Thrive pizza…

February is drawing to a close and with it, many of us are approaching or entering the next phase of our training for our spring races. My marathon is at the end of May and I’m finishing up week five of 18 of my training schedule. After next Wednesday, I’ll be moving from the base phase into the strength phase, with the addition of hills training. I love me some hills! (This will likely kick off the Toronto Hills series I mentioned in this post)

As training progresses, I’m becoming more and more focused on one particular element of my training: nutrition. For me, this is one of the most important aspects of training, because if one’s nutrition sucks, their body will not be able to adequately recover, and as a result their running will suffer.

In addition, with my personal 22 minutes in 10lbs challenge, I’m trying to choose more wisely where my calories are coming from in order to maximize the nutritional content without too many empty or excess calories.

I’m a huge fan of Brendan Brazier’s books Thrive and Thrive Fitness, and have found a ton of useful nutrition ideas from reading these books. Brendan is a Canadian 50k ultramarathon champion, professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author and creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA. Brendan also offers a free video and e-mail program at that I highly recommend — and in case you missed the word before video, it’s FREE ;-). Here is a quick video about the program:

In keeping with the idea of “high net gain foods” I made a “pizza” tonight from Brendan’s book Thrive. I put “pizza” in quotes here because this dish resembles a pizza only in that it has a base or “crust” on which there is sauce and then toppings. The recipe for this pizza can be found at Canadian Running Magazine’s website, but there was a difference between the online version and the printed version, which added 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat groats. For my pizza, I added the groats, mostly out of curiosity (I hadn’t had them before), and found that they added a really nice crunch to the crust. So thumbs up to the groats.

This pizza is made completely from plant materials and cooked at a very low temperature. To start, I took all of the ingredients for the crust and put them in a food processor:

Then I formed the crust (mmm, groaty goodness!):

While this was happening, I roasted the red peppers in the oven, and then placed them and the rest of the ingredients for the sweet pepper hemp pesto (the “sauce”) into the food processor:

…and coated the “crust,” sliced up some veggies, toped the “pizza”, put it in the oven, and…. Voila!

I had quite a bit of the pesto left over, which will be perfect as a veggie dip for the next day or so.


6 responses to “Thrive pizza…

  1. Dude, I’m so impressed that not only are you training, you are cooking! I’m lucky if I have the energy to pour myself a bowl of cereal by the end of the day. Wait, you think maybe there’s a correlation between my poor eating and my tiredness? :) (I promise I do better on the weekends…I even prepare meals in advance!)

    • lol – thanks Alli. Most of the time I cheat and make a big pot of something on the weekends and heat it up over the week (like chili). But I’m making an effort ;-)

  2. That pizza looks great! That pesto really looks like it would taste absolutely divine. Good luck on your first marathon! I run the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas this Saturday. This will be my first marathon while on a whole foods diet. I feel so much better physically and mentally going into this marathon than ever before. In fact, my only real concern for upcoming marathons is that while on the whole foods diet, I may not be able to hang onto my standings in the clydesdale division, lol. Oh, to complain about being in too good of shape, huh?

    Well, knock that marathon out of the park! I can’t give you any real tips, other than just take it easy and enjoy your run. I tend to get too excited in the first half and fun WAY too fast…leaving nothing for the second half. For this one, I’m running with a couple gals from our running club, and they run a 10min pace, so that should keep me in line, lol.
    Take care, stay healthy!

    • Thanks Michael! The pesto was amazing and I took it as part of my lunch today to dip some veggies in.
      All the best this Saturday – I’d love to hear how it goes – drop me note if you can. Like you, I need to cool my heels in the first half – I’m just so psyched to be racing, that I go bananas. I’m not sure why, but I’m always surprised at how much better I feel when I eat whole foods… some day I’ll learn and just do it all the time and not just when I’m training ;-) Thanks again for the comment!

  3. But how did it TASTE? Inquiring vegans want to know!

    I bought Brazier’s book over the summer and found it very interesting (and useful), but haven’t dared to try any of the recipes yet.

    • Honestly Monika, I really liked it. I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but I’ve had it for dinner for the last three days (1/3 of the pizza is a serving) and still enjoyed it. I think as long as you’re trying it and not expecting it to taste like a regular pizza and approach it as a whole food vegetable dish, you’ll like it. Plus you can customize the toppings to what you like.

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