How Serious Is the Deforestation in the US?

I am very concerned about what is currently happening in our countries, deforestation in particular. It is not only that we are constantly sacrificing what counts as a reserve of oxygen needed for living healthy lives, but we are destroying the natural habitat of various species. The world we will leave behind will be poorer and poorer, and it is only a matter of time, until there will be nothing left. This may be hard to believe for someone who only sees today, but the truth is catastrophic. I will talk about some numbers now, so you can see what I am seeing.


Have you any idea about how green these lands we live on today used to be? Deforestation is not something that is only happening nowadays. It has started a long time ago and its destructive force continues on its path. By the year 1600, 90% of all the virgin forests in the US were destroyed through deforestation. The problem is that no one seems willing to stop. Deforestation continues and there are people who firmly believe that just about one quarter of the forests we see today will still be standing 70 years from now.


Another issue is that everyone seems to be engaged in this destructive habit. Loggers have every bit of interested in producing lumber, and their more and more efficient methods of deforestation yield a lot of wood from forested areas. They do not care that they leave behind nothing but barren land, since they make their profit and then move away. Landowners are also lured by the promise of easy profit. They sell their lands, so these can be deforested and then transformed into areas on which large residential complexes are being built.


This is not something, however, that affects only the urban part of America. In rural areas, the same thing happens. Farmers want more land to plant their crops, and the more land they can grab, the better. We are shamelessly destroying the land, and the effects will be suffered by the next generations even more than by us.


20A nation known as the leader for producing and consuming forest products, the US is bound to have a serious environmental issue that many still choose to ignore. They tend to believe that there is nothing to worry about, but victims appear time after time. So far, unique species living in these forests have gone extinct, such as the Carolina parakeet, and the Bachman’s warbler, and many will follow. If we do not do something to stop this, and we allow deforestation to continue, we will leave, as legacy, to our future generations, a barren land that once used to be great, populated with all kinds of species of animals and birds.

Most Endangered Animals in the US

There is no other agent or living creature on the planet with a greater impact on the environment than us, humans. In our continuous greed of eating up resources, space, air and whatnot, we fail to see how our way of living is hurting everything else around us. The bad impact we have is measurable; there are now species in the US threatened to become extinct, for the sole reason that we care for naught.


Florida panther


You may know it or not, but we do have panthers here in the US. Or, more correctly said, we still do have panthers, because they are really in danger of going extinct. The Florida panther used to reign supreme in the south and southeastern areas of the US, but, right now, these majestic animals only take up a very little area located in South Florida. Although it has been on the list of endangered species since 1967, the continuous urban development in Florida brought the number of these felines down to just 100.


Loggerhead sea turtle


Sea turtles need the coast to nest their eggs, and leave them there to hatch in peace, but a lot has changed during recent years. Even since the beaches have been occupied by humans, the Loggerhead sea turtle has had a harder and harder time to reproduce. All kinds of tortures were used to destroy these beautiful animals, from overharvesting their eggs, to death by accident, as the sea turtles got caught in commercial fishing gear. On Florida beaches, there is now a constant effort to help the sea turtles nest and reproduce, and small steps seem to be headed in the right direction.


Mississippi gopher frog


Another species of animals reduced to just about 100 individuals is the Mississippi gopher frog. These individuals still live in the wild, and some efforts are being made to help them reproduce, as 7,000 acres were declared the protected habitat for this species of frog. They still exist in three ponds located not far from Tradition, a town in Mississippi. Any plans of development for the town would put the small creature in absolute danger.


Polar bear


The vast stretches of white to the north are often seen by humans as being pristine and untouched, but this is no longer the case. Even where the actual expansion of human settlements is reduced, like Alaska, there are still effects of the global warming and pollution that push animals further and further up north, until they have no place to go. The polar bear is one of the most affected species on the planet, with global warming being the main culprit. This is where we could all contribute by driving less, using energy efficient light bulbs and overall reducing our carbon footprint.


There are many other species of animals endangered in the US, but it would take an entire book to talk about them all. What I would like everyone to learn from this is that no matter where you live and what you do, you can do something for our Mother Nature, too, by choosing to live a cleaner, more environmentally friendly life.

A Few Traveling Tips from a Seasoned Traveler

I like traveling a lot, going to foreign places and discovering all that these places have to offer. However, I know that for many people traveling can be quite a hassle, even if they do love seeing new places, just like me. In order to make your trips more comfortable, I thought about a few things that I have learned along the way, from experience. I hope they will come in handy next time you plan a trip overseas or anywhere you have never been before.


