Dr Nandita Shah’s blog from the 21 day program June 2014

June 7, 2014

The final results are out! Summary of Data from our 21 day program

I have just finished putting together some of the data from our 21 day program and here are some figures –

Of the 27 people 18 had diabetes or high blood sugars. In 21 days 9 of them were off all medications with normal blood sugar levels, and 6 of them had considerably reduced their medications by about 70%. 2 had reduced by 50% only (this was because they had been able to reduce other medications eg for blood pressure to a greater extent). Every single diabetic or prediabetic showed improvement in blood sugar levels. The highest duration of diabetes was for 15 years, followed by a few others whose duration was 10 years. Others were more recent diabetics. A whole food plant based diet always helps to reverse blood sugar levels and exercise, reduction in stress levels and healthy lifestyle always helps.

Of the 27 people, 9 had high blood pressure. Of these 5 were completely off medications, and the other 4 had been able to considerably reduce their medications. Durations had been for 10 years and less. 3 participants had had stents or other interventions in the past. A whole food plant based diet always helps to reduce blood pressure levels and exercise, reduction in stress levels and healthy lifestyle always helps keep them low.

Of the 27 people 3 were on thyroid medication and another one was hypothyroid but not yet on medications. Everyone except 2 participants showed substantial decrease in TSH levels in just 21 days. Of the 2 participants that did not, 1 was because her thyroid medications had been reduced from the beginning of the program. An organic whole food plant based diet with the absence of processed and packaged foods helps reduce hypothyroid levels considerably.

1 participant was on many medications for constipation and was able to stop almost all of them. Whole foods with all the fibre helps bowel movements.

All participants except 2 showed substantial reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Two showed increase in cholesterol levels because of stopping anticholesterol medications.  Only animal foods contain cholesterol. Most of the excess cholesterol comes from animal products in our diets.

Most participants who were on blood thinners were able to stop them. Those participants whose blood thinners were not reduced were because they had stents. A whole plant base diet is free of added fats and full of fibre which helps thin the blood.

Many participants were overweight. Collectively we lost about 85 kg by the end! The highest weight loss was 9 kg and several people lost 6, 5, and 4 kgs. The whole group was very active, motivated and motivating each other to walk, run, swim. Yoga and exercise classes were always full. Also a full fibre diet helps to lose weight.

Other improvements seen in participants were in acidity, headaches, migraines, joint pains, backaches, sleep, and state of mind in just 21 days.

While we were having loads of fun and eating well we joyfully left behind so many health problems and became much healthier. More importantly we all know now exactly how to do this for ourselves and our families and friends and have already begun sharing. The foods we learnt to cook are delicious!

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Day 21: 28.06.2014

Today we had a walking meditation on the beach in the morning. After breakfast we had a beautiful closing session as we will all be leaving tomorrow. Nandini showed photos of the retreat. Everyone has achieved results, many far beyond their expectations. And beyond mine too. On participant has lost 9 kg! This is the record of all our years. Collectively we lost 85 kg! Every year this program gets better and better and those people who came for the second time thought it was the best program too. So much fun getting healthy and changing habits!

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After lunch we had consultations to discuss our final test reports and see the changes which have also been spectacular. Meanwhile participants went on their last walks, swims and other classes. In the evening we met early. Everyone was given a prize for their spectacular work and achievement. Most of them received the book Rethink Food which is a compilation of essays by more than 100 vegan doctors. Others received Dr Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes by Dr Neal Barnard, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, The China Study, and The World Peace Diet. Then there were special prizes just for fun too. This was followed by a dinner, and then our talent show, and finally we had some disco.

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Day 20: 27.06.2014

Early morning we met at the beach and enjoyed an amazing beach meditation on the rock. We are coming towards the end of this program and everyone is sad that its coming to an end. We have bonded so closely, we know we will be in touch for life. Already a what’s app group has been formed and sharing has started.

This morning we discussed setting up the kitchen and how to monitor the conditions and reduce the medications.

