Health Diary Week 63: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

A Brief Update…

Me Outside CommuniKate, Wales Trip (2005)

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Hi, welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate. Unlike my usual posts, this will be a briefer one, as I’m taking a bit of a break, which means I’m not keeping a diary for a few weeks. I still want to continue communicating with you all though, so I’ll report my weekly results and share some positivity.

What’s New

All-in-all it’s been a very quiet week.

Hello 2021:

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all much happiness and success in 2021. Unsurprisingly, given the circumstances, I had an incredibly tame New Year’s Eve – just my parents and I at home watching TV. Very different to last year’s rowdy night at the pub. It was pleasant enough though. I opted for one cheeky alcoholic beverage – Polish potato-based vodka with cranberry juice:

My vodka and cranberry juice indulgence

UK Covid-19 Cases Rising:

As expected, Covid-19 cases (especially the new variant) are rapidly increasing. So, there’s been more movement into the top Tier 4 restrictions (I was already in this), which is very close to a localised lockdown. Thankfully, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in the UK, which is great as it is more easily distributed than the current Pfizer one. Frustratingly, it sounds like it may take quite some time to trickle down to me, but I’ll be happier when my parents have been vaccinated.

Food and Nutrition

So, I didn’t keep a food diary this week – it was nice to have a break from tracking everything so closely. I was a bit lax on managing my histamine levels – although I mostly opted for low histamine foods, I did indulge in chocolate, ‘cheese’ and bread. So, I kept dosed up on medication to control most symptoms (I experienced some fatigue and nausea) – not the best method, but it’s only temporary.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I was completely surprised that I didn’t gain weight and body fat this week! Instead, I lost 1.8 lb (0.8 kg) and 0.3% body fat – amazing! I didn’t feel like I ate less or more healthily, so was I more active? I checked my Active 10 results for the past couple of weeks – I walked 66 minutes more compared to Week 62 and an extra 52 minutes were brisk walking. Maybe that swung it?:

Week 63 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Despite this being a shorter version of my usual post, I still wanted to share some of my week’s positive experiences with you all …

Storytime:

I absolutely love Pretty Pretty Good Short Fiction’s short stories, so I was really pleased to see a new release “Once upon a time… long, long ago…”. I look forward to the daily chapter publications, although sometimes I save them up for a good binge read. This tale was a little different to the previous love stories; instead, it was written from a child’s perspective, focused on homemade cookies made with mum. I could totally relate to this, as I fondly remember my sister and I baking cookies with our Mum and wanting to eat the lot immediately!:

My sister and I baking with Mum at Christmas time (actually, I just seem to be running around!), Tortola, BVI, late 1980’s (One of my favourite photos ever, because of the memories)

Delightful Nuts:

Macadamia nuts are one of the three types of nuts I know I can consume on a low histamine diet. Sadly, I wasn’t that keen on them despite their creaminess. As shared in Week 62, I was delighted to discover they work really well as a flavoured ‘cheese’, my favourite being onion, garlic and herb (ingredients here). I’d had some leftover in the freezer, so I decided to try it as a pasta sauce with added spring onion and sweet paprika (details here) – so delicious – I’m actually craving cheesy pasta now just thinking about it!:

Macadamia nut ‘cheese’. Clockwise: Cheesy pasta. Macadamia nuts. Crackers and bits with macadamia cheese. Macadamia ‘cheese’ spread

Snow – Well, a Little:

What a wonderful surprise to awake to snowfall on Tuesday morning, especially since we rarely get snow in these parts of the UK (video here). I threw on my dressing gown and hurried outside to enjoy the large clumps falling from the sky. I’m glad I went outside to appreciate it, as the snow didn’t settle and soon disappeared:

Snowy Morning. Left: Snowy sky. Right: Me in the snow soon after rolling out of bed

Princess Ariel:

I updated my Facebook profile picture and had a surprising load of likes and lovely comments. My favourite comment was my friend who said her young daughter was watching her scroll through the feed and asked if I was Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid – how adorable and incredibly flattering. To be fair, this isn’t how I look day-to-day – I’m usually somewhere in between ‘just-rolled-out-of-bed’ (above) and ‘made a proper effort’ (below):

Princess Ariel? Left: My latest profile picture. Right: Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid (Image: peridotmaize, Pixabay)

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 64
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Health Diary Week 60: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Mindfulness in the Woods

Woodland Trees

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<<<Week 59

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

What’s New

This week felt quite productive on the whole – I completed some job applications and arranged a new shower installation for my tenants. But Tuesday was the exception – I achieved very little, owing to a case of bad rhinitis, which continued into the following afternoon. My poor nose was ever so sore. I’m unsure what triggered my histamine reaction. I’m wondering whether it was something in my multivitamin and mineral supplement, which I’ve not taken as often as I’d intended over fear it could set me off – I’ll have to keep track of this.

