Eating with Awareness

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

I am writing this from SwaSwara, Gokarna as we are in the midst of our 21-Day Health Retreat. As always it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s always amazing to see how much our bodies want to heal given a chance. Sometimes taking medicines too becomes a habit and we forget to think about what we could do to be free of them or whether or not they are really helping. Here, with regular check ups, my job is to reduce medicines as health improves and to help people shift their consciousness and make new healthful habits for life. Being healthy and looking after one’s body is so much more fun than being sick!

It’s also an opportunity for me to reconnect with my body and do some things that I don’t manage to do everyday with a normal working life. The long walks to Gokarna village for example, or a juice feasting day, and even sleeping early and waking up early with the song of the rain and the birds. Take time off to listen to your body, and reclaim your health. It’s magical.


Testimonial of Kirit Shah

Kirit Shah, from Nairobi, who is currently attending SHARAN’s 21 Day Health Retreat, relates his experience of eating a Silent Meal..

Raw Banana Stem Salad

It’s always good fun to introduce new vegetables or fruits into your diet. Nature has given us in abundance. Trying out her different gifts is another way of offering gratitude.


  • 6” piece banana stem, chopped into pieces. Soak in water, post chopping

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped

  • 1/2 green chilli, cut fine

  • 1” piece grated ginger (adjust according to taste)

  • A little chat masala

  • Coriander and mint leaves to garnish

  • Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients and sprinkle chat masala

Garnish with coriander and mint leaves

Add salt, if required


Add any other vegetables of your choice

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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Mindful Eating

Most of us pay no attention to what we are eating. We are either on our phone, watching television, reading, chatting or preoccupied with our own thoughts. That is the reason we tend to over-eat. We don’t really savour the flavours of the foods, so the entire experience is not complete.

We  also getting diseases because we are not eating with ‘awareness’. From a buffet, we simply pick up what we like, irrespective of whether it is good for us or not. We don’t think twice before having packaged foods, full of preservatives, oil, sugar and excess salt. In the past going to restaurants was an occasion, now it’s become a weekly or a daily affair. Bereft of hygiene and nutrition, food from outside is a major cause of our ill-health.

A recent statistic showed that India has the second highest population of obese children in the world. This is a matter of concern. Let’s all together learn to ‘eat’

10 Tips to eat Mindfully…

1. Love Yourself

It’s only when you begin to love yourself, you will ensure you have the highest quality of food

2. Pray before a meal

This creates a certain pause, as you don’t start eating straight away. This is a beautiful way of being thankful for the meal too.

3. Be aware of how the food reaches your table

This could be a good topic of discussion with your children. What is the process of getting food on the table. From the farmer to the wholesaler to the retailer to the consumer to the cook….so many people have contributed towards this one meal. Not to mention the gas, electricity, utensils, spices and more

4. Pick a smaller plate or bowl

This ensures that you take smaller helpings and not waste food.

5. Start your meal with a salad

That’s one of the best ways to increase the raw intake in your diet. Also it fills you up, so you eat less of the cooked meal.

6. Chew slowly

Make this a conscious effort. If you want initially count till 30 to help you get into the practice.

7. Keep your spoon or fork down after every bite

Before we complete one bite, the next one is ready to go in! Let’s eat slowly. Another lovely way of doing this is by eating with chopsticks!

8. Eat silently

Your meal experience will enhance multi-fold. Try it! Make once a week dinner a silent one, or the first 10 minutes of every meal a silent one. You could play soft light music at the background. This is one of the best way to savour the flavours, texture and aroma of your food.

9. Eat till you are 80% full

This can only happen when you are aware of what you eat.

10. Give powerful names to vegetables and fruits

Would you like to have the Super Spinach or the Nutricious Nectarines? Some more of the Beautiful Broccoli or Amazing Apples? This especially helps in getting kids to associate goodness with the food that they eat.

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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