Kelsey Parker on the reality of grief and the next steps in her healing journey

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Eight months after The Wanted star Tom Parker died of brain cancer, his wife Kelsey reveals her ongoing experience of grief, and the physical and mental challenge that will offer an opportunity for contemplation and healing

Kelsey Parker on the reality of grief and the next steps in her healing journey

The weekend before her interview with Happiful, actress and influencer Kelsey Parker was a guest at a wedding where she unexpectedly found herself sidelined by other guests.

“No one wanted to talk to me,” explains Kelsey. “People don’t know what to say to me, so they say nothing at all. I tried to speak to people that I hadn’t seen for a while, but after the ‘How are you?’ nobody wanted to take the conversation further.”

For the uninitiated, that conversation is grief. And, according to Kelsey, the widow of singer and The Wanted star Tom Parker who died in March at the age of 33, after an 18-month battle with brain cancer, it’s time we all did better at speaking out about life after loss.

“I’m coping with my grief by speaking about it, but in the UK we just don’t talk honestly and openly about grief, death, and everything else associated with these painful experiences. These are realities that will one day affect us all,” says Kelsey, who has made a six-part ITVBe miniseries about grief, which airs this month. Welcoming cameras into the south London home she once shared with Tom and their children Aurelia, three, and Bodhi, two, and being filmed as she explored alternative ways to navigate grief was, says Kelsey, “hugely healing”.

Kelsey Parker on the reality of grief and the next steps in her healing journey

As well as visiting a death cafe where people drink tea, eat cake, and discuss death, she tried grief yoga, where movements and breathing techniques help participants process their feelings. She also met with members of Widowed And Young, a national charity for people who are aged 50 or under when their partner dies.

“It’s shocking, isn’t it? I’m 32 and I’m a widow,” sighs Kelsey. “Although my friends are amazing, they can’t truly relate to me because they’ve not lost their partner, so I really enjoyed meeting with the WAY members because they truly understood where I was coming from, and that was lovely.”

With this in mind, you can sense the appeal of another activity that Kelsey is embarking on as part of her life journey post-Tom.

Alongside her close pal, actress and podcaster Giovanna Fletcher, TOWIE star Pete Wicks, and TV personality Vicky Pattison, last month Kelsey trekked 100km across the Sahara in aid of breast cancer awareness charity, CoppaFeel!

Flanked by 100 CoppaFeel! supporters, the team hiked for 10 hours daily through Morocco’s unforgiving landscape, a gruelling challenge that would intimidate most. But not Kelsey.

From the day he was diagnosed with an inoperable grade four glioblastoma tumour in October 2020, during his 60 sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and until the day he died just hours after lying beside Kelsey and placing his platinum wedding ring on her finger, Tom never lost s

Cranberry Coffee Cake

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Fresh cranberries and a hint of lemon are combined in this incredibly moist brown sugar streusel Cranberry Coffee Cake.

Cranberry coffeecake stacked on cake stand

Cranberry Coffee Cake

There is just something about sitting down mid-morning with a fresh cup of coffee and a piece of coffee cake. It gives me a nostalgic feeling of when times were a bit slower and a neighbor might have stopped by to gossip after the kids left for school.

I know it is a bit of a small-town romantic notion, and perhaps I should turn off the holiday Hallmark movies. Regardless, I will just enjoy my cup of coffee with a piece of cranberry cake and a good book or phone call to catch up with a friend.

Cranberry Coffee Cake is not an overly sweet or fluffy cake. It’s a richly dense coffee cake with a lovely tartness from the cranberries.

When I say rich though, it is not sweet rich. The richness comes from the butter, eggs, and sour cream. Topped with buttery sugar topping it is perfect for a holiday brunch gathering.

If cranberries are not in season, (or if you do not currently have them stashed in your freezer) this cake will work nicely with blueberries as well. Frozen cranberries may be stirred into the batter straight from the freezer.

cake with cranberries on small white plates with gold forks

This coffee cake is really one of the easiest things you can make. Creaming the butter and sugar together smoothly is the first step. Add your remaining liquids and eggs.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients stirring just until combined each time. Take care to not overmix. One or two quick passes with your sp

What is passive suicidal ideation and how can I spot the signs?

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What is it, why does it happen, and what signs should I be looking out for? We share everything you need to know about passive suicidal ideation

What is passive suicidal ideation and how can I spot the signs?

Passive suicidal ideation is something that many of us experience, but few seriously talk about. Perhaps the thought has crossed your mind, “I wish I could just fall asleep and not wake up,” or “I wish I could die, so I don’t have to deal with this.” These are examples of passive suicidal ideation and, while they are not active plans, and often focus on ways in which someone may die rather than actively cause their own death (such as thoughts of death through an accident or natural causes, rather than suicide), these thoughts can be not only worrying, but can lead to engaging in riskier behaviour without being conscious of it.

Suicidal ideation isn’t an isolated event – it can be a symptom of other mental health issues, such as severe depression, or manic depression for those with a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Here, we’ll explain more about the different types of suicidal ideation, warning signs to look out for, and, crucially, how to then find help.

What’s the difference between passive and active suicidal ideation?

