Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}

7 Ways to Stay Healthy at the West Virginia State Fair

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From August 10-18, 2012, Lewisburg, WV is bustling with activity as folks from around the state gather to enjoy “Memories that grow… year after year.” A fair is a great place to go as an outing with your friends or family, and if you are from West Virginia you’re bound to run into someone you know. Celebrations of culture and heritage are a beautiful thing, and much of the entertainment at the Fair showcases these qualities.

Yesterday I was able to go to the fair with some friends, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Just in case you’re planning to go to the State Fair this week, I thought I’d write up a list of some ways to enjoy the festivities, without breaking your calorie bank. These same principles can be applied to any large festival you attend, with some modifications.

1)    Eat a healthful breakfast and/or lunch before you go to the fair. When you’re at home, it’s easier to choose wisely foods that will fuel your body well.

2)    Choose water. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re walking around, particularly if the day is warm. Soda pop or other sugary beverages just don’t fuel your body the same way. As an added bonus, taking a water bottle and filling it up at the water fountains around the fair is a great way to reduce your spending.

3)    Pack a snack. Throwing a small amount bag (1/4 cup is a serving) of nuts or dried fruit in your pocket or purse is a great way to eat just a little bit to refuel in between meals.

4)    Enjoy walking around. There’s a whole fair ground to explore! Take advantage of the opportunity to stretch your legs and get in some exercise without even thinking about it. At the WV State Fair, there is a shuttle available to take fairgoers between the parking area and the entrance. This option is great for those who have difficulty walking, but if you’ve got strong legs- use them.

5)    Find healthier options. There are foods available at the fair that are easier on your waistline. I spotted a few salads, roasted corn (where YOU can apply your own butter and salt, therefore controlling the amounts that are added), and options like gyros and wraps that are more nutrient dense than a funnel cake. At the Country Store, in the West Virginia Annex building, they were selling fruit- apples for $0.75 and peaches for $1.00.

6)    Sit a spell. This is particularly important if you’re at the fair all day. If your legs are getting tired, take a break. Sit down in the Small Stock Arena or the Southern States Livestock Arena to enjoy a livestock show.

7)    Indulge in one fair delicacy. If you crave a cinnamon roll, an ice cream cone, donuts, a funnel cake, or deep fried oreos, go ahead and get it. It’s okay to splurge on a treat on special occasions. Consider sharing your delicacy with a friend. The flavor and experience is better shared, and you’re also sharing the calories.

As an added note, if you’re a gardener be sure to check out the Heritage Garden and High Tunnel to see some beautiful vegetables. I found these MicroTom tomatoes that are simply adorable. I might have to try growing some of them next year!

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Author: roannamartinwvudietetics12

A dietetic intern with a love of learning, an enjoyment of food, and a passion for people.

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