And, I’ve been more social, albeit mostly online, despite being ‘allowed’ to socialise with up to six people outside (England Tier 2 ). On Wednesday I had a lovely mindfulness catch-up with Karen, Julie and Chrissy, although sadly not in person as previously planned, because it was very cold. Thursday was my most social day, starting with a visit from my uncle who we probably haven’t seen for over a year. He was working in the area, so joined us on the driveway for a cuppa. I then caught up with some friends online.

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 my nutrition and health…

Breakfast:

No porridge oats for me this week – I just didn’t fancy it. But I know I should eat more oats, as they’re a good fibre source and I definitely need more fibre in my life now that legumes (beans, peas and pulses) are out on the low histamine diet – I really hope I can re-introduce them in the not so distant future. Instead, I ate nuts, apples and rice cakes with jam:

Week 60 Breakfasts: Left: Rice cake with black cherry jam and an aple. Right: Brazil and pistachio nuts

Lunch:

I ate salad for lunch five times this week, usually accompanied by either polenta or cornmeal frittata. I’m in a Facebook group, which includes people with histamine intolerance and was surprised to hear that corn is a trigger for some – fingers crossed this doesn’t present as an issue for me, as it’s become a staple on my low histamine diet. In fact, on Thursday, my lunch was just cornmeal mash with courgette (zucchini). And on Friday I made my best cornmeal frittata yet. We were lacking fresh salad on Wednesday, so I made a simple rice with turmeric and courgette – I should have used brown rice for added fibre, but I was hungry and craving white rice, which is quicker to cook:

Week 60 Lunches: Left to right: Salad with polenta balls. Turmeric rice. Salad with my best cornmeal frittata yet

Dinner:

I had a couple of meals from the freezer during the week: frittata with roastie potatoes and butternut squash risotto. Unfortunately, the risotto is less risotto-like texturally after it’s been frozen, but it still tasted good. On Monday I had a very satisfying plate of veg: roasted potato, sweet potato and carrot with pan-fried cabbage and courgette. As I was feeling rough on Tuesday, I opted for my simple pasta of sweetcorn, spring onion and turmeric. Thursday was my favourite baked potato combo of courgette and sweetcorn (I know – lots of courgettes this week). I made a tasty vegetable spaghetti on Friday with… courgettes (of course), baby sweet peppers and sweetcorn (my other easy go-to veg). My highlight was the cauliflower ‘cheese’ Mum made at my request with sweet potato instead of cheese – more on that in What Made Watson Smile:

Week 60 Dinners Log Table
Week 60 Dinners: Clockwise: Cauliflower ‘cheese’. Vegetable spaghetti. Plate of vegetables. Courgette and sweetcorn jacket potato

Snacks:

I didn’t snack much this week, but when I did it was usually sweet and salty popcorn. I ate chia and flax crackers a couple of times and once I chose rice cakes with jam. I should try to include some fruit into my snacking to mix it up a bit and reduce my free sugars and salt content:

Week 60 Snacks Log Table

Drinks

I’m consuming a lot of Chicory Cup (alternative coffee), which is completely okay (especially as it’s a source of fibre), except that I add a little sugar (1/4 teaspoon) to each drink, so I need to be mindful about this. Other hot drinks were rooibos and peppermint teas. I also drank some juices – I don’t want to be having too many of these due to the high sugar content:

Week 60 Drinks Log Table

Exercise

It’s been another gentle week exercise-wise, focusing solely on walking (when the weather was decent). I only went out three times and I can’t always blame the weather for the days I didn’t walk. But it was an improvement on last week (that wasn’t hard), totalling just over two hours strolling. My motivation for walking was renewed at the end of the week after watching a video shared by fellow blogger, Effective Diet Plan, reviewing the scientific evidence on how 30 minute daily walks can aid weight loss – so now I’m going to have to prove that in next week’s blog:

