Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Annunciation to St. Mary
Volume 5 No. 314 November 20, 2015

III. General Weekly Features

Health Tip: How to Prevent a Second (and First) Heart Attack Thru Diet

by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D.N., F.A.N.D.

If you're one of the 13 million Americans who have survived a heart attack, or if you've been diagnosed with heart disease, take heart. You can take control of your heart health with the knowledge that certain foods have been shown to quell inflammation, which is the root cause of plaque buildup in the arteries.

What's the food prescription? Science has proved that a Mediterranean eating style, which focuses on our top nine artery-healing foods, can reduce the risk of a second heart attack by up to 70 percent.

Eat these nine foods to quell inflammation and protect your heart:

1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extracted from olives by crushing the whole fruit, olive oil is a golden elixir brimming with potent inflammation-suppressing antioxidants called polyphenols, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), the heart-healing kind of fat. The high MUFA content of olive oil is cardio-protective -- it cuts your "bad" LDL cholesterol level, helps stabilize vulnerable plaque by preventing LDL from becoming oxidized (when LDL reacts with free radicals to promote inflammation) and bumps up your level of "good" HDL cholesterol. Make this your main fat in marinades, sauces, dressings and cooking.

2. Greens and other vegetables

Dark green and leafy; red, ripe and juicy; bright orange and crunchy -- this rainbow of colors is from Mother Nature's medicine chest of foods that keep your arteries clean and healthy. Spinach, for example, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth -- so nix the iceberg and make this vegetable your salad green of choice.

Red-purple vegetables such as radicchio, red beets and eggplant contain pigments that protect the heart by increasing production of a natural antioxidant called glutathione. Eat like an artist and try to consume at least five colorful vegetables every day.

3. Salmon and other seafood

Fatty fish that swim in the cold waters of the sea -- such as salmon, halibut and sardines -- contain ultra-heart-healthy omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA. Fish oil stabilizes plaque, reduces risk of sudden death, lowers triglyceride level, and reduces inflammation. Fish oil also revs up the body's ability to dissolve blood clots, the kind that seal off plaque-filled arteries. Aim for at least two fish meals per week.

4. Figs and other fruits

Figs and other fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins and potassium, and contain an array of plaque-fighting polyphenols. Substitute pureed fruit for fat in baking, sprinkle dried fruit on salads, add fresh fruit to smoothies, and try baked fruit for a delicious desert. Aim for at least three servings every day.

5. Walnuts and flaxseeds

Yes, walnuts and flaxseeds are high in fat but it's the good fat: the vegetarian omega-3 fat called alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Walnuts are also high in vitamin E (an antioxidant that helps keep cholesterol from building up in plaque) and fiber. Add walnuts to fat-free Greek yogurt, salads and baked goods. Add ground flaxseeds to oatmeal, pancakes and baked goods.

6. Oatmeal and other whole grains

Oats are a nutritious whole grain filled with beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol and pushes it through the digestive system so that it's not absorbed by the body. Oats also contain a unique antioxidant that counteracts the destructive and atherosclerosis-inducing damage of unstable free radicals. Aim for at least three servings of whole grains each day.

7. Lentils and other legumes

A versatile low-fat plant protein, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) are full of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals and are one of the best sources of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. In addition, lentils are loaded with antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals, especially iron -- and all this for pennies on the dollar.

Soybeans, a near-perfect protein choice instead of animal protein, exhibits strong antioxidant capacity that can help decrease artery inflammation. To get your daily dose of legumes, substitute soymilk for cow's milk; eat legume-based soups or chili; toss lentils into pasta sauce; try hummus as a dip; or sprinkle kidney beans on your salad.

8. Red wine

The deep garnet color is a clue that this "drink of the ages" is loaded with flavonoids, as well as the vital antioxidant resveratrol. However, moderation is the magic word, which means one 5-ounce glass of wine a day for women and two for men.

9. Dark chocolate and green tea

Dark chocolate is packed with heart-healthy nutrients and has been shown to lower inflammation in the arteries, as well as to reduce blood pressure. Try a nightly cup of rich hot chocolate -- made with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, soymilk and a touch of sweetener. Or enjoy a small amount of dark chocolate (an ounce) every day washed down with green tea, also rich in polyphenols.

Source: JWR

Recipe: Sweet Potato Soup - A Recipe From Down Under

by SS, Australia


3 large sweet potatoes, about 600-700 gm (1.25-1.5 lbs), small cubes
2 rashers bacon, chopped
1 large radish, cubed size of sweet potato
2 cups kale or spinach leaves, chopped
Handful of French beans, chopped
1 onion or large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cm (about an inch+) ginger, chopped
Coriander leaves, quarter cup, chopped


Heat oil, add freshly ground peppercorns and chilli powder to taste.

