The local county fair officially opened at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The military salute and flag raising, complete with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” traditionally marks the commencement of a week of fun, food, entertainment and competition.
The opening ceremony wasn’t even 15 minutes behind me and already I had a powdered donut in my belly with a cinnamon donut waiting to be swallowed. I love being at the fair, and the food is one of my favorite attractions.
French fires are greasier at the fair. A corn dog at any other time of the year is just a corn dog, but if you eat it while walking around the exhibits at the fair, it is something special. Cotton Candy is sweeter; the onions on a steak sandwich are tastier. The donuts are donuttier. Everything that you eat at the fair tastes different and better.
There is an abundance of fair food wherever you walk. Folks on a special diet are challenged to find choices that do not contain too many unhealthy calories. Most of the delectable foodstuffs are difficult to include into a healthy meal plan, but it can be accomplished.
A pork tenderloin is my favorite because of its flavor; it is also low in fat and calories; high in protein. I always wondered if it is rude to eat a pork sandwich in front of the swine barn. I like these sandwiches the best, but I always feel bad about eating one within close proximity of the porkers.
Instead of sitting down at a restaurant and choosing from a limited menu, the fair offers the diner a walking menu. Walk from one menu item to the next, and the choices are limitless. The portions are more than a body needs. Make every effort to share portions to reduce calories and taste more.
Speaking of walking, this type of exercise cannot be ignored at the fair. Just walking from one end of the fairgrounds to the other to buy an apple dumpling justifies the purchase.
Portion size is the key to weight control, and too much of a good thing can be justified by walking for hours at the fair. Some of my favorite memories at the fair revolve around the food and walking around.
Carry a water bottle and use it. Many times thirst is disguised as hunger. Sugary soda and lemonade provide fluid but very little nutrition and can often make you thirstier. Drink at least 8 ounces of water before purchasing another delicacy at the fair. Your body will thank you. Make sure children and elderly are hydrated also.
Some people say that they haven’t officially visited the fair until they eat their full. So once a year, make memories at the fair by enjoying the food without guilt; sharing large portions and walking off the extra energy. Meet me at the apple dumpling booth.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.