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The Power of Pizza

Posted Dec 20 2011 4:13am

I learned a very important nutritional concept simply from eating a slice of pizza. Once I thought about the implications, did some research, I came up with some important revelations for myself as they related to my eating habits…………


One of my ongoing treats is the Pizza Oven at Whole Foods Markets. They are made by hand with very wholesome and healthy ingredients.


The pizza oven workers at the Whole Foods in downtown Portland know me by face, and they are as anxious as I am when I come by so I can try one of their new creations, such as sweet potato/turkey/mozzarella, or the vegetarian pear and walnut pizza. Mostly I order one of basic pizza slices such as the tomato/mozzarella/basil, or my other favorite, spinach and mushroom. Anyhoo, to get to the point, I have to take a step back to last year when I was living in Connecticut, hanging out with my still good friend Desiree, on my last night in Hartford, CT, before my flight to Portland. We decided to order and pizza because we were both hungry, so she proceeded to order a large pizza from Domino's. I'm not big fan of Domino's but that's what she normally orders, so I just went with it. Half hour later, I'm wolfing down slice after slice and I'm thinking I'm good to go. I ate a substantial amount of pizza, almost half a large pizza. An hour or so later, I'm back at home, packing for my flight, and it hits me, HUNGER. Not just any hunger, but a very powerful hunger like I hadn't eaten all day. Amazing.

Fast forward to the here and now, whenever I want a quick snack that will hold me for a few hours, I will run over to Whole Foods and order a "slice", hang out outside at the whole foods outdoor seating, drinking a "all natural" Izze soda (only fruit juice and sparkling water) and just enjoy the day. I always found it funny that one slice of Whole Foods pizza can allow me to fill nourished and content for three to four hours. Note I say "nourished" as opposed to "full", because any food can fill your stomach up, but once you get in tune with your eating habits, you will become well aware of this nourishing feeling, where your body is telling you that it has received the necessary nutrients to keep going for a few hours. Science is well aware that when you get the proper nourishment, signals are sent to the brain, and the brain in tells the body that there is no longer a need to keep eating. One of the main reasons methinks some people over eat is because the is no real nutrition in the food, and the brain is basically signaling the body to eat more, to at least get some the minimum required nutrients that the body currently needs. (I must admit with Whole Foods pizza, my taste buds often wanna keep going, they try to talk me into grabbing that second slice, even when my stomach feels full and nourished. That second slice make me feel too stuffed however.)

I always talk to the pizza makers at Whole Foods to get a detailed list of the ingredients in their pizza. for example, I am passionately opposed to Canola oil, an I NEVER knowingly put it in my body. (look for my Canola Oil article to soon come).They actually do cook some of their products with Canola Oil, but they used Olive Oil for the pizzas.

The Whole Foods Pizza over in downtown Portland, firing up another batch of masterpieces

I used to call my Whole Foods pizza a "guilty pleasure", but now I call it an "innocent pleasure". Quality wheat, organic cheese (although I am gradually phasing down my intake of dairy, and they do make vegan pizzas although I never tried them). Topped with fresh organic vegetables, free range chicken and turkey (although I mostly do vegetarian pizza because of my choice go decrease, NOT ELIMINATE, meat ), spices such as basil, chives, and other quality greens such as spinach. All of this allows the body to have a good dose of short term nutrition, and equally if not more important, the pizza taste simply BLOWS AWAY away any other pizza I run across, to the point where I seldom eat any one else's pizza except for Whole Foods, mainly because I don't know what's in those other guy's ingredients and they never seem to taste as good as those at Whole Foods. It's a good day when your timing is right and at Whole Foods, they are taking the pizza straight out of the oven to your plate. you can still see the oil's and cheese on the surface of the pizza bubbling and boiling. Their pizzas take 10 minutes to cook, and since they are always making a new hand made masterpiece, I've learned to order and come back in 10 minutes right when it's coming out of the oven.

I still crack up when I think about how I ate an entire half of a large pizza and was hungry an hour later, whereas one average slice of Whole Foods, washed down with a healthy, fruity, Izze soda, never fails to give my my needed nutrition, but more importantly, I get that "to die for" fresh brick oven baked, piping hot pizza taste that I'm somewhat addicted to. Kinda like Fred Flintstone and his "Cactus Cooler" drink. In the world of work and chaos and traffic, just like Fred Flintstone, that one guilty (I mean innocent) pleasure that awaits after a long hard day at the gravel pits, it's the only thing that keeps you going. Another personal success story of me integrating the quest for good nutrition with that all American sport of the fun and pleasure of good eating. ~dw~

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