Health Diary Week 86: Kitten Therapy

Image: Loki, the Maine Coon kitten

<<<Week 85

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

Some Job Updates

Currently I’m working for the NHS as a temporary employee in a Covid vaccine clinic. But, I’m looking for a more permanent job. I’d applied for Staff Wellbeing Hub Administrator, and I’ve been invited for an interview (yay!) – it sounds like something I could really get stuck into – I like the idea of supporting our NHS staff with their wellbeing. I’ll update you on how the interview went next week. Will they believe that I’m happy to be an administrator rather than an advisor? (I am). We’ll see…

Covid Vaccine: Second Dose

I had my second Astra Zeneca covid-19 vaccine – I’m so relieved. They fit me in at work, which was convenient. Due to my obvious nervousness, the Clinical Supervisor (who trains the vaccinators) kindly administered my injection. It didn’t hurt (this time or the first dose) and yet, I still get anxious – nowadays I comfortably watch everyone else having their vaccines and I’m often distracting nervous patients.

The after effects were minimal compared to my first dose (details here: Week 75). I had the obligatory achy arm for a few days, but less so than last time. On the second night after my vaccine, I felt like I was coming down with something (swollen glands, sore throat, tiredness), so I went to bed early – I was okay by the next morning. I’ll happily take these side effects over Covid-19.

My Covid vaccine sticker of bravery

Food Challenge: Houmous

I love houmous. This is definitely one of the foods I’ve missed since following a low histamine diet (since October 2020 – I can’t believe it’s been that long!). At the weekend, I had a serious craving for houmous – there was a pot of a red pepper one in the fridge about to be eaten with our family visitors – I just had to have some too. It was a risk, not only because of the chickpeas, but also it contained chilli and lemon (next time I’ll make my own). So, I decided to take one of my DAO enzymes (details in Week 85) to break down the histamine in my food – there were no ill effects, phew.

Image: My houmous dip platter. Red pepper houmous, baby orange and yellow pepper, gluten free pitta, salted crisps and beetroot crackers

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Well, I have to say, I had a great weekend of family and kitten time – absolutely fabulous! But first…

I didn’t panic:

So, there I was working diligently in the Covid vaccine nervous bay distracting patients when I felt something crawling up my bare leg. I surreptitiously glanced down and saw it was a big spider (well, fairly big, in my opinion). Did I panic? I’m proud to say “No, I didn’t”. I discretely flicked it off my leg and carried on chatting to the patient – go brave me. You can read my last spider tale in Week 51:

Image: Friendly spider. Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay

Family reunion:

I hadn’t seen my Aunty and Uncle since before the pandemic (about two years), so how lovely it was when they came to visit my parents over the weekend. And, I saw my sister too, which was also fantastic. Admittedly, I wasn’t at home much – I was kitten sitting, but at least I got to spend some time with them all. The weather was so glorious that we could comfortably sit outside and enjoy a barbecue:

Image: My barbecue plate of food. Actually, I only ate the veg from the barbecue (fennel, corn on the cob, courgette, pepper and asparagus). I separately cooked up a homemade rice and quinoa burger from the freezer. I also had steamed potatoes and a salad topped with vegan feta cheese. So delicious

Massages on tap:

Massages on tap? Yes please! My friends’ massage chair is amazing! So, while kitten sitting, I took advantage of this wonderful device. It even squeezes you, so you feel like you’re getting a hug. Now, Loki kitten did interrupt my deep relaxation one night – he suddenly pounced onto my chest and then attacked my feet – as you can imagine, it was quite a shock and not at all relaxing:

Image: The amazing massage chair (and Loki kitten). I want one – the chair and the kitten

Cats sleeping funny:

I love how cats can sleep almost anywhere and look so comfortable in their odd positions. Loki kitten seemed very relaxed and spent a lot of time sleeping in my arms or on my lap – so sweet:

Image: Cats sleep funny. Loki kitten crashed out in odd positions

Kitten therapy:

Oh my, how very cute little Loki kitten is. It was a pleasure to look after him, even though he had his moments when he suddenly decided to hunt me down. I miss having a cat in my life, but it was wonderful to get some kitten therapy over the weekend:

Image: Loki kitten cuteness

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.

>>>Week 87
<<<Week 85

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate


Health Diary Week 52: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

One Year Review: Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

Me on my 1st Birthday, 70’s style

<<<Week 51

Hi, I can’t believe it’s already a year since I started on this health challenge! So, it’s time to review my year and also reflect on when my health concerns first began. And of course, I’ll also include some smile-provoking experiences – appreciating those little things in life became high priority in 2020, but I intend this to be part of my everyday life moving forward.


Part of me would have liked some big reveal of my health improvements, kind of like they do on TV weight loss series. But then I considered how not all health improvements are visible – it’s not all about weight. And people can lose weight in an unhealthy or non-sustainable way – I don’t want that – I want to age healthily and enjoy my life. I remind myself it took nearly five years to regain the weight I initially lost (more on that below), so how on earth could I expect to lose it all again in just a year? My aim was (and still is) to make sustainable lifestyle changes to gradually lose the excess weight impacting on my pain levels (hypermobility issues) and reduce risk of developing Type 2 diabetes[1] (a condition both sides of my family have contended with). So, my primary objective was (is) to restore my healthier lifestyle and move forward from there. This isn’t a race – I’m in this for life with the intention to live healthily (well, on the whole). That sounds sensible, right?

Now, the way things panned out haven’t been as expected – who would have known we’d have to massively adapt our lifestyles to survive a pandemic? Certainly not me. So, I’m proud of myself for not giving up, despite probably contracting the virus back in March and struggling with some lingering symptoms of insomnia and brain fog for months (more about this here) – thankfully, I think this is now mostly resolved.

Okay, so let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… hang on, I sound like Maria from Sound of Music! Sorry, I digress…


So, what I should share (and did share in Week 0), was that this isn’t my first struggle with health and weight – it’s my second.

Late Night Socials:

I love socialising, alcohol was often a key component – I‘d go out most night’s in my late teens and 20’s and every weekend in my 30’s – I guess what I’m trying to say is I drank a lot of alcohol and snacked on less healthy convenience foods, sometimes equivalent to a meal, late at night. It caught up with me in my 30’s – I started becoming uncomfortable with my size at some point – it was a very gradual process. Also, I started experiencing food intolerances (gluten, dairy, sulphites) and worsened reactions to pollen and dust.

