Health Diary Week 48: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Social Butterfly

Me, ready for a ballet production (1980)

<<<Week 47

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 a good week. A big reason is breaking the insomnia cycle – since March, I was surviving on about four hours sleep a night – I should be getting seven to nine hours[1]. I’d considered swapping to a drowsy antihistamine, but I was concerned by dementia claims. NHS Behind the Headlines[2] somewhat eased my mind, but I’m still cautious, having read a more recent study[3]. So, I decided to try CBD oil instead. “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential” (World Health Organization[4]). (N.B. CBD oil can adversely interact with some medications). I chose a company regulated and compliant with EU farms, organically grown, provides lab reports, Vegan Society approved and with good external reviews. The first night I took it, I slept seven hours straight – I couldn’t believe it – finally a decent night’s sleep.

And, I had more social contact – outside, physically distanced, and no more than six of us or online meets. More about this in my ‘What Made Watson Smile’ section.

Also, we had an unexpected return of the Summer – not long ago we were commenting how Autumn had arrived, so it was a wonderful surprise to enjoy the sun and warmth this past week – I’ve spent a lot of time outside.

Other news is I had my first dentist appointment since lockdown. I was nervous about being inside a building that wasn’t my home, but it was okay – I felt quite safe, as it was well ventilated and seemed to have good hygiene procedures. Talking of which, I had a new Hygienist which I was also worried about, but she was lovely and didn’t hurt me at all despite having to use more traditional methods to avoid aerosol concerns. All was well with my teeth and gums – phew!

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…


Hmmm, I need to improve on my breakfasts. There’s no fresh fruit here and I keep reaching for those morning oat biscuits, but I suppose that will all change when I start my histamine elimination diet (more on that in last’s week post). My mixed grain cereal was okay, but I did add a quarter teaspoon of sugar, which I should try to avoid. Also, I had raspberry jam on my sourdough toast, another high sugar food:

Week 48 Breakfasts


As per usual my lunches were mostly salad-based. I omitted the hash browns/falafel from My Typical Salad unless I felt particularly hungry. Once I lunched on a wholegrain pitta, as I was time-limited – it was filled with loads of salad and half a cheese slice. On Sunday, we decided to have curry for lunch – Mum made an aubergine and potato curry, lentil dhal and brown rice that we accompanied with two poppadom each and various chutneys/pickles – delicious:

Week 48 Lunches


Three days in a row I had Vegetable Risotto, with some different veg than usual – I love a risotto. Another day mum made broccoli and cauliflower cheese – we had it with sausages, roast potatoes and carrot (including our homegrown ones). I ended up having the cheesy bake for three days – not a great move because of the high total and saturated fat content from coconut-based cheese. Following the curry lunch, I had a light dinner of a wholegrain pitta with sweet chilli hummus:

Week 48 Dinners


My snacking activity was predominantly post-dinner. Fruit was involved in afternoon snacks a couple of times, compensating a little for lack of breakfast fruit. I had chocolate over five days, but in small quantities, so I’m okay with that. My highlight surprisingly (only because I’m not usually a fan of crumble), was rhubarb and strawberry crumble (thanks Jen; photo in my positivity section), made extra indulgent by having both ice cream and custard – I’ll allow myself this one guilt-free, especially as I declined seconds – go me. But when I got home my parents offered me their leftover chip shop chips (high total and saturated fat) and I accepted – whoops:

Week 48 Snacks


Oh, it was going so well. I had my first beer (gluten-free) in over seven years and thought that would be that. But then we had an unexpected invite for wine in my neighbour’s garden to make the most of the last of the warm evenings. So, of course I accepted. Mum and I trundled round for a very pleasant evening and before we knew it, it was gone midnight and I’d drunk at least ¾ of a bottle of red wine – will I ever learn? But then, I’m very aware that soon I’ll start my low histamine elimination diet, so alcohol (and loads of other stuff) will be off my menu:

Week 48 Alcohol


I’m pleased to report I incorporated some form of physical activity each day, including walking (nearing four hours over four days), Wii Fit (over two hours in three days) and exercise biking (a 45 minutes session) – adding up to over six and a half hours – a good hour more than last week:

