Check it out folks -- garlic galore at the weekend Garlic Festival in beautiful upstate New York. What a fun way to pass a sunny Sunday, if you discount the rather tedious two-hour drive each way to get to Saugerties from NYC.
I headed up bright and early with some friends on Sunday for my first ever garlic festival. It was great to stroll across a big field, kicking autumn leaves and bits of stray hay with my feet until we got to the very crowded entrance. This festival is so big that the state troopers have to come out to direct traffic! There were tons of people, all eager to sample the gorgeous garlic fare sold by organic garlic farmers. It was quite rustic and homey and fun -- and full of food, of course.
There were all kinds of samples to eat, many of them garlic aioli and mayo and mustard or pesto and chutney and cheese and on and on and on. The sample sizes were small, but I still had to keep an eye on how many nibbles I had because it was all too easy to nosh on endlessly, all morning long.
There were some things that I was easily able to pass up!
But others, like garlic chocolate chip cookies, were all too appealing. Seriously, it tastes much better than you would think.
The real danger came at lunchtime. We had gotten up early and so I missed breakfast, but had a banana and small portion of cheese to tide me over on the ride up. We got there around 11am and immediately started sampling, so I wasn't all that hungry when we wandered into the food court around 2pm for lunch.
I guess because this was an outdoorsy festival I expected healthy options. Boy, was I wrong! Click on this picture to blow it up - do you see what I do?
Everything was fried at most of the food stands -- fried garlic is still fried garlic, and ditto for artichokes and ravioli (which I will admit to sampling when my friend got some, but it was gross. A ravioli is just not meant to be deep fried, and then covered in a slimy melted butter and garlic topping, itck).
The garlic theme was everywhere, as you would expect, but I passed on the garlic ice cream, the deep fried garlic cloves and especially the roasted garlic covered in chocolate, but my friend tried it.
I strolled forever looking for something that was a small portion. Everything I saw was huge -- and I mean HUGE. One place sold massive bowls of freshly fried potato chips, another sold Greek salads that used a mountain of feta cheese. I lamented that the b/f wasn't with me, because I would have gotten a veggie quesadilla for us to share. That was the healthiest option I found, but the portion was immense.
I knew if I ate it I would be sick, and I knew if I bought it I would eat too much. In the end, I just bought one slice of pizza with whole roasted tomatoes and basil on it and a few splotches of mozzarella cheese. It was the portion size I wanted -- one small slice, and looked like a fairly healthy choice. When I look back on Sunday, I'm pleased with myself. I was able to be in the moment and enjoy what was offered without struggling, but I picked my indulgences carefully, instead of just losing control and stuffing myself. I was in the moment, but also aware of my larger goals; relaxed, but in control at the same time. I wish every day could be like that!
I was able to make it through the weekend without a binge. Yay! I attribute my success to not buying any temptations and bringing them home. I just ate what I had normally planned for dinner and kept the portions in hand. I'm really relieved that's over!
The bad news is that my knees are still sore from the hiking/jogging, and so I'm resting and icing them still. It's been a few days since I worked out and I want to get back to it, but it's not worth causing a permanent injury. I've got to let them heal a bit.
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