Left: Me aged 19 about to head to a house party. Right: Me aged 21 at College Summer Party (1990’s)

Weight Gain, Injury and Hypermobility:

I had no real health concerns until my early 30’s, when I started noticing a weight gain. So aged 32, I re-took up tennis and swimming – activities I’d loved as a kid. But then I decided to try jogging regularly and within a couple of months, I was experiencing excruciating pain in my feet – all exercise stopped. A couple of years later (at my heaviest weight), I was finally referred to a podiatrist who diagnosed plantar fasciitis, most likely caused by my rubbish running technique and hypermobile ankles offering little stability. The podiatrist identified several hypermobile joints[2] and explained high impact exercise was no longer an option for me – gutted.

Young flexible me flinging myself around fearlessly – there’s not much evidence of my bendiness as we didn’t take so many photos back in the 80’s

Turning things around:

Understanding my issues better, enabled me to work around them. So, I set up health challenges with various friends and Mum – I lost about 15 lbs (6.8 kg). Also, I re-took up swimming (less pressure on the joints) and completed my first 5 km swim challenge. Another important factor was transferring to part-time work, enabling more time to focus on my health behaviours.

After completing 5km Swimathon, 2012

Feeling healthier, increased my motivation to continue moving forward. I felt ready to start addressing the food intolerances – gluten was eliminated from my diet. I also gave up caffeine to improve my sleep – I had 10 days of horrible withdrawal symptoms. All was going well, until December when a cold progressed into a horrific sinus infection – the pain was unbelievable. I had a recurrence a few months later, spurring me on to eliminate dairy, followed soon after by becoming completely plant based (I was 37). I lost about 20 lbs (9.1 kg) during this time and felt at my healthiest since my 20’s. It took about four years to get to a place where I was happy with my weight – Wow! – I hadn’t fully grasped that until now, having looked at the below table:

My decade of changes: Weight and key events

Studying and Weight Gain – The Three S’s:

As you can imagine a lot of people questioned my plant-based diet, which was great, because this finalised my decision to study Nutrition – I had to take a long-winded route, studying Health Sciences with The Open University first (in hindsight I’m so glad I took this route) because I couldn’t jump into an accredited course[3] with no relevant science qualifications. The decision to study led to my assessment confirming Dyspraxia[4] (at 38) – finally I understood myself better.

However, five years of intensive studying took its toll and slowly the unhealthy habits crept back in and I regained the weight lost, along with regular flare-ups of food and environmental intolerances. I’ve asked myself what happened? Looking at the above table, I’d say the culprits were:

  1. Sitting for long periods of time (reduced NEAT – non-exercise activity thermogenesis[5])
  2. Stress from throwing myself into a degree level science with little prior knowledge, followed by completing a postgraduate degree in a year
  3. Sleep deprivation from long nights studying

(I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks based on my above table)

Late night studying. Image: Ambady Sasi, Pixabay

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not regret having put those five years into studying, because not only am I more confident, I’m also proud of the skills developed and knowledge obtained.

My Progress

After graduating from my latest degree, I decided it was time to take some time out to focus on myself and gain back my healthier lifestyle (more on this in Week 0). And that’s how the idea to write this blog came about – I needed accountability.  

So, what’s happened after a whole year? Well, everything moved in the right direction. I lost 5.8 lb (2.6 kg) total – I get that this doesn’t sound like much, but it could easily have gone the other way given the challenges 2020 have presented – namely that virus – I was unwell for 68 days (long-haul COVID?) and continued to have sleep difficulties until mid-September (180 days – yep I tracked it). Add to that, my intensive physical activity levels plummeted with cancellation of circuit training and lack of fitness after illness. And then there’s the social isolation – not great for a comfort-eater. Am I making excuses? – Yea, I guess so, but they’re kind of warranted.

My weight increased by 1.8 lb (0.8 kg) from last week, because I indulged in foods I knew I had to cut out from Week 53 – at the end of the week I ate three pieces of chocolate cheesecake over two days! The most notable overall changes are that my right thigh lost 9 cm (don’t worry, both thighs reduced proportionately) and bust reduced by 7 cm. And I’m pleased I lost 5 cm from around my waist. My waist to hip ratio is still in the high-risk zone for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but it has decreased at least. I view this past year as only the start – I’m still highly motivated to keep moving forward, so please continue to stick with me.

Week 0 versus Week 52 body changes: Weight, BMI, body fat, waist circumference (WC), hips, waist to hip (W:H) ratio and right thigh, calf and bicep

And, if we look at my body shape, it’s changed a little – my waist is more defined – I’m a little more toned looking. Oh, and my boots zip up – that was a concern at the beginning of this. One thing’s for sure, I feel better than this time last year, despite everything 2020 has thrown at us.

Left: Me at the beginning of November, 2019 (a couple of weeks into the health challenge). Right: Me now, 2020

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Okay, I couldn’t leave without sharing some smile-provoking experiences:


I saw Bevy and Harry’s son, Lawrie, briefly after his swim class. I hadn’t seen the little guy in real life since probably February. Lawrie looked very cute in his spiderman robe. And he was so good listening to his parents about maintaining physical distance. But when it was time to leave, he reached out his hand towards me and said, “Come on Katey, let’s go” – cuteness overload! I wanted to hold his hand but resisted. It was so lovely to see him though (oh and Bevy and Harry too of course):

Remember the days when we could hold hands? Image: Bruno Germany, Pixabay

Exercising my Brain:

Ah, more learning for this knowledge hungry lady. It was Breast Cancer Awareness week, so naturally the MyNutriWeb continuing professional development webinar was ‘Breast Cancer and Diet’. The four key recommendations were to limit alcohol (there is no safe limit), maintain a healthy weight, be physically active (follow the national guidelines) and breastfeed if you can if you have children. It was heartening to hear that UK survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years due to improved detection and treatment:

MyNutriWeb ‘Breast Cancer and Diet’ webinar and infographic


Who doesn’t love a freebie? In preparation for my low histamine diet, I‘d ordered some nutritional supplements from the Vegan Kind Supermarket. And kind they were, for they sent me an unexpected mallow puff chocolate bar with my order, which I promptly devoured, thank you very much Vegan Kind:

Mallow Puffs gifted by Vegan Kind Supermarket

Calamitous Katey:

Why is it that when I’m being particularly careful, I seem to have unfortunate incidents? Knowing that a comforting cup of cocoa could be a joy of the past, I decided to indulge this week. I was carefully resealing the pack, aware it wouldn’t be used for some time, when… Whoosh! Cocoa powder exploded out of the bag all over the kitchen cabinet! Obviously, I called Mum in to witness the result and we giggled at my mess before the clear up commenced:

The cocoa powder spillage

Motivational Quotes:

I do like a motivational quote. My former job share Marjory and I used to share a book of quotes and we’d leave it open on a page for the other to read when they arrived at work. So, I wanted to share some quotes I found regarding perseverance:

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

Earl Nightingale (1921-1989), American philosopher, motivational speaker, radio personality and author.

