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

We Are Family

My Grandmother (Nana)

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

What’s New

Here’s what’s new in my life this past week…

Lockdown:

I should probably start with the big news here in the UK – we are back into a national lockdown (3.0) due to a concerning (though unsurprising) rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, related hospital admissions and deaths. This hasn’t majorly changed my behaviour, as we were already being really cautious and following the science, rather than governmental updates.

Long Lost Family:

My biggest news personally is discovering about 90 new family members – how amazing is that?! My Mum had chatted to family in Australia, who told her about our extended family group on Facebook, so I joined too.

Job Interview Update

Last week, I forgot to update that unfortunately I missed out on the NHS Occupational Health and Wellbeing Practitioner position. I was told I was a close second choice and there was nothing I could do to improve my interview. The successful candidate already had experience working in the NHS and a specific mental health qualification. Upon reflection, I should have talked more about my mental health training from when I was a University Disability Adviser and the relevant mental health modules in my Health Sciences degree. I’m still really pleased with myself though, as I usually find job interviews incredibly challenging, whereas I enjoyed this one.

Food and Nutrition

It was another diary-free (and lax on the low histamine diet) week, although I did take some photos of what food was on my plate…

Salad Meals:

As you know, I often enjoy a salad for lunch. On my current low histamine diet, I skip the tomato, avocado and vinegar containing dressings. My salad is still tasty though and includes mixed salad leaves (not spinach or rocket), beetroot, radishes, cucumber, celery, spring onion, chia and/or pumpkin seeds in a sweet paprika and rapeseed oil dressing, with steamed potatoes and a cornmeal-based (no eggs) vegetable frittata (ingredients here):

My Typical Salad Lunch: Low histamine style with cornmeal-base frittata

Pasta Meals:

I never get bored of pasta – currently I’m having brown rice or corn-based fusilli or spaghetti accompanied by vegetables. My ‘go-to’ veg are courgette (zucchini), sweetcorn, green cabbage, grated carrot and sweet white or spring onion. I’ll often have a simple pasta lunch when I’ve run out of fresh salad items and load it with sweetcorn, onion, chia, flax and/or hemp seeds, mixed herbs, turmeric and rapeseed oil. Dinner pasta calls for more veg and sometimes quinoa or polenta balls (ingredients here):

Pasta and Veg Meals: Left: Fusilli. Right: Spaghetti with quinoa balls

Rice Meals:

Rice and vegetables have become a staple since adopting a low histamine diet – it’s an easy ‘go-to’ dinner:

Rice and Veg Meals

My Food Highlights:

One of my meal highlights this week has to be the comforting cauliflower ‘cheese’ with roasted sweet potatoes, pan-fried courgette and steamed purple carrot. The sauce didn’t actually contain any cheese and was instead sweet potato based – delicious:

A very saucy cauliflower ‘cheese’ (sauce made with sweet potato), roasted sweet potatoes, pan-fried courgette and steamed purple carrot

My other favourite were vegetable puff pastries (I made these) and Mum’s homemade chips (fries), although admittedly an incredibly high fat combination. And I scoffed my way through two batches of veg puff pastries this week, so that’s a lot of saturated fat! – but they were ever so tasty!:

Left: Veg puff pastries and Mum’s homemade chips. Right: Some of the vegetable puff pastry ingredients – see, it’s not all beige, at least not on the inside

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Okay, so I gained 3.2 lb/1.5 kg. This sounds like a complete disaster right? – Fear not, it wasn’t. Initially, the gain was a bit of a shock, but then I remembered I was expecting to weigh around 162 lb anyway at this stage after holiday indulgences – it’s just last week I lost weight for some reason when I expected to gain, so the 3 lb jump this week seems a lot. The truth is, I haven’t been particularly careful about what I ate and only went out for a walk once, but I needed a break from behaving. I’m aiming to be back on track from next week:

Week 64 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

So, let’s move on to some of the experiences that made me smile over the past week…

Family:

Earlier I told you about discovering loads of extended family I never knew I had. I’ve particularly loved looking through the old photos, noticing some family resemblances and connecting with new people. It’s made me reminisce about my amazing Nana who was dedicated to caring for her local community as a District Nurse:

Old Family Photos: Top: My beautiful Nana (grandmother). Bottom: My Nana as a girl (front row, sitting) with her family, Near Bhusawal, India

Online Socials:

Happily, it’s been a rather social week, albeit all online. I chatted to Bevy and Harry a couple of times, Tina and Becky and family (Emma, Carl, my Aunt and Uncle). And a monthly catch up with Karen, Julie and Chrissy – Chrissy led a bitesize mindful movement and breathing session, which was fabulous and much needed. There are still several friends I need to catch up with, so hopefully I’ll be doing that soon too:

Calming gardens in Luang Prabang, Laos (Eco Adventure Tour, 2006)

Portrait Artist Mum:

I might have told you previously that last year Mum completed portraits of my sister and the boy she used to look after. So, this week, it was finally my turn – yay! Mum decided to try out her new watercolour pencils to replicate my latest profile picture . My friend’s daughter might have influenced the inclusion of the sea-life additions (Week 63). I absolutely love it:

Portrait Artist Mum: Portrait of me at various stages

Cute Kittens:

I was searching through some photos for my extended family group and stumbled across some of the adorable kittens I looked after when house sitting for friends a couple of years ago. There were four kittens and two cats – what was I thinking?! It was a challenging, but heart-warming few days. The kittens learnt to climb over the child barrier from the room they were supposed to be residing in, during the short time between my friends leaving their home and me arriving. So, they weren’t where I expected to find them and I frantically searched for the little guys. On another occasion, I found one kitten hiding in a bag hanging on the back of the door – how on earth did the little tyke get in there? And how could I not share this?:

Cute Kittens: Kitten and cat sitting for friends (Lancing, 2018)

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.

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

Unexpected Delights

Rainbow Spotted during my Walk

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

What’s New

Okay, I’m starting with a heads-up – I’m unsure exactly when I’ll post week 62 results, what with Christmas happening. It might just be that I post a slimmer version than usual (I might not be slimmer though!).

I’m happy (and relieved) to report I had a minimal rhinitis week – Yippee! 

My most exciting news (for me anyway) is that I have an NHS job interview for the position of Occupational Health and Wellbeing Practitioner. Honestly, I was surprised to be shortlisted, but having said that, this job sounds very me and the more I think about it, the more I want it. So, fingers crossed I perform well and impress the interview panel.

The big national news (not good news sadly) came on Saturday – the Prime Minister announced there’s a new SARS-COV-2 variant in the UK and it’s around 70% more transmissible than previous strains. Sooo, the plan for easing restrictions for five days over Christmas were changed to just Christmas Day. And they’ve introduced a Tier 4[1], which is pretty much a localised lockdown – anyone in this Tier misses out on Christmas mixing. I’m fortunate to be in Tier 2[1] (for now) and we didn’t have much in the way of Christmas plans, but it must be horrible for those finding themselves in these last-minute circumstances.

