Health Diary Week 84: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

A Marvellous Weekend

Hello weekend. Image: messersrach, Pixabay

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

My Back is Better

I had to cancel my week’s work shifts, because of the ongoing back pain and related sleep deprivation – I was forced into attempting to sleep in a somewhat seated position, rather than my usual on my side preference. Thankfully, by Thursday the pain was almost gone – I reckon the heat wrap and hot water bottle helped ease things up. When I spoke to the Physio, we decided I need to be more mindful of my posture at work and move about when possible.

Shoulder Physiotherapy (2nd appointment)

On Thursday, I had my second shoulder physio appointment. I was a bit worried, because I hadn’t done my exercises for a week. But my Physio confirmed I’d made good progress, with increased strength and range of movement. I was given a couple of new exercises and encouraged to think about re-introducing swimming when I feel more Covid-safe.

Me after my individual 5 km charity swim (Swimathon, 2012)

Histamine update

On Friday, I had a phone appointment with my doctor. I updated I’d received my Allergy Clinic referral and had booked the first available appointment, but it’s not until the end of August. I explained I’m often taking the Loratadine antihistamine twice a day (instead of once) to minimise symptoms. So, since my mast cell stabiliser prescription is unavailable, we decided to try a combo of two antihistamines with different active ingredients – Loratadine in the morning and Cetirizine before bed.

Ben Cooks Plants (incredibly well)

I decided there wasn’t any point in writing about my homemade meals this week, because there wasn’t anything new and they were completely overshadowed by the massive food treat I had on Sunday. I’d headed over to Tina and Ben’s garden for the afternoon and was invited to stay for dinner. Now there’s absolutely no way I could decline Ben’s cooking – it’s my favourite! How fortunate I am to have a friend who is not only a vegan chef (fence replacer too – Week 82), but also up for the challenge of producing a low histamine meal. I have to say it was as excellent as my memory remembered his meals to be – so yeah, superb! You can check Ben’s food out on Instagram at Ben Cooks Plants:

Ben’s food. Check out this spread! I could eat the four dishes to the left, because Ben made them low histamine for me – thank you!
Ben’s food, closer. Clockwise: The dishes I could eat. Pulpo a la Gallega (palm hearts replace octopus). Courgette and cucumber salad. Serrano ‘ham’ with cucumber and mint. (There were also fried peppers with garlic shown, in first photo). Sooo delicious!

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

The amazing food above definitely made me happy and here are a few more things that made me smile…

Al fresco dining with friends:

I really do love socialising and dining outside when the weather is good. I had a lovely Saturday in Tina’s and Ben’s garden. I was only planning on visiting for a couple of hours, but we were having such a good time and the weather was gorgeous and another friend (Mark) arrived in the evening, so I ended up staying until 10.30pm (I’d arrived at 2pm!):

Social in Tina and Ben’s garden (the evenings are still pretty cold!). Left: I was giggling away at how funny Tina and I looked while trying to take a photo of us. Right: A less blurry picture of us

Upcycling old stuff:

There’s something incredibly satisfying about livening up an old item to make it something better than it was originally. In this case, a couple of our outside seat pads had faded to a horrible grey colour in the sun (unfortunately, Mum didn’t take a photo of them before she started her magic). So, instead of just throwing them away, Mum found a design she liked and used her acrylic paints to liven them up. They look great, don’t they?:

Mum’s upcycled seat cushions. Top: The finished product. Bottom: In progress

More kitten cuteness:

On Sunday, I visited Bevy’s and Harry’s garden to get to know their kitten, Loki, better as I’m due to be cat sitting for them. Well, Loki is just adorable, I could watch him for ages – serious kitten cuteness overload! And of course it was wonderful to sit in the sunny garden with Bevy and catch up on each other’s news:

Gorgeous Maine Coon kitten, Loki

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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Health Diary Week 79: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Sunny Spring

Beautiful blossom and blue sky on one of my walks

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

Covid Adminstrator shifts – yay!

I was concerned that I hadn’t heard back about starting my role as “Covid Administrator” despite chasing it up. So, I was talking to my parents about how I was going to consider other NHS temp bank positions, when I received a phone call to obtain my availability for shifts at the vaccine centre – how exciting! I’m going to work three days per week for now, starting next week (at time of writing, this week!). I’ll let you know how it goes in my next post.

Histamine update

It was a rough week with the histamine issues. I suspect the high tree pollen count contributed to the problem. The symptoms (cold-like) gradually worsened throughout the week and by Thursday (after my morning walk) I was completely floored for the rest of the day. I’m worried about how I will cope at work if I can’t control these symptoms. How can I possibly not appear scarily germy and manage to wear a mask all day?

So, I completed another e-Consult Doctor’s form requesting referral to an Immunology Clinic and asking if I could try mast cell stabilisers (to calm down the cells that release histamine) – I’ve started wondering whether my issue is more to do with over-active mast cells, rather than a histamine intolerance (a problem with the enzymes that break down histamine). I need professional medical help to figure this out. In the meantime, I’m being extra careful again about minimising histamine food risks:

Some of my low histamine meals this week. Clockwise: Pasta salad. Veg and seed rice. Veg and seed noodles. Fennel steaks with homemade chips and notomato sauce

Exercise: Walking rewards

I was really pleased with myself for going out walking every day this week, despite feeling unwell. “Active 10” recognised my efforts and gave me three rewards this week: “1,000 Club” for reaching over 1,000 minutes brisk walking since I first downloaded the app, “High Five” for five out of seven days brisk walking (I achieved seven days) and “Perfect Week” for hitting my brisk walking target everyday – go me! But, I still gained a pound (0.45 kg) in weight – it doesn’t seem fair:

My Active 10 rewards and week’s walking record. Clockwise: Perfect Week. High Five. My week’s walks. 1,000 Club

Food creation: Baked oats

I had to give the baked porridge oats another try (details here), of course with a few improvements. This time I added blueberries, as well as the fresh apple and black cherry jam (I’d also meant to add quinoa flakes, but completely forgot!). And, after baking I added a drizzle of macadamia nut butter – absolutely delicious!:

Food creation: Baked oats with blueberry, apple, black cherry jam and a macadamia nut butter drizzle

Food creation: Egg-free ‘omelette’

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of my ‘omelettes’ for lunch, so I decided it was about time I made one again. (Okay, so this wasn’t actually an omelette, but I don’t know what else to call it, so ‘omelette’ will have to suffice for now). The base was a mix of cornmeal and quinoa flakes, whilst the filling was yellow pepper, courgette/zucchini and seeds. I got a bit carried away with the seed topping! I had three portions leftover to freeze – bonus. The omelette accompanied my usual salad (I need to write a post sometime about my new typical salad since being on a low histamine diet):

My egg-free ‘omelette’ creation, accompanied by my new typical salad

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

It’s been a good week, if we ignore the histamine issues. We had glorious sunshine culminating in lots of outside time, including socialising with friends…

Socials and a kitten:

My social week included a lovely online catch up with Marjory, whilst I was sat outside bird watching and enjoying the sunshine. Also, I visited Tina and Ben and enjoyed a chat in their sunny garden spot – so nice to see friends in real life. And, I walked up to Bevy and Harry’s to meet Loki, their new, adorable Maine Coon kitten (and socialise with Bevy, and Harry of course):

Kitten cuteness. Top right: Loki, the Maine Coon, when he first arrived home. Other pics: Loki now. Awww – cute, cute, cute!

Dragonfly visitor:

A dragonfly landed on me while I was quietly sat reading in the garden. I love dragonflies:

Dragonfly. Image: Tanuj Handa, Pixabay

Cactus corner:

I was admiring the new cactus corner in the conservatory, when I noticed that my real-life cactus plant was flowering – I’ve had that cactus for years – it’s the only one that survived from a set of four. I was also impressed by Mum’s latest ‘repair shop’ work on my fake cacti – I wish there was a before-and-after photo, because Mum did such a good job of livening them back up with a bit of skilful painting and adding decorative flowers:

Cactus corner. My real-life flowering cactus and Mum’s cacti repair work

The case of mistaken identity:

I finally realised that my neighbour’s cat, “Not Molly” is in fact “Molly”. I was concerned that Molly was no longer coming to visit, and her elusive brother was visiting instead. But when I was discussing this with my parents, my Dad, said “Are you sure this isn’t Molly?”. I was convinced it wasn’t Molly, because this one had a moustache. But then I looked back through my photos and realised Molly did indeed have a moustache and was clearly the same cat – how could I not have noticed the moustache before? I felt so silly, but also relieved Molly is okay:

Cat confusion:“Not Molly” is “Molly”

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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