Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Come and See - Evangelism
Volume 6 No. 325 January 15, 2016

III. General Weekly Features

Health: Nine Secrets for Weight Loss Success

by BistroMD

Helpful New Year's Weight Loss Tools

If you feel most weight loss advice is a little stale and always lists things you've heard before, get ready for some refreshing weight loss facts.

We know exercising more, eating smaller portions, and eating breakfast are vitally important. But let's not stop there! There a lot more tools for weight loss that you might not have ever heard about. Some of the tools below are physical items that you can use to reach your goals, and other will help place you in the correct mindset to overcome even the biggest of temptations. Here they are:

Beat the Buffet

If you've ever heard that you should take a small taste of each thing on a buffet, you might be sabotaging yourself. Growing research shows that more variety means you'll eat more food, so try and stick to the basics. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables or salad, and the other half can hold a protein and a healthy, fiber rich carbohydrate.

Use an App to Track

Apps like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, Sparkpeople, CRON-o-Meter, and Fat Secret are all well-suited to help you monitor your dietary choices. Just like you check your email every day, make sure you log your foods each day. This is absolutely the best way to ensure you stay on target, and you'll learn the caloric contents and serving sizes of foods quite readily.

Have an "Add This" List

Most weight loss plans are focused on foods you need to remove from your diet. Instead, make a list of foods that you want to add in. This list should contain foods that you enjoy, and would like to eat more often. These added foods will displace foods that won't help you get healthy automatically. The list could include apple slices with cheese, veggies and yogurt dip, fresh seafood, chia seeds, spinach, or any other food that you find delicious and healthy.

Bump the Thermostat Down

Try around setting your thermostat down to 61 degrees in winter. Exposing your body to the cold will boost your metabolic rate - as chilly temperatures cause your body to increase the activity of naturally-occurring brown fat in your body. Brown fat contains more mitochondria, which can burn more calories from fat to produce heat. Brown fat is recognized as a Ďhealthy fat' and if you are exposed to the cold, you activate this type of fat, which can boost your brown fat's metabolic rate about 15-fold.

Swap Your Plates

Research has shown again and again that if your plate is large, so is your portion. Try swapping your plates. Use smaller salad plates for your entrees, and then use your large dinner plates to serve your salad. The calorie swap will go a long way to boost your efforts. At first, it may seem awkward, but once your eyes are trained, you won't notice difference.

Put on Small Clothing Before Events

The best ammunition you can have going into an event is to know where your weight stands. If you try on your skinny jeans before an upcoming event--or maybe each weekend if that's when you struggle--you will remind yourself of your weight loss goals. Make sure you don't let it discourage you, but rather, use it to reinforce your personal best.

Don't Arrive Anywhere Hungry

Most of us know we shouldn't go grocery shopping when we are hungry, because we typically end up with way more than we need. However, the same holds true at holiday parties, catered events, and New Year's Eve dinner events. A small snack in the car, such as a handful of nuts and dried berries, can really take the edge off of your appetite so prevent overindulging.

Re-purpose Your Veggie Peeler

This classic member of most kitchens, the veggie peeler, can be used for an inventive and delightful purpose. Use it to Ďpeel' or slice off 10 calorie curls of cheese, or even chocolate! When you have 7 of these curls on your plate - it will look like a feast! Make sure when you choose a cheese, that you follow this rule of thumb: The Nutrition Facts Panel should reveal that the product contains more protein than fat. For example, if the cheese you choose has 7g of protein and 2 grams of fat - go for it! But if, like full fat cheddar cheese, it contains 8g of fat and 3g of protein, skip it!

Lighten Up Your Portions

Use a scale to weight your normal food storage containers, and then zero it out. After that add your whole grain pasta. Once you know how much that container holds, you never have to measure again! Use Measuring spoons to make sure you measure out what one tablespoon of salad dressing really looks like. And to make perfect-sized break quiches, use a 12-cup muffin tin to instantly make the right-sized bite.

© 2005- 2016 bistroMD, LLC

Recipe: Adraki (Ginger) Murg (Chicken Curry)

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Chicken in Ginger-Flavored Tomato Gravy. A healthy recipe from North India.