Tier System. Image: Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms via BBC News

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…

Breakfast:

I opted for a light breakfast of just three Brazil nuts twice, just because I didn’t fancy much. I had corn cakes with apricot and/or blackcurrant jams three times – I prefer the taste of corn cakes to rice cakes. I ate porridge oats just once with apple, chia seeds, maple syrup and sweet cinnamon. My favourite breakfast was mango – it’s low histamine and I tolerated it well (phew!):

Week 61 Breakfasts. Left to right: Mango. Corn cakes with jam. Porridge oats with apple

Lunch:

Lunches were either my pasta (three times) or salad (four times) accompanied by some form of cornmeal (no surprise there). Once, I made a tasty cornmeal-based frittata with red potatoes, Winter cabbage and sweet white onion – delicious. The salad typically contains leaves, radishes, cucumber, celery and spring onion with a sweet paprika and rapeseed oil dressing. My simple pasta (twice) just contains sweetcorn, onion, turmeric, sweet paprika and rapeseed oil. But on Sunday I got a bit snazzier and added courgette and grated carrot – tasty:

Week 61 Lunches. My New Typical Salad with Polenta (left to right: bites, balls, frittata)

Dinner:

All but two of my meals were utilised from previous batch-cooking – whenever I cook something, I try to have at least one extra portion left to freeze for days when I don’t have time to or feel like cooking. This week I used up my vegetable spring rolls, sweet potato chips and wedges, cauliflower bites, cauliflower ‘cheese’ and my unusual paella. I’d fancied vegetable paella, but didn’t have the typical ingredients, so I just used what I had – yellow pepper, purple sprouting broccoli, Winter cabbage, sweetcorn, celery and sweet white onion… and it tasted great. One evening Mum treated me to some homemade chips, which I had with a spring roll and not tomato sauce:

Week 61 Dinners: Left to right: Spring Roll with Sweet Potato Chips and Cauliflower Bites. Unusual Paella. Mum’s Chips with Spring Roll

Snacks:

Popcorn continues to be my go-to snack, especially the sweet and salty variety. Other snacks included corn cakes with jam, nuts and crackers. I took a risk on Monday and helped myself to a handful of ‘cheese’ and onion crisps I’d found that were open (may contain histamine) – there didn’t seem to be any adverse effects:

Week 61 Snacks Log Table

Drinks

I drank loads of Chicory Cup – up to four cups a day. I had a rooibos tea and apple concentrate once. I took a risk on Friday and had a tiny sip of Mum’s glass of red wine (high histamine content) – it tasted so good. My vodka order arrived (moderate histamine, so I need to be careful) – I really wanted a potato-based vodka, but I couldn’t find any in the UK – they’re mostly wheat. Instead, I settled for quinoa and white rice. I’d ordered the vodka for Christmas and my Birthday but decided to try it and poured myself a double topped with ice – it was so strong and took me two hours to drink!:

Week 61 Drinks Log Table

Exercise

Go me! – I got myself out for a walk every day this week, despite there being quite a lot of rainy days – somehow, I managed to dodge the worst of it. Once I went for a walk with my neighbour, Elise – it was good to have a catch up. So, unsurprisingly, I improved on last week’s total exercise – nearly four and a half hours this week compared to just over two hours the week before:

Week 61 Exercise: Left to right: Squirrel. My Week’s Active 10 Walks. Red Leaves

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Wow! 2.6 lb (1.2 kg) weight loss and 0.9% body fat reduction – I’m very happy with that. This brings me down to 158.6 lb (71.9 kg), so back under the 160 lb mark – yay! It seems that just little tweaks of getting out for a walk each day and being more mindful about how much rapeseed oil I add to my meals made a positive impact. Talking about positive…:

Week 61 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

It’s been a positive week (apart from the latest virus stuff), so of course there’s been lots to smile about. Here’s a few things that brightened up my life…

Journal Club:

MyNutriWeb hosted its third Journal Club with Dr Gemma Walton leading the discussion. The research paper[2] we critiqued reported on a randomised control trial that found a specific probiotic mix (Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3 and Bifidobacterium bifidum MF 20/5) reduced cold virus symptoms by two days. We discussed how specific bacterial species and strain (as opposed to just genus) were important for health outcomes. In hindsight, I’d also be interested to know which cold virus(es) the participants had, because there’s loads of different ones and I wonder whether this would make a difference in how patients responded to the probiotics mix:  

MyNutriWeb Journal Club. Images: Right: MyNutriWeb Instagram Post. Left: My Certificate of Attendance

Garage Social:

Excitingly, the garage door has been fixed – we haven’t been able to use it for a couple of months. This is fantastic news, because I could meet-up with Bevy, even though it was pouring with rain – we were nicely sheltered in the garage doorway:

A Working Garage Door – Yay!

My Little Elf Friend:

Mum and I went for a drive to hand deliver some Christmas cards. One such recipient was Tina. When Tina opened the door, it brought a smile to my face, as I was impressed by Tina’s cute elf attire. And, it was lovely to have a quick doorstep chat:

Tina the Christmas Elf

Rainbow Delight:

I was out walking with my friend, Elise, when we spotted this delightful rainbow in the park. There was a hint of a second rainbow above it:

Beautiful Rainbow on a Grey Rainy Day

Random Happiness:

I had a message from a new Instagram contact, @majellarohan, informing me that I’d been randomly chosen for a positivity quote. How lovely:

Random happiness message from @majellarohan

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. Wishing you all a happy holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

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References

1. GOV.UK, 2020. Guidance: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know.
2. de Vresea et al., 2006. Probiotic bacteria reduced duration and severity but not the incidence of common cold episodes in a double blind, randomized, controlled trial.

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

Mindfulness in the Woods

Woodland Trees

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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.

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Health Diary Week 58: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

I Changed My Plan

Plan Change. Image: yogesh more, Pixabay

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

What’s New

It was the last full week of lockdown 2.0, so it’s been relatively quiet here – again just leaving the house to go for a walk and an unplanned drive (more on that in my smile section).

My injured shoulder is improving, although movement is still quite restricted. I’m optimistic it will continue to improve over time.

 I was up to ten days without taking antihistamine (since I last caved), but I didn’t feel healthy – I was exhausted most of the time and struggled to function. So, I decided to undertake further research – I spent ages searching for information about adverse long-term effects from my antihistamine (cetirizine), but couldn’t find what had worried me before, so for now I’m discounting that concern (Week 47). I watched a really interesting YouTube video by RUN-DMC, interviewing Dr Tina Peers, a specialist in histamine intolerance (Factsheet[1]) and mast cells (a histamine releaser). Interestingly, the focus was on long-haul covid and a possible link to mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)[2]. She advised that mast cells are renewed around every six months, so by calming down these cells (e.g. adopting a low histamine diet, taking specific supplements and antihistamines), the next generation of mast cells tend to behave better (video here[3]). All fascinating stuff, requiring further research. So, I’m back on the antihistamines for now.

Also, I’ve just finished completing an application for another job that sounded very me, which is why this post is a day later than usual. Fingers crossed!

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:

My breakfasts were quite minimal, as I just wasn’t feeling it. I had hearty porridge oats with apple and blackcurrant jam once, but other than that, a handful of nuts or some fruit (melon, apple) sufficed:

Week 58 Breakfasts: Left to right: Canatloupe melon. Porridge oats with apple and blackcurrant jam. Apples

Lunch:

I hadn’t realised until looking back at my diary that I’d opted for pasta with sweetcorn and onion four times this week – I didn’t have much energy for food preparation – hence why I’m back on the antihistamines, as not taking them seemed counter-productive to my nutrition status. I managed to cobble together salad on three days, but supplies were limited before our next online delivery. I was pleased with my cornmeal-based frittatas, one with red pepper, the other with cabbage. But I risked using a red pepper past it’s best and I suspect that set off a nasty bout of rhinitis Monday evening:

Week 58 Lunches: Left to right: Red pepper cornmeal frittata with salad. Brown rice pasta with sweetcorn and spring onion. Cabbage cornmeal frittata with salad.

Dinner:

I utilised some of my batch prepared meals from the freezer for several dinners. I tweaked my brown rice with purple carrot and cabbage (ingredients) by stirring in some not tomato sauce (ingredients) – this worked very well. I loved the vegetable paella I’d made previously (ingredients) – I added some polenta bites (ingredients, plus onion) as the portion was a little small for my liking. I also had pumpkin and potato coconut curry from the freezer with some rice (ingredients). Mum cooked up some red cabbage, sweet potato wedges and Jerusalem artichokes, which was a surprisingly satisfying meal. And I assisted Mum with making a delicious squash soup (ingredients) earlier in the week. But my highlight has to be the amazingly tasty cauliflower bites and potato roasties I made, incorporating cornmeal for crunchiness and various flavours (ingredients) – this took some time to cook, but I’ll definitely be making it again – Oh, I should mention they were accompanied by steamed broccoli:

Week 58 Dinners Log Table
Week 58 Dinners: Clockwise: Brown rice with purple carrot and cabbage with not tomato sauce. Vegetable paella with polenta bites. Red cabbage, sweet potato and Jerusalem artichokes. Cauliflower bites, potato roasties and broccoli

Snacks:

There wasn’t much in the way of snacking really. Mostly I snacked on popcorn – I proportion it into a small bowl to avoid over-eating, because it’s just so more-ish. Other times I had an apple, rice cakes with jam, or a handful of nuts:

Week 58 Snacks Log Table

Drinks:

As I mentioned last week, I’m totally in love with my replacement coffee – the wonderful Chicory Cup – I drink two to three cups of this stuff each day. Thankfully, it’s naturally caffeine free, so I’m not bouncing off the walls. I was having half a teaspoon of sugar in each cup, but I’m now down to a quarter teaspoon instead. Surprisingly, I didn’t drink any rooibos tea this week. I’m also loving Rocks apple concentrate, which I sometimes have with my lunch. And Biona cranberry juice is another pleasant daytime cold drink. I should mention that I also drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening:

Week 58 Drinks Log Table

Exercise

I’m really pleased with myself for going walking nearly every day – I just missed Wednesday. Mostly I went out with Mum and once Dad joined me. My walking totalled 310 minutes (over 5 hours), which I’m happy with, even more so because it’s a decent increase compared to last week’s physical activity. I want to get myself back to some exercise biking soon. Although, I’m feeling a little wary at the moment, because Dr Peers advised exercise can trigger mast cells to release histamine[1] and I’m trying to calm down those guys:

Week 58 Exercise: Left: Autumnal view from atop a hill. Lone flower seen on a walk.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Well, there was no change in weight and my body fat percentage increased slightly, but I’m not particularly concerned at this stage. I’ll wait and see what next week brings before deciding whether I need to make any tweaks:

Week 58 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

There were plenty of smiles this week. I especially like sharing the little occurrences, as I think it’s important to recognise and appreciate these more…

I Ate a Prince:

I’m loving the names given to squash. This week I had a ‘Crown Prince’ squash, which Mum and I made into a very simple but delicious soup (ingredients here):

Crown Prince Squash. Images: Top: Abel and Cole. Bottom right: Martin Ludlam, Pixabay. Bottom left: Mine

I’m in the Club:

I enjoy reading and critiquing scientific research papers, so I was really pleased when MyNutriWeb introduced a journal club. We critiqued a cross-sectional research paper investigating energy content of restaurant meals. I’m such a nerd, but a proud nerd!:

MyNuriWeb Journal Club. Images: MyNutriWeb

Natural Beauty:

Mum and I spotted these berries and flower whilst out walking one day. They looked extra beautiful, because everything else around them looked quite barren:

Pretty berries and flower spotted on a walk

Slow – Hedgehogs:

We saw this cute sign outside someone’s home during one of our walks. I love that they’d put up a sign. And a bowl of water for passing creature visitors. Also, the little red flowers by the sign were a lovely sight too at this time of year:

Slow down for the hedgehogs!

Potato Love:

My sister made me smile when she sent me a meme of a kitten cuddling up to some mashed potatoes. She’s right – I love potatoes, I think I always have. I seem to be developing a similar relationship to cornmeal, onions, turmeric and sweet paprika:

Top: Meme my sister sent me. Bottom: My potato roasties – yum!

The Failed Country Park Walk:

Mum suggested we jump in the car and visit a local country park for a walk. But us being us, this didn’t go quite to plan. First, we thought it would be a good idea to stop at a park to cut through on foot, but then realised the grounds were very muddy. So, we aborted that idea and drove to the back of the country park (diverting to check out the house I first remember living in), but we couldn’t find anywhere to park. So, we drove to the usual car park, but we got confused by the new not-ticket system and I needed to wee by this point, so we just drove home and went for a shorter than intended walk close to home, while giggling about our fail:

Driving around – this was a day (back in the Summer) when we knew what we were doing

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.

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References

1. Dr Tina Peers, 2020. Histamine Intolerance factsheet.
2. Dr Tania Dempsey, 2020. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).
3. RUN-DMC, 2020. Here’s How You Treat Long Covid – Lessons From MCAS – Dr Tina Peers.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate

Health Diary Week 56: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

The Investigations Continue: Week 4 Histamine Elimination

Image: GraphicMama-team, Pixabay

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<<<Week 55

Hi, welcome to my weekly instalment (albeit a day later than usual) of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and smile-provoking experiences.

What’s New

Not much has happened here, as England is now in its second week of the latest lockdown. I’m pleased I got outside for a few walks, mostly with Mum. The fresh air seems to clear my morning sniffles, so I think there’s something(s) in the house I’m reacting to, as well as the food intolerances. As of Sunday, I’ve resisted taking antihistamines or steroid spray for 23 days, but I’ve been ridiculously tired, having to give in to sleeping for a couple of hours each afternoon because I can’t keep my eyes open – that’s not normal! When it’s safer to do so, I’m going to ask my GP (again) if I can have testing to figure out what’s wrong with me – last time they didn’t explore it at all and just told me I had to accept having to take a prescribed steroid spray indefinitely – I can’t accept that option without any real investigation, so in the meantime, it’s a mystery I’m continuing to work on.

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:

Breakfasts were porridge oats with fruit, seeds, sweet cinnamon and maple syrup (three times), rice cakes with jam (twice), apples and nuts. This has pretty much become standard for me and I’m happy enough with these choices for now:

Week 56 Breakfasts: Left: Porridge with apple and blackberry jam. Middle Rice cakes with blueberry and apricot jams and a nectarine. Right: porridge with blueberries

Lunch:

I’m so pleased I’ve continued to eat mainly salad lunches, albeit minus my favourites: tomato and avocado, although surprisingly I haven’t missed them as much as I’d expected. But I had a dream Mum gave me a plate of sliced tomatoes and she wasn’t happy when I said I couldn’t eat them – so maybe subconsciously I’m missing them? I’ve compensated for not having falafel or hash browns with either extra steamed potatoes, brown rice pasta or quinoa. Also, Mum made a yummy carrot and coriander soup, which I ate on two days. I risked having some bread with my soup on Sunday – it contained sunflower seeds (potentially causing significant histamine symptoms), so this might have been a mistake – we’ll see:

Week 56 Lunches: My New Typical Salad: Left: with pasta, asparagus and beetroot. Middle: with quinoa. Right: with pasta

Dinner:

I struggled with motivation to prepare food from scratch, so the frozen meals from previous weeks’ batch cooking came in handy: butternut squash risotto, pumpkin, potato and coconut curry(ish) and pumpkin with spaghetti (Week 55). However, I did make a very tasty vegetable paella on Monday and ate more again on Saturday. Mum made me a delicious vegetable spaghetti too – unfortunately I didn’t have any leftover to freeze. I also had my new favourite baked potato combo with spring onion, courgette and turmeric:

Week 56 Dinners: Left: Vegetable spaghetti. Right: Paella with sweet potato wedges

Snacks:

I think I’m getting addicted to popcorn – I’m loving the stuff! I was so pleased to find Sainsbury’s popcorn had minimal ingredients and used rapeseed oil instead of sunflower, because sunflower oil may cause issue on a low histamine diet. My only concern is the popcorn is high fat, but at least saturated (unhealthy) fat content is considered okay. My other go-to continues to be Brazil and pistachio nuts:

Week 56 Snacks: Left: Sweet and salty popcorn. Middle: Brazil and pistachio nuts. Right: Salty popcorn

Drinks

I tried hemp milk in my rooibos tea as I’m unsure if oat milk is a problem, but I wasn’t keen on the hemp milk. I’m starting to get used to chamomile and peppermint teas, but definitely prefer apple and cinnamon tea. Surprisingly, I haven’t missed alcohol much. But I am missing fruit juice, so I was thankful to find a cranberry and apple juice that’s hopefully going to be okay:

Week 56 Drinks

Exercise

I’m still struggling with fatigue, so I was pleased with myself for getting out for a walk on five days, totalling 265 minutes (4.4 hours), of which 174 minutes (nearly three hours) was recorded as brisk by my free Active 10 app:

Week 56 Exercise: Left: Blooming roses in November? Right: Mum inspecting a silver tree

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I was a little surprised that my weight and body fat pretty much stayed the same, as I was expecting it to drop a little, especially with the increased physical activity. I’m thankful though that it didn’t increase, although I’ll have to wait a bit longer for my 14 lb milestone reward:

