Health Diary Week 23: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Some Positives…

Cute brooch from my sister for my Birthday

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Hi everyone – hope you’re doing okay. Welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

What’s New

I’ve decided that in addition to reporting my weigh-in results (important to my overall health), I’ll now post weekly positives to support our mental health, even the small things that brought a smile to my face.

Firstly, an important positive – I’m feeling much better since last week’s blog – this virus feels more under control. I’m still rather achy, but my chest doesn’t feel tight, my cough has lessened and I no longer have a sore throat or headache.

Me freefalling on a charity tandem skydive (2006).

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

As it happens, the weigh-in contributes to my positives this week – I lost 1 lb, a total of 11 lb (5 kg) and 4.6% fat – I now weigh 164 lb (74.4 kg) – I realise there’s still a way to go – but yay me!

Week 23 results – more weight & fat loss 😊

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…

I’ve eaten plant-based and mainly whole-foods, resulting in a health-supporting diverse range of nutrients and fibre. It all tasted great too! I did have a few chocolate indulgences, appropriately portioned though.

Week 23: What I ate. Pink highlighted text identifying potential high saturated fat or free sugar pitfalls (not that many).

Although we began running out of fresh ingredients, we started on the frozen and store cupboard foods as substitutes. I added frozen peas to my scrambled tofu to make it go further. We also used Ponti Zero Olio jar mushrooms and sundried tomatoes to improve meals. We cracked open the tins of dolmathes (rice filled vine leaves) to accompany our salads. Additionally, Mum improvised an alternative coleslaw, using celeriac (a long-lasting root veg) instead of cabbage. This challenge has encouraged us to think more creatively:

Some of my meals: Clockwise: Typical salad with dolmathes (rice filled vine leaves), antipasti & celeriac & carrot ‘coleslaw’. Scrambled tofu (onion, green chilli, green pepper, carrot) in wraps. ‘Stretched’ scramble tofu (frozen peas added), Linda McCartney sausage & BFree toast. Lentil dhal, rice, sausage & oven fries. Veg risotto with peas, spinach, courgette, mushroom & tomato. Tagliatelle with peas, olives & spinach in a silken tofu pesto sauce, topped with cashew nuts.

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

More smile-provoking experiences:

Clap for the NHS:
On Thursday night the UK came together to applaud our NHS staff – it gave me goosebumps! – they deserve a hefty pay rise, along with all the other key workers – some are only on minimal wage. We applauded from our driveway and waved to neighbours – this was the first time it really hit home how much I missed seeing people in real-life. But, having said that, I didn’t know many of my neighbours before this situation and now we’ve become a small community:

Top: The lovely letter we received last week from one of our neighbours – since then we’ve all been regularly WhatsApp checking-in with each other. Bottom: The bread a neighbour gifted my parents (not suitable for me, but I’ve frozen mine to stretch it out)

Mum’s Birthday:
Friday was warm and sunny and my Mum’s birthday. We had a WhatsApp video chat with my sister who had been due to visit. We also spent time in the garden – ate a Shawarma Kebab alfresco and played ‘Kings in the Corners’, the card game my Nana taught me when I was about four or five. For dinner we had a tasty Risotto with fresh spinach and courgette, frozen peas and Ponti Zero Olio jar mushrooms and sundried tomato. Birthday dessert was some of the Daiya chocolate cheezecake I hadn’t eaten for Christmas/my Birthday – sooo delicious! Definitely only an occasional indulgence, since its very high in saturated fat (15g/100g; over 5g is high!), high in fat (21g/100g; over 17.5g is high), and the top end of okay for free sugars (22g/100g; over 22.5g is high). But, yea, I’d have it again! We’d planned to have some Prosecco, but we mistakenly put the non-alcoholic version in the fridge! – we laughed at our error!:

Mum’s birthday: Clockwise: playing cards in the garden. Mum’s art corner. Shawarma kebab with salad in aioli. Delicious chocolate cheezecake pudding. Nosecco non-alcoholic fizzy – we mistakenly had this instead of Prosecco! Veg risotto dinner.

Girls’ Night In (Online):
Friday evening was our monthly ‘Girls’ night in’, this time via ‘Houseparty’. It was so lovely to see these friends’ faces – I miss them (and everyone else). But I can’t emphasise enough how much this meet-up improved my mood and I’d encourage everyone to consider having online meets with family and friends:

Friday’s ‘Girls night in’ via ‘Houseparty’ – I look rough here (top left; no makeup & recovering from illness) but I also look (and was) happy, which is way more important.

Quarantine Finished:
On Saturday, we finally finished quarantine – according to WHO[1], this is the correct terminology if you have a suspected, unconfirmed case of the virus. This meant that we could finally leave the house (Mum designated herself, as I’m still coughing) to get fresh food supplies – it was exciting to stock back up on wholesome fresh fruit, veg and salad:  

Beautifully colourful Sunday lunch with falafel.

Future Learn:
On Sunday, I successfully completed Week 1 of an online Future Learn course – it was very interesting. As I said last week, they cover a diverse range of subjects for free from top universities – definitely worth checking out if you have time on your hands:

My continuing professional development: Week 1 of new Future Learn course completed.

Soaking up some Vitamin D:
I’m massively grateful to have some outside space to enjoy the sun and soak up a bit of Vitamin D, important for bone, muscle and teeth health[2]. Over the Winter months (and currently) I’m also taking a vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms per day) as recommended by Public Health England[3]. If possible, please try to get some outside time, even if it’s just brief – I’ve found it a great mood-improver:

Me soaking up some rays in the garden.

The Blogging Community:
My final, though important positive for this week – I’m so glad I built-up the courage to blog, as I’m absolutely loving this community!

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. I always look forward to reading your updates too.

Stay safe all.

Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

Week 24>>>
<<<Week 22
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References

1. World Health Organization, 2020. Media briefing on COVID-19 with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [online]. Available from: www.facebook.com/WHO/videos/886610298519283/.
2. British Dietetic Association, 2019. Vitamin D: Food Fact Sheet [online]. Available from: www.bda.uk.com/resource/vitamin-d.html.
3. Gov.UK, 2016. Press release: PHE publishes new advice on vitamin D [online]. Available from: www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-new-advice-on-vitamin-d.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

8 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 23: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. Hi Kate,what a very happy blog! Great to read in these strange times. I think being able to hear the birds and see all the Spring flowers gives us hope. As you said now is the perfect time to connect or reconnect with people . Look forward to seeing more from you and your fab recipes,yum.(hello to your mum as well!) .
    Jo Horn x

    Liked by 1 person

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