Observing Holiday Diets


The words "Holiday" and "Diet" do not normally go together, that is unless you are a wrestler such as myself. As such, I found this an appropriate subject to delve deeper into. I interviewed a variety of subjects, rangining from more experienced in their field to simply an elderly woman who has been through many holiday seasons.

the first step for my process was analyzing my diet during the holiday season. This proved to be relatively unfruitful due to the fact that I am an anomoly within my family as well as society as a whole. as I mentioned earlier, I am a wrestler and as such weight management is a large part of my life during the holiday season. In college I have fluxuated from as high as 184lbs to as low as 154. one can not safely do so without an accute understanding of their body and what they put into it. as a result, anaylzing my meal plan was not very fruitful as a reflection of the population of which i am a part of.

my breakfast is usually in here, protein shake or oatmeal. (the penguin is because it's the Holiday season)

since my personal diet, and that of those closest to me was as such, outside influcnce was needed. I began to think of where I could gain the most knowledge in the smallest ammount of time. I settled on the rosedale mall. It had everything I needed : random people, holiday cheer, food, people who sold things to make food, and people who wanted to sell me their food. I began where most Americans start their day, with coffee. however the line at carabou was long and I did not want to interrupt business by asking questions of the baristas. so after observing for a while I moved on.
the obervations i made at caribou were interesting though. Nobody in the dinning area had anything smaller then a 20oz beverage. in addition, there were no posted signs for caloric intake on the menu, just the tagline "back for the holidays" with the seasonal menu items.

the line here did not drop below 4 people deep, right up until closing

Next I ventured towards the relm of chocolate. Since I gave the good man at the chocolate place my word I would not mention his company by name, we'll just call it the chocolate place. The worker whom i spoke with notified me to some trends he noticed in his profession. he said people tend to endulge more during the holidays, and not feel bad about it. he also informed me that he wished the people knew more about what they were consuming so they would not ask questions of him such as "how do you work here and not weigh 400lbs?" he also noted that many purchases of seasonal items were asked for and bough in gift boxes such as chocolate covered cherries and peppermint. I was in the shop conducting the interview for a few minutes and during that time many many customers filed in and out making purchases. even after the store was technically "closed" customers lingered and made purchases.


next I stopped by GNC, to see what they had to offer. the woman behind the counter wasn't able to distinguish any hallmarks of the holiday season other than an infux in the requesting of peppermint oil. she also noted that the main reason people come into the store during any season is to lose weight. these people tend to be looking for more and more vegan options as well as less sugar/sugar subsitutes in their products.


a talk with a salesman in a department store revealed that people seem to be cooking for larger famalies during the winter months, and are buying appliances to do so. pressure cookers, deep fryers and steamers were the most sought after.

a refreshing view and one that resonated close to home was that of an elderly woman shopping with her daughter. This grandmother was recently diagnosed to have an alergy to gluten as did many of her family members. as a result she modified the family recepies in order to meet her famalies new needs. She was also cooking for a large number of relatives at this time, anywhere from 4-9 famalies depending on who all showed for dinner. she stuck to the traditional family diet stil however, making pies and ham for all.

from the data i collected and the experience I have had, people need a way to enjoy the holiday season, without the extras that come with it, wether that be extra gluten, sugars, or fats. although they may not notice or care, people over endulge during the holidays and often pay for it later. the conversation with the chocolate maker, elderly woman, as well as the GNC worker combined to give me this thought.

in addition, athletes, and people who are on more strict dietary regement need a way to enjoy the holiday seasonal treats. taking from the input i got from the GNC worker, "people are trying to lose weight in any season", as well as looking at my own personal life during the holiday season, i can see that there is a group of people who are missing out during the winter months. While in GNC i did not see any seasonal options. perhaps a peppermint protein powder, or pumpkin spice, at least call it a "seasonal blend" so those of us who can't partake in the usual festivities feel like more a part of the fun.

I found this experience far easier than I anticipated, and would actually like to do so me follow up interviews in the future in relation to this subject. and also look forward to the day seasonal protein drinks become a reality!


It was a good idea to observe a cafe with seasonal winter drinks to get a grasp of holiday dietary changes while the holidays are not yet in season. It was also nice that you interviewed workers at food places who can clearly see habits in their customers. The interviews could have been better documented to get more out of them, however.
I think the major aspect that you are lacking is you asked about the customers, but didn't actually talk to the customers. I'm not saying that you had to interview customers when you were observing, but normal people who would be buying these holiday dietary splurges. You should do more research by interviewing people that eat differently during the holiday season.
Lastly, your first identified problem (that people need a way to enjoy the holiday season without the extras that come with it) may not be a problem if these people don't want to avoid these extras. Just keep this in mind going forward. Maybe doing more interviews with these people, like I said, could determine if this is actually a problem or not.

I like the way that you make a “literature tour” to show us your experience. By reading your blog, it seems like I followed you in the tour. And your observation is detailed and pointed some problems, especially in the coffee part. Personally speaking, since you include the interview process into the whole tour, it is a little bit hard to follow. If you could make some individual paragraphs and talk about the stories of the three interviewees separately and follow some particular format, it will easy for me to read though it, as they will be stand out from the whole experience. I noticed that you interview the shop assistant in the chocolate store and the counselor in the GNC, but I am confused about the third person you interviewed. Is she the grandmorther?

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This page contains a single entry by ortiz087 published on November 10, 2013 5:04 PM.

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