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A quarter-century of pizza

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, it's 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 brands 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.

Janssen was diagnosed with diabetes (it runs in his family) around the time he started his pizza diet, but other than that, he says he is in good health and often goes on 30-mile bike rides.

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

"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."

Julie Scharper

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