“Sometimes the strength within you is not a fiery flame that all can see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers softly, “you got this, keep going.”


“It’s perseverance that’s the key. It’s persevering for long enough to achieve your potential.”

Lynn Davies CBE, Welsh former track and field athlete.

“There is no failure, except in no longer trying.”

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), American founder of the Roycroft Arts and Crafts community, philosopher, lecturer, critic, publisher, novelist, essayist, and biographer.

“When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.”


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 53
<<<Week 51


1. Diabetes UK, Ca 2020. Type 2 diabetes?
2. Hypermobility Syndromes Association, 2017. What are hypermobility syndromes?
3. Association for Nutrition, 2020. Accredited Programmes.
4. Dyspraxia Foundation, 2019. Dyspraxia in Adults.
5. Malaeb, S., Perez-Leighton, C. E., Noble, E. E. and Billington, C., 2018. Workplace Health and Safety [online] 67 (3), 102-110. A “NEAT” Approach to Obesity Prevention in the Modern Work Environment.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

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

Spotting Joyful Moments

<<<Week 43

Hello again; how quickly time passes! I’m back for another instalment of what’s on my plate: health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

What’s New

I’d like to start by saying a big thank you to Pooja from Lifesfinewhine for her blogging advice. I’ve been taking note and making changes to my writing style and layout. I’ve still got loads to learn, but I’m getting there (I think). I hope you all approve.

The not so great news is that I didn’t get the job I interviewed for. But I’m okay about it. I asked for feedback and was pleased (relieved) it was positive “We thought you interviewed really well… you provided some really strong answers to our questions. It was a hard decision…”. Overall, I see it as a good practise run – after all, this was my first proper job interview in years – previously I’d been working as a university Disability Adviser for about 15 years.

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s check out 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 four times this week – I just didn’t fancy eating first thing in the morning on those occasions. Strawberries were my healthiest option; I resorted to those easy-grab biscuits twice and once a slice of peanut butter and jam on toast. I really do need to up my fruit intake again:

Week 44 Breakfasts


I had a batch of steamed potatoes that needed using, so I oven cooked them in a spice coating of onion, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and chilli oil, with some chickpea flour to add crispiness – I have to say, they were rather tasty, but then, I do love potatoes. The next couple of days were convenience meals – a miso chilli noodle pot and a pitta filled with cheese, coleslaw and salad. We had My typical salad the remainder of the week, as my folks were back. I’m happy enough with these food choices:

Week 44 Lunches


I do love pasta, as evidenced by my four pasta-based dinners this week: I split pumpkin raviolini over two days with a jar of bolognese sauce. Another day I opted for my lazy pasta – fusilli, sundried tomato, peppers, sweetcorn and onion, with a drizzle of chilli and extra virgin olive oil. And then there was a simple, but delicious brown-rice spaghetti with tomato, mushrooms, olives and pepper with homemade garlic bread. Other meals: leftover Mexican chilli on cheesy nachos with tomato and mushrooms – yum. A slightly disappointing burger and low-fat oven chips – we suspect the burger recipe has changed. Mum made a delicious cheesy veg bake to use up carrots, broccoli and courgettes, which we had with sausages, roasted potatoes and more carrots. I admit, I went back for seconds; actually, also with the spaghetti meal – I shouldn’t be doing that:

Week 44 Dinners


I’m not entirely sure how much I snacked during the first part of the week; I suspect not much. And I barely ate between meals the latter end. I’m surprised with myself and pleased. I hope I can continue to keep snacking to a minimum without feeling hungry – we’ll see. Sweet snacks were chocolate (a bar and a bit), whilst savoury included a filled pitta bread of cheese, coleslaw and salad (big snack!), crisps and Balti mix:

Week 44 Snacks


I had an alcohol-free week. I really didn’t fancy any after my excesses last week.


Hmmm, what can I say? I’ve not had a particularly active week. The only exercise I achieved was through walking, nearing three hours total. I definitely intend to be more energetic next week:

Week 44 Exercise

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I wasn’t really sure what to expect this week results-wise. As it was, I had another week of no weight change (166.2 lb / 75.4 kg) and minimal body fat loss (from 40.2% to 40.1 %). I think the reduced snacking probably balanced out the lack of physical activity, resulting in just maintaining:

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

It was tough narrowing down which positive experiences to include this week. So, here’s my favourites…

Mummy Bird’s Demands:
Mummy Bird (our Blackbird friend) makes me smile every time I see her. When it started to rain, we rushed inside to the living room with our morning coffee. We heard her loud chirping through the open window. So, I investigated and found her below the window looking up at me – she then jumped off the wall and ran towards the front door in anticipation (top row). Dad obediently went out and fed her (we’re well trained). But maybe she’s getting a bit chubby now? (Bottom row: Week 35 (left) versus now (right)):

Apologies for the poor top pictures – the photos were taken through the window in a hurry

Guard Cat:
Jasper, our guard cat (well, my neighbour’s cat), has taken to sitting under the bird feeder – thankfully he’s not particularly interested in the birds – we think he’s searching for other creatures. It brightens my day when he visits, especially when he shirks his duties and just rolls around on the driveway being cute (last pic from Week 35):

Tiny Beautiful Nature:
When I was sat watching Jasper on his guard duty, I noticed a tiny flower by his side (you can just about see it in the above picture too). I had to have a closer look and observed the pretty intricacy despite its tiny size:

