Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weeks 3 and 4....Gimme Some More!

This has been a week of trials and tribulations on this diet for sure. We had our annual trip to Columbus, Ohio to visit the North America Pizza and Ice Cream Show (NAPICS), so right off the bat I am confronted with a lot of temptation. I don't know if you guys have ever heard of a little place called White Castle, but they don't have them in the south, they have something called Krystal Burgers. They will try to tell you they are same thing, but believe you me, it is not! In the past this has been one of the highlights of the year
because I get to go back up north, experience my snow for the year, I get to see my family who are from Indianapolis, and grab a few sliders. I did reward myself at the end with ONE slider, that is the epitome of will power. Also attesting to that fact, this show is nothing but pizza and ice cream, and I did not have a single ounce of ice cream the whole time... unfortunately. 

Trying my hardest to stick to this diet, on the way to Columbus I was able to stop by a gas station and get one of the best gas station pizzas I've ever had, from Schlotzsky's Deli of all places. The crust had so many different herbs in it, it was very aromatic. That was the first thing that hits you as soon as they give it to you still in the box. The sauce is also unique, a very sweet sauce. I just got a simple pepperoni and double cheese, hold half the cheese please. This small 10 inch pizza fed me for the next 4 hours on my trip to Columbus, still drinking as much water as I could, which made the nine and a half hour trip an 11 hour adventure with all the pit stops.  Finally,  arriving in, Columbus I stopped at Pizza Hut and got a supreme pizza that fed me for 4 days. Unfortunately the hotel had a less than stellar gym, so I was forced to do push ups and a little bit of cardio in my room.

I am sad to report that there were two dinners out that were not pizza. One night we went to Max and Erma's right next to our hotel, I got a chicken salad. That's not that bad! The next night the US Pizza Team set up reservations at Mitchell's Steakhouse, very posh, with pictures of celebrities all over the wall. I had few options, it was either mostly steak or chicken. So I ended up getting a chicken dinner with a salad. They brought me out almost half a chicken and I only ate the wing portion. It was very delicious, great atmosphere, and always nice when you have a dinner with great friends. On my way back to my car I was followed by a homeless person who proceeded to tell me he had not eaten in 2 days so I gave him the other half of my chicken. That is my good deed for the year. I'm sure he enjoyed it, it was still hot.

After the event I was invited by several of my USPT team members to come visit their places in Ohio. This was the perfect opportunity since I will probably not be back here for another year, so following Daniel Perea and Melanie Addington, our video producers, we hit the town. First visiting Bogo Pizza, the winners of the gourmet category of the Pizza Pizzazz competition at NAPICS. They showed me some great pizzas and a unique view on franchising. I am happy to announce that Will Shaw, GM of Bogo Pizza and winner of Pizza Pizzazz will be joining the team in Italy at the World Pizza Championships! 

From there, we visited a Mellow Mushroom owned by a UFC fighter Luke Zachrich and his brother Colby
in New Albany, where I only had one piece in total from two pies that were made for demonstration. Half a slice of a Mighty Meaty and half of a Mega Veggie. Then it was off to visit USPT member Michael LaMarca at Master Pizza in Cleveland, sampling some homemade meatballs and a delicious cheese pizza. Next stop, we met up with USPT member Jason Samosky of Samosky's Homestyle Pizzeria in Valley City. He showed us several of his competition winning pies, including the infamous Philly Cheese Steak pie, which I am still enjoying! And the final stop on the Pizza Train was Beavercreek Pizza Dive in Beavercreek, OH. They had some very great flavor combinations on their pies. I especially enjoyed the Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza. They were able to fill up their pizzeria with a special promotion in honor of our visit. They were great people and I'm glad I got the chance to meet them and sample their wares.