Chicken, skinned, cut into 8 pieces - 600-700 gm / 22-25 oz

For the marinade:

Ginger paste - 2 tsp (12 gm)
Garlic paste - 1 tsp / 6 gm
Coriander powder - 1 tsp (1-1/2 gm)
Cumin powder - 1 tsp (1-1/2 gm)
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp / 2 gm
Green cardamom, powdered - 3
Malt vinegar - 1/2 cup/ 100ml/ 3-1/2 fl oz
Yoghurt, whisked 1-1/2 cups / 300 gm / 11 oz
Ghee / Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup / 100 gm / 3-1/2 oz
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp / 4 gm
Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, chopped - 1-1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Red edible color - 1-1/2 tsp / 7-1/2 ml (optional)


1. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade. Mix well and keep aside for 2 hours.

2. Heat the ghee / oil in a pan; add cumin seeds and saute until they crackle.

3. Add the chicken with the marinade and stir to mix (coat) well.
Put in the tomatoes and salt.

4. Cook on medium heat until the chicken becomes tender and the gravy, thick.

5. Add the red edible color and mix well. (optional)

Yield: Serves: 4

Family Special: The Most Important Moment In Your Relationships
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

The Most Important Moment

By Alex Green

A marriage, a friendship, a close family relationship... All of our important relationships are built on countless moments, innumerable interactions that either build qualities of trust, joy, and respect - or undermine those qualities.

Today I want to show you what is arguably the most important moment for building a trusting, satisfying, loving relationship. We often tend to think that what makes a difference in a romantic relationship, or our relationship with our kids, or other friends and relatives, are the big things; the romantic getaway for the weekend, or the great gift that we buy.

But there is a moment that packs more leverage, more meaning, and more potential for doing good - or harm - than almost any other: The moment when someone we care about asks for our attention.

Changing how we respond in that moment can enliven the entire atmosphere of our relationships. To understand why, we must first look at what happens to us when we're ignored.

"One of the most severe punishments for a prisoner is solitary confinement; one of the most hurtful things kids do on a playground is to ditch another kid; one of the most frustrating and hurtful things that friends can do to each other is to give "the silent treatment." These are all experiences of social isolation; and social isolation is the strongest psychological risk factor for disease. More than stress, more than anything else.

Of course the moments I'm talking about are not as severe as total social isolation, but they are threads of the same cloth. Research shows how even mild experiences can have a huge effect:

Pedestrians who walked past a stranger without getting any acknowledgment from that stranger reported a substantially lower sense of connection to other people - just from that one moment.

People riding an elevator who were completely ignored by the stranger next to them moved from feelings of happiness toward feelings of hurt.

In a computer simulation of a game of catch, when people were not thrown the ball for just five minutes, they felt more sadness, despair and hostility, and less self-esteem, sense of belonging, sense of control, and meaning in life... in five minutes. With a stranger. Even with a stranger they were told they would not like.

Imagine how much more intense it is for us to be ignored by somebody we know and care about.

And yet most of us are unaware of how often we do this.

It is so easy to get caught up in whatever it is that we're doing, and miss these moments of contact - the moments when the people we care about ask for our attention. We usually think that it will be just fine to respond a little later when we're done with our task. We do this not because we're rotten people, or because we don't care about our mate or our children or our friends, but because these moments can be easy to miss, and we don't realize the power that's contained in them.

Sometimes when I tell my clients about this, they say something to the effect of: "But if I respond, won't I have to do what the other person is asking? What if I'm busy? What if I don't want to do what they're asking? Do I have to always drop everything whenever someone wants my attention?"

Let me clarify something that will make doing this much easier, and much more attractive. When somebody - our mate, our child, a friend - asks for our attention, all we have to do to make a better relationship is within that moment when we turn toward them and acknowledge their request. We don't have to do what they're asking us to do. Sure, it's nice if we can, and we want to follow through and be more involved as often as possible; but that's not the most important thing. What's most important is the initial immediate response.

Say for example your wife asks if you could help her to do a chore, but you have work to finish, and you can't reasonably take the time right now to help her.

Just physically turn toward her, and say something like, "I'd like to help, but I have to finish what I'm doing. I'll be done in about an hour, and I'd be happy to help you then." Or, "I'm sorry honey; I've got my hands full, and I really can't help you now."

Or what if your son wants to tell you about an idea he has, but you're really busy? Turn toward him and take a moment to say something like, "I really want to hear about your idea, but I have some things I need to take care of right now that I can't put off, could you tell me about it when I'm finished?"

