Health Diary Week 41: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

I Spy with My Little Eye…

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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…

What’s New

Well, from last Tuesday night our household went into a voluntary 14-day quarantine, as the plan is to meet up with some family who’ve been shielding. Now, we realise the shielding ‘rules’ have relaxed, but we’re going by the science (as we understand it) and we’re conscious the virus is still lurking out there, so we’re reducing risk where we can.

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 started the week with the last of my hot cross chocco buns, half with raspberry jam. Midweek, I had breakfast fruit: papaya and watermelon and mango. The remainder of my breakfasts were cereal and those oat and fruit biscuits (three times) – the biscuits are becoming a bit of a habit, instead of the originally intended occasional grab-and-go, so I need to curb this and sometimes replace them with fruit and/or porridge oats:

Week 41 Breakfasts

Lunch:

Lunches were My typical salad, with either hash browns or rice-filled vine leaves, except for one day when I had a leftover portion of veg spaghetti (pic in Week 40). The oil-based dressings have crept back in since lockdown, becoming a regular – they may contain a source of omega 3 health-promoting fat (rapeseed oil), but are still calorie-dense nonetheless, so this is another habit I want to reduce by replacing with balsamic dressing, along with less regular coleslaw consumption:

Week 41 Lunches

Dinner:

On the non-salad lunch day we compensated with a Shawarma kebab loaded and accompanied by mixed salad and coleslaw for dinner. We added the coleslaw as it was at its end date. The combo of fat-dense (not saturates at least) coleslaw and garlic mayo upped the calorie and fat intake. But I made matters worse by a high-saturated fat meal of cauliflower and broccoli cheese (coconut-based cheese). The cheese-thing happened because it had reached its end date. At least there was plenty of veg, as it also included Brussel sprouts and green beans:

Week 41 Dinners

Another ‘end date’ occurrence happened (notice a pattern?) on Sunday evening, resulting in me eating the whole pumpkin raviolini pack meant for two, with basil pesto (more fat). I think end-dates tend to creep up on us because since ‘Lockdown’ we’ve changed to big food online shopping instead of several smaller shopping visits in person.

All was not lost, Mum made a nutritious fibrous aubergine, pea and potato curry, with red lentil dhal and brown rice that kept us going over two dinners, accompanied by poppadum, onion bhaji (recipe tweaked to reduce oil) and chutneys:

My highlight has to be the delicious creamy (not cream – phew) mushroom and spinach stroganoff in silken tofu sauce with tagliatelle that I happily ate over two days. Using a tofu-based, instead of cream sauce was a healthy low-fat swap:

Snacks:

I was surprised that I hadn’t snacked quite as much as I’d thought:

Week 41 Snacks

My healthiest sweet choice was mango, whilst my least healthy was a Magnum ice cream. I also had two squares of chocolate (twice), some raw chocolate goji berries and a homemade low fat blueberry muffin (using up over-ripe fruit):

My healthiest savoury snacks choices were crispy seaweed thins (twice; love these), veg sticks and/or rice crackers with homemade hummus and gazpacho soup. But, there were several high saturated fat choices too, including cheesy chilli nachos (to use up that cheese), oven fries with mayo and a handful of nachos/crisps (twice). I also had some biscuits (four pack) and ‘ham’ slices with salad cream (three times; odd choice I know):

Alcohol

No booze this week, probably because I didn’t do the weekend online family or friend meets, meaning I wasn’t tempted by social cues.

Exercise

I was physically active over 3 days, bringing my total activity down to 246 minutes (just over four hours), compared to last week’s 472 minutes (nearly eight hours). I don’t have a decent excuse. On a positive note, I finally got back on the exercise bike (last time was 7th July) and completed 85 minutes over two sessions. No Wii Fit though and just one walk before we went into self-imposed quarantine – a decent 161-minutes of which 75 minutes was brisk:

Week 41 Exercise
Image: 16061941, Pixabay

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Things appear to have gone horribly wrong this week according to my results, as I gained weight by 3.0 lb (1.4 kg) and 0.6% fat. But the weird thing is, I looked in the mirror before weighing myself and was happy with what I saw. And, more importantly I feel the best I have since I probably got that virus back in March (Week 21). So, I’m a bit annoyed about the weight gain, but my overall lifestyle is definitely healthier than it was this time last year and I don’t want to lose sight of that:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

There were a couple of occurrences that made me chuckle on top of the usual smiles, so I’ll start and end with those:

Mango Man:
I think my Mum has secretly set herself a challenge to find something new each week to make me smile. This week was ‘Mango Man’ – I discovered him on the tub of muffins. The background to this is that when I was a child my Nana (Mum’s Mum) would tell us tales from her life in India. One being mango stone dolls. Here’s Mum’s first attempt (I suspect they’ll be more to follow):

Friends:
My friend Chud popped round for a chat (physically distanced in the garden) and bore gifts from his garden of cucumbers and rhubarb. Mum made Dad a rhubarb crumble and used the rest for jam – this made my Dad smile. The cucumbers were a lovely treat with homemade hummus:

Sunflower Shoots:
Trying sunflower shoots for the first time. These were our Abel and Cole veg surprise. They were tasty and I like nice surprises:

Woodpecker Visit:
We finally had a visit (although fleeting) from one of the elusive woodpeckers – I’m assuming it’s a great spotted woodpecker. This birdie was a very messy eater:

Left: Image: Carola68 Die Welt ist bunt……, Pixabay. Right: My best attempt (rather poor I know) to capture the woodpecker

The WordPress Community:
A lovely thank you from fellow WordPress blogger, Hamish, from Hard lines, heavy times, and handblocks. I’m really enjoying being part of the WordPress community and it really made my day seeing my name for the first time in someone else’s blog post. I thoroughly enjoy reading Hamish’s inspiring writing:

I Spy with My Little Eye…:
…Hang on. What is that?!? Oh, it’s a ‘Cat Bird’. We spotted an unusual sight up in the trees (top pic). On closer inspection we saw it was a cat. I went outside to check if she was stuck – she was fine and gracefully made her way to the ground:

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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12 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 41: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

    • I just found your comment in my spam folder, otherwise I would have replied sooner. Thank you so much. The cat is adorable. It cuts through our garden to get to the pond x

      Like

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