Sauté bacon for a minute, then add onion, garlic and ginger.

When starting to brown, turn heat to medium-high and add sweet potato and radish. Gently turn for ten minutes, then add 500 ml water. Stir well.

Add kale and beans, ensure there's sufficient water. Cover and simmer on low heat.

Add boiling water to the soup half-way through so that there's enough liquid. Simmer covered. Add coriander leaves about three-quarter way.

Soup should be ready in an hour.

Chef's Notes:

You can experiment with your own changes to the ingredients.

My girls pulverise the soup to make it thick. I also sometimes add red lentils for thickness as I don't like adding cornstarch.

Recipe: Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

by Jennifer Segal

I love to make soup on Sundays, especially when it's cold outside and my family is curled up on the sofa watching football. There's something so relaxing about it - clearing out the produce drawer, slow-cooking onions in butter, stirring a big pot as it simmers on the stove - and it makes the house smell so inviting! This savory soup with a hint of sweetness and spice is one of my new favorites.

Before we get started, let's talk about sweet potatoes. Last time I was at Whole Foods, I noticed that all of the sweet potatoes (there were a few different kinds) were labeled as yams. For some reason, it's common practice in the U.S. to use the words "sweet potato" and "yam" interchangeably. This is confusing, since yams aren't sweet potatoes at all, but rather thick white tubers with dark brown skin. But chances are you won't find real yams at the supermarket, so if you see "yams," you're probably looking at sweet potatoes. As for the different varieties, look for Garnet, Jewel, Beauregard, all of which have orange flesh and reddish-brown skin.

Begin by cooking the onions in butter until they are soft and translucent. Then, add the curry powder and cook until fragrant. You might think the curry powder gives the soup an Indian flair, but it really just lends a subtle hint of autumn spice - after all, curry powder is just a blend of spices like ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.

Next, add the carrots and sweet potatoes…

along with the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

Toss in the chopped apples, then puree with a stick blender until smooth and creamy.

The nice thing about this soup is that it's wonderfully smooth in creamy, yet low in fat and good for you.


Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Servings: 8

Total Time: 45 Minutes


1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 small), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tart yet sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
8 cups chicken broth, best quality such as Swanson
1 tablespoon curry powder, plus a bit more for serving
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add the curry powder and cook a minute more.

2. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the apples and honey.

Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then puree in a blender in batches. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape.)

Season to taste with salt, pepper and more honey if necessary.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with more curry powder if desired.

(Note: As the soup sits, it will thicken up so you may need to add a bit of water to thin it out.)

Copyright © Once Upon A Chef - Jennifer Segal

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon salt


Place potatoes in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat.

Bake at 400°F (200 deg C) for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, cherries, parsley and potatoes.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, lime peel and salt.

Pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.

Prep Time: 20min
Cook Time: 30min
Yield: 6 Servings

Source: Sams Club

Family Special: Lazy? Needy? The Top 13 Relationship Deal Breakers

By Millie Dent

He speaks with a mouth full of food. He can't go longer than 10 seconds without checking his iPhone. He wears a smaller jeans size than me. The list of relationship deal breakers that I've heard could go on for miles. But that's not unusual.

A series of six studies published together in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people put more emphasis on negative traits than positive ones while evaluating a potential mate. In other words, a deal-breaking trait hurts a potential mate's chances more than the average deal-making characteristic helps.

The studies also found that while both sexes are selective about long-term partners, women are likely to be a bit pickier, probably because they have more riding on their selection, including the nine months of pregnancy. As the researchers posit, women "are biologically obligated to expend a higher minimum investment in offspring."

Both sexes had more deal breakers as they aged, possibly because they had more experience from previous relationships, or because the stakes were higher as men and women looked to start having children. Individuals that considered themselves a good catch were also found to have more deal breakers.

The researchers' questionnaire asked 5,541 single Americans about 17 different traits that might cause someone to reject a potential long-term mate.

