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Confessions of a Hungry Girl . . . Pizza is Good Food!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

During the last nearly six years, I said farewell to the typical diet mentality that called for the denial of several foods. Weight Watchers (WW) encourages us to find workable solutions – to learn to work any food into our plan (within moderation, of course).

Some foods are hard to give up . . . and pizza is one of those foods. While I refuse to allow myself to return to the insane madness that I once called my norm, I do have a hungry-girl appetite for eating healthier, yet filling foods. This might be a good time to throw in another of my many before and after photos to remind myself of my incredible journey and I have no intention of ever going back:

Pizza is now one of several foods that I’ve learned how to work in my mealplan whether eating out or at home. While the sodium content is still a bit high, I have learned to 1) use cheese as a garnish on pizza and 2) enjoy my freggies more than the processed meats. These are two tips that have become true healthy habits (aka Living the Good Life Challenges) that I want to continue for the long haul. It’s part of my greater scheme to achieve balance.

In my earlier weight-loss days, before the onset of so many new and great flatbreads, I toasted two (high grain, low calorie) English muffins, which later became Arnold sandwich thins, topped with marinara sauce, red onion, red peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and a dash of cheese and broiled for a few minutes until heated and crispy. Each slice was one old WW point while eating all four slices were only six points, a very filling supper when accompanied by a light salad or cup of soup.

I more recently have used these three favorites:

1 – Two low carb, high-fiber 71-calorie tortilla veggie pizzas enjoyed Oct 15, 2011 one for breakfast and one for lunch (Total: 308 calories, 12 gr fat, 26 gr carbs, 26 gr prot, 32 gr calcium, 920 salt, 28 gr fiber)

2 – Two 90-100 calorie Flat Out bread pizzas enjoyed Jan 6 for dinner (Total: 576 Cal, 23 fat, 59 carbs, 51 prot, 74 calcium, 2479 sodium, 24 fiber)

3 – The 100-calorie sheets of Joseph’s Flax Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread enjoyed for supper on March 16 (397 calories, 16 gr fat, 38 carbs, 34 gr prot, 51 calcium, 2044 sodium, 9 gr fiber.)

Ingredients in the above grouping include: 1 sheet (2 servings) Lavash bread, 1/2cup Hunt’s Zesty & Spicy Pasta Sauce, 1 oz Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, 2 cups fresh mushrooms, 70 gr onions, 3/4tsp crushed red pepper, 1/2tsp garlic powder, 1/4cup 2% Mexican 4-cheese blend, and 5 gr (2 tsp) Parmesan cheese. Layer ingredients, as listed. on flat bread. Bake on a pre-heated pizza pan or stone for 15 minutes at 425F. Slice and enjoy!

I've added a version of Lavish Bread Pizza to my food groupings as well as my recipe box. The recipe can be found with the following link. People looking for low-carb might go heavier on the meat and cheese.

When on holiday, I can regularly patronize my favorite Cici's Pizza Buffet and found delight when I went online to find where my best choice was: I gave up spinach alfredo/cheesy pizza for the thin crust Italiano (two slices for 190 calories). I can enjoy a veritable feast of 5 or 6 slices of pizza with tossed salad, a little chicken soup (primarily broth), and a sugar-free beverage for about 600-800 calories! WooHoo! This exceeds my sodium levels, so it’s not an every-day way to eat. I’ve even learned some acceptable picks at Hungry Howies Pizza Buffet.

I no longer make a ten-freggie pizza with loads of red, yellow, and orange peppers as it makes my pizzas a little too juicy to eat with my fingers. I’m happy with meatless! Although turkey pepperoni has much fewer calories than regular pepperoni, I’m not crazy about the disadvantages that come with highly processed meats. Anything that you really cannot live without, just remember to use as a garnish (make sure your eyes can see it as your eyes are truly the window to your soul when it comes telling your tummy and brain that you’re quite satisfied)!

Now a happy, happy hungry-girl!

Whether you respond here or in a future blog, I look forward to hearing about some of your secrets to successful eating.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1808 days ago
    What a creative soul you are!! Congrats on the weight loss, and even bigger applause for the maintenance--that's really the hardest part. Those pizza ideas are wonderful. I never would have thought of all those options for lower calorie pizza. Gotta try them this weekend!
    2137 days ago
    this is an awesome blog! It you look marvelous! ;-)
    2151 days ago
    Wow! Looks really yummy! I think I'm hungry now! lol
    2153 days ago
    Mmmmm, Yum! I haven't had pizza in so long. I'm going to try these. Great ideas for the '"dough." :)
    2157 days ago
    Those pizzas look so tasty!!
    2159 days ago
  • XRSIZE18
    Hooray for healthy solutions! I love pizza and may just have to try out these suggestions.

    By the way - I LOVE your Zebra top in the "after" photo. You are looking fantastic!
    2159 days ago
    You always have the best food pics, girlfriend!
    2160 days ago
    MMMMM! I just ate breakfast and now I want lunch already! I also love pizza and don't always have time to prepare goodies like you've suggested - although there are lots of good ideas here. I keep frozen mini-pizzas handy for rush meals - again, high in sodium but filling and I can dress them up a little with more greens. I get to eat three for around 350 calories.

    Thanks for sharing all these tips!
    2160 days ago
    Oh, it ALL looks so YUMMY I wanted to taste each one right off the page!!! emoticon

    I am so behind because of having the grandkids over Spring Break, but just plugging along, and I will eventually get caught up reading my friends' blogs. There is so much less stress with less "stuff" to do with my Sparking since I trimmed things down. I am not worrying about the points so much, and just tracking the necessary things and keeping up with blogs of my best SparkFriends. So much nicer! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2161 days ago
    These are great ideas, made me hungy and I just ate breakfast. Thx for sharing and I will try your recipes.
    2161 days ago
    Thanks soooo much for sharing I too was a huge pizza girl growing up we had pizza I am not kidding every Friday night. As an adult only special occassions or at my office. I did buy the Spark cookbook had a pizza dough reciepes but I may start with one of yours above thanks so much!
    2161 days ago
    Evelyn, I LOVED this blog! And I ESPECIALLY love how organized and sharp you are, that you can recall WHEN you ate something! Amazing! I've learned to enjoy our weekly pizza with all veggies. If I let my pizza sit for 5 minutes, then I can pick it up with all the peppers on it. I tend to eat it slower, and enjoy it more too, when it's not so hot--can CHEW longer. But pizza is one of my 'harder' nights. I also find that if we are having pizza, to try to limit my other food choices during the day to LOADS of veggies, and lower cal choices. Last night was a VICTORY for me--and I praise God for the riches of His grace! Thank you so much for this mouth-watering blog! emoticon {{{huge hugs}}} Susan
    2162 days ago
    Evelyn! You are always such an inspiration to us!

    I love your before and after pictures and think you share them just for me, just when I need a reminder that this whole frustrating journey can be accomplished.

    The pizzas look great too, Thanks for the tips.

    Hug Hug
    2162 days ago
    I love how you've learned to change things up while keeping the hungry girl feeling satisfied. When you go to Ci Ci you can also have them make you a crustless pizza. They'll take a foil pan and put the toppings you want in the pan and run it through the oven.
    2162 days ago
    Those look sooooo yummy! Thanks for the info on how to make pizza at home in a healthy way! Will have to try this witht the flatbread!
    2162 days ago
  • MOIRA48
    emoticon Good ideas! I love pizza as well and had forgotten about all the other alternative ways to make it. emoticon
    2162 days ago
    What a great blog!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Smile & Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
    Melinda (GoPintos)
    Dr. Oz Show Fans

    2162 days ago
    Great blog !
    Thanks for all your healthful ideas !
    2162 days ago

    emoticon !! You have just succeeded in giving me healthy meatless lo cal options to eat PIZZA!!! (((hugs))) How awesome is that?!

    I love your ideas. I have used English muffins before, but not flatbread....must try this! emoticon

    I like to make a paste using fresh basil, finely diced tomatoes, olive oil, Parmesean cheese, finely diced onions and fresh garlic...instead of any marinara sauce...t is a very different taste - but I emoticon IT!

    I just top it with cheese, fresh spinach and fresh colorful peppers. My Fav!
    2162 days ago
    Wonderful looking pizzas! I agree, make small changes to your favorites and keep them in your diet.
    2162 days ago
    I used to do the muffin pizza. With Bob it is difficult. He is allergic to onions and I am to peppers! Anymore we like the wheat crust with an oil and garlic base topped with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. I enjoy anything in moderation approach that SP has. For me, portion size and the food tracker have what has helped me most.

    Thank you so much for sharing these with us, Evelyn! Having the pictures really adds to it.
    2162 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I am going to definitely take advantage of them. Love the idea of the tortilla pizza! I'm getting hungry just thinking about them! emoticon
    2162 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    Great recipes Evelyn :-) I never make pizza, ok rephrase that, I have never made pizza before but if I do want one someday, I'll do it your way :-)
    2162 days ago
  • NEWMAC2011
    I just had pizza the other night and found that I didn't enjoy it as much as I did in the past. DD & I made a yummy veggie pizza and I know that that's the way we'll go in the future. It's amazing how you lose your taste for things that you used to eat too much of. We're really working on cutting out all processed foods & switching to a plant-based diet which will be a challenge for me as I love meat but I think it is healthier. Going to try some of that Lavash flax bread next time!

    I did WW years ago and liked that, like SP, it's a lifestyle where you can eat everything in moderation. That's really key because when we deprive ourselves we can go overboard!
    2162 days ago
    2162 days ago
  • MAGGIE805
    Pizza is my trigger food. But I have learned to modify and become creative. I use the Flat Out bread too and it's delish. Most importantly, I don't feel guilty about indulging in something that I love to eat because I know it's healthier, low-cal version.

    It all looks good, Evelyn. I'm going to have to try the Lavash bread version next time. emoticon
    2162 days ago
  • GUSGUS02
    Really enjoyed these ideas!! We love pizza too!
    2162 days ago
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