Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthy eating in January


The Christmas and New Year celebrations are occasions to eat and drink to excess. We enjoy big family dinners with lots of alcohol and huge (enormes) bowls of pudding for dessert. A few weeks of eating like this, however, (sin embargo) can make us feel unhealthy (poco saludable). Fortunately, January is the time for New Year’s Resolutions, (propositos para el nuevo año) and they usually include improving (mejorar) our diet. In this post we look at some things you can do to recover from the Christmas excess, detox (desintoxicar) your body and feel better.
The first step (paso) to take to improve your diet is to eat lots of meals a day. None of them, however, should be very substantial. It is not a good idea to have only a coffee for breakfast, a very big lunch and a sandwich at eleven o’clock at night. Ideally, you should eat five times a day and ensure you start the day with a proper (apropiado) breakfast. This should include fresh fruit, for example a glass of freshly squeezed (recién exprimido) orange juice. You should also avoid eating late at night and going to bed on a full stomach. To cleanse your body after the holiday excess, one option is to have a “detox week”. For this you need to eat lots of certain foods and avoid others. Firstly, drink lots of water, ideally a litre and a half every day. Avoid coffee and alcohol. The best hot drink is green tea, which is low in caffeine. Avoid meat, especially red meat, and dairy products,(lácteos) and eat plenty of fruit. Berries (frutos rojos) are especially good for cleansing your system. After a few days of radical detoxing, it is time to establish a balanced diet (dieta equilibrada) for the rest of the year.

Going Organic
One thing you can do to improve the quality of the food you eat is going organic. You can start by buying organic fruit and vegetables, and you will definitely taste (notaras) the difference. Next, try organic eggs, which have a truly (verdaderamente) delicious flavour (sabor) Finally, order (encarga) some organic meat, such as (como) chicken or beef, and you will probably not want to eat non-organic meat again!

Good Intentions
Everybody starts the year with good intentions, but they are usually a distant memory (recuerdo lejano) when it is time for more family celebrations, complete with big dinners and large portions of pudding. But this does not mean you should not detox and try to eat better after New Year. On the contrary, you can start the process several times a year – resolutions do not necessarily have to be for January!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Proverbs Related to Animals.

"When the cat's away,..."
Rose and James are parents to two teenage children. When they are away on Friday nights, the children always take advantage ( aprovechan ) of their parents’ absence by having a party with their friends. You know what people say: When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Last week, Rose declined a promotion at work, as she thought it would have been too difficult. Her bosses were a bit disappointed (decepcionados ) because they had given her the chance ( la oportunidad) to improve (mejorar) but she couldn’t be persuaded to take the job. As the Managing Director said, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

James owns (es el dueño de) a software company, and refused to give his best programmer a pay rise,(aumento de sueldo ) even though he made a lot of profit for the company. Soon he left and the new worker was not as good, so the company lost a lot of clients. Everyone told James that he had “killed the goose that lays the golden egg” because he sacrificed future benefits to save money in the short-term.(corto plazo)

Their daughter, Nathalie, recently broke up (rompió) with her boyfriend Charles. Her mother comforted   (consoló) her by saying “there are plenty more fish in the sea”. In other words, if that relationship hadn’t worked, there would be more opportunities to find other boyfriends. Meanwhile, her brother Peter has decided not to see his ex-girlfriend again because she had given him a lot of headaches in the past and he’s afraid that she would cause a lot of trouble again. He decided it was best to let sleeping dogs lie.

English Proverb
Spanish Equivalent
1. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
[Cuando el gato está fuera, los ratones juegan.]
I. Cuando el gato duerme, bailan los ratones.
2. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
[Puedes llevar a un caballo hasta el agua, pero no puedes hacer que beba.]

II. Puedes darle un consejo a alguien, pero no puedes obligarlo a que lo siga.
3. Kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
[Matar al ganso que pone el huevo de oro.]

III. Matar a la gallina de los huevos de oro.
4. There are plenty more fish in the sea.
[Hay muchos más peces en el mar.]

IV. Hay mucho más donde elegir.
5. Let sleeping dogs lie.
[Deja que los perros que duermen sigan durmiendo.]

V. Mejor no  despertar la fiera.

Now it is time for the proverb test.  For each situation find the most suitable proverb from the ones that have appeared in the article ! 

1.          The children at school always have fun when the teacher is absent.
2.          The parents did not wake up the baby in case she started crying.
3.          Monica was very sad as her boyfriend left her for her best friend.


  1. When the cat’s away, the mice will play 2.Let sleeping dogs lie 3-There are plenty more fish in the sea.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spanglish (1)

Controversy reigns (reina) and the subject is Spanglish. Critics say Spanglish is neither good Spanish nor good English and that it is speaking two languages, but badly, at the same time. Other people say it is a natural phenomenon for people who live and think in both the English-speaking and the Spanish-speaking cultures.

