Why do we ignore relationship red flags and how can we address them?

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Sometimes, relationship problems fly under the radar, but other times we deliberately look the other way. Here, we’re breaking down why we do this and explore what happens when we face tension head-on

Why do we ignore relationship red flags and how can we address them?

As well as traumatic things that happen to you – like physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, or the betrayal of your trust via an affair – trauma in relationships also includes what isn’t happening, and examples include a lack of attunement, emotional unavailability in the other person, and no safe container for your emotions and experiences. Sometimes they go unnoticed, sometimes they are ignored.

You might be familiar with tolerating, even denying, some degree of trauma so that your relationship can continue as it is. For example, it may have become characterised more by criticism, complaint, and resentment than the love you want, but you shield yourself from what’s really going on, or just ‘get on with it’. Which begs the question…

Why do we do this?

An answer might be found in each of three important parts of you:

1. Fear

When you attach to someone, this part can get triggered at the thought of the relationship ending. Because your fear ensures your survival, it can make a potential ending feel like a life or death situation. If your body believes your survival is at risk by moving on to an uncertain future, it’s easy to understand why you’ll tolerate distress to avoid it. That said, the longer you stay, the more fearful you become, the more your trust and self-esteem drain away, and the tighter you grip the relationship. You’re caught in a vicious circle.

2. Reward

This includes your innate drives to acquire more possessions, status, money, sex, and to ‘win’. These are powerful motivators, and some of the main reasons humans have been in existence for so long. Reward can make status, wealth, a great sex life, and a need not to ‘lose’, ‘fail’ or look ‘less than’ others, compelling reasons to stay – despite you rarely actually feeling good.

3. Connection and love

Love is presumably where you’d hope to spend most of your time in a relationship, but, an ending – whether of the relationship or your trauma denial – might lead to you experiencing grief; love with nowhere to go. Grief is one of the most painful feelings and it’s understandable that we, therefore, try to avoid feeling it. You’ll of course be driven to accept, forgive, and empathise with and be selfless when you love someone. These are all great, loving qualities.

Taken too far though, they’ll overlook and accept problems and put empathy for the other person above empathy for yourself. Knowing your loved one has such potential for growth also leads to living in hope that they might eventually see and hear you one day, even without any real evidence it’s happening.

With such a range of compelling parts in play, you can understand why you might endure, or deny, relationship trauma. A compassionate view of yourself is key here, because any frustration, or shame, you feel towards yourself for doing it simply leads to more fear and therefore more rigidity, making you cling even tighter.

Try to couple this empathetic understanding with a

Friday Faves

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Hi friends! It’s the weekend! What do you have going on? The kids have a bday party, Liv has dance, and I’m getting the new Fit Team workouts and Self Care September guide out and ready to go. Join us here!

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. Please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

#1 most exciting thing on our list right now: I booked a fall trip for us to go to NYC. Last time I went was a girls’ trip with Liv in fall 2019. I can’t wait to introduce P to such a magical place, eat all the pizza, and see all the shows. Please drop any of your favorite kid-friendly shows or any must-do activities! I know P will love the Museum of Natural History – it was one of our favorite things last time.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

Where should I eat in Tucson? A bucket list for every craving. I haven’t tried all of the spots on this list but agree with Anita’s for their burritos (the tortillas are unlike anything in the world), Estrella for the best donuts of your life, Le Buzz,  Barrio Bread, but strongly disagree on Kingfisher (sorry not sorry, it’s terrible).

Indian Matchmaking. Obsessed and love it for background noise while I work!

What’s something you splurged on that was worth it?

The “corn kid” that’s all over TikTok right now. So wholesome, adorable, and relatable for so many. (TBH I hate most corn except Mexican s

Pumpkin Ice Cream

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Pumpkin has a smooth creamy texture when combined with heavy cream to create a luscious, rich, frozen pumpkin ice cream treat.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Fall is right around the corner but no need to put that ice cream maker away! Let’s just change flavors from summer fruits to pumpkin, an ingredient I love creating with.

The nice thing about pumpkin in ice cream is the texture comes out amazingly creamy. Sometimes when adding fruits or other things to ice cream you have to be sure the moisture content doesn’t make it “icy” so to speak.

I am sure you have had ice cream that has little ice crunchy bits in it. That is what I mean by icy, fruits can do that sometimes. That is not at all a problem with pumpkin. Pure creamy deliciousness is what you get!

The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!

Unless I’m making pumpkin pie or another baked dessert my preference is almost always to use canned pumpkin puree. This is pure pumpkin with no spices added. By doing this you can control the flavor and sweetness of the dish by whatever else you add to the ice cream.

Canned pumpkin, pumpkin puree, and solid pack pumpkin are the same thing. Makes me crazy when there are so many names for the same thing! Pumpkin Pie Mix will have additional seasonings, typically cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar.

