Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Kothne Sunday, Great Lent Begins
Volume 6 No. 330 February 5, 2016

IV. General Weekly Features

Health: Obesity is Now a Problem for Unborn Babies
Obesity isn't just an American problem; in Britain, doctors have begun administering the diabetes drug metformin to the unborn babies of morbidly obese mothers-to-be to reduce the fetuses' weight.

The reason: dangerously overweight pregnant women create excessive amounts of insulin, which results in "sumo babies" weighing 11 pounds or more. These extra-large newborns have twice the chance of becoming obese adults, and their numbers have risen by 50 percent in the past four years. Obese pregnant women are at a higher risk of dying while pregnant, and their babies are more likely to be stillborn.

"I don't know how many more signs we need in Western society before we really get serious about our health," says Gordon Filepas, author of Lean And Healthy To 100 (, a guide for achieving optimal health based on studying cultures where long lives are the norm.

"Are we really treating unborn babies for obesity?"

In his research, Filepas found many common practices and characteristics in especially healthy cultures. They include:

Calories: It's not necessary to count calories; people in healthy cultures don't! Once you give your body what it needs, you'll naturally consume fewer calories. This puts significantly less stress on the digestive system and reduces the potential of ingesting toxins.

Heavy on nutrients: Human beings evolved as hunters and gatherers who took every opportunity for caloric intake. In the process, a wide spectrum of nutrients became the norm, and that is what bodies still crave today.

Focus on whole and unprocessed foods, fats, and oils: Examples include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. Meat, which is usually the main dish in Western culture, is often treated as a side dish in the cultures Filepas studied.

Limited toxins: This includes few, if any, pollutants from processed food, water and other beverages, medicine and air.

A sense of purpose: Individuals from these cultures feel like they are making a difference beyond earning money, and tend to work long days, six days a week.

Innate exercise: Virtually no additional form of exercise is needed beyond their daily activity.

Alcohol: Every culture has alcohol. Healthy populations drink regularly, but in moderation. And, they take a greater sense of responsibility for their health.

Traditional cooking methods: This means low-tech methods, absent of microwaves.

Finding a lifestyle that naturally promotes excellent health became an obsession for Filepas after the deaths of his father and brother in a three-month time span. He wanted to ensure he and his wife and three sons would be together for years to come.

"I tell my friends, family and anyone who will listen: Whatever you hear about health in America, do the exact opposite and you'll be much healthier than the average American," he says. "Americans are bombarded with confusion and misinformation about health; it's a life-or-death situation."

About Gordon Filepas

Gordon Filepas spent 20 years researching Lean And Healthy To 100, interviewing physicians, attending seminars, and reading medical journals and other health-related literature. He is the founder of TGM Partners, a consulting and investment firm. Filepas says he was motivated to learn more about the requirements for optimal health following the deaths of his father and brother within three months of each other.

Recipe: Baked Apples with Raisins

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


5-6 baking apples
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


Core the apples and peel each about 1/4 of the way down.

Put them in the crockpot.

Fill the centers of the apples with the raisins.

Mix the water with the butter, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg.

Pour it over the apples and cook on low for 2 to 4 hours.

Serve warm or cold.

Source: Healthy Crockpot Recipes Newsletter by Chet Day

Parenting Tips That Will Immediately Impact Your Family

by Janet Thompson

"My kids are driving me crazy. I've tried everything… reasoning with them, yelling at them, taking away privileges, sending them to their rooms. Nothing is helping! My husband and I are exhausted and frustrated and on the verge of losing it."

That's a paraphrase of one mom's cry for help on Facebook. She was so desperate that she aired her parenting problems to the world and admitted she and her husband were close to the breaking point. All their usual parenting efforts had failed, and I could tell that she felt like a failure as a parent.

I watched as the tips and suggestions flooded in on her Timeline, but I noticed that most of them were about trying some form of harsh discipline that would probably set up an adversary environment where the kids were the enemy and the parents the enforcers.

At some point in our parenting, we've all reached the breaking point these parents were rapidly approaching. They were looking for help right now. I've only found one book with parenting tips that apply to any child at any age at any time: The Bible.

Tips for Implementing Deuteronomy 6:6-9 in Your Home

In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Moses instructed the Israelites in a timeless parenting skill: make God a priority in your home.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
- Deut. 6:6-9

1. Talk about God.

When you walk with your children, eat with your children, play with your children, ride in the car with your children, relax with your children… Include God as a member of your family. How often do you talk about God, and to God, in your home?

2. Role model to your children the way you want them to behave.

Good behavior is caught more than taught. Children don't respond to lectures, rational explanations, lists of rules, yelling, cursing, or acting irrational. How you treat others, as well as your children, speaks volumes to them. Speak lovingly and you won't have to speak firmly as often.

3. Live out during the week what they hear in Sunday school on the weekends.

If we want our children to respect us, we need to be respectable. They need to see us living what we say we believe.

