Browsing Tag


Health and Wellbeing

Got the Blues? Eat to Kick Depression’s Arse

November 18, 2013

mood boosting food

Everyone gets the blues from time to time, or has feelings of anxiety or losing their shit, but for sometimes it’s hard to break the cycle and it can become debilitating.

Did you know that Post Natal Depression Awareness week started yesterday?

Whilst we chicks are at our most vulnerable in the months before and after birthing, just plain old normal run-of-the-mill depression can strike any time and whether your child is 2 months, 2 years or 12…. or you’re a dude, or you have no kids, or you are a kid. Pretty indiscriminate really.

Coping with depression should be a team sport but there is often a shame surrounding these feelings and the despair can be crippling.

When the uber foxy Andrea from Fox in Flats approached me about doing a guest post for her, we bandied around a few ideas, but the one that spoke loudest to us both was how to eat for optimal mood health.

seeds for good mood healthI’m not suggesting for a moment that a bunch of spinach a day will be the cure to all blues, but there is evidence that shows that what you fuel your machine with can considerably help with your physical and mental wellbeing.

It usually happens for me at about 4.30pm.

 My log of patience has been whittled away throughout the day, leaving me with no more than a spindly twig and suddenly my defenses are down; the whining seems amplified; the bedtime light at the end of the tunnel seems miles away.

I can feel my blood pressure rising as I’m rushing around trying to finish the 5 million things I started throughout the day and get the dinner/bath/bed thing under wraps. I’m tightly wound and don’t feel in control.

What if I started my day that way?

If I jumped out of bed anxious, tired and cranky-assed?

If you’d like to see more of this post, pop on over here to Fox in Flats. I’m giving away 3 eBooks today so it it out, yo!

lentils for good mood health

If you’re experiencing prolonged feelings of depression, anxiety or the blues, talk to a friend or your GP.
You are so not alone, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
With the right support and treatment you can be back to your old self in no time, babe!

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 11 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Parenting, Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

The secret shame of miscarriage.

July 9, 2013

Click image to read signs of miscarriage

I lost a baby once.

I didn’t take it to the supermarket and then forget which trolley was mine and simply walk off pushing another person’s, realising when I got home with bags full of processed chicken nuggets, tinned soup and condoms that I’d grabbed the wrong trolley in my haste.

Nor did sit down with it in my pocket and it slipped out, and fell down the side of the couch never to be seen again.

In fact, I didn’t really lose a baby at all. I knew where it was at all times.

The expression ‘lost a baby’ sounds incredibly irresponsible. I mean, what kind of mother could lose her baby, right?

In between D Man and Kiki, on a cheeky holiday in Bali, we conceived another child. Never ones to keep good news to ourselves for long, we shared our fortune with our nearest and dearest. Everyone was so excited.

Even though it was such early days, I imagined myself and this child’s future. I imagined their place within our family. I imagined holding it, a whole baby, even though in reality it was nothing but a few cells multiplying at the speed of light.

I imagined sniffing it’s little fluffy head. My baby. Inside me.

I was only 9 weeks pregnant when I started to spot. I went to the toilet every 5 minutes to assess the situation. In a few hours the spotting had escalated to bleeding and I went to my friend’s house so I wasn’t alone, because I just knew that this bleeding was the start of my dream baby exiting stage left.

I called my husband and asked him to come home early if he could. God knows why? It’s not like he could do anything. I wasn’t in pain. It wasn’t dramatic. I was just bleeding when I shouldn’t be.

I remember sitting there, thinking that maybe I could do something – lie on the floor with my legs in the air, perhaps – to stop the flow. To keep the baby in. Even though logically I knew that the cells were no longer my baby, that my body was over-riding my emotions and evacuating something that wasn’t right, I was still really, really sad.

‘I don’t want to lose my baby’ I mumbled into my lap, sitting on my friends big grey sofa with our toddlers playing at our feet.

My friend, who knew all too well how it felt to be in my shoes, just offered me a cup of tea or a glass a red wine, and gave me a hug.

There was nothing else for it.

I took the red.

I was lucky in the fact that my friend had been through it. Realistically speaking, with 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in an early miscarriage (miscarrying in the first 12 weeks is known as early miscarriage. Miscarrying in the 12-20 week phase it’s known as late miscarriage and is much more rare), chances are we all know someone who has lost a child, but there is something taboo about talking about it. I don’t know why.

Obviously, it’s not something that you drop into casual conversation with a checkout chick, as it’s intensely personal, but for some reason there is a sense of failure or shame surrounding it.

Recently, someone very dear to me elatedly announced a new babe on the way. It was such exciting news…. no one really waits for 12 weeks, do they?
When a few weeks later she went for a scan and the scan showed no heartbeat, it was a very sad thing.

She was told that the fetus had failed to grow beyond 6 weeks, and by now she was 10 weeks….. she was carrying nothing more than a little sac of cells but it felt more like the huge weight of a dead baby. She was told that she could have a curette or simply wait for it to pass and she opted for the latter.

But it didn’t pass.

After 4 more weeks, she decided it was time for a D & C.

8 weeks. What a head fuck.

It’s called a missed miscarriage. Even that moniker implies some kind of failing, like missing a train or a deadline.

I tried to call her but she didn’t want to talk. I know now that she didn’t want me to feel sorry for her, but I know she also felt ashamed.

Why does a miscarriage feel like a personal failure?

But also, what’s wrong with people feeling sorry for us? No one wants to feel someone else’s pity, but sympathy can help us in our dark hours, no?

We’ve since talked about it and she said she wished more people talked openly about losing their babies. Maybe she would have found it easier to talk if she’d known of more people who had experienced the same thing. If there are so many of us, why is it so hard to find people to share your story with? People that understand exactly what it’s like to know that your pregnancy is no longer viable and has been, very intelligently, expelled by your body?

