Feeling a little more organised, a little more in control this week. It’s a grey rainy Sunday but I’m feeling good.
It was a well-timetabled week. This year each week is quite different for me – this week we had 3 full days of classes and 2 full days off. This made it a lot easier to get more out of my time. I was able to organise what work needed to get done and, for the most part, get that work done. I’ve finished my first formative essay and almost caught up on the weekly reading for all the modules. Planning to be full caught up next week (fingers crossed!) Watch this space!
We had a lab session on Monday. I do enjoy working in the lab, getting to do something a little different, but the are some big downers about it. We’re not allowed to bring food or drink in the lab – for obvious reasons and I completely understand but I’m a big water drinker. I drink about 4/5 litres a day and I don’t like being without my water bottle! This wouldn’t be such a big deal but the next issue is that it’s so hot in the lab and we have to wear big white coats which make you even hotter. So aside from the sweaty dehydrated mess I feel at the end of labs I do enjoy getting to play with microscopes and Bunsen burners and doing something a bit more hands on.
Our nutrition lecture this week was on ‘the concept of a balanced diet’. Such an interesting and super relevant topic, everyone had so many questions the lecture was supposed to be one hour but ran for two! It’s just such a complex, tricky topic. Nutrition is such an individual thing – yes there are general rules everyone should follow for a ‘healthy’ life but everybody’s needs are so unique and individual. So, we have government ‘guidelines’ on what people should eat to help the general public eat more healthfully but they’re truly lacking, unclear and not particularly going to benefit those who need it the most.
We also had some sessions on statistics, maths and excel with a full excel workshop coming next week. The lecturer said to only attend if we need any help with excel. For me, someone who uses excel to create complex databases for fun, I don’t think I need to attend that particular session!!
Personal learning this week: Don’t treat a gift like a burden.
Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:
- In the U.K. people average 3-3.5 portions of fruit and veg a day – This is crazy! I have 4 portions in my breakfast smoothie everyday let alone what I get in my lunch and dinner! Eat more veggies people.
- To lose weight you should eat more – This is the direct opposite to what you’ve always been told right? When you eat less calories than your body needs to meet its basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you need just to breathe and be alive in a day) your body goes into starvation mode. In this mode your body loses lean muscle tissue and keeps fat; it takes more energy (calories) for your body to maintain lean muscle tissue and so it gets rid of this because it doesn’t have enough calories to keep it. You end up with more fat and less muscle – not the type of weight loss you should really be looking for. What’s super important is the quality of foods. In carbohydrates you’re looking to have more whole grains: your body has to work hard to break them down to use the energy (starches and fibre, both soluble and insoluble). You burn some of the calories you eat just digesting them. Fat is easy for your body to convert to fat as it’s already in that state whereas converting carbohydrates to glucose requires the use of energy.
- The ideal macronutrient profile 15:55:30 – Obviously this will differ from person to person, but we should generally be looking to consume 15% of our daily calories from protein, 55% from carbohydrates and 30% from fats. As always, the quality of the food you eat is super important not just the quantity. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals are important too!)
- Snakes sometimes drink cows’ milk – Don’t believe me? Google it.