4. Let your children see you reading your physical Bible.

If your Bible is on an electronic device, your kids can't tell if you're reading the Bible or checking email, social networking, or playing games. Discuss with them what you're studying. Give children age-appropriate Bibles and teach them how to use their Bibles in their own life.

5. Stop and pray as a family over decisions, conflicts, and difficult issues.

Invite the children to pray and express their thoughts and concerns.

6. When children do something wrong

Take the time to show them a Scripture that points out the reason that behavior isn't acceptable.

7. Call sin, sin.

For example, explain that lying is a sin and give them a chance to ask for forgiveness and then to tell you the truth. Kids lie because they're afraid of getting in trouble. They need to know that telling the truth, while it might disappoint you, is always the right thing to do.

8. Stay relevant in their world.

Find out what's important to your children and encourage them to use their gifts and skills. Be your child's biggest cheerleader.

9. Do age-appropriate Bible studies and daily devotionals together as a family.

10. Use mealtime as a time to discuss God in their life.

I have jars with questions relating to the Christian way of life that my grandkids love to answer after we finish a meal. As they get older, there's another jar with Scriptures for them to look up in their Bibles and discuss.

11. Discipline your children in love, never anger, and be consistent with consequences.

12. Praise God with them for daily events

Such as: a good day at school, new friends, a good test grade, feeling better after an illness…

13. Play Christian music in your home, car, and electronic devices.

14. Find godly parenting mentors.

Seek out parents further along in the parenting journey and ask for their wise counsel.

Your Favorite Parenting Tips

I asked parents to tell me their best parenting tip and here is what they said:

Keep a schedule no matter what. Our kids eat, sleep, play, and bathe every day at the same time. They rely on it and so do we.

When a child asks your opinion, ask him or her what they should do and guide them to the proper decision. This method teaches children how to make their own decisions and what the consequences might lead to if they use poor judgement.

Kids spell love T-I-M-E!

Stay close to God daily. Teach children in every way about God and lead by example.

Don't worry so much about a messy house. One day you'll have a spotless, empty house. Make memories now.

Ask God for wisdom and discernment knowing these precious kids are on loan; they are His creation. Teach your kids to have a healthy awe and reverence for God, by showing your kids you need God's help desperately to raise them right.

Ask God to give you Scriptures to pray over your kids. Then use Scripture to discipline.

Say you're sorry when you mess up.

God put parents in authority over children to raise good, godly, helpful, honest, hardworking, faithful kids to glorify Him. None of us are perfect parents, but God will hold us accountable for how we raise our children, so ask your heavenly Father for help. He's just a prayer away.

What's your favorite parenting tip?

About The Author:

Janet Thompson is an international speaker and an award-winning author of 18 books including Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten (release 2/9/16) and Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries.

Source: Daily Update

Starting-up India!

by Sriram Kannan, Wipro Analytics

2016 couldn't have begun better for India's start-up ecosystem with our Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi announcing a whole host of tax sops and incentives to further encourage start-ups bloom in this glorious land of opportunities which is home to probably the third-largest number of start-ups globally – India.

Incentives, to name a few included exemption of tax on profits for the first three years, exemption from capital gains tax for investment in the 'fund of funds' and also for VCs and Angels investing in start-ups.

And, cherry on the cake was his promise to officially launch a mobile app and portal, to be rolled out on 1st April that would serve as a single platform for enabling start-ups to interact with the government and other regulatory agencies.

Further, start-ups would be provided legal support for filing patent applications free of cost and may have to pay only 20% of the patent application fee. And, to reduce regulatory burden, start-ups shall be allowed to self-certify compliance with several labor and environment laws and ensure no inspections will be conducted for compliance for up to a period of three years.

Sure, the regulatory environment will become more business friendly (or should I say, start-up friendly!).

That said, when it comes to incubating start-ups, many a times things do hit a rough patch. So, a swift and simple process to help start-ups wind down their operations has also been proposed, as part of the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill 2015 tabled in Lok Sabha during the winter session. Well, we know what's been going on there since then!

In my view, the best thing by far is that the Government has also proposed setting up of a 'Start-up India Hub' to assist startups through their lifecycle with a crystal clear focus on obtaining financing, enabling feasibility testing and enhancement of sales, marketing and business promotion skills, which are much needed (and probably lacking though) in order to thrive in the hyper-competitive start-up environment.

Some of the salient features announced by the Prime Minister include:

  • Lower government interference in business
  • Setting up of a ₹10,000 crore fund (i.e. ₹2500 crore p.a. for the first 4 years)
  • Setting up of credit guaranteed fund, with contribution of₹500 crore p.a.
  • 3 year tax holiday on profits and zero capital gains tax.
  • Setting-up and institutionalizing sector-specific start-up incubators and accelerators.
  • Special schemes for women entrepreneurs on the anvil too!

With all these announcements, initiatives and promises, the only hope for a burgeoning and booming India will depend on how quickly we're able actually to walk the talk and deliver on our promises.

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