Are you getting enough protein?

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Whenever someone goes vegan everyone around suddenly becomes a nutritionist! Where will you get your proteins? It’s no wonder because we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for milk, eggs and chicken! Today body building is IN and most trainers advise whey supplements, eggs or non veg. People follow ketogenic diets in the hope of losing weight.

Rarely do we stop to think about where horses, elephants and other strong and powerful herbivores get their proteins from. Popeye with his can of spinach has been forgotten! The truth is that beans and greens are some of the best sources of protein. Low on fat and methionine but high in fibre and nutrients, these sources far outweigh their animal based counterparts. They do not need advertising. They are low cost and delicious. Try them.


Mountaineer Kuntal Joisher beats the myth that you need meat and milk
to be strong!

I have been part of more than 20 Himalayan expeditions, and I’ve never had any problems maintaining a Vegan diet. In October 2014, I became only the second Indian civilian to climb and summit Mt. Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain of the world.  I had no doubt that my Vegan diet would have fueled me to the top of the world in April 2015, had it not been for the tragic earthquake in Nepal and the avalanche at Everest base camp, which led me to abandon my attempt. I’m training hard to make one final attempt at climbing Mt. Everest in April 2016 and I’m very confident that if weather and terrain hold up then a Vegan flag would be fluttering on the Top of the World very soon!

I was a Vegetarian-by-religion, rather than a Vegetarian-by-choice. I would not eat eggs but at the same time, if I had to eat a chocolate which had eggs as an ingredient, I would happily have it. I think this was a combination of convenience, taste, and above all apathy towards the animal rights cause.

It was not until I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue my further studies that I got exposed to Veganism. One of my room-mates was a Jain and an ethical vegetarian, and he exposed me to the horrors of dairy and leather industry. This was for the first time I connected the dots that Milk is Meat, and to a certain extent far worse than Meat.

The entire dairy industry is just a vicious cycle of some serious animal-cruelty. I could not reconcile my philosophy of compassion with my actions in terms of food and clothing. And so I decided to follow a Vegan lifestyle. I donated all my leather, woollen items to a homeless guy living near my place and I replaced all my daily use products with vegan versions. For the next few months my life was a bit of a struggle, however compared to the cruelty and killing of billions of animals every year, my struggle felt very trivial – actually it was just an adjustment phase.

This was the first time in life when I took a strong stand on a major issue, and this opened flood-gates of changes in me. I was able to let go of a lot of negativity that had surrounded my life — I was able to get rid of homophobia, racism, sexism and several other difficult issues. Those introspection years were some of the most fruitful years of my life, and made me the person I am today, and it all started with taking a stand for Animals!

My nutrition plan is very simple – “Whole foods Vegan”. I love eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds and this diet has done wonders for me. I’ve started recovering much quicker even when I do some of the most excruciating work-outs as I prepare to climb Mt. Everest.

Last but surely not the least – being a Vegan is easy – You can make it happen, no matter where you are or what you are doing. It just takes a commitment – for your health, and for the animals.

Food for Mind

Ahimsa is the attribute of the soul, and therefore to be practiced by everybody in all affairs of life. If it cannot be practiced in all departments, it has no practical value. – Mahatma Gandhi

Tofu Scramble

This simple yet delicious dish is ideal for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner! If scrambled eggs featured in your list of favourites, then this is a wonderful replacement! Enjoy it as a snack, or have it along with breads or rotis.

Read more…


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.


Protein Power

Protein is essential for our body, but most people tend to get too much rather than too little. Protein is the nutrient we need for growth and repair, at the same time, consuming too much protein can be detrimental to our health.

Excess protein cannot be stored as such. It is converted to fat and stored! Excess protein causes, gout, kidney stones, and excess animal protein puts stress on the kidneys leading to kidney problems and also promotes colon and other cancers.

A whole-plant based diet covers your protein requirement easily. Protein deficiency is rare, and mainly occurs in starvation.

Read about 8 protein rich foods…

Simply ensure that these 8 foods form a part of your regular diet and you needn’t worry about your protein!

1.  Greens such as beans, peas, broccoli, spinach asparagus and edamame

2. Black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas

3. Lentils

4. Nuts

5. Grains such as amaranth and quinoa

6. Oatmeal

7. Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, hemp and chia

8. Soymilk and tofu

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 Reconnection 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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