One of the best things about this diet that I've noticed is that I have been able to shrink my stomach again, so when I eat a big meal it fills me up to no end. Thankfully I'm not used to eating that much anymore. As Matt McLellan said, it takes 21 days to create a habit and I'm at the 23 day mark right now, so these habits have been instilled in me. I was able to resist a lot of temptation and fend off a lot of old habits. All in all, a 10 day trip resulted in one pound lost and another three quarters of an inch down on my navel measurement. Putting me at 271 pounds and 46.75 inches. And I have amassed so much pizza from my conquest of the great state of Ohio, I won't have to make one for a week or so. It is drastically lower weight loss than the previous two weeks, however, I was unable to work out as vigorously as before, and if I wasn't driving for hours, I was eating pizza (responsible portions, of course). However, I have noticed significant definition returning to my body, I dont have as much excess skin on my arms, they don't jiggle anymore when I wave. This has made me more determined to at least try to match the total of 15 pounds lost in the first month for the second month. That is my goal. I would appreciate any suggestions or pointers along the way for workouts. Look for my next update in one week (Hazaah, I get to stay home for at least a week!).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 2: Keeping the Momentum

Week 2 is in the books now. Another week of eating nothing but pizza, for the most part, with promising results. As in week one, I would start my day  with a nice slice of breakfast pie. Honestly, I could eat that pizza every day. It's still my favorite. This week I changed up my lunch and dinner slice a little though.

I started coming down with a cold early in the week, and by Thursday, I was immersed in a battle of microscopic proportions. For two days, I fought my way through the trenches, only to emerge victorious with the aide of physical activity. Basically, this cold kicked my butt up and down for two days and interfered with my regular workout schedule. Now as some of you know, when you get into that kind of physical routine, you feel guilty about missing a day. It's a good guilt, a motivating guilt. So Friday evening, feeling beleaguered and weak, I decided to go to the gym, for a light workout. 2 hours later I finished feeling better than I had in the last few days. Not sure of the science behind it, maybe just sweated out alot of germs, but I'm just glad it worked. I immediately followed this with a return visit Saturday night at midnight. A last minute decision,feeling a little energetic, thought I'd put it good use. I had the place to myself. This gave me a chance to try some new equipment and exercises I wasn't super confident about and did not want to display in front of the entire gym.

 On Wednesday, I talked with Matt McLellan and told him of my health issues and on his recommendation came up with my next pie. Matt suggested I use a garlic olive oil mash to help boost my immune system. This was perfect since I love the flavor and was gaining the health benefits associated with garlic. I used minced garlic in olive oil as my base for the pie, then added two leaves of basil, torn and spread around the pie. I added half my mozzarella, then added red onions and marinated artichoke hearts, which themselves have a laundry list of
health benefits. I added the rest of my mozzarella, then some steak
marinated in Worcestershire sauce and seasoned with celery salt. I then finished it off with some feta. While I knew I would love this pie, the unexpected bonus of the slice was every bite had a slightly different
flavor, some were basil heavy, others filled with the marinated artichokes, and all mixed with a little steak and feta. In the words of the great Cousin Eddie "It is gooooo-oood".

Having met my workout quota for the week, I was back on track. Then another obstacle presented itself. The desire for some comfort food (cue villainous music score). How dare Burger King start their 10 nuggets for $1.50 promotion right when I start my diet. The audacity! Visually bombarded with reminders of habits and a lifestyle I am trying to put behind me, I was wavering. I am loving the pies I am eating, and am in no way "tired" of eating pizza everyday, but I am still in the midst of rebuilding my once impenetrable will power against less than stellar food choices. Now technically, with flex dieting, I could eat those nuggets. I only need to know the amount of carbs, proteins, fat and fiber in them and track that, and  sadly, I did look them up. Unfortunately they are  listed in MyFitnessPal, which did not help my cravings at all. But, I mustered up the strength to not get in my car and go two minutes down the road to nugget up. Instead I thought about how I could stick to the diet but give myself a snack I know I love. Then it hit me, soft pretzels! I took half a pizza dough ball (7.5 oz.) and made three small soft pretzels. This technically was still using the pizza dough, just no toppings. So,fending off the deep fried demons, I was able to add a little variety while still maintaining the integrity of this diet.This battle goes to me, but I can't let my guard down for a second. Those desires and cravings are looking for chinks in my armor for the perfect chance to pounce.

