‘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

Health & Fitness - - Welcome -

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

Haven* cen­tre.’

‘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

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