One Week Eating Nothing But Pizza

That’s right! It’s been 7 full days eating nothing but pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How do I feel? I’m still feeling good! I’m bloated and missing the ease of snacking, but otherwise I look forward to every meal and haven’t noticed too much of a difference. Here’s to another 23 days!!!!!

BREAKFAST: Hutch “Breakfast” pizza with bacon, egg, cheese and chives (listed ingredient missing on pizza: pepper gravy).

SCORE: 5 out of 12*

WHY: Pepper gravy was listed as an ingredient, but it wasn’t on this pizza. As a result, the pizza was bland and dry. It was a spongy crust with a layer of plain hash browns topped with eggs, bacon, and cheese that formed some sort of a patty on the way home. To be fair, this pizza was ordered to-go so maybe it would have been better if I ordered in restaurant where they would have been able to correct the mistake. It’s also worth nothing that pizza is not Hutch’s specialty. They’re more of an American fare restaurant. I was planning on order from Roots Handmade Pizza, but they don’t offer their brunch menu for takeout and I was craving breakfast and was happy to find this alternative.

LUNCH & DINNER: Pete’s Pizzeria slice of “Stuffed Spinach”

SCORE: 8 out of 12*

WHY: It’s tough for me to rate Pete’s because it’s not pizza I’d normally go for. It’s not good or bad, but it’s okay. The crust is a basic flour base, and by now you know I much prefer cornmeal crust. The sauce is just a touch too sweet for me. I’d say the best part was the cheese for me, it was the perfect thing to disguise the fact that I was eating spinach. 😂

DESSERT: Leftover Dimo’s “S’Mores” pizza (see score here)

*HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms ).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

6 Days of Eating Pizza: The Daily Slice

DAY 5


BREAKFAST: Whole Foods slice of “Cheese”

SCORE: 17 out of 18*

WHY: Great light pizza! I was stocking up on Table5 frozen pizza and hadn’t planned on getting a slice, but Whole Foods has a pizza bar and I wanted to get an idea of what they had available for next time. They had a ton of options and I couldn’t resist temptation. I went with cheese because I’m a big fan of those little bubbles and wanted something plain after such a heavy night. Their dining room is clean, sunny, and overlooks the 6 corners by Ashland/Lincoln/Belmont. The crust was nice and doughy, the sauce was the right amount of sweet and the cheese tasted so good!

LUNCH: Blaze 1/2 “Build Your Own” pizza with gluten free crust, pesto sauce, spinach, green peppers, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, garlic and balsamic drizzle.

SCORE: 16 out of 16*

WHY: I needed a break from cheese after Lou’s last night, but I was hesitant to order this because my previous experience with gluten free/vegan pizza a decade ago was disastrous. GF/vegan pizzas have come a long way since then. I didn’t miss the cheese and this meal was the light, veggie loaded pizza I needed to get some balance. (Blaze does have vegan meat/cheese but I needed a brief break from both so I made a note to try that next time!)

DINNER: Lunchables “cheese”

SCORE: 12 out of 12*

WHY: I’ve been eating these since I was a kid. It’s been a few years since the last time I had one and it’s just like I always remembered. At first I think there’s too much sauce, but once it’s spread and topped with cheese it’s just right. It’s a simple, light meal that feels so nostalgic! Who doesn’t love a Capri-Sun?

DESSERT: Delish “Tiramisu” Pizza

SCORE: 12 out of 12*

WHY: I have such a sweet tooth and it’s the one thing I’ve been missing during 30 days of pizza…. until now! This recipe is incredibly quick, easy and so, so tasty. The best part is that it’s a simple base that can be used to explore tons of different varieties. I’ve topped it with Cinnamon Toast Crunch before and I’m going to top it with Oreo cookies in my next iteration. ❤️

DAY 6

BREAKFAST & LUNCH: Udi’s Gluten Free “Cheese Pizza”

SCORE: 8 out of 9*

WHY: This is a great frozen pizza. It’s light, crispy and the cheese is just the right about of cheesy. The only thing keeping it from a perfect score is that the crust is a bit too greasy for a pizza pretending to be ‘healthy.’

DINNER: Dimo’s slice of “Chicken and Waffles”

SCORE: 16 out of 18*

WHY: I’m a big fan of sweet and savory flavor combinations like chicken and waffles. A lot of people recommended Dimo’s as a spot for interesting pizza and I’m glad I finally went. This slice of chicken and waffles was nearly perfect. I wanted a tad more waffle bits and syrup, but it was still plenty delicious without it. The dining room of their Wrigleyville location needed some attention, but with a Cubs game and it being 4/20 it was understandable. I wish I grabbed some pictures of their various pizza murals…. guess I have to go back soon!

DESSERT: Dimo’s 12-inch “S’more’s” Pizza

SCORE: 17 out of 18*

WHY: My friend laughed at me for being overwhelmed with emotion when this order came up. I didn’t cry… but I came close! The sweet smell was overpowering and so reminiscent of memories of girl scouts and camping in our backyards. It’s a nice neutral crust with chocolate sauce, teddy grahams, marshmallow fluff and chocolate drizzle. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!

HOW DO YOU FEEL?

I’m full… of greatness! I don’t feel amazing, but I don’t feel bad so I guess I feel how I do on my regular diet. Depending on how the rest of the month goes, I might make the argument that my pizza diet is actually better than my regular diet for three reasons:

  1. I am eating vegetables far more frequently.
  2. I am eating sweets much less (aside from dessert pizzas of course).
  3. I’ve struggled with binge eating and having such structured eating has helped curb that unhealthy behavior.

*HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms 😂).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

4 Days of Eating Pizza: The Daily Slice

BREAKFAST & LUNCH: Leftover Pizzeria Serio (see score here)

DINNER: Lou Malnati’s “Deep Dish Malnati Chicago Classic” with lean sausage, extra mozzarella cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce on their trademarked Buttercrust.

DESSERT: Deep Dish Cookie “Pizza” chocolate chip cookie baked in a personal size pizza pan topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top.

SCORE: 18 out of 18*

WHY: This meal was perfect from start to finish. The restaurant is clean, inviting and well lit. The environment itself is relaxing, a key feature when you’re waiting for deep dish to cook. Our server, Dulce, was amazing! I didn’t expect to encounter such a kindred spirit on this visit, but it must have been kismet because there she was. When she had a moment between tables she would stop by and talk with us about local pizzas, how she spent her day off eating pizza, and the pizza tattoo she has commemorating her commitment to ‘za.

We went with Dulce’s recommendation for pizza and it was unbelievably good. I’m obsessed with their crust! I always thought it used cornmeal since it had a similar texture, crunchier and grittier than the traditional flour crust, but the manager, Cassandra Van Alstin, let me know it’s a common misconception, it’s actually a flour-based crust. It was a surprising discovery that made their pizza all the more impressive to me!

I wasn’t planning on it, but as soon as Dulce mentioned that cookie pizza my heart sang. My sugar addiction is so strong and whilst pizza does have some sugar in elements like sauce and crust it doesn’t compare to overloading on a cookie covered in ice cream and whipped cream. I’ve been missing sweets and this satiated my desire wonderfully!

THANKS DULCE & LOU MALNATI’S, WE’LL BE BACK, LET’S TALK PIZZA!

HOW DO YOU FEEL?

I’m committed to being 100% honest in these updates and as DELICIOUS as this day was, when I got home I was truly suffering. My stomach felt so full I was almost nauseous and thank goodness Gus Gus was the only one here to witness my disgusting flatulence (sorry buddy). To counter-balance I’m going to try to eat nice and light for Day 5!

*HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms 😂).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

Daily Slice: What I Ate for Day 3 of 30 Days of Pizza

BREAKFAST & LUNCH: Last of the leftover’s from Bake Homemade! (see score here)

DINNER: Pizzeria Serio “Sweet Heat” with Mama Lil’s peppers, sausage and honey drizzle.

SCORE: 18 out of 18 points for pizza and restaurant*

WHY: This is the first pizza I’ve ever tried with honey drizzle and I loved it! I really enjoyed the flavor combinations of the sweet honey drizzle, seasoned sausage and hot yet sweet peppers. I did pick most of the hot peppers off because I find them overpowering in general, but I liked the touch of heat from the leftover juice still on the pizza.

HOW DO YOU FEEL?

I felt really full tonight. As much as I enjoyed “Sweet Heat” it took me well over an hour to eat 3 slices while my dear friend next to me finished off a small pie in the same time. I was worried about how I’d feel the next day because I had plans to go to Lou Malnati’s for dinner and it’s a much heavier pizza, so if I already wasn’t feeling well, how was I going to do after that? Spoiler alert, I woke up fine. I drank a bit more bone broth than usual, guzzled a ton of water and felt great. BRING ON THE PIZZA!

*HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms 😂).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

Daily Slice: What I Ate for Day 2 of 30 Days of Pizza

BREAKFAST: Leftover Bake Homemade “Anything Goes” 😍 (see score here)

LUNCH: Little Red Hen “Pepperoni” and “Spinach and Mushroom”

SCORE: 8 out of 12*

WHY: This is the 3rd time that I’ve had pizza from Little Red Hen and whilst it is satiating, it is also ‘basic.’ Their menu includes tons of different food from hot dogs to fried chicken to fish. Since it’s sharing the stage with tons of other tasty food options, it makes sense that the pizza isn’t spectacular.

DINNER: Leftover Bake Homemade “Anything Goes” ❤️ (see score here)

HOW DO YOU FEEL?

Honestly? Like this is the line of work I was made for… 😂😂😂

*HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms 😂).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

Daily Slice: What I Ate for Day 1 of 30 Days of Pizza

BREAKFAST: Leftover “Garlic Chicken Alfredo” pizza from Leona’s Pizzeria

SCORE: 9 out of 12

WHY: I had a tough time explaining this score. Leona’s crust is buttery with a good crunch. The cheese and toppings were balanced nicely. I didn’t have anything I could point to that was ‘wrong’ with it. I realized the reason I couldn’t give this pizza a higher score is because there was nothing special about it. It’s what I’d expect when I order a “Garlic Chicken Alfredo” pizza, but nothing more. To earn a 10 or higher a pizza has to wow me and as tasty as this pie was, it was a bit lackluster.

LUNCH: Leftover “Cheese” pizza from Roots Handmade

SCORE: 6 out of 9

WHY: There was a bit too much sauce and way too much cheese. I often have leftovers and it was the first time I’ve had trouble finding the crust under the cheese. It was disappointing that their delicious crust (my favorite part of their pizza!) was drowned in red sauce and cheese. It’s strange because last weekend I had their “American Breakfast” pizza and loved it. Looking back, I think it might have been heavy on the cheese then too, but it was less noticeable with all the other toppings.

DINNER: “Anything Goes” pizza from Bake Homemade with pistachio pesto, mozzarella, sausage, brussels sprouts, marinated artichokes, cherry tomatoes, poblano peppers, red onions, crimini mushrooms and pine nuts.

SCORE: 12 out of 12

WHY: This was a true pizza love story! I’m frequently nervous about choosing flavors that clash and I had no reason to be today. The flavors were spread out perfectly and I was able to taste a touch of each one in nearly every bite. It helps that they’re farm to table so the ingredients are as fresh as can be!

HOW SCORING WORKS

Pizza is scored out of 12 points: 3 for crust, 3 for sauce, 3 for cheese and 3 for toppings. If a pizza is missing an element, for example the Roots pizza in this post, it is scored without the points for that element (Roots got 6 points out of 9 possible points).

If I visit a restaurant in person, there’s an additional 6 points: 2 for atmosphere, 2 for service and 2 for bathrooms. Why on earth am I rating bathrooms? When I was a kid my family joked I would grow up to rate bathrooms at restaurants because I always had strong opinions, so of course I had to include points for bathrooms 😂).

It’s a work in process and if scoring rules change I’ll post an update!

HOW DO YOU FEEL?

I feel good! I’ve been eating pizza everyday for 16 days, even though the formal 30 day challenge didn’t begin until April 15th. I’m a bit bloated, but otherwise I still look forward to every meal and my affection for pizza has not dwindled in the slightest. If anything, I keep coming across more and more pizzas to add to my list of must-try pizzerias.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?

Most of my bios include something along the lines of “an idea powerhouse and perpetual daydreamer who always has more projects than she can manage” and boy, is that the truth!

Since I’ve been bolder creatively, I’ve had trouble running away with ideas before I’ve fully flushed them out. I get swept up in the big picture and neglect the logistics: how much time, effort, and money it’s going to take to get there. As a consequence, I’ve started and stopped a few things when I’ve lost direction or realized I’ve gotten in over my head. It’s sad feeling so disconnected from something I was initially so enthusiastic and eager to execute. It feels a lot like failure, because in a sense it is.

It’s easy to get lost in the disappointment, embarrassment, and heartbreak that’s such an essential part of failure. I’ve tried my hardest to shift my view of failure from focusing on how bad it feels to focusing on what it brings: growth. Once I let go of that initial devastation, I learned from every single failure. It’s a lot like dying in a video game. Each time I start anew I’m more prepared, knowledgeable, and at the very least I know what not to do!

So… the question begs… what have I gotten myself into this time?

Continue reading “What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?”