Celebrate a White Free Christmas

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

“I’m dreaming of white Christmas….” So what’s this “White-Free Christmas” all about? As a doctor, I see more obesity and severe chronic diseases year after year. As medical science advances so does our ingenuity to produce diseases.

The reason that people are getting so sick these days is because we’re eating and living the way we have been taught to eat and live by our society, culture, and advertisements. But we should really eat and live the way we are designed to eat and live by God or nature. Eating foods that were not designed for us is a little bit like putting diesel in a car that runs on petrol. It doesn’t work very long.

One of the big problems is that we now consume more artificially refined foods than ever before – oil, sugar, white rice, white flour, and these are largely empty calories. So we are fuelling an epidemic of obesity. Nutrients are the ‘spare parts’ for healing, and these hardly have any. On top of these we eat readymade packaged foods.  Manufacturers aim to sell more and therefore try to make their products irresistible. Most manufacturers add 5 highly addictive white ingredients to all their products – sugar, salt, oil, dairy and MSG so that we consume more of their products!

So if you would like to take charge of your health, then let this Christmas be “white-free.”

We are certain you will be making New Year resolutions which feature health. Let us help you keep them with a variety of workshops and even a detox retreat at the very beginning of the year! To help you even further, we have a special Christmas present – all our signature online programs are at 50% off till the 15th of January! Just apply the promo code SHARAN50. For details click here


How did SHARAN begin?


Find out what prompted Dr Nandita towards veganism and what made her leave her very busy practice to start SHARAN 

Singaporean Ice Kasang 

Don’t go by the exotic name; this is a super easy – peasy and yummy recipe to satiate your sweet tooth!


  • Fruits of your choice
  • Crushed ice
  • Coconut milk


Make a mound of crushed ice, spoon the fruit over it and then pour the coconut milk over.

Food For The Mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We are offering two possibilities

1. SHARAN India is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


Why to say no to White?                   

White is pure and awesome, but when it comes to food, the magic is only sprinkled in natural whites, such as cauliflower, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, parsnips and radish. However, when humans refine and make food ‘white’, that’s where the trouble begins.

Refining and processing food removes the much needed fibre with nutrients and adds in the chemicals that our bodies can easily do without. Also, we tend to overeat man-made whites as they are less satisfying than natural food.

So find below a ‘white’ check-list to ‘black out’ and alternatives to use instead so that you still enjoy your favourite dishes, but in a healthy way!

1. White Sugar

Known as the ‘heroin’ of the food industry, it’s no wonder that it’s the toughest one to break off from. However, once you break free from this, you may not even enjoy it any more, as it makes everything too sweet! But you needn’t give up on your sweet treats; simply replace the sugar with dates, raisins and figs. Be the boss of your body and win the sugar battle! Check out our fabulous dessert recipes.

2. White Flour

This is basically wheat flour stripped off the bran (fibre) and the germ. It is heavily processed and raises risk of lifestyle diseases. Opt for 100% whole wheat or millet flours instead.

3. Milk

This is food produced by mammal mothers to feed their babies. Human milk is for  human babies and cow’s milk is for calves! Cow’s milk is perfectly formulated for a calf but is harmful to humans. Most people are lactose intolerant and feel much better after ditching dairy. Further dairy contains growth hormones, toxins, antibiotics, pus and bacteria. Choose from a variety of plant-based milks instead.

4. Egg Whites

The result of a hen’s menstrual cycle, eggs have bacteria-filled toxins whether they are organic, free-range or pastured. Plus there is unimaginable cruelty involved in the procurement of eggs. The albumin in egg-whites is known to trigger allergies and increases the risk of biotin (Vitamin B7) deficiency. Biotin is necessary to maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. Replace appropriately with tofu, flax seeds or chia seeds and even applesauce or bananas in baking!

5. Semolina

This is polished wheat and therefore ideally best avoided. Replace with millets to make your delicious dosas, idlis, upma and dhoklas.

6. White Oats

Quick cooking oats are refined and processed and best avoided. The best would be to pick up whole rolled oats or steel cut oats.

7. White Rice

Stripped off the fiber and nutrients, white rice has minimal nutritional value and is cleaned up in solutions to make it look nice and white! Simply replace it with unpolished brown rice or millets.

8. White Salt

Most store bought salts are refined and bleached. Be aware and opt for natural salts, such as rock salt.

9. White Corn-Flour

Refined corn flour is full of calories and could be made from GMO corn too. It can be easily replaced with brown rice flour or even mashed potatoes or cauliflower for thickening.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.
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