Health Diary Week 89: A Day Out

Image: Winchester Cathedral, UK, 2021

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Hi, welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate: health updates, meal creations and smile-provoking experiences.

The Histamine Saga

I received my ENT (ears, nose and throat) referral letter and followed the instructions to book my appointment – but there were none available, so I need to wait for the clinic to contact me. As I said last week, I’m not confident that an ENT investigation is what I need for what I think are histamine related issues. But I will jump through the hoops as required to get to the bottom of my severe chronic rhinitis issues.

Histamine Food Challenge: Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Since successfully re-introducing chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into my diet, I’ve been craving hummus every day! Thankfully it’s a nutritious craving, providing good quality plant protein, fibre, and health-promoting fats, as well as various vitamins and minerals (e.g. iron, folate)[1].

So, unsurprisingly, my favourite meal this week included a generous dollop of hummus with my go-to jacket potato – scooped out potato mixed with cooked courgette, sweetcorn, white onion, garlic, chia and hemp seeds, mixed dried herbs, turmeric and sweet paprika – always a winner:

Image: My vegetable filled jacket potato with a generous serving of hummus

Keeping Active

As walking is my main exercise for now, I use the free Active 10 app[1] on my mobile phone to track how much I walk (until I get a snazzy smart watch). Active 10 is part of the One You campaign launched by Public Health England and targets middle-aged adults (40 to 60 years – yep I’m in that age bracket). Health benefits of walking[2] include reduced activity of weight-promoting genes, chocolate cravings, risk of breast cancer and also eases joint pain and improves immune function.

I was interested in my amount of walking during work shifts (6 hours, 45 minutes), especially when directing patients into the assessment and vaccine bays. I was pleased to discover I’d clocked up 73 minutes, albeit none were brisk – regardless, any physical activity is better than remaining seated all day. When I’m allocated a seated task, I get up and move around when possible.

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I had my first proper day trip since before the pandemic started – we went to Winchester. So, this is the focus of my week’s smile-provokers…

Climate change awareness:

At Winchester Cathedral we happened across a climate change display created by school children across the County – it’s encouraging to see such awareness raising activities. The display features some ingenious drawings, sculptures, recyclable and upcycled pieces. I particularly loved the owl made out of a plastic carton, octopus tree and somewhat squashed-looking turtle:

Image: Climate change awareness display. Top: Octopus and beehive trees. Bottom: Tree of birds
Image: Climate change awareness display. Animal sculptures: bears, jaguar, elephant and (squashed) turtle

Random art:

During my wanders, I stumbled upon some interesting art creations, including a Banksy-style piece by Hendog and a random chicken sculpture. Also in, someone’s garden we spotted a plant pot lighthouse and green figure:

Image: Clockwise: Banksy-style painting by Hendog. Chicken sculpture. Plant pot green figure. Plant pot light house

River walk:

I was keen to avoid the busy city centre, so we detoured to the river and surrounding gardens. It was peaceful and pretty, and I saw a beautiful swan:

Image: River walk. Clockwise: Stream. Swan. Gardens. Yellow rose

Ducklings swim school:

My highlight has to be watching two ducklings practising their swimming – soooo cute! I nervously observed the little ducklings navigate the river. Mummy Duck seemed completely unconcerned – she started off in the water with them and then casually watched from the riverside. She didn’t even seem worried when the yellow duckling got caught in the current and shot backwards down the stream out of sight. Thankfully, the little one emerged a few minutes later, swimming against the current with surprising strength:

Image: Ducklings swim time

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 week for another catch up.

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References

1. Harvard School of Public Health, Ca. 2021. The Nutrition Source: Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans).
2. Public Health England, Ca. 2021. One You Active 10.
3. Harvard Health Publishing, 2020. 5 surprising benefits of walking.

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