A Little Slice of Health
I discovered health in the most unexpected package. Actually, it came served on a platter, loaded with carbohydrates, processed meats, a few scattered veggies, and is typically consumed right alongside a pitcher of beer (glass of wine for me). What I am describing would not be listed in any health magazine (unless the recipe substituted just about everything), but health can be included as one of pizza’s many delicious toppings.
Pizza–at least for me–has always been centered around celebratory events; birthday parties, kids parties, post-league sports parties, and in my most recent pizza engagement, a reunion of sorts…for every seemingly important event, pizza (especially AT pizza joints) seems to be one of those prominent features at the occasion. Pizza offers the yummy goodness we want when we celebrate happy times in life, and happiness creates health. I would argue that pizza could be classified as happy food; not necessarily for its nutrient content, but for its quality of time content.
Pizza brings people together. As I sat back and watched my group of friends sitting around a smooshed table, reminiscing about high school, and cracking up at shared stories, and of course, eating pizza, I couldn’t help but think about the irony of health. The laughter, the jokes, the funny memories, and most importantly, the people, promoted healthy living…at a pizza parlor. In Europe, this sort of extended food gathering is not uncommon. But here, we live on the go. Our food is fast, our conversations are faster, and our chance to sit down with a friend (or better yet, a table-full) are rare. But when friends meet for pizza, it is as if time–for once–doesn’t really matter. In fact, I think the good old pie was created circular intentionally as a reminder. A reminder that the typical reason for pizza gatherings are to celebrate with our circle of friends; to celebrate the circle of life…you get the idea.
The next time you worry that your trip to a pizza joint is going to add a few lbs. to the scales, remember that health is more than a number. Health is measurable; but to me, it is measured not by any metric system but by the quality of which we have spent our days. And if spending time celebrating life means eating pizza (and possibly “blowing” your diet for the day), I say, make peace with the pie . -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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