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 thrivein30.com 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.