Friday, August 28, 2009

The Great Minnesota get-together!

It's here! The Great Minnesota Get-together! The Minnesota State Fair is 12 days of CRaZY awesome food on a stick, rides, animals and fair fun! Despite the fact that I am roughly a native Minnesotan, I have only been to the fair 3 times. But the last time I went, I LOVED it. I ate, saw the rodeo, went on the Zipper, got duped into a side show, had a fried snickers, saw yarn art and stayed ALL day.

Here are a few fair items that are new or that I had last year:
  • Pig Lickers (chocolate-covered crisp-fried bacon)
  • Deep Fried Norwegian Banana Split (banana wrapped in lefse, deep fried and topped with ice cream, chocolate, pineapple and strawberries)
  • Tater tot hot dish on-a-stick with cream of mushroom dipping sauce
  • FRIED: twinkie, snickers!
REALLY! How is a girl supposed to do it? All that food, all those calories! How do you exercise moderation and still enjoy yourself at the fair? Here are a few fit girl tips:

Plan ahead! If you don't plan your meals ahead, you should try. Everyone who does, knows that it steers you away from eating what you haven't planned out or already prepared! Do the same thing at the Fair: make a list of all your must have fair foods! They are almost always listed online and you know your favorites! Then don't deviate from the list, you'll save yourself from eaters remorse and you'll save cash!

Split things! The last time I went to the fair, a friend and I (with our list) split everything that we bought. That way we got to sample what we wanted and not eat TOO much of any one thing. I mean really who needs a whole fried snickers anyway, I would be sick by the last bite. It's creative portion control.

Stick to the Best! At the MN state fair, as it is at EVERY fair I am sure, you can get everything on a sick. But don't get overwhelmed with ALL the food there: you can have much of the same food anytime you want. Get things that are treats for you, that are unique to the fair or that you really want to try...just this once. As ordinary as it is-- I have a corn dog, every year. But I have only one, only once a year at the fair! It is the one item that tops my list (and I don't split!) Otherwise I'll go small portions of the pig-lickers and cream-filled pickles because I know I won't be trying those on a boring friday night in January.

Health food? Believe it or not, you can find healthy options at a fair. If you're not comfortable splurging on some high cal treats, go for a grilled chicken sandwich, a smoothie, frozen yogurt and sweet corn sans butter. You will feel better and still feel like you are getting your fill of fun summer food!

Remember to bring your water bottle and drink up!! It will keep you feeling full and satisfied so you don't over indulge. Chances are you are going to be walking in the hot sun and will need that refueling anyway. Water is a great way to curb your appetite and keep your cravings in check.

Have fun fair goers--which ever fair you find yourself at! And remember, if they tell you they have a lizard man under the side show big top--well don't take my word for it, but it's probably not really worth it.

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