Having survived several heart attacks, Sally Bee was determined to prove the doctors poor prognosis wrong, and with the help of her healthy lifestyle, has done just that. As a food writer, campaigner, heart health ambassador and TV presenter, Sally Bee works tirelessly to share her story and health advice. Sally's latest feature, her ‘Kitchen Garden’ series, will air during the Lorraine show on ITV. During filming, Sally used some Wovenhill rattan garden furniture in her garden, and was blessed with perfect weather to boot! Sally's Story
In 2004, at just age 36, Sally was enjoying a children's party when she was struck down with what she thought was bad indigestion. Little did she know at the time, it was actually the first of three massive heart attacks. After the third heart attack within the space of a week, Sally's husband was given the devastating news that he was to say goodbye to his wife and accept she may not live through the next night. Within a matter of days their lives had changed forever and he had the prospect of becoming a widow with three children under five years old.
However, Sally had very different intentions. She fought with every bit of life left, before eventually that first night became another night, and subsequent days became weeks, and so on. Her doctors were amazed at the turnaround of events and the progress that Sally had made, and declared 'if you can survive ten years after this, you can live forever.' It's been a long road to recover, but now, 10 years on, Sally is enjoying life like never before.
It transpired that Sally actually had a rare heart condition, and Sally believes she was saved solely by her healthy lifestyle: "good movement, good nutrition, good health." Your story is so moving and very compelling – it is not difficult to see how such a close encounter would change ones outlook on life. What was the biggest change you made following your recoveryω
The biggest change for me has been to live everyday as if it’s my birthday. I was only 36 when I suffered 3 heart attacks and my babies were all very small - so everyday is precious to us now. We should all live like its our birthday and dance like no-one is watching! If you could give one piece of advice to your twenty-something year old self, what would it beω
My advice would be to not worry so much about things that you have no control over and to appreciate special friendships. It’s easy when you are in your twenties to become self absorbed and concentrate only on your career - but friendships are precious and need to be nurtured. As a busy mother of three and successful career woman yourself, what is your best tip for keeping you and your family healthy whilst balancing your busy lifestyleω
I think it’s all down to planning. Eating a healthy diet isn’t at all difficult but it does take a bit of advance planning. If you dash home from work and everyone is starving hungry but there is no healthy food in the house to eat it is far too easy to opt for a pizza or an unhealthy take-away. But if you have planned ahead and have something healthy and delicious bubbling away in the slow cooker or ready made in the freezer that you can simply pop in the oven, staying healthy becomes and easy to achieve and enjoyable element of family life. What are the staple ingredients you could never live without in your kitchenω
I could not live without onions, garlic, olive oil and tomatoes. These ingredients are the best health giving, tastiest base to absolutely everything savoury! If you could cook for one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and whyω
I would love to cook for the first television chef Fanny Craddock! I think she’s be a complete hoot, bonkers and no nonsense kind of person. Congratulations on your recent 10 year anniversary. What a fantastic achievement! What goals do you have for the next 10 yearsω
Thank you! Yes, it has been a very special year this year. At one stage when I was in hospital, I asked one of the doctors if I could survive 10 yearsω He almost laughed, as he didn’t think I would survive the week, let alone 10 years. But he eventually smiled and said, ‘Sally if you can survive 10 years after this, you can survive forever!” Well, I have survived 10 years and am looking forward to the next 10 years. My aims are simple; to remain fit and well to be able to enjoy every moment. I’m working for ITV now and have lots of exciting plans for the future. It’s really a case of watch this space! x The Wovenhill Corner Rattan Garden Sofa Set used during filming is available here. In Sally's own words, the furniture was left out in the rain all week and still looks amazing!
Sally is a regular on the Lorraine show on ITV and is currently co-running the Vow to Wow
plan on the programme.
Learn more about Sally on her website