Amusing Shadows and Bendy Birds:
Mum and I went out for a walk and found a pond currently popular with the ducks – we spent quite some time watching them – they have such bendy necks! When I was taking photos, I noticed our shadows looked amusingly oddly-shaped – we had our raincoats tied around our waists – I’m on the right:

Ghostly Friends:
I’ve missed seeing Bevy in person and I’m super excited she’s back – hopefully we can see each other in real-life soon. However, she appears to have become somewhat ghostly since we last met – she’s that eerie figure in the bottom of the screen. And Harry, Bevy’s boyfriend, lurking in another room, seems to be bodiless. Perhaps I should be concerned about meeting up with these people:

Homemade Gifts (for Me):
My highlight was the birthday presents my Aunt sent back with my parents. My Birthday was back in February and my Aunt had offered to post them, but I said I was happy to wait. Receiving presents is always a delight, but even more so when they’re created especially for me. My talented Aunt sent over a whole package of beautifully handmade crystal-based gifts. So, I took my time enjoying opening and appreciating each treasure:

The intentionally prolonged present opening process
My presents on display. The suncatchers still look beautiful without bright sunshine

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 45
<<<Week 43

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 25: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Loving Nature… and Food!

Image: John Hain, Pixabay

“Nature is revolting to reclaim her kingdom. If now we don’t make peace with her what’s the point of us!” Abhijit Naskar, Neuroscientist, advocate of mental wellness and global harmony, Good Reads.

<<<Week 24

Hi everyone. Hope you’re doing okay. Welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I’m going to get through the weigh-in results quickly – I gained a little more weight (0.2 lb) – oops! I blame the Easter weekend and most definitely myself, but I don’t feel particularly upset – yes, it’s a minor setback, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a disaster and I’m working to get back on track.

Week 25 results – it’s all going the wrong way!


I’ve started by re-introducing physical activity since being unwell – I completed two exercise bike sessions on a medium tension at the end of the week, lasting 20 and 30 minutes – progress.

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…

Alcohol and Snacks

So, I over indulged again with chocolatey snacks and a bottle of La Selva Organic Vermentino low sulphite white wine. Chocolate included Mummy Meagz ‘creme egg’, two Booja Booja chocolate truffles, Onist (avocado) salted caramel cocoa pot (really delicious!) and Nak’d double chocolish bar. Also, Mum made carrot cake muffins on Saturday and I had one (sometimes two) a day over the weekend – they were tasty!

A taster of my week’s indulgences. Clockwise: Mummy Meagz ‘creme egg’. Onist (avocado) salted caramel cocoa pot. Nak’d double chocolish bar. La Selva Organic Vermentino white wine. Carrot cake muffin (1 of many!).


Breakfasts included fruit (strawberries & blueberries, satsuma, apple), Nature’s Path maple sunrise multigrain cereal, hummus with BFree wholegrain pitta and homemade carrot cake muffins (we’ve got a good stock of carrots as they’re long-lasting):

Some of my breakfasts. Clockwise: Blueberries & strawberries. Apple. Carrot cake muffin. Hummus & BFree wholegrain pitta. Nature’s Path maple sunrise multigrain cereal.


It was warm and sunny, so we were able to eat lunch outside most days. I had My Typical Salad (ish) six times with either dolmathes (rice stuffed vine leaves), Strong Roots hash browns, or frittata (potato, mixed mushrooms and green cabbage) using a chickpea flour and water base instead of eggs (I love this!). Another time, I had a vegetable fajita with salsa, leftover from the previous week’s dinner:

Some of my salad lunches ‘al fresco’. Clockwise: Potato, mixed mushrooms & green cabbage chickpea-base frittata with iceberg lettuce, grated carrot & red pepper in a little mayo. Strong Roots hash browns. Dolmathes & a simple homemade coleslaw (white cabbage & carrot in mayo).


Dinners included leftover veg curry, red lentil dhal and brown rice (photo in Week 24). A couple of times we had Meatless Farm Co. mince bolognaise with Doves brown rice spaghetti. We’d received mixed mushrooms and green cabbage in our Abel and Cole veg box delivery, which we incorporated into several meals (including the above lunch frittata). We also had it pan fried with a Meatless Farm Co. burger and roast potatoes. It was added into a Veg Risotto that also contained peas, courgette and spinach. We stretched the risotto into the next dinner by adding Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausages and roasted cauliflower. Sunday ‘roast’ was a sausage, stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts with chestnuts, carrot and courgette with gravy.

Some of my dinners. Clockwise: Meatless Farm Co. burger with roast potatoes, mixed mushrooms & green cabbage. Veg risotto with Linda McCartney sausages & roasted cauliflower. Linda McCartney sausages, roast potatoes & veg. Meatless Farm Co. spaghetti bolognaise.

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

So, moving on to things (other than food) that made me smile…

The ‘Super Moon’:
I attempted to capture the Super Moon from outside & my bedroom window:

Veg Box Delivery:
The excitement of receiving our weekly veg box (with a few extras):

Garden time:
Tree blossom & flowers:

Completing the COVID-19 Course:
My course completion certificate: ‘COVID-19: Tackling the novel coronavirus’, run by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & UK Public Health Rapid Support Team:

Feeling Social:
Feeling and looking healthier again and fun socialising online:

NHS Volunteer Responder:
Receiving an email accepting my application to be an NHS Responder Volunteer as a ‘Check in and Chat Volunteer’:

‘Cafe Driveway: Pond View’:
The highlight – fondly known as ‘Cafe Driveway: Pond View’. We set up a garden table & chairs on the driveway to enjoy the morning sun. The bonus is the public pond enabling us to nature watch – can you spot the duck?:

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 26>>>
<<<Week 24

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 24: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Fat and Sugar Tastes too Good!

Image: Hassan Monteleone, Pixabay

<<<Week 23

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

So, to start, I must confess I had a few indulgences this week. I could pretend I regret it, but I don’t, except the excessive wine intake – more on that later.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

My weight stayed at 164 lb (74.4 kg) throughout the week but, jumped up to 165.8 lb (75.2 kg) especially for Monday! But, I’m not too disheartened, partly because I was bloated at weigh-in and despite the gain my graph shows an overall downward trend:

My weight progression showing a downward trend – Week 0 to 24.

