Health Diary Week 46: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

A Difficult Week

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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

It’s been an emotionally tough week, thankfully not due to anything major, more a combination of little factors. For example, I was sad about missing out on some social events, because of my cautious (some might say overly) approach. So, I just want to take the time here to say, if you’re feeling sad or lonely, please consider reaching out to someone; even a support organisation like the Samaritans[1]; there’s also helpful suggestions via NHS[2]. I reached out to several friends whom I hadn’t been in contact with for a while and I’m feeling more positive again now.

Also, I had my first online meet-up with a group of Nutritionists and Dieticians – we discussed continuing professional development for our accreditations (for me, Association for Nutrition[3]). The meeting was really motivating to get back on track and I’m looking forward to our Journal Club, where we discuss scientific articles to keep updated on the latest research.

Food and Nutrition

Okay, 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 nutritional benefit…

Breakfast:

I ate breakfast every day this week. I’m pleased to report I consumed fruit three times. I had some garlic mushrooms with toast at the start of the week. Twice I had peanut butter and raspberry jam on toast. Then there was my one slightly weird start to the day of leftover cauliflower soup (Week 45) – it needed using and it was too good to go to waste. I have to say, this soup was filling, and I didn’t eat again until lunch, so it actually worked out pretty well:

Week 46 Breakfasts

Lunch:

There was some form of salad every day, except Sunday when I had leftover ‘Nana’s spaghetti’, veganised and gluten-free of course. I think Nana invented this meal when trying to make ends-meet: spaghetti, cabbage, bacon (replaced by THIS Isn’t Bacon) and egg (replaced by scrambled tofu) in a tomato sauce – although we’d run out of tofu for this portion. I also had My Typical Salad three times, a Shawarma kebab and a pitta with ‘ham’ slices and crammed full with salad:

Week 46 Lunches

Dinner:

Dinners included leftover risotto with a teaspoon of mayo twice, once with a burger and corn on the cob (both somewhat charred from last week’s barbecue). I also enjoyed leftover vegetable curry, dhal and rice. Then there was ‘Nana’s spaghetti’, once with the scrambled tofu – I love this meal. Once we had a sausage sandwich with a cheese slice – the cheese wasn’t really necessary – I added it as the pack was open. On Sunday, we tried out the new M&S Plant Kitchen burger and we decided we’d buy it again, especially if having a barbecue, as it should hold together well. Nutritionally[4], the burger was in the acceptable range for total fat, saturated fat and salt, low in sugars and a source of fibre[5]. The burger was accompanied by my spice coated oven-cooked potatoes and side salad (further details in the table):

Week 46 Dinners

Snacks:

My snacking activity seems acceptable. There was a little chocolate, some crisp-like snacks (rice crackers, popped lotus seeds, seaweed puffs, potato chips) and a pitta bread with hummus. The snack highest in total fat, saturated fat and sugars was the salted caramel chocolate cheesecake – I do not regret it at all, as other indulgences were pretty minimal:

Week 46 Snacks

Alcohol

I didn’t have any alcohol this week following my ridiculous binge last Saturday. I suspect last week’s booze session didn’t help my mental wellbeing[6], so I intend to be more mindful about that in future. Plus, I think the excess alcohol may have caused my body to become inflamed[7] as I experienced some chest and joint discomfort throughout the week – it’s improved now.

Exercise

My physical activity was 35 minutes less than last week, but a bit more varied. As well as the usual walks, I did two WiiFit exercise sessions (76 minutes) and 30 minutes on the exercise bike. I’ll admit I only used the bike on Sunday, because I remembered promising I’d do it in last week’s post. It was a tough half hour, so I need to do more to build myself up again – there, I’ve said it, so I’ll feel I need to do it now:

Week 46 Exercise

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I’m flabbergasted! I lost 5 lb (2.3 kg) weight in a week – I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, except for the time I did a fast, but that doesn’t count as I didn’t eat anything. So, I lost all the weight gained last week, plus a little extra. Also, my fat results moved in the right direction, dropping 1.3% fat since Week 45. I think it could be related to my emotional state (I tend to eat less when I feel a bit down) and having an alcohol-free week (it really does seem to make a difference):

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I was pleasantly surprised there were plenty of smile-provoking experiences this week. I’m really glad I introduced this section during Lockdown, because it makes me appreciate the positive occurrences, as small and easily missed, some of them can be.

Catching up with Friends in Real-Life:
My highlight has to be meeting up with Tina and her daughter Eloise. It was just what I needed – a girly catch up, sitting in the garden, enjoying the sunshine:

Eloise and Tina, Brighton Pride (2019)

Nana’s Spaghetti and Dad Ate Scrambled Tofu:
Nana’ spaghetti brings back happy memories of the family (Aunts, Uncles and cousins) squished around a little table at my grandparents’ house. I’m so happy that we’ve developed a plant-based, gluten-free version. Most surprisingly, my Dad ate my scrambled tofu and went back for seconds. Pre-lockdown Dad was anti-tofu, so we’d kept it separate, but he reluctantly added it to his spaghetti and was clearly okay with it – result! Hmmm, except, I have to share it now, so fewer leftovers for me:

Passive Aggressive WiiFit Strikes Again:
I was pleased with myself for using Wii Fit twice this week. On my second visit, I was amused there was a return of the passive aggression (last time was Week 42), because I’d missed a day. And even before the weigh-in, I was reminded to go easy on the snacks. Cheeky WiiFit!:

More Tiny Beauty:
I love the camera on my new(ish) phone – I can capture intricate details of nature close-up. So, I’ve taken advantage of this. Here’s some from afar and then close-up pics:

It’s All in the Eyes:
I took a selfie whilst sat in the park during a walking break. Later, when reviewing my photos, I zoomed in to get a closer look at my mis-behaving eyebrows, when I noticed how clearly myself, phone and the scene were reflected in my eyes:

Mysterious Cats on Road Signs:
During one of my walks, I noticed cats on road signs – how cute, I thought! I was curious about whether this was a new local council thing or something else. My brief internet search found this was also occurring in Kent (about 100 miles away from here) and was a mystery to them. Kent Online hypothesised the stickers were due to either: cat lover(s) spreading the love, superstitious luck, highlighting frequent cat crossings or perhaps marking the loss of a beloved cat companion (I hope not) – who knows?:

Top: The cats I spotted on road signs. Bottom: Kent Online news report article

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. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about what made you smile recently.

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References

1. Samaritans, 2020. Contact a Samaritan [online]. Available from: www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/.
2. National Health Service, 2019. Feeling lonely [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feeling-lonely/.
3. Association for Nutrition, 2020. Welcome to the Association for Nutrition [online]. Available from: www.associationfornutrition.org/.
4. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Helping you eat well: Looking at labels. Available from: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/324-labels.html?start=3.
5. European Commission, Ca. 2019. Nutrition claims [online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/nutrition_claims_en.
6. Drinkaware, 2020. Alcohol and mental health [online]. Available from: www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcohol-and-mental-health.
7. McMahan, R. H., Afshar, M., Amedee, A. M., Bishehsari, F., Carr, R. M., Coleman, L. G., Herrnreiter, C. J., Lewis, S. L., Mandrekar, P., McCullough, R. Morris, N. L., Vasiliou, V., Wang, H. J., Yeligar, S. M., Choudhry, M. A. and Kovacs, E. J. 2020. Summary of the 2019 alcohol and immunology research interest group (AIRIG) meeting: Alcohol-mediated mechanisms of multiple organ injury.  Alcohol [online], 46 (2), 147-153. Alcohol [online], 87, 89-95. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2020.04.008.

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16 thoughts on “Health Diary Week 46: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

  1. More very tempting selections of colourful, healthy dishes! Great that you are meeting up with other nutritionists.
    Absolutely agree – meeting up with friends is always a great support ! Keep up the good work, thanks, Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

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