SwaSwara prepared for us a special lunch in traditional Kerala style on a banana leaf. It was delicious. Nithya took another session in the afternoon. Nandini had a cooking class with salads, burgers and cutlets. Before dinner Mala took a meditation session.

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After dinner we played a game of appreciation and love to end a wonderful day!

Day 19: 26.06.2014

We are coming towards the end of our program. I cannot believe that the time flew by so fast! We started the day with lab tests for everyone. Each one of us has experienced health changes and many are surprised that they could achieve so much just while enjoying and having wonderful food!

Nandini took a session about how important it is to read ingredients in not just food but all kinds of products in our lives. She also showed participants more ecological and chemical free alternatives to many of these. Once we become conscious about what we eat, we also become conscious about what we are doing. Transformation is  natural.

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We are practicing for the second talent show on Saturday amidst all the other activites – walking, swimming, yoga, meditation, and cooking classes. Ramesh gave another exercise class this evening too!

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Mala took a cooking class today and created a gourmet vegan meal. We ended the day watching the film Forks over Knives. The day is very full, and we still have lots of energy at the end of it. Its amazing!

Day 18: 25.06.2014

Today I took the morning session. We discussed the challenges of going back to society, and practiced saying NO by first enthusiatically acknowledging the love of the person offering and then saying a gentle no, followed by an alternative that’s likely to be acceptable to both. Its easy to change habits in a supported environment like this. We can be constantly challenged in the outer world so its important to be prepared.

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Nithya took an afternoon session on tiny habit changes and how to make them successfully. After this we had am amazing chickoo ice cream.

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In the evening Ramesh took a joyous musical half hour exercise routine and told us that he had gone from a 38 inch waistline to 32 inch in 4 months by switching to a vegan lifestyle and doing this routine. It was fun and strenuous.

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We had another participants cooking class today and we had a feast! They did such a good job, gave their dishes special names, greeted everyone when they came for dinner. They made 2 salads, patra, ragda pattice, They also made a special cake which we will eat later! In the evening we shared our results so far, getting ready for the lab tests tomorrow. Two participants have released more than 6 kgs and others are not far behind. Many participants are off all their medicines and others are well on their way there. We all look forward to our lab tests and getting the results soon.

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Day 17: 24.06.2014

Today we are doing all the regular activities but we are also doing Juice Feasting. This means we will be taking vegetable juices all day whenever we are hungry. This is intended to give a lot of nutrients in a very short time and works to reset our bodies. Some amongst the group have already tried this last week and they found that they could easily do it, that they were not hungry and it helped reduce their medications.
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Nithya taught inner listening – which means listening to the images words and feelings that come up in response to different life events. We also did a full review of everything that we had learnt in the last 4 days in the form of a game. In the afternoon Nithya discussed how we can apply this in our daily life.

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Since we had no cooking class, we had more time in the evening. Mala offered a meditation and others found themselves in the pool. Ramesh has turned out to be a fantastic swimming coach and we all want to improve our strokes with his guidance.

In the evening some of us broke the juice feasting with fruit. Nithya showed a few short films. We all enjoyed the experience of juice feasting and some are anxious to do it once again before we leave!

Day 16: 23.06.2014

Nithya began high level greetings and Mayurma and a review of our learnings from the previous days. We then learnt a meditation called ‘Conscious Pause’ which enables us to bring more presence and emotional balance in our daily life. We also learnt the skill of intuitive listening ie sensing what a person is thinking without their even speaking.

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We had some outstanding salads for lunch.

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Nithya also took an optional session in the afternoon. We learnt a process called ‘Ask and Receive’ to find our own answers to life’s challenges and heal any emotional resistance around it. Participants practised this process with each other and were enthusiastic about this simple and effective tool.

We are enjoying our connection with nature, the beautiful flowers, and the monkeys.

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Today was another participant cooking class and it was great! We are all enjoying having the foods that we make ourselves.