It was also my body measurements week. This gives a helpful indication about my progression. Waist circumference importantly indicates abdominal fat, with an excess linked to chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes[1]. Unfortunately, I’m still ‘substantially at risk’ of these diseases[2], but I’m moving in the right direction having lost 4 cm around my waist in the past 8 weeks – a total of 7 cm since this journey began. Also, I’ve also lost a total of 9 cm from my thigh, 7 cm around my chest and 5 cm from my calf.

I’m still considered an ‘apple’, but I’m working towards a ‘pear’ (Image: Shutterbug75, Pixabay).

Food and Nutrition

As per usual, I analysed my weight and fat gain… My appetite was greater this week (potentially as I’m feeling better), so I snacked more. But I think a major culprit was excessive saturated fat in the guise of coconut-based cheese – including cauliflower and broccoli bake (twice) and a cheesy garlic pitta. I also consumed a tub of coleslaw (high total fat) throughout the week with my My Typical Salad or filled pitta lunches:

Potential pitfalls: Top: Cauliflower & broccoli cheese bake. Middle right: Cheesy, garlic pitta with M&S veg spring rolls. Middle left & bottom: M&S vegan coleslaw.

These meals were still nutritious and fibre-loaded, it’s just that overall, there was an excess of fat this week, so I’ll reduce fat (or at least try) for the coming week. Other lower fat meals included plant-based fajitas, Risotto, curry and pasta:

Lower saturated fat meals: Clockwise: Red lentil pasta with spinach, tomato & black olives drizzled extra virgin olive oil & hot chilli sauce. Mushroom & pepper fajitas with lettuce, salsa & avocado. Aubergine, potato & spinach curry & lentil dhal with brown rice. Aubergine, potato & spinach curry with brown rice.

Also, this week I had a few high fat and sugar chocolate indulgences, including a Nak’d double chocolish bar, hot cacao drink (made from Raw Chocolate Co cacao) and a Mummy Meagz cream egg (as a household we agreed to break into the Easter egg stash; we still have three each left):

Chocolate indulgences: Clockwise: Nakd double chocolish bar. Hot cacao drink (favourite mug made by the talented Deb). Mummy Meagz crème egg.


I’ve not really started exercising again yet (due to ongoing discomfort down my back and around my ribs following a virus) except being compelled to join the brief sessions with Mr Motivator on the BBC HealthCheck UK Live weekday programme, because he makes me laugh – a good stress-reliever:

My Motivator on BBC HealthCheck UK (BBC screenshot).

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Clap for Carers:
On Thursday we were back outside for ‘Clap for Carers’. We ventured off our driveway (still physically distanced) so that we could see our neighbours further down the road and wave to them – it was great to see them.

Online Socialising:
Also, I’m loving online socialising and highly recommend it. Friday night was so much fun with an online ‘Houseparty’. I should confess here that the excitement of socialising led to my other major downfall. I broke my  26 days ‘dry’ streak –  I opened and then unintentionally finished a bottle of Stellar Organic Merlot, adding around 675 calories[3] to my daily intake. I further paid for my indulgence with a thumping headache and lack of productivity on Saturday. Next time I’ll drink more sensibly – promise!:

‘Houseparty’ with some friends: Top left: Stellar Organics no sulphite-added Merlot. Top right: Me ready to meet my friends online. Bottom: The ‘meet-up’ well under way.

Future Learn Course:
On Sunday I completed week two of the free Future Learn online course run by London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene – one more week to complete and then I’ll see what else is on offer – hopefully something nutrition-related. Future Learn covers diverse subjects taught by universities, including arts, business, engineering, environment, healthcare, history, IT, languages, law, literature, maths, politics, psychology and mental health, science, study skills and teaching.

Top: My Week 2 completion of COVID-19 course. Bottom: Future Learn subject areas (plus study skills & teaching that didn’t fit onto the screenshot).

Garden Time:
The weekend weather was lovely, so I took the opportunity to spend some time chilling in the garden – I haven’t been out- and-about for over three weeks – after quarantining we decided outside public spaces should primarily be for those without the luxury of private garden space. So, here’s what I’ve seen from my home confines this week:

The flowering rockery
Gorgeous purple flower
Okay, I know it’s a ‘weed’, but it’s still a beautifully vibrant yellow
Blossoming garden tree (admittedly not great for my hay fever) & blue sky

The highlight was watching a heron from my bedroom window! – it visited a few times:

That’s my news for what’s on my plate this week. I hope you’ve all kept well and safe.

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 25>>>
<<<Week 23


1. National Health Service, 2019. Why is my waist size important? [online]. Available from:
2. World Health Organisation, 2011. Waist Circumference and Waist-Hip Ratio Report of a WHO Expert Consultation. Geneva, 8–11 December 2008 [online]. Available from:;sequence=1.
3. Alcohol Change UK, Ca. 2019. Alcohol and calories [online]. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 23: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Some Positives…

Cute brooch from my sister for my Birthday

<<<Week 22

Hi everyone – hope you’re doing okay. 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’ve decided that in addition to reporting my weigh-in results (important to my overall health), I’ll now post weekly positives to support our mental health, even the small things that brought a smile to my face.

Firstly, an important positive – I’m feeling much better since last week’s blog – this virus feels more under control. I’m still rather achy, but my chest doesn’t feel tight, my cough has lessened and I no longer have a sore throat or headache.

Me freefalling on a charity tandem skydive (2006).

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

As it happens, the weigh-in contributes to my positives this week – I lost 1 lb, a total of 11 lb (5 kg) and 4.6% fat – I now weigh 164 lb (74.4 kg) – I realise there’s still a way to go – but yay me!

Week 23 results – more weight & fat loss 😊

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’ve eaten plant-based and mainly whole-foods, resulting in a health-supporting diverse range of nutrients and fibre. It all tasted great too! I did have a few chocolate indulgences, appropriately portioned though.

Week 23: What I ate. Pink highlighted text identifying potential high saturated fat or free sugar pitfalls (not that many).

Although we began running out of fresh ingredients, we started on the frozen and store cupboard foods as substitutes. I added frozen peas to my scrambled tofu to make it go further. We also used Ponti Zero Olio jar mushrooms and sundried tomatoes to improve meals. We cracked open the tins of dolmathes (rice filled vine leaves) to accompany our salads. Additionally, Mum improvised an alternative coleslaw, using celeriac (a long-lasting root veg) instead of cabbage. This challenge has encouraged us to think more creatively:

Some of my meals: Clockwise: Typical salad with dolmathes (rice filled vine leaves), antipasti & celeriac & carrot ‘coleslaw’. Scrambled tofu (onion, green chilli, green pepper, carrot) in wraps. ‘Stretched’ scramble tofu (frozen peas added), Linda McCartney sausage & BFree toast. Lentil dhal, rice, sausage & oven fries. Veg risotto with peas, spinach, courgette, mushroom & tomato. Tagliatelle with peas, olives & spinach in a silken tofu pesto sauce, topped with cashew nuts.

