Doctor and TV presenter Dawn Harper on mornings, cycling and entertaining friends

I grow my own veggies. We’ve got a little vegetable patch at home in the Cotswolds so I get my five-a-day straight from my own garden, which I love. I’m not vegan, but I definitely eat a very plant-based diet with lots of meat-free days. Most of the time I don’t have lunch. I rarely get hungry throughout the day, but if I feel peckish then I’ll opt for a superfood salad at around 1pm. I avoid snacking as much as I can, but I’ll reach for fruit before anything else.

Being on TV is less scary than working as a GP. I do a variety of jobs – from my radio show to writing and presenting – and I enjoy them all so much that I can easily overdo it, but I do try to keep a work/life balance. I used to get scared of going on TV, like This Morning or Embarrassing Bodies, but sometimes I think it’s harder to be sat in my doctor’s surgery – you never know what problem people will come through the door with next. When I’m writing my newspaper columns I do it from my office at home, which looks over the countryside. It’s a beautiful view. Friday is my NHS day, so that’s when I’m in surgery. I always look forward to that time because it’s what I’m trained to do.  

Cycling is my favourite hobby. If I have the day off then I’ll go on a 20-mile bike ride. I absolutely love to cycle and recently did charity rides in Amsterdam and Paris. Jack will sometimes come with me, too, and we will finish up in a gastro pub for a nice long meal. I love these days because I can wear what I want, like leggings and a sweatshirt, and not worry about how I’m going to look on screen.

We love entertaining. When I get back from work, around 5 or 6pm, we’ll often have friends over for a nice dinner. I’m so lucky that Jack is such an amazing cook, and he actually really enjoys it, which means I can sit and do the chatting while he prepares fabulous food. We also love putting the fire on during the darker evenings at the moment, so we’ll light that before settling down to watch TV. At 10pm we head up to bed, where I’ll scrub off all the heavy TV make-up before watching the evening news and falling asleep.

  • Dr Dawn Harper is a brand ambassador for Aptaclub Eating For 2 for expectant mums. Visit

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