Week 56 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

It’s been a quiet week; despite this, there are always happenings that make me smile…

Gaining Knowledge:

I’ll start with the learning, because I do love learning ever so much. This week’s MyNutriWeb free continuing professional development was ‘Reversing Type 2 Diabetes’. This lecture focused on the DIRECT trial, which concentrated on weight loss. The plan included a three-month phase of complete diet replacement formula providing just 850 calories per day. They found a weight loss of at least 15 kg (33 lb) had the best rates for remission two years after the intervention. I was surprised to learn the study participants found the food reintroduction phase the most challenging part: 

Bath Time:

I was excited to see that the same ducks came back to our pond this week. We sat watching them for ages. They spent most of their time bathing (video here). There was tension for a few minutes when the two males had a bit of a barny, but thankfully they soon got over whatever the issue was:

Ducks’ Bath Day in our next-door pond

Suncatchers and Raindrops:

My Aunty made me these gorgeous purple, blue and green coloured suncatchers for my birthday earlier this year (Week 44). I was impressed by how beautiful they still looked despite the lack of sunlight and the grey rainy day. They make me smile regularly:

Suncatchers and Raindrops

Introducing Mr Blackbird:

Mummy Bird (a blackbird) was unimpressed when Mr Blackbird started visiting us at the bird feeder – we know she wasn’t happy because she was shouting at him as she chased him away. Mr Blackbird has been back since though and he seems keen to become friends. I hope Mummy Bird lets him:

Introducing Mr Blackbird: Potentially a New Bird Friend

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 57
<<<Week 55
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More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 55: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Embracing Creativity: Week 3 Histamine Elimination

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<<<Week 54

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

What’s New

The biggest news was England going into another lockdown from Thursday until 2nd December (they say). I’m aware that when restrictions ease again, it doesn’t mean the virus is retracting, it just means there’s available space in hospitals, so I’ll continue to be cautious. Anyway, moving on…

This was Week 3 of my histamine elimination diet – as of Sunday, I haven’t taken any antihistamines or steroid spray for 16 days. But I nearly caved on Sunday, as I had a terrible case of rhinitis – I’ll have to look back through my diary and try to figure out the trigger. I’ve noticed I wake every morning with mild rhinitis, leading me to hypothesise there’s another environmental factor in addition to diet. I spend a lot of time in the same room, so I’m wondering whether something in there is triggering my reactions – do I need to remove the carpet? Or maybe it’s a toiletry product? – I’ve had to make a few changes based on what’s available 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…

Breakfast:

I finished off the blueberry muffins for breakfast at the beginning of the week – I’m wondering if this caused an issue, because they were a few days old. I had my trusty porridge oats on three days, with apple or nectarine and seeds, sweet cinnamon and maple syrup – so good! Also, I had easy brown rice cakes with jam a couple of times:

Week 55 Breakfasts: I’m a porridge oats convert

Lunch:

I’m enjoying My New Typical Salad, which I had four times this week, twice with brown rice pasta. I also had a delicious watercress salad from our veg box delivery – I replaced the usual citrus and balsamic dressing with my go-to sweet paprika and rapeseed oil, which worked well. The Institute for Functional Medicine reported that watercress may reduce histamine release from mast cells[1], so it could be a good choice. On Friday, I defrosted Mum’s new version of my favourite cauliflower soup – she’d replaced almonds with ground Brazil nuts and used flaxseeds as a thickener – yum:

Week 55 Lunches: Left: My New Typical Salad. Right: Watercress salad. Delicious!

Dinner:

I started the week with an Autumnal dinner of pumpkin with spaghetti – I loved this. Another day, I had Mum’s homemade cauliflower soup. I was pleased with my rice experiment of courgette and grated purple carrot with basmati – I’d be happy to have that again (and I did). I attempted to make fiddly spring rolls – they tasted great but didn’t look pretty (see What Made Watson Smile). Mum and I made mashed potato with green cabbage and onion (colcannon-style), accompanied by roasted purple carrot, courgette, cauliflower and broccoli – a very comforting meal. When I felt rough on Sunday, I wasn’t going to bother with dinner, but Mum insisted on making me a baked potato with courgette and spring onion – I suggested adding turmeric to the rapeseed oil, as turmeric could inhibit histamine release from mast cells[1] – it was a joy to eat:

Week 55 Dinners Table
Week 55 Dinners. Clockwise: Pumpkin spaghetti. Carrot and courgette rice, Courgette and onion baked potato, mashed potato with cabbage, accompanied by roasted veg

Snacks:

My go-to snacks are now popcorn, rice cakes with jam and Brazil and pistachio nuts. Interestingly, the selenium in Brazil nuts may reduce histamine release[1] – I know, I’m all about the histamine – it’s just a big deal at the moment:

Week 55 Snacks. Left to right: Rice cake with jam. Sweet popcorn. Brazil and pistachio nuts

Drinks

I didn’t resist adding oat milk to my rooibos tea and I’m thinking I should have to see if it could be an issue for me – I’ll try to next week. Other teas were apple with cinnamon and peppermint. I’ve ordered chamomile tea, as it may inhibit histamine release, although fresh was found to be more effective[1]:

Week 55 Drinks: Teas

Exercise

There was no exercise, as I’ve felt exhausted all week and lacked the motivation. I’m aiming to get some walks in next week – now I’ve said it, I’ll feel I should do it.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Another week of weight loss – a reasonable 0.8 lb (0.4 kg), a total of 13.6 lb (6.2 kg), bringing me close to losing a stone (14 lb/ 6.4 kg) in total. I’ll celebrate that milestone with a big bowl of ice cream – ha, just kidding! Maybe I’ll buy myself something nice, probably not food related. I was pleased my body fat reduced a bit this week (1.4%), as I feel like I’m consuming loads of fat through rapeseed oil:

Week 55 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Despite feeling really tired all week, suffering with rhinitis episodes and a continuing sore shoulder/arm, there was still plenty to smile about:

Munchkin Pumpkin:

I thought Mum was kidding when she said she’d bought me a Munchkin Pumpkin – I didn’t know little pumpkins were actually called that. What a cute name and I must say, it was rather tasty too:

My Munchkin Pumpkin

Pesky, Sticky, Flimsy Spring Roll Wrappers:

My attempt at making spring rolls was hilarious. Soaking the first wrapper and trying to keep it from sticking together in a blob was initially disastrous. I called Mum for assistance and she helped rectify the situation, whilst laughing at my mess. Soon I got the hang of it (well, kind of) – the wrappers really were so sticky! And when I was trying to cook my spring rolls without using too much oil, I ripped them open when turning – I need to rethink my method, because, despite this, I’ll definitely try making them again – they were really tasty:

My Vegetable Spring Rolls Attempt

Driveway Creatures:

We’ve had a few sunny days enabling us to enjoy some outside time by the driveway pond. I spotted a busy bee during Bevy’s visit and was pleased with the shot I captured. And we (my parents and I) were excited to see three ducks feeding in the pond on two days (video here) – we haven’t had any ducks since a brief lone visit in May. And there was more joy when we saw an elusive woodpecker fly up into the trees:

Driveway Creature Visitors. Clockwise: Busy bee. Ducks in the pond. Elusive woodpecker

Doorstep Fireworks:

I have mixed feelings about fireworks – I would never buy them myself as I wouldn’t want to be responsible for scaring animals or polluting the air, but I loved them as a child and have to admit these ones we viewed from our doorstep were pretty impressive and did bring a smile to my face:

Doorstep Fireworks

Last Minute Socials:

I was so pleased to meet up with a few friends in person before England entered its second lockdown. It was a gorgeously sunny day when I met Bevy – we watched the birds at the feeder while chatting. And then in the evening I met up with Karen, Chris and Julie – we sat around a firepit in Karen and Chris’s garden, keeping extra toasty wrapped up in blankets:

Outdoors Socialising: The toasty firepit

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 56
<<<Week 54
Home

References

1. The Institute for Functional Medicine, 2020. Mast Cell Stabilizing Foods.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate

Health Diary Week 54: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Real Meals: Week 2 Histamine Elimination Diet

Butternut Squash Risotto

Home
<<<Week 53

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

What’s New

Firstly, apologies for the delayed post – it’s been a tough week – my second on the Swiss Interest Group strict histamine elimination diet[1] and I’ve had some last-minute socialising (safely distanced) before lockdown:

Resisting Antihistamines:

The diet advises refraining from taking my usual antihistamine or steroid spray, to accurately track progress. This was scary, as this year, I’ve developed an increasing reliance on these medications to get me through the day and sometimes even then, they didn’t prevent severe rhinitis. More recently, in desperation, I sometimes took an extra dose of the antihistamine – I know – this wasn’t good practice. So, I’m amazed I haven’t taken any of this medication for nine days (as of Sunday). But it hasn’t been an easy ride – I’ve felt constantly exhausted and I’ve had to contend with several days of severe rhinitis (I got through two boxes of tissues!). And, I’ve had itching episodes (this was new for me), a couple of times developing a rash across my chest and shoulders.

