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The County Fair: A Deep-Fried Summertime Tradition

Published on July 25, 2012

We talk often of the difficulties in sticking with a well-balanced and low-calorie diet during the holiday season. All of that warm comfort food during those chilly winter months frequently proves too-hard-to-resist for most. Then, before we know it, springtime celebrations are upon us and we’re faced with the allure of Easter-time feasts, marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies. And just when we think we’ll be able to begin recovering our diets from these tempting traditions, summertime swings into full gear and with it comes the often odd, but still tempting foods dangled before us at county fairs across the country.

This year’s odd fair foods that boast absolutely no nutritional value had me scratching my head with many of their descriptions. At one local fair, a food purveyor introduced his much talked about and highly anticipated Deep-fried Kool-Aid Balls. Now, before you turn your nose up, think about the initial reports indicating that the wait for these “treats” was about an hour. An hour! Just standing there, waiting to digest (hopefully) a calorie-filled concoction that most wouldn’t find appetizing under any other circumstance.

The above example is more the rule than the exception. Although it claims to be going “gourmet” with the introduction of food trucks to this year’s events, another local fair still has the buzz-worthy and stomach-churning (at least for me) odd, fried fare that many people seem eager to try. Things like chocolate-dipped corn dogs and beer-battered bacon. And those “gourmet” food trucks aren’t off the hook either. One of them will be serving a “Behemoth Burger” this year a 7 oz. beef patty topped with cheddar cheese, beer-soaked onions, pickles and barbeque sauce that is sandwiched between grilled-cheese sandwiches as the bun.

I bring all of this up not to make you salivate (I actually hope you have the opposite reaction from the above descriptions) or to make you pine for such artery-clogging and fattening fare, but really to illustrate a point. If every season seems to offer up such tantalizing foods that correspond with it, how do we ever expect to “recover” from these too-tempting opportunities? We can’t expect our January resolutions to redeem us from the other 11 months in which we over-indulge in foods we know aren’t healthy for us. It just doesn’t work that way.

So, whether it’s summertime or wintertime or somewhere-in-between-time, watching what we eat and how we eat it is a year-round commitment. Certainly when it comes to weight loss, the idea that we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want and however much we want of it without significant consequences is as real a notion as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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