Pizza Revisited

 

pizza 1

I love pizza and I now have a recipe for a base that does not involve hunting down cauliflower, taking a bank loan to buy them, then steaming them and squeezing the shit out of them before being able to even start the base.

I also battle to get the right taste for my tomato topping so I decided to cut it out altogether and used cream cheese as a topping to the base. Decidedly un-Italian but oh so delicious. This pairs very well with pink salmon, grated mozzarella and some spring onions, which gives you a good dose of those anti-inflammatory omega 3’s.

The base recipe is courtesy of Kristie Sullivan, PHD, who began her low-carb journey in 2013 after a lifetime struggle with obesity. It was the only thing that worked for her and she has since published a book of everyday low-carb recipes “Journey to Health: A Journey Worth Taking”.

She also has a YouTube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie.

Here is how to make the base:

Ingredients

½ cup whey isolate unflavored protein powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic (garlic powder)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (I just used mixed herbs)

85 grams grated parmesan cheese (if you don’t have just up the mozzarella)

85 grams mozzarella cheese

57 grams cream cheese

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Heat the cheeses in the microwave for a short while to soften.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The dough will

be more like a thick batter than a workable dough.

Line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper. Use a

wooden spoon or spatula to smooth the dough into a 9-inch round

pizza crust. You may also divide the dough into fourths and create

four, 5-inch (13 cm) pizza crusts (if you make 4 servings).

Bake the crust for 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove the crust from the oven, top with your favourite Banting toppings – try the cream cheese, salmon and mozzarella.

After you top the pizza, return it to the oven to bake until the toppings are browned and the cheese is melted.

Non-low-carbers would argue that this way of making pizza is expensive but the base is very rich and one or two slices is all you need for a meal.

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Dear Coach #1

pushthroughpain

I am my own coach and therefore accountable to myself, so here goes. This is me reporting to me.

Dear Coach,

I am now ten days into the program to produce a new, improved me. A me that does not fear speed, pain, hills or anything else (except for snakes obviously). A me that will build her LSD in a calculated manner, culminating in an 80 kilometre trail fest in September. Or suffer fest if we are honest. Not to worry, the new me will embrace the suffering.

I am using the 10 percent rule with my mileage, the sensible rule – never increase kilometres more than 10 percent per week. No rushing out and doing a marathon just because it’s there. I kicked this off with 25 kays for the week and I hope to peak in early September at 70 kays per week. My long suffering hammy/glute is happy with this. So is the chiropractor who is treating the problem.

I am remembering to slap THE LOOK on my face when I feel like giving up and  I am remembering to embrace pain and push some more. And so far I have not slidden comatose off the back of the treadmill so things are looking good.

This Sunday I’ll be seconding at Comrades, the ultimate suffer fest. Hopefully I will absorb some of the hardcore-ness whilst doing my bit for a race that I love. Best wishes to all those that are brave enough (lucky enough?) to be running – give it everything!

Push!

My female offspring are a constant source of inspiration when it comes to running matters.

The younger one has this look which she gets on her face, normally at the latter stages of a really difficult ultra (think Comrades). This look says “Don’t f*** with me. I will conquer this beast or die trying.” She is focus personified.

I have now pinned up a picture of her wearing The Look at the end of Comrades 2014. This is to remind me that when I’m running and I feel like slacking off (most of the time let’s face it), I need to slap The Look onto my face and move my arse, no matter the level of pain. Fake it until you make they say.

The older of said offspring is the Queen of Digging Deep, even when all is lost, and then squeaking over that line with minutes to spare, forcing her mother to scream like a demented banshee. She has worked really hard to move from fairly near the back of the pack to a strong mid-pack position.

Her advice to me is to do a 5km treadmill run each week, pushing faster and faster until I can do the whole thing at 6 minutes per kay. (Yes I know that’s not particularly fast but for me it’s f****** fantastic.)

She reckons I need not worry about killing myself as I will pass out before any major damage is done. How comforting. I will pass out and slide gracefully off the back of the treadmill like a ballerina doing a dying swan. I can just imagine the dogs face as he lies on the bed watching me.