Packing your clothes

wild10Here is a tip on packing clothes that I learned it works each and every time. Get a cylinder bag and roll your clothes in a tight cylinder like shape. I assure you that there will be no creases to worry about when you unpack and there is another great thing of having this type of luggage with you. Because it takes up less room than a full fledge type of luggage, it will be easier for you to get around planes and other means of transportation. Especially if you are like me and you prefer to take only the necessities along, so you can spend your trip enjoying it, instead of worrying about luggage all the time, you will find this way of packing much more convenient.


Save your miles for international flights

If you have already saved quite a bit of miles towards free or fee reduced flights, do not spend these on domestic flights. Since many people prefer to get out of the country for a real adventure, it would be much more useful to use your miles for international flights. This was how I managed to fly cheaply to really exotic destinations. Some of my friends really wonder how I manage to spend so little when I practically travel all over the world. This is one of the aces I keep up my sleeve.


Make sure you have medicine handy

wild11Whether you worry about developing a stomach ache or a headache when you are traveling to a different country, you should have some medicine close by. Do not count on finding a drug store anywhere you go, or for them to hold the same brands as the ones at home. I, for instance, like traveling to poorer areas on the globe, because there are plenty of interesting things to see and do there. However, their supplies of medicine are often erratic, so I prefer to take some Tylenol and other common medicine along with me, to avoid any unpleasant problems.


Go for bottled water

Many health problems are usually derived from the food and water that you consume locally. Water is especially a problem, in my experience, since not everywhere I go, the conditions are as sanitary as I would like them to be. I prefer buying bottled water, since this has much fewer chances to be contaminated. Thanks to globalization, I even have the chance to find my favorite brands in faraway places, which is a real plus.

How to improve your morning toast

Toast is a classical breakfast ingredient.  Though many people consider it healthier than bread, this is not entirely true and it also depends on the type of bread you are using. Actually, toast does little to change the nutritional value of bread, but it is tastier and it goes better with a lot of toppings.

Two pieces of toast on the table

The key to making great toast is to choose a bread type that provides you with all the necessary nutrients, but also the type of bread toaster you own. A basic, old model will only ensure toasting your normal sliced bread on both sides, at a certain level. Things can be much improved. Modern toasters offer a variety of options and toasting levels. You can not only toast slim slices of bread, but also bagels, muffins and croissants and set the color that you want the toast to acquire when you take it out of the appliance.

wild7Of course, if you want to get all the benefits from your toast, using whole wheat bread will provide your organism with minerals, vitamins and fibers that are not to be found in white bread because of the industrial processes through which this type of flour is obtained, that take most of these nutrients away. However, toast and eventually coffee will not be able to fuel you with enough energy to keep you functional until lunch time. That is why, toast comes with many toppings that add to its energetic values.


wild8Buttered toast is popular all-around the world. Unfortunately it is not the healthiest of them all, as butter has a high content of fat. Even so, if you add strawberry jelly on it, it’s highly unlikely that you can resist it. Other popular toppings for toast are peanut butter, fruit jelly, honey (or butter and honey even more yummy), cinnamon and sugar, herbs and garlic, tomatoes, ham, bacon and eggs (this variety is called French toast). Everyone has its favorite, but, even if you adore one type of toast, sometimes you get bored of it. For example, I used to make buttered toast a lot and add honey or jelly, but, at a certain point, I got tired of all combinations. That was when I bought my new toaster, in which I can perfectly fit slices of bread or croissants and muffins. As such I was able to diversify my breakfasts without necessarily wasting more time. For example, if I want to eat poached or boiled eggs, I can use the same toaster for it, as it has a egg cooking system integrated that will have your breakfast ready in a couple of minutes. While your bread is toasted, the eggs are being cooked and you can mind your own business around the house until they’re ready.

Moreover, I can also fry ham, bacon and vegetables on it, if I feel like having a more consistent breakfast. It is a great item to keep around the house if you start your job early.

Visiting the Brazilian rainforest

Visiting the Amazon was a trip I planned in my head for years on a row. I was mostly fascinated with visiting the Brazilian rainforest. For those of you who don’t know it, the South American rainforest is the largest in the world and it stretches on 8 South American countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname. Just to imagine how immense the space it occupies is, the rainforest covers approximately 40% of South America. Unfortunately, the extreme deforestation put this miracle of nature in danger. Brazil, to give you the most extreme example, has one of the largest rates of deforestation in the world. Hopefully, solutions will be found to slow down this dreadful destruction and, finally, eliminate this problem altogether.

wild 4Right now, it is (still) one of the most amazing places you can visit. I won’t give you details on what you can see there, as it is something you can truly understand only when you witness it, but I can tell you a couple of things you can do and how you get there. There are a few companies that provide lodging and organized tours both on land and water. If you go there for hiking, climbing or fishing, you can easily find professionals that offer trip packages at affordable prices (if you save money for a while). I wanted a simple, sightseeing trip, with some taste of how life on the Amazon feels, so I reached out to a company offering tourist tours on boats with mini-trips in key points of the Brazilian rainforest. You can opt for a 5 or 10 day trip. I would strongly advise you to choose the latter, as 5 days will seem like nothing for the things you should visit. For those who have in mind going on their own, you either plan your trip several months, maybe even a year before the departure or better stay at home and wait, until you gather the necessary amount of money so that you can pay a professional to take you where you want.

wild 5

You may believe that a guided tour will only show you the tourist intended destinations, but, the Brazilian rainforest isn’t your typical journey, you can’t go exploring through the jungle on your own. In addition, it is more likely that you miss beautiful landscapes and exquisite species of animals because you don’t know how to find them, even if you have documented the trip and the area thoroughly.

