Awareness is the key to Good Health

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

The way we eat and live today is making us sick! Yet by tweaking it a little, we can get healthy again. Being healthy can be fun and the food can be delicious. What comes in the way between us and health are our habits and our social conditioning. Luckily with a little determination and practice, habits can be changed. The problem is that we are herd animals; we like to do what others do. The good news is that it’s the same for everyone else. Therefore we do have a choice to be leaders or followers. If we set a trend of eating and living healthy others will eventually follow.

Our current social conditioning leads us to doctors, medicines, hospitals, sickness and death. Yet it’s in our hands to reverse this trend and move towards health, vibrancy and life. We can all do it!


Testimonial of Vaidehi Mody

Sixty four year old Vaidehi Mody shares her story of how she reversed her 18 year old high blood pressure simply by making a few changes….

I had been suffering from high blood pressure for the past 18 years. It was not an issue as it used to be under control.

I switched to a whole plant based diet and for the last 10 days was on 3 glasses of smoothie as breakfast. I had nothing else till 12:30 or 1 pm. My pressure started dropping drastically as well as pulse to the extent I had to go through ECG, sodium tests, etc. My doctor reduced the dosage and yet it kept coming down. Finally I was asked to stop the medication completely and today I am feeling fine. Also I have lost around 13 kgs and today I weigh 49 kgs. A huge thank you to you for I have been able to reverse my high blood pressure.


The traditional sheera is full of ghee, sugar and milk too. Check out how to make it equally delicious without any of these!


  • 1/4–1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup uncooked millet rava

  • 2 cups almond milk

  • 1 or 2 saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons almond milk

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 large ripe banana, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in water

  • 1 tablespoon dates paste or to taste (optional)


In a small skillet, toast cashews. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, toast rava on medium heat until it turns just a couple of shades darker and tastes nutty. Remove to a dish and set aside.

In the same sauce pan, combine almond milk, saffron, cardamom, and banana and bring to a boil. Add reserved rava, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. It will take just a minute or two before the rava absorbs most of the almond milk and becomes quite thick. Before taking off the heat, stir in toasted cashews and raisins. The bananas and raisins bring a lot of sweetness to this dessert, so taste before you add a sweetener. If needed, add dates paste

Makes 4 1-cup servings

Note- Semolina or cream of wheat is a refined product and not recommended in a whole food plant based diet. Millets like sorghum, pearl millet and ragi are available in the semolina form. Use these instead of cream of wheat.

Food for Thought

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High BP Basics…

Most of us have heard of the term ‘high blood pressure’, some of us also have it. In fact, one in every three Indians has high blood pressure and the numbers are rising. Usually we just accept it and take medicines for it life-long. Since so many people around get it, we assume it’s a ‘normal’ part of life and move on.

Did you know that high blood pressure is one of the most common lifestyle diseases in the world? Today we are seeing it in younger age groups too. Did you know that a high blood pressure can result in angina, heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease?

Learn More…

1. What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that the heart has to exert to push the blood so that it circulates throughout the body.

2. What causes the blood pressure to go high?

Fats from animal products or refined plant products like oil, thicken the blood making it harder to flow. Thus the heart has to work harder resulting in higher blood pressure. Over a period of time, this thickened blood causes injuries on the artery wall. These are ‘bandaged’ with cholesterol.

As the blood vessels get sclerosed or narrow because of a lining of cholesterol and calcium, the heart needs to exert even more pressure in order for the blood to flow throughout the body resulting in a rise in blood pressure too.

Of course smoking, lack of physical activity, stress and alcohol also contribute.

3. How can you tell if you have high blood pressure?

Symptoms of high blood pressure can vary – from chronic headaches, dizziness and vertigo, blurry vision, drowsiness and fatigue, impotency, breathlessness, palpitations etc. Of course measuring the blood pressure will let you know the exact situation.

The average normal range is 120/80 mm Hg. Anything higher may need attention.

4. What should one do to ensure the blood pressure remains normal?

The best solution is to go on a low fat diet. Since all animal products are high in fat and refined plant foods are high too, we recommend a whole plant based diet.

Exercise, a positive attitude, getting enough sleep, stress-management, avoiding caffeine, smoking and alcohol are some other equally important aspects.


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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