Yesterday hubs, my nephew and I spent 6.5 fun-filled hours at the Tennessee State Fair. It’s been years since I’ve attended. Some things never change, like…well…like fair food.
I didn’t bother to count the number of kiosks selling Polish sausages, fried bologna, popcorn, candied apples, caramel apples and cotton candy. Of course there were items that fell into the “only at the fair” category. Hubs and I cracked up over the Deep Fried Goo Goo Clusters. Seriously? Now, prior to my sugar-free days, I ate me some Goo Goos. I’m from Nashville, for Heaven sakes. Nashville is home to the Standard Candy Company, the maker of Goo Goos. But deep-fried? Come on. Yet the item that in my opinion was the most over the top, at least in terms of marketing and packaging was…wait for it…
The Meat Sundae.
I kid you not. Hubs and I took the time to read the sign. This concoction was made to look like an ice cream sundae. It was made with beef and gravy (ooh, that reminds me of hot fudge sauce), whipped potatoes (get it? ice cream!), cheese sprinkles, and a cherry tomato on top. Cleaver, huh? Someone reading the sign along with us said, “Forget it, that’s a heart attack in a cup.”
How does one keep to a somewhat healthy food plan while dining in the Midway? I packed two energy bars that would have to do for two of my mini meals. That left one meal to purchase. I surveyed ALL of the choices and decided the best of the worst option was the burrito I found at a Mexican kiosk. What I was served really didn’t seem too deadly from a health perspective, although I wouldn’t make eating it a habit. While made of white flour, the tortilla was at least thin. The chicken was grilled. There was only a smidge of cheese and the world’s smallest dollop of sour cream. It also contained a small amount of refried beans and rice. I also recall seeing lettuce. I’m sure it contained more calories than I’m used to eating at a meal, but I didn’t feel stuffed. Plus I burned 1,036 calories during my morning run, so I wasn’t overly worried.
In other State Fair health news, while cruising through one of the exhibitor buildings, I found someone selling 30-minute ionic foot baths for $20. I’ve wanted to try this ever since I first learned of it. So I threw caution to the wind and $20 bucks at the vendor. I know someone who believes so strongly in the benefits, he bought his own system. I know others who think it’s bunk. But I was willing to take a $20 risk. Plus, I was just curious.
There were about eight chairs with small water tubs in front of them. Being the lucky person I am, I was directed to the chair closest to the aisle, meaning all those passing by got a bird’s-eye view of my foot bath. The water is clear when the procedure begins. Over time it changes color based on what’s being detoxed out of the patient. The couple to my right were well into their treatments when I began mine. I tried not to look at their water because it was so gross I thought I might throw up. Thankfully they finished and were on their way when I was only five minutes into my treatment. My water turned a funky shade of orangy-brown. The man who administered my test told me that judging from the color, he thought I might have arthritis (I do.) Then clear bubbles started dotting the water’s surface. I was told this indicated I probably have insomnia (so far, he was two for two). Just as I was beginning to notice I felt really thirsty, the tester came back, checked the water and handed me a bottle of H2O. “Drink this. You’re really getting dehydrated,” he told me. Either there’s something to this ionic foot bath stuff, or the guy’s a mind-reader.
The worst part of the foot bath was the crowd of people milling around, looking at my water and saying within my earshot, “Oh man, that’s gross!” One lady told her kids to stop talking so loud or they’d hurt my feelings. Of course she said that at a volume I could clearly hear. I tried to appear nonplussed, but I felt like I was a performer in the “freak show” that was a staple of the fairs of my youth.
The tester wanted me to soak for an extra 10 minutes so the process could “really start working on my internal organs.” That also allowed time for more gawking from spectators. Hubs and nephew cruised by as my organs were being worked, adding two more gawkers to the mix.
At last it was over. I dried my feet, removing the orangy-brown gunky water. Then it was back out into the Midway.
It was a fun day, I didn’t completely torpedo my food plan, and hubs and I have another fun memory of a day spent with my nephew. And I experienced an ionic foot bath while freaking out the crowd.