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Afraid of Cancer?

anti cancer – a new way of life

At the time of this updated edition of his book Dr David Servan-Schreiber has lived cancer free for ten years. In this book he tells what he has learned, both scientifically and personally.Anti Cancer book

Dr Servan-Schreiber was diagnosed with cancer of the brain when he was working as a medical resident in Pittsburgh.

Anticancer turns fear on its head – it is simply all the best, most thorough and quite amazing research on how you can build your body’s natural defences, whether you have cancer or not.

It is a myth that cancer is primarily linked to our genetic make-up – our lifestyle is the major determining factor and there is so much we can do to help boost our body’s natural capacity for protection.

We can:

Guard ourselves from the imbalances of our environment – adjust our diet, cutting back on cancer promotoers and including the greatest number of foods that help prevent, and actively fight, tumours

Create a relationship with our bodies that stimulates the immune system – understand and heal the psychological wounds that feed cancer

This truly groundbreaking, positive book has swept the world by storm, taking its place at the top of the bestseller charts.

Dr Servan-Schreiber makes the most compelling and inspiring case for playing a part in your own health.

I found this a most compelling read. It has the ring of authenticity and written in non-medical terms

When we heard a dear friend had been diagnosed with multiple melanoma we were devastated and felt helpless. Finding this book has made a huge difference to our understanding of cancer from the point of view of the sufferer and gave us more confidence to keep in touch with him.  I have given my copy to him and I’m confident it is the most positive gift I can give. I’m sending a copy to another friend who is in remission and again I’m sure she will find it of huge interest and a source of hope and inspiration.

I would urge anyone touched by cancer to buy this book and pass it on, or better still send a copy as a gift to those about whose health they are concerned.

Anticancer is published by Penguin in both hard and soft back, ISBN978-0-718-15684-8

It is also available on Amazon Anticancer: A New Way of Life


Penguin has provided In Balance with FIVE copies of Dr Servan-Schreiber’s book, anti cancer to giveaway to In Balance readers. To enter the draw send an email to with Anti Cancer in the subject box and your full contact details in the text box to reach us by 30 March 2011. One entry per household.

Val Reynolds Brown Editor


Victorian Rosebud Lobelia for that Wow Factor!

Our front garden has a most ad hoc group of plants with no semblance of tidiness or order. Although in my defence I have to say there is an element of careful selection! Up to now bedding plants haven’t played a part in the scheme of things.

However, just what do you think this plant is? Double click to see larger image.

Lobelia Kathleen Mallard

It is Lobelia erinus ‘Kathleen Mallard’, an old fashioned double rosebud flower grown by the Victorians, ideal for hanging baskets, patio containers, window boxes and front bedding as it has a close knit habit and forms a perfect ball. Its height and spread is 15cm/6 inches. I fell in love with it instantly, picturing it sitting on the outside edge of the front garden.

We reckon this plant will be very popular, it is so beautiful. Should add quite a wow factor! We’re impressed, so much so we are ordering ten plants for bedding and another ten for our hanging baskets and bedding in the back garden from Thompson & Morgan who are offering them at a really good price.

Suitable for sun or semi shade 5 jumbo plugs cost of £3.49, or 10 jumbo plugs £5.99 and will be despatched by end of April 2011.

To order some now go to the Thompson & Morgan website where you will find all the growing and other information you may need. It’s not a difficult plant to grow.


Lobelia erinus ‘Kathleen Mallard’

We have FIVE Thompson & Morgan sets of 10 jumbo plugs to give away to In Balance readers. To enter the draw send an email with Kathleen Mallard in the subject box to: with all your contact details by latest 31 March 2011. One entry per household.

You might also find our other website of interest


Secateurs – searching for a good pair

Over the past couple of years I have tried out several pairs of secateurs, here they are:

The first pair was so designed that when I was cutting a particularly thick stem it somehow managed to nip the space between my thumb and first finger. Very painful.

The second one had a very simple closing device with no special features. I like this one but would like one with a larger blade.

The third one had a ratchet system that fell apart within a couple of months, and the last one has a yellow closing device that is loose and when I am cutting it in a downward direction the yellow tab falls down and locks the blades. There is no way of tightening the yellow tab. So really that latest pair is totally useless, unless I unscrew the yellow tab or tape it into the open position. However, this was the only pair I could attach a coloured tape to in an attempt to avoid leaving them in the garden to rust.

I’m sorry to say none of them had all the features I wanted and I’m now looking for one that will give a good strong cut, reliable, a long life and simple to operate with a hole in one of the arms to thread through a brightly coloured tape. Do you have any suggestions?

You might also find our other website of interest


How do I look from behind?

Finding comfortable, fashionable swimwear for the well endowed can be a bit of a headache. Bulging out of a swimsuit is the least attractive aspect, especially if you can’t see what you look like from behind. So with comfort and confidence in the pool area a priority I was immediately interested to find out more about a range on offer from UK Swim Store and I asked Sarah Bohn to tell us all about it. Val Reynolds Brown, Editor.