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In the evening we saw a film, ‘Superjuice Me’. Here it is

At the end of the 2nd week, its time to take stock again. Here is a summary of  the collective achievements of the week
Many have reduced diabetes medicines and many have reduced BP medicines further. Other medicines have also reduced.
Some people are off all medicines
Blood sugar levels are better than before
Blood pressure fine without any medicines
3 people did juice feasting because they experienced blocks in healing or motivation.
One was surprised that he was able to be only on vegetable juices the whole day. He never expected that.
Many are on fruit meals one or two times a day. Many are eating much more raw than before and liking it better too.
High energy levels
Weight losses are as high as 5.5 kgs and 3 kgs in several people. Clothes that did not fit in the last 8 years are fitting now! Havemade 2 extra holes in my belt.
Flexibility and ability to do yoga has increased
Ease from all the daily aches in joints and muscles
Sleep has improved
Sugar cravings have gone
Detox symptoms are mostly better, but some had some detox this week too
Planning ahead for when I leave the retreat.
Sure that I am not going back on tea and coffee
Long standing constipation has stopped. Motions have become very easy.

Improvement in swimming, learning swimming, lost weight because of swimming. One person did 52 laps non stop
Improvement in yoga, more flexibility
Learning painting
Walking more than has done in a long time, walked to Gokarna (7 km). Breaking personal records in walking and running.
Maintaining exercise schedule despite mental roadblocks

Several people commented on changes in the state of mind –
Was able to take rest, usually I want to do everything
Calm composed, creative
Inner self confidence and strength
Mental, emotional and spiritual advancements
A lot less stressed
More acceptance of others

Day 15: 22.06.2014

Today was a rest day. Some of us walked to Gokarna. Others went by car. Most of us stayed back. There was less running, swimming, more relaxing today. We were also practicing for the first talent night which was tonight. Everyone was enthusiastic to share talents. We had some poems, imitations, singing and a skit and a lot of laughter. It was a late night, we only ended at 10.30 pm.
Here are some pictures from the talent show.

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Day 14: 21.06.2014

We started the morning with high level greetings.

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Today Nithya took the morning session on the power of intention and deep listening. We recognised that what we think about and thank about we bring about. We realised that we can learn from everything and everyone through deep listening which is listening for words, feelings and intentions. We did two exercises to experience this, one by ourselves and the other as a group.

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For lunch we had a silent meal so that we could practice gratitude and mindful eating. The salads today were exceptionally tasty. Maybe it was because we had more silence to appreciate them.

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Nithya offered an optional session in the afternoon on gratitude and switch words. We then had a snack of coconut water and dates stuffed with almonds. The dates and almonds were a gift from a participant couple from Dubai. Yummy! I did a cooking class where we made amazing cashew mayonnaise with no oil and no eggs. The recipe is on our website. I also showed 3 salads, including a Better Than Egg Salad and steamed bean burgers

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In the evening Mala offered an optional inner silence meditation session which was much appreciated.

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We ended the day with a  film about Byron Katie’s work and a discussion.

Day 13: 20.06.2014

Today Nithya started his session, full of joy and humour. He started with an introduction and then he talked about the ways we can make each day happy. Starting with high quality greetings. He showed us how to turn around something that is not great. He has a formula E + R = O . Event + Response = Outcome. Even though we cannot change the events, we can change the outcome by changing our response. This is very very important because here we have been in a sheltered environment and a lot of changes have taken place. Most people have reduced their medicines remarkably. But once we go back to the regular world events do happen. Nithya is showing us how we can be prepared so that these affect us minimally. This is a very important part of the transformation. We now have the tools to make every day the happiest day of our lives.

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I had invited past 21 day participants to come for this program for just a week as a refresher and we have one past participant joining us today. She had come to the very first program. We are so happy to have her back! We took a group photo after lunch.

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In the afternoon we had more first time swimmers in the pool. One of our participants, Ramesh has turned out to be a great coach and teacher. He has encouraged and taught so many participants to swim. Now everyone wants to learn. Meanwhile Nandini is offering one to one sessions with participants for weight release. Luckily she hardly has any work because almost everyone that wanted to is losing weight – 5kg, 3kg, 2.5kg, 1kg are examples of how much weight people have released, all while having great food and eating whenever they are hungry. Also people have been dropping more and more medications.