Some people think it is very serious and maybe it is more serious than we realise. Academics and members of language associations criticise Spanglish because they say it has a destructive effect on the Spanish language. Some critics even say that using Spanglish is a conscious or unconscious acceptance of English as the superior language. They say that its users have no pride (orgullo) in the Spanish that is, in many cases, their native language. They complain that users of Spanglish don’t even make the effort (esfuerzo) to use perfectly correct Spanish expressions and that they use Spanglish because they prefer the English word (not because the appropriate word or expression does not exist in Spanish). The opposition also say that Spanglish originally came from dialects used by the under-educated (con pocos estudios ) and lower classes (in other words, people who might not know the words in Spanish.)
Maybe one of the issues that complicate the Spanglish question is Spanish speakers’ traditional dependency on pronouncing words as they are written (based on the Spanish phonetic system). Historically, the correct pronunciation of foreign words has never been encouraged, (promovidas) nor modelled by Spanish speakers. Even role models such as teachers, TV and radio announcers and political or religious leaders have notoriously mispronounced foreign words and names. For this reason, one of the ways foreign words have been successfully introduced and adopted without their pronunciation being totally distorted (distorsionados) has been by distorting their spelling. This has given us líder, instead of leader, mitin instead of meeting, quiosco for kiosk, champán for champagne, champú for shampoo, coñac for cognac, and suéter for sweater. A lot of Spanglish words are distorted Spanish spellings of English words.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Proverbs to Impress your Friends (2)

Proverbs Related to Food or Drink

"...an apple  a day ..."

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. It has been good advice, ( buen consejo ) as Tom  has never had a day off ( día libre) work because of illness. The apples have kept him healthy! He also realized at a young age that life isn’t all beer and skittles, as he does not have unlimited money to enjoy a completely carefree (despreocupado) existence. He has to work very hard to pay the mortgage! (hipoteca).
He has many different hobbies, such as tennis, flying and motor racing. He says that variety is the spice of life. Another of Tom's  hobbies is listening to classical music. This can sometimes be a problem, because Tom's  wife absolutely hates this type of music. This is a case of one man’s meat is another man’s poisonbecause Tom values and enjoys classical music while his wife does not share (comparte) the same interest. This week, Tom's  parrot ( loro ) escaped from its cage.(jaula) The whole family were very sad as they had owned it for ten years, but in the end everyone agreed it’s no use crying over spilt milk

English Proverb

Spanish Equivalent
1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
[Una manzana al día mantiene al doctor lejos (de ti).]
I.  A diario una manzana es cosa sana.
2. Life is not all beer and skittles.
[La vida no es sólo cerveza y bolos.]
II. En la vida no todo es de color de rosa.
3. Variety is the spice of life.
[La variedad es el condimento de la vida.]
III.En la variedad está el gusto. 
4. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
[La carne de un hombre es el veneno de otro.]
IV. Lo que a uno cura, a otro mata.
5. It’s no use crying over spilt milk.
[De nada vale llorar sobre la leche derramada.]
V. A lo hecho, pecho.

 Are you ready for the proverb test? I hope so. You need to find the most suitable (apropiado) proverb :
1.          Mark enjoys the fact that he works on different projects every month.
2.          Mary’s cake has fallen on to the floor.


  1. Variety is the spice of life.2.It’s no use crying over spilt milk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The New Dracula

 Bram Stoker's classic vampire character Dracula was named after the 15th century Romanian prince Vlad Dracul III, who earned his place (ganó su lugar) in history by impaling (ermpalar) his enemies alive. During the early 1400s, Vlad's father, Vlad II, was the military governor of Transylvania and was made a member of The Order of the Dragon (Ordo Dracul) by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigmund for his part in protecting Christian Europe agains the invading Ottoman Empire. After his indoctrination into this secret society of Christian knights in 1431, Vlad's father became known as Vlad Dracul, meaning Vlad "the Dragon." When his son Vlad III was born, he became known as Dracula, meaning "Son of the Dragon," 


Vlad Dracul III, also known as Vlad the Impaler, defended his beloved homeland (amada patria) with savage (salvajes) acts of barbarism. During his bloody (sangriento) reign, he delighted (se deleitaba) in torturing and murdering anyone who dared (atrevía) to trespass upon his domain (dominios). Vlad impaled his victims, skewering (ensartando) them on tall wooden stakes (estacas de madera) and leaving them on display (a la vista) along the borders of his territory as a warning to discourage (disuadir) invading armies. This favorite method of execution earned him the name Vlad Tepes, meaning Vlad "the Impaler." It is believed that Vlad executed somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 people in this cruel and horrific fashion.


In 1992 Francis Ford Coppola directed and produced an American horror film based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It starred (protagonizada) Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina Harker, Anthony Hopkins as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker.
The film's score was composed by Wojciech Kilar and featured "Love Song for a Vampire" by Annie Lennox, which became an international hit, as the closing credits theme (el tema de los títulos de credito del final)  

For those who enjoyed Dracula (by Francis Ford Coppola) back in 1992, you can't miss the new TV series coming soon produced by the NBO starring the versatile (versatil) actor Jonathan Rhys- Meyers as Count Dracula,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Proverbs to Impress your Friends

In this post , we are going to look at thematic proverbs. The first theme we have chosen is work.

Proverbs Related to Work

Charlotte feels that a woman’s work is never done. She is constantly doing the housework. She spends all day cleaning, washing, ironing (planchando) and cooking. Last week, her sister, Janet, told Charlotte that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (click here to watch the video ) Janet  thinks her sister should go out more and do other things apart from the housework, because she believes Charlotte is a very boring person.

Yesterday, Charlotte decided to go out to the cinema, so she asked her two teenage sons to help her with the housework. She told them that many hands make light work. Unfortunately,(por desgracia ) her sons were not interested in helping her. Although they had nothing better to do, they were soon causing mischief.(diabluras) While they were playing football in the garden they broke the next-door neighbour’s window. From the kitchen, Charlotte said to herself angrily that the devil finds work for idle hands.

Later, Jack and Harold went  round with a new piece of glass and tools (herramientas ) to repair the broken window. After trying to repair the window without success, (éxito) they complained (quejaron) that the tools they had were no good.(  no valían para nada ) The next-door neighbour replied that a bad workman always blames his tools”.

English Proverb

Spanish Equivalent
 A woman’s work is never done.
[El trabajo de una mujer no se acaba nunca.]
 El trabajo de la casa no se acaba nunca.
 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
[Sólo trabajo y ninguna diversión hacen que Jack sea un aburrido.]
 Hay que dejar tiempo para el esparcimiento.

 Many hands make light work.
[Muchas manos hacen que el trabajo sea ligero.]
 El trabajo compartido es más llevadero.
 The devil finds work for idle hands.
[El diablo encuentra trabajo para las manos ociosas.]
El ocio es la madre de todos los vicios.
A bad workman always blames his tools.
[El mal trabajador siempre culpa a las herramientas.]
Para el mal oficial, no hay herramienta buena.

Are you ready for the proverb test?  You need to find the most suitable (apropiado ) proverb that could be used in each of the following situations:

1.          Everybody in the family is helping to paint the house.
2.          Anne realized that looking after a house and family meant she never had a moment’s rest.

  1. Many hands make light work .2.A woman’s work is never done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cheese Fondue

It's cold outside and you have just finished your day’s skiing and, although (aunque) you are warm (tienes calor) from the exercise, it is snowing. So, instead of (en vez de) a bowl of hot soup, why not have a change? How about a nice, warming cheese fondue?

Fondue originated in Switzerland as a way of using up hard, dry cheese (queso curado) and stale bread.(pan duro) The word “fondue” comes from the French verb fondre, meaning “to melt”.(deshacer) Originally, fondue was a classic peasant dish.(plato de campesinos) Traditional fondue is made with a mixture of Emmenthal and Gruyère cheeses melted together but you can add other cheeses as well. You can add a strong liqueur (such as Kirsch) to the melted mixture if you like.

Ingredients (for 6 to 8 people)

1 large clove of garlic,(ajo) peeled (pelado)

1/2 litre dry white wine

A little lemon juice

1/2 kilo grated (rallado) Gruyère cheese

1/2 kilo grated Emmenthal cheese

2 level tablespoons (cuchara sopera) cornflour (maicena)

6 tablespoons Kirsch

1 large loaf of bread (barra de pan) cut into cubes (better if the bread is one day old).


Rub (restregar) the inside of the fondue pan with the garlic. Add the wine and lemon juice. Heat (calentar)gently on the stovetop.(encimera de la cocina) Mix the cheeses together. When the wine is hot, but not boiling, gradually add the cheese. Stir (remover) continuously. Mix the cornflour with the Kirsch and add this mixture (mezcla) to the melted cheese. Keep on stirring until the cheese mixture boils then let it simmer (cocer a fuego lento) for a few minutes.

Transfer the fondue pan from the stovetop to the fondue stand (soporte) and light the flame underneath (por debajo) it. Put the cubes of bread on to forks, dip (moja) them into the cheese mixture and eat immediately. Serve with chilled (fresquito) dry white wine. Just a word of warning (advertencia) : there is a lot of alcohol in this dish and you will be drinking wine with it, so don’t go skiing immediately afterwards!

Watch this video to see how to prepare a nice fondue!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Psy defeats Robert Burns. Happy 2013 !!!

 London's 2013 fireworks  display

Auld Lang Syne is based on a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns ( 1759-1796)  . The song is an extremely nostalgic and sincere expression of friendship. It is for this reason that people all over the English -speaking world sing this song at funerals, graduations , farewells (despedidas)  and most famously on New Year's Eve as they reflect on times past and welcome the New Year.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Spy performing at Times Square on New Year's Eve .

But according to a shock new poll Gangman  Style was more popular than Auld Lang Syne this New Year's Eve in the U.K.  It accounted for almost a quarter (23%) of the 100,000 songs sung  on a karaoke website luckyvoice.

Top 10 New Year’s Eve songs in the U.K.

1. Gangnam Style, Psy (23%)

2. Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns (4.5%)

3. Someone Like You, Adele (4.3%)

4. Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen (3.7%)

5. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Taylor Swift (3.5%)

6. What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction (3%)

7. Last Christmas, Wham (2.6%)

8. Candy, Robbie Williams (2.3%)

9. Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond (2%)

10. Troublemaker, Olly Murs (1.5%)