Week 60 Exercise – Walks: Left and right: Interesting tree trunks. Middle: My week’s Active 10 walks

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Oh no, my weight is gradually increasing again – I gained 1 lb (0.5 kg) and 0.2% body fat. I will get this under control again, although I’m not exactly eating loads. I guess I need to get out on those walks I just talked about. But also, I might have gotten a bit overly generous with the rapeseed oil in cooking and as dressings – I’ll still use the oil, but be more conscious about how much I’m using each time:

Week 60 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Okay, let’s get some smiles on our faces…

Saucy Goodness:

I love cauliflower cheese – so much! But most cheeses, including hard dairy varieties, soya and some nut-based ones are an issue on a low histamine diet. So, this presented the perfect opportunity to try making a sweet potato cheese sauce alternative. Well Mum actually made it, because I was engrossed in completing a job application. The great thing about this was that it reduced total and saturated fat content, as cheeses tend to contain a lot. The ingredients are here if you’d like to give it a try. I reckon it would also be great in a mac and cheese:   

Cauliflower ‘cheese’ – Just look at all that non-cheesy (sweet potato) saucy goodness – yum!

Woodland Secrets:

Mum and I wandered through a little woodland area, looking for interesting trees and bark to photograph for Mum’s latest weekly art project. We stumbled upon a pathway we hadn’t noticed before and spotted this rather beautiful scene. The path ended in a clearing within the woods:

Woodland Walk

Mum’s Mindfulness-Provoking Art Projects:

There’s been a beneficial knock-on effect of Mum’s weekly art projects. Mum tells me the theme and if relevant, I’ll spend time more mindfully, looking carefully at what’s around me during my walks in case there’s photo opportunities for Mum. Last week’s mission was garden gates, which I tried to take photos of discretely. This week, as mentioned above, was trees and their bark, so I took photos of the ones below to provide Mum more options to choose from:

Interesting Trees and their bark. The one on the left looks like it has a face, don’t you think?

Hello Heron:

I was delighted to watch this heron gracefully alight on my neighbour’s rooftop while I was diligently working away at my computer. I wish I could have got a closer shot. In my excitement, I fumbled with my phone trying to take photos of the heron mid-flight as it flew away – as you can see by my unsuccessful efforts below:

Heron Visitor

Land Rover Parking Zone:

So, I was sat at the dinner table with my parents when I glanced towards the Christmas tree and noticed a little, rather battered, Land Rover parked underneath it. I asked what this was about (it’s not like we have any kids in the house) and Dad’s response was “Oh, so that’s where it went” – no further explanation – has Dad started playing with toy cars during lockdown boredom? Upon more questioning, he explained that he’d found it lurking under some furniture. I wonder if it’s still parked under the tree – I’ll have to check:

Parked Land Rover under the Christmas tree

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 61
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Health Diary Week 43: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

My Holiday at Home

My Dad on holiday at my Aunt & Uncle’s home (2020)

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<<<Week 42

Hi and welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, focusing on what I ate, my health report and some positive smile-provoking experiences.

What’s New

I’m on holiday! Our 14-days quarantine ended, and my parents left to visit my Aunt and Uncle for a week, so I had my own holiday at home. I didn’t get to socialise in person as much as I had hoped, but it was wonderful, nonetheless.

Food and Nutrition

I didn’t keep a completely accurate diary this week – I maintained it until Thursday evening, the rest is recall with the help of some photos. I felt like I needed a few days’ break from tracking and that’s completely okay.

