Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Splurges

Saskatoon's summer festivals continue.  My husband and I roamed around the Saskatoon Fringe Festival yesterday afternoon.  It was great to see people outside (walking, biking) enjoying the great weather and getting a bit of exercise.  I honestly haven't ever been to one of the shows, but have fun watching the buskers and checking out the booths.  The fringe runs until Saturday (the 11th). 

The Saskatoon Ex starts today for all the ride lovers!  It runs until Sunday (the 12th).  I didn't grow up going to the Ex and have probably only been 3 or 4 times in my life, so it's not really an event I feel I'm missing out on.  I know many people also go for the shows, musicians, and food. 

The food of course is what gets my attention.  Think elephant ears, spudnuts, cotton candy, sausage on a bun, or whatever nostalgic foods remind you of your childhood.  This is where we can get caught eating for psychological reasons, not physical hunger.  As I'm sure you're aware, these foods tend to be high in fat, sugar, salt, or all three (and low or lacking in nutritional value). 

In the same way that I advise having a plan before heading to a Christmas party, it's also a good idea to have a plan before heading into an area full of potentially tempting foods.  I was actually amazed at how many food vendors were out at the fringe!  If this is your one time a year to have an elephant ear, then have it, enjoy it, savour it, and get back to your healthy eating pattern.  Don't deprive yourself, but don't eat half a dozen either!  Decide what you will allow yourself (ie. I'll have 2 items) and stick to that plan.  Make sure you eat before you go so that you're not starving (and more likely to make a less healthy choice), and include vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and low fat protein in your other meals to help reach your daily requirements.

Health Castle has a great post on carnival foods with the take-aways being:
  • Don't show up hungry
  • Split an order with someone else
  • Find a comfortable spot to sit down and enjoy these treats
  • Open your eyes to other food possibilities beyond the "traditional" carnival far
  • Finally, put it all in context. Indulging in some treats during one visit to the fair probably won't do much harm, but if you are spending a week at an amusement park, "sprinkle out" the treats throughout the visit instead of gobbling them up for every meal. 
So since it's Q's Day, I would like to know:

What is your summer food splurge?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching