My n=1 Non-Paleo Pizza Experiment

By experiment, I just mean that I ate a piece of pizza. One time. One mouthwatering slice.

In the past, this simple act would’ve led to things like bloating, eczema, a red rash on my face, a yeast infection the next day (or the same day), diarrhea and/or constipation, acne, intestinal cramping, sinus congestion, heartburn, wheezing, itchiness on my face, or brain fog. I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting, but after 7 years of not eating gluten and 4 years of not eating dairy (except for my successfully booty enlarging gelato experiment in Spain last year), I’ve forgotten. I just know that the way dairy and gluten made me feel for many years was enough for me to give them up and never look back again.

But then we were going to Chicago last week, and there are some… notable pizzerias in that city, so I thought to myself, ‘I’m gonna eat some f*%cking pizza while I’m there and I don’t really care what happens.’ Lou Malnati’s pizza to be exact, for all you Chicagoans. I grew up in the Chicago area and I have some fond memories of eating deep dish, cheesy, spinach stuffed, sausage topped pizza from Malnati’s when I was a kid. The cheese was so thick that it stretched a foot from your mouth when you took a bite. And that sauce…

It was time to find out how far (or not) my body has come in the years since I had a reaction to seemingly every food I ate. After being Paleo for almost 4 years, I was dying to know if my gut had healed enough for me to be among those people who can eat Paleo 80% of the time and still feel fine. I had my doubts.

The first bite was reminiscent of my first bite of meat out of my vegetarian exile 10 years ago. Anxiety provoking. ‘I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be doing this!’ as the pizza made its way to my face. But eventually, I took some deep breaths and forced it down. Gross. No, not really :) Lou Malnati’s is the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had and I ate a giant piece of it.

And I felt fine! Not a single symptom. I felt a little light headed, but I think it was just euphoria and bliss kicking in. No bloating, no nothing. I was congested the next day, but I’m pretty sure it was from the Cat that slept on my face that night. No diarrhea, no constipation. No itchy skin and no yeast infection! I think my gut might be healing. Thank you, Paleo.

I decided I’ll make a date with gluten and dairy once every 3 months. Next time? Doughnuts…

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  1. Lizette

    Awesome! Love the story, problem is now I want pizza! ;)

  2. Elizabeth

    Loved this story. Gives me hope for the future that if I stay Paleo long enough I will be able to eat dairy occasionally without symptoms.

  3. mars

    What’s the point? Grains are still bad for you.

    • Neely

      mars – Did you just ask what “the point” of eating Chicago style deep dish pizza was? :)

  4. Nic

    this is good news. my friends are opening a pizza shop this weekend and I have been eating paleo for about 5 months but I had already decided that I was going to try some of that pizza.

  5. Michele

    I TOTALLY get it!!!! I just returned from New York City, the land of pizza, and bravely walked past every pizzaria with my eyes closed!!! Only being Paleo for 8 months, my gut isn’t healed enough……but, someday I will get a slice!!! And yes, doughnuts would def be #2 on my list, too!! The good news: this was the first trip I’ve ever taken to NYC when I didn’t have one single digestive disturbance! And I ate great food!

  6. sheena

    excellent! lou malnati’s is my fav chicago deep dish. anytime anyone says giordano’s i shake my head.

  7. Jane

    I never thought that I had any gut issues that needed healing. That was until I started eating paleo and cheated after about a month. One bowl of pasta made me feel the tired, achy, depressed and bloated feeling I had chalked up to being overweight for so long all over again. I need more time to “fix” myself before I have any pizza, but I look forward to it.

    I love food. I enjoy going new places and trying new foods, and I’m starting to realize that a really good pizza or a piece of oreo cheesecake are much more of a treat when it’s 80/20, not 40/60

  8. Chris

    Lou Malnati’s does make a crustless pizza — paleo/low carb/gluten free friendly with a sausage “crust.” They ship it anywhere in the US, although it is pricey.

  9. Robin

    I’ve had Malnati’s GF pizza. Best pizza ever.

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