Breakfast:

My favourite breakfasts were a THIS isn’t bacon sandwich and my scrambled tofu with mushrooms on toast. Other than that, I kept it simple, indulging in Mum’s carrot cake muffins, oat biscuits or toast:

Week 43 Breakfasts

Lunch:

I had My typical salad once – it didn’t seem worthwhile preparing it the rest of the week without my parents around. Instead, I made up a big batch of pasta salad and it was lovely. I was a bit concerned about the high fat mayo-base, but I was on holiday, right? I also had a rather tasty potato bowl – warmed steamed potatoes with red onion, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, hummus and a drizzle of Thai chilli sauce. My biggest lunch success has to be my ‘not egg mayo’ sandwich made with a mix of silken and firm tofu – I’ll definitely be making that again:

Week 43 Lunches

Dinner:

I did very little cooking during the week, keeping to more convenience type food – baked potato with cheese and beans, pre-cooked rice topped with tomato, avocado and red onion, microwaveable Thai red curry and a sauxsage roll. I made more of an effort at the weekend; my highlights were chilli nachos and vegetable spaghetti with garlic bread – yum!:

Week 43 Dinners

Snacks:

I snacked a lot! It felt like I ate loads of chocolate and crisps, including my favourite, Booja Booja chocolate, and Eat Real chilli and lime quinoa chips:

Week 43 Snacks

Alcohol

I drank every day from Tuesday through to Sunday – sooo much rum and some wine too. Having said that, probably not as much booze had I been on an all-inclusive holiday, so it could have been worse.

Exercise

I ensured I took some exercise each day until the weekend, as I wasn’t expecting to do much then. I completed 30 minutes exercise biking, 45 minutes Wii Fit and 226 minutes walking. It was lovely getting out for a stroll during the week, but it was super-hot. I was happy I was more physically active than last week (122 minutes/2 hours more), totalling 301 minutes (5 hours):

Week 43 Exercise
Tuesday’s very hot walk!

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I was completely flabbergasted, but very happy, to discover my weight stayed the same (166.2 lb / 75.4 kg), because I felt like I completely indulged and didn’t pay much attention to my food choices whilst holidaying. Perhaps, subconsciously I was being more careful than I’d realised. My fat percentage increased a bit, but that does tend to fluctuate more:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Welcome back to my positivity section, although to be fair, I think most of this post has felt pretty positive…

Fish Doll – yep, that’s what I said:
Continuing on with the mango stone doll theme from Week 41 (Mango man) and Week 42 (Two-faced doll), my Mum’s next creation was a cute fish. I initially thought it was a hedgehog – oops, sorry Mum, but yes, definitely a fish:

Real-Life Hedgehog:
Talking about hedgehogs, I haven’t seen a hedgehog in years – I remember a time, several years ago, when I used to see them frequently during the summer. Imagine my joyful surprise when I spotted one strolling past the kitchen door late one night:

Image: TSA01, Pixabay

Friends:
Chud, dropped by for a chat and cuppa. I was extra delighted that he brought me some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden:

A rather tipsy Chud & I at my ‘Hat party’ (2009)

Extreme Physical Distancing:
It was so lovely to meet up with former work friends, Karen and Rachel. It was a blazing hot day, so we were trying to avoid being blasted by the sun, whilst remaining physically distanced. The end result was sitting rather far apart, which made me chuckle, so I took a snapshot from where I was sat in the shade:

Mum, sorry I didn’t take the clothes line down

Meteor Shower:
On Tuesday afternoon I was looking up and saw a movement across the sky. It was probably just a plane, but it reminded me the Perseids meteor shower was due. So, late that night, I sat outside for ages looking up at the sky. I couldn’t decide whether my eyes were tricking me, but I clearly saw one meteor. I awoke early on Wednesday, so I sat outside again for a while. It was so peaceful just staring up at the stars, not that you can see much from my photos, but trust me, it was beautiful:  

Walk and Wine:
Elise (my neighbour) and I went for an early evening stroll. We met up later for a tipple (wine) on my driveway and then moved across to her garden to join the rest of her family. It was so lovely sat chatting with everyone:

What’s My Age?:
It turns out that it’s not only Wii Fit that thinks I’m younger than my actual age (44). Elise’s kids (aged 18 and 20) seemed genuinely surprised I wasn’t in my mid-30’s. Obviously this made me smile (a lot):

The Weird Sunset:
On Wednesday evening, I decided to relax in the garden with a ‘sundowner’ rum and ginger beer. Imagine my delight when I witnessed the progression of this odd, but beautiful sunset:

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.