Progress:

I was thinking I should be feeling loads better by now, but I’ll keep going for the duration (another two to four weeks) and check my diary to identify any patterns. I think part of the issue could be environmental (e.g. dust, pollen). I’m also wondering if I have an issue with oat milk, as it often contains minimal histamine due to the fermentation process. But the other plant-based option, rice milk, has the same issue. Or perhaps, it’s the blueberry muffins I ate that weren’t super fresh after a day? I’ll keep an eye on how it goes.

Histamine Intolerance:

If you’d like more information on histamine intolerance and its symptoms, the Swiss Interest Group[2] and Dr Tina Peers[3] provide a helpful overview. Here’s some typical symptoms to be aware of:

  • Rhinitis: Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, throat irritation, breathing difficulty
  • IBS symptoms: Bloating, wind, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, heartburn
  • Skin issues: Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea (flushed face), itching (e.g. scalp), rashes (arms, legs, trunk), severe reaction to insect bites, swollen eyelids
  • Painful joints (muscles, jaw, neck, groin), easy bruising, period pains (including when not menstruating), cystitis episodes
  • Insomnia, exhaustion (ME), migraine, dizziness, nausea, vomiting.

Appetite Reduction:

I’ve been pleased to notice a reduction in my appetite and lack of food cravings (e.g. chocolate, coffee) since last week’s rice and potato diet. I kind of feel like I’ve been reset. I kept putting larger portions on my plate and then only eating half – I’m loving this side of things at least.

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s have a look at what food was on my plate and how my diet has changed since Week 52:

Breakfast:

I had porridge oats three times, topped with either apple or blueberries, flax and chia seeds, sweet cinnamon and a maple syrup drizzle – I have to say this was delicious – why didn’t I have porridge sooner? Next time, I’m going to try making my porridge with water instead of oat milk to see what happens with my rhinitis. Apples are a renewed love too – I’ll be eating more of these. I also indulged in jams on rice cakes, which was rather tasty:

Week 54 Breakfasts

Lunch:

My first substantial meal after the rice and potato diet was butternut squash risotto (a change from my usual risotto) – it tasted amazing! My previous Typical Salad has been replaced by a new one: mixed leaves, spring onion, celery, radishes, cucumber, beetroot, chia and pumpkin seeds, mixed into sweet paprika and rapeseed oil, with a side of steamed potatoes. Rapeseed is a good choice, as it’s low in saturated fats (6.6%) and high in health-promoting polyunsaturated fats (88.6%) (Fats graph in Week 6). If I want something more filling, I can add fusilli brown rice or corn pasta. I experimented with quinoa, accompanied by asparagus and beetroot (pic in Dinner section) – it tasted okay, but needs some tweaking:

Week 54 Lunches

Dinner:

After the late lunch of butternut risotto, I only had a freshly made (thanks Mum) blueberry muffin for dinner. There was a pasta salad, the quinoa meal I mentioned above, a rather tasty pumpkin and coconut milk curry-ish (I couldn’t use all the usual spices), a large baked sweet potato (I froze half) with asparagus and white cabbage and a large baked potato (I froze half) with sweet paprika and rapeseed oil (my new ‘go-to’ dressing). I’ve noticed my meals are rather yellowy-orange these days!:

Week 54 Dinners

Snacks:

My snacking habits are completely different now – there’s no chocolate! Rice cakes are my new friend – topped with some cheeky jam. Also, crisps have been replaced by popcorn, either sweet and/or salty. I can eat Brazil, pistachios and macadamia nuts and most seeds – a good savoury ‘go-to’. I toasted seeds (in sweet paprika and rapeseed oil, of course) from my pumpkin – they were very more-ish. Mum made another batch of blueberry muffins, so I indulged in these too:

Week 54 Snacks

Drinks

I’ve changed this heading from ‘Alcohol’ to ‘Drinks’, since alcohol is not permitted on the elimination diet and I’ll only be able to drink it occasionally on a low histamine diet. And when I do, I’m better off sticking to clear spirits. I had regular sips of water that haven’t been recorded in the below table. My drink of choice was rooibos tea, but I’m concerned it’s staining my teeth when I don’t use milk and milk might be an issue. I’m also enjoying apple and cinnamon tea and I’ve introduced peppermint tea too. I’m going to have a look at what other teas I can include:

Week 54: Drinks

Food Diversity

I was concerned I may not be eating enough of a diverse diet to feed my little gut buddies (health-promoting microbiota), so I decided to check my intake and I’m pleased to report I consumed 50 different plant foods this week. The last time I checked this was Week 31 – what a different diet I had back then, containing many high histamine foods:

My 50 Challenge – Week 54’s Food Diversity

Exercise

It’s been another week of minimal activity, because I just haven’t felt up to doing much. I’m pleased that I had a couple of walks, totalling just over two hours – that will do for now:

Week 54 Exercise. My Active 10 walks. Bug hotel spotted at a train station

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Excellent – more weight loss – 1.4 lb (0.6 kg) since last week. I gained a bit of body fat though (0.8%), but I’m not surprised given the amount of rapeseed oil I’ve been using to replace dressings and sauces. I need to try the British Dietetic Association alternative to tomato sauce[4] recipe at some point:

Week 54 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

I’m pleased to share with you a few of the experiences that made me smile this week:

I’m Looking Sharp:

I was looking back through my photos and saw the below ones that made me chuckle. I didn’t have a positivity section at that time, so I didn’t share this with you then… Apparently, I was looking sharp in my new profile picture – check out my fruity self! I suppose kiwifruit (my hair) can taste quite sharp:

I’m looking sharp! (Sorry for the poor picture quality)

Rugby Six Nations:

I love a bit of rugby, even though I’m confused about what’s going on half the time. The Six Nations was suspended earlier this year when that virus hit. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the final matches were going ahead. My Saturday consisted of watching all three matches. England won the cup – yay!:

Rugby Six Nations (Images: from www.sixnationsrugby.com/)

Vegan Diets Webinar:

It was encouraging to attend a webinar about supporting people on vegan diets to eat healthily, without anyone trying to make it sound like it was complicated, because it doesn’t have to be. I love the infographics produced by Science and Seaweed for MyNutriWeb. There’s a really handy Vegan Eatwell Guide[5] for obtaining a well-rounded nutritious diet. If you’re interested in veganism, or eating a more plant-based diet, there’s some helpful resources by The Vegan Society[6]:

MyNutriWeb Vegan Diets: Person Centred Practice Webinar (Images: MyNutriWeb)

Mum’s Coconut Art:

We’ve been collecting empty coconut shell halves leftover from our bird feeder and wondered what to do with them. I suggested we do something artistic, like making little scenes. Mum took up the challenge and started trialling Christmas scenes – love this!:

Mum’s Coconut Christmas Scenes Art

Another Family Reunion:

Naturally, my week’s highlight was that my sister and her boyfriend decided to visit us for the day. I’m so glad they did, because later in the week it was announced that England is re-entering lockdown. We risked sitting in the conservatory as it was cold and windy outside – we usually only socialise outside. It was lovely to see them again:

Emma and Carl

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 55
<<<Week 53
Home

References

1. Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI), 2016. Food Compatibility List.
2. Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI), 2019. Histamine Intolerance Outline.
3. Dr Tina Peers, Ca. 2020. Symptoms of HIT.
4. British Dietetic Association Food Allergy Specialist Group, 2018. Sensitivity to Histamine and other Vasoactive Amines.
5. The Vegan Society, 2020. Vegan Eatwell Guide.
6. The Vegan Society, 2020. Vegan and Thriving.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 51: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Once Upon a Time… in Watson World

Open Book Landscape Scene: Mystic Art Design, Pixabay

Home
<<<Week 50

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

What’s New

It’s been a relatively quiet and happy week. Here’s my updates…

Guest Blogs:

Excitingly, I published my first Guest Blog written by my cousin, Alice, who works in the clinical trials industry: Mythbusting the Coronavirus Vaccine. It was an informative read, supported by useful references (I especially liked the first video that provided an animated explanation of vaccines). I’m looking forward to sharing more Guest Blogs in the future.

