Clean eating can easily take a hit when you venture out to one of many fall fairs. In my area, just about any weekend during the early fall finds a local fair full of activities and fun but a dearth of clean eating and fresh food. All it takes is a quick stroll around some of the booths and you can get your share of corn dogs, fried dough and sugary doughnuts, just to name a few.
And the grandaddy of fairs in our area, The Big E (covering the six New England states), is a weight watcher’s and clean eater’s nightmare, to be sure. Each of the states has a statehouse with historical information, promotional material and all the foods the states are known for (think blueberries in Maine, chowder in Rhode Island, and maple syrup in Vermont.). People line up many people deep to place their order and gorge themselves silly.
All that high caloric, often fatty food begs the question about whether clean eating is actually possible at one of these fairs. Is it feasible to think you can find some semblance of healthy food to balance out your favorite treats? Is there a way to leave a fall fair with some measure of clean eating under your belt that won’t leave you with several pounds of weight gain?
I’ve put together a few handy tips to help you navigate fall fairs more easily and at least keep clean eating on your radar screen:
- Eat before you go. Have lunch or a healthy snack before you embark on a trip to your local fair so you’re less tempted to eat everything in sight.
- Scope out all the offerings before you dig in. Check out the range of offerings and make a plan for the ones you’d like to visit.
- Find some balance. Not everything you eat has to be full of fat or fried. How can you enjoy yourself and keep an eye on your weight? At the Big E, I was thrilled to find fresh picked raspberries that were bursting with flavor and super clean.
- Take a break in between treats. Check out the 4-H exhibit or go for a ride and you’ll have a sure-fire plan to quell constant eating.
- Share with a friend. Who says you have to eat the whole baked potato or bag of cookies? Share with a friend and you’ll do less damage.
What’s your favorite way to practice clean eating at a fall fair? What’s your strategy to keep it relatively clean and avoid lots of weight gain? Please share your thoughts below!