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How To Eat Pie and Stay Thin

The question comes up a lot: How do you eat so much pie and stay so thin?

While I like to answer teasingly, “It’s just fruit!” I made the mistake yesterday of reading the nutritional values printed on the side of a box for — are you ready for this? — a frozen, packaged Trader Joe’s chicken pot pie. Not. Just. Fruit.Which brings me to answers to other questions I get asked: Yes, I do eat store-bought pies. Occasionally. And yes, I eat savory pies. Though not often. And after reading the label on this frozen chicken pot pie it’s likely I’ll be eating them even less often.

Calories: 360. Calories from fat: 200. Total fat grams: 22. And that’s only if you eat HALF of the miniature pie! Deterred by the statistics and determined to “stay thin” I willed myself to eat just half. But then it tasted good. Really good. It was warm and creamy. It had huge chunks of chicken breast. The gravy was spiced with sage. The pie tasted like Thanksgiving! It was a whole Thanksgiving meal in a tiny little pie tin! And aren’t you supposed to overeat on Thanksgiving?

Needless to say, I ate the entire thing. And then I felt exactly like I normally do after a Thanksgiving dinner. STUFFED! I was practically groaning in pain. My stomach was bulging and I felt heavy and lethargic, as if I’d just eaten, well, 400 calories and 44 grams of FAT!

And now the answer to “How do you eat so much pie and stay so thin?” It’s a simple equation, one that I wish more Americans could comprehend. It’s called EXERCISE. After my pot pie feast I went for an hour and a half-long hike up the mountain behind my house with Team Terrier and my heavy belly in tow.

But here’s the thing — I do this hike every day regardless of how much pie I eat. I hike because it feels good. Because I love being in nature. Because my two dogs – who are both Jack Russell terrier mixes, an exceptionally athletic breed — need to go out and run at least four times a day. So if you want to eat as much pie as I do and not gain weight, get yourself a couple of crazy dogs, stick to the fruit pies, and above all do not depress yourself by reading the nutrition labels.

(NOTE: “Eat More Pie” refrigerator magnets, pictured above, sold at Mission Pie in San Francisco.)