Defeating Depression

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

When I first switched to a completely plant-based diet, I was impressed with the changes in my body. I didn't notice the changes in my mind until one day, months later while travelling, I had some mayonnaise. I woke up the next morning with stress and anxiety. While the uneasiness receded during the day, I noticed that the morning feeling persisted for the next 10 days. I also recalled that I had experienced this my entire life but had not noticed when it disappeared. It was only when it came back that I made the connection.

Back from my travels, one of my patients told me that the biggest change she experienced with a plant-based diet was the state of mind. I was impressed. I started looking into this and noticed that many other people had noticed significant changes in their state of mind like I had. Not only that – just a small quantity of animal-based products was enough to reverse the sense of well-being, and last a fairly long time. So much so that now I'm able to detect if my food has been contaminated just by the way I feel.

It was a few years later that I came across a book by Neil Nedley MD titled “Depression The Way Out”. This book is based on Dr Nedley’s experience of reversing depression with a plant-based diet. Why is this so important? Antidepressants are highly addictive and often result in weight gain, which then leads to more health problems and compounds the depression. A plant-based diet, on the other hand, not only brings joy and happiness, it also protects animals and the planet.


Mark your calendar for an organic farm trip

We, at SHARAN, regularly organise organic farm trips for two reasons – to reconnect with nature and to support farmers who grow organic. It is for this reason that our 21-day health retreats are held amidst nature too.

This 15 August, we have an organic farm trip coming up near Mumbai with some interesting activities lined up. Check it out!

Celebrate your free spirit on an organic farm! Ideal for those looking to break free from their inhibitions, depression, addictions, and for those wishing to reconnect with nature. 

Chocolate Mousse

Desserts never let you down as reliable mood boosters. Try out this super delicious, finger licking chocolate mousse that is so easy to whip up. 


  • 300 ml of coconut milk

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp date paste

  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract

  • 1/8 ounce agar agar flakes or bars


In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk, cocoa powder and date paste on medium heat. Blend using a wire whisk for five minutes. Add agar agar flakes/bar. Simmer and stir constantly with a wire whisk for about 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the vanilla extract. Pour into small dishes (soufflé or custard cups) and refrigerate for two hours.

Serves 2.

Pause to Ponder


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. Since 1 January, 2016, we have been offering three possibilities

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.

City / Country
21 Day Health Retreats
21 Day Online Diabetes Reversal
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A friend who visited the US told me that out of every three advertisements she spotted, one was about antidepressants. This hardly surprises when globally close to 300 million people of all ages are said to suffer from the syndrome, according to the World Health Organization.

Depression is defined as 'a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities causing significant impairment in daily life'.

Affecting kids, teens and adults, irrespective of gender or status, the symptoms range from mood swings and sleep issues to weight gain or loss of appetite, agitation, crying, lack of concentration, suicidal thoughts, lack of energy, alienation and more. Medicines only provide temporarily relief as the underlying factors continue to persist.

Examining the cause of depression therefore becomes imperative. This is possible through self-enquiry in the early stages, discussions with family and close friends or professional counselling.

Here are some practical tips that could help elevate your mood…

1. Educate the Mind

The mind has an enormous capacity to play havoc. It is the mind that makes a heaven out of hell and a hell out of heaven.  Listening to inspiring speakers quietens the mind to be able to look at things afresh. Reading motivational books and being around positive people help to a large extent. There are various therapies too that help change one's perspective.

2. Have a goal in life

A purposeful direction keeps the mind busy. Get a job, even part-time, sign up for a cookery class, volunteer, run a marathon…get going.

3. Adopt a routine

Maintaining a daily schedule makes a significant difference. Draw up a routine for yourself, stick to it, and feel the difference. 

4. What you eat matters

While eating meat and milk products, you also consume the fear and stress that the animals went through at the time of slaughter or milking. A plant based diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds brings in clarity and help clear the cobwebs in your head. Also, the attitude and thoughts of the person cooking make a difference as vibrations seep into the food while putting a together meal.

5. Stay mindful of your associations

Who are you constantly in touch with? What kind of films are you watching, books you are reading? Are they positive, uplifting? Stop reading the newspaper or the news, its full of negativity.

6. Reconnect with nature

Go on farm trips or hill stations, they get you closer to the magical healing effects of nature.

7. Exercise 

Moving your body releases happy hormones. Yoga, walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, sports….whatever it is that you enjoy.

8. Take up a hobby or do something new 

These are great stress busters.

9. Be a warrior not a worrier

Rest assured that there is a solution to every problem. There is no condition that cannot be addressed.

10. Have fun

Loosen up and laugh, dress up, watch a film, show up at dinners or parties. Stay around people that brighten your day.

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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