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

More smile-provoking experiences:

Clap for the NHS:
On Thursday night the UK came together to applaud our NHS staff – it gave me goosebumps! – they deserve a hefty pay rise, along with all the other key workers – some are only on minimal wage. We applauded from our driveway and waved to neighbours – this was the first time it really hit home how much I missed seeing people in real-life. But, having said that, I didn’t know many of my neighbours before this situation and now we’ve become a small community:

Top: The lovely letter we received last week from one of our neighbours – since then we’ve all been regularly WhatsApp checking-in with each other. Bottom: The bread a neighbour gifted my parents (not suitable for me, but I’ve frozen mine to stretch it out)

Mum’s Birthday:
Friday was warm and sunny and my Mum’s birthday. We had a WhatsApp video chat with my sister who had been due to visit. We also spent time in the garden – ate a Shawarma Kebab alfresco and played ‘Kings in the Corners’, the card game my Nana taught me when I was about four or five. For dinner we had a tasty Risotto with fresh spinach and courgette, frozen peas and Ponti Zero Olio jar mushrooms and sundried tomato. Birthday dessert was some of the Daiya chocolate cheezecake I hadn’t eaten for Christmas/my Birthday – sooo delicious! Definitely only an occasional indulgence, since its very high in saturated fat (15g/100g; over 5g is high!), high in fat (21g/100g; over 17.5g is high), and the top end of okay for free sugars (22g/100g; over 22.5g is high). But, yea, I’d have it again! We’d planned to have some Prosecco, but we mistakenly put the non-alcoholic version in the fridge! – we laughed at our error!:

Mum’s birthday: Clockwise: playing cards in the garden. Mum’s art corner. Shawarma kebab with salad in aioli. Delicious chocolate cheezecake pudding. Nosecco non-alcoholic fizzy – we mistakenly had this instead of Prosecco! Veg risotto dinner.

Girls’ Night In (Online):
Friday evening was our monthly ‘Girls’ night in’, this time via ‘Houseparty’. It was so lovely to see these friends’ faces – I miss them (and everyone else). But I can’t emphasise enough how much this meet-up improved my mood and I’d encourage everyone to consider having online meets with family and friends:

Friday’s ‘Girls night in’ via ‘Houseparty’ – I look rough here (top left; no makeup & recovering from illness) but I also look (and was) happy, which is way more important.

Quarantine Finished:
On Saturday, we finally finished quarantine – according to WHO[1], this is the correct terminology if you have a suspected, unconfirmed case of the virus. This meant that we could finally leave the house (Mum designated herself, as I’m still coughing) to get fresh food supplies – it was exciting to stock back up on wholesome fresh fruit, veg and salad:  

Beautifully colourful Sunday lunch with falafel.

Future Learn:
On Sunday, I successfully completed Week 1 of an online Future Learn course – it was very interesting. As I said last week, they cover a diverse range of subjects for free from top universities – definitely worth checking out if you have time on your hands:

My continuing professional development: Week 1 of new Future Learn course completed.

Soaking up some Vitamin D:
I’m massively grateful to have some outside space to enjoy the sun and soak up a bit of Vitamin D, important for bone, muscle and teeth health[2]. Over the Winter months (and currently) I’m also taking a vitamin D supplement (10 micrograms per day) as recommended by Public Health England[3]. If possible, please try to get some outside time, even if it’s just brief – I’ve found it a great mood-improver:

Me soaking up some rays in the garden.

The Blogging Community:
My final, though important positive for this week – I’m so glad I built-up the courage to blog, as I’m absolutely loving this community!

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. I always look forward to reading your updates too.

Stay safe all.

Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

Week 24>>>
<<<Week 22


1. World Health Organization, 2020. Media briefing on COVID-19 with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [online]. Available from:
2. British Dietetic Association, 2019. Vitamin D: Food Fact Sheet [online]. Available from:
3. Gov.UK, 2016. Press release: PHE publishes new advice on vitamin D [online]. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 22: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Somewhat Unsettled…

Portrait of my sister (Frida-style) that my Mum painted for art class

<<<Week 21

Hey everyone. I hope you’re keeping well. 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’ll admit I’ve had a week with feelings of anxiety sometimes creeping in – but then haven’t most of us? It wasn’t helped by becoming unwell last week, starting with a headache, sore throat and gut ache, later with further symptoms of light-headedness, dry cough, slightly tight chest and body aches (no fever). It wasn’t a cold, so I assume it was either mild flu but ‘Probably That Coronavirus’ (no testing for mild cases here yet). Thankfully, at time of writing (Week 23) I’ve progressively felt better.

Me keeping cosy & reading one of my favourite books in the sunny garden during self-isolation

My sleep has been very much disrupted, with late nights, troubled dreams and waking several times. On Saturday night, I woke in the early hours of the morning feeling I couldn’t breathe. I suspect I had a sleep panic attack[1] – panic attacks are highly unusual for me – I was okay after giving myself a calming talk. Usually when I’ve slept poorly, I get hungry and have little willpower, but it wasn’t an issue this week – perhaps a mix of feeling unwell and a bit anxious.

Me asleep, totally exhausted & struggling with altitude sickness at a cafe in Peru after returning from the Inca Trail trek (2008)

Despite feeling a bit rubbish, I was able to occupy my mind through some reading and learning, including a fascinating (free) online NutriWebinar lecture about how diet affects gut microbes and athlete health by Dr Neil Williams from Nottingham Trent University. Next week I start a 3-week (free) online course ‘COVID-19 – Tackling the novel coronavirus’ by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine via Future Learn – I studied ‘Infectious disease and public health’ throughout the final year of my Health Sciences degree, so it’s something I’d be interested in regardless of the current situation.

