Health Diary Week 28: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Slipping

Image: Steve Buissinne, 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

This is not a proud week – I’m slipping backwards on my weight and fat progression. I gained 0.8 lb (0.4 kg) taking me up to 167.2 lb (75.8 kg) – ouch! This really needs sorting asap!

Week 28 results: Slipping – Need to get back on track!

I don’t want to be too hard on myself in such unsettled times, BUT, I can’t help be concerned, because of potential health implications, more immediately related to ‘the virus’[1]. I’ve utilised COVID-19 information sharing by high impact scientific journals e.g. ‘The Lancet’[2]. It’s increasingly apparent that those classified with obesity are at higher risk of severe symptoms/complications from COVID-19[3, 4, 5, 6]. Clearly, I need to get back on track! So, let’s investigate where I went wrong this week…

Image: GraphicMama-team, Pixabay

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:

What went wrong?…It’s primarily my poor snacking again! I’ve made some good choices (e.g. fruit, seaweed thins), but I’ve also over-indulged on The Incredible Bakery food I’d ordered (hot cross buns, coffee cake  slice, brownie), coconut cream  and crisps/chips. So, I really need to be more mindful about snacking and making better choices.

Particularly high saturated fat & free sugar snacks: The Incredible Bakery Choco coffee slice & brownie (I ate the brownie over 2 days) with coconut cream.

Breakfast and Lunch:

So, what else did I eat? I had those heartier breakfasts again – still hungry!: Baked beans on toast (with coconut-based cheese sprinkle), bacon-ish sandwich (Quorn slices) and toast with Meridian yeast extract. I also had less conventional breakfasts of pitta with sweet chilli hummus, Incredible Bakery sausage roll and Mushroom stroganoff leftovers on toast.

For lunches, I had My Typical Salad five times this week, a bacon-ish sandwich and an Itsu chilli miso noodle pot. 

Oat bread-based breakfasts: Clockwise: Yeast extract, bacon-ish sandwich, mushroom stroganoff leftovers & baked beans with ‘cheese’ sprinkle.

Dinner:

Dinners included an experiment with cauliflower steak (tahini, lemon juice, garlic and cumin coating). It tasted great, but this first attempt was a little dry, so we repurposed leftovers into a curry. We had lots of mushrooms to use, so made a very tasty stroganoff following the ‘It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken’ recipe using a milk and flour-based sauce instead of cream. Another evening, we had vegetable fajitas. On Friday, I had my much-loved Heck vegfurter hotdog with fried onion, gherkin, mustard and ketchup. My highlight was a Plant Pioneer ultimate burger with melted Applewood cheese in Incredible Bakery onion & seed bun with guac, salsa, iceberg, tomato and gherkin – I have a thing about gherkins at the moment!

Cauliflower dinners: Left: Cauliflower steak with shawarma kebab pieces & veg. Right: Cauliflower, pea & potato curry with brown rice.
Mushroom stroganoff with brown rice.
My highlight: Plant Pioneer burger with all the trimmings!

Exercise

Let’s move on to what I did right – I continued with physical activity: 3.5 hours (five sessions) on the exercise bike at the highest tension, 30 minutes (two sessions) jogging on the trampette, five Mr Motivator 5-minute workouts (BBC HealthCheck UK) and a 20 minute walk (my first in 45 days!).

I was uncomfortable with the walk – I’ve been aware for some time that I’m developing an aversion (since lockdown) to leaving the house and that I should address this before it becomes habit. So, when I awoke from a bad dream at 5am, I decided a short walk would help clear my mind. I’ll try to do a weekly one from now on.

Me after several days hiking on the Inca Trail Trek – the hardest trek I’ve ever completed! (2008, Machu Picchu Peru).

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Okay, time now to move on to ‘What Made Watson Smile’ this week…

Incredible Bakery Delivery:
That delivery from The Incredible Bakery – I’d got excited and ordered more than I’d realised – thankfully the baked goods were freeze-able! We got stuck into the hot cross buns first.

M&S Little Garden Seeding Pots:
The M&S Little Garden seeding pots we’d collected pre-lockdown coming along well on the windowsill:

Garden beauty:
Noticing the garden beauty changes I might not have observed pre-lockdown:

Droplets on garden flowers after the rain.

Dyspraxic Adults Meet-Up:
My first Zoom meet-up with other adults with dyspraxia[7], many also with hypermobility[8]. The Occupational Therapist guest speaker provided some helpful strategies. I didn’t really talk but I still felt accepted and understood just from listening to other’s stories:

Superfoods Course:
Completion of Week 2 Superfoods: Myths and Truths via Future Learn before the weekend socials:

Quick WhatsApp video chat with my Aunty before ‘meeting’ with the ‘girls’:

Image: Alfredo Rivera, Pixabay

Girls’ Houseparty Meet-Up:
The ‘girls’ Houseparty catch up before meeting the pub crew. We may be physically distanced, but we’re fortunate to have modern technology to remain socially close:

Image: Jacquelynne Kosmicki, Pixabay

Pub replacement ‘Houseparty’ with friends:
I miss pubs, but I’m thankful we can still ‘see’ each other:

Week 29>>>
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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.