For example, you won’t recognize the various species of fish living in the waters of the immense river, or take trips to see the giant water lilies. Even more, if you are lucky enough, you can take a night trip through the forest and observe nocturnal species with a good guide. By yourself: not much of a chance.

wild 3Let’s not forget the little joys in life, like traditional dishes you would never have the courage to try on your own if you didn’t have an expert sitting beside you and advising on the most exquisite culinary surprises you must taste. One of the dishes you should try while in Manaus are traditional soups, I was quite impressed with the Tacacá, a dish made with a regional plant called jambú, shrimps and a couple of other local ingredients. Another dish that I was absolutely amazed by was something that people in this region call the Caldeirada de Tambaqui, in which the main ingredient is the fish with the same name, accompanied by boiled eggs and spices.

Don’t grow over enthusiastic yet, it will not always be nice, the mosquitos will make you want to never have been born and the heat will be excruciating (especially if you go in September), but it will be the experience of a lifetime and you won’t regret it.

My recent trip to Australia

My passion for traveling and seeing animals in their natural environment and my constant desire to discover and taste all the amazing food different countries and cultures have to offer have both been satisfied with my recent journey to the Australian land. I went there to explore some of the many National Parks and to catch a glimpse of the wonderful and various fauna.


wild1Of course, because I chose not to plan my trip to the minute, I started with the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, which is the largest of them all and is listed as a World Heritage site. This extensive, preserved area is one full load of archaeological treasures, rich in landscape varieties and, most importantly for me, has one of the greatest preservation indexes for a considerable number of habitats and species. From Leichardt’s colorful grasshopper to the delicate quoll, I’ve had the honor to witness a lot of animals in their natural surroundings. It also gave me the chance to eat a perfectly cooked Barramundi, and that was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had.


wild2After Kakadu, I went south to Brisbane and took a Bushwalking tour in Springbrook National Park, where I saw the glow-worms of Natural Bridge, a beauty of rock and water itself. I also scouted for rosellas and bowerbirds, but out of the rare bird category, I only saw Albert’s Lyrebird, which is very cool, since you can’t see it anywhere else in the world. I returned to Brisbane in a couple of days and I had to meet some old colleagues, who insisted on going to this Italian restaurant called Bella Tiarnie. I was frankly irritated by their choice, since I wanted to eat as many local dishes as I could in my short trip and I kind of pouted until the lame pizza that I had ordered out of spite was placed in front of me, and this is the story of how I met the best pizza in the world.


Next, I traveled to the Simpson Desert and then to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a place where the aboriginal keep their culture alive and where the desert still dictates the laws of living. I went there with a tour guide that I knew, who was very helpful and introduced me to the people. I had the chance to look for Mai and Tjuratja food together with the women and participate in this old, fascinating way of living.


Unfortunately, I had to come back home after the Uluru exploration, so I had to take the first flight to Sydney from the Ayers Airport. I had to move fast, but I still managed to try the blue swimmer crab in a nice carrot and tarragon yummy assembly.


I warmly recommend you to visit Australia too, and maybe you even get to take a boat to Tasmania, which I couldn’t see this time. And while you’re in the city, make sure you try the meat pie and the sausage sizzle, which I grabbed every time I walked the streets and had to eat while walking.

You need a yogurt maker for your home

Many people have started preparing their own foods using traditional processes, since the food industry seems to have become solely a way of making money for the big producers and not anymore a way of feeding people and keeping them healthy.


Just to give you my personal example, I prefer eating yogurt that I combine with cereals or seeds in the morning. However, I have grown so suspicious as to the ingredients that yogurt in supermarkets has, that a while ago I’ve decided to start preparing my own homemade yogurt.

