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Ellicott City man has eaten pizza every day for the past 25 years

Dan Janssen has eaten pizza for almost every meal for a quarter of a century.

Pizza for breakfast. Pizza for lunch. Pizza for dinner.  

And almost always plain, cheese pizza. 

"I do eat a bowl of Raisin Bran once a week or so if I want to be healthy," said Janssen, 38, of Ellicott City. "But usually it's just pizza and coffee."

Janssen said he ate a normal "meat and potatoes" diet when he was growing up, but decided to stop eating meat for ethical reasons when he was a young teenager.  

And, since he didn't like vegetables, he started only eating pizza.  

"Nothing to me tastes as good as pizza," he said. "Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" 

Janssen, who owns Imperium Woodcraft in Ellicott City, said he usually eats two 14-inch pizzas a day. In college, he worked at Domino's to ensure a steady supply. 

He tries to vary his diet by eating different kinds of pizza. For example, if he has a Red Baron frozen pizza for breakfast, he'll have Joe Squared pizza for dinner. 

And he makes some exceptions. At Bertucci's, for example, he orders pesto pizza because he doesn't like the tomato sauce there. Too chunky.

So what happens when he can't eat pizza? During a two-week trip to Germany, where the pizza was not up to snuff, Janssen subsisted on soft pretzels. 

And what about dates? Fortunately, Janssen's reputation preceded him and his now-fiancee suggested they go for pizza on their first date. 

She is actually the reason he decided to start varying his diet. Well, at least a little. He recently started seeing a nutritionist. 

"I do see a day in the future when I get a little more adventurous," he said.  

"I remember about four years ago I ate a peach and it was amazing," he said. "I just never think to do things like that."

Janssen was diagnosed with diabetes (it runs in his family) around the time he started his pizza diet, but other than that, he's in remarkable health. 

"Whenever I go to a new doctor.... my bloodwork comes back great and they say, 'You're doing great,'" he said. 

"I'm active. I ride my bike 30, 40 miles at a time. I feel great," said Janssen, whose story was first reported by Vice.

"If I could say anything to the men of the world, it's you can do it," he said. "You can eat two 14-inch pizzas a day and be fine."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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