Health Diary Week 33: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Jenga!

Image: Amy Moore, Pixabay

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Hi again. How quickly the next week comes around!

What’s New

Overall, I’m pleased with this week’s progress, because I’ve struggled emotionally – I’m uncomfortable talking about my feelings, but here’s how I see it using the game ‘Jenga’ as an analogy: I was precariously balanced (I hadn’t realised), then a ‘block’ was removed (nothing major), resulting in me toppling (feeling anxious and alone). However, I’m completely aware I’m in a more fortunate position than many, so I’m ready to pick myself back-up and continue on…

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:

I had fruit (mango and pineapple) only once. I ate a pack of 4 Nairn’s Oaties biscuits 4 times with my morning coffee. I succumbed to a slice of toast with peanut butter and jam one day and skipped breakfast another.

The big share bowl of mango & pineapple – I didn’t eat it all!

Lunch:

Lunches consisted of my My Typical Salad 5 times, either with hash browns or rice-filled vine leaves. Other than that, I had a Heck vegfurter hotdog (high fibre; made from mushroom, carrot and beetroot) and my highlight, Mum’s cauliflower and almond soup.

Lunch highlights: Left: Homemade cauliflower & almond soup. Right: Heck vegfurter hotdog.

Dinner:

Dinner is generally my favourite meal of the day, as it tends to be more varied. Mine included leftover dhal and rice – I love how a low-cost meal can be so tasty and nutritious. Also, Meatless Farm Co. mince, mashed potato, baby carrots and green beans with gravy. I had an odd combo of leftover mince and baked beans with pasta – simply a lazy dinner. Another hotdog to finish the open pack. I enjoyed a baked potato – half with baked beans, the other with coconut-based cheese and coleslaw, because I couldn’t choose between the two fillings. My highlights were vegetable fajitas (peppers and mushrooms) and a Plant Pioneer burger with low-fat oven chips.

Dinner highlights: Top: Burger (with all the works) & low-fat chips. Bottom: Veg fajitas with guacamole & salsa.

Snacks:

So far, not too bad, other than lack of breakfast fruit. So, let’s assess my snacking… 4 days of morning snacks: grapes, satsumas and mixed nuts. On the day I missed breakfast, cheeky fries leftover from my parents’ dinner. My pre-dinner and evening snacks (5 days each) were small amounts of chocolate (e.g. ¼ of a bar). Saturday night (online pub) I indulged in crisps, including cheesy nachos.

Snack highlights: Left: Cheesy nachos – pre-melted to demonstrate I didn’t overdo the cheese! Right: Hazelnut chocolate desert pot (our weekly veg box ‘surprise’) – I ate it over 2 days.

Alcohol

Alcohol included a double rum and cola on Friday during an online family meet and Saturday’s pre-measured 6 vodkas with a bottle of soda water and fresh lime.

Exercise

My physical activity was a respectable 190 minutes, split between 3 gentle exercise biking sessions and a 70-minute stint on Wii Fit, including yoga, aerobics, muscle and balance exercises. I had a shock when the Wii Fit body analysis reported I’d gained 2 stone and 5 pounds since I’d last used it!

Wii Fit aerobic & balance exercises: It seems I have an inability to move in the right direction, resulting in missing targets, whilst managing to get hit in the head by every flying object – impressive!

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I ‘m pleased to report my 1 lb weight loss this week – yey! I’d expected a gain, because I thought I’d eaten poorly and not moved enough.

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I’m so pleased I introduced this section, especially given the challenges this week brought. I’ve enjoyed looking back on and appreciating the positive experiences

Bird Watching:
At the beginning of the week, when it was still sunny, I enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder:

University Friends:
Chatting with my friends Magda and Emelie online on Zoom – last time was early March in person. We met on our MSc Nutrition and Behaviour degree. They both have incredible work ethics – I wish I’d been a bit more like them back when I was in my 20’s!:

Photo from MSc graduation back in 2019 – seems so long ago now!

Studying:
Completing Week 2 of the Future Learn COVID-19 course by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Also, it’s been interesting reading other’s thoughts and I’ve enjoyed sharing my own too. Such a well-run course, I’d highly recommend it:

COVID-19 Week 2 course agenda: The practical implications.

Long Baths with Weleda:
My emotional comfort-blanket: Long (very long!) soaks in the bath with my favourite bath milk, Weleda arnica muscle soak:

New Turtle T-Shirt:
Trying on my new Rapanui WWF t-shirt that helps safeguard turtles – love it! – thanks Mum. Why Rapanui?: “Certified Organic Cotton…Not tested on animals. Does not contain animal-derived products. Printed in the UK with low waste printing tech. Made in a renewable energy powered factory audited for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria”.

Catching Up with Family:
Chatting to Emma (my sister) and Carl (her boyfriend) online – it’s been a while since we’d last spoken:

Emma showing us her worse-for-wear ‘lemon pig’.

Improved Confidence:
Realising how much my confidence and critical-thinking skills have grown over the past 5 years, thanks to the Open University Health Sciences degree. I was pleasantly surprised to receive 57 ‘Likes’ on one of my Future Learn comments. I realise this may not sound like much to some, but it’s the most ‘Likes’ I’ve ever had:

My response to the Educator’s question asking about challenges where resources are limited.

More Online Socialising:
Houseparty with the guys even though they made me do a quiz – I’m asking the questions next week!:

I returned from getting a drink to find myself alone in the House! It was okay – they came back.

Looking back, there were plenty of occasions for me to smile – it’s helpful to document these things.

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.

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