Dr Nandita Shah’s Blog from the 21 Day Program, September 2018

September 4, 2018

Day 21 – 22nd Sept 2018

The final day was bittersweet. So many of us have lost kilos and inches and medicines too. Many were able to stop medicines in this short a time that we never expected that they would – like medicines for thyroid or rheumatoid arthritis which usually takes a bit longer. And we have made friends for life. It’s hard to leave this beautiful place but we are also happy to go back to our families and start to put all that we have learnt to practice.

We had a fabulous farewell dinner in the lawns with everyone looking their best and this was followed by a celebration night full of fun and laughter.

Day 20 – 21st Sept 2018

Every 21-Day Health Retreat helps me to learn a little bit more about the healing powers of the body. I understand that the body always works to heal but it’s counter productive to its healing if we do not learn lessons along the way. As we learn, we heal. Medicines are helpful to an extent but always have their own side effects and we must be willing to let them go. For some of us, disease is also a way to get attention, avoid work or justify behaviours. Change takes courage and often the greater the degree to which one is willing to change, the greater the results.

Now that we are getting ready to go, many are faced with the fact that they have to keep their changes once they are back home too. We talked about the difficulties and the solutions. We had an almost men’s cooking team serve a fabulous meal too. So often I hear participants say– “I never liked to cook earlier but I never knew that cooking could be so much fun. Now I’ll cook for sure.”


Day 19 – 20th Sept 2018

I have been doing the final consultations for our participants. This year we had several hypothyroid patients as well. I am happy to say that so far three of them found their TSH levels drop so low that they thyroxine levels needed to be decreased immediately. This year we have 2 doctors and a nutritionist, so I allowed the doctors and nutritionist to sit in with me. This has been great because I too learnt some things from them and they too were impressed at the results and I am sure that this will inspire them to share plant based nutrition with their own patients.

Day 18 – 19th Sept 2018

We got our tests results today and so many of them have been amazing! We have had many people this time with joint pains and back pains and arthritis and I am happy to report that almost all of these people have seen marked improvement and many pains have disappeared altogether. We started out with 5 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) but 2 of these already had normal Anti – CCP tests when they came in and we were able to stop all their medications for RA. Methotrexate, the drug used for RA is a drug also used in chemotherapy and therefore has serious side effects. One of our patients had been advised to stop it by her own doctors because of liver damage. During the program some people were so well that they forgot to take their medications which also helped me reduce the dosage. Today with the new tests in, I saw a considerable reduction in Anti CCP levels in 2 participants.

Although auto immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis needs time to recover completely, we are definitely off to a very good start!

Day 17 – 18th Sept 2018

We had our second set of lab tests done in order for the participants to get the results back and have a consultation before leaving. We also checked their blood sugars, blood pressure and weight parameters.

Everyone is so interested in their weight! Normal weight is a byproduct of good health. Pot bellies and obesity can be the first signs of ill health. Weight loss depends on the amount of activity, what and how you eat, how much overweight you are in the first place and other factors so its hard to compare people in this sphere. Yet in these 18 days we have had 8.7 kg as the highest amount of weight loss, followed by 5.7 kgs. The majority have lost anywhere between 1 and 4 kgs. We believe in good health and sustainable weight loss!

Day 16 – 17th Sept 2018

We are on the third week now and its time to reflect. Each year as I conduct the 21 Day Health Retreat, I am inspired by the participants. There are so many stories to tell. Here are just a few.

One of our participants was determined to do the walk to Gokarna but her shoes broke. She wore her slippers and did the walk but did not opt out.
Another participant had a deep rooted fear of water but through her determination she has entered the pool and learnt to swim.

A third participant was very reluctant to come. Her children forced her to come. Today she told me that she would definitely come once again.

A fourth participant was determined not to stop taking statins because of the protective effect on the heart. But he is so much better that he has stopped all the medicines including the statins.

A fifth participant felt that she had studied so much of what we are teaching already but SHARAN just brought it together in a holistic way that is sustainable. Now she too wants to join our team.