The process of making your own yogurt is simple enough: you just need a little patience, and it doesn’t include any difficult to find ingredients. What you need is fresh milk, a couple of spoons of whole plain yogurt that contains live bacteria cultures and heavy cream, if you want to obtain fat yogurt (thus cream is optional). You put the milk (and cream) in a quality material pot and you bring the mix to a bare simmer, while you stir its contents, until it forms bubbles. After that, you remove the pot and put it in a place with warm temperature. Before that, take enough milk to fill half a cup and add the yogurt you have prepared in the beginning. Then put the mixture into the warm milk pot. Cover the pot with a lid and wrap it in a towel to preserve a comfortable temperature. You need to leave it like this for 6 to 12 hours, depending on how thick you want the yogurt. After 12 hours, take the yogurt and put it in the refrigerator and let it thicken for another 4 hours. Then you can consume it. However, although the process is simple, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you do it. That is why I recommend a yogurt maker to have for home use.

yogurt m2

Certain products in this category will heat up the milk for you at an ideal temperature, though not all of them so you should check for this feature when you buy one, others will stir the milk in your place and will monitor time. This is very important so that you don’t overcook the yogurt or the opposite, make it too sloppy. So, if you forget the hour at which you’ve left the mix to ferment, the yogurt maker will keep that in mind for you, thus you will be able obtain a creamy yogurt of an ideal consistence.

yogurt m3Another thing that a yogurt maker will provide you with is more than one recipient to keep the yogurt in, thus you can make more yogurt in one round, which will allow you to save time since you won’t need to repeat the preparing process more than once. Once you get used to having one, you’ll never want to go back to making it on your own. Remember,  just because we are using traditional methods, it doesn’t mean we can afford wasting the same amount of time with cooking as our grandmothers did.

Amazing Quesadilla Recipe I Discovered While Visiting Mexico

During all my travels, I try to learn something about the people living in all corners of the planet, about their customs and about the traditional foods they make. When I was in Mexico, I simply loved the quesadilla they make there. I know that you can find quesadilla practically every corner in the US, but it is a totally different thing to eat the stuff they make in Mexico. I have never tasted a more delicious quesadilla, so I had to ask my host for the recipe. Now I am sharing it with you.

Chicken quesadilla

Yes, I know, every quesadilla has some sort of meat and cheese in it. But I honestly think that it is all about in the way people in Mexico are mixing the ingredients and the touch they add that cannot be found so easily someplace else. This is the chicken quesadilla recipe I learned during my visit in Mexico, and I simply love making it at home.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup of diced chicken meat (baked and seasoned taco style)
  • 1 cup of sautéed onions (make sure they are not cooked all the way, just enough to become a bit glass like)
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

This recipe is so simple and so delicious that it really makes my mouth water right now. Now here is how you proceed with the ingredients listed above. Take half of the tortillas and put them on baking sheet. Make sure you do not grease the baking sheet, to avoid adding unnecessary fat to your recipe. Spread the ingredients between them in equal parts, less the salsa. Make sure that each of the tortillas placed on the baking sheet has enough ingredients on it. This will be the base for your quesadillas. After you are certain the quantities are more or less equal, cover the mix with the other half of tortillas.

chicken quesadilla

Let the quesadillas cook in the oven for about 5 minutes. My host recommended to have the oven heated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, the quesadillas are made really fast, and there is enough time for the cheese to melt and become just right. When you are done, slice them and pour some salsa or sour cream on them. These quesadillas are so tasty they simply melt in your mouth!

Why I Still Think Animals Belong in the Wild


I am well aware of the fact that having a zoo where to display animals is good for educating people who do not know about various species. However, I believe it is unnecessarily cruel to keep animals prisoners so that humans can watch them and observe them. It is my strong belief that animals belong to the wild, and that is where they should be watched and observed.

nature conservation

I am not the kind of person to just sit on the sideline and criticize from there. I am an environmental activist and I like traveling all over the world in order to make documentaries and shoot videos of animals in their natural habitat. My mission is to raise awareness about environment conservation and endangered species, and I think the best way to do that is by bringing these animals closer to human hearts through such means. Displaying them in a zoo is not the way to do that, and if you, too, care about the environment, I hope you are in an accord with me.


Unfortunately, we live in a world where land is grabbed by the civilization and turned into farming land, landfill, industrial spaces and so on. It appears there is no end to human greed when it comes to taking the natural habitat from animals. I know I am not the only one who believes that this unstoppable greed should stop before it becomes too late.


The environment around us does not belong only to us. It belongs to animals, birds, insects and even the smallest creature watching the face of the earth, or swimming in the waters of the planet. As the most advanced species, it is our duty to preserve it, so we can maintain a healthy environment for the future generations.

nature conservation2

I will share with you everything I know about the places I’ve been to. I think people will change their opinions about nature or become more involved with preserving nature, once they get to know it better.


I will also share with you some great recipes from these places I’ve visited. Every place has its own flavor and I was amazed to see how different people are from one place to another. So, you will find many great recipes on my blog, along with details about the cuisine specific to each place I’ve been to. I’ve tried all this great food on my own, and you can rest assured that it has all been tested and tried.


I hope to see you around!