Friday Faves

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HI friends! Happy Friday and hellooooooo from the Great Wolf Lodge. We were originally supposed to be on the way to NYC – there were a lot of reasons for canceling, but decided to do a Disney cruise in January instead – and ended up doing a little fall break staycation at GWL. The kids LOVE it here and are at the perfect ages to enjoy everything they have to offer. I think this is our fourth trip and we’ve had a blast each time.

Other than Great Wolf Lodge, the kids have a birthday party, friend/family dinner, and I’m getting everything ready to start the Dr. Cabral detox on Monday.

I will definitely share more about my experience! If you want to join, you can still order here and use FITNESSISTA20 for 20% off. They ship very quickly and you can start whenever you receive your goodies.

I’d love to hear what you’re up to this weekend! I hope you have a relaxing and lovely one ahead.

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party. This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves


Six! Season tickets for Broadway in Tucson were my Mother’s Day gift, and it’s already one my favorite gifts. I love having shows to look forward to all year!

I took madre with me to see Six on opening night and it.was.everything. I had no clue what to expect and was blown away! It’s unlike traditional musicals, as there are no set or costume changes. The six performers are onstage with the band the entire time, and it has like a concert vibe to it. It still has an amazing plot, deep moments, lots of comic relief, and the entire audience was clapping, cheering, and fully enjoying themselves.

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Study reveals what ‘before and after’ body transformations do to our mental health

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This kind of content is rife on social media, but what’s the impact?

Study reveals what ‘before and after’ body transformations do to our mental health

If you’ve ever taken a peek into the world of online fitness content, you’ve almost certainly come across ‘before and after’ body transformation pictures and videos. They could be there to sell you a fitness program, a diet supplement, or simply be a record of someone’s experience. But, despite their commonality, a new study from ASICS has uncovered the impact that this kind of content is having on our mental health.

In their survey, 48% of respondents reported feeling insecure about their bodies after seeing exercise transformation pictures. A staggering 82% of women surveyed (and 73% of Brits overall) believe that society’s obsession with the perfect body is damaging our mental health, and 80% say that they go on to feel unmotivated to exercise after seeing transformation imagery – a sentiment that is at odds with the ‘inspirational’ tone this content often adopts.

Supported by a host of celebrities, including Dr Alex George, Jada Sezer, and Motsi Mabuse, ASICS has launched a campaign to disrupt the ‘before and after’ format, and shift the focus to the ways that exercise can transform our mental health.

Following a roundtable discussion, in a series of images, the celebrities are pictured before and after doing 15 minutes and nine seconds of exercise – the length of time it takes to feel the benefit of exercise on our minds. Predictably, there is no dramatic transformation in their bodies, with the goal of the series to illustrate the ‘hidden’ benefits of an active lifestyle.

“I have been on a real journey with exercise and the reasons why I do it. When I was younger, I really used exercise as a weapon, to try and look thin, to look a certain way,” says Dr Alex George. “When I went on Love Island a few years later, I was over-training, and it wasn’t good for my mental health. Now, I’ve changed the way I view exercise and it’s really helped my mental health. I move for my mind, rather than to look a certain way.”

In a move taken following the research, ASICS EMEA has committed to not posting exercise transformation images on its social media channels, with the support of the ASICS Front Runner community, who will only share images that reflect the powerful mental and emotional impact of exercise.

Hayley Jarvis, head of physical activity at the charity Mind, echoes the importance of adopting a new approach to exercise: “Mind is a firm believer in the power of movement, however small, to support better mental health,” she says.

“Our aim is to support more people to get active to help them to thrive. Our own research shows that many people are put off exercising because they feel self-conscious. The more we can do to remove the barriers to people enjoying the benefits of exercise, the better.”

Study reveals what ‘before and after’ body transformations do to our mental health

Dr Alex

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

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This is a sweet and spicy homemade bbq sauce with just enough heat to linger in your mouth. I’ve been slathering this sauce on darn near everything in my kitchen for a few weeks now!

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

This barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet, it’s perfect on chicken, as a dipping sauce for potato wedges, with steak bites, and mixed into ranch dressing for a spicy kick.

Best of all, not only can you pronounce all the ingredients, but you can whip it together in your own kitchen in less time than it would take to check out at the grocery store.

As you know, I love a great homemade barbecue sauce, so whenever I find a new one to try and it’s a winner, I have to share it with you.

This barbecue sauce is lightly adapted from Half-Baked Harvest’s Sweet Baby Ray’s Copycat Recipe. And I’ve been told by many that this Sweet and Spicy Homemade Barbecue Sauce tastes just like Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.

