself a food trend that has been lasting some years now and only growing as time goes on. Other times, poke is prepared with octopus, which is another trend that we’ve been seeing this past year.

Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur traditionally served as a digestif. Many digestifs are served after dinner, and like the name suggests, assists in digesting a meal. With the cocktail craze, mixologists have been coming up with new and creative drinks, often involving liqueurs like amaro. Popular amaros include Fernet, Jagermeister, and Cynar.

Delivery services and apps are not a new thing. While delivery services have always been popular in busy cities, apps like GrubHub, Doorstep Delivery, and even Uber Eats have been growing in numbers within the last year. For 2017, we predict that they will become even more popular in less urban areas. While mid-size cities are relying on delivery services more and more, we can expect to see some services become more readily available in suburban areas.

Flexitarian is a play on vegetarians – those who don’t eat any meat, and pescatarians – those who only eat fish. With healthy and organic foods being a standing trend, people are opting to eat less red meat within their weekly routine. By being “flexible,” they are able to still go out and enjoy a burger at a BBQ or a nice steak for a special occasion.

Japanese food, besides sushi, will be more popular among cities. Instead of just sushi (a long-time trend) and ramen (a new trend), other Japanese staples will be available including okonomiyaki which is a savory pancake, takoyaki which is fried octopus dough, and Japanese pickles which are made using a variety of small vegetables.

Turmeric has been reported to have health benefits and to even remedy and prevent certain illnesses. Turmeric is a part of the ginger family and is a predominant ingredient in curries and other Asian cuisines. We can expect to see more dishes at restaurants incorporating turmeric as one of the ingredients.

And of course, purple food. Mariah Carey stated that she was on a purple food only diet, which gave the trend more staying power. While only eating purple food is not a trend that we see lasting in 2017, incorporating more purple food into one’s flexitarian diet for more variety and healthier eating throughout 2017 is something we definitely see lasting through the year.

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