‘My life in a day’
Sara Davenport Author & Founder of Breast Cancer Haven The wellbeing entrepreneur, philanthropist and campaigner, 56, on delivering her holistic health message
Author and founder of Breast Cancer Haven, Sara Davenport.
‘Irise at 7am, shower, dress and take vitamins B12, D3, a B complex and magnesium and selenium in liquid form. I have them on an empty stomach as I don’t like eating breakfast. I think it’s healthier for the digestive system to have a longer overnight fast. Then I sit and write for two hours, when my brain feels sharpest. I’m working on my second book, the follow-up to Reboot Your Health, which is my guide to all the simple, free tests you can do or take to establish your health baseline, then work on rebalancing your body – a home-health toolbox.
‘I live in Chelsea, London and, at around 9am, I take a break and walk to Juice Baby on the King’s Road for an organic green juice. Back at work, I’ll move onto researching and writing my twice-weekly blog, teaching people to listen to their bodies, tweak their lifestyles and improve their health. After a couple of hours, I’ll make a salad for lunch and take the rest of my supplements – pre- and probiotics, vitamin C, some essential fatty acids and a digestive enzyme. I don’t believe it’s possible to get all the nutrients we need from food these days and I take the supplements I’ve seen good evidence for.’
S E T T I N G UP THE HAVEN
‘I’ve been very open-minded about complementary and holistic therapies since a kinesiologist cured my teenage acne (after years of conventional drugs had done nothing). When my children’s nanny had breast cancer in 1998, I was shocked at the treatments and side effects she had to endure, with no support or concern for her wider wellbeing. I thought she was just unlucky, but I soon met more and more women who were having the same experience. I started going into hospitals and talking to doctors and nurses about the therapies I thought might help. But there just wasn’t the funding – or the interest – to increase the range.
‘Initially, I thought I’d fundraise and help an existing breast cancer charity set up a centre where women could access holistic therapies and support for free. To my surprise, none of them recognised the need, so I decided to do it myself. I’d been working as an art dealer, but I believed in this idea so passionately that I sold the contents of my gallery to set up my own charity and fund the building of the first Breast Cancer
‘I’ve spent decades speaking to women about their experiences’
KNOWING YOUR STRENGTHS
‘I never took a salary from Breast Cancer Haven; I remortgaged my home and did some property development to fund my day-to-day living. I was never shy about asking for help and was inundated with donations and contributions. Eventually some of the big trusts got on board and we really took off.
‘I’ve spent decades reading the latest research and speaking to the women at the centres about their experiences of complementary and conventional therapies. It’s easy for medics to dismiss holistic healthcare as “unproven”, but clinical trials are very expensive, hence they’re generally only available to big pharma. Different therapies work for different people so you have to keep an open mind.’
LOOKING AFTER MYSELF – AND OTHERS
‘I hate the gym so my workout is walking. I go for at least 45 minutes’ brisk walk after lunch every day. Then I answer emails, make videos for my blog or have meetings, downing tools for the day at 5pm.
‘I’ve stepped down from the board of Breast Cancer Haven as I’ve achieved everything I wanted to. I’m now researching all the natural ways we can boost our brain health and try to offset dementia.’
Sara has an organic green juice daily She walks for exercise Sara swears by supplements