Sugar Solutions

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

What’s celebration without sweets? We give sweets to say,"I love you".

However, nowadays most Indian sweets are made of sugar and milk. Research shows that both of these are not health foods. But it goes way beyond this. Milk sweets means that we have deprived a mother cow of her precious baby. Mother’s milk is only for the baby and we don’t need it!

Every child when first given cow’s milk refuses it. And mothers coax it down their throats with sugar. Even mothers would think twice if they understood that cow’s milk is not a health food for their precious children. It makes them sick. Sugar adds insult to injury. And added to this is the sheer cruelty of the dairy industry.

This Diwali stand up for change – for our health, for the planet, for the animals and for the FUTURE!


From Piles to Pregnancy

Anjali Tejani has been on a very interesting journey after going on a whole plant based diet. So fascinated she has been with the results, she is now part of the Mumbai SHARAN team, as she is convinced that this awareness is the need of the hour.

My story with SHARAN began in December 2014. I have been constipated since my childhood and in my early forties, I developed piles, also known as hemorrhoids. My piles were large and created a blockage internally, due to which, if I had to pass stools it meant a good struggle for half an hour and sometimes  pain near the colon area. I even used to pass blood at times with the stool. After the torturous journey, I needed rest and it meant at least 4 hours as my energy would drain and my legs used to feel weak. I went to gastroenterologist who diagnosed piles and asked me to get operated.

My father explained that it must be hereditary as he had got it done a long time back. The term ‘operation’ created anxiety in me. I saw the operation conducted on YouTube and it definitely seemed painful, and I further researched on what causes piles, symptoms and treatments. Are there any alternative therapies? The answer was affirmatively ‘yes’. Fortunately I attended a smoothie class by Reyna Rupani where I was introduced to SHARAN. I was totally convinced about the whole plant based diet as it meant lot of fiber for the body which is also a vital requirement for curing piles. I thought of giving it a try and within 2 months, my piles reduced to 70% and that too without any medicines or laxatives! Also I didn’t have to undergo the operation!

I started feeling energetic and light as passing stools became easier. There were other changes happening with me, I was losing weight automatically, bloating of stomach and waist size was reducing. Looking at my energy levels, my husband was surprised and he too started the whole plant based diet. Within 6 months we were high on energy, weight was reducing, there was a glow on the face and the body was becoming more balanced. We started feeling good and happy about ourselves.

Being a childless couple for almost 12 years, we were happy with our life and we had made the decision that we will not try any artificial methods to have a baby. Due to the changes with whole plant based, we became healthy and one day we got the news that I was pregnant. It was a total surprise! We have named our little boy ‘Kreshiv’.

Be different this Diwali

Most people do the same things during Diwali, but times are changing and we can change with the times!

Discover some ways to make this festive season even more memorable…

1) Abandon crackers this Diwali. Crackers cause pollution, harm and frighten animals, cause injuries, support child labour and burn up money!

2) Gather a few kids and go through the story of Ramayana with them.

3) Visit an old age home or an orphanage, and light up someone’s life.

4) Make healthy sweets this festive season, get that burst of energy back!

5) Contribute to an animal welfare organisation this year and gift life and love to animals

6) Make a pledge to do something unusual till next Diwali. It’s empowering. For example, not buying any new clothes or not eating fried foods or teaching English to the helper’s children or reducing Whatsapp or Facebook time etc.

7) Reconnect to nature. Head to the beach or the park as a family and enjoy the simple pleasures that life brings.

8) Play fun games with your friends and family..

9) Ponder upon the symbolism of Diwali. It signifies victory of good over evil. Light represents knowledge.What is the significance of all this in your life?

10) Give your helper a holiday and as a family get together and clean up the house and cook the healthy meal together.

11) Share your healthy meals with the watchmen, drivers and the lift-guys. Sparkle somebody’ else’s life with your gestures.

12) Make it a gift-less Diwali….do we really need anything?

13) Sow seeds. Grow trees.


Sugar and sweet?

Did you know that sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet! It has to be, because it contributes to a host of health issues and affects our metabolism too. Sugar is refined and chemically processed, thus it lacks fiber and any essential nutrients. But most importantly, it’s ADDICTIVE! It’s actually a drug that we unknowingly and happily feed our children and ourselves too!

But Nature has all the answers. To address your ‘sweet-tooth’, all you need is fruit! This gives you the fiber, the nutrients and you will never over-eat it. And for desserts where fresh fruit cannot be used, dried fruit such as raisins, dates and figs can easily be used.

Coconut sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, agave, stevia, jaggery and sugar-free substances are definitely not health foods! Stick to the basic fruit to satiate your sugar cravings.

Check out five healthy desserts that you can enjoy this Diwali…

1. Halwa


2. Kheer


3. Gajar ka halwa


4. Sheera


5. Date nut balls


Food for Thought by Mike Tyson

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If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We offer 3 possibilities from 1st Jan 2016.

1. SHARAN India This 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 This 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.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

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.

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight loss program and also conducts Health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here

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

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