Welcome to the blog version of my Saturday emails!
So today I want to talk about 1) Pizza, and 2) the entire premise of cheat meals and how to use them as a tool, not a toilet flusher on your health routine.
Let’s cover some basics:
Q: Will pizza make me fat?
A: Repeat after me: “There are NO BAD FOODS.” (Unless they are past the expiration date- that is not a good food). Anything in moderation will not make you fat, that is why we track macros. If you want to have pizza for a meal that is not your “cheat” meal, fit it into your calories for the day by eating less carbs and fat at other meals to compensate.
Eating pizza in this way, or simply occasionally, will not make you magically gain weight. You might feel bloated from the sodium, wheat and dairy, but that is not body fat. If you eat pizza like it’s going to prevent the Corona Virus, yeah, you’re probably going to grow out of your britches.
Q: How many cheat meals should I have a week?
A: Talk to your coach about this. It depends on how long you have been in a deficit, how lean you are, and what your goals are. As a general rule of thumb, one.
Q: Can I have a cheat day instead of a cheat meal?
A: First of all, let’s clarify some grammar. A “cheat” meal is not cheating when it is planned out. Saying “cheat” meal implies that you did something wrong and there is an inherent association of guilt with that. Try saying “free” or “flex” meal instead.
And no, a FLEX meal is an extra 500-1000 calories. A cheat day can easily put you back 5,000 calories, which is literally a whole week’s worth of effort. That IS cheating.
Q: Should I track my free meal?
A: Nope, that’s why it’s called free. If you track it you’ll freak yourself out, and many of us will be triggered to resort to unhealthy habits as a result.
Q: Should I plan my free meal out ahead of time?
A: YES. Know what you are going to have before you have it. I usually know like four days ahead of time if I want pizza this week, or if I want to mix it up and get a burger or a burrito or Chick Fil A. Or if I just want to put down an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s and call it a day!
Q: How on earth is a free meal good for me!?
A: Let’s get nerdy. When you are in a deficit for too long, your hormone levels change. Leptin, a chemical in your body that influences your mood, energy and metabolic rate, is depleted, causing your weight loss to slow.
Additionally, cortisol, your stress hormone, starts to build up and affect your sleep, your recovery time, and, you guess it, slow your weight loss.
Eating in a calorie surplus (especially a carb focused surplus) spikes your leptin levels and relieves your cortisol levels, causing your metabolic rate for the days following to be elevated.
Therefore, as long as you go back to eating normally immediately after a cheat meal, you should lose weight at a faster pace, AND be less of a butthead to the people around you because you are less depleted.
Q: I’m always so bloated and gross feeling, and crave more bad stuff after a free meal, help!
A: As mentioned above, this is a result of you putting a bunch of processed food that your body isn’t used to into your system. Your guts are basically like “double you tee eff mate”.
The absolute first thing I do after having pizza, (and you see this on my story!) is I take my damn Opti Greens. This helps me digest, get my blood sugar under control, I wake up NOT bloated, lethargic or puffy, and I don’t crave more crap and can put the cheat meal to good use toward my overall progress.
I will say this again and again- I absolutely love this product. I will use it till the day I die. I stay leaner, sleep better, have brighter skin, stronger hair and nails, don’t get sick like ever, and rarely get that “end of the day” or shark week bloat.
So go forth and enjoy these pizza recipes, and take your freaking greens.
Two-Meat Wheat Crust Pizza
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
- 4 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water
- Add oil
- Combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt
- Add to yeast mixture and stir until smooth
- Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough
- Turn onto a floured surface
- Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes
- Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease top
- Cover and let rise in a warm place for 15-20 minutes
- Punch dough down
- Pat into the bottom of a greased 14-in. pizza pan
- Push edges up about 1 in.Combine pizza sauce and sugar
- Spread over dough
- Layer with sausage, Canadian bacon and cheese
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden and cheese is melted
Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sauce-1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1-1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a large bowl, mix first 4 ingredients and 1 cup all purpose flour
- In a small saucepan, heat water and oil
- Add to dry ingredients
- Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes
- Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough
- Turn onto a floured surface
- Knead until smooth and elastic
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes
- In a small saucepan, bring sauce ingredients to a boil
- Reduce heat, simmer uncovered until slightly thickened, 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Remove from heat
- Preheat oven to 400
- Punch down dough
- On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half and roll each into a 12-in. circle
- Place on 2 greased 12-in. pizza pans
- Prick with a fork
- Bake until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat oil over medium heat
- Saute vegetables until zucchini is crisp-tender
- Spread crusts with sauce
- Top with vegetables and cheese
- Bake until cheese is melted, 12-15 minutes
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine
- Steam in a steamer basket and drain well(Tip: lay it on a paper towel to get all the moisture out)
- Let cool
- In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and eggs
- Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle (like a pizza crust)
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes
Gluten Free Pizza
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet yeast (1/4 ounce)
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- Set pizza stone or heavy baking sheet on lowest rack of oven and preheat to 450
- Mix water, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes, or until it looks foamy
- In electric mixer bowl, mix flour blend and salt
- Add in egg, olive oil, vinegar, and yeast mixture
- Mix on low speed for 1 minute
- Using an oiled spatula, transfer the gluten-free pizza dough onto a piece of parchment paper
- Using oiled hands, spread dough into a 10-12 inch circle
- Bake for 8-10 minutes
- Add toppings and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes
Do You Want to be BLOATED or NO?
Guess What- Most cravings are a result of a deficiency in your body, or imbalanced gut health. Most of us struggle with this, even if we, overall, have a healthy lifestyle. (If you don’t, you are really screwed.)
What they are:
- 11 servings Organic fruits/veggies
- Powerful Antioxidants
- Full Spectrum Micro-Nutrient Complex
What they do:
- Remove Free Radicals
- Balance Gut Flora
- Reduce Uncomfortable Bloating
- Assist in Fat Loss
- Reduce Painful Inflammation
- Improve Mood, Sleep and Energy Levels
- Reduce Unhealthy Cravings
- Send Nutrients to Skin, Hair and Nails
- Improve Muscular Development and Recovery
- Improve Immunity
Fit Opti-Greens into your grocery budget, that is the level of importance they have to your health and success in reaching your goals.