>>>Week 44
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Health Diary Week 37: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Driveway Antics

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Hi all, welcome to another weekly instalment, starting with what was on my plate (literally), followed by my health results and closing with some positive smile-provoking experiences…

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…

Breakfast:

This week I lacked in my usual fruity breakfast start – I had pineapple once. Instead, a couple of times I ate Nairn’s Oaties biscuits (4 pack) or opted for heartier Meridian yeast extract on toast, scrambled tofu on toast or Nature’s Path granola cereal:

Lunch:

Of course, for lunch I had my typical salad (5 times) with either Strong Roots hash browns, rice-filled vine leaves or falafel. My shawarma kebab (Vivera) also contained plenty of salad, although another day I caved to cheesy chilli nachos with Applewood vegan cheese, tomato, jalapenos, black olives and sriracha sauce:

Dinner:

Dinners were mostly rice or pasta-based – I absolutely love my carbs! I try to choose the fibrous wholegrain options (e.g. brown rice, lentil/chickpea pasta) over refined white rice or pasta. On the only non-rice or pasta day, Mum made ratatouille (minus the aubergine), with Linda McCartney caramelised onion and rosemary sausages, more veg: steamed broad beans, peas, carrot and broccoli and roasted potato and yellow sweet potato. We stretched the leftover ratatouille (twice) into a spaghetti mix with added Plant Pioneer chorizo sausages and black olives – delicious:

We had homemade veg curry (chickpeas, spinach, potato and carrot) with brown rice, poppadums and chutneys. It was stretched into another meal later in the week by accompanying with red lentil dhal:

Naturally there were days when preparing dinner from scratch was unappealing. One evening I opted for Tilda lime and coriander rice topped with avocado, tomato, red onion and sriracha sauce. Another simple meal was pasta with sweetcorn, olives and Ponti Zero Olio sundried tomato and pepper, drizzled in Mellow Yellow chilli oil:

Snacks:

I snacked quite a bit again, particularly on ‘discretionary foods’ (a term picked up from the Food as Medicine Future Learn course) i.e. chocolate, although in small quantities. Also, more sensibly, I satisfied my sweet craving a couple of times with fruit (mango, strawberries). Savoury snacks included popcorn, a healthier choice than the crisps I also had, although I portioned them into a bowl (a strategy used by a friend with her children) to avoid over-indulging:

Alcohol

I also consumed alcohol (5 units) at the weekend.

Exercise

My physical activity levels were a little lower compared to recent weeks, totalling 296 minutes (just under 5 hours). I ventured out for 3 walks (146 minutes total, 114 minutes brisk), used the exercise bike once for 60 minutes and the Wii Fit twice (90 minutes total) concentrating on aerobic and balance exercises.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Taking all the above and my snacking into consideration, I was relieved not to have gained any weight this week, although there was a slight fat increase:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

There were plenty of positives this week. Here’s a compilation of ‘What Made Watson Smile’:

I reached 500 total Likes!:
When I first started blogging, it was mainly for personal motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle. It feels rewarding and motivating to know you’re reading my posts. Thank you all so much for your support:  

Birds, Lots of Birds:
The little coal tit (I think) bird invasion on our driveway. How many birds can you spot? I think I see 9:

Future Learn Food as Medicine course:
Completing the 3-week Future Learn Food as Medicine course. It was so interesting and informative for nutrition beginners or as a refresher. I’m a strong believer in constant learning to improve oneself – the more I learn the more I realise how much I don’t know:

Driveway Antics:
Driveway wildlife antics. Loving my morning coffee sat on the driveway looking out over the pond watching the feeding birds, cheeky squirrels, flitty butterflies and occasional dragonfly:

Tiny Flowers and a Shiny Bug:
On one of my walks noticing this beautiful purple bunch of tiny flowers; then looking closer and seeing a little shiny bug:

Baby Bird Introductions:
Meeting our friend Mummy bird’s baby bird for the first time. My parents said baby bird was ugly, but I think he’s kind of cute really:

Completing my Latest Article: Probably ‘That’ Coronavirus:
Publishing my article: Probably ‘that’ coronavirus: My symptoms – I’d started writing it back in May – it was a difficult one to write:

Weird Bed-Hair:
Laughing at myself – I woke up one morning to this weird bed-hair, although upon reflection, not as out-of-control as this humidity morning bed-hair when I was on Sal (Cape Verde Islands) back in 2014:

2020 versus 2014 morning bed-hair

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.