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In the afternoon we had a green smoothie that was so delicious that everyone wanted more! This was followed by the participants cooking class. They were so enthusiastic and really enjoyed this class. They made vegetables stuffed with chutney, a lentil lemon grass soup, a corn chat, a tomato curry, dhokla and chutney and a surprise dessert that we have kept for another day.

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In the evening Nithya showed an inspiring film about Anna, a woman who communicates with animals in order to reconnect and bridge the gap between human and non human animals

Day 12: 19.06.2014

Today Clea took the morning session. Clea is a scientist, trained at Cambridge University but she decided to leave the city life in favour of  Goa and farming. Clea tries to mimic nature to make her farmland soil as rich and fertile as that of a forest.  She taught us the simple lessons that she learnt from her farm about ecology, plants and animals. Clea’s farm looks like a lush green forest with fruits and vegetables everywhere. You can pick and eat as you walk through it. Its also full of wild animals – a panther, monkeys, snakes etc. She also has some cows and buffaloes but she never milks them. Their milk is only for their babies and their job is to fertilse her farm. She also has chickens who run around raising their young and living according to their instincts. Their job is to eat the pests and keep their numbers in check. Clea has designed and built her beautiful farmhouse ecologically, and she teaches permaculture techniques to groups.

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At snacktime, everyone was excited about the cheesecake that had been made by the group yesterday. It was delicious. Some of us found it too sweet even though it had been sweetened only with raisins. We don’t have a lot of desserts here and this has changed our tastebuds. This is great because now regular biscuits and cakes are no longer tempting since they are “too sweet”.

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Mala showed us how to make delicious vegan pizzas and also an amazing Khow Suey (or Burmese Bhel Puri). These along with delicious salads Thai salads and a soup were served for dinner.

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In the evening we shared some of the acheivements of the day. A few examples  – Manu ran 5 km in 46 minutes. His goal is 45 minutes and he is almost there. Ramesh ran with him too. Shaukat swam  52 laps (104 lengths) non stop. Shashi swam for the first time in 30 years. Clea showed two short films. The first, ‘Greening the Desert’ was about greening 10 acres of land in Jordan just near the Dead Sea. Because This is desert land, considered unfit for agriculture, yet it was turned in to a lush orchard and farm by harvesting dew water and rainwater. If this can be done by permaculture in a desert it can be done anywhere. We could transform our planet. The other film was about the transformation of Cuba when it was cut off from all imports. Cubans started growing food organically everywhere – in terraces, parks etc and now they are self sufficient.

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Day 11: 18.06.2014

Today we had masala dosa and ragi porridge for breakfast, but many participants prefer only fruit instead. It makes them energetic and feel good.

Nandini did a session on processed food and we looked at the ingredients on various packages. If we read the ingredients, we would  be less likely to put the contents of those attractive packages into our mouths!
I discussed the other unnatural behaviours that we do which can have an effect on our health. If you looked at the ingredients in your toothpaste you may not be willing to put it in your mouth. What about the lotions, hairsprays and cosmetics. What are the effects of mobile phones, detergents etc?

In the evening our first participants group conducted the cooking class and they were excited. They made a lemon grass soup with zucchini noodles, a vegan quiche, a potato salad, a salad of vegetable sticks with dip, a tomato curry with bhajjias and cheese cake. They did such a good job! We are eating rainbows everyday. Here are pictures of the food and the cooking team!

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Two new facilitators, Nithya Shanti and Clea Chandmal arrived today so we had an evening of introductions and sharing. Tomorrow Clea will be doing a talk on Permaculture and Eco literacy.

Day 10 : 17.06.2014

Everyday the yoga classes are full.

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Today I continued to talk about diseases that we get from protein excess and lack of fibre. We had covered diseases from excess fat. We spoke about the causes of cancer and how to prevent cancer. Then we also talked about the effect of our food choices on the environment and animals.