My continuing professional development certificate: Diet & the gut microbiome in athlete health & performance

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

This week I wasn’t surprised to have lost both body fat and weight – I was expecting to have lost more weight, although on Thursday my weight was at its lowest since this journey started at 164.2 lb (74.5 kg). However, it rose to 165.0 (74.8 kg) by Monday’s weigh-in. Worth noting, is that I haven’t been able to exercise for over a week:

Week 22 results – 10 lb total weight loss – yey!

Food and Nutrition

So, what did I eat? Thankfully, we had plenty of fresh food items that were topped up later in the week with an online delivery. This supported us to consume adequate nutrients, including varied fibre sources – important for helping our gut microbes protect our overall health[2, 3].


Snacking was minimal – once I had mixed unsalted nuts and another time some raw chocolate goji berries.


I skipped two breakfasts, but others consisted of fruit salad three times, mixed unsalted nuts and a slice of seeded wholegrain toast with coleslaw and tomato – no photos unfortunately.


Lunches were mainly various versions of my My Typical Salad depending on what we had available and once a wholegrain pitta with hummus and slice of toast with coleslaw & beetroot:

Some of my various salad lunches – dependant on what we had available


Our oven temporarily broke – very bad timing given we’re self-isolating! Thankfully it started working again later in the week with a bit of tinkering, but we think it’s ‘on the out’. For dinners: twice we had mixed bean chilli with brown rice, avocado and salsa. A couple of times we had mushroom, pea and potato curry and red lentil dhal with rice. Another meal was  Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausage, stuffing, roast potato, butternut squash, carrot, celeriac and griddled courgette with gravy (similar to Week 21). Also a jacket potato with baked beans and red lentil pasta with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

This week’s dinners: Clockwise: Mushroom, pea & potato curry & red lentil dhal with rice. Mixed bean chilli with brown rice, avocado & salsa. Red lentil pasta with extra virgin olive oil & B12 nutritional yeast flakes (‘nooch’). Jacket potato with baked beans. (A fibre fest!).

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

So that’s the news of what’s on my plate. I’d like to finish this post with some photos taken of things that made me smile whilst recuperating in the garden this week. Until next time, take care all…

Making shapes out of clouds (what do you see?) and that beautiful blue sky:

Busy Bee:


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 23>>>
<<<Week 21


1. National Health Service, 2019. Anxiety, fear and panic [online]. Available from:
2. British Nutrition Foundation, 2018. Dietary fibre [online]. Available from:
3. Neyrinck, A., M., Rodriguez, J., Vinoy, S., Maquet, V., Walter, J., Bischoff, S. C., Laville, M. and Delzenne, N. M., 2020. The FiberTAG project: Tagging dietary fibre intake by measuring biomarkers related to the gut microbiota and their interest for health. British Nutrition Foundation: Nutrition Bulletin [online], 45 (1), 59-65. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 21: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Everything’s Changing…

From one of my walks this week (the promise of Spring made me smile)

<<<Week 20

…Hi all. I hope you’re all keeping well. Welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates.

What’s New

I feel that writing about my weight loss journey seems a bit trivial given the global concerns with the pandemic. However, I recognise it’s important to carry on with what we can to protect our wellbeing, despite all the challenges going on around us. So here I am, although my future writing direction may change towards a greater emphasis on being as healthy as possible – both body and mind.

Apologies this post was delayed – ironically, I’m unwell with ‘something’ (headache, sore throat and dry cough) – since the UK isn’t currently testing minor cases, I can only assume it’s Probably That Coronavirus and self-isolate to avoid infecting anyone – I’m okay though. Anyway, enough about that.

My footsteps along a beautiful isolated beach (Tortola, British Virgin Islands), 2005.

Last week and Monday (weigh-in day) seems like so long ago now! Thankfully I keep a fairly detailed diary (in spreadsheet format of course to satisfy the nerd in me), so I’ll do my best to report accurately.


The week started well – I finally arranged a personal training session with the fabulous John from Fitness F U Fareham. Other exercise included 60 minutes circuit training, 75 minutes on the exercise bike and 98 minutes brisk walking (no exercise over the weekend). I was impressed with myself – that’s 293 minutes (nearly 5 hours total).

Left: Me determined pre-PT session. Right: Me feeling achieved post-PT (I was expecting a pinker face!)

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…


Breakfasts consisted of fruit salad or papaya with freshly squeezed lime. At the beginning of the week I met with some friends for Brunch at Bill’s restaurant. I chose the vegan breakfast (pic below), consisting of sourdough bread, with smashed avocado, hummus, spinach, roasted plum tomatoes, mushrooms and mixed seeds – sounds healthy right? It was. Although, I did order a matcha latte with coconut milk – delicious, but also high in saturated fat, so a rare indulgence (see graph in Week 6):

Brunch at Bill’s: Smashed avo & hummus on sourdough with tomato, mushroom & spinach


Lunches were some form of salad, mostly My Typical Salad, although once I tried a different version with the No Dough Pizza Co vegan BBQ jackfruit pizza. The pizza was low (green traffic-lighted) in sugars and okay (amber traffic-lighted) for fat, saturated fat and salt, so a relatively healthy option; however, I felt it needed a bit more ‘oomph’, so I added hot chilli sauce to it:

No Dough Pizza Co vegan BBQ jackfruit pizza with cauliflower base & salad. Coloured underlining represents traffic-light status – green: low, amber: okay.


My dinners consisted of:
– 2 x Fajitas filled with vegetables (red and green pepper, mushroom, sweetcorn and onion), avocado and salsa
– 2 x Marks & Spencer curry with brown rice
Fry’s quinoa & brown rice burger, chips and baked beans
Ugo pumpkin and sage raviolini with a drizzle of olive oil
Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary sausages, stuffing, vegetables (roast potato, butternut squash, carrot, celeriac and griddled courgette) and gravy:

My rather tasty dinner of sausages, stuffing & roasted veg with gravy & an unsightly blob of mustard


Savoury snacks included hummus with crispbread or rice crackers, Bombay mix, unsalted mixed nuts, slice of leftover pizza, a slice of wholegrain toast with Meridian yeast extract. Sweet indulgences were raw chocolate-coated goji berries (three times), hot cacao drink (not bad for me chocolate-wise!), a flapjack and fruit salad.

The fruit salad batch for breakfast or snacks: strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple & kiwifruit

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Although, I didn’t lose any weight this week, my body fat dropped by 0.4%, which I’m happy with – I’d rather lose fat than weight if I had to choose, although both are preferable:

Week 21 Results

Well, I think that’s all for now. Keep safe and look after each other😊

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.

