We Make A Life By What We Give

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

In the 1980’s when I first heard about the cruelty in the dairy industry, I was shocked. I made changes in my diet by reducing the amount of dairy I consumed. But I didn’t cut it out one hundred percent. I think I was scared of deprivation. Unfortunately, it was only in the year 2000, after falling severely sick and acquiring more wisdom that I cut it out completely. I was already vegetarian, so eliminating dairy made me 100% plant-based. Colds, coughs and fever – minor irritations that most people think are normal – virtually disappeared. My memory improved, and I experienced an incredible clarity of mind and a dramatic psychological shift. I now understand that much of our stress comes from adrenaline in animal products. As you can imagine all the animals that we exploit for food are in situations of extreme stress; and this comes back to us through their body parts or secretions that we consume.

The effect of the diet change led me to practice a new kind of medicine – helping prevent and reverse diseases with food rather than drugs. I found the results so dramatic that I can say with clarity that no other form of treatment can produce results that come even close to this. The best part is that once you know about it, it’s free. You don’t need any doctor or therapist. And not just me, but others who have made the shift have experienced the same results. Medical costs drop, and health gains abound. And the very best part – I’m no longer contributing to the suffering of other beings. Ecologically too, this is the very best diet.

While cruelty towards cows exploited for dairy was what inspired me in the first place to embrace the approach, I turned out to be the bigger winner.

We have lots of amazing FREE events happening this January! Meet a very special lady farmer at our Meet your Organic Farmer session. Gain info and win prizes at our Ultimate Health Quiz this Republic Day. Meet an entrepreneur working to do good at our Smoothie with SHARAN session. Plus The Salad Revolution returns!!!! To view all our free events, click here


I have started to love life and experience joy in contributing in every way

Nidhi Nahata, food therapist and founder of Justbe Resto Café in Bangalore, is bringing the same change to the world that SHARAN brought to her life.

It’s the universal truth, that when something real and good happens and one benefits from it, it just doesn’t stay within, it needs to spread, and that’s what is happening  with me. And I am sure it happened with Dr Nandita, too, who now is on a mission of building a culture of health.

I am fortunate that I am one of the chosen few who could walk on this path after the SHARAN 21-day health retreat.  The retreat was perfectly curated for my well-being, both in mind and body. The experience brought me closer to nature, with cooking classes, lectures, documentaries, movie nights, games and more.

And that’s what I emulated in my life after tasting good health. I wouldn’t give up my plant based lifestyle for anything now! The only regret I had and still have today is that I didn’t even know that food is my medicine and medicine is my food!  Why didn’t my doctors tell me to eat nutrient rich food instead of giving me strong medicines and steroids for my skin allergy, pain killers for migraine attacks?

In less than 2 years after the retreat I opened a plant-based restaurant, Justbe Resto Cafe, at Sadashivnagar, Bangalore! As a certified nutritionist from both SHARAN and eCornell University, I curate recipes, conduct cooking classes, hold monthly Vegan Flea Markets and more. It’s the diet that I am on which gives me the energy that I didn’t have even when I was 20!! 

In the true sense I have started to love life and experience joy by contributing in every way that I can to make this lifestyle sustainable. I am lucky that I have my entire family who walks with me. They, too, have reversed their ailments and deeply believe in plant based lifestyle. Today, each one of them is spreading this message in their own way

Baked Mushrooms

This recipe is always a hit! Make it for yourself and even share it with others. Everyone loves and enjoys good food:)


  • Button mushrooms with the stems removed
  • Raw cashew cheese
  • Optional flavourings for the cheese: finely chopped colourful peppers/ chopped sun dried tomatoes / mixed herbs / chopped olives / chopped jalapenos / chopped chillies


Mix the flavourings, if using, with the raw cashew cheese. Stuff the mushrooms with this and bake at 180 °C in a pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Serve hot.

Use the removed stems in curries, biryani, etc.

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.


Simply Give!                  

Each aspect of nature only gives, with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. And nature is healthy and radiant. If we start giving, our mindset changes, as we think less about ourselves and more about others. In turn, our life undergoes a transformation. It has been scientifically proven that giving others affects our hormones and lifts our spirits. 

Let’s make 2022 a year of giving. A year where we reconnect with what truly matters: Nature. And giving doesn’t necessarily have to be in kind; there are other ways too! Read on to find out…

1. Smile

A smile is a curved line that makes everything straight! Use it with everyone. Keep smiling, it’s contagious.

2. Apres-vous

This attitude of ‘after you’ is simple yet so beautiful. Give way to others. A simple example could be just to stop your car to let another vehicle or pedestrian walk by. 

3. Time 

When you volunteer, help a sick person, a neighbour to cook dinner or help your gardener in his work, it feels really good. And feeling good is healthy!

4. Ear

Listening is also giving. Be there to help someone release what they are going through. 

5. Gift of Acceptance

Just like you want others to accept you the way you are, you also need to learn to accept others the way they are. Spirituality helps one in this aspect and in many others too. 

6. Silence

Give knowledge or ideas only if asked. Knowledge can never be given. It’s only when it’s taken that’s it is counted as giving, otherwise it’s called a lecture! 

7. The best help

The best help you can actually give to society is your own development. This takes maximum effort and yields the optimum result. When you start working on yourself, you become a source of inspiration to one and all. You are never the taker;  just the giver.

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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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