Autumn’s Last Fling

A shabby shed suddenly becomes an artwork.

If autumn can’t bring back my photography mojo, nothing can! I’ve been eying these gorgeous leaves for a while, thinking “I must get my camera out.”  Now there’s no putting it away again!

A Pride of India tree showing off before winter.

The same tree indulging in some Impressionistic art.

I love how the low light makes this look like a painting.

 

Hello Strava!

Strava is my new toy.

But I have to admit I am a little intimidated by all the fast people out there. I need to find my own tribe. If you can identify with one or more of the following you’re eligible for my exclusive team.

1. You must think of 6 minutes per kay as REALLY FAST. The idea of doing it for more than 300 meters at a time must FREAK YOU OUT. Your comfort zone is found at around 8 minutes per kay.

2. You desperately want to appear hardcore and mutter about “being deep in the pain cave” but in reality you hate caves of any kind. Your biggest fear is shuffling off your mortal coil whilst in such a cave.

3. You have an incredibly cynical alter ego which rolls it’s eyeballs as soon as you start reading those articles  “Believe it and you can do it”.

4. You are not fond of speed work. You believe that your brain may leak out of your eyeballs.

5. You are constantly browsing on line for that perfect pair of compression pants that may help you break 2 hours 30 minutes for the half marathon. No speed work required.

6. The sub-5 marathon is on your bucket list but you know that no amount of fancy compression pants are going to help you here. You just have to man up and let your brain leak out of your eyeballs, but, oh, that pain….

Time to Focus….Again!

 

I haven’t blogged for 3 months now. So many reasons.

 

My year has two seasons – long distance running from December to May and short distance running from June to November. I love training for ultras in our beautiful neck of the woods but this year I kind of lost focus. I did two full marathons which weren’t too bad for an old tortoise with dodgy lungs and an even dodgier brain – a 5:27 and 5:36. I then entered a 48 km on 01 May – total debacle. There was an ambulance stalking me – enough said.

 

Then on top of a sore lower back from said ridiculous 48 km I got a cold which quickly attacked said dodgy lungs and turned into bronchitis. Two weeks off, half of it battling to breathe, was just what I needed to appreciate that I am a) lucky to be alive and b) still capable of forward motion. So no more feeling sorry for myself and eyeing less hectic pursuits like bridge or crocheting.

 

Okay, so it’s goodbye to long distance season – oh, not so fast. In a moment of complete madness at the very beginning of this year I entered a 50-miler on trail, with HILLS. And from Monday 28th May I have 15 weeks to build up to 75 kays per week, some of it on trail and some of it IN THE DARK. What a crazy moment of madness that was. Luckily we have 18 hours to complete the beast which I’m hoping allows for minor meltdowns, small naps in the grass, the slaying of small night creatures etc etc. I wonder if I have time to train Oscar The Brave to run alongside me with a brandy cask around his neck?

 

Onwards and Upwards!

Bouncing, flouncing….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2RJN9a_jdM

I went to see a very good physio the other day, one that also happens to be a very good runner, and I asked her what I could do to strengthen my running. Plyometrics, she said. Plyo-what? Plyometrics is basically explosive movement – preferably not of the bowels! Jumping and bounding. So now I am jumping, bounding and hopping around and every time I do a session I get the giggles – it makes me think of Loca the pug – “bouncing, flouncing, falling all around the show” and of course she “cannot fecking run”. You have to watch this adorable pug!

It’s taken me a long time to realise how aging affects our strength, our flexibility and our ability to bounce and flounce. You have to work harder and harder at it as time goes by. I’m starting to appreciate time in the gym with our dear Sergeant Major and I am no longer thinking of cunning ways to cheat. In fact, I am adding my own sessions into the week as well. I think that this non-running muscle pain may become as addictive as running – who would have thought?

Of course, a person has to eat right to build muscle – protein is key, so here are my two new best friends:

Obviously said protein foods should me mixed with a good dollop of farm cream and double cream yoghurt, a bit of xylitol and a handful of sunflower seeds. Heaven in a bowl.