Wednesday, January 13, 2010

marathon update, and the best pizza crust

One month until my first marathon! I'm starting to get nervous, mostly because of those three weeks I basically took off from training over the holidays. Since we've gotten back to Texas, I have worked out every day - five freezing miles on Friday; 90 minutes of yoga on Saturday; 10 terrible miles on the treadmill on Sunday; more yoga on Monday; and - finally - 7 solid miles last night. I went to the Rec Center and decided it was high time to challenge myself, so I did a speed workout. Three miles at a 9:00 minute mile pace, with 10:30 miles in between. It went by surprisingly quickly and at the end of my workout I felt strong enough to walk another mile at a 7% incline. This is awesome, mostly because I am getting some of my confidence back. The marathon will be conquered yet!

I've also been paying attention to what I put in my body (as my diet also suffered during my lengthy and indulgent holiday travels). Drinking tons of water, no alcohol during the week, and lots of fruit, veggies and raw almonds. It's amazing what a healthy diet and regular exercise can do for a person! This morning I even woke at 5:15 in the morning - without the help of an alarm - made a pot of coffee, and worked on an essay that's finally ready to be submitted to some journals. It's official - Chrissy is back!

I promised you a recipe, and it's a simple one. Simple, but delicious. During the week, whenever I chop veggies for dinner, I have a container I keep in the fridge where I put a little extra of whatever's on the menu - diced onions, sliced peppers, a little spinach. At the end of the week (or whenever the container is full) we make a homemade pizza and toss everything on top. We used to make a basic crust with white flour, but in an effort to bump up the nutrition in everything we eat, I've started making a whole wheat crust with flaxseed. It's not as traditional, but just as delicious - and really healthy, too! Enjoy.

(Sorry for the fuzzy photo. My camera wouldn't focus - probably because the battery is about to die!)

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust with Flax Seed 
(adapted from

2.25 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1/4 c flax seed meal
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp agave nectar

1. Mix the agave nectar with the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit 10 minutes until foamy.
2. In large bowl, mix flour and flax seed meal with salt.
3. Add yeast mixture and mix until all flour is incorporated. Knead for approximately five minutes.
4. Cover and let dough rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm place (I usually stick the bowl on top of my dryer, which is in the kitchen).
5. Roll out dough on a pizza stone. Prick the crust with a fork several times and bake in an oven (preheated to 350 degrees) for 10 minutes.
6. Remove crust from oven and cover with sauce and your choice of toppings. (In the above photo, we have adorned our pizza with GimmeLean sausage, fresh spinach, onions and marinated artichoke hearts.)  Bake in oven for another 10-15 minutes.
7. Devour!