Anyway, I’m sharing these stories in case there’s anyone who can relate to any of this. In case anyone else wished they knew someone who had experienced what they’re experiencing.

There’s no shame. It’s just one of those things.

Back on the horse, I say.

If you would like to share your experience, just to write it down, but you don’t want to comment – feel free to email me at

If you liked this post like my Facebook page right now, or subscribe via email and be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Hooking up with the Essentially Excellent Jess because I’m blogging on Tuesday.

Humor, Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

A Letter Of Complaint to the Manufacturers of the Female Anatomy.

July 20, 2012

To Whom It May Concern at the Lady Factory,

I’d like to register a formal complaint, please, because I sincerely believe that your engineers were a tad hasty in the signing off of this project.
I would like to preface my complaint by saying I truly feel that many features are perfect. The lady lumps and curvy bits are generally to my liking, and I have to say that on the whole our genitalia is considerably less hilarious in appearance than our male counterparts.

Generally speaking, the female reproductive system is truly amazing, however, I do feel that the method of expelling a baby from the body could do with some tweaking.
In theory, your current methods works quite well, but there are a few fundamental design issues that ought to be addressed for the evolution of the next prototypes.

Primarily, I’m referring to the certainty that a vagina does not comfortably fit a watermelon. If the dislodgement process were currently perfect, ladies would not experience issues such as squeezing drops of wee whilst sneezing, hemorrhoids, cervixes falling out, rectal walls tearing, or any other number of unspeakable indignities. Please be advised that the nether regions of the female ought never see the glint of a sewing needle doing fancy stitch work.

In future, please add more elastin to the mix for female epidermis, to ensure skin is never traumatised by sudden growth during pregnancy as ladies truly have enough body issues in a bikini without added stress of stretch marks from a process that is beyond their control.

Furthermore, after this process is complete and the fairer sex moves into the feeding stage, I would like to draw your attention to the major planning balls up that is mastitis. Whilst one is trying to provide nutrition to ones progeny, one ought not be afflicted by a searingly exquisite agony that makes one want to have an immediate mastectomy.
If you insist that this glitch cannot be fixed, at least work on some better treatment methods because the old ‘cabbage in the bra’ trick, leaves ladies smelling like a cross between a Russian deli and a fart.
While you’re perfecting the area of the breast, feel free to ensure that the nipple region is, in fact, not going to be blistered, torn or in any way mauled when continuously gummed and sucked for a 12 month period, as is the recommended usage period.

I have had extensive experience with this current model, and done boundless research in the public field, so if you require further feedback or would care to discuss any of these issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch,

Yours sincerely,

An ex-bikini wearing, stitched up, sore breasted customer.

Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

Tastes Like Burning, or Oesophagus of Fire

April 12, 2012

We’ve all gone to bed after too much red wine and pizza and experienced the creeping burn of indigestion. Perhaps, it wasn’t pizza, but actually late a night curry after beers, but whatever caused your discomfort you all know what I’m saying when I say heartburn sucks ass. When you have it occasionally you have a crapola night’s sleep and you wake up feeling a little ravaged of throat, but generally, come the light of a new morning, it is but a memory…..unless, you’re up duff because no-one, but no-one, does the dance of the flaming oesophagus like a pregnant lady.

Some ladies are have the good fortune of experiencing mild indigestion at the end of their pregnancy, and some ladies have the misfortune of bad burn in the final stages, and then there’s me. I catch on fire about week 3 of my pregnancy and I slowly burn until I have a hole the size of China in my throat and I burp acid out of my nose. Too much information?

Now that the cat is out of the bag, yes, I burp. Quite a lot and quite loudly. I have been likened to a trucker, or a fog horn, more than once, and I’ve disgusted friends and strangers alike with my uncontrollable wind (still talking about burps – the other is another blog entirely, probably best written by my poor, suffering, nasally blistered husband). One fateful time, in a cinema when the audio was blaring I opened the oesophageal gates to feel the sweet relief and, you guessed it, the volume dropped to nought except for my resounding belch which echoed around the cinema in rather impressive Dolby Surround Sound.  The people nearest us looked to Mister H thinking, surely, that must have been him – the animal. He gave a shocked ‘Darling!’, and my voice squeaked a tiny ‘Pardon me’ to a chorus of titters and giggles as I slid under my chair and tried to hide in the popcorn encrusted carpet.

I’ve tried everything. Apple cider vinegar worked for a day, slippery elm worked for 10 minutes, Renny by the truckload and Tums until my eyeballs turn orange. Milk? Nope. Dry crackers? Nah uh. Nothing helps, and if it brings a moment’s ease, it is but a fleeting moment.

Standing up is evil enough, but lying down? Oh Lordy, Lordy. It is unrecommended to lie on your back in the final stages of pregnancy as the baby squashes all your inside bits, so side lying is recommended for everybody’s comfort (except Mister H if he’s lying behind me, but again I digress to matters of a courser nature). I find the only respite I have from the battery acid I appear to have unwittingly swallowed is to prop myself up somewhat, so I lie on my side, propped on pillows in some bizarre Slinky-like contortion to find comfort. I need to un-Slink myself come morning and hope I spring back into shape before I slide down some stairs end over end.

Basically, there is no relief. People talk only of the glow of pregnancy, or the miracle that is growing life…..and it is. The most amazing miracle that I can think of and I’m delighted to be experiencing it for the second glorious time. I can’t help but feel that there is a flaw in the miracle though and I’m not sure which department to send my letter of complaint to.

I think the true miracle at play here is the fact that the second, indeed,  the very instant, my new little angel exits my body, the fire stops. The wind is over and life goes back to normal.

Or something like it.