Day 5 – The Healthy Edition – Whole Wheat Linguine with Marinara and Shrimp Fritta

by hagz

Not only did I have Olive Garden yesterday for lunch, but my wife and I then went out and ate an equally absurd amount of carbs at an Indian restaurant for dinner. I’m talking K-2 level mountains of rice, naan, and samosas with buttery masala sauce slathered all over everything. I weighed in a little heavy this morning so I decided to get the healthiest possible combination at the OG today for lunch. It helped that I went with my buddy Jooho, who is a much more responsible man than I. When I suggested the low fat dressing, he countered with no dressing, so we got the low fat dressing on the side. Who knew they even had low fat dressing? They should really push that a bit more to get the health-conscious crowd in there more often.

DAY5 001

One of the criminally under-appreciated benefits of dining frequently at a real authentic Italian restaurant is that you get to learn some Italian! Although I’m a little confused as to why I got a funny look from the hostess when I greeted her with an enthusiastic “Benvenuto!” Must have been my pronunciation. It’s okay, I plan on purchasing a Rosetta Stone later this afternoon so I can learn the Olive Garden’s home language and converse with the staff in their native tongue. My goal is to write my Day 49 post entirely in Italian. Mamma mia! Mozzarella! Marinara!

DAY5 002Salad. No dressing means extra cheese.

DAY5 003

And by no dressing, I mean dressing on the side in this bowl that was cleverly designed so that the entire contents can easily be dumped out in any direction.

DAY5 004

Beautiful breadsticks. I haven’t figured out how they make them so delicious yet, but I put on my detective’s cap and I think I’ve Scooby-Dooed some clues. The Olive Garden is mere blocks away from Reading Terminal Market, so my instincts are telling me that they must source their breadsticks from the Amish bakery over there.  The Amish are also known for their butter, although I’m sure the garlic salt comes straight from Italy.

DAY5 005

I decided to finally try a pepperoncini. It was… not terrible, actually. Kind of like a spicy, salty pickle. I probably would not put a second one in my mouth, although I don’t regret the first one. (That’s what she said)

DAY5 006

I scoured the nutritional information and discovered that the healthiest pasta bowl combination is the whole wheat linguine with marinara sauce and the shrimp fritta. I supposed the actual healthiest would be whole wheat linguine served naked, but that would be dumb. Kudos to our server Becca for HOOKING UP THE CHEESE! She was fearless about turning the crank on the patented OG cheese machine. The shrimp was back to heavenly levels today, have to remember to come in closer to 1pm than 3pm.

Tomorrow or Sunday, whenever our 5K is, I will be going the opposite direction and ordering the maximum-calorie combination of the OG Pasta Bowl. You know, have to carb load before races. I do understand the carb-loading thing now, this morning when I woke up with about 700g of carbs in my belly, I felt like a sleek race car with a full tank of gas.

Current weight: 174.3

Current cost per pasta bowl: $24.40

Breadsticks consumed (today/total): 2/10

Calories consumed this meal: 1,095