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Posts by Neide Bollinger

1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRAZIL

My country is Brazil. It is located in South America. It was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvarez Cabral in 1500.

It is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America.

Brazil became independent of Portugal in 1822.

It is a diverse country with many ethnic groups and different climates.

In the South, people’s background is mostly European and it is colder.

Up North, people’s background is mostly African, indigenous and white, and the climate is warmer.

This diversity of climates ad backgrounds brings color and excitement to the country, reflected in the way Brazilians enjoy both vibrant music and bright costumes which are brought to a peak of passion and energy in “Carnaval” dancing and parades.

A good illustration of the culture can be seen on the Discovery Channel Program Brazil Revealed , available on DVD.

2. Traveling around the world through Food

American barbecued spareribs, Brazilian feijoada, Chinese smoked duck, Ethiopian kitfo, Italian lasagna, Japanese kinpira, Mediterranean lamb chop, Mexican carne Asada, Spanish paella, etc! It is amazing how we can have a taste of different cultures when we try their food. We don’t need to travel abroad to feel it. We need just to sit and enjoy the variety of seasonings, flavors and smells.

As a Brazilian, I don’t order only Brazilian drinks and foods when dinning out here in Colorado or traveling across the USA, even when they serve Caipirinha, which I really love enjoying drinking. This Brazilian drink is made of rum called “Cachaca”, ice, sugar and lime! I will make myself one at home and I will try a different drink. Why not? Why not try a drink like a Martini, a Tequila, an Irish, a Belgium, or a German beer? Why not learn which wine goes with an Italian lasagna, or a Spanish paella?

3. Jabuticaba

Jabuticabais a fruit tree. It’s also often called Brazilian Grape Tree and its fruits are grown on its trunk. Common in Brazilian markets, jabuticabas are largely eaten fresh or they can be used to make jellies and drinks (plain juice or wine). You can check them out at the Boettcher Tropical Conservatory at Denver Botanic Gardens.

4. Eat Like a Brazilian to Slim Down

I was in Brazil last August, my second visit there, and while on that trip remembered something that had puzzled me when I had lived in Curitiba for a year in 1994: Why, despite my eating 3 hearty Brazilian meals every day, did I weigh less during that year than at any time before or after--with no effort on my part?

This time around, as a dietitian, I of course took note of the Brazilian lifestyle and attitudes toward eating and found some common threads running through the culinary culture that answered my question. To make a long story short, Brazilians avoid packaged foods, indulge in little or no snacking between meals (other than some fresh fruit and coffee, sans cream), and fill up on salads before meals.

The salads are wonderful, including one of my favorites: hearts of palm with tomatoes and watercress. Unlike most salad lovers, the Brazilians forgo high-calorie salad dressings, which saves them huge numbers of calories. You might see a Brazilian add a small amount of olive oil and vinegar to a salad, but the vegetables are definitely the star of the show.

Filling up on veggies also helps the Brazilians cut back on their portions of higher-calorie entrees, such as red meat, a food that is certainly popular there. (If you eat red meat, I highly recommend the Brazilian-style barbecue. They make delicious BBQ cheeses too!)

Another thing that struck me about meals in Brazil was the abundance of freshly squeezed juices using fruits that you don't often expect to be drinking, like watermelon and pineapple (with a dash of mint). And because these juices don't come from super-concentrates, the purity of the taste, minus the sugar or anything artificial, is deeply satisfying.

My take-aways for U.S. eaters, after casting my dietician's eye on Brazil's eating habits:

?Be sure to include a hearty salad before your entrée, perhaps including such veggies as hearts of palm, fresh tomatoes, watercress, and maybe cilantro or basil. Add balsamic vinegar and a little splash of extra-virgin olive oil--or omit the oil altogether if you'd like to save calories.
?Consider fresh fruits in season for light snacks and desserts.
?If you drink a lot of sugary soda or tend to consume other liquid calories because you never learned to appreciate the taste of plain, old water, consider flavoring fizzy water with just a bit of freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice (again, with mint). When flavored, carbonated water is refreshing and may even help stave off hunger, since many people mistake being thirsty with being hungry.
Whether you're in South America or North America, however, always try to eat slowly. Chewing your food well not only helps your digestion but will also increase feelings of satiety since your brain doesn't notice that the stomach is full until after you've been munching for about 20 minutes.