Now, they may be disappointed, but they won't feel ignored.

The moment that matters most is the initial response, when we physically turn toward the other person and respond to their request for our attention. In that moment we are communicating volumes. We're saying that we care about them, that we hear them, we see them, and that they matter to us.

On the other hand, when we don't respond, we're saying something more like, "I don't see you, I don't hear you, I don't care about you, and you don't matter to me." All in a moment.

One of the most important and gratifying experiences that we give one another in a relationship is visibility. The experience of being seen is a deep human need, and our closest relationships are where we meet that need. The more we share these moments, the more resilient our relationships become.

When we have the kind of base that is built by countless friendly, kind, and playful interactions, then when the inevitable hard conflicts or misunderstandings come, they are much less daunting - because they are exceptions to the overall spirit that we've created over time. These smaller habits are also what build the foundation that can make the bigger positive events much more fun and satisfying.

There is more to building a great relationship of course. But establishing this simple habit of immediately responding to a request for attention can act as a powerful positive catalyst. It binds with and enhances every other positive thing we do; it can significantly improve your relationships - and it only takes a moment.

About the Author:

Alex Green is the author of books like, The Secret of Shelter Island: Money and What Matters, and Beyond Wealth, that show you how to lead a 'rich' life during trying economic times.

Source: ETR. 2015 © Early to Rise Publishing Ė All Rights Reserved

Self Improvement: Build The Picture of What You Want

by Wes Hopper

"Build the mental picture of what you want, not what someone else wants you to have, or what you think is your duty to have - but what you really want. Many people lead miserable lives of failure because they try to please others. Your life is a gift for you to live, not for someone else to live for you. Only what you sincerely want can make you happy. Build mental pictures upon that and nothing else." Catherine Ponder

In the past, when I've posted a Daily Gratitude similar to this one, I've sometimes gotten a critical email from a reader scolding me for teaching selfishness. Well, I guess I'm guilty, but not in the way my critics meant it. I just don't think that we have any obligation to abandon our own pursuit of happiness in life to rescue someone who has mindlessly created the need to be rescued.

Don't misunderstand me - when people who are normally pretty sensible suffer some setbacks and need assistance, we'll be happy to help. But the people who do this repeatedly will never learn their lesson if we keep bailing them out. If we follow the road of pleasing others, we're going down a dead-end street.

As Ponder says, our life is a gift to us, a life to live, and our own lessons to learn. We can focus our life around that, and learn to be better, more productive people with a positive outlook and a joyful life.

The best thing that we can do is fill our lives with people who have similar motivations to our own. We can then learn from each other, help each other, and grow faster and stronger than we would by ourselves. After all, if we're going to be in a group, it may as well be one that's making a positive difference in the world!

Source: Daily Gratitude

Christian Life: Christians Should Be A Blessing For Others

Scripture: Lamentations 1; Hebrews 10:1-18

Todayís Thoughts: A Blessing For Others

And Laban said to him, "Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake." Then he said, "Name me your wages, and I will give it." So Jacob said to him, "You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?" - Genesis 30:27-30

Jacob had two wives and eleven children and he wanted to return to his own land. The time had come for him to leave his father-in-law, Laban, but Laban was not ready to let Jacob go. Both men acknowledged the blessings upon Labanís house as being from the Lord. Jacob lived with and worked for Laban for over 20 years and both men prospered greatly, but the blessings came to Laban because the Lordís hand was upon Jacob.

The same should be true of the Christian today. Because we know the Lord Jesus, our lives should bring blessings to others. The blessings come in many ways, such as recognizable calmness in our presence and stability. Many times, others do not want to admit that their blessings are a result of the Christianís convictions and prayers. The unbelieverís pride causes them to take the glory for themselves. But as Christians, our lives do bless others. In time, God will get the glory as the fruit of our lives, as well as the testimony of our mouths, will clearly point to His intervention

Are others blessed because of you? Even if you are the only Christian in your family, Godís hand is on you and your home will be covered with your prayers. Continue to pray for your family and seek the Lordís blessings over those who do not yet know Him. Press on to not grow weary in doing good. Wherever we go, we bring the Lordís presence because His Holy Spirit lives within us. We need to acknowledge the Lordís blessings not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those around us. Let your light shine to those around you and give God the glory for all things.

Source: Daily Disciples

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