Festive Times

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Most of us are too busy in our daily routine to think out of the box. Routines, like habits are comforting and easy to slip into. Even holidays are celebrated in a routine way; the same parties, going out for meals or religious rituals.

When we stop thinking there are too many entities out there that are doing the thinking for us. The billboards, advertisements on TV and in newspaper and magazines are subliminally manipulating the way we think. They take over our lives and get us to buy their products.

Why not pause a moment and think about everything that we do? Do we really want that new shampoo or deodorant or those biscuits or that phone? Do we even need it? And most importantly is it beneficial to us? What could we do instead that’s healthier, more ecological and even more enjoyable? When was the last time that you spent a day in nature? How did you feel? Can it even be compared to what we think we want?

The best things in life are free. Nature wouldn’t have it any other way!

Want to be a part of our Mission? SHARAN Mumbai is HIRING! Click here


Testimonial of Dr Shresth Ramesh


Listen to 62 year old Dr Shresth Ramesh from Dubai, who herself got better from her medical issues and who strongly believes that the whole plant based diet is the best for anyone who wants to live a healthy life…

Besan Laddos

These laddoos are so easy to prepare and delicious too. Make them with love and enjoy health this festive season.


  • 1/2 cup bengal gram dal

  • 1/2 ½ cup grated coconut

  • 1/4 cup dates without seeds

  • 1/4 cup dry dates powder

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder

  • 10 – 12 almonds


Roast the bengal gram dal to lovely golden color. Cool it and grind it coarsely. Add cardamom powder; add grated coconut & dry dates powder. Mix in the dates. Add almonds and roll into ladoos (balls).


These laddoos can be made with whole red rice, millet flakes, millet semolina, nuts etc

Yields 12 – 15

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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Festive Times

In India, August is filled with so many holidays! Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi! Long weekends in the monsoon. It’s definitely a great break from the monotony of the daily grind.

August also beckons the festive season, which continues till the month of March when summer sets in. As the gusto picks up momentum, we get swayed in the celebrations.

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, naming-ceremonies, death-ceremonies, divorce parties and more actually quite sum up the whole calendar year! So junk food laden with oil and ghee, sweets, alcohol, late nights, hangovers, shopping, new clothing, gifts, etc easily seduce us.

The rains bring back the greenery and beauty to the land. What a great time to sit back, relax and reflect on the meaning of these and other holidays, and to celebrate them in their true spirit rather than with rituals. Nature in her glory nurtures all life. Despite all the destruction to the planet there is still hope. We are all connected. By truly healing ourselves we can heal the planet too.

Reflect on how you can make Health and Environment a part of your festivities!

1. Why celebrate?

Most people have no idea why are they performing a ritual or celebrating a festival. Take the time to find out. The Ganesha festival was organized for a reason – to promote nationalism and get people together for an independent India.

2. Educate yourself

Learn some health tips. Take time out to read books, blogs, articles or watch health films or even attend health related programs. Without health, you can’t enjoy the party anyway!

3. Healthy food is delicious

Most people associate healthy food with steamed vegetables that are drab and boring! On the contrary, whole plant based food can easily be prepared in a way that is quite unbelievably delicious. The SHARAN website (www.sharan-india.org) boasts over 200 recipes. An internet search will yield many more. And recipe books help add to the collection.

4. Go Eco-friendly

Besides all that unhealthy food, most of our festivals are terrible for the environment too. Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated with plaster of Paris idols that destroy life in rivers, streams and oceans. Diwali has become a leading cause of air pollution with all the fireworks. Holi means toxic colors everywhere. Makar Sankranti manjas cut off birds wings leave tangles here and there. Id celebrations spell death for millions of animals. The list goes on. Do we really want to destroy our planet and life on it with every festival?

5. Be Unique

Why not celebrate a festival at an orphanage or an old age home and bring cheer to the less fortunate?

6. Time change

Sleep rejuvenates and heals the body. Why not celebrate during the day or in the evenings. Why do parties have to be late at night?

7. Share Health

If you are invited to party, carry a delicious healthy dish. It’s a great way to introduce others to health and gain support for your lifestyle!

8. Be Choosy

Choose your celebrations with care. If you go to fewer parties you enjoy them far more.

9. Keep Moving

Be physically active too when you are socially active. Celebrating together could also mean playing a sport together, going out for bowling or trekking, swimming or dancing and not just food and drinks!

10. Budget it out

Nobody remembers a wedding or a party! Memories are formed by thoughtful gestures and not from lavish outbursts. Spend wisely.

11. Eat to feel good

Eat mindfully and not till you are over-full!

12. Gift Health

Book an exercise class or a zumba workout as a gift. Present health books or recipe books. Gift a cooking class for a change!

13. Keep the cosmetics at bay

Go natural. The glow from healthy eating wins over any beauty treatment!


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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