Good morning! Today I thought it would be fun to talk about pizza.

Did you see Chrissy Teigen tweeting about her pizza love? I spoke with Self  last week about why it’s okay to eat pizza on occasion as part of an overall healthy diet. It’s about quantity and quality. As I’m fond of pointing out, pizza makes a great vehicle for vegetables ; )

pizza-and-wine

Despite its “bad food” reputation, pizza can actually be part of an overall healthy diet. A few things to keep in mind:

-It’s about quantity and quality. Go for the best pizza you can find (or what you’re truly craving) and enjoy a slice. Keeping portions realistic avoids that food-guilt feeling that can come from overdoing it. Instead of eating half the pie and feeling awful, how about one regular slice or two smaller ones and pairing it with a salad?

-As I’m fond of pointing out, pizza makes a great vehicle for vegetables. Go for the non-starchy stuff like spinach, kale, arugula, mushrooms, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. Just go slow with breaded eggplant and very salty stuff like olives.

Going lighter on the cheese is a convenient way to trim calories, but you can also blot off excess oil with a tissue before eating.

If available, go for a thin crust. Whole wheat will also give you more filling fiber, so you’ll stay satisfied for longer after eating.

If your pizza just isn’t the same without meat, go for stuff like grilled chicken, clams (yes, totally a thing), or a fried egg (my favorite). Though I’m not going to tell you to never add bacon, pancetta, sausage, or pepperoni, keep in mind that these are best enjoyed as “in moderation” foods (once or twice a month) so if you do add them, keep portions small and minimize your intake of cured meats at other meals that week.

Beware the novelty pizza. I don’t know if this is just a weird New Jersey thing I grew up with or if bats*** crazy pizza toppings are a thing all over the country, but when considering toppings, ask yourself if you would normally eat pizza and that thing in the context of a meal. For example, would you eat pizza and fried chicken? Pizza and baked zitti? If not, then why would you eat pizza with fried chicken or baked zitti on top of it? It’s kind of like when people throw four pieces of fruit into a smoothie, even though they wouldn’t eat a banana and a cup of pineapple and a cup of berries and a mango in one sitting.

Perhaps most important of all, know what your priorities are. If you’re a crust aficionado, go for what you’ll feel most satisfied with and skip what doesn’t do it for you. A cheese snob? Pass up Dominos but savor that slice of buffalo mozzarella-topped margherita pizza with fresh tomato and basil. Not the same without pepperoni? Skip the bacon at brunch at the sausage pasta at dinner to make room what you’re really craving and leave the plain-cheese pie for the people who don’t care about pepperoni.

What’s your favorite pizza? I am all about thin crust with mushrooms, spinach, and caramelized onion. Another fave: plopping a fried egg on top of pizza. Why the hell not?

This has been another installment of the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

Thinking Out Loud2 - Thinking Out Loud: Yes, you CAN eat pizza

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