I could go on and on. I wish that I could share each one’s story because each one is unique. When we let go of our beliefs and conditionings and open our minds to the right questions, the right answers come from within. Disease is a path to personal growth.

Day 15 – 16th Sept 2018

Today many of us walked to Gokarna for the second time. Several participants also decided to walk back instead of taking transport and were pleasantly surprised that they could do it with such ease. In fact Nemchand (73 yrs) and Prabha (72 yrs) walked to and fro covering a distance of 10.7 Km equivalent to 14,074 steps and 21 floors (flights climbed).


Day 14 – 15th Sept 2018

Here at Swaswara you don’t only get rooms to stay in but a spacious Konkan villa-earthy and simple in design but neither spartan nor lacking in comforts much to the delight of all the participants. Each villa has an airconditioned room with a private courtyard garden, a partially open to sky bathroom, a study, a pantry and a lovely yoga deck with a balcony at the second level.

No wonder true to its name this environment enables participants to listen to their inner voice, heal, refocus, recaliberate the self and reconnect to oneself!!

Day 13 – 14th Sept 2018

There was much excitement in the kitchen today afternoon as our first group “Annapurna” geared up to cook the entire dinner as part of the participant cooking activity we have here. Surupa, Kanchan, Ranjan and Prabha started out with Gujarati kadhi, urad dal, a dry vegetable, salad and khichadi while Dr. Deepa, Jaya and Ila took charge of rolling out amazing khandvi. Looking forward to a delicious Gujarati thali tonight!

Day 12 – 13th Sept 2018

This is the ideal place to be to understand eating by instinct since we have monkeys amongst us.  We too are primates and we can learn a lot from them. In fact as one participant jokingly mentioned a moment the other day when two monkeys were watching the third one (him) bathe!!

Day 11 – 12th Sept 2018

We are so used to sugar that we love desserts. Desserts are a special treat here that always come on birthdays and other special days. In a bid to have more desserts some participants tried to reinvent their birth dates to fall within the program. Luckily, though, that wasn’t necessary, because we had not one but two real birthdays this week – Rosemary and Neelima. Rosemary’s birthday cake was a lemon cheesecake while Neelimas’s birthday celebration was with a gluten-free chocolate cake which was as light and fluffy as the cakes you get in the store but definitely more delicious!! All our cakes and desserts are always whole and plant based.

Day 10 – 11th Sept 2018

Many of our participants have been coming to the pool on a daily basis to learn swimming and for aqua aerobics classes. A few participants like Shashi, Nandkishore, Pankajam, and Kiran entered the pool for the first time in their lives and are now enjoying the experience so much that they don’t miss any opportunity to enter the pool. Captain’s support and guidance has ensured that few people like Amit, Kiran and Seema have already learnt to swim in such a short time span. In addition, few participants have also been able to learn better breathing techniques.

Who says exercising and getting healthy can’t be fun!!

Day 9 – 10th Sept 2018

One week is over today and it’s time to take stock.

In our group there are several people who have followed SHARAN lifestyle before coming (through seminars/cooking classes/21-day Online Diabetes Reversal program) and several of these were already off their medications when they arrived. Others were not on any medications and yet others were totally new to SHARAN. Within the first week EVERYONE who was on medications is off some of their medications, and several are already off ALL their medications in the very first week! We are continuing to monitor everyone.

One participant began changing her family’s lifestyle at the beginning of this year and she is already free of high BP and acidity, but even more importantly she is free of Pemphigoid, a rare auto immune disorder and has reduced her thyroxin dosage from 150 mg to only 50! She has also lost 4 – 5kg.

Another participant, who feels much younger than her actual age is off all diabetes and BP medicines and her BP is actually on the low side already.

Another participant, new to SHARAN is totally free of 24 units of insulin the morning and 22 at night, as well as all diabetic and BP as well as other medications!

A third participant has already lost 5 kgs and another 3.3kgs – in just 1 week, and this too, without dieting!

