Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

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Poll: Appearances vs. Health

December 22, 2008

Day 22 of the 100 Reps Challenge

25 calf raises with bicep curls
25 jumping jacks

Do this set 4 times to complete 100 calf raises with 100 bicep curls, plus 100 jumping jacks!

Fitness Tip: Switch up the bicep curls with hammer curls to engage different muscles in the arms. With the jumping jacks, bring your legs out as far as they can go and try to touch your hands together over your head for maximum effect.

Last month’s poll

It’s been nearly a month since our last poll and the results are once again in! We had three questions regarding health inspections:

1. 87% of us believe that health inspections are under-played in the media and should receive more attention, but 12% don’t want to know what’s going on in those restaurant kitchens (33 total voters)
2. 39% weren’t aware that health inspection information was even available to the public, 35% supposed it was out there but didn’t bother to look for it, and 25% were fully aware that the information is out there and check into restaurant inspections before going! (28 total voters)
3. 34% say that the restaurant review is the most important part about choosing a restaurant, 7% say that the health inspection is their priority, 38% are concerned with both the review and the inspection, and 19% don’t really care either way (26 total voters).

That seems like an awful lot of us who weren’t aware that all of this information is available to us and can easily be found on the Internet, yet nearly all of us want to see the health inspections having more attention. But even though we want to see that information, it won’t necessarily sway our judgments and deter us from going to those restaurants that don’t pass inspection. Bottom line, for the majority of us, it seems that we want to be aware, regardless of whether that information will have an affect on our decision in which restaurant we go to.

This month’s poll

The holiday season, a time when we are surrounded by loved ones but also a stressful time of year in which we are likely to let our good exercise and eating habits slide, is when we really start thinking about what matters to us and why we do the things we do. Physical appearance is prized very highly in our society and it is something that we are all, I think, often working to improve- after all, why else would we spend so much money on the fashion and beauty industry?

This article shows where women’s priorities in particular lie between our health and our looks. What drives us to make lifestyle changes? Is it to ward off cancer that we eat certain foods, or is it to hopefully clear up our skin? Do we exercise to make ourselves stronger and build up our immune systems, or do we do it to tone our trouble spots? Are we trying to lose weight to prevent health problems in the future or are we doing it in an attempt to achieve a supermodel body? And is there anything wrong with placing a certain value on our appearance- especially if it causes us to become healthier in the process?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this. Don’t forget to answer the poll!

What has had the most influence for your reasons behind eating nutritiously and staying active?
( surveys)

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Poll: Health Inspections

November 26, 2008

For my final research project in my Investigative Journalism class, we had to research, investigate, and write a piece on any topic of our choice (my topic was misleading nutrition claims on food products, which I will talk more about another day). One of my classmates pitched her story to us which I found to be particularly intriguing. Her interest lay in the health inspections of restaurants.

What I think is very interesting about health inspections is how little you hear about them. There are always restaurant reviews in the newspaper and in the local food magazines, discussing the atmosphere of various restaurants and how good the dishes taste and so on. But the cleanliness of the place? Nada.

So I looked into it just a bit. It’s all public information, so if you look around on the Internet you can find out about your local restaurants and which ones have been closed by health inspectors. If you are in the Winnipeg area, just click here for a list of these restaurants. It also provides a description of the reason behind why the restaurant got closed down.

Fire damage, of course, isn’t a big deal. But “filthy throughout” and “rodents”? Ew. And not all of these places are sketchy diners that have been found inadequate upon inspection, either (not that all diners are sketchy. But they’d have a more likely reputation for being so). I mean, even Starbucks and the Fyxx and Second Cup and the Olive Garden made this list (but we all knew about Carlos & Murphy’s anyway- if only their food didn’t taste so good!).

You can check out the list of convictions here for the restaurants in Winnipeg (for everyone else? Just Google food inspections in your area. The document you’re looking for should be one of the first items listed). Some of these places that were convicted just got reprimands; others were only fined less than a couple hundred dollars. And even if a place did have to pay up, it sure doesn’t do much to informing the consumers or to the restaurants reputation if the information isn’t splashed all over the newspapers! Personally, I wouldn’t mind knowing about health inspections when they are going on. I don’t know if I would stop eating at the place anyway, but I would still like to be aware of what is happening in those kitchens.