General Health:

I’m relieved to report I’m still sleeping well and I feel back to usual resilient self. The rhinitis issues are ongoing – most likely because of what I’m eating – but I’ll be addressing these soon with the looming strict Histamine Elimination Diet[1] from Week 53 onwards. Also, I’m still struggling with a painful right shoulder and arm, but I’m hoping that will ease up soon.

Dyspraxia Awareness Week:

It was Dyspraxia Awareness Week. Dyspraxia[2] is the lesser known cousin to Dyslexia. When I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia in my late 30s, a friend retorted “it’s just a label, everyone has problems” – what they didn’t realise was that I’d lived my life feeling stupid in disguise. The diagnosis provided a life-changing insight into myself and now I’m happy with me and I don’t feel stupid at all (well, not often). Okay, so we know there are plenty of challenges for us neurodiverse individuals to overcome, but we mustn’t forget our many positive attributes:

Dyspraxia Awareness Week Instagram Screenshots: @genuiswithinuk and @bpw_14

Food and Nutrition

Right, its time to have a look at what food was on my plate, the healthy and not so healthy choices. I should warn you, this week I’ve unashamedly indulged in some of my favourite foods, because of my soon to be food limitations and the need to free-up some freezer and cupboard space…

Breakfast:

I really am a sucker for those oat biscuits! – I had these for breakfast four times. I also had a sausage sandwich twice and two bubble and squeak veggie cakes:

Week 51 Breakfasts

Lunch:

For lunch, I had My Typical Salad five times. The remaining days, I ate a Singapore style curry noodle pot and rice crackers with hummus:

Week 51 Lunches

Dinner:

My dinners were a mix of convenience and fresh foods, other than on Monday when I had Mum’s delicious veg curry and dhal, leftover from last week. I enjoyed a vegfurter hot dog and a Shawarma and salad kebab. I had burgers twice, one soya-based with oven fries and salad; the other burger was jackfruit, accompanied by oven potatoes, peas and sweetcorn. And then there were cheesy nachos twice, loaded with plant protein mince, tomato salsa, lettuce and once also with avocado – yum!:

Week 51 Dinners Table
Week 51 Dinners: Clockwise: Pant Kitchen burger, oven chips and salad. Waitrose jackfruit burger, oven potatoes, sweetcorn and peas. Shawarma and salad kebab and corn on the cob. Plant Kitchen mince loaded on cheesy nachos with salsa and lettuce

Snacks:

Well, I ate some chocolate every day, not excessively at least. Also, I worked my way through some chickpea and bean snacks and canned sodas:

Week 51 Snacks

Alcohol

I drank rum with soda on weekend evenings, again, not excessively: four rums on Friday and two on Saturday evening, with half a can of soda per rum:

Week 51 Alcohol

Exercise

I had another one of those weeks with reduced physical activity, totalling 184 minutes, just over three hours. That’s not bad, but not where I’d like to be either – I aim to work on improving this:

Week 51 Exercise. Top: Table. Middle: Walking: Beautiful flowers. Wii informing me about my walking issue – the combo of Dyspraxia and hypermobile ankles and hips doesn’t help. Some strange plant thing. Bottom: Wii compliments – wow!

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Well, my weight stayed the same, but my body fat percentage increased. I’m pleased there was no weight gain at least. I’m in a kind of in-between zone, knowing my diet is going to be incredibly strict soon for at least a couple of months, so I’ve not worried too much about what I eat:

Week 51 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Don’t you just love a good story? Well, I do. Now, I’m not guaranteeing a good story, but I decided this week’s What Made Watson Smile would be presented in story-teller style, just for a little change…

Chapter 1: The Stalker Spider:

Once upon a time [that’s how all the best stories start apparently], Katey [that’s me], was sat at her computer, diligently researching, when out of the corner of her eye she noticed a rather large spider walking up her shoulder towards her face. As you can imagine, this was rather a shock for poor Katey, resulting in a squeal, a leap to her feet and flinging the ‘Nana’ shawl, previously wrapped around her shoulders, onto her bed – bad move Katey – now the spider was potentially making itself cosy in her bed! She couldn’t locate it, so all Katey could do was try her best to forget the incident ever happened.

By the next morning, Katey had completely forgotten about the spider incident. But mid showering, she noticed a spider hanging out above her head – she figured it would stay put. Did that spider stay put? No, it did not – it climbed down towards her, so Katey hastily completed her shower and started examining an emerging pimple (how annoying) on her chin. Now, that very same spider decided to exit the shower and amble along the ceiling to position itself above Katey’s head. “Really?” she thought. So, Katey sidled across to the other mirror (this one magnified her spot – nice!) to continue her inspection. Temporarily distracted by her blemish, Katey disregarded the spider, but upon gazing upwards, she saw it was above her head yet again! “Why was this spider stalking her?” she wondered. “Could it be the same spider as last night?”. Of course, she realised this was highly unlikely, but Katey decided it was so and that this spider wanted to be her friend, so she bid Frankie (as he became known) farewell and continued with her day…:

The stalking spider – well not the actual one. (Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay)

Chapter 2: Wii Bully:

Imagine Katey’s surprise at the start of her Wii Fit training session, when Wii asked her how healthy she thought Val [aka Mum] was. Wii even asked Katey if Val looked fatter! Katey thought this rather rude but, responded that Val looked the same. Well, Wii wasn’t believing that for a second and suggested Katey wasn’t paying enough attention – to be fair this could be true, but what a thing to say! Wii continued this awkward discussion with a ‘side note’, informing “that dogs become more motivated when their owners pay more attention to them” – definitely a gearing up to offensive from Wii’s usual passive aggressive self. Was it wrong that Katey sniggered? Yes, probably. Katey knew that at that very moment Val was in the fresh air obtaining her daily exercise playing tennis:

Wii Fit: Bully antics

Chapter 3: Naked Ladies!:

How dramatic one can sound! – It wasn’t in reality. Wednesday was a gloriously sunny morning, so much so that Katey got her arms and legs out to soak up a bit of immune-supporting Vitamin D during the driveway morning coffee – bare legs in October? Yes indeed. Whilst chatting with her parents, Katey watched the frequent bird visitors and gazed at a lovely white butterfly, whilst her Dad noted how good his ‘Naked Ladies’ looked, and Mum mused aloud about her current art project. Katey spent much of her day on the driveway, including a lovely afternoon meet-up with her bestie, Bevy:

Driveway. Clockwise: The driveway and my rather large coffee. My bare legs soaking up some Vitamin D. Butterfly beauty. Dad’s Naked Ladies

Chapter 4: Rainy Mindfulness and a Little Mishap:

Now, by Wednesday evening the clouds rolled in and rain arrived. How quickly the weather can change in Blighty! Thankfully, the previously postponed Mindfulness meet went ahead regardless. Katey prepared sufficiently by wrapping up warm and arming herself with an umbrella, blanket and hot apple and cinnamon tea. Karen’s garden looked welcoming as always, with a beautifully decorated canopy to offer shelter from the rain and gentle lighting. Chrissy led a wonderful mindfulness practice, calming everyone’s minds. Afterwards, the conversation easily flowed. As the evening progressed, the canopy gradually lowered under the rain’s weight. Just as the group were making arrangements to leave, the overhead canopy suddenly collapsed – the wooden peg leg shot out of the ground, over Chrissy’s head (with a small donk), the collected rainwater emptied itself between the gathered friends (a soaking narrowly avoided) and Julie became encased in the canopy sheet and could no longer be seen. Well, you can imagine the surprise and the subsequent giggles. Thankfully, all survived relatively unscathed and headed home to bed in their warm dry homes:

