The Price of a Piece of Pizza

How much does a slice of pizza cost? In my old neighborhood, I could get a HUGE slice (and when I say “huge” I mean ¼ of a whole pizza) for $0.99. Pretty good, right? But, as I learned (the hard way) last night, we often pay for things in ways that don’t involve money.

Just in case you missed it, last night was the Superbowl. Which means Superbowl parties. Which means junk food galore!

I went to one such party and our lovely hosts actually provided us with healthy, and mostly rule-abiding snacks (they do not know about my experiment). Triscuits, cheese, & grapes. Chips and salsa (probably had sugar, but I didn’t eat many). Sparking water. Coffee. Another guest brought homemade empanadas that were irresistible. The wrappers were not whole grain, but she baked them rather than frying them, so I declared it par for the course and enjoyed several of them. I brought the sweets – cookie dough dip and coconut cupcakes – all of which were within the rules, except for the chocolate chips in the dip, but I served it with celery and apple slices so that justified the mini morsels! Well, it justifies it to the extent you eat a normal serving size and not half of the container by yourself. Which I may or may not have done.

All in all, I was doing pretty well. Until the pizza arrived.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know of my pizza woes. The cauliflower pizza failures. The sad pita pizzas. Nothing has quite measured up to the real thing. And here in front of me was a real, New York-style pizza. It was drenched in cheese and grease and smelled like heaven. I was powerless to resist its siren call.

It was glorious. It was everything I’d hoped it would be. Warm, cheesy, greasy, doughy goodness. True pizza perfection. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

(Now, to my credit, I stopped after one slice. I thought about having a 2nd. I wanted a 2nd. But I chose to stick with the apple slices and cookie dough dip instead.)

That fact that I’d resisted that 2nd slice was little consolation when I climbed into bed a few hours later with the worst stomach-ache I’ve had in years.

That my stomach was upset at all shocked me. Nothing upsets my stomach, except for the rare virus. During my time in Asia, I ate seahorse, scorpion, alligator, snake, and a host of mystery substances that I just couldn’t bring myself to ask about. Not once did I get sick. In Peru, I ate deep-fried guinea pig and llama tartar. Again, fine. I have always had a stomach of steel, and yet there I was, curled up in my bed, incapacitated by a single slice of pizza.

Today, I’ve pretty much kept to yogurt and prune juice. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you?

On a more serious note, while my stomach is still punishing me, I don’t regret eating that piece of pizza. Why? Because it confirmed that, for me, avoiding processed and refined foods is the way to go.

First of all, my body does not react violently to new foods. (See above for bizarre things I’ve eaten.) It’s been my experience that, if it’s edible, my stomach can handle it.

Furthermore, none of the foods I consumed prior to the stomach ache were “new.” It wasn’t like I’d been avoiding diary as I did on Paleo¹ and then chugged a gallon of milk. The pizza ingredients were simply refined/processed versions of foods I already consume on a daily basis. I regularly eat whole grains, healthy fats, organic cheeses, and natural sugars. Pizza is simply a combination of those ingredients in their highly refined forms. And my body did not like it one bit.

In fairness to the pizza, it could have been the chips and salsa that did me in. I’m sure they were both filled with chemical and artificial preservatives galore, but I didn’t eat that many of them so, while I admit there’s a slight chance the pizza is innocent (or at least only partially guilty) I’m fairly certain that the majority of the blame rests with the pizza’s refined flour crust and sugary sauce. Regardless, I learned my lesson. Processed food is NOT my friend and my body does not make exceptions for me to consume junk on special occasions, like the Superbowl.

I guess this means either it’s time to give up on pizza or it’s time to try out that whole wheat pizza crust recipe I’ve been avoiding.


1. When I did incorporate dairy back into my diet after my short stint on Paleo, my body adjusted without issue.


6 February 2012. Just Enough.


  1. Kelly replied:

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great job!

    • Becca replied:

      Thanks! I actually don’t keep this blog up anymore. My new one is over at

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