Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fitness Fanatic Approved Fair Foods

The great Minnesota Get Together starts in just a couple of weeks. Feared and Dreaded by trainers across the state since the beginning of time, this single event can cause more damage to a client's otherwise predicable progress than Thanksgiving and Valentine's day COMBINED. 12 days of high fat content food. 12 days of grazing and lazing.

But it doesn't have to be so! We've done some research on the deep fried lard on a stick alternatives, and have found that a trip to the fair can be fun, friendly, and fitness approved.

But before I get into the food tips, let me give you two other pieces of advice for making the fair regret-free to your fitness goals.

First and Foremost, Get your workout in BEFORE you go to the fair. Most venues don't open until 8 or 9AM, so get up early, get that workout in, boost the metabolism going into the battle, and you'll have a few more caloric liberties while your're there.

Secondly, PLAN for riding your bike to the fair. Search for and plan to park by Como and you'll have less than a mile to ride to any of the FREE bike parking lots. You'll still want to bring a lock, but the fully attended corrals will check-in your bike to ensure that everyone leaves with what they brought in. Three Gates host bike corrals:
  • Como-Snelling Gate (#6)
  • Hoyt-Snelling Gate (#2)
  • Commonwealth-West Dan Patch (#15)

Bike Corral Hours: 6 a.m. to midnight daily.

Bicycle corrals are sponsored by Twin City Bike Club.

Visit them online at

As far as food is concerned, my recommendation would be to have a healthy, hearty meal before you go.

BUT, I know a lot of folks flock to the fair simply to enjoy the delicacies, so here are a list of the least damaging choices.

Category 1: Your Trainer will love you

Andres Watermelon

Caribbean Fruit Smoothies

Midwest Dairy Association of Minnesota "All The Milk You Can Drink For $1"

Minnesota Apples

Minnesota State Fair Bottled Water

Orange Treet

St. Martins

Category 2: A few good choices, but not all good

Bayou Bob's Gator Shack (watch the sodium)

Beef Kabobs (kabobs OK, side dishes marginal)

Buffalo Burgers (kabobs OK, side dishes marginal)

Cafe Caribe

Corn Roast (skip the butter)

Demetri's Greek Foods (Salad OK)

Dino's Gyros (Salads OK)

Falafel King (stay away from the fried vegies)

Hawaiian Shaved Ice (go light on the cream & nut toppings)

Jerky Shoppe, The (watch the sodium)

Mini-Kabob (watch the sodium)

Minnesota Buffalo Association, E-18 Judson Ave.

Porkchops and Turkey Legs (Turkey OK; Porkchops not)

Ragin Cajun (peel/eat shrimp or boiled crawfish only)

Smokin' Joe's Smokehouse

Turkey To Go (drumsticks OK)

And that's a LOT of Food. Much of it wouldn't fit into the optimal, heathly diet, but, again, is going to blow your diet LESS than almost anything else you'll find at the fair.