Rainy Mindfulness socialising. Top: The beginning of the evening with intact canopy. Bottom: Me adequately prepared for the rain

The End. Or perhaps not…

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 52
<<<Week 50
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References

  1. Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI), 2016. Food Compatibility List.
  2. Dyspraxia Foundation, 2019. Dyspraxia in Adults.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 50: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Coming Soon…

Image: Priyam Patel, Pixabay

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<<<Week 49

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

What’s New

Well, it’s been a wet week – loads of rain and general greyness – surprisingly, this hasn’t brought my mood down and I‘m continuing to feel positive – decent sleep makes a massive difference (Week 48 provides an insight into how I combatted my insomnia). The only downer has been the ongoing rhinitis (aka snot and sneezing). Now I’m really silly, because I know the rhinitis is probably caused by what I’m consuming, but I’m kind of ignoring that, as I only have a couple of weeks left before I seriously  restrict my diet (temporarily I hope) in an attempt to break the excess histamine cycle (more in Week 47).

A happy, smiley me this week

Coming soon!:
I’m really excited to announce I’m going to share my first Guest Blog post on Friday 9 October. I’d recently been thinking about how so many people I know have inspiring health stories or interesting specialisms, but don’t necessarily have the platform for sharing. So, I thought why not share my platform with family and friends. We’ll be debuting with my cousin, Alice, who works in the clinical trials industry – very relevant given the current COVID-19 vaccine trials. More stories to follow soon (hopefully)…

Food and Nutrition

So, let’s move on to 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:

My breakfasts were mostly mixed grain cereal with almond milk. I’ll be swapping to gluten free oat milk soon, as almonds, well, all tree nuts, which is pretty much all nuts, will be off the menu. I’ll be replacing nuts with more seeds. Other meals were fresh papaya and yeast extract on toast:

Week 50 Breakfasts. Left: Nature’s Path cereal. Right: Papaya

Lunch:

Predictably, I had My Typical Salad four times, accompanied by hash browns or falafel. I enjoyed more salad stuffed into a sandwich with ‘ham’ slices, twice – I do love a good sandwich. Also, I had a Thai red curry ready meal, as I’m trying to make space in the freezer for storing homemade meals, because according to the British Dietetic Association, any aged food (e.g. ready meals, refrigerated leftovers, fermented) results in increased vasoactive amines (including histamine)[1], meaning I need to avoid these and immediately freeze any leftovers:

Week 50 Lunches. Left to right: My Typical Salad. Amy’s Kitchen Thai red curry. Quorn ‘ham’ and salad sandwich with crisps

Dinner:

On Monday I had leftover cauliflower roast with a baked potato and purple carrots. We had vegetable fajitas the next day – I’m going to have to come up with a tasty alternative on my elimination diet. Mixed bean chilli, which I had twice will also be a thing of the past, as will the chickpea curry and lentils I also ate. But I’ll try to reintroduce beans and lentils soon after my elimination, as legumes have many health-promoting properties. Oh and no more soya, so the burger will be out too. Despite the looming restrictions, I’m kind of looking forward to finding new meals to enjoy – I like to experiment:

Week 50 Dinners. Clockwise: Roasted cauliflower. Curry, dhal and rice. Mixed bean chilli and garlic bread. Vegetable fajita

Snacks:

There was quite a bit of snacking this week. My appetite seems to have increased with the change in season. I’ve inadvertently moved the oat biscuits to the morning snack slot – that’s basically me having enough willpower to resist them at breakfast, but totally caving when I meet my parents for morning coffee. I had crisp-like snacks a few times. I ate a bit of chocolate every day, except for when I indulged in Mum’s highly indulgent pavlova – made with leftover water from a chickpea can, instead of eggs – delicious! – honestly:

Week 50 Snacks. Left to right: Eat Real quinoa chips. Pineapple pavlova with whipped cream (‘wow!’). Montezuma mint chocolate

Alcohol

On Monday evening, I finished off the last of my low-sulphite red wine – just one glass – from when I met with Elise in her garden over a week ago – surprisingly it still tasted fine. Saturday night was more excessive – I drank the equivalent of six spiced rums with three cans of cola. I finished the evening with my last bottle of gluten free beer. I felt surprisingly okay on Sunday, although my sleep was disrupted, so it became a ‘duvet day’ – it was wonderful – the duvet day, not the disrupted sleep:

Week 50 Alcohol. Left: red wine. Right: Gluten-free beer

Exercise

Well, it wasn’t hard to improve on last week’s minimal physical activity. I’m happy I totalled over four hours exercise, with two Wii Fit sessions (77 minutes total), 50 minutes on the exercise bike and two walks (two hours total according to Active 10, including home pottering). The walks were strategically timed for breaks in rain – there were still raindrops on the flora photos:

Week 50 Exercise. Clockwise: Shy squirrel. Berries. Yellow flower (that’s all I know). Some kind of inedible berry?

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

Okay, my weight stayed the same at 167.4 lb (75.9 kg) – I’m totally okay with this, as I expect to lose weight (with additional health gains) when I’m following the histamine elimination diet. It pleased me that my body fat percentage reduced by 1.5% – any progress shall be rightfully celebrated:

Week 50 Results: Weight, BMI and Body Fat

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Ah, possibly my favourite section…

Creative Socialising:

Over the Winter months, my social bubble will decrease with expected increased viral cases (e.g. COVID-19, flu, colds). With the recent ridiculous amount of rain, we’ve become more creative about social space. I’ve used our garage to meet a couple of friends during downpours. We usually shut-off the conservatory when it’s cold, but agreed we’ll use it this year to replace our household driveway coffee mornings, so we’ve now got a toasty heater. On the rare occasion we might meet someone outside of our household in the conservatory, we decided to open the windows for ventilation and that it couldn’t hurt to use my air purifier (I originally got it to reduce allergens). N.B. I don’t think air purifier effectiveness has been tested on COVID-19 particles as yet (interesting Which? article about this[3]), so we still need to be as vigilant as always:

Creative socialising. Left: The garage set-up (chairs will be spaced further apart) and driveway/pond view from the garage. Right: My air purifier and the new heater for toasty(ish) conservatory socials when the garage isn’t a possibility

Nerd Joy at Journal Club:

I was excited for the upcoming MyNutriWeb journal club. I loved journal club at Uni, where we reviewed scientific nutrition articles. I even undertook a systematic review for my Dissertation, involving reviewing loads of gut microbiota experiments. The plan had been to complete a meta-analysis too, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough data for the statistical analyses. Sorry, I digress… This week we reviewed a paper investigating a specific fibre (prebiotic) and bacteria (probiotic) supplement(s) effect on the gut microbiota and immune function – interesting right?:

Images: MyNutriWeb: Journal Club info and my certificate of attendance

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

I should clarify, having IBS doesn’t make me smile, not that I have it – thankfully I don’t – okay, so that’s a positive in itself. But unfortunately, it’s a condition experienced by many. So, it’s important, from a professional perspective, to review how to assess the symptoms and potential triggers. The MyNutriWeb webinar took a holistic approach, recognising how diet, the brain and microbiota are inter-linked. So, identifying and managing food and drink triggers (diet), reducing stress and negative thought patterns (brain) and improving gut health (microbiota) to reduce symptoms is important – fascinating stuff:

Images: MyNutriWeb IBS webinar and infographic

The Pond is Back:

I wondered if the pond next to our driveway would ever re-fill – it’s been empty all Summer. I was excited to see that the recent days of heavy rainfall resulted in a few inches of water (top right pic). I also took a photo of the pond from the other side (bottom left pic). I suspect the cats won’t be impressed their territory has been somewhat decreased – I hope we still see them from time-to-time:

Pond Views. Clockwise: Rainy day from the dry inside. Pond from the driveway. Beautiful butterfly. View from the other side

The Meringue Incident:

It’s rare I hear my Mum swear, especially the ‘F’ word, and so loudly too! She had one of our frequent Dyspraxia[2] incidents – the kind when you’re trying ever so hard to be really careful. Mum was removing an oven shelf to move the meringue up, but instead dropped the whole tray onto the meringue she’d spent ages beautifully presenting. We did have a giggle about it though. Thankfully, all was not lost, and Mum re-shaped the meringue (kind of), so you’d never know what had happened after she’d lavishly topped it with cream and fresh pineapple – I have to say it was delicious:

Top: That pesky jumping oven shelf. Bottom: Left: The squashed meringue re-shaping. Right: The beautiful end result

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. Oh, and remember, I’ll be publishing a Guest Blog post on Friday – please check it out.