When you think about it, there are few activities or hobbies, which you would do in public, that require you to wear so little. Normally when out and about, whether exercising or not, I like to keep my bottom and thighs nicely covered and my breasts safely in my bra.

So why is it then that to enter a swimming pool in the traditional view is to wear a garment that offers no support to your breasts, allowing them to pop out all over the place and that displays far too much of your lower half than you are comfortable with.

Fortunately this outdated perception is being eradicated by the increase of swimsuits offering women a whole lot more. The days are gone of swimsuits only coming in high leg or with gaping open back cut outs. Now women can cover their bottoms and thighs, suck in their tummies and secure their ample bosoms comfortably.

Speedo Premiere UltimateSuits such as the Speedo Sculpture Premiere Ultimate are such a fantastic revolution that I can’t stop talking about them. Firstly made in a material that is designed to sculpt the body, it holds you in. And with extra tummy control too it gives you confidence in the stomach department, so you can breathe out once in a while.

The next fabulous feature is wide adjustable straps and bust support given by a lining piece and not an underwire. This means the swimmer can tighten or loosen the straps to give a perfect fit, just like with a bra, and is supported without a wire annoyingly poking into the side of their breast when swimming. With a low leg, small opening in the back and going up to a dress size 22, this suit is ideal for some many women. At £45, it is not the cheapest suit available, but with a host of confidence boosting features in one suit it is well worth it.

The next revelation in swimwear that I simply must share with you is the legged swimsuit (sometimes known as a knee suit or boy leg).

Speedo Mindset Legsuit

This style of swimsuit is basically a swimsuit with legs or short style bottoms integrated into the suit. Many of these styles have bust support, offer great coverage at the back and even have adjustable straps. When purchasing a legsuit look out for the leg length or crotch seam measurement. The length of the leg will determine where the suit finishes on your leg. Some styles are quite long going down almost to the knee, others are particularly short offering a more sporty style, but might not give you as much coverage as you need. But with such a variety of legged swimsuits to buy nowadays, you will never need to expose your bikini line again.

A new breed of swimwear is also hitting the pools, swimwear separates that allow you to create your own level of coverage. Items such as ladies swim jammers, swim leggings, swim skirts, bra tops and tea shirt style tops all allow the swimmer to buy different sizes top and bottom and create the look and fit they need. Swimwear doesn’t have to be a one piece suit that might not suit your individual shape and coverage requirements.

For example you could add a swim skirt to your favourite swimsuit to give a bit of coverage to the tops of your legs. Or choose ankle length leggings to protect your legs from the sun on the beach, but wear with a bra top to expose your arms. Now your swimwear can be as individual as you.


Tips for buying swimwear for curvier women

  • Think about back shape. If the back of a swimming costume is very open or strappy, you may feel like you are oozing out the back of it. Instead go for a closed back suit, or one with a small open back.
  • Look at how much material there is under the arms. If the suit is very cut away or has a racing style or strappy back, then they may not be enough material to cover your breasts. This means when you swim your breasts may feel like, or may actually pop out the side of the suit.
  • If opting for a legsuit, think about where the suit is finishing across the leg. Some ladies may find the way the suit creates a horizontal line across the thighs unflattering or even uncomfortable. A swim skirt may be a better option for some ladies.
  • Black is slimming, yes, but navy can also be slimming, and a warmer colour for some skin tones. Also patterns can be slimming too, a busy pattern can have the effect of hiding lumps and bumps.
  • If you want a slimming style look for a swimsuit with vertical side panels or stripes which will give shape and definition.
  • A detail under the bust is also very flattering and gives a beautiful shape.
  • If you are in-between sizes always go smaller in a swimsuit than bigger. This may seem strange advice, but a lot of materials will get ever so slightly bigger in the water. It is better to have a suit that holds you in, than one that is too loose and falling off your shoulders.
  • Look for chlorine resistant fabrics. This type of fabric has been designed to last longer in the chlorinated water. So once you have found the perfect suit it will last and not degrade (that horrible see-through eaten effect) like a basic elastane swimsuit can.
  • To keep your suit looking its best for longer always read the care label instructions and rinse your swimsuit thoroughly after use. Avoid shampoos and products and hang up to dry as soon as possible.
  • Sign up for the newsletter, to get regular updates on new styles and colourways in stock. If you have found a perfect style of swimsuit for you, it is always handy to know when it has been released in a different colour, or if alas is being discontinued.
  • And my final tip that I give all women who ask for my advice is, once you are in the water no-one can see what you look like anyway. Just jump in and enjoy swimming.

Sarah Bohn    Director of UK Swim Store and Founder of Bohn Swimwear


Our Front Garden now has its own website

Last year we added Our Front Garden as a new feature in In Balance Magazine. As interest has since grown significantly we have now created its own website.

We will be providing monthly tips from experts and the opportunity for readers to send in their queries and problems.

We will continue to write about our front garden, how our plants are faring, raising plants from seed and our push for a no-dig plot as well as comment on weather and growing conditions.

Our Front Garden Logo

We really enjoy receiving your emails so do keep sending them to or Front Garden Logo

Val & John Reynolds


Mobile theft – So quick, So Devastating

Italian coffee

Italian coffee

While having a coffee in Regents Street yesterday, I heard a woman sitting at my table suddenly say ‘He’s taken my mobile’.

She got up to follow him but he had disappeared into the passing crowd. She ran back and rummaged through her large bag in a vain hope that she was mistaken and pleading with her friend to call Vodaphone to cancel her account. It took a long time to contact Vodaphone and in the meantime the woman swung between anger to despair with copious amounts of tears.

Her mobile had been lying on the table next to her coffee and she had been rummaging in her bag when a man in a red tea shirt had just reached out and taken it as he walked by. She could hardly believe it had happened it was so quick.

I was deep into a newspaper puzzle and hadn’t seen it happen.

As I don’t like mobiles making a noise, when I do have it with me it is always on vibrate and in my pocket so I feel it when it goes off. So it’s unlikely I would ever put it on a table like she did. I felt a bit of a spare part, not having seen it happen and having nothing to offer in support.

The government has just called on the mobile phone industry to do more to protect handset owners against theft. Around 2% of British mobile phone users report they have suffered a theft in the last 12 months, although for teenagers the figure is three times higher.

Results  of a Home Office crime prevention contest were announced yesterday aimed at making mobile phones less attractive to thieves. The winning designs will be shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 15-18 February.

Have you ever had your mobile stolen? Want to share your experience? Contact us


Theatre Tips for 2011

Another new year, another feast for London theatre goers.  For the lovers of musicals there is no shortage.  The old favourites like Les Miserables, The Lion King and Billy Elliot are still around (and may well be for many years more), but newcomers to the block include The Wizard of Oz with Michael Crawford, and Ghost based on the Hollywood film.
The National’s first blockbuster could be a version of Frankenstein, or Twelfth Night directed by Peter Hall to mark his 80th birthday and starring his daughter Rebecca.
As now has become the custom, many of the Off West End theatre productions transfer to the West End, including the well-acclaimed Clybourne Park which arrives at the Wyndhams Theatre via the Royal Court.
The year of Sondheim’s 80th birthday may have passed, but revivals of his excellent work still continue with a production of Company at the rather draughty Southwark Playhouse near London Bridge.
Let’s hope for a nice summer as the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre has in its repertoire The Beggars’ Opera, though for the first time in its history is not putting on a full Shakespeare play; it will be staging a version of Pericles for youngsters though.
The Arcola Theatre in Dalston is about to move to new premises and always puts on exciting productions.  Fringe theatre just seems to move from strength to strength.  And of course you’re rarely disappointed by anything the Almeida, the Donmar or the Tricycle presents; here’s hoping that the Hampstead Theatre, now under the artistic direction of Peter Hall’s son Edward, manages to find its feet.
Out of London, the big event of the year must be the re-opening after refurbishment of the RSC Theatre and the Swan Theatre in Stratford. The new season runs from April to November.
So there you have it – a smattering of the joys to come in theatreland.  Don’t forget the half-price ticket booth at Leicester Square (with another outlet now at Brent Cross) and look for bargains at or .  Keep a sharp eye out for reviews, and if they’re good, don’t tarry before booking.  There may be a recession, but now as in previous ones, theatres continue to do well.  Everyone needs a bit of culture after all!

Jeanette Nelson, Arts Critic

Jeannette is a bit of a culture vulture who enjoys art exhibitions, cinema and classical music, but her main interest is the theatre. For several years she ran theatre discussion groups for which her MA in Modern Drama together with teaching skills stood her in good stead. She prefers to concentrate on the many off West End and fringe productions as well as that real treasure of the London theatre scene, the National.

Giveaway Winners – Bain Mousse

When we came across the Melvita Bain Mousse we really liked so much that we wanted to tell you about it, which we did in December. Foam baths give a luxury feel to a hot soak, in fact the bubbles keep in the heat and you experience a turkish bath effect, well nearly! We loved the aroma and the silky effect on our skin.Melvita oam bath

The Melvita range of products have a good feel about them, especially as they are all natural products with an underlying commitment to non-synthetic, organic ingredients and are not tested on animals.

Melvita is available at various outlets and on line. If you are in the Covent Garden area at all, do visit their shop in  Slingsby Street, it’s like an Aladdin’s Cave!

We had two bottles of the Bain Mousse to give away and the winners are:  B Shaw of Blackpool and H Forster of Surrey. Congratulations!

We have no doubt we’ll have other Melvita products to give away so keep an eye out for our regular newsletter, or subscribe – see below – and you won’t miss out!


Signs of spring

A short sortie into the countryside showed plants are on the move!

Eranthis, winter aconite

Eranthis, winter aconite

Eranthis, a member of the buttercup family, known as winter aconite, were well out in a friend’s garden.

I rather like them and will get some for next year. They are available from Thompson & Morgan, my favourite plant and seed supplier.

The catkins were shaking their tails in the wind



and the snowdrops are more advanced than a couple of weeks ago.



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