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Fair Food 101: How to stay healty at fairs and festivals

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In Minnesota, the end of August means two big events– the State Fair and the Renaissance Festival.  But how can we make the most of these summer mainstays while still maintaining our health?  How can we savor the turkey legs, cheese curds, bacon on a stick, deep fried Oreos and giant tubs of chocolate chip cookies that these events offer without blowing our diets?  There are a few steps we can take to manage our trips to these fun festivities to ensure that we aren’t overdoing it at the mini donut booth.

1. Park as far away from the event as possible.  The long walk to and from the event will burn extra calories and aid in digestion – especially on the walk back when our stomachs are overly full and in need of a kick start.
2. Balance out the deep fried stuff with other foods like fruit kabobs (even dipped in chocolate it offers some nutritional value), popcorn (for the fiber), corn on the cob (it's a natural food) or fresh squeezed lemonade (lemon aids in digestion and liquids make you feel full so you’ll eat less). 
3. Walk the grounds of the event multiple times.  The more you walk, the more calories you burn.  Just don’t keep eating the more times you walk it!
4. If you suffer from heart, blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases, limit salt and greasy foods.  It may not seem as enjoyable, but your health is much more important than eating that hot dog or deep fried pickle.
5. The State Fair features animals – lots and lots of animals.  So walk the barns and spend some time with the other beasts that inhabit the planet with us. 
6. Check out the flower and plant buildings at the state fair.  The beauty and scent of the foliage is a reminder to appreciate nature.
7. Remember – it isn’t the last time you’ll ever eat a certain food – so don’t overdo it.  For everything you eat, take your time and savor it. 
8. If you’re going to splurge, go for quality over quantity.  Only eat the things you really love.
9. Have fun!  Nothing reduces stress like a good laugh so enjoy your time at the event.  Don’t let the crowds, weather or traffic stress you out, but instead, enjoy the camaraderie and outdoors.

For more information about the State Fair or Renaissance Festival, please visit their websites at:

Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota Renaissance Festival

For more stories from Kristen, visit her homepage or learn more about her online at




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