In Brazil, dear readers, the people say "Saude," which means "to your health."


by Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. a Yahoo! Health Expert for Nutrition

5. Places around the world where you can speak Portuguese

List of places with Portuguese as Official language or is regularly

used by a large portion of the population.

Portugal;
Angola;
Brazil;
Cape Verde;
Mozambique,
Guinea-Bissau;
Macau;
Sao Tome and Principe;
East Timor.

Portuguese is the official language** in Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe.

6. Speaking Two Languages May Delay Alzheimer's

LAURAN NEERGAARD 02/18/11 04:08 PM

WASHINGTON — Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer's disease later on, scientists said Friday.
Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.
The more proficient you become, the better, but "every little bit helps," said Ellen Bialystok, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto.
Much of the study of bilingualism has centered on babies, as scientists wondered why simply speaking to infants in two languages allows them to learn both in the time it takes most babies to learn one. Their brains seem to become more flexible, better able to multitask. As they grow up, their brains show better "executive control," a system key to higher functioning – as Bialystok puts it, "the most important part of your mind."
But does that mental juggling while you're young translate into protection against cognitive decline when you're old?
Bialystok studied 450 Alzheimer's patients, all of whom showed the same degree of impairment at the time of diagnosis. Half are bilingual – they've spoken two languages regularly for most of their lives. The rest are monolingual.
The bilingual patients had Alzheimer's symptoms and were diagnosed between four and five years later than the patients who spoke only one language, she told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Being bilingual does nothing to prevent Alzheimer's disease from striking. But once the disease does begin its silent attack, those years of robust executive control provide a buffer so that symptoms don't become apparent as quickly, Bialystok said.
"They've been able to cope with the disease," she said.
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Her work supports an earlier study from other researchers that also found a protective effect.
What is it about being bilingual that enhances that all-important executive control system?
Both languages are essentially turned on all the time, but the brain learns to inhibit the one you don't need, said psychology professor Teresa Bajo of the University of Granada in Spain. That's pretty constant activity.
That's not the only area. University of British Columbia psychologist Janet Werker studies infants exposed to two languages from birth to see why they don't confuse the two, and says bilingual babies learn very early to pay attention better.
Werker tested babies in Spain who were growing up learning both Spanish and Catalan. She showed the babies videos of women speaking languages they'd never heard – English and French – but with the sound off. By measuring the tots' attention span, Werker concluded that babies could distinguish between English and French simply by watching the speakers' facial cues. It could have been the different lip shapes.
"It looks like French people are always kissing," she joked, while the English "th" sound evokes a distinctive lip-in-teeth shape.
Whatever the cues, monolingual babies couldn't tell the difference, Werker said Friday at the meeting.
But what if you weren't lucky enough to be raised bilingual? Scientists and educators know that it becomes far harder to learn a new language after puberty.
Partly that's because adults' brains are so bombarded with other demands that we don't give learning a new language the same attention that a young child does, Bialystok said.
At the University of Maryland, scientists are studying how to identify adults who would be good candidates to master a new language, and then what types of training are best. Having a pretty strong executive control system, like the lifelong bilinguals have, is among the good predictive factors, said Amy Weinberg, deputy director of the university's Center for Advanced Study of Language.
But people don't have to master a new language to benefit some, Bialystok said. Exercising your brain throughout life contributes to what's called cognitive reserve, the overall ability to withstand the declines of aging and disease. That's the basis of the use-it-or-lose-it advice from aging experts who also recommend such things as crossword puzzles to keep your brain nimble.
"If you start to learn at 40, 50, 60, you are certainly keeping your brain active," she said.

 

 

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