Steven Lamb, brand director River Cottage
My favourite new year health cure has nothing to do with tinctures or tonics but does involve a wee bit of exercise.
It has become an annual custom to gather a group of close friends and their families to embark ona walk through Langdon Woods to the top of Golden Cap. The walk itself is more of a social wander to begin with as the topography is flat enough so you can chat about the presents you received and the resolutions you haveset without panting out of breath like a nuisance caller. So far it has always taken place in perfect winter sunshine so never fails to set the year ahead with promise. In fact it is the perfect preamble for the much harder incline up to the summit of Golden Cap because you feel so good about breaking out of the eating, drinking, TV watching spiral of Christmas that the challenge is met square on. Once at the top you can see the expansive views along the Dorset coast line and out towards the infinity of where the sea meets the sky. It is like opening the door to the new year. After a group photo it's down (much quicker) to the ever brilliant George Inn at Chideock for steaming bowls of chilli and warming pints of beer..........and conversation about bikes and gyms.
Pearl Lowe, designer
I have always been into most spiritual things, but for some reason I couldn't never get into meditation. I always found it hard to let go of my thoughts, I put it down to having a rather busy brain. It wasn't until a friend told me about TM Meditation, that a light went off inside me. She got taught it over 4 consecutive days at The David Lynch Foundation in London. Thinking it was far too impossible for me to juggle the kids whilst being in London for 4 days, I put it out of my head. But after watching my friend become calmer, unstressed, happy, youthful In literally a space of only just a few months, I realised that TM was something I needed to do. The next step was to find a TM teacher in Somerset who could come to my house. This was easier than I thought. There are trained TM teachers all across the world. So in July, I started my Initiation ceremony. Now 6 months on, my life hasn't changed as dramatically as my friend's, but I can see a massive difference in the way I deal with situations. I feel a sense of calm and quietness. my sleep is so much better, I now wake up with a smile on my face instead of dreading the day. I have also noticed that I have only wonderful people in my life. Meditation is quite a commitment and not for everyone. It is quite time consuming as you have to meditate 20 mins in the morning and 20 mins in the afternoon, but the effects are life changing.
Sophy Roberts, freelance writer and Financial Times columnist on travel and culture.
For the last 10 years I’ve been fighting really bad hayfever – so bad that on some days I can’t drive. I have no issue taking any powerful antihistamine on the market – but nothing worked. I was told about homeopath Dr. Jacobs (based between London and Dorset) and last year, he cracked it. Track him down through Frameworks Clinic in Verwood. I can’t recommend him more highly, and to get going in January. Because if you want to get on top of hayfever, you've got to start before the pollen comes out. www.frameworksclinic.co.uk
Laura Campbell, Stylist and DJ
After the overindulgence of Christmas and the drop in temperature, this is the prime time for catching a lurgy. And here I am writing this with snuffly nose and a niggle of something a bit glandular going on in the back of my throat with a large hankie on standby. So in between moments of feeling sorry for myself, I have been lashing into my pot of Chyawanprash. It's an off-putting looking black coloured gunk that seems to be a fantastic immune booster. It's packed with all sorts of natural healing remedies like honey, cardamon and cinnamon bark along with some bizarre sounding ingredients such as Indian trumpet flower, blue water lily, asparagus, spreading hogweed, Bengal quince and Indian nightshade, but it tastes quite good and feels like it's powering through unwanted germs in your system. Propolis spray is my fail-safe travelling tonic to counteract any nasty bugs especially if you are about to board a train or plane (also worth dabbing rosemary oil on your temples and pulse points). Rose hips which can be picked and dried for free in autumn or bought from most decent health food shops, make for a very tasty tea with honey. One teaspoon is packed with more Vitamin C than six oranges. During WWII the government recommended citizens drink rose hip syrup which I remember Boots used to sell up until the Seventies but is now quite hard to come by. Worth making your own brew.
My favourite health cure has played a major part in my life over the last decade. Spelt is an ancient grain with a delicious nutty taste that’s nutritious and high in fibre. I’m so convinced of the benefits of the grain that at my family home, Sharpham Park in Somerset, we farm it organically. It’s an `ancient' grain because it’s remained unchanged for millennia whereas corn, rice and wheat have been bred to be easier to farm, but many argue this is at the expense of flavour and nutrition. The Romans described spelt as their `marching grain’ for a good reason. It’s a wholegrain and this means it releases its energy slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. It’s an ideal choice if you’re keen to reduce fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can lead to irritability, a lack of energy and fatigue. Highly nutritious, spelt contains significant levels of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous which earns it the title `super grain’. Many find it easier to digest than modern wheat because it has a fragile gluten structure. At Sharpham Park we grow organic spelt in the heart of the Somerset levels and produce a range of tasty and healthy products including flour, breakfast cereals, muesli, pearled spelt, and risotto mixes. Our products are sold in supermarkets, farm shops, delicatessens and restaurants as well as online at www.sharphampark.com