What do you all think?

And after you answer that poll…

Just one more:

Thanks all! We’ll check back with these polls in about a month to discuss the results.

One of my other classes is on online course, in which I have been trying to improve my blog. So, I created a WordPress account and imported all of my blog posts there. Now that it has been created, I am considering switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. Seeing as you would all be reading it, I figure your contribution is pretty important in making this kind of decision. I’d create a poll for your answers, but that seemed a little pretentious (says the girl who used a photo of herself doing a push up at the Colosseum as her header at WordPress).

The one at WordPress could be a little more colourful, I think, and it still needs a bit of touching up. Anyway, leave your opinion in the comments- do you prefer my blog here at Blogger or the one at WordPress? Do you care? Don’t be shy! And thanks for your input:)

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Life Lessons: Your Principles

November 24, 2008

It has been a month since our last poll, and the results are in!

The question: How does justifying your food choices affect you? The results:

  • I often feel the need to justify what I’m eating and it makes me feel bad
    42%
  • Sometimes I’ll explain why I’m eating a certain way, but it doesn’t bother me much
    26%
  • I’m guilt-free! I don’t feel the need to explain myself to anyone else
    20%
  • I’ve never felt judged for my food choices so this doesn’t apply to me
    11%
  • There were 45 voters in total. And almost half of us feel bad- because of how others react (or how we think others react) to what we are eating. While this doesn’t exactly surprise me, it certainly does make me sad. Somewhere along the way, the notion of eating food as fuel and enjoying what we eat has turned into a monstrous guilt-trap of self-loathing. Perhaps not always quite that extreme, but it is absolutely a major problem that needs to be dealt with.
  • This leads me to another question: what do you do to deal with this problem? How do you separate your emotions from food and just enjoy it?
  • I think a big part about this issue is in deciding what our principles are. If I have to ask myself if I really want to be eating whatever I’m eating, or if I’m just having it because everyone else is, or because it’s a “safe” food that I won’t feel judged for having, or because I’m bored/sad/insert other emotion here, then that’s a good indication that I should just set it down and not have it. Similarly, if I am feeling judged for eating a certain way, I’m going to be asking myself why I feel that way. Is it that my choices are completely different than the other peoples’ around me? Are they commenting on it or teasing me? Is it all simply in my head and I’m the only one uncomfortable about it?
  • I think it’s important to think about why you eat what you eat- like anything else in life. Why are you doing what you are doing? Is it because you really believe in what you are doing, or is it because that is how you have been taught to act?
  • It is assumed that we all “ought” to attend school, get a career, and get married. And that’s well and good, if that is what you want from life. But doing this because everyone is telling you that you should, or because you feel as though you would be judged for acting differently, is probably not going to make you happy in life. And aren’t we all about living life to the fullest and enjoying ourselves? (The correct answer would be “yes”).
  • Let me know what you think! Have you explored your options and are you happy with where you are at? Do you know what your principles in life are and are you following them?
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Poll: Justifying food choices

October 24, 2008

First of all, read this post from Elastic Waist.

People do this all the time around me. They seem to think that because I’m a health writer and am trying to live a healthy lifestyle, that automatically means that I’m judging them for everything that they do.

Therefore, they feel the need to justify: I haven’t eaten in hours- I’m so hungry- I haven’t indulged in a while- I walked a lot yesterday- it’s just a couple glasses of wine- I’m PMSing- I’m really stressed- there’s cream cheese in this so that’s dairy so it’s kind of healthy.

But it’s not just other people feeling guilty when they sit down to eat with me. I do it too. I constantly hear people saying to me Goodness you eat a lot- you eat nonstop- don’t let Sagan see what you’re eating, it’s not healthy enough- it’s got olive oil in it so you can eat it because it’s healthy.

I feel guilty, too. And I justify away what I am eating: I had boot camp this morning- it’s salad so it doesn’t matter if my portion is enormous- I know it’s not incredibly healthy for me, but that’s okay every once in a while.

Why do we feel the need to justify what we do to other people? We should only be doing what we feel is the right thing to do, and never mind if others are casting a critical eye over our eating choices. What’s your take on this? Answer the poll and leave a comment below!