Walking the Road Less Lonely

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

My friend, Radhika, recently visited me and spoke about how people are getting increasingly lonely when they age. It’s true. With cities getting larger and people moving because of their jobs, families are living further apart than ever before. While this is wonderful when you are young because you have family in so many places, it can be difficult as we age, are no longer comfortable travelling, and could do with not just support but some measure of tender love & care too.

Retirement communities offer a great solution these days. You have the option to buy your own home and move into it, post retirement. Such communities allow people to integrate themselves into a life with their peers, and definitely proves a boon when a spouse dies and children live abroad or in other cities. These communities have their own doctors, a clubhouse and offer a roster of services and activities to keep the mind and body active. And, because you have your own home to retreat into, you enjoy the best of both privacy and round the clock support.

SHARAN wishes to establish a similar centre as a retirement community for like-minded people to come together and live the SHARAN lifestyle even in their silver years. And, because our centre will have its own organic farm and other activities, residents would hardly have any scope for loneliness. 

It’s worth thinking about what we want for our future and to plan early. A good starting point is the conviction that a SHARAN lifestyle definitely aids in being active and healthy until the last days.



Shagufta Abdi, a 26 year old vet attended a SHARAN workshop three years ago and went vegan instantly. She believes it is a super investment to one's health and well-being in the long run.

I always had a compassionate feeling towards animals, which also made me choose my profession when I was 8 years old, so eating animals never felt right even as a child. At the age of thirteen, I finally put an end to eating meat after reading about how badly animals are transported, on their way to the slaughterhouse. Since then the Eid menu moved to mushroom biryani and vegetable kebabs!

Honeslty I wasn't really convinced of veganism. I thought it was extreme and also I was under the impression that Indian dairies are not as cruel as the dairies abroad. However when I attended a workshop by SHARAN in 2015 and saw a video about the way the cows were treated in Indian dairies, I was disheartened. I then realised that if this is something I cannot watch how can I expect them to endure so much cruelty, just so that I can have my milkshakes, paneer, ice cream and cheese.

Since then I am completely on a plant based diet. I feel fitter and have become more  active and strong. I even look younger and eat without any guilt. I have never had a day without a pimple since I was 16, and now it's all gone. I used to also get frequent cold and cough which has disappeared. My mom who had IBS is totally cured and my father who had frequent sinus attacks, which we thought was due to Mumbai pollution, just stopped having them by changing the diet.

It does involve a little effort but it's worth it in the long run, for it is for your health. Since most Indian cusines and Far Eastern cuisines are mostly vegan, it's easy to eat out too.

Raw Cookies

Get some sweetness in your life with these delicious and super easy raw cookies. There is just one problem with them – they don't last!


  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1/4 cup dates

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger

  • pinch of salt

  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp raisins


In a food processor, grind the cashews into a fine flour. Add the other ingredients except the raisins. Pulse to mix all the ingredients. When the mixture begins to clump together, add the raisins.

Roll into 1” balls and press flat into cookies. Make a design with a fork. Serve immediately or store in the freezer or refrigerator.

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.

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21 Day Online Diabetes Reversal
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Are you lonely?

Did you know that loneliness leads to poorer physical and mental health? And, yes, it has become a disease in itself.

Loneliness is not necessarily being alone. It's a state of mind – a perception of being isolated. In fact, loneliness is reported to be far more dangerous than smoking! It could lead to suicidal thoughts, dementia and also affect the immune and cardio-vascular system. It can cause pain, fatigue, stress, depression, sleep problems, disturbed appetite and more. Plus it can affect everyone – a child who is trying to make friends at school or an elderly person who may have lost his/her spouse. 

So how do you ensure you don't reach that stage, or help someone who is already going through the lonely phase…Read on

1. Plan to walk to your grave

While we are young, we are so busy with work and entertainment, we forget to plan for our old age. Include the whole plant based diet and an exercise regime right now so you are physically fit to handle old age. 

2. Self-development

Spirituality is nothing but being a better person today than what you were yesterday. It teaches you to handle life. Most people leave this aspect to old age, when we are turning the last few chapters of our life. Spirituality is your mental gym, where you exercise your emotions. Work on your mental health and you will never feel lonely.

3. Do community service

This ensures you meet and interact with like-minded people.

4. Indulge in a hobby 

Take time to do what you love. Happy people can't be lonely.

5. Maintain a gratitude journal

Each day write five things you are grateful for. You will never feel alone.

6. Join groups

No, not on social media! Join a book reading club, a writers group or a dance group…whatever it is that interests you.

7. Get a job

Having a routine and working will keep you too busy to feel lonely.

8. Read books

They transport you to different worlds. Someone who reads can never be lonely.

9. Adopt an animal 

Animals too feel lonely especially when they are taken away from their loved ones. Ensure you give them a lot of love, care and open space too.

10. Seek therapy

If all the above seriously don’t work, then you probably need professional help.


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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