Signs of Spring on my walks

Week 22>>>
<<<Week 20

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Article: Practical Tips to Reduce Risk from COVID-19

By Katey Watson, March 2020

Image: Natasha Spenser, Pixabay


This week on Instagram, I listened to a helpful (non-scary) interview of Dr Jenna Macciochi (an established Immunologist) by doctors_kitchen. Dr Macciochi provided some practical tips to reduce the risk from coronaviruses (and many other infections). I’ve summarised her key advice below:

Hand Washing

Wash hands regularly, especially after touching commonly used surfaces – I know – we’ve all heard this, but it really is important!

Hand Gel

Hand gel needs to contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective. (Hand washing with soap and water is better).


If possible quit (or at least reduce) smoking – the virus enters lung cells through a receptor called ACE-2. Smoking increases the number of these receptors, providing more doorways. (I don’t know if this includes vaping, but I’ll try to find out and update).


Sleep is very important! – our 1st line of defence immune cells (Natural Killer cells) plummet without enough sleep making us more likely to succumb to infections.


Eat a diverse range of plant-based whole foods (e.g. vegetables, salads, fruits, legumes, grains) – they contain health-protective fibre, phytochemicals and flavonoids (includes coffee and good quality dark chocolate! – in moderation of course). But, keep sugar consumption minimal – it feeds gut microbes harmful to health. For more information about good and bad carbohydrates: Article: Carbs: The Good, The Bad and the Sometimes ‘Farty’!


Be cautious about fasting – it is not yet known what type/level of fasting is beneficial or detrimental for fighting the COVID-19 virus.

Intensive Exercise

Avoid very intensive exercise – it puts a strain on the immune system.


Try to reduce stress (find some time for relaxation) – stress suppresses the immune system making us more likely to succumb to infections.

Face Masks

Face masks are only effective if they are regularly changed due to moisture build-up. Therefore, enable our health workers to have enough by not bulk buying their stocks, so that they can safely treat those of us potentially infected.

I hope you found these practical tips as useful as I did. More details can be found on the doctors_kitchen Instagram page at:

Take care all 😊

Article: Probably ‘That’ Coronavirus>>>
<<<Article: Carbs

Pixabay images in order of appearance

1) jacqueline macou – hand washing
2) xaviervandeputte0 – hand gel
3) tookapic – smoking
4) Free-Photos – sleep
5) silviarita – diet
6) Welcome to all and thank you for your visit! ツ- diet
7) Mimzy – fasting
8) skeeze – intensive exercise
9) Gerd Altmann – stress
10) Juraj Varga – face mask

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 0: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

The Starting Point (I’ve got to do this!)


Photo by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay.


…So, today it starts seriously. I need to sort out my weight and fitness levels. I’m fed up with disliking the way I look (I’m avoiding looking in full-length mirrors and my clothes don’t fit), but more importantly I want to be healthy and my body hurts from the excess weight on my joints.

My harsher side feels ashamed that I let myself go again. My kinder side reminds me not to beat myself up – the past five years have involved intense studying, with long hours sat in front of a computer and high stress levels.

Photo by Ambadi Sasi from Pixabay.

Now I’m at my heaviest again – last time was due to a long-term jogging injury to my feet when I was 33. For several years I couldn’t stand more than 30 minutes before experiencing excruciating pain (a pain always in the background now). A referral to a podiatrist revealed hypermobility[1] and I was advised my days of high impact sport were over. No more jogging or tennis for me. I was gutted!

The changing shape of me!

Current Situation

But back to now… a few weeks ago I decided I really needed to take some action, as my stomach was noticeably bigger, I couldn’t fit into most of my clothes and my boots wouldn’t zip-up around my calves! My self-esteem has gradually decreased as I’ve become bigger and I want to feel healthy again.

My calf-boot-zip issue!

Planning Stage

… I set up a spreadsheet (I’m a bit of a nerd!) to record my progress. This included a diary to monitor my sleep (poor sleep being a potential contributory factor in weight gain – more on this later), diet (I’ll explain food choices in following blogs), activity (exercise, social events) and health (both physical and mental).

Additionally, I decided to keep a food diary for at least a month, possibly 3, so that I can analyse results better.

My slightly nerdy spreadsheet.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Okay, this is the incredibly uncomfortable part!

I weighed myself, which I found highly depressing – 175 lb (79 kg) at 160cm tall (5 ft 3 inches), placing me in the ‘obese class 1‘ category with a BMI of 31[2]. My scales calculated 43.4% of me was fat! According to the Salter scales handbook, women in their 40s need to aim for 24-34% fat. However, I’ve read that these bioimpedance scales aren’t necessarily accurate for measuring fat, although they do provide a good indication of which direction fat percentage is moving, so I’ll keep recording this regardless.

The dreaded scales!

Scarily, my waist circumference was 100 cm, 20 cm more than the recommendation for European Caucasian women, indicating abdominal obesity and a ‘very high risk’ of developing a metabolic disease (e.g. heart disease, type 2 diabetes)[3]. It’s crucial I sort this out!

Feeling Motivated

Motivated to take further action by these scary results, I followed up with a session on my exercise bike – an intended everyday activity.

My fold-up exercise bike (handy in limited living space).

So, here I am, at the beginning of another health journey – one that will likely have some ‘downs‘ along with the ‘ups’. However, now I don’t feel like I’m doing this alone, as I’ll be reporting my progress to those willing to read these blogs (you) and perhaps you’ll even join me with your own personal journey back to health…

Week 1>>>


1. Hypermobility Syndromes Association, 2017. What are hypermobility syndromes? [online]. Available from:
2. World Health Organisation: Regional Office for Europe, 2019. Body mass index – BMI. Available from:
3. Alberti, K. G. M. M., Eckel, R. H., Grundy, S. M., Zimmet, P.Z., Cleeman, J. I., Donato, K. A., Fruchart, J., James, P. T., Loria, C. M. and Smith, S. C., 2009. Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the international diabetes federation task force on epidemiology and prevention; National heart, lung, and blood institute; American heart association; World heart federation; International atherosclerosis society; and International association for the study of obesity. Circulation [online], 120, 1640-1645. Available from:

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate: