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Clean Italian food for Pre-Marathon

Any good recommendations for a pre-marathon meal? Looking for clean, healthy Italian food-- whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce; grilled salmon. Salad- maybe with avocado or something like that. Bonus if restaurant is nice- looking for a nice experience.


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  1. I've never heard the word "clean" used in this context. Can you elaborate?


    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I'm kind of puzzled by that one myself???

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I knew a woman who was in Overeaters Anonymous. Anything she was allowed to eat, she called "clean." Sugar and flour were "dirty." Many other things were "clean," though she had lots of refinements and exceptions. She couldn't eat Mexican food. And pasta was fuggeddaboudit. Organic wasn't a thing those days.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          It's a popular term nowadays to describe a diet that's focused upon whole foods, mostly veggie and protein driven, without processed or overly unhealthy foods. Some people avoid grains completely on it, others will have only whole grains; some won't eat any dairy at all, others will have some. Lots of variability within the term.

        2. None of those things are Italian, (avocado? salmon?)... If you mean 'not-heavily red sauced/cheesed Italian,' you might try Sportello. They have a lobster/calamari fra diavolo on the new menu that's delicious and pretty light. The pasta is homemade, but not whole wheat.

          If you mean you want 'Italian as made by a cook at the Harvest Food Co-op,' then sorry I can't help you. The pre-marathon carbo-loading thing has been kind of debunked anyway.

          1. Gennaro's sounds close to what you're looking for. Natural meats, vegetarian and vegan (though you mentioned salmon) friendly. Very good fish.

            1. Pasta Beach will serve you a nice bowl of penne integrale with a good fresh tomato sauce and has a variety of salads (I have enjoyed all that I have tried, especially the salad with grilled eggplant). There is salmon on the menu but I go there for pasta and pizza, so I can't comment. It seems pretty clean, too.

              1. Do you mean clean as in organic? Clean as is in light (no heavy cheeses, butter, oil)? Clean as in the place its self is clean?

                1. Erbaluce? Great "lighter" Italian food due to the omission of butter and cream. But they may not have the whole wheat pasta.

                  1. am sorry, but italians don't eat whole wheat pasta and avocado isn't a go-to food for them either.

                    you may be better off at someplace like veggie planet.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      really, Italians don't eat whole wheat pasta? Tell that to my Florentine living great Aunt or in fact most of my Italian relatives!

                      Now if you said most Italian resteraunts don't serve whole wheat pasta I could get behind that statement as it rare to find in places that consider themselves as serving "real" and/or "authentic" italian cuisine.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        I enjoy whole wheat pasta, has a great nutty flavor and better texture, still don't get the 'clean' term.

                        1. re: treb

                          We may never know! This was the OP's first post and doesn't look like he/she has or will be back.

                            1. re: Jay F

                              you owe me a new keyboard! I just spit out my tea!

                              1. re: foodieX2

                                same here..no doubt "nice" avocadoes..:)

                        2. re: foodieX2

                          lol, ok, perhaps your family does, mine does not. we also don't eat cheese on fish. :)

                          it's not something i recall ever seeing on an "italian" menu.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            exactly- I rarely see it on Italian menu's either (here in the states or in Italy) but it is not uncommon in Italian households, or at least northern Italian ones which is where we spend our time.

                      2. If you are looking closer to the start line, Tomasso in Southborough is excellent.

                        1. Thank you all for your comments. I know avocados and whole wheat pasta aren't apart of traditional Italian food and you're unlikely to find them in Italian restaurants.

                          By clean I meant without heavy cheeses and butter, and maybe even with a focus on a lighter and healthier approach to Italian food.

                          I know all of this is a pretty specific and unusual request–hence why I made the post in the first place. : )

                          Thanks again!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: geoffreyweg

                            Go to Erbaluce - lighter-style Italian, easy to do healthy/clean, lots of good options. Nice place and really nice people, plus not impossible to get a reservation.