MHS Senior Writes Book To Help Others Lead Healthier Lives

By Henry M. Holden


Annika Sharma, a senior at Millburn High school recently published her first book, “The Healthy Teen.”

The book focuses on the nutritional challenges the active teens of today face, and gives some practical tips for the teens to take charge of their nutrition and fitness.

Sharma hopes her book will help other teens in following a healthy lifestyle.

“When I started high school as a freshman, I went through my own struggle,” she explains. “I was always on the larger side and seeing you-tubers, fitness gurus, and girls my age getting fit and active, intimidated me.

“I turned away from food for about two years and lost almost 40 pounds,” she continues. “The problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. It got to the point where I starved myself so much but couldn’t see a difference in my body. My friends and family helped me out of that struggle, but nobody could change my lifestyle but me.”

Sharma researched recipes that she could make to stay healthy and fit but still nourish her body.

“I found many recipes, but they weren’t quick and easy snacks or a breakfast that I could whip together in between my intense school schedule,” Sharma explains. “As teens, we often take on more than we can handle, while taking care of our bodies at the same time.”

Sharma didn’t just create a recipe book but included yoga and why you should try it, and a playlist for a cardio work.

“I decided to create this fool-proof, easy guide for every teen, from healthy recipes to lifestyle advice to fitness tips to great playlists.”

While this book is a teen’s guide to a healthier life it can be a guide for adults who are also seeking a healthier life. The preparation time for the recipes is short which is a plus for all active people.

The illustrations are colorful, and the photos of the food are well done, making some the recipes worth trying just from looking at them.

“I hope people take more than ‘I need to lose weight’ or ‘I want to look like that model’ from this book,” said Sharma. “While it’s great to have goals and aspirations to better your lifestyle, I want you to keep in mind that the goal is to feel your best. When you’re energized, your looks radiate that.”

Sharma is the founder and leader of Girl Talk Millburn Chapter, and 2019 NJ Governor STEM Scholar. During summer, Sharma conducted research in clinical Nutritional Science at the Steinhardt Institute at New York University (NYU) under her mentor Prof. Jessica Bihuniak. Sharma has presented her research at several conferences. She presented her paper “Adherence to Mediterranean Style Diet in Urban and Rural Obese and Overweight Students” at the 2017 Diversity summer student research conference, NYU.

Sharma runs for the Millburn High School Cross Country team and likes to cook healthy recipes. 

More information about the author and the book is available at-

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