Served with some ginger snaps or molasses cookies, this pumpkin ice cream is definitely in our ice cream-making rotation. Most people have a meal plan rotation, but at our house, we take our ice cream-making rotation very seriously.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream Ingredients

  • whole milk
  • heavy cream
  • light brown sugar
  • canned pumpkin puree
  • pumpkin pie spice mix
  • kosher salt

7 superfoods under the spotlight: are they fab or fads?

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7 superfoods under the spotlight: are they fab or fads?

How often have you added something to your shopping basket after reading that it was this month’s superfood? Whether it’s getting passionate about kale, or adding spirulina to our morning shake, we’re all guilty of jumping on wellness trends in a bid to look and feel better. But what does the word ‘superfood’ actually mean?

Well, it turns out there’s actually no singular definition of what a superfood is. While we generally use the term to describe a product with some health benefits, ‘superfood’ is not a scientific term, meaning the label doesn’t really tell us by itself what sets the product apart.

“The term superfood isn’t regulated in any way, so anyone can make food or package a fruit or vegetable and call it a superfood,” says Sophie Medlin, consultant dietitian at CityDietitians.

And this is the problem. While it might encourage us to eat more healthily, calling a product a ‘superfood’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than one that isn’t. Clever marketing has us thinking we need to splurge at health food stores for these hallowed foods in order to be healthy, but we can find many of the same benefits in our everyday diet – without the premium price tag. For example, while spirulina and quinoa are high in antioxidants, you don’t need to splash out on them if you don’t want to. In fact, you can find plenty of antioxidants in your average roast as broccoli and cabbage are great sources of them.

So, which superfoods could be worth tucking into, and which ones should you leave on the shelf? Let’s take a look…

FAD: Kale

Remember when kale was everywhere? You could even buy T-shirts declaring your love for it. Yet, since 2014, the leafy green seems to have been declining in popularity with fewer and fewer Google searches – but why? Well, while it doesn’t hurt to add this to your salad, you can just as easily get nutrients from similar vegetables. One study compared kale to other vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and spinach, and found they all contained higher levels of 17 nutrients than kale did.

FAB: Blueberries

All berries are a good source of fibre, but blueberries stand out from the crowd as a superfood worth shouting about.

“Blueberries are pretty ‘super’; they contain polyphenols which are like antioxidants – these are shown to improve brain function,” adds dietitian Sophie Medlin.

Studies have shown that a moderate intake of blueberries can also help reduce your risk of things like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thanks to anthocyanins (which are like antioxidants). And, there are ways to make your purchase last longer.

“Buy frozen, because they’re cheaper and retain more nutrients,” advises Sophie. The perfect addition to whizz i

Men's mental health: The club that's getting men talking

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When bottling up his emotions became too much, Scott Oughton-Johnson decided to seek help but felt something was still missing. This saw the birth of ‘The Proper Blokes Club’, which aims to encourage more men to speak up about their mental health

Men's mental health: The club that's getting men talking

The suicide rate amongst men is more than triple that of women, with this being the most likely cause of death for men under 50 years old. So, why don’t more men speak up? Well, the answer often lies in our deep-rooted gender stereotypes that portray men as being strong and in control. But, it’s now 2022 and this needs to change because more and more men are being damaged by society’s expectations.

What’s more, men are less likely than women to reach out for support, with only 36% of referrals to NHS psychological therapies being for men.

Scott Oughton-Johnson was one man who decided to take the brave step of acknowledging he needed help, after separating from his previous partner and spending 10 years in and out of court facing a custody battle over his children.

The south London community sports coach admits he bottled up his feelings for a decade, saying, “The stress and anxiety were killing me”. In 2017, Scott decided enough was enough and received cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS, but their sessions were limited and, before long, Scott found himself “back in the wild”.

After realising something was still missing, Scott found release in his love for walking and, in 2020, set up a Facebook group to try and reach other men who were going through similar battles with their mental health. Scott would meet up with other men in his position and they would walk through the streets of London, through parks, or down a canal, talking openly about their feelings - allowing them to practice mindfulness and be in the moment. ‘The Proper Blokes Club’ was born.

What started as a rather disheartening one person attending has now grown to anywhere between five and 35 men meeting up every Monday and Wednesday. “It kept growing and growing,” Scott says. Scott has now recruited 'walk leaders' who arrange walks across other boroughs of London, to allow for more men to get involved.

The club provides a safe space for men to talk about their mental health “without the potential judgment you might get from friends and family”. Naturally, friendships have been formed, with the youngest member being just 19, and the oldest, 75. The walkers are added to a WhatsApp group, and each day they check in on one another.

“How many of those [deaths] might have been stopped through a conversation?”

Scott's goal is to register the club as a ‘community interest’ company and roll it out to all London boroughs and nationally. In the meantime, he’s encouraging people to start their own groups.

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