Nandini usually does an energiser after the break in the morning and we all look forwards to this

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We had wonderful green smoothies at 4 after which Nandini took a cooking class dips and spreads.

In the evening we watched the film ‘Hungry For Change’ . Everyone really enjoyed this film. Highly recommended.

Everyday medicines are reduced for a few people as their levels improve or as they get better.

Day 9: 16.06.2014

The first week is over and its time to take stock. What are our results? Here they are in order of frequency

  • More energetic, exercising more and loving it. Able to beat previous records
  • Had not exercised/ walked distances for years. Now able to do 6 km every day
  • On an average medicines reduced by 25 – 30% ( a few are off all medicines altogether). There are others whose medicines have not been reduced at all as yet.
  • Enjoying new foods – mangoes and other fruits. Never thought that they could replace meals with fruits. Like eating fruits a lot. Preferred them over cooked foods and salads. 10 out of 21 meals I ate fruits.
  • It took time to adjust to the food but I started to love my food
  • Appetite has reduced
  • I feel calmer
  • Weight loss – 3.2 kg  – 1 kg or weight same but measurements decrease
  • Weight gained by those who wanted to gain, weight gained by 2 kg
  • Some great new friends
  • Stools easier. Constipation reduced.
  • Increased flexibility
  • I have more focus
  • Skin has become smooth
  • Started doing things which I had never done before – yoga, drawing, swimming, jogging. 1st time I thought about improving lifestyle
  • I like the experience of mindful eating. I never thought about observing a plate of food before eating but now I am always doing it.
  • Sleepiness during the day reduced
  • Regular headaches reduced
  • Knee pains have improved / legs and back aching badly
  • Better sleep
  • Increased in body’s endurance for physical
  • Eyes used to water. Not any more
  • Lightness
  • Less oesophagial reflux, less acidity, acidity gone

Today’s morning session was about affirmations by Nandini. After all, it is we who make our reality and its only we who can change it. I followed this with a session on cooking techniques and how to plan a menu. From this week, there will be cooking classes by the participants. Its a chance for each one to cook their favourite foods in a healthy way. We will help them convert their recipes and each one will have a chance to show their favourite recipes.

In the afternoon we swam and this was followed by a gourmet cooking class with Mala. After dinner we saw ‘The Last Heart Attack ‘ and discussed the reasons why people still get sick despite the evidence that there is no reason to. We are creatures of habit and its very hard to change a habit and big businesses benefit from this and even promote these habits. Its all about money.

Here are some pics from our first week

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Day 8 : 15.06.2014

Sunday is a day for rest, a change and rejeuvantation. Gokarna, the nearest village is a temple town, famous for one temple but virtually every house has its own temple. There is an old tank and some old houses with carving that are also of interest. We had fine weather so everyone went to Gokarna in the morning  – some walked the 7 km distance which covers hills and beach. A few who could not walk, went by car. Some even walked all the way back.

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We had a short session in the afternoon about reading our reports and the significance of those values, but otherwise the rest of the day was filled with swimming, chatting, rest and relaxation.

Mala made delicious pizzas in the evening and even the pizza addicts amongst us felt it was the best pizza they had ever had.

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In the evening session Nandini wrapped up the week by showing the photos she took during the week. We all really enjoyed this. Amber did a beautiful dance for us. We were spellbound by her grace.

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We ended the evening with a dance session. Our whole group consists of amazing dancers and those who had hardly danced before also became experts just by joining in!

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Day 7 : 14.06.2014

This morning’s session was about understanding the cause of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes and how they can be reversed. We also covered dietary strategies for weight loss. Nandini talked about keeping our motivation for exercise. The session was energising and we all ended in dancing.

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More and more people are having only fruit for meals, since they notice it helps them heal faster, and most importantly because they may not have enjoyed it had it for so long.

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Because it rained a lot today, walkers were less. We ended with a film, Poison on Your Platter about the threat of GM foods.

Day 6 : 13.06.2014

Yoga class was full as usual. Breakfast was amazing as usual. After our fruits, there were red rice uttampams with sambhar and chutney, and stuffed tomatoes and potatoes. These were stuffed with mushroom and sweet corn and baked.