>>>Week 38
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Health Diary Week 35: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Cake for Breakfast?!

Dad’s Birthday cake baked by Mum

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Hey all. I’m going to jump straight into things this week…

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…

Breakfast:

It didn’t exactly start off healthily! For breakfast on Monday and Tuesday, I had leftover birthday cake (yep, cake!) – ‘Is she really trying to lose weight?’ I imagine you thinking. Well, my reasoning was I’d eat the cake at some point, so why not have it as a meal (instead as a snack) to reduce total calories. The slight flaw to this logic was it also reduced my key nutrient and fibre intake from my usual fruit or grains/cereal, although to be fair I probably made up for it with everything else I ate:

Breakfasts: Cake, fruit & cereal

Lunch:

Lunches were My Typical Salad (5 days) accompanied by either hash browns (cauliflower or courgette) or rice filled vine leaves. Additions included Padron peppers, artichoke hearts, white asparagus, celery or coleslaw. Other days I had an Itsu satay rice noodle pot and This Isn’t Bacon bun with Mr Organic tomato ketchup (yum!):

Lunches: Typical salad, satay rice noodle pot & not-bacon bun

Dinner:

My dinners were amazing (has to be said)! I love a plate of nibbles, so I had pasta salad, hummus, baby cucumber, radish, silverskin pickled onions, Applewood cheese, gherkins and green olives – delicious! Twice, I ate Vegetable Risotto – I’m so excited broad beans are back in season! Mum made Nana’s spaghetti – a simple dish with white cabbage, ‘bacon’ and tomato-based sauce – tasty! Also, Mum re-attempted cauliflower steaks (very successfully) – cooked whole and marinated in tahini, garlic and spices. We also tried the Beyond Burger, accompanied by low fat oven chips:

Dinners: Pasta & nibbles, veg risotto, Nana’s spaghetti, cauliflower steak (I ate it all), burger & chips

The Beyond Burger was tasty, but left my gut feeling a bit uncomfortable. It contained coconut oil, which triggered my curiosity of how it compared nutritionally to my favourite Plant Pioneer burger. Although the Beyond Burger was lower in sugars and salt, both burgers were in the same traffic light category[1]. I concluded, the Plant Pioneer option was healthier, because of less calories, higher fibre and lower total and saturated fat content:

Beyond Burger versus Plant Pioneer Burger. Plant Pioneer wins for health!

Snacks:

Okay, let’s have a look at my snacking… Of course, I ate chocolate (equivalent of 2 – 4 squares each time), although I didn’t eat any on days I had cake. I ate fruit twice, including mango, pineapple and golden kiwifruit and an indulgent strawberries and Elmlea plant cream. Savoury snacks included Shore seaweed puffs, Itsu crispy seaweed thins, Graze chilli and lime mixed nuts, Dragonfly bubble and squeak cake, handful of crisps/nachos and some leftover pasta:

Snacks: Fruit, chocolate & savoury snacks

Exercise

My physical activity increased by 82 minutes compared to last week, totalling 395 minutes (over 6.5 hours). It included 227 minutes walking (164 minutes brisk) over 5 days – I’m pleased to report I’m feeling less anxious about going out walking. Also, I completed 90 minutes on the exercise bike over 2 sessions and 141 minutes Wii Fit over 3 sessions of aerobic, yoga, muscle and balance exercises:

My balance skills are atrocious, as demonstrated by my Wii Fit ‘Heading’ and ‘Penguin Slide’ scores! Can I blame my dyspraxia[2, 3]? The 70 minute walk (NHS Active 10) was barely noticeable chatting with my friend Elise

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Although I expected no weight gain, I was relieved the scales reflected this, because my poor sleep might have had an impact (as well as the breakfast cake!). So, I’m happy to report 1.4 lb (0.6 kg) weight and 0.4% fat loss:

Week 35 results: Phew!

