Eating Healthfully in Tuscany and Umbria

I'm currently hiking, bicycling, eating and drinking my way through Tuscany and Umbria. As a dietitian, who enjoys a colorful, plant-based diet, I've found it quite easy to eat healthfully in this landlocked region of Italy.

Some excellent options have been:

Insalata mista (mixed salad), which includes ingredients such as tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber, corn, and/or olives.  And, it's typically no problem to add protein such as tuna (tonno) or hard boiled egg (uova sode) to an insalta mista.  Top it with a high-quality balsamic vinegar and you'll be a happy traveler.  

Pizza vegetariana, which consists of a thin, crispy crust, rich tomato sauce, and lots of fresh veggies.  I enjoy it "senza formaggio" (without cheese).  

Panini, which is often showcased with meat and cheese, can be ordered with tuna (tonno) and tomato (pomodoro) or vegetables (verduras) such as spinach (spinaci), tomato (pomodoro), and others.

Pasta, which tends to come in small portions, with a healthy "pomodoro" (tomato sauce), has provided me with the necessary fuel to endure some very long days of cycling.

Grapes right off the vine have been a delicious treat, while cycling through vineyards. (Note: It is now September 23rd, so the grapes will be gone in a few weeks.)

Figs fresh from the tree (also seasonal) taste like candy that literally melts in your mouth! (Important note from our Italian friend, Giovanni: Before you bite into a freshly plucked fig, give it a squeeze and peek inside to make sure there are no insects hiding in there.)

Here is a photo of me learning to
make stringozzi (fresh pasta).
And, this is the stringozzi we made!