Health Diary Week 39: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

I’ve got a Lovely Bunch of Coconut…Fat

Image: meadowflowers, Pixabay

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Hi all, it’s already that time for another weekly instalment of what was on my plate, my health updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

What’s New

…Okay, let me start by explaining I was incredibly tired this week, resulting in minimal exercise and a lack of willpower to resist less healthy comfort-food. Having said that, I was still productive in other ways, including my ongoing job search. So, let’s have a proper look at my (poorer) food choices.

Food and Nutrition

Breakfast:

I was surprised on analysis of my food diary to see I hadn’t eaten any breakfast fruit this week. I had a banana bread muffin (3 times), Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise cereal (twice), Nairn’s oat and fruit biscuits (4 pack) and a toasted ham (Quorn) and cheese (Applewood) sandwich:

Lunch:

I’m happy to report I still had my typical salad over 5 days, providing a good range of nutrients and gut-health promoting fibre[1]. Once I had an easy option Itsu chilli miso rice noodle pot – at least it  was low in total and saturated fat and sugars:

And then, there was the highlight: my first meal out since lockdown – Offbeet New Forest Caribbean ‘fish’ n chips’ (banana blossom ‘fish’) – yep, deep fried indulgence – and I can’t bring myself to regret it – it tasted amazing:

My photo doesn’t do this dish justice. Description image: Offbeet

Dinner:

I didn’t really meal prep this week, taking easy options, because I just didn’t have the energy and motivation. These easy meals included a whole Whole Creations roasted tomato and basil ‘sheesy’ pizza (I added fresh tomato and olives) and Amy’s Kitchen Thai red curry – both containing substantial coconut-based saturated fat – whoops:

Other minimal effort meals were pasta-based: Dell Ugo pumpkin raviolini with Yellow Mellow rapeseed chilli oil (source of omega 3 essential fat[2]), and a version of my go-to pasta salad with Quorn ‘ham’ slices, olives, sundried tomato, pepper, mayo and that chilli oil again:

Thankfully, we had some bean chilli and brown rice leftovers (Week 38) – a high fibre and nutrient-rich meal. Also, Mum cooked-up a couple of veg-packed tasty dishes: stir-fried veg (peppers, broccoli, cabbage, beansprouts) with King Soba sweet potato and buckwheat noodles in a Chow Mein sauce. And my favourite, risotto, loaded with broad beans (absolutely love broad beans), frozen peas, asparagus and tomatoes:

Snacks:

There was a lot of snacking! I was excessive on the chocolate stuff, including the usual 2 – 4 choc bar squares depending on size (I’m okay with this). But, the least healthy culprits were a Lazy Days chocolate chip shortbread (just the 1), Offbeet chocolate orange brownie (eaten in 2 sittings) and the Gu chocolate and vanilla cheesecake (again high in total and saturated fats and sugars). I think having either the brownie or the cheesecake would have been acceptable, both in a week was a bit excessive:

Another saturated fat culprit was the Offbeet coconut matcha latte – I don’t actually regret that indulgence though, as it really is a rarity. But I do regret the coconut-based (yep – more coconut fat!) cheesy chilli nachos even though I kept the cheese fairly minimal. And then there was yet more fat – M&S Plant Kitchen onion bhajis with mango chutney, oven fries and crisps: Kettlechips sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps and Piper’s tomato crisps:

All is not lost on the snacking front; I also chose some healthier savoury snacks, including leftover pasta salad, hummus with Peckish rice crackers and/or Hippeas salt & vinegar puffs, Shore Thai chilli seaweed puffs, Itsu seaweed thins and almonds:

And to some extent I made up for the lack of breakfast fruit by snacking on watermelon (twice), pineapple and strawberries:

Alcohol

My alcohol consumption was acceptable – I had 3 singles/units of spiced rum with diet cola and lime. I’m happy with that.

Exercise

My physical activity levels were low for me: only 179 minutes (nearly 3 hours), mostly through walking (149 minutes total, 103 minutes brisk). I only used Wii Fit once for 30 minutes of aerobic exercises and I didn’t use my exercise bike at all:

I’m a ‘Roaring Fire’ – I achieved my best scores so far on Wii Fit Rhythm Boxing and Step Plus

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Well, I think it’s clear I consumed far too much saturated fat, particularly of the coconut variety[3, 4]. Therefore, it’s no surprise I gained both weight (1.8 lb, 0.8 kg) and fat (0.9%). All I can say is I had one of those off-weeks and having identified where I let things slip should mean I’ll be more aware of not repeating the same behaviour next week – I hope!:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Right, it’s about time for some positive vibes…

Avocado Bag:
Mum fixed the hole in my much-loved quirky handbag by making an avocado with a little heart in the middle to patch up the hole:

Baby Bird:
Baby Bird is all grown up – well, more like adolescent stage, insisting Mum still does the feeding:

Then (Week 37) versus Now

Accidental Heart Soap:
The accidental heart formation on my hand soap: There was a bit of leftover soap in the dish that attached itself to my new bar in the shape of a heart. I neatened it up a bit (2nd pic):

Rocket Fire Hula Hooper:
I’m ‘Rocket Fire’ on Wii Fit hula hooping! I was laughing at myself imagining how ridiculous I must look , without an actual hula hoop, trying to maintain my hip movements, especially as I get more tired towards the end of the session:

Beautiful Butterfly:
Finally capturing a decent picture of a butterfly – I’ve seen loads, but they don’t stay still long enough to capture them on camera. This beautiful creature was spotted on one of my walks:

Lunch Out:
The highlight has to be the excursion to Offbeet New Forest – I absolutely love their food. We met Harry there and sat in a large field, picnic tables spaced well over 2 meters from each other, with some background tunes playing. We video-called Bevy (Harry’s other half and one of my besties) several times to keep her informed of our food progress:

Clockwise: Video-call to Bevy – if you zoom-in, you’ll see me masked-up in the background waving from a safe distance while waiting for our food. Harry’s Greek ‘lamb’ style tacos. Dad atop the hill contemplating life. Well-distanced picnic tables.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Thank you for reading and feel free to follow my bite-sized updates on Instagram or Facebook. See you next Wednesday for another catch up.

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References

1. British Dietetic Association, 2016. Fibre: Food Fact Sheet [online].  Available from: www.bda.uk.com/resource/fibre.html.

2. Heart UK, Ca. 2020. Omega 3 fats [online]. Available from: www.heartuk.org.uk/low-cholesterol-foods/omega-3-fats.

3. British Nutrition Foundation, 2020. BNF answers some common questions on coconut oil [online]. Available from: www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/998/BNF%20FAQs%20Coconut%20Oil%202020.pdf.
4. ‘NHS Behind the Headlines, 2017. ‘Avoid fads and stick to diet guidelines,’ say US heart experts [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/avoid-fads-and-stick-to-diet-guidelines-say-us-heart-experts/.

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