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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

When it comes to nutrients, our society is obsessed with proteins! Most people think that more protein is better and that they should consume as much protein as possible every day. Some people even go to the extremes of a keto diet without knowing what protein is good for or why we even need protein. 

Protein is the food that our body uses for growth and repair. Therefore, the maximum requirement for protein is when we are growing. Do you know anyone who has protein deficiency? The reason that protein deficiency is extremely rare, except in starvation, because the protein is found in every single cell. No matter what you’re eating, if you’re satiated, your protein requirements are likely to have been met.

Often in our minds, protein is synonymous with meat and animal products. But think about it, where do animals like horses and elephants get their protein from? Remember that only plants are capable of manufacturing proteins with the help of sunlight, air, water and the soil. Animals get their proteins from plants or from other animals that eat plants. Remember that you too can get your proteins right from the source – plants.

We understand both health & holidays are the need of the hour, hence we at SHARAN have curated different kinds of retreats to help you experience both in a super fun way too! For details, click here


Where do you get your Protein?

Enjoy this super cool song to understand which plant-based foods give us protein.

Keema Rice

Soy is a bean and just like any other bean (kidney beans, chickpeas etc.), it is high in protein and makes a great meat alternative. Try this recipe and let us know how you liked it!


  • 1 cup soy granules, boiled and drained
  • 1 cup brown rice, soaked in water for 8-10 hours
  • 5 cardamoms
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 (1″ pc) cinnamon
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • Green chillies as per taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1″ pc ginger, grated
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dry mango (amchur) powder, only if soy milk is being used
  • ½ cup soy milk/ 1 cup peanut curd
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • Caramelised onion and roasted nuts, for the garnish


Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. Dry stir ‘fry’ for a minute. Add onions and ‘fry’ on low heat, until it turns light brown. Add garlic and ginger and stir  until fragrant. Add the coriander and mint leaves, green chillies and pepper corns. ‘Fry’ until the leaves turn dark green. Add the mango powder (only if soy milk is being used). Add the rice and stir fry for 2 minutes, or until the rice gets a mild brown tint. Add the soy granules and stir fry. Add the soy milk/peanut curd and ‘fry’ for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of warm water and salt. Cover and let the rice cook. Garnish with pan roasted caramelised onions and roasted cashew nuts.

Serves 4-5

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.


Consuming Proteins in Excess

Do you remember a time when you ate too much protein? It could be in the form of meat, or chicken, eggs, or even paneer or cheese. How did you feel after that? Did you feel energized? Probably not, as these are hard to digest.

On the other hand, eating plant-based proteins – chickpeas, beans, lentils and dals doesn’t leave you feeling that way; does it? That’s partly because they are full of fiber so you cannot overeat them, and they are low in fat. Nature protects us when we eat foods suitable to our species.

Did you know that excess proteins cause more problems in other ways too? Excess proteins can be the cause of the following diseases. 

1. Cancer

Protein is the food for growth and cancer is a growth. Animal proteins can fuel cancers. Casein, the protein found in dairy is a known carcinogen. Cooking meats causes heterocyclic amines to be formed which are also carcinogens. The lack of fiber in meat can cause colon cancers and hormones in meat and dairy can provoke hormone dependent cancers like breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

2. Kidney Disease

It’s well known that animal proteins are toxic to the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease has become very common and can be largely avoided by having a high fiber plant-based diet.

3. Auto -immune Diseases

Animal proteins can provoke the production of antibodies that can destroy our own body cells leading to auto immune diseases.

4. Osteoporosis

Excess protein is acid forming, forcing our bones to release calcium to neutralize the acid. This can lead to osteoporosis.

5. Acidity

Proteins are digested in the stomach with the help of hydrochloric acid. Eating a protein rich diet forces the stomach to produce more acid thereby leading to acidity or heartburn.

6. Gout

It’s well known that a high protein diet can result in gout in those who are predisposed to this painful disease.

6. Allergies

One of the best ways to minimize allergies is to go completely plant-based and avoid the offending allergen to the extent possible. With this regimen most allergies disappear in a period of a year or two.

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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