Below are the 13 qualities that were most commonly cited as deal breakers:

Disheveled or unclean appearance
Men: 63 percent
Women: 71 percent

Men: 60 percent
Women: 72 percent

Too needy
Men: 57 percent
Women: 69 percent

No sense of humor
Men: 50 percent
Women: 58 percent

Lives more than 3 hours away
Men: 51 percent
Women: 47 percent

Bad sex
Men: 44 percent
Women: 50 percent

Lacks self-confidence
Men: 33 percent
Women: 47 percent

Too much TV/videogames
Men: 25 percent
Women: 41 percent

Low sex drive
Men: 39 percent
Women: 27 percent

Men: 32 percent
Women: 34 percent

Talks too much
Men: 26 percent
Women: 20 percent

Too quiet
Men: 11 percent
Women: 17 percent

Men: 11 percent
Women: 17 percent

Source: The Fiscal Times  

Paris Massacre - When Terror Strikes
How Do We Deal With The Fear?

by Dena Johnson

Last week, I watched in horror as terror unfolded in Paris, France. Bombings. Hostages. Shootings. Innocent people targeted. My heart broke for the people of Paris. For lives lost. For lives shattered, forever changed.

As I watched the non-stop news coverage, I began to wonder what kind of world my kids will inherit from us. What dangers are lurking behind every corner? Will they be forced to live in seclusion for their own safety? Will they fear for their lives every time they are on the street? Will they be targeted simply because they choose Christ?

It's almost more than a mama's heart can handle. Watching the news on a regular basis makes me fearful for my kids. Gone are the days of solid Christian morals, where seeking to follow Christ is the accepted norm.

Instead, we watch as terrorists invade every aspect of our lives. Christians targeted on college campuses. Citizens struck at a soccer game and a concert. Shootings in the middle of a church service. We even had a beheading last year right here in Oklahoma as a woman simply went about doing her job.

How do we deal with the fear? How do we teach our children to live boldly in an increasingly dangerous world? How do we live in light of the terror that surrounds us? How do we shine our lights for Christ when we know that we could easily be targeted for our faith?

It's easy to become overwhelmed by the dangers and immorality in this world. It's easy to wonder if God really sees us, understands our plight. It can be confusing to sort through the myriad of emotions, to know where we should stand on certain issues. Do we lean toward compassion or do we choose discernment? Both are present in scriptures. Both are necessary.

I don't know all the answers. I'm not sure I know any answers.

Except one: Jesus.

As I read scriptures, I can trace the same type of human depravity back to the beginning of time. Murder began with the second generation, when Cain attacked and killed his brother because of jealousy (Genesis 4). Fast forward a few generations until God looked down and regretted that he had made man (Genesis 6). That's when he wiped out the inhabitants of the earth with a great flood.

Or think about the story of the Levite who was traveling through Gibeah. He stayed the night, accepting the hospitality of a Benjamite. However, the men of the town came wanting to have sex with the Levite man. Instead, the men sent the Levite's concubine out to them, allowing them to rape her all night long. They found her on the doorstep the next morning, dead (Judges 19). That story has always haunted me.

But there's always someone, someone whose heart is pure. Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for over 300 years before God simply took him home (Genesis 5). Noah was found righteous, and he and his family were spared from the flood (Genesis 6). Lot was pulled from Sodom and Gomorrah and spared because of Abraham's prayers (Genesis 19).

We could go on and on about both the depravity of man, the evil that has existed in the human heart since time began. Nothing. Has. Changed.

We could also go on and on about the righteous ones, those who stood out from the crowd because they refused to be corrupted by the world. We could talk about the heroes of the faith, those who made it their lives' mission to walk as closely to God as possible. We could talk about those giants whose faith we cling to, those who give us the strength to keep moving forward in dark times. Nothing. Has. Changed.

There's still incredible evil in this world. And there are still heroes of the faith. While ISIS prowls around looking for lives to devour, God is raising up an army of believers with faith that shines bright. While terror seems to be the constant news of the day, Christians around the world are standing strong in their faith, determined to let their lights shine in the midst of the darkness.

So, how do we respond in light of the terror all around us? How do we live our lives when it feels as if the world is caving in on us?

We must trust that God is our salvation, our fortress, watching over and protecting us. We must trust that he sees and knows the truth about this world, about our hearts. We must trust that he has the power to protect us, to rescue us from these very real troubles. We must remain confident that he is able, he is greater than this world.

We must cry out to him for wisdom, discernment, direction. We must seek to know him deeply, intimately. We must strive to follow him, every step, every day. We must wait patiently, expectantly, for him to rescue us. We must cling to every word, every promise, he has made. We must be brave and courageous, knowing that he has overcome the world.

The darker this world gets, the brighter our light shines. Hang on to God, my friends. He is our hope.

The LORD is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the LORD - the thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.

Teach me how to live, O LORD. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I've never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
Psalm 27:1-6, 11-14 (NLT)

Source: Daily Update

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