Yesterday we had a 4.5 km walk to Gokarna and 4 people who have Rheumatoid arthritis happily walked the entire distance.

These are just a few of the highlights. Yesterday we got feedback from our 35 participants. 30 of them said that they felt more energetic and active. 25 mentioned feeling more calm/relaxed/peaceful/happy. 20 noticed more strength and stamina. 15 were impressed by the weight/ inch loss.

Is it possible to get over lifelong addictions like tea, coffee, smoking or alcohol consumption in so short a time span? The answer is yes when you switch to a whole food plant based diet.

This was eminently proved by one of our participants when he smoked his last cigarette at the airport before reaching here and starting the program. He had been a chain smoker, smoking 15 cigarettes per day for the last 28 years. He also gave up the 4 pegs of alcohol that he had been taking for the last 18 years. Thanks to his determination, green smoothies and alkaline food it was a relatively easy process according to him and now he has also firmly decided to give them up altogether.

Many others like Dr. Bina, Amit and Deepak who were regular tea/coffee drinkers have all let go of this habit in favour of herbal tea/almond milk/cocnut milk “tea/coffee” which they found absolutely delicious and practically doable replacements. Its great to be free of addictions!

Day 8 – 9th Sept 2018

Today being a Sunday we all started the day with a 4 Km (one-way) walk to Gokarna – a nearby village from our resort. What started out as an a slow and steady trial walk soon became a day of achievement for quite a few participants in the group. There are 5 participants with Rheumatoid Arthritis and 4 of  them were able to complete the walk despite earlier apprehensions. They were so glad that they could do it.

The magic has begun!!

Day 7 – 8th Sept 2018

One of the highlights of this morning’s session was reading the ingredients of our favourite packaged foods like biscuits, ketchup, savoury snack items (farsaan), cereals etc. Feelings of surprise and dismay filled the room to learn the number of harmful addictive artificial sweetners, synthetic transfats, artificial flavours, artificial colouring agents, preservatives, raising agents, food “enhancers”/additives and acidity regulators present in all the products we read out.

Its no wonder that we have such a high incidence of hormone related diseases like diabetes, PCOD, thyroid etc. nowadays.

Day 6 – 7th Sept 2018

Today we started our day early in the morning with an enthusiastic group of 25 people on a 6 Km walk to nearby cashew plantations. Although some did not cover the whole 6 Kms walk but many were able to cover a considerable distance and most importantly, exceed their expectations and walk much further than they thought they could despite joint/knee pains and mobility challenges. It has only been a few days into the retreat but people have already started seeing these results.

Day 5 – 6th Sept 2018

So many of our participants want to lose weight, although we believe that weight loss is a byproduct of health. A couple of our participants have already lost a kilo of weight on day 4! Today we had a session on tips to lose weight and mindful eating. Participants spent lunch time eating in silence with mindfulness and gratitude which was an eye opening experience for them.

By being in the present and using our five senses to savour food among other things one can truly taste the food and eat according to hunger instead of mindlessly overeating.

Day 4 – 5th Sept 2018

Today we learnt in detail what a whole food plant based diet is and why it is so critical for true health. We also had a very interesting carrot related activity where in order to assess the difference between whole and processed/refined food participants tasted carrots separately in three forms- 1. Grated 2. Peeled and grated 3. Peeled and grated and dipped in water for a few seconds to mimic washing after chopping. Needless to say the carrot grated with the peel was the sweetest and tastiest with maximum nutrition being retained, and the one dipped in water was the least tasteful. Nutrients are the spare parts of healing. Therefore we always advise whole, plant based food.

Day 3 – 4th Sept 2018:

On Day 3 of The SHARAN 21 Day Health Retreat Sept’18, we asked our participants to check the side effects of their medicines and this is what we discovered.


Day 1 and 2:

For the first time we started our 21 day SHARAN Retreat this time with not one but two birthdays and two yummy vegan birthday cakes yet the blood sugar levels plummeted !!