>>>Week 51
<<<Week 49
Home

References

1. British Dietetic Association Food Allergy Specialist Group, 2018. Sensitivity to Histamine and other Vasoactive Amines.
2. Dyspraxia Foundation, 2019. Dyspraxia in Adults.
3. Woodger, C., Which?, 2020. Coronavirus: can an air purifier protect you?.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

Health Diary Week 49: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

My Inner Mermaid

My sister in school production of Neptune’s Realm, BVI (1984)

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<<<Week 48

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’ve felt more positive this week. I’m sleeping six to eight hours a night – a massive improvement on the four hours I was averaging over the past six months. Weirdly, I’ve felt more tired despite the additional sleep – it could be due to intolerance flare-ups, or the CBD oil (more in Week 48) or something else – who knows. I’m just happy to be regaining a healthier sleeping pattern.

I’ve had a few days of intolerance-type reactions with severe sneezing and snot (too much info? Okay, rhinitis sounds better), making me super tired and fuzzy-headed. I haven’t had a chance to research histamine intolerance further (more in Week 48), but I’ll get on it soon, as I really need to find a solution and get this under control.

I’ve applied to the NHS Professionals temp bank for administrative work. I figured it could be a good way to get my foot in the door – if I can just get my foot in the door. My two long-time employments started off as temporary positions – fingers crossed this strategy works here. Until then, I’m working on my continuing professional development and have drawn up a weekly schedule (yes, it’s an Excel spreadsheet – I just love a spreadsheet) to maintain some kind of routine.

Food and Nutrition

Firstly, I should explain I’ve been a bit lax on my nutritional choices, because I’m aware of the looming elimination diet and how restrictive it will be. Ironically, this probably contributed to my rhinitis flare-ups. So, let’s have a look at what food was on my plate, the healthy and not so healthy choices…

Breakfast:

I used up the last of my frozen  sourdough bread with yeast extract, as I’m aware it will have to be eliminated from my diet soon and I want to make space in the freezer for what I can eat. I had some delicious strawberries – they’ll also be off the list. Other foods included those oat biscuits (twice) and cereal (twice):

Week 49 Breakfasts

Lunch:

I started the week with leftover curry, dhal and rice, but mostly I had salad; My Typical Salad five times and a filled wholegrain pitta once. I’m happy with all these choices, except that I’m back to the rapeseed chilli oil dressing (high in fat, but healthful omega-3 fat rather than saturated fat). My dressing choices are becoming limited, as my favourite balsamic vinegar will be off the list:

Week 49 Lunches

Dinner:

Dinners were often on the stodgy side – I craved stodge – I was hungry. This included a seriously loaded burger in a bun and oven fries, sausage sandwich and a disappointing Mac ‘n Cheez. My healthiest choice was the roasted tahini-coated cauliflower with potatoes, purple carrots and corn on the cob. Other decent meals were Nana’s spaghetti (pic in Week 46) and Shawarma and salad kebab:

Week 49 Dinners

Snacks:

My morning snacking was minimal; I had those oat biscuits once (they’re too tasty), another time some mixed nuts. In the afternoon I had chocolate twice, rice crackers with hummus and a pack of crisps. I snacked most evenings. I was particularly excessive on Wednesday, interestingly the day I struggled most with my intolerances – I ate seaweed puffs, ‘chicken’ slices, hummus, crispy seaweed and half a bar of chocolate. Spread over the rest of the week, I had chocolate, hot cacao, crisps/chips, pear and a falafel with hummus:

Week 49 Snacks

Alcohol

I drank the equivalent of five rum and sodas at the online family Houseparty on Friday night. I think this may have contributed to my rhinitis issues on Saturday:

Week 49 Alcohol

Exercise

I had no energy and lacked motivation for exercise this week, so it was minimal, only 107 minutes, incorporating a 30 minutes gentle swim (oh how I’ve missed swimming) and a 51 minutes stroll. On the up-side it should be easy to report an improvement on activity levels next week. Just to explain, my total walking for the week is 77 minutes, based on my Active 10 App, because it includes my general wanderings at home:

Week 49 Exercise
Some lovely flowers spotted on my walk with Mum

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

I wasn’t surprised to have gained weight (1.6 lb, 0.7 kg) and fat (1.1%) this week, given my lack of physical activity and potentially larger portions of the foods I know I’ll miss when I undertake my histamine elimination diet:

Week 49 Results

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Despite only a couple of in person meet-ups outside of my household (with Elise and Bevy), I’ve felt like this was adequate social contact. We also had an online family get-together for my Uncle’s birthday, where I also saw my sister and her boyfriend. Here’s some other examples of my smile-provoking experiences:

Cats in the Pond!:
Okay, I’m being a tad dramatic – they’re patrolling the currently empty pond. It looks like there could be a looming territory battle between Jasper the Friendly Cat, Molly the Disapprover, New Cat and Elusive Cat. Jasper and Molly have already had a loud territory row. My money’s on Jasper – he’s pretty tough and seems to spend the most time there. It’s like my very own wildlife programme, but with cats:

Clockwise: Jasper the Friendly Cat. Molly the Disapprover. Elusive Cat (white and tortoise-shell coat – I’ve not captured a pic yet). New Cat

Bird Feeder Antics:
Meanwhile, a few feet away at the bird feeder… The Starlings are causing havoc! They deterred some of the smaller regular bird visits by swooping in together, taking over the feeder and constantly squabbling with each other. Surprisingly, the Starlings don’t seem bothered when a Pigeon or Dove want to share their dining space – they just like to argue amongst their own family unit:

Clockwise: Long-Tailed and Blue Tits, Starling and Pigeon. Starling and Dove surprisingly eating nicely together from the same tray. The return of the Long-Tailed Tits between the Starling raids. Starling raid

Embracing the Nerd:
Not literally! – I’m back on track with my Nutrition Continuing Professional Development. I’m incredibly grateful MyNutriWeb provide free accredited lectures. Also, they’ve just started a Journal Club – we’ll be discussing peer-reviewed scientific articles – I’m so looking forward to this:

Top: MyNutriWeb lectures attended and my certificates for the past two weeks – both had a strong emphasis on the benefits of plant-based diets for health and the environment. Bottom: Upcoming lectures

The Mermaid in Me:
I absolutely love swimming – I’d forgotten how much, as I’ve not been in a pool for well over a year – I’d become self-conscious about my body and stopped going – somewhat counter-intuitive I know. Elise convinced me to try the outside pool at her leisure centre as her guest. I was anxious about going into a public area but wore my mask (face mask, not snorkelling mask) for the brief amount of time I was inside. It felt amazing being in the pool (surprisingly warm for an outside pool) and I was pleasantly surprised I hadn’t lost too much technique, although it was painful for my right shoulder (it’s been sore for weeks). I can’t wait to get back into swimming again when it eventually feels safe to do so, maybe even setting myself a challenge – another 5km swim perhaps:

Me completing the 2012 Marie Curie Swimathon 5 km (200 lengths) challenge to raise funds for end of life care. It seems I had a turbo-powered advantage here – thanks Harry Jackson for capturing that shot! – he hadn’t actually realised – I was sat at my work desk looking through the photos during my lunch break when I spotted it and dissolved into uncontrollable giggles, pulling my boss out of her office, who found me with tears streaming down my face – she soon joined in

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 50>>>
<<<Week 48
Home

References

1. British Dietetic Association Food Allergy Specialist Group, 2018. Sensitivity to Histamine and other Vasoactive Amines.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate: