Recently I was part of the official launch of an exciting new project involving This Community Can, a project backed by Community Action Suffolk and Sport England to tackle rural isolation with activity. People of all ages came along to Kedington Community Centre for a morning of wellbeing with an hour of yoga, my session on wellbeing through nutrition and subsidised reflexology, and ear acupuncture and aromatherapy treatments were on offer. There was also a very popular arts & crafts area where young and old had a great time. The event finished with live music and a drum circle. The event was accessible to all, both financially and physically as there was no charge and Giles was able to help everyone to enjoy the yoga regardless of mobility problems or age. Isn’t it wonderful that we have local initiatives that are free to access and really support individuals and communities to be healthy? Of course, things like this are being supported more by a government and health care system that is creaking under the pressure of so much illness. They seem to have finally realised that prevention is better than cure. Nicky Russell, Project Officer with Community Action Suffolk said; ‘I was delighted by the atmosphere today - participants ranged from 2 to 82 and everyone had a wonderful time with much laughter, fun and the forming of new friendship - a true community event, and one I am so proud to be a part of.’ One important aspect of healthy and happy living is community; we all know that man is not an island. Especially in rural areas with the decline of the village shop and pub, and closures to libraries and youth clubs – it is tougher than ever for some people to connect with others. Even in our towns and cities there is great isolation. Mobile phones and social media have their place in connecting us – but they don’t compare to being with others in person and having a really great time. This is the vibe that we are creating with our touring Healthy Living Festival – making it fun and for everyone. With mental and physical health issues affecting so many, it is so important to have a ‘tool kit’ of techniques and knowledge to help keep us healthy and happy. At our events is wonderful to be working with a group of experienced health professionals promoting natural, safe and effective practices that have a long history of use. People such as BBC TV’s Dr Chaterjee are leading the medicinal and health community in understanding the enormous common sense in ‘lifestyle medicine’, treating the causes of disease, not just the symptoms and helping people to thrive, not just survive. In my next post check out my new creations that I am demoing at my Divine Desserts workshop soon, using one of my favourite herbs, mint. I’ve planted 5 different varieties in the garden and all of the recent sun and rain has made it grow, grow, grow. Mint is an amazing food that is easy and cheap to grow. It’s local too and needs no packaging – all things people are realising the value in nowadays. Mint has long been used to treat colds and coughs, digestive disorders, breastfeeding pains and improve cognitive function. I think we should be having mint daily in our salads, teas, cakes and simply munching on the leaves for fresh breath. It may be also be beneficial for treating IBS. One study found that 75% of patients who took peppermint oil for four weeks showed improvements in IBS symptoms, compared to 38% of the patients in the placebo group. Other studies have shown that mint may increase alertness, brain function and concentration.