There are a few pleasures in life that I’ve lived without for…quite some time.

Last night, I decided one of those things I could not live without any longer.

pizza | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk2


I had to use both my hands to count how many years it’s been since I’ve enjoyed even one bite of this heaven-sent food: SIX.

That’s right, folks. Six years since the day I went off dairy.

Soon followed by garlic. (Long story…)

And then wheat.

After those three fateful and difficult days, I felt so much better physically that all the sacrifices were eventually worth it. The sinus infections subsided. The mysteriously recurring fatigue and flu-like symptoms calmed down.

Before long, I even stopped missing some of my formerly favorite foods, like lasagna or grilled cheese with tomato soup. I no longer cry a little inside when someone around me indulges in something wheaty, garlicky, or cheesey.

Unless it’s pizza.

That one still hurts.

I’ve known there are options. Ways I could recreate a similar experience without the wheat, garlic, and cheese. But why bother. What joy would be left in it?

pizza | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk3

Last night I decided to find out.

I finally bought a gluten-free pizza dough mix, a pizza sauce with (almost) zero garlic, and some sort of mozzerella-like substance whose package promised: “Melts and stretches!”

I didn’t make R-kids suffer through my wanna-be pizza – they made the real thing, while I proudly made my fakies.

pizza | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk1

pizza | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk5

pizza | shorts and longs | julie rybarczyk91

I’m not going to pretend it was the best pizza I’ve had in my life.

But it was the best pizza I’ve had in six years.

And I’ll definitely have it again.


by julie rybarczyk