An Indian version of the popular 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program that has helped more than 150,000 Americans lose weight and improve their health will debut Nov. 7, 2011 with the support of celebrities like Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Jackie Shroff, Amala Akkineni, Celina Jaitley, Amrita Rao, Alicia Silverstone and Maggie Q.

The free online program, available at, is created by the Washington-based nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. It will offer Indians in India and around the world a research-based roadmap to jumpstart weight-loss and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.

Registered Kickstarters will get access to a website that includes 21 days of healthy and delicious Indian recipes including Carrot Halwa, Navratan Kurma, and Mint Biryani with Roasted Mushrooms, celebrity tips, and cooking demonstration webcasts featuring Dr. Nandita Shah.

India’s traditional vegetarian cuisine is packed with nutrient-rich, disease-fighting legumes and vegetables. But the influence of Western diets—loaded with oil, high-fat dairy products, and other unhealthful foods—has led to India’s diabetes epidemic.


“Traditional plant-based Indian diets are being swamped by unhealthy meat and dairy products,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine. “These foods are driving obesity and diabetes rates through the roof. Our research shows the best way to lose weight and reverse disease is to jump into a completely dairy-free, plant-based diet for three weeks.”

More than 62 million people in India have diabetes. And according to a study commissioned by the Indian Council for Medical Research, the number of people with diabetes increased by 11.6 million last year. 77.2 million have prediabetes.

On Nov. 7, Kickstart India will help Indians around the world reduce the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

“It’s easy to eliminate milk, ghee, and yogurt from an Indian diet,” says Dr. Shah, a Mumbai-based physician. “The Kickstart offers healthy, dairy-free versions of traditional favorites like Carrot Halwa, Palak Paneer, and Navratan Kurma. There’s no deprivation involved—just sensible eating.”


Kickstart India provides 21 daily e-mail messages that give participants an all-access pass to healthful, plant-based, dairy-free versions of traditional India favorites and cooking demonstration videos by Dr. Shah. There’s also an online community forum where PCRM nutrition experts will answer your nutrition questions and nearly 20 celebrity coaches, including:

• Amala Akkineni, actress and philanthropist

• Celina Jaitly, Bollywood star

• Dr. Shashi Tharoor, United Nations peacekeeper and member of the Indian Parliament

• Jackie Shroff, star of more than 150 Bollywood movies.

To view Kickstart celebrity tips and bios and start receiving your daily e-mail messages, register at