What I learnt from the PWK survey

what I learnt from pwk survey

Thanks so very much to all the 617 readers who took the time to complete the annual PWK survey. It is such a useful tool for me. It helps me understand a little more about the lovely people who read this blog and how you are feeling about the content I have published over the last year. I thought you might  like to know a little more too, so here are the key stats and at the end I share the theme for the blog in 2015:

Snapshot of PWK readers

  • Gender  – 99.20% female
  • Location – Australia
  • State – 38.00% Victoria
  • Avg reading time of the blog – 2.04 years
  • Avg no. kids per household – 2.54

Work status

  • Paid work outside of the home part time – 44%
  • Not in paid work force – 31%
  • Paid work at home part time – 12%
  • Paid work outside of the home full time – 11%
  • Paid work at home full time – 3%

Happiness

When asked “Overall are you happy doing what you are currently doing eg working, not working, volunteering etc?” I was thrilled to see so many of you happy!

  • Extremely happy – 18.00%
  • Quite happy – 49.90%
  • Moderately happy – 23.80%
  • Slightly happy – 6.50%
  • Not at all happy – 1.80%

Reader feedback

In the survey there was a mix of required and optional questions. Many of the optional questions were ones which asked for a written response. I make these optional as I know time is precious and am happy if you only have time to fill in the minimum amount of info.

But so many of you did take the time to fill in these open ended responses and this is where I really have a chance to understand your thoughts on the blog. With so many responses it is natural that I will receive conflicting ideas and thoughts, but it all helps me improve the blog.

I will go through some key areas of feedback and how it will/won’t change what is going to happen on the blog this year.

Recipes

Over 60% of readers have cooked at least one recipe from the blog. It is great to know people are cooking the recipes that I publish each week. As you will have noticed, there has been a change in style to the recipes I share over the last 18 months as I have changed my diet.

Feedback from readers on the new recipes was evenly split and this will give you an idea of the types of issues which were raised:

Not so happy

All of your new recipes are paleo very limiting to those who wish not to live that lifestyle. I can’t make your recipes as I can’t/won’t buy EXPENSIVE ingredients I may only get to use once (if my family & I don’t enjoy them).

I enjoy planning with kids blog, I’m not sure about the whole gluten free focus on recipes now, but generally I like your blog and appreciate all the work you do on it. Thank you.

There seems to have been a lot lately on ‘eco-food/clean eating’ etc. While I think it is important to eat healthily, it is really quite a ‘yuppy’ concept which people with lots of money and time can afford to do. I think it can breed a culture of ‘food dissatisfaction’ with women who are time/money poor and who sometimes just feed the family vegemite on toast! So I found that part fairly unhelpful. Apart from that I think you’re doing a great job! Thanks.

With respect, please refrain from promoting the paleo way of eating. It is not evidence-based and can be harmful to some when leaving out certain food groups. I am not a dietitian, but I am an allied health professional. If you do want to talk about diet, please use an accredited practising dietitian to provide evidence-based information.

Happy

It’s amazing Nic. You put so much thought in to your posts and you help so many people. The diet and wellbeing posts this year were ace. Both the ones about your particularly journey and the fabulous feedback from Katie 180 on your readers plates. Thank you for such an inspiring space.

Keep the healthy recipes coming. Thank you for such an honest and practically helpful blog. Yours and Picklebums are the only two I need to get me through my regular family life!

More recipe ideas for changing your plate.

My focus is more about changing my children’s eating and doing rather than me so more about transitioning your children to whole food eating would be awesome :-)

While I choose to be grain, cane sugar and dairy free, this is not something that I promote others do. This is a decision that every adult needs to make for themselves. I am the only one in my family of 7 that eats this way, with rest of the family eating all of those things.

Some of the ingredients used in the recipes do require trips to health food stores to purchase them, can cost a little more and I realise not everyone will want to use these ingredients. Where possible I will now include substitutes if I know them. As I won’t make the recipe with those ingredients, it will be my best guess only and cannot guarantee the substitute will work.

Blogs are personal and I will continue to share my personal experience. When I am introducing a new ingredient or type of food, I will where possible include links to references that tell both sides of the story, if there is one to tell and allow readers to make up their own mind (like I did in this post).

I have 24 hours in a day like everyone else. I run my part time business from home and have five kids. I don’t have loads of money. I wish we ate more organic food, but our budget doesn’t stretch that far. I wish my kids didn’t eat white bread, but that is a battle I have given up on for the moment. There are nights when they have eggs on toast for dinner or whatever I can find left over in the fridge.

I care about the food we eat, the products we use in our home and most likely (and to the annoyance of my teenagers) always will. I do the best I can, just as I am sure readers out there are doing the best they can with what they have. My choices are not a judgement on others.

Yearly theme

Over the last couple of years I have had an underlying theme running through out the year. It is not a dominant theme but there is generally series of posts on the theme through out the year. In 2014 it was change and in the survey I asked “did you make a change after reading the blog and if so what?” 37% of readers said yes they had!

Congratulations to all of you who made a change. Change is hard. I made some successful changes last year but still have some things to work on for 2015.

Over 200 readers took the time to list what the change was they made and I can’t adequately explain the joy I received from reading this list. Here is just a snippet of some of the changes readers made:

After participating in the survey by Katie180, I changed my diet.

I loved the changing my plate series and I am trying to implement recommendations from Katie 180 into my diet.

Exercise – a much more planned approach and made it a priority.

Started running!

Getting rid of processed foods from the pantry

Making more food from scratch for my family

I read the blog and it influences my thinking and strategies around work and family – developing an idea of changes I would like to make and influencing some of my decisions around work commitments.

Trying to increase family harmony, not be afraid to spend more time/energy/$ on my own health (lost 12kg), looking to set some more concrete goals for 2015.

I set personal goals too and got some ideas of how to do that when you have a family (rather than just business goals that I usually do).

More organised, used a weekly & holiday plan for kids

Weekly meal plans and shopping lists – asking children for recipe selection input.

My meal time prep on weekend began with great results through the week.

Weekly planners – it has transformed our lives.

Continuing attempt not to yell at the kids as much.

In the way I relate to my newly turned teenage son.

Integrated more time for me into my day.

This year the theme which will be running across the blog is “motherhood and me”. This will encapsulate the many facets of life as a mum – kids, partner, work, family and friends.

The survey has provided a huge array of questions for inspiration for posts, but if you have something in particular you would like to see me write about please let me know by leaving a note in the comments section below. {If you are reading via email you can click here to leave a comment.}

Thanks so much again for your feedback and I am starting off 2015 feeling inspired by your successes to create some of my own.

Comments

  1. Suzie says

    I know I should have filled in the survey, my genuine apologies that I didnt. But I just wanted to say that I love seeing how you fed your family and reading your very real recipes for paleo etc kind of eating. Most of the recipes I find aren’t tested on a family of 7 and I really appreciate that perspective :)

  2. says

    I did fill out the survey, but not sure I got across how happy I am that your recipes reflect your changing palate. I am the same as you – I am the only one in the family who eats grain, sugar and processed foods free and I do my best to influence and educate my children to eat healthier. It is so great to have your inspiration of healthy recipes, as well as your organised and wise thoughts on family life. Keep up the great work!!

  3. Marcia says

    I too missed filling out the survey but want to add that I have been a favourite of your blog for many years now and really enjoy trying out your recipes to the best of my ability. I love having a freezer stock piled with lunch items for the kids and it helps so much, in particular my children enjoyed the bacon and egg muffins this week and I also made a double batch of pizza scrolls (fairly easy home made dough recipe) that went in the freezer too. Thank you Nicole for your enthusiasm and dedication to important areas in family life.

  4. ally says

    Love your blog too. I occasionally cook your recipes, but enjoy the organisation/planning, inspiration and parenting articles best. I was wondering why you have gone down this diet route, did you write about your thought process on this?
    Lol, I agree with the above poster on you and picklebums are the best blogs out there, others make me feel not good enough as a mum.

    • says

      I love Kate’s blog too (Picklebums)! I have talked about the changes I made but not really why – will try and fit that into the schedule this year. Thanks so much for reading Ally.

  5. Kate says

    I did the survey and it was great to see that it was of value to you. In regards to the diet, I follow a wholefood diet so your style of recipes are pretty familiar. However, I totally get where others are coming from, I try and avoid buying obscure ingredients that are $$ and take up space in my pantry until I toss them out, eg coconut flour, agave nectare, etc. However a big part of your new diet approach is also fruits and veg and it would be great to see some tried and tested recipes for veg side dishes, fruit desserts etc. Keep up the great work.