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

This week’s results made me smile, but there’s more! What [else] Made Watson Smile

I’m 26:
I’m 26! – Well, according to Wii Fit. When I re-started using Wii Fit (after several years), my starting age was 47 – I’m 44, so I was disappointed, but not now:

Veg Box:
Abel and Cole veg box delights of artichokes and Padron peppers (I love both!) – we griddled them to accompany our typical salad lunches:

Widening my Bubble:
Widening my physically distanced social bubble to include my neighbour, Elise and family. I felt it necessary to see other people to protect my mental wellbeing – although it’s lovely to hear about friends visiting with each other, it also highlighted my lack of social contact over the past 98 days[4, 5, 6]. Anyway, enough of that – this is my happy section! Elise pointed out how the tree (below) looked like a friendly monster:

Continuing Professional Development:
Another interesting MyNutriWeb lecture, this time by Dr McArdle (Registered Dietician, Chair of the BDA Diabetes Specialist Group) on ‘Carb Confusion: Carbohydrates & Type 2 Diabetes’. My take home messages were: one size doesn’t fit all; low carb can work short-term only and it depends on individual preference:

Solving the Mayo Mystery:
Mum and I had been searching for the missing Vegenaise aioli for about a week – then we remembered (independently) we’d never received it because it had been out of stock!:

Image: Follow Your Heart

Jasper the Cat:
Jasper, the adorable cat rolling around on the driveway while I was doing my Wii Fit – well, until he distracted me! Before I knew his name, I called him ‘The Orange Cat’ – our first meeting  a couple of years ago was when I awoke to see his paws on the side of my bed and his big eyes staring at me!:

I caught Jasper stalking for birds by the bird table. When he realised I’d spotted him, he decided to act adorable!

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.

>>>Week 36
<<<Week 34
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References

1. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Helping you eat well: Looking at labels. Available from: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/324-labels.html?start=3.
2. Dyspraxia Foundation, 2019. Dyspraxia in Adults [online]. Available from: https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/dyspraxia-adults/.
3. National Health Service, 2020. Dyspraxia (developmental co-ordination disorder) in adults [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/conditions/developmental-coordination-disorder-dyspraxia-in-adults/.
4. Verduyn, P., Gugushvili, N., Massar, K., Täht, K. and Kross, E., 2020. Social comparison on social networking sites. Current Opinion in Psychology [online], 36, 32-37. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.04.002.
5. Webber, R., 2017. Psychology Today: The Comparison Trap [online]. Available from: www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201711/the-comparison-trap.
6. Appel, H., Crusius, J. and Gerlach, A. L., 2015. Social Comparison, Envy, and Depression on Facebook: A Study Looking at the Effects of High Comparison Standards on Depressed Individuals. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology [online] 34 (4), 277-289. Available from: https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/jscp.2015.34.4.277.

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Health Diary Week 34: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Positivity

Image: klimkin, Pixabay

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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

I’m pleased to report I’m feeling more positive this week. I’ll begin with what was actually on my plate (or in my bowl) this week…

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…

Breakfast:

… I skipped breakfast on 2 days. I had fruit (pineapple, mango, golden kiwifruit) twice, a pack of 4 Nairn’s Oaties biscuits, a banana cake muffin and twice I ate cereal: Nature’s Path granola (our mystery veg box item) and mixed grains:

Breakfasts: Clockwise: Mango, pineapple & golden kiwifruit. Banana cake muffin. Mango & pineapple – I’d found it in the back of the fridge from a while ago thankfully in an airtight jar. Nature’s Path mixed grain cereal.

Lunch:

I had My Typical Salad every day with Strong Roots cauliflower or courgette hash browns. Additions included Padron peppers (yum!), radishes (fresh from our veg box – delicious!), white asparagus (from a jar) and coleslaw:

Lunches: My typical salad with a few additions: Padron peppers, white asparagus, coleslaw & radishes.

Dinner:

Dinners included a rather tasty Thai green curry with jasmine rice (twice), Ugo Thrive pumpkin raviolini, a Heck vegfurter hotdog (with fried onion, gherkin, tomato and mustard), Clive’s tomato and olive tart (with potatoes, broccoli, baby carrots and asparagus), pasta salad (containing garlic, red onion, sundried tomato, black olives, sweetcorn, spinach, mayo and chilli sauce). And, massively disappointing chip shop chips – they weren’t as satisfying as I remembered and certainly not worth the excessive saturated fat, so I won’t be doing that again anytime soon!:

Dinners: Clockwise: Thai green curry. Tomato & olive tart with veg. Chip shop chips. Pasta salad.

