Health Diary Week 27: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Return of the Appetite!

Image: Scym, 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…

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

So, it makes sense to start with my week’s results – I was incredibly relieved not to gain yet more weight – I’d suspected it would rise considering my current appetite. I was pleased to discover that although there was no weight change, my body fat reduced by 0.4%.

Week 27 results: Some fat reduction at least.

Exercise

I can probably thank the increase in physical activity for keeping my weight in check and reducing body fat, because I ate a lot! I completed a total of four hours on my exercise bike, tagging on 15 minutes jogging on the trampette to the end of a session. I’d like to increase use of the trampette as energy levels increase.

Keeping physical activity simple. Left: Me pre- exercise biking. Right: Me after jogging on the trampette.

Alcohol

I had alcohol at Saturday night’s online ‘Houseparty’ – a Tesco frozen strawberry daiquiri sorbet, followed by four vodkas with two cans of diet cola, consequently leading to Sunday’s post-drinking crisp intake.

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…

Snacks:

I  snacked between meals quite a bit, including finishing off the meringues (pic in Week 26) and gradually working my way through Booja Booja chocolate truffles. Despite this, I also chose some healthier options, including fruit, hummus with rice crackers and Itsu crispy seaweed thins (so more-ish!):

Some snacks: Clockwise: Booja Booja chocolate truffles. Mango – I ate ½ before remembering to take a photo! Wholegrain pitta with red pepper hummus. Mixed unsalted nuts.

Breakfast:

I’ve had heartier breakfasts than my usual fruit. Sometimes I started with an apple or satsumas, but then followed it with a pitta with hummus or a ‘bacon-ish’ sandwich using pan-fried (no oil) Quorn smoky vegan ham free slices.

Breakfasts: Left: wholegrain pitta with red pepper hummus (alfresco). Right: Bacon-ish sandwich.

Lunch:

Lunches were usually a version of My Typical Salad, either with rice-filled vine leaves, falafel or Strong Roots hash browns. One day we were low on salad, so made a simple, incredibly tasty Mexican rice salad using Tilda Mexican rice, adding refried beans (we didn’t have black beans), sweetcorn, tomato, avocado and red onion. We served the rice with nachos and a delicious Plant Pioneer burger. Sunday was a ‘snacky’ day, after Saturday’s late night socialising – I had two Mexican bean bites, followed by M&S spring rolls with sweet chilli jam, almond-filled olives,  a gherkin and pickled onions with Applewood vegan cheese.

Lunches: Clockwise: Typical salad with rice-stuffed vine leaves. Snacky lunch plate. Typical salad with falafel. Mexican rice salad with nachos & Plant Pioneer burger.

Dinner:

So, what were my dinners? I’ll show you…

Twice I had spaghetti bolognese with added Mr Organic lentils, topped with some ‘nooch’ -inactivated yeast, providing a slightly nutty, cheesy taste:

I made a Heck Vegfurter hot dog with added fried onion, tomato and gherkin in a BFree seeded baguette – delicious and high fibre[1] – 14.4g for the sausage and baguette, nearly ½ the recommended adult daily intake of 30g/day[2]:

We indulged in pastry, sharing a Clive’s Mexican chilli pie and tomato and olive tart with roasted butternut squash, carrot and stir-fried green cabbage, leek, broccoli and courgette. However, the pie sneaked into the high category for saturated fat – over 5.0g per 100g (see red underlining), but halving it made it an acceptable portion[3]:

A comforting meal of a jacket potato with Mr Organic baked beans and Applewood vegan cheese sprinkle. Accompanied by Linda McCartney red onion sausages, which weren’t necessary, as the meal was filling enough without them:

Whole Creations Pizza: On first glance this pizza seems okay for fat, saturated fat, free sugars and salt – all within the acceptable range per 100g (orange underlining). BUT, I ate the whole pizza in one sitting resulting in all, except free sugars, being classed as high[3] (red underlining). Next time I should ½ it and serve with salad or veg:

My highlight: Simple, delicious and nutritious pasta salad: Spinach, tomato, black olives, sweetcorn and red onion mixed with some mayo and hot chilli sauce (love chilli!).

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Okay, time for this week’s instalment of ‘What Made Watson Smile’…

Driveway Tranquility:
Loving the tranquility on the driveway during lockdown, including the tuneful birdsong and vibrant lilac wisteria. Also, the joy of spotting real-life humans on the pathway across the pond during their daily exercise (although I fear for their physical distancing if others are coming from the opposite direction):

Webinars:
Continuing professional development webinar advising that the more plant-based a diet, the better the health outcomes and reduced environmental impact:

Satsumas:
Realising that satsumas no longer result in acne breakouts – I’d been too scared to eat them for years, but figured I’d give them a go whilst in lockdown due to lack of socialising. I’d forgotten how delicious they are:

Exercise Bike Progress:
On Sunday, I was pleased to move back up to the highest tension on the exercise bike.

Starting a New Course:
Completing the first week of ‘Superfoods: Myths & Truths’ on FutureLearn. Disclaimer: I personally don’t like/use the term ‘superfoods’, as I believe it’s important to eat a diverse range of plant foods for health. Also, it potentially places pressure on specific items when alternatives could be sourced more accessibly (e.g. cost, mileage):

Online Delivery and My Hummus Survived:
And, the massive relief that my hummus survived being packed under a load of cans & also feeling grateful for getting an online delivery slot:

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Thank you for reading and feel free to follow my bite-size journey updates on Instagram: www.instagram.com/whatsonwatsonsplate/.

Week 28>>>
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References

1. European Commission, Ca. 2019. Nutrition claims [online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/nutrition_claims_en.
2. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, 2015. SACN Press release: Expert nutritionists recommend halving sugar in diet [online]. Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/446188/SACN_Carbohydrates_Press_Release_July_2015.PDF.
3. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Helping you eat well: Looking at labels. Available from: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/324-labels.html?start=3.

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