Having suicidal thoughts is a spectrum. For some people, these thoughts may be active: they think about suicide, and may have developed a plan for what they will do. They want to die. For others, it may be passive: they wish they were dead or could die, but do not have any concrete plans.

Neither kind of suicidal ideation should be dismissed. You are still at risk of harm if you have passive suicidal thoughts.

Intent and motivation can change quickly, meaning you may not feel at risk now, but that could change before you realise it or have time to seek help. Studies have suggested that if you experience high levels of depression and suicidality, thoughts of passive and active ideation have the potential to become more severe and dangerous. Experiencing physical illness, a significant decline in your mental health, or an unpredictable event (losing your job, a particularly bad day, fighting with a loved one) could trigger your thoughts to become active.

How many people experience passive suicidal ideation?

Passive suicidal thoughts are more common than many of us realise. Worldwide, around 9% of us will experience suicidal ideation at some point in our lives. Within the past 12 months, that sat at around 2%. One US study found that 4% of adults aged 18 and over have thought about suicide, with those aged 18–25 the most likely to have had such thoughts within the past 12 months.

As of 2020, around 10 in every 100,000 deaths were contributed to suicide in England. For men, that rate was much higher (15.3 per 100,000) compared to women (4.9 per 100,000). Men aged 45–49 have the highest suicide rate (23.8 per 100,000). Worldwide, the World Health Organisation estimates that one in every 100 deaths is a result of suicide.

All this to say, suicide is something that has touched many lives, and it’s something that we need to take seriously.

What is passive suicidal ideation and how can I spot the signs?

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Last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers

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Sharing some last-minute gift ideas and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!

Hi hi! How are ya? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was low-key and perfect. Friday was a bit wild (girl scouts, dance, a bday party) but Saturday was gloriously low-key. We watched movies and baked Christmas cookies, and I took a hot yoga class. Sunday morning was a hike, work, and putting lights up at nana’s house.

Today, I have some work to do for Fit Team (getting January workouts and our challenge ready to go!), but wanted to pop in and share some last-minute gift ideas. I’m finishing things up over here – I dubbed tomorrow “Holly Jolly day” and am spending the day wrapping and getting any remaining gifts – and wanted to share some inspiration if you’re doing the same this week! A lot of stores have shipping cutoffs, but if you order in the next couple of days, you should be good to go. Here are some ideas if you’re checking off gifts this week!

Last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers

Last-minute gifts that will get here on time:

For her:

– This sweater! I got this and absolutely love it. It’s high quality and on sale right now, and the camel color is gorgeous.

– This gorgeous apron

– This velvet jumpsuit (or get this one for yourself)

– This rose half-zip

– Water resistant Chelsea boots (I have these in black and wear them constantly)

– A sauna blanket or PEMF Go Mat. My liiiiiiiiiiiife and two of my very favorite things. I use the Go Mat daily for meditation, and use the sauna blanket 2-3 times per week and it feels amaaaaazing. I sleep so well and it makes my skin glow. Use FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off HigherDOSE faves.

– The best crosstraining sneakers

A trendy asymmetrical bra for yoga.

– TRX Go Suspension trainer.

 Cookbook with new fuel ideas

– A theragun.

– A Sakara delivery! These meals are so fresh and beautiful, and will feel like such a wonderful gift for a sleep-de

Mouth Watering Sauteed Mushrooms

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Mouth Watering Sauteed Mushrooms

Mushrooms…you either love them or you absolutely do not, but these easy mouth watering sauteed mushrooms will make lovers out of everyone! They are earthy and meaty with the most sublime rich flavor.

My whole life I’ve heard my mom salivating over mushrooms. Now if you’re a picky eater can you guess what’s one of the easiest things to hate? You got it, mushrooms. But she’s been in love, stuffed mushrooms, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized mushrooms… the list probably goes on but as a mother of a teenager I’m too exhausted to think. 

I am older now, maybe wiser, and mushrooms are entering my life. These juicy sauteed mushrooms are a fantastic side dish, served over steak, or even better, slap them on a burger with caramelized onions and melty cheese!!

a close up photo of golden sauteed mushrooms topped with fresh oregano and thyme in a large white serving bowl.

Keys to the Best Sauteed Mushrooms

The best sauteed mushrooms have a few special ingredients that bring out the savory umami flavor:

  • white wine – I know it’s a sin to many, but we use cooking wine. See our tip below…
  • worcestershire – this big time enhances that earthy, rich flavor
  • butter – the ultimate caramelization maker, the fat hitting the heat will make for mouthwatering mushrooms

What Ingredients are Needed for Sauteed Mushrooms?

The ingredients list isn’t long, and having fresh ingredients will give you the best flavor. Here is your grocery shopping list:

  • Baby Bella Mushrooms – these are our favorite mushrooms for sauteing but you could use whichever ones you like best
  • Olive Oil and Butter –  combination of both fats gives the best flavor and is the sauteing dream team
  • Thyme – aromatics
  • Oregano – fresh is best
  • White Wine – depth of flavor
  • Soy Sauce – flavor, helps caramelize
  • Worcestershire Sauce – enhances umami flavor
  • Lemon Juice – bright fresh pop of flavor
  • Kosher Salt – because you always need salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper –
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