My results for the second week of my 4 month journey are encouraging. I am down 14 pounds to 272, and down from a 49.25" navel measurement to 47. 25". My weight loss was recognized by my first outsider today. In the middle of a conversation, my boss Linda Green just stopped mid-sentence and said she just noticed my face had thinned out alot. That kind of recognition just helps to increase the desire to produce more results. I also noticed a little reduction in the love handles from the back. But I know the first couple of weeks and pounds are always the easiest as your body is flushing itself out. I realize the future weeks will see a slower weight loss with more work required to produce it. I am ready, lets do this. With all said and done, I think week two was a big success. I faced several hurdles that I was able to overcome, which adds to the momentum I have created. I know the road ahead will be filled with more speed bumps, but fueled by this victory, I'm looking to successfully navigate this highway called the Pizza Diet.

(Look for my Garlic Steak and Feta recipe in www.pmq.com/recipe-bank/ , and feel free to comment or contact me at brian@pmq.com)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week one done!!

Week one is in the books.

After working out with Pizza Team member Jamie Culliton last week at what has to be the best hotel gym in the south, I was hooked. My first success story was done at home, but this time I wanted to have more variety in workouts and equipment. I looked up local gyms and found a great one, Anytime Fitness. It's 24 hours, has a wide variety of equipment, and even tanning beds. Score!

Keeping up the forward momentum I started, I finally created a pizza at home for the diet. The first pie in my recipe book was inspired by the breakfast pie Matt McLellan showed me at Tour De Pizza. I modified his recipe to suit my tastes, and my tastes thanked me! I dubbed my version of the breakfast pie the "Omma-Lotta-Goodness". Utilizing the flavors of an omelette, I really didn't have to invent a recipe. I started with an eggbeater base for the sauce, then I added your traditional omelette ingredients, diced tomatoes, diced white onions, green peppers, turkey bacon, and sliced ham, I topped it off with some Mexican cheese. The hardest part of the pie was actually weighing out all the ingredients first, then getting the macro numbers for the entire pie, then dividing that by 8. So much math! This was a great way to start the day and well worth the number crunching.

Hitting the gym 4 times this first week, my muscles are remembering hints of their former glory. Arms are already firming up nicely, my lower back isn't hurting as much from all the excess front weight, and darn it, it just feels good to be drenched with
"hard work" sweat. This is also an important aspect of this diet, as it is in any diet. Don't think you can just eat pizza and the pounds will drop. You have to portion, track your numbers and exercise. My nutrition just happens to be coming from only pizza.

So with the breakfast pie nailed down, I needed to come up with a lunch or dinner slice. I was having a hard time hitting my fiber requirements, so I thought about how I can add this particular
nutrient to a pie. The answer came in the form of a Mexican pizza. I started with a green chile sauce base, followed by black beans, tomatoes, onions, corn seasoned with a little cumin, Mexican cheese
and some minced garlic. I sprinkled cheese after every couple ingredients to hold the ingredients together. After I cooked it, I added some diced avocados seasoned in lime juice and salt. I put it on after cooking to prevent browning of the avocado, plus the cold of the avocado fits nicely with the hot pie.

So week one results, I am down from 286 lbs. to 277.4 lbs., and from 49.25" navel measurement to 48". Now week two is upon me, and I want to come up with at least one new recipe. I will post these recipes in the www.PMQ.com/recipe-bank/ for anyone who would like to give them a shot. The first two will be under Omelet Pizza and Black Bean Avocado Pizza. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to maybe join me on my quest (brian@pmq.com, put pizza diet in the subject). I will keep everyone posted, but in the mean time, slice it up!