Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Week 11: Slow crawl from the trenches


Well week 11 has arrived, halfway to the deadline of my promise to America of losing 4 pounds. Well, it's a slow start, but a start nonetheless.

Down from 264.2 to 263.7 pounds. A half a pound loss, but still a loss! I did maintain the 46" navel measurement. Now, I can't be too down on myself. While progress has slowed, I am still pushing forward. Being down 23 pounds and 3.25" from the start is a big thing.

I was able to get my gym visits in this week. Just two, but for the third, I dusted off the old family truckster, i.e. my bike, and took it for a spin! The tires were flat, it was covered in mud and pollen from all the rain and shedding trees, but now she is shined up and ready to ride. While I didn't attack the Everest like incline that is the ride home from work just yet, I feel it coming soon. I might have to make basecamp halfway up on my first attempt and try for the summit the next day, but it will be done.

With my workout routine back up and running and my wheels greased, I am ready for the grueling task of losing another 3.5 pounds in week 12. I feel energized and motivated to do this. With those pounds lost I will be that much closer to my milestone of breaking the 250's. Will you guys throw me a party? Hint, I like pizza.

Encouraged by a loyal reader to add a little bit of interesting into this blog vs. just listing my weekly doings (after all, isn't that what Facebook is for?), I looked into some of the healthiest pizza toppings out there. Inspired by some of my earlier readings about the health benefits of items like spinach, basil, tomato and artichokes., I wondered what the top ten healthiest pizza toppings were. So here are some of the top ten healthiest choices for your pie, according to CoachLevi.com:


Onions
The health benefits include lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of colon cancer thanks to the chromium, vitamin C, and fiber.

Black Olives
Olives are full of healthy unsaturated fats that fight heart disease and lower cholesterol. You’ll also be getting some good things known as polyphenols and flavanoids. The fat will also help you absorb the nutrients from your other toppings.

Red Peppers
Chock full of Vitamin C, A, and B6, along with antioxidants like beta-carotene.

Garlic
I recommend making a paste out of chopped garlic and olive oil. You can spread that on the crust before you load it down with everything else. Lots of health benefits from garlic, plus the heart-healthy fats you get from this flavorful bugger!

Spinach
Not only is it loaded with antioxidants, but it’s full of iron, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The iron will build your blood (no EPO necessary) and the lutein and zeaxanthin will protect your eyes from macular degeneration.

Pineapple
One of the few fruits that works on pizza. It contains Vitamin C and an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain will aid digestion, a good thing if you eat as much pizza as I do, and it even acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, easing your aching muscles. If you were just out hammering for 5 hours, pour on the pineapple!

Mushrooms
While being neither fruit nor vegetable (mushrooms are actually a fungus,) they add great flavor and great nutrients. They are packed with selenium and riboflavin (and other B vitamins,) along with other nutrients that could ward off cancer.

Tomatoes
Sliced tomatoes make great toppings, especially on a white or pesto pizza. Even if you already have tomato sauce on there, adding tomatoes just increases the healthiness.

Broccoli
This one is full of Vitamins C, A, and K, along with quite a bit of folate and dietary fiber. Broccoli offers significant anti-cancer effects, and when paired with tomatoes or tomato sauce, the veggies can boost each other’s effects for even better cancer fighting.

Chicken
It’s full of protein, but not full of saturated fat and sodium like pepperoni. Chicken also has some good stuff like zinc and selenium (to boost your immune system) and essential B vitamins.

Now a Fox News poll replaced red peppers and black olives with ham and parmesan cheese. I'm ok with that! I was happy to see I have already been hitting a vast majority of these. I will make it a mission to incorporate the last few into a pie. As for black olives, pineapple, broccoli and mushrooms, I already have some great ideas.

This week was fueled by, of course the hearty breakfast pie, and a new concoction, a basil pine nut pesto with homemade Italian sausage and banana peppers. I made a basil pine nut pesto procured from this online recipe. This recipe is very similar to the recipe of the month by Roberto Caporuscio several issues ago. A pie he fed me in New York. At the time I was skittish about pesto, but out of respect, tried it. It pulled me
out of my pesto shell and I haven't looked back. The sausage I used was left over from Michael LaMarca's visit, made special for Master Pizza. Just spread the pesto over the base, cheese it and add the sausage. I added banana peppers halfway through the bake to keep some of the crunch. Very filling pie with lots of zing! For an added crunch I suggest adding diced pine nuts on top as well. It just ups the flavor.

 With the mandatory workout and menu report done, I am off to the gym! Eventually they are gonna kick me out for taking pictures, even if they are just of myself. I will continue my rides building up to the Herculean task of the ride home, and vary my menu with some of these healthy suggestions. Just 3.5 pounds to go to reach my promise. I'm doing my best America, for you!













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