However, in all fairness to Sweet Baby Ray, I think this sauce blows the store-bought version away.

I actually went out and bought a bottle of the original sauce, just to compare the flavors. The store-bought sauce was really tasty, but the flavors here are deeper and I prefer them. (Of course, I can’t think of many instances where a homemade version won’t trump store-bought!)

Ketchup is, of course, the base but the combination of brown sugar, molasses, and apple cider vinegar really brings the sweet to this sauce. Hungarian paprika, known to be sweet and mild adds depth without being overly sweet.

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4 effective tips for dealing with retrospective jealousy

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Is envy over a partner’s past clouding a happy future?

4 effective tips for dealing with retrospective jealousy

According to, in the UK, the average person has seven sexual partners across a lifetime but, whatever your own experience, it’s fair to say that most people will go into a new relationship bringing their own history. So, what happens when the past gets in the way of present happiness?

“Retroactive jealousy is the jealousy of the past, and a series of uncertainties related to the partner’s previous love affairs,” psychologist Barbara Ocello explains. “It manifests in disproportionate jealousy for the partner’s romantic past, often becoming a cause of conflict, hindering the grounds for harmony within the couple.”

As Barbara explains, retroactive jealousy can lead to obsessive, intrusive, and negative thoughts that can encroach on an otherwise happy and healthy relationship, and this risks bringing with it anxiety, anger, and sadness. So, what steps can you take to address these feelings?

1. Become aware of what you experience

Putting a name to a feeling can really help us start to feel more in control of it, and also allows us to connect with other, similar experiences.

“Sometimes, you can become so overwhelmed by the flow of events that you cannot understand what is really happening,” Barbara explains. “Think about what you are experiencing, name the feelings you have, and think about the images that come to mind. It may be helpful to write down what is happening, to ‘let out’ the anger and become aware of it.”

When you’re in the throes of retrospective jealousy, the feelings of distress are very real, but trying to take a step back to name and examine it is a gateway to giving yourself permission to move forward.

2. Stay in the present

“A useful strategy to deal with such jealousy is to rationalise feelings and thoughts,” Barbara says. “One way to do this is to think back to your past rather than your partner’s. Look back over your experiences, both good and bad. Think about the times when you felt loved or have loved. Also, reflect on what you were like in your past relationships. If it doesn’t take anything away from how you feel in your current relationship, why shouldn’t it be the same for your partner?”

When we’re missing info, it can be easy to fill in the gaps with things that aren’t necessarily grounded in facts. If this is something you find yourself doing, take a moment to pause and consider where reality ends and intrusive thoughts take over.

For example, Barbara recommends keeping in mind that if your partner ended the relationship with their ex, there must have been problems, and that they have now chosen to stay with you, to build a life together.

3. Try to avoid controlling behaviours

The point at which retrospective jealousy can become a more serious problem is if you begin to act on unfounded feelings. You might then breach trust in the relationship, or be constantly on the lookout for new information about your partner’s past, which will only spur on your fears.

“Stop investigating the past by looking for info on social networks, or asking family and friends about previous relationships,” Barbara says. “These are self-destructive behaviours. Don’t nag your

Marisa Peer: You ARE enough

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Marisa Peer, world-renowned therapist and founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy® joins Happiful’s podcast to share what you can do to make positive changes in your life, starting today

Marisa Peer: You ARE enough

Marisa Peer has worked with thousands of people throughout her prestigious career and she credits them all for the lessons they’ve taught her along the way. These lessons, she shares, enabled her to create an incredible approach now practised across the world - Rapid Transformational Therapy®. RTT combines elements from a number of different approaches to create a kind of therapy that offers quick results and immediate support.

There is one common challenge that comes up time and again for people she works with and that is the feeling that they are not ‘enough’. This, Marisa believes, is a universal concern.

“But it's not true,” she asserts. “It's a belief. But of course, you make your beliefs and then your beliefs turn around and make you, and then you have something called confirmation bias, which means you are looking for proof of what you have chosen to believe.”

In conversation with Happiful, Marisa shares great insights around the importance of reframing our thoughts, telling ourselves a 'better lie' and the importance of connection and rejection when it comes to our sense of self.

Marisa’s advice

  • Pay attention to how you talk to yourself and upgrade it.  Be nice, become your own best friend
  • Remember there's nothing that will build your self-esteem like praise.
  • Say these four little phrases to yourself, every day.  
    I'm enough. I'm lovable, I matter and I'm significant.

A full interview with Marisa Peer will be in Issue 69 of Happiful, available from early December.
Find out more about Marisa, her books and teachings.

Find a Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT) practitioner today