A Plant-Based Diet is the Secret to Anti-Aging
Speaking with Shakun Bakhtani, we are immediately hit with her enthusiasm and joy for life and that’s no easy feat at 70. Most women her age would be complacent and succumbing to their age. However, she has boldly decided to make these years the best of her life. Part of that joy is due to her experience at SHARAN’s ‘Six-Weeks to Health and Weight Loss’ course and the decision to follow a plant-based diet. We caught up with Ms.Bakhtani to get her perspective; here is what she had to say.
VF: Tell us where your passion for being healthy and fit comes from?
S: It has always been my wish to enjoy life’s moments regardless of age and to do that I wanted to be as fit and healthy as possible for as long as possible. Actually, I always had an interest in being fit and healthy. Last year I was visiting Juhu’s organic farmers' market when I met Reyna Rupani, a facilitator at SHARAN, who informed me of their many courses. Before this meeting, I had also attended a lecture by Dr. Nandita Shah and found it very enlightening. In fact, SHARAN has given us the power to make conscious and informed choices.
VF: How did SHARAN’s ‘Six-Week to Health and Weight Loss’ course help you?
S: It was so nice to join a course again, like going back to school! The six-week course gave us all the information and tools we required to make the decision to turn vegan. Since I was already quite active and conscious about my diet, their teachings, recipes and guidance resonated with me. It was great to be with like-minded people who were also looking for the same outcome as me.
Since the course and turning vegan last October 2016, I felt an immediate change in my body. Things that were a bit of a struggle were now suddenly easier to do. Small aches and pains were gone and I felt a sort of rejuvenation. In fact, since the course, I have fallen in love with life and myself again, there is suddenly such a zest for life. Making the decision to be plant-based, is not just good for you physically but also mentally.
VF: Since the course, what are the aspects that have stuck with you?
S: After the course, I can’t stop talking about the benefits of going to any lecture/course SHARAN is offering. I’m so passionate about being vegan that I’m constantly sharing ideas and tips on the support groups and it’s a real community that you become part of. I recently had a birthday and was so overwhelmed by the well-wishers and compliments from the SHARAN support group. I have met many people through these groups and we all share our experiences, recipes and life's little milestone. In fact, there are a few friends who have now become like soul mates and I haven’t even met them!
VF: What would you like to say to people who are apprehensive of a plant-based diet?
S: Try it out, there is no harm in trying and if you want to make a change for the better and live a life that you can enjoy every moment of - why not try it out sooner. I’m constantly sharing my recipes and sometimes even my dishes with friends and family, so they know just how easy and delicious this type of food can be. I’m so convinced that this is the best way to live that I even enrolled my daughter and niece in the course. Now they are both on the same diet, my daughter has slimmed down and my niece has lost 10kgs! What SHARAN teaches - works. To those who are apprehensive, I say just trust me.
VF: Many people say that being plant based is expensive and time-consuming. Do you agree?
S: I have heard that many times, but my answer is always the same. Would you rather spend money on monthly bills to the doctor or on eating healthy and being disease free? The same with food prep; it takes the same time cooking a regular meal as it does a vegan meal. So why not opt for the healthier plant-based option!? Plus with doing everything from scratch and preparing food at home, you automatically enjoy your time in the kitchen. Not only are you learning new techniques but you are also seeing the physical, emotional and mental results.
VF: Do you have any advice for people who want to do a SHARAN course or turn vegan?
S: It is a decision you won’t regret. Many people do it for health reasons like hypertension, diabetes etc. but the truth is, it affects every aspect of your life. At the age of 70 I feel 17 again; I love talking about the course, the people, the different recipes and of course making food for my loved ones. I can’t wait for SHARAN to come out with their youth classes, as I want to share this lifestyle with my grand-daughter. If at this age I can feel this happy, excited and energetic, then why not do it sooner!?
There you have it folks. I bet after reading this interview you feel that sense of optimism and joy that exudes from Ms. Bakhtani. To know more about SHARAN’s courses head on over to their website and make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@sharanindia) for all the updates.
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