References

1. Dietz, W. and Santos‐Burgoa, C., 2020. Obesity and its Implications for COVID‐19 Mortality. The Obesity Society [online]. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22818.
2. The Lancet, 2020. The Lancet COVID-19 Resource Centre. Available from: www.thelancet.com/coronavirus.
3. Cai, Q., Fengjuan, C., Luo, F., Liu, X., Wang, T., Wu, Q., He, Q., Wang, Z., Liu, Y., Chen, J., Liu, L. and Xu, L., 2020. Obesity and COVID-19 Severity in a Designated Hospital in Shenzhen, China. The Lancet [online]. Available from: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3556658  or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3556658.
4. Kass, D. A., Duggal, P. and Cingolani, O., 2020. Obesity could shift severe COVID-19 disease to younger ages. The Lancet. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31024-2.
5. Simonnet, A., Chetboun, M., Poissy, J., Raverdy, V., Noulette, J., Duhamel, A., Labreuche, J., Mathieu, D., Pattou, F., Jourdain, M. and The Lille Intensive Care COVID‐19 and Obesity study group, 2020. High prevalence of obesity in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. The Obesity Society [online]. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.22831.
6. Flint, S. W. and Tahrani, A., A., 2020. COVID-19 and obesity – lack of clarity, guidance, and implications for care. The Lancet [online]. Available from: www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30156-X/fulltext.
7. Dyspraxia Foundation, 2019. Dyspraxia in Adults [online]. Available from: https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/dyspraxia-adults/.
8. Hypermobility Syndromes Association, 2017. What are hypermobility syndromes? [online]. Available from: www.hypermobility.org/what-are-hypermobility-syndromes.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

18 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 28: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself – it’s what happens in the future that counts.

    Get back in your rhythm and get back on the wagon – make any changes that you need, but get back to your good habits and take it from there.

    One day at a time!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great blog as usual. It,s lovely you keep up with all your friends.I agree it,s weird leaving the safety of the house.I do a food shop once a wk and wear a mask.Can i just ask ,why do you buy chocolate brownies etc if you know you,ll eat them? plus are super foods really super?
    Take care.
    Jo x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good questions Jo & great to hear from you. I sometimes buy these cakey items, because I’m not on a ‘diet’, it’s a lifestyle change, which will ultimately include some indulgences & involve a bit of weight fluctuation. What I need to do is get the balance right. Adding the coconut cream (well, as much as I did) was a poor choice. I think having one brownie in 2 sittings was ok, but I should have done the same with the coffee slice or saved it until this week in 2 sittings. I wouldn’t usually purchase these items, but I wanted to try them, as I was excited to find a bakery that sells both gluten free & vegan (it’s rare). I probably won’t buy those particular items again any time soon, but will get the breads again. I don’t like/use the term ‘superfoods’, but aparently it can be used legally in the UK if there is enough scientific evidence to back up the claim. I think it’s misleading though, as it can artifically increase prices (e.g. kale is cheap to produce), place pressure on a local food system (e.g. quinoa in S. America – changing crop use, pushing up prices locally) and can impact the environment (e.g. air miles) when there are other locally produced alternatives with similar nutrient content (e.g. goji berries v locally produced berries like blueberries or strawberries). I like your questioning – keeps me on my toes! 🙂 Take care too x x

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  3. Ha ha you,re welcome! I will have lots more for next week 👩‍🎓.Interesting answer by the way and so true. It seems alot of companies jump on the band wagon of whatever is ‘in’ at the moment.As a farmers wife i,d say buy seasonal and local .🍏🍓🥦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uh oh! – I better mentally prepare for the next round of questions!:) Indeed, seasonal & local is the better option for reducing carbon footprint.

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  4. For years, people have touted the powers of superfoods. Thought to benefit your overall well-being, these foods have been linked to a sharper mind, clearer skin, a healthier immune system, and more. And while many dietitians have questioned superfoods, there is no arguing that some fruits, vegetables, and proteins offer more health benefits than others. Here’s an article from Harvard Medical School about superfoods 10 superfoods to boost a healthy diet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cecil Purifoy, thank you for commenting and sharing the article. What is interesting about this particular article is that it lists food groups, e.g. whole grains or legumes as superfoods instead of a specific food item, e.g. quinoa. I think this is a more helpful way to recommend foods rather than suggesting it has to be quinoa, because it recognises that other wholegrains are benefical and widens the available options which differ depending on circumstances. One of my concerns is placing pressure on sourcing one particular food which can have an adverse impact on the local population and environment and push-up prices. Also, recommending a food group, like wholegrains, is more supportive of having a diverse diet of health-promoting foods, especially for maintaining a healthy gut microbiota composition.

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