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Today my session was about nutrients – proteins, calcium, iron, fats and the important vitamins – vitamin B12 and D. Nandini covered the hunger scale and how to eat according to hunger. This was practiced during lunch too. The result – people realised that they had been over eating, not chewing properly and swallowing before the next bite. They forgot to admire the food for its color, fragrance. We can enjoy food with all our senses but sometimes we don’t even take the time to taste it.

Nandini had another session in the afternoon for those wishing to lose weight. In the cooking class I showed a wonderful Shepherd’s pie (where soy nutrinuggets were used in place of minced meat), vegan boursin and a creamy mushroom soup as well as Lisa Pitman’s famous broccoli salad.

Acheivements of the day (besides lower medications) were many. 2 participants painted for the first time in many years.

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One participant who never ate anything raw including fruit because she didn’t like it and had never eaten it, was inspired by Victoria Boutenko yesterday and ate it for the first time today. At lunch she had some salad, but for dinner she had only fruits! One woman who had not walked for 2 years because of pains has been walking 6 km the last 2 days without pains. Someone who came in with blood sugars in the 300’s is now in the range of 120 – 140. People are breaking their own records in endurance walking, running, jogging. The participant who swam 17.5  laps has now swam 25 laps today. We are inspiring each other and our all organic, oil free healthy vegan food helps too. Transformation.

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A new member of the faculty, Mala Barua joined today and will be helping with the cooking classes and more. We ended the session in the night with laughter yoga and moonlight meditation.

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Day 5 : 12.06.2014

Today Nandini led a class about mindful eating. We often have our mind somewhere else when we eat – on the TV, talking, phone calls etc and we are not aware of how we are eating or even what the food means and where it comes from. This was followed by the very powerful almond meditation. We had a silent meal so that we could practice mindfulness. My session was about food combining and stages of eating.

Our lunch was wonderful with 3 big salads (we have at least 3 salads every day) and several cooked dishes. Many people ate only the salads while eating mindfully. The photo shows the salad buffet.

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In the afternoon – many of us were in the pool. Some participants are learning to swim and some are learning quickly!

Nandini’s cooking class was about snacks, and one of them was lentil bread. I like lentil bread the most because its simple to make, grain, wheat, and gluten free, light, tasty and healthy. Most readymade breads contains white flour, enzymes, sugar, fat – things we don’t want in our meals. The photo shows some open sandwiches made on the lentil bread

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Our participants are walking a lot. 12 of them walked 7.5 km today and 3 of them jogged back the last 3 km. Others walked 6 km. Swimming, walking jogging in this beautiful weather and surroundings. We are getting a lot of exercise!

In the evening we saw a film – a talk by Victoria Boutenko titled “Is Raw Food for You?” It was amazing what benefits raw food brought to Victoria Boutenko’s family and how addictive cooked food is. Dairy, meat, sugar, oil, tea coffee etc are also addictive.

Day 4: 11.06.2014  

Today has been an eventful day for many reasons. We got all the test reports and many people came for consultations to see how they fared. Meanwhile several people experienced low blood sugars and I had to cut down their insulin or medications. It feels wonderful to get rid of medications. Many were found to be deficient in vitamins B12 and D so they were given the supplements. We will be talking about all these as a group soon.

While I was doing consultations, Nandini offerred a group therapy for those who wanted to lose weight. 14 people joined. She is going to guide them through permanent weight loss strategies.

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There is a great group support amongst our group. This evening many shared what they had achieved in the day. One participant was jubilant because his goal was to run 5 kms in 45 mins but he never thought he could do it just yet since his health is not good. Another participant encouraged him and eventually they walked more than 8 km and the last 1.5 km was covered by running. A group of 7 participants walked together and covered 7 kms. A participant who started with swimming 2.5 laps was swimming 17.5 laps today – the 4th day. A participant who loved going for walks but hasn’t been able to walk for quite a while because of pains related to diabetic neuropathy walked with the group who covered 7 km. None of them even guessed that she had had difficulty in walking before the beginning of this program!

