My health: Darcey Bussell

Hands up who loves Darcey Bussell?  Thought so.  From Royal Ballet prima ballerina she's two-stepped beautifully into the nation's heart, stealing the show at the Olympics closing ceremony, and on Strictly Come Dancing (we're counting the days till autumn when it's back on-screen...)  This week, she shares her secrets of good health... What makes me really happy is being with my kids and my husband, and going on adventures together. This year we are going skiing in Austria where we’ve never been before.

My biggest treat is having a massage at the Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden, sharing girl time with my younger sister Zaylie, 33.

I never took much care of my skin because we always wore such heavy make-up: you just scrubbed it off and that was that.  My skin got very dehydrated because of travelling so much but I didn’t really know what to do so I just drank more water, and occasionally put on moisturiser.

When we went to Australia in 2007 I got very conscious of my skin.  Now I’m a devoted fan of Sanctuary Lipid Recovery Facial Oil, which I use every night. I never thought it would make such a difference - my skin doesn’t have dry patches now and it’s much smoother.

I cook simple food, with lots of protein for energy – chicken and fish, vegetables and fruit, as fresh as possible.  I try to buy by the day and no packet food.  We’re on porridge for breakfast now.

My dancing days left a legacy of wear and tear on my joints so I take two or three of cod liver oil capsules every day.  I’m hardly ever ill.  Being a mother is like being a performer, you just have to get on and do it.

I don’t drink coffee – just never liked it – so if I’m tired, the quickest perk-up thing is Diet Coke or green tea, and a bit of Green & Black’s dark chocolate.

I give my girls - Phoebe who is 11 and Zoe eight -  lots of water.  Children dehydrate very quickly and then they get really tired.  My father is a retired dentist so fruit juice is just for treats because of the sugar.

Exercise is the quickest energy booster.  We have two spoodles, Lolli and Pop, who I walk every day for half an hour.  I swim and cycle plus I do zumba, it’s my release and it makes me laugh.  And I can do anything after zumba - everything is possible!

Relaxing is very important.  We all get wound up with work.  Watching a movie is a good switch off or a nice hot bath with scented oils.

I am much calmer and more laidback than I used to be.  That was partly being in Australia for four years.  The lifestyle is much easier and there’s all that space and the big sky. Overcrowding can make me a bit tense. I love London and the social side of life but you need a cut off.

Darcey Bussell is the face of Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse skincare. The new Active Reverse Peptide Repair Eye Cream launches this month in Boots.




I love a delicious tea, with proper tea-pots and lots of cake.  So I am happy to support the Eve Appeal’s Make Time for Tea campaign in March, spearheaded by Lorraine Kelly, to raise funds for research into ovarian cancer. Visit the website for a free TEA fundraising pack to help you plan.  We love the thought of doing in style with frocks and little hats, and vintage china.



People with poor circulation tend to suffer chilly feet when sitting for any length of time, watching TV for instance.  Even better than sheepskin slippers or a hot water bottle, the Beurer Cosy Foot Warmer is like an electric foot muff, with soft comfy quilting.  With protection against overheating, it offers three temperature levels.



Q.  I’m trying to find egg-free recipes for someone who is allergic to eggs, shellfish and all poultry/game birds. 

A.  I asked Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, who edits, the specialist website for allergy sufferers.  She recommends The Intolerant Gourmet, by Pippa Kendrick.  Michelle says: ‘This is a very nice book with great pictures.  She doesn’t use eggs at all, although she does use some egg replacers, including more unusual ones like flax seed.’  Adds Michelle:  'There are also two self-published collections of more basic but still very jolly recipes’, says Michelle.  Firstly, I'm Hungry, by dietitian Tanya Wright, and Dairy and Egg Free Cake Recipes by Katie Crookston, whose whole family is egg and dairy allergic.'

You will also find a whole section on Freefrom recipes on


Here's how to find the products mentioned in this week's column...

Sanctuary Lipid Recovery Facial Oil/£22 at - buy here

• Sanctuary Active Reverse Peptide Repair Eye Cream/£18 at - buy here

• Beurer Cosy Foot Warmer/£39.99 at - buy here

 The Intolerant Gourmet by Pippa Kendrick (Collins)/£20 at - buy here

• Dairy and Egg Free Cake Recipes by Katie Crookston/£15.99 plus postage at - buy here

•  I'm Hungry, £10.50 including postage - send an SAE with cheque to Tanya Wright, 106 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 OBE