Health Diary Week 32: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

A Little Excursion

Image: digital designer, Pixabay

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Hi everyone, hope you’re all doing okay. My week was mostly decent – here’s my weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s have a look at what food was on my plate, the healthy and not so healthy choices…

Breakfast:

My week actually started with a slip-up on Monday morning (after Bank Holiday Sunday’s drinking) by breakfasting on tortilla chips! Fear not, I didn’t catastrophise into an ever-accelerating downhill decline. I had fruit as part of my breakfasts each day, including apple, satsumas, berries, mango and pineapple. Twice, I ate toast, once with scrambled tofu, another with Meridian yeast extract. I had a pack of 4 Nairn’s Oaties another morning.

Breakfasts: Strawberries & blueberries. Scrambled tofu on toast. Nairn’s Oaties. Mango & pineapple.

Lunch:

Lunches were a version of My Typical Salad, except once when I had homemade carrot and ginger soup (it had a mighty kick to it!).

Lunch: Homemade carrot & ginger soup accompanied by toast.

Dinner:

Twice dinners consisted of vegetable risotto (asparagus, peas, mushrooms and green cabbage), once with Linda McCartney red caramelised onion and rosemary sausages. Mum made chickpea, potato and spinach curry, dhal and rice, with poppadum and chutneys/pickles – yum! Another day I had a Fry’s chicken-style breaded burger, low-fat oven chips and salad. I thoroughly enjoyed scrambled tofu (I’d argue my best version yet!) in a seeded bun. I also had a satisfyingly simple dinner of Quorn slices and salad in a sandwich accompanied by cucumber and celery sticks with hummus.

Dinners: Top: Curry, dhal & rice. Veg-loaded risotto. Scrambled tofu in a bun. Bottom: Quorn slices & salad sandwich with veg sticks & hummus. Veg risotto & sausages. Burger, low-fat oven chips & salad.

Snacks:

Impressively for me, I didn’t snack on chocolate every day; I indulged on 4 days, including either 2 (of 8) squares of Enjoy caramel chocolate (3 days), a small pot of raw chocolate goji berries and a hot cacao drink. Savoury snacks included fruit, mixed nuts, crispy seaweed, rice crackers and veg sticks with hummus, a few crisps/nachos and a rather large bowl of pasta salad (my Saturday alcohol accompaniment).

Savoury snacks: Top: Mango & pineapple. Mixed nuts, grapes & crispy seaweed thins. Rice crackers, cucumber & celery sticks & hummus. Bottom: Grapes & a few cheesy nachos. A few nachos & crisps with beetroot & horseradish hummus. My big pasta salad.

Alcohol

Talking of alcohol, I drank alcohol just the one night: 6 single vodkas with a can of lemonade, diet cola and light ginger beer.

Exercise

My physical activity levels were minimal – only 60 minutes on the exercise bike and 40 minutes walking. Why? I was lacking energy and motivation after several nights of insomnia (an ongoing issue since mid-March).

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

So, what were my weigh-in results? Well, I was relieved I didn’t gain additional weight. However, on the upside, my body fat decreased slightly by 0.3%.

Week 32 results – some fat loss

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Right, I think it’s about time for my favourite section: ‘What Made Watson Smile’

Replacement Phone:
I received a new mobile phone to replace my old and faulty Blackberry:

Hyperactive Squirrel:
I was amused by the antics of this hyperactive squirrel among the pond trees and it’s cheeky theft of the bird food:

There is a squirrel in the background of the 1st photo! – These 2 were terrorising each other!

The Veg Box Challenges:
Loving the veg box surprises and challenges. We received some fennel and were at a loss of what to do with it. Mum then had the genius idea to use it instead of cabbage to make coleslaw – it worked marvellously! And, we had a happy surprise to receive Padron peppers in our veg box – love them and we hadn’t had them for ages! They both accompanied a salad lunch nicely:

Updated COVID Course:
I’m back on the Future Learn COVID-19 course developed by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and UK Public Health Rapid Support Team. I was so impressed with the course back in March that I was looking forward to attending this updated version. 2 more weeks to go:

The Bird Feeder:
The bird table by the pond next to our driveway. We sit by it, relaxing with a morning coffee, whilst observing nature. The last bird in the picture is particularly bold in approaching us:

Three Little Birds:
These ‘Three Little Birds’ making me think of the same-named and loved Bob Marley song with its uplifting lyrics: “Rise up this mornin’. Smiled with the risin’ sun. Three little birds. Pitch by my doorstep. Singin’ sweet songs. Of melodies pure and true. Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou:”. Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing, oh! Every little thing gonna be all right…”:

Nutrition Lectures:
MyNutriWeb Immunity Series Part 3: Pre and Probiotics by Dr Caroline Childs (University of Southampton), an excellent speaker. It was a great refresher, much of my expertise on this topic is related to prebiotics (the nutrients, e.g. fibre, feeding our gut microbes). I want to further investigate taking specific probiotics (live microbes), especially as credible evidence was presented for probiotics supporting the immune system against acute upper respiratory tract infections:  

Online Socials:
Anyone reading my blog posts pre-lockdown will know how important socialising with my friends is to me. Sadly, I can’t imagine meeting up with anyone in person anytime soon for fear of infecting my parents who I’ve lived with since returning to studying. So, the online meets are incredibly important to me. This week I had a lovely meet with my friends Bevy and Harry. Also, I popped into my parents’ and Aunt and Uncles’ Houseparty (as did my cousin and his girlfriend) before joining my friends for our usual meet:

Brief family online meet-up with a drink.

An excursion:
Who would have thought the car’s battery conking out would make me smile? Well, after its recharge, it was decided the car needed a run. I haven’t been in a vehicle since 13 March, so this was an exciting prospect – the highlight of my week! – it’s amazing how such a small excursion can bring so much joy! After the final ‘Clap for Carer’s (in my mind ‘Key Workers’ – that includes you sis), we decided to visit a local river. We’d planned to take in the view within the safety of the car, but it was nearly deserted, so we got out and enjoyed the fresh breeze. Beautiful!:

The excursion to the river: Excited me in the car on the way there. My parents by the river. River views.

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 33
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8 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 32: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. Aahh love your blog, especially Bob Marley song,i kept humming away whilst reading the words! It bet it felt great to get out.Like you said small things mean so much.
    What do you think we could do more of to help our bodies defend itself better against Covid or any virus million dollar question!
    Take care
    Jo x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jo. Thanks 🙂 There’s quite a few practical actions we can take to support our immune system (see below link). Approx. 70% of our immune cells reside in our gut & interact with our trillions of gut microbes. Therefore, one way we can support our immune system is feeding the immune supporting gut microbes with high fibre foods, whilst reducing foods (saturated fat & sugars) that feed our pro-inflammatory gut microbes. Specific probiotics may be helpful too, but I need to do more resesrch on this. Other suggestions include adequate sleep & reducing stress levels, as this affects immune system function. I have more suggestions here: https://whatsonwatsonsplate.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/article-practical-tips-to-reduce-risk-of-contracting-coronavirus/ (I updated the title to: ‘Practical tips to reduce risk from COVID-19’).
      Hope you’re keeping well.
      Take care too x

      Like

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