Snacks:

I snacked a lot, a mix of savoury and sweet and a variety of portion sizes:
Itsu crispy seaweed thins
Shore seaweed puffs (twice)
Biona crisps (handful)
– Cheesy nachos (twice)
Peckish rice crackers with hummus
– Hummus with baby cucumber and Peckish rice crackers
– Hummus with nachos, baby cucumber, pickled onions and Applewood cheese
– Leftover pasta salad
Enjoy caramel chocolates (2 pieces each time, 5 times)
Jude’s ice cream (once)
– Strawberries and cream sponge cake baked by Mum (1 small slice) – delicious!:

Snacks: Top: Hummus! Middle: Crispy indulgences. Bottom: The sweet-tooth foods!

Alcohol

I consumed alcohol on 2 days: At the online Houseparty with friends I had 4 vodkas with soda water and a can of diet cola with lime slices. On my Dad’s birthday, I had a glass of champagne and a double Hotel Chocolat salted caramel vodka liqueur.

The booze bucket

Exercise

My exercise? I went out walking 3 times, totalling 160 minutes, 94 minutes brisk. Also, I’m getting into Wii Fit again – I did 108 minutes, split over 2 sessions.  And, I used my exercise bike for 45 minutes. A grand total of 313 minutes physical activity (over 5 hours) – I’m happy enough with that.

My walking legs & some pretty daisies

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Okay, I should probably report on my results – I might have been delaying! The truth is I gained 1.6 lb (0.7 kg) and 0.5% fat – oops! I suspected it was due to indulgences towards the end of the week, so I did a sneaky extra weigh-in on Tuesday – I’d lost 1.4 lb of the 1.6 lb gained – I was very relieved! Regardless, let’s see if I manage to lose that extra 0.2 lb and then some for next time.

Week 34 results: Oh dear!

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I think I’ll move swiftly on to What Made Watson Smile – happily, there was quite a lot…

Disapproving Cat:
Have you ever had that feeling someone’s watching you? I suddenly realised my neighbour’s cat was staring at me disapprovingly while I was reading in the garden:

Walking Surprises:
Mum and I had a pleasant brisk walk (you can see Mum striding ahead!), including through some woodland where we saw a tree still decorated from VE day and a cute fairy trail:  

Turtle Cushion:
The gorgeous turtle cushion cover my Mum gave me:

Photo Fails:
My failed attempt to capture a photo of 3 ducks swimming in the river – they just kept moving along with their heads mostly under the water!:

Girly Online Catch-Up:
Zoom meet-up with the girls (yep, includes you Harry! 😉). We hadn’t seen Charlotte since February – excitingly we met her gorgeous ‘lockdown baby’:

Cute New Dress from Erin:
Trying on this cute dress that my friend Erin kindly gifted me some time ago – I had crazy hair in this photo, so I chopped out my head rather than scare people!:

Bug Friend:
This beautiful bug that befriended my Dad while we sat on the driveway bird watching – such amazing detail!:

Bird Watching:
Talking of bird watching. I couldn’t resist a few more pics. Hang on a second – that’s not a bird!:

Sensible Drinking:
Actually having leftover vodka from my meticulously measured out ration for the online ‘pub’ Houseparty with friends – I reckon there’s 2 shots left in there:

Eco-Friendly Behavior:
The continuing cycle of gift bags. My sister had re-used the pink one I’d given her for Mum’s gift – the picture I’d stuck on was from one of my birthday cards. And, for Dad’s present, I re-used a brown paper bag, adding a previous year’s WWF calendar picture. Also, the tiger card I gave my Dad was 100% recycled paper and its protective bag was made from corn starch:   

Dad’s 70th Birthday:
There were several reasons to smile on Dad’s 70th Birthday celebrations:
– My Aunt made my Dad a card with a beautiful photo of a duck inside, but she realised she’d stuck it upside down and sent an explanatory note – I wouldn’t have noticed! Would you?
– My Mum baked a vegan and gluten-free cake, so that I could have some too – it was delicious!
– Champagne (enough said).
– Meeting up with family and friends – Sarah even joined us from New Zealand.
– Rusty the dog making an appearance (can you spot him?).

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. Take care all.

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