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:

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

A Difficult Week

<<<Week 45

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…


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


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


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


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


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.


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.

>>>Week 47
<<<Week 45


1. Samaritans, 2020. Contact a Samaritan [online]. Available from:
2. National Health Service, 2019. Feeling lonely [online]. Available from:
3. Association for Nutrition, 2020. Welcome to the Association for Nutrition [online]. Available from:
4. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Helping you eat well: Looking at labels. Available from:
5. European Commission, Ca. 2019. Nutrition claims [online]. Available from:
6. Drinkaware, 2020. Alcohol and mental health [online]. Available from:
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:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 45: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

The Family Reunion

Family day out, Brighton & Hove (2015)

<<<Week 44

Hello, welcome to my weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

What’s New

Firstly, apologies for the late post – I was super tired after a busy weekend requiring extra thoughtfulness about acting safely (on top of my usual trying not to be clumsy) and I had loads of extra photos to sort through, culminating in a day’s delay.

The Bank Holiday weekend was busy, because excitingly we met up with my sister and her boyfriend in real-life – we last saw Emma and Carl at Christmas. It felt weird having to carefully plan meeting up with family: I walked with Em and Carl to-and-from the train station – Mum met us at the station with the car and they put their luggage in the boot. They set up camp in our garden and were allocated the downstairs cloakroom via a specific route. We socialised outside, sitting opposite ends of the table and served food plated-up (we’re usually a help-yourself kind of family) or provided separate serving dishes and utensils. And it felt strange not being able to hug, but we’ll take what we can get at the moment. It was still a lovely weekend:

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…


I skipped breakfast three times this week, grabbed those easy go-to biscuits once, sampled one of Mum’s peanut butter cookies and had cereal. Sunday breakfast was excessive – I had a massive hangover (I’m ashamed to admit I was sick – twice), so I grabbed crisps/potato chips trying to settle the nausea. Later I nibbled at some fruit and when I felt less delicate, I enjoyed guacamole on toast topped with ‘bacon’, tomato and red onion. Oh, and then I sampled Mum’s rhubarb jam on a slice of toast too – very tasty, but unnecessary:

Week 45 Breakfasts
I only ate one of those cookies


We had My Typical Salad four times, either with hash browns, falafel or Indian bites. Another day I had a salad filled pitta bread with ‘ham’ slices. Highlights were Mum’s cauliflower and almond soup (my favourite soup ever) and creamy curried gnocchi at Offbeet to utilise the ‘eat out to help out’ half price offer:

Week 45 Lunches


Mmm, a delicious variety of dinners – I don’t think I could pick a highlight. I had leftover veg spaghetti with garlic bread (Week 44), mince tacos, Mexican rice, chia nuggets with chips/fries and baked beans, veg risotto, veg curry, dhal and rice and our first (and probably only) barbecue of the year (burger, chipolata sausages and veg skewer) – yum!:

Week 45 Dinners


I snacked a fair amount. I had a hangover appetite on Sunday, resulting in loads of extra consumption. At least some options were healthy – griddled Padron peppers (I got my first ever chilli-hot one!) and asparagus. The ‘bacon’ sandwich earlier in the week was excessive – I could easily have halved it and still felt satisfied. My least healthy choice has to be the salted caramel cheesecake (although it tasted so good) – but high in coconut-based[1] saturated fat[2]. The other indulgence was a barbecued rum sozzled banana with cream (yet more fat):

Week 45 Snacks


Too much alcohol – waayyyy too much! On Friday, I drank three spiced rums with cola when chatting to a friend online. But Saturday night was ridiculous – I guess I got overly excited about Em and Carl visiting. I drank a whole bottle of red wine without really noticing (that’s over 600 calories according to Drinkaware[3]), plus a double salted caramel vodka liqueur and (I think) a double spiced rum. I’m not proud of myself – excess alcohol is damaging to health[4], as well as being highly calorific:

Week 45 Alcohol
Left: Saturday night’s Drinkaware calculation. Right: That red wine


I’m pleased I more than doubled my activity compared to last week – 405 minutes versus 167 minutes. Mostly, I walked: 380 minutes (6.3 hours), with 244 minutes (4 hours) brisk. I squeezed in a 25 minutes Wii Fit aerobics session of Step, Rhythm Boxing and Hula Hoop. Next week I hope to report more Wii Fit and some exercise biking, as well as walking:

Week 45 Exercise
Left: Carl & Em admiring an Oak tree. Right: My week’s Active 10 walks

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I was expecting a weight and fat increase when I stepped on the scales Monday morning, but not 4 lb (1.8 kg) extra weight – I don’t think I’ve gained that much in one week before! So, I’m temporarily back to being classified as obese with a BMI[5] of 30.1 – Noooo! Clearly all those additional calories, particularly the alcohol negatively affected my results. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a sneaky extra weigh-in again on Tuesday morning – as I suspected and with great relief, I’d already lost 2 lb, taking me back to overweight status, but still dangerously close to obese. Clearly, I need to avoid creeping back to my starting point. But despite these results, as I said before, I’m feeling healthier than I did back in November when I first decided to take control:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Okay, definitely time to move on to some smile-provoking experiences, after all mental wellbeing is incredibly important to overall health status. Hmmm, where to start? – there were so many…

Imaginary Katey:
My friends’ son pretended he was playing with me – melt my heart why don’t you:

I almost look like I could be imaginary in this pic of me sat outside in the dark

Socialising in real-life:
Obviously, a biggie was seeing my sister and her boyfriend. The bonus was having a catch-up with my sister’s friend as well:

Candlelit Alfresco Dining:
Don’t you just love a candlelit alfresco dining experience? Well, I do. It was rather chilly in the evenings though – I was a bit envious of Em & Carl’s onesies and Mum was toasty in her poncho, so I wrapped myself up in a big cosy blanket:

The Umbrella Incident:
We put the umbrella up so that we could see each other with less obstruction, but then the wind came and the umbrella started launching itself towards the kitchen window. Thankfully, we caught it before the situation became disastrous and Mum secured the sides with string to aid visibility – proper Nana-ism – my Nana was known for quick-fixes with masking tape or string:

Impressive storm clouds:
I’ve spent a fair amount of time gazing up at the sky recently and noticing the cloud impressiveness, especially when a storm’s brewing:

Top: watching the clouds roll in before the heavy rainstorm. Bottom left: Offbeet lunch in Pyramid Field. Right: Moon peaking through dark dusk clouds.

Silly Pigeon:
This particular pigeon makes us all chuckle – just lolloping around. Give Mr (or Mrs) Pigeon their due – the first to brave the new daffodil bird feeder – we’d been trying to lure birds with the fat ball. Later, we were concerned when we saw him lying in the heavy downpour with an odd wing angle, until he switched sides and we realised he was just bathing and seemingly thoroughly enjoying himself:

Clockwise: Decisions, decisions – should I sample that new daffodil food thing? Yes, mmm, yum yum. I’m the ‘King of the Castle’. Shower-time. Water bowl incident – whoops.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Thank you for reading and feel free to follow my bite-size journey updates on Instagram or Facebook. See you next Wednesday for another catch up. In the meantime, I’d love you to share what made you smile recently in the comments section.

>>>Week 46
<<<Week 44


1. British Nutrition Foundation, 2020. BNF answers some common questions on coconut oil [online]. Available from:
2. NHS Eatwell, 2020. Fat: the facts [online]. Available from:
3. Drinkaware, 2019. Unit & Calorie Calculator [online]. Available from:
4. Drinkaware, 2020. Health effects of alcohol [online]. Available from:
5. NHS Live Well, 2018. Healthy weight: BMI healthy weight calculator [online]. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate: