Health Diary Week 18: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Fruit-ilicious!

Image: Michi-Nordlicht, Pixabay

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Hi and welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

What’s New

This was another unfortunate week fighting off a Winter cold virus. I should add that this week has been my worst for sleep since starting this journey and there are now dark circles under my eyes (see final picture).

Exercise

My cold virus resulted in minimal physical activity: one hour circuits, one hour exercise bike and just 14 minutes brisk walking.

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s have a look at what food was on my plate, the healthy and not so healthy choices and identify any tweaks I could make to improve my nutrition…

Breakfast:

My breakfasts consisted of fruit over five days, with the other two being skipped due to getting up late:

Breakfasts: Left: Fruit salad containing mango, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries & blueberries. Right: Papaya with freshly squeezed lime juice.

Lunch:

Lunches involved BFree wholegrain pitta four times, twice filled with Quorn slices and salad; twice dipped into Sainsbury’s reduced fat red pepper hummus. I enjoyed the Asda fiery chilli noodle pot that was under 300 calories. It was green traffic-lighted (low) in fats, saturated fat and sugar, although red traffic-lighted (high) in salt[1]. I only had my My Typical Salad once. There was a vegan social this weekend, where 20+ of us met for lunch at the Art House – an independent community cafe that desperately needs support to remain open – they have a fundraiser page if anyone is able to help:

Lunches: Clockwise: Typical salad. Asda fiery chilli noodle pot. Art House cafe mushrooms (stroganoff-style) with dumpling & veg. Wholegrain pitta filled with Quorn slices, mixed salad & salad cream.

Dinner:

Dinners included some homemade meals: Twice, I had mixed bean chilli with brown rice, once with guacamole, salsa and garlic bread. For two evenings I ate vegetable fajitas with avocado, salsa and lettuce.  I had a light dinner following the lunch at the Art House, opting for a beetroot, coleslaw and mixed salad leaves sandwich using BFree brown seeded bread. These meals were all good sources of health-promoting fibre, important for long-term health[2]:

Homemade dinners. Left: Mixed bean chilli, brown rice, guacamole, salsa & garlic bread. Right: Vegetable fajita (jackfruit, peppers, mushroom & onion) with avocado, salsa & mixed salad leaves.

My convenience meals were both Amy’s Kitchen options: vegetable lasagne with Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself oven chips and salad; the other, rice mac and cheeze. Both the Amy’s Kitchen meals were green traffic-lighted (low) for sugars (under 5.0g per 100g) and amber (medium/okay) for fat (3.0-17.5g per 100g), saturated fat (1.5-5.0g per 100g) and salt (0.3-1.5g per 100g)[1]:

Convenience Amy’s Kitchen dinners. Right: Lasagne, chips & salad. Left: Macaroni cheese (ultimate comfort food).

Snacks:

I didn’t snack as much as usual – I only craved/had chocolate on four days – it’s usually a daily occurrence! We had a ‘Girls’ 80’s movies night in’, with lots of snacks, although fairly sensible options: cucumber and carrot sticks, Eat Real chips, hummus, potatoes with aioli, garlic olives, grapes, raspberry cashew bites, Deliciously Ella caramel cups (admittedly these were high in fat, saturates and sugars, but I only had one) and breakfast biscuits (I ate two of the three in the pack).

The ‘Girls’ 80’s movies night in’ snack feast. Clockwise: Hummus & quinoa chips, roast potatoes with aioli, grapes, raspberry cashew bites & caramel cups, breakfast biscuits, hummus dips, garlic marinated olives & cucumber & carrot veg sticks.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I was very happy to discover that I’d lost weight (1 lb) and fat (0.4%) this week, especially considering my lack of exercise. It’s a relief to know progress can still be made with limited physical activity:

Week 18 Results – yes!

What’s more, I’ve now lost 5% of my starting body weight, reducing my risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers[3, 4]. Also, importantly for my hypermobility[5], this loss reduces risk of joint issues[3]. My next aim is to reach a 10% body weight loss (17.5 lb) – I’m keeping my aims ‘SMART’ to increase likelihood of success:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Image: gabrielle_cc, Pixabay

I’ll fore-warn you, it’s my birthday next week and my celebrations may result in a small backwards step, but I’m okay with that – I’ll get straight back on track again. And, I intend to feel well again next week – positive thinking and all that!…

My much-loved ‘straws suck’ Plastic Oceans top from Rapanui that I wore to this week’s social.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Please feel free to follow my bite-sized updates on Instagram or Facebook. See you next Wednesday for another catch up.

Week 19>>>
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References

1. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Helping you eat well: Looking at labels. Available from: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/324-labels.html?start=3.
2. National Health Service (NHS) Eatwell, 2018. How to get more fibre into your diet [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/.
3. National Health Service (NHS), 2018. What are the health benefits of losing weight? [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-losing-weight/.
4. The Obesity Action Coalition, 2013. Benefits of 5-10 Percent Weight-loss [online]. Available from: www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/benefits-of-5-10-percent-weight-loss/.
5. Hypermobility Syndromes Association, 2017. What are hypermobility syndromes? [online]. Available from: www.hypermobility.org/what-are-hypermobility-syndromes.

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