Health Diary Week 42: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Two-Faced Joy

Angkor Wat, Cambodia (2006)

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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

You may have noticed my blog format has changed slightly. Any feedback gratefully received – I want to make this blog as user-friendly as possible.

My 14 days quarantine is flying by, although I have to say, I’m looking forward to getting back out on my walks and hopefully seeing a few friends in person (still physically distanced).

I had my first job interview (online) in many years. Despite extensive preparation, my nerves led to initially stumbling over my words. The rest seemed to go well though and it was good practise whatever the outcome. I’d had a break after finishing 5 years studying to focus on my long-term health – leading to this blog creation – more in About and Week 0. Now much refreshed and motivated, I’m ready to re-enter employment, hopefully within the NHS. I’ll keep you posted.

Ummm, so this was the most relevant image that appeared when I searched for ‘NHS’ and ‘National Health Service’ on Pixabay. (Image: Andrew Martin, Pixabay)

Food and Nutrition

Okay, 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:

Hmmm, I only managed fruit (mango) once – this needs to increase. I made a wise decision to freeze the rest of my blueberry muffins – just one crept in for breakfast. I reduced the biscuit intake, although this can be improved on. I had cereal twice (I didn’t need the added sugar the first time) and a slice of wholegrain seeded toast with peanut butter and raspberry jam:

Week 42 Breakfasts

Lunch:

I had My Typical Salad every day this week, mostly with hash browns, once with rice filled vine leaves. Last week I noted I’d let oily dressings creep in, so I stuck to balsamic vinegar (zero fat, admittedly high in free sugars, but just a drizzle) and sometimes a smidgeon of salad cream (instead of mayo) with my potatoes. And no coleslaw this week, again reducing fat content. Mum made a ‘Sunshine Salad’ (recipe from an Abel and Cole veg box delivery some years back) – watercress, raw grated beetroot, orange (we supplemented with satsuma) and balsamic vinegar – absolutely delicious. We were fortunate to have Padron peppers a couple of times too:

Week 42 Lunches
Clockwise: Salad lunch. Sunshine salad. Cucumbers from my friend. Tomatoes from Abel & Cole veg box

Dinner:

Definitely less total and saturated fat compared to last week without feeling like I’d missed out too much. I love a plate of nibbles, so I thoroughly enjoyed my spring rolls, veg sticks (cucumber, celery, purple carrots), homemade smoked paprika hummus, olives, gherkins, pickled onions and a cheese slice. Then there was one of my favourites: veg-loaded risotto, which stretched into the next day by adding sausages, green beans and tomatoes. I made scrambled tofu (using a combo of smoked firm and silken tofu), once topped with mushrooms and tomatoes. I finished the week with bean chilli, tomato salsa and brown rice, once with guacamole and garlic bread (fat content reduced using a plain baguette and my own garlic butter):

Week 42 Dinners

Snacks:

I reduced my amount of snacking and made healthier choices (less saturated fat) compared to last week. I’m not too concerned about eating some naturally occurring unsaturated fats (e.g. avocado), but I’m trying to minimise added fat (e.g. oils) and saturates (e.g. chips).

On the sweet-side, I only ate chocolate twice – no chocolate bar squares. Instead, I had raw chocolate goji berries and dark chocolate rice crackers – I’m really pleased with myself. Other sweet choices were pineapple (twice), sweet and salty popcorn and when I really craved a jam doughnut (I haven’t had one in like seven years, so that was weird), I compensated with a slice of toast with peanut butter and jam – the fat and sugar combo did the trick.

Savoury snacks were unsalted mixed nuts, rice crackers with hummus, Quorn slices, pasta salad (with leftover beetroot) and a few handfuls of crisps/potato chips. Now, the pasta was mayo-based (rapeseed oil), so it contained the added unsaturated fat I was trying to minimise. And, the crisps were loaded in saturated fat, so I want to reduce these occurrences in the future. Overall decent choices though: 

Week 42 Snacks

Alcohol

I drank about five units of alcohol over three days: three spiced rums (one was a double) and a small glass of wine:

Week 42 Alcohol
This was how much wine I drank – just a tipple

Exercise

I was quite shocked to realise I’d only completed 179 minutes (just under three hours) physical activity – last week I thought the 246 minutes (four hours) was low. This has been a hot and muggy week and I couldn’t get out-and-about for a stroll due to quarantine; regardless, I know I could have done better than this:

Week 42 exercise

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Well, as you can imagine, I was mighty relieved to have lost 2.0 lb (0.9 kg) of the 3.0 lb (1.4 kg) weight gained last week. My fat percentage also dropped by 0.8% since last week, so I was pleased about that too:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I love writing this section. Looking back on these little moments of happiness brings back the positive memories and makes me smile all over again.

Two-Faced Joy:
Last week I explained how the mango stone dolls came about. In the top photo you’ll see my Mum’s original creation. As suspected, she decided to take it further and upon remembering she had googly eyes packed away, dug these out and added them to Mango Man (bottom pic). He’s grown a moustache too. Mum then created a lady on the other side of the stone – doesn’t she look lovely:

Passive Aggressive Wii:
Usually passive aggressiveness does not make me smile, but I was amused by Wii Fit’s attempt. It started with only showing Mum as being active – the rest of us were asleep (I’m on the right). Then there was the greeting when I signed in – my absence has been duly noted – thank you Wii Fit:

Woodpecker Distraction:
The woodpeckers have been noisy, but elusive – they don’t visit the bird feeder when we’re close by. So, imagine my delight when I spotted and captured on video what appears to be a juvenile woodpecker. At the time I was doing Wii Fit, so I paused to observe – thank goodness Wii didn’t have anything to say about my break:

Screen shot from my two-minute video

Mummy Bird’s Berry Feast:
It seems Baby Bird has matured and ventured off on his own now. But we still have the joy of visits from Mummy Bird, albeit less frequently. It was lovely to watch her feasting on blackberries:

A Sunset Excursion to the Water:
My week’s highlight was our excursion to the water’s edge. It was so nice to go out even though we couldn’t leave the car due to our self-imposed quarantine. The breeze as we drove to our destination was a treat – we’re having a heatwave in the UK. I was delighted to catch the sunset over the water – I love a sunset (or sunrise):

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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13 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 42: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. I am extremely impressed along with your writing skills as smartly as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a nice blog like this one nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging feedback. I manage the blog myself. I’ve been blogging since November 2019, so it’s all still fairly new to me, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

      Like

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