Where ever possible I have also cut off the cholesterol medications because we are eating 100% cholesterol free food.

In the evening we had a dairy alternatives cooking class and made vegan cheesy sauce, vegan milks, nut butters and some salads.

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We ended the day with sharing of the great accomplishments of the day. This was followed by a film about Cancer Reversal by Dr Lorraine day. One of the participants teaches laughter yoga and yesterday and today he guided us to end the session with laughter which is always energising.

Day 3 : 10.06.2014

A more relaxed day, everyone is settling into the routine. The morning session was about how our body always works to heal itself and how we can help it heal. How medicines often come in the way of healing. We also discussed how to listen to our body and how symptoms. We are learning to listen to our bodies.

In the afternoon, just before the cooking class, we celebrated Shikha’s birthday with cake and ice cream (all vegan and healthy of course). This was our first dessert – very exciting!

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Shikha with birthday cake
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A big birthday hug
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What yummy ice cream!
Nandini took the Thai cooking class and taught the group 3 yummy Thai salads, Thai curry, cauliflower rice and a pakchoy stir fry

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The best part of the group this time is that they are all very enthusiastic and even all the men want to learn cooking. All sessions are optional but every session is full – yoga classes, meditation, yoga nidra, pranayama, swimming lessons, walks, and of course our knowledge sessions. What a great group!

After dinner we all had a group discussion and laughed a lot.

Day 2 : 09.06.2014

June 9th was such an eventful day that by the end of it didn’t feel like we started with lab tests. That seemed so long ago.

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After the tests there were yoga classes, followed by breakfast and then our morning session.
Breakfast was fruit – mangoes and papaya followed by a choice of whole red rice idlis with sambhar and chutney or porridge sweetened with dates.
This morning I gave an introduction to SHARAN and myself and the program. Then Nandini followed with an introduction to herself and what she would take them through.
Our lunch was a buffet with 3 salads, curd rice (dairy free), whole rice, jackfruit curry, and dry vegetable soya chappatis and papad. We also had a wonderful flax seed chutney.
Right after lunch there were consultations, yoga nidra, snacks (vegetable cutlets) cooking classes, swimming classes, meditation, and dinner. Today’s cooking class was everyday oil free cooking where we learned to make 2 salads with oil replacers, a dry vegetable and a curry, oil free pakoras (see the pic), and a few chutneys.

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Those who were new to this were amazed that all this could be made without any oil.
2 participants had a really hard day because of headaches from caffeine withdrawal, but its only going to be a short time till they experience more energy without the caffeine.
After dinner we had a short session of sharing about the day followed by the film “May I be Frank” about one man’s journey to health.
What a day!

Day 1: 08.06.2014

Today was the day when most guests arrived. Only one had arrived on Saturday. Some came by lunch time the majority got in by five pm. We had some consultations, followed by dinner and an introductory session where everyone introduced themselves so that we can all work together as a group. Here is a photo from our whole plant based dinner buffet in the evening.

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Day 0: 7.6.2014

I have just arrived in Gokarna from Mumbai for Gokarna with lots of luggage for our 21 day program. We have 27 participants, mostly Indians, people from all over India, the Gulf, UK, and Italy. Having been in communication with them all for so long, I am really looking forwards to meeting them. Not all are new. Many of them have done SHARAN’s program before, others have taken consultations and two were with us last year too! I am touched that both last year and this year there have been people coming for the second time.

Some of the participants do not have any ailments, but are coming for a healthy holiday and to learn more and help others. Prevention is so important yet very few recognise this. Most of the other patients have diabetes and a few have other problems. But with diabetes comes a host of other problems. We will be working on them all – sleep disturbances, acidity, headaches, coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, prostate enlargement, fatty liver, high cholesterol, kidney disease, hypothyroid, hay fever, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pains, gall stones, obesity, fibroids, eczema.

We hope to have updates everyday on our Facebook page, 21 day page and on our website. Join us online!

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 Photo credits: Nandini Gulati