So, before heading to Oregon — and just a few days after my return from Italy, I was sitting in my NYC apartment – okay still sulking a little bit about American versus Italian food.  A sulk I should reconsider.  First, I’m in the States, so get over it, dammit!  But also – I realize, no have to admit – I also ate what I damn well pleased while there.  Giving lie to my statements that

I never gain weight when I go to Italy!

Except, when I got on the scale upon my return and found out that a week of Janet Eats – Italian style – netted an extra five pounds in avoirdupois.  Oh boy.  Not bummed, mind you.  It is temporary.  And, oh so fun.

I found a quick option to my quest to eat like a Roman – but also keep fit, like most Italians.  I have always said – and this truism is, well, true.

You will not gain weight in Italy, if you eat their food in the WAY they eat their food.  You don’t, for the most part, see them walking around eating food, eating lots of desserts, eating in between meals.  Their fornos are a selected treat.  Not, as I did when I lived there for three months, a place to visit every day.  I have been happy to be vacationing a lot lately.  But, it does make it more challenging to eat healthfully.

  1. Challenge:  Away from home.
  2. Challenge: The food that is available is different, sometimes COMPLETELY different from your everyday choices.  And
  3. Challenge: Who WANTS to eat with limits and care.  It’s vacation!

So, now I face the wonderful opportunity to renew my commitment to healthful eating.  Good choices.  Veggies when I want them.  Steamed with a little olive oil.  Not at all something you even want to eat while on vacation.

You know, you gotta live.  In a way that allows for some indulgences.  If you are challenged, as I am, to eat healthfully on a regular basis (and, even at that, my friends tell me I’m pretty damn good at that) – you need to not judge yourself.  Pick on yourself.  Feel badly about yourself.  Enjoy the food that you eat when you eat it.  If that means a temporary weight gain, then just “man up” and eat the way you know is both best – AND enjoyable – for you.

And, I think I’ll try that recipe I read about from another Word Press Blogger, Iowa Girl Eats:

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

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As promised: here’s the list of what I ate at this year’s fair. Every year is slightly different: I have some favorites. And, of course, have to try out new items. This year: the deep-fried bologna on a stick. Here goes.

  • honey ice cream with sunflower seeds (twice)
  • wine ice cream: ruby raspberry and apple cinnamon
  • deep-fried bologna on a stick
  • grilled corn on the cob, hold the butter
  • mini-donuts
  • Pronto Pup® (you may know it as a corn dog)
  • sarsaparilla
  • sausage sampler: swedish, tuscan, wild rice
  • vanilla milk shake
  • small taste of chocolate malted milkshake
  • what they called a “tornado potato”: spiral fries dipped in chocolate
  • Pig Lickers: bacon dipped in dark chocolate
  • sweet potato “tater tots”
  • 10 bottles of 20 oz. water
  • Korean chicken taco
  • key lime pie on a stick

You know, I think that’s it. If something else comes to mind, I’ll add it. Doesn’t look so bad. Hahahahaha. Certainly not up to the standards of the 2005 fair.

UPDATE:  I have to laugh.  Looking at my post from the 2010 Minnesota State Fair – I realized that the picture is very similar to the one below – from the 2009 OREGON State Fair: involving the same basic food item: Bacon.  Anyway — I experimented with posting a blog from a remote location, in this case – obviously – the MN Fairgrounds – and it seemed to work.

A little post from the fair. I’ve embraced the fun of knowing that part of the joy of weight loss is that a day of indulgence ain’t gonna hurt. I mean, what would a day at the fair be without Pig Lickers: crisp bacon dipped in dark chocolate. Spent an hour with a man who creates wooden bowls you can drink ale from. Ain’t life grand!!

Sorry, gotta run. Hear there are sweet potato “tater tots” over down the way.

When is a pigout not a binge? When you do it in the swine barn, of course!

I’m about to attend the MN State Fair where eating is not just a pasttime but a necessity. Or, as my fair companion puts it: I AM a professional.

Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not going to the great Minnesota Get-Together just to eat: there’s the crop art (pics made out of seeds and stems), the pigs and prize ducks, butter sculptures and two, count them TWO huge buildings dedicated to amazing Popeil products.

But, no doubt about it, this annual festa of food on a stick is a gourmand’s delight. Yes, gourmand. I mean: honey ice cream with sunflower seeds. Walleye fillets. Pig lickers: crispy bacon dipped in dark chocolate, served cold of course.

Still to come: the complete list and even photographic evidence.

Me in BlanketWho knew, indeed?  Turns out the truism that we gain about 5-10 pounds at holiday time is flawed.  In fact, the average person gains about a pound.  what we gain is about one pound.

weightwatchers.com writes:

According to the most reliable to-date study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average weight gain was a little less than one pound. The study participants who did have a major holiday weight gain, defined as 5 pounds or more, were more likely to be overweight than people who gained less.

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Day One of the New Year.   New beginnings, new starts.  I share with you how I rang in my New Year – and maybe you’ll be inspired.

I built myself a visionboard. It seemed the best way to spend a contemplative evening, out of the din, by myself, in a calm and measured state.  It was a beautiful evening.

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