Week 48 Exercise. Left: I’m hoping I don’t see more discarded masks on my walks. Also, please cut your disposable mask straps after use, so that wildlife don’t get caught up in them. Right: Curious squirrel

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

This week’s results weren’t as successful as I’d hoped for – my weight stayed the same at 165.8 lb (75.2 kg). Admittedly, my body fat increased by 1.3%. I’m not so worried about my results at the moment, because I expect to lose some weight on my histamine elimination diet when most of my favourite foods are removed, some potentially permanently (eek):

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I think we better move on to what made me smile this week, before the thought of eliminating all my favourite foods detracts from my positive mood:

My Mum loves me so much she gave me the last asparagus:
I found one piece of asparagus lurking in the fridge. Mum steamed it up and placed it on my lunch plate as a little surprise. I see it like offering someone your last Rolo – we love asparagus in this household:

Wii Fit was Nice (to me):
I thought I should share Wii Fit’s nice side since I’ve previously mentioned its passive aggressive nature (Week 42 and Week 46). Of course, it still has its moments – most recently towards Mum, sneakily informing me she hadn’t trained for a while – to be fair, she was actually at tennis. Oh, and I was 24, my youngest yet on Wii Fit, just for one glorious day:

All going well balance-wise on ‘Yoga’ – it’s a different story on the ‘Balance’ exercises section

Some Wii Fit Personal Bests:
This week I achieved a few personal bests on the Wii Fit, including Balance. I completed Balance Bubble (beginner level) with the highest user ranking and I achieved the most spins on Super Hula Hoop (10 minutes). They may be small wins, but they’re wins nonetheless, so I’ll happily take them:

Top: Super Hula Hoop – I love how my Mum and sister are always hula hooping with me. Bottom: I’m still an amateur, but I completed the level, so I’m proud of myself

Homegrown Stumpy Carrots:
We were surprised the carrots from a ‘M&S Little Garden Seeding Pot’ grew, albeit they were rather stumpy, but tasted good – nicely flavoursome. Good going Dad:

Top right: Carrot haul. Left: Growing carrots in the garden during the Summer. Bottom: The M&S pots in the kitchen during Spring

Driveway Bird Feeder Antics (Continued):
Dad had to reinforce the bird feeder, because it’s taken such a battering from the heavier birds (lolloping pigeons and squabbling Starlings) and potentially other creatures. Sadly, we don’t see the Long-tailed or Blue Tits so often, possibly due to those pesky Starlings. Mummy Bird visits us less often too, sometimes she just flies down to say ‘hi’ and then disappears off again without eating. The pigeons love the new ‘perch’ and eat nicely together at the lower feeding station, completely oblivious to the squabbles above:

Who’s a Social Butterfly? Me, yes me!:
It’s been a wonderful week of catching up with people (physically distanced and outside), Bevy and Harry, Jen and co. and a last-minute invite to Elise and Mike’s garden to make the most of the last of the warm evenings. And, earlier in the week, I had a lovely catch-up with Claudia online:

Left: Bevy, in real-life – yay! It was sunny and we were lacking shade, so I suggested Bevy bring a hat – she wore it well. So, I thought it only fair to share a photo of Claudia and I wearing hats too – they were made for us by our Peruvian host family during our South American travels (2008)
Jen’s first ‘Crumble Connections’ meet-up – I really needed this – I mean the social connection, not specifically the crumble, although I have to say, Jen made an absolutely delicious rhubarb and strawberry crumble. There were five of us in the garden. (Photos by Jen, except the last one, that was mine)

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.

>>>Week 49
<<<Week 47


1. Sleep Foundation, 2020.How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? [online]. Available from:
2. NHS Behind the Headlines, 2015. Media dementia scare over hay fever and sleep drugs [online]. Available from:
3. . Coupland, C. A. C, Hill, T., Dening, T., Morriss, R., Moore, M. and Hippisley-Cox, J., 2019. Anticholinergic Drug Exposure and the Risk of Dementia – A Nested Case-Control Study. JAMA Internal Medicine [online], 179 (8), 1084-1093. Available from:
4. World Health Organisation, 2018. Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report [online]. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:


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