Sprinkle Health into your Children’s Education

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Health is wealth. Even though its sounds a bit cliché, I had to say it. These days when so many people are so busy earning money to pay doctors, hospitals and medical bills it’s hard to suggest that they spend some time to get well. A stitch in time saves nine. Yet we are always postponing health because we are too busy.

What’s even more worrisome is the age that we are getting sick. Kids with diabetes, teenagers with hypothyroid, polycystic ovaries and obesity and young people in their 20’s and 30’s with high BP and chronic kidney failure and infertility are no longer rare. They are as common as the fast food restaurants mushrooming everywhere. Is there a connection?

Schools, hospitals and railway stations and airports all serve the same fast food. We are rushing ourselves to the grave, but there is no time to think about it till we are there. Is this the future our kids will inherit from us?


Testimonial of Sarah & Maria Pinto

17 year old Sarah Pinto shares how she and her 19 year old sister Maria turned towards healthy eating…

We both were hardcore non vegetarians about two years ago. We actually saw our favorite chicken who we used to play with in our hometown be cut up alive in front of us. Maria was traumatized and didn’t touch meat but I was indifferent and ate it. We did not know what veganism was and were convinced that our lifestyle was extremely healthy. Our mother Rose attended Dr Nandita’s seminar and decided to turn her whole family vegan! At this point our dad and both of us were out of town and the second we reached home from our flight our mother made us watch the documentary ‘Earthlings’. We both cried our hearts out and decided to turn vegan that second and so did our dad.

Maria and me turned vegan for ethical reasons while our dad for the environment and our mother for health. Our whole family flipped into a new one. We considered our early and irregular periods, menstrual pain, short temper, acne, dandruff all normal as the doctors told us. Also Maria had extremely frequent colds and I being an athlete had knee pain, hair loss and most importantly severe dental issues even though we followed the doctor’s advice to the letter. All these issues decreased and most of them totally disappeared without actually putting any specific effort towards it after we changed our diet!

Initially it was tough when we went out with friends. We would get tempted and they would make fun of us. But as we started reading more and experienced the benefits of this lifestyle, we knew that this is the right path. Now we don’t crave anything at all and our friends too are co-operative because they know this means a lot to us. We can give you a million reasons why veganism is the right life style, and most think that it is a bit difficult. But ask yourself how difficult it is,  compared to the ones who are locked up and tortured because we can’t put in a bit of extra effort.

Masala Burger

Check out this delicious home-made burger, which is nutricious, filling and yummy too!


  • 100g kidney beans, cooked and drained

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)

  • 1/2tsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp minced onion

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup (homemade)

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

  • 4 tbsp coconut milk (if needed)

  • Serve with green chutney


Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line tray with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, mash the beans with a fork until there are no whole beans, but do not puree.

Add the spices and ketchup, oats.  Stir thoroughly to combine.

Taste to see if the flavor is intense enough, otherwise add more dry spices.

Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and roll into balls.  Flatten with the palms and place on baking sheet.  Shape into a patty.

Bake for 10 mins.  Flip over gently and bake another 8 mins.  Coat with coconut milk, if required, to prevent drying.

Flip again if required and bake for another 5 mins to get a firm evenly cooked patty.

Serve with green coriander/mint chutney.

Serves 4

Food for Thought


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.

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Healthy Kids!

One of the best things you can give your children is good health. We might have all the wealth in the world, but a simple headache can bring us to our knees. Lately  lifestyle diseases are affecting even younger age groups. Social and cultural influences are very strong. Even schools and colleges dish out unhealthy food. Health education has become more relevant than ever. Invest in your child’s health before it’s too late.

What can you do to ensure that your kids don’t fall into this trap? Read on to find some ideas…

1. Children do what parents do

Remember most of us state that the best meals we have had are those that mom used to make for us as children? Children love meals made with love. When you make delicious healthy meals, children are bound to enjoy them. If you consume fast food and colas, your children are likely to want these too! The option to teach your children to enjoy health is in your hands.

2. Educate them visually

Whenever you read some interesting health news in the newspaper or magazines, share it with them. Watch health films, perhaps as a family. Show them some short health videos that are freely available on YouTube to bring home your point.

3. Teach them to read Labels

When they chose to buy something, get them to start reading the labels. Google in the ingredients they don’t understand.

4. Take them to Farms / Farmers Markets

This the best way for them to appreciate the food that Mother Nature gives us. When they actually see how food is grown and buy the food themselves, they feel much more involved.

5. Cook together

Getting both boys and girls in the kitchen to do some cooking together is such a great way to spend time as a family. Kids then begin to value the food they eat, when they realise that a lot of effort preceded the meal that was laid on the table. It also ensures that they will be able to make their own meals.

6. Make Eating Out an Occasion

In earlier times, eating out was a special treat. Today most of us eat something out everyday! Cooking might become a long lost skill soon, as more and more of us eat out or order in. Make going out special. Slowly and steadily reduce the number of times you eat out. And when you do eat out, choose the restaurant carefully and order sensibly.

7. Be Smart

Invest time in learning tips and tricks to make your meals healthy. Make your own sauces. You don’t need to announce that there is no oil or sugar or dairy in something. If the food is presented well, most of the time they won’t even know the difference!

8. Get creative in the kitchen

Make green wraps with spinach and pink wraps with beetroot, and stuff them with the filling that your kids love. Present a fruit platter beautifully decorated and they will want to eat it! Serve salads in glasses. Make an interesting new recipe at least once a week

9. Take them to the hospital 

Help them make the connection between food, sickness and hospitals.

10. Have a healthy friend circle

If all your kid’s friends are eating healthy, they will start eating healthy too. Make the peer pressure a positive one. Get their friends’ moms together and work out a plan. It’s not a rule to serve junk food at birthday parties!

11. Volunteer to help at your child’s school

School admins are so occupied looking after other things, that most would appreciate your help in getting Health Awareness going at the school. Organise health talks and workshops by professionals for parents and students.

12. Don’t run after your child

They will eat when they are hungry! Allow them the pleasure of listening to their bodies and feeling hunger. And avoid deciding how much they should eat! Let them learn to eat according to hunger

13. Keep healthy treats easily available

Buy organic and prepare home-made healthy treats regularly. Keep fruits, nuts and seeds handy so that your kids can munch on these when they are hungry. Keep addictive packaged foods out of the house.

14. Get their Vitamin D & B12 tested

Despite all the healthy habits that you may teach them, due to our artificial lifestyles many people have these deficiencies. We have seen even four year olds with low levels. So do check these out and supplement if necessary.

15. Don’t be a NAG!

That puts everyone off! If your children are eating wrong, let them be. They will learn with time. Lead them by example. Inspire them subtly.


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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