I’m going to just admit it right now, out for all to read: I run to eat. Always have, always will. Running just sort of balances out some of the food I refuse to omit from my life. Hence why whenever I stop running, I always look as though I’ve had maybe one too many extra meals. To me, life is all about balance. Sure, we could all choose to eat everything from the ground, all the time, remove carbohydrates, go gluten-free but where is the fun in that? That sounds horrible. I’m a firm believer that your diet should be a mixture of nutrition and substance as well as the here and there splurge that keeps you from binge eating. If your life is one of deprivation then two things are going to happen: you are constantly going to have a sulky look on your mug and when the opportunity comes, you are going to eat twenty-five Snickers. When I say I run to eat, I don’t mean I eat like shit. I mean that I give myself the authority to make less than stellar decisions all the time. It means I make life allowances. If I want pizza and beer, I eat and drink it. If I want some ice cream, I let myself have it. Moderation will take you a long way. The key is finding your triggers and softening them so that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in life’s little treasures. Last night I told my husband to load up the freezer with a couple of cold glasses. I went to the store and I bought some Shipyard, threw it in the freezer for a few and then filled our glasses. The crisp beer felt great on my tongue. Drinking for me isn’t the norm anymore. I once enjoyed a glass of wine sporadically during the work week but for some reason it hasn’t sparked my interest lately. I think waking up so early to train has just put me in a different place. I was glad that the random craving for beer was still somewhere in me. I felt normal last night, just sitting back and enjoying a nice tall glass of beer. My mother in-law was nice enough to bring me back a large bag of fresh pecans from Georgia on her trip down south, so while waiting for the pizza to cook, we enjoyed beer and cracked some nuts. Delicious. Pizza in my house has to be basic because of the kids. So I usually split a cheese with them and cook an additional pizza for my husband. Last night he was craving sausage, so I cooked up some fresh all natural pork sausage, sliced it thin and threw it on top of his pizza. They’re not always the prettiest but they sure were tasty. We all gobbled them down, delighted for the change of pace. Making pizza dough is one of the easiest things in the world. It’s just a matter of putting enough time aside to allow it to proof (rise). Using store bought is of course, always an option, I mean, we are busy people. But there is something about homemade that just makes the world of difference. For sauce, I use Pomi Tomatoes, just as they are, nothing added but a little salt and pepper. You can find them in the aisle with all the other canned tomatoes. They taste really fresh which lightens things up a bit. For toppings, go nuts, whatever suits your fancy. I personally just prefer plain cheese along with the kids but when it comes to pizza, pretty much anything goes.
HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) instant dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 cups bread flour, or as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Add the water, yeast, sugar, and a 1/2 cup of the flour into a mixing bowl. Stir well and let sit for 20 minutes. It will get bubbly.
2. Add olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until it’s together enough to turn out on to a lightly floured work surface to knead.
3. Knead for about 10 minutes, while adding more flour a little at a time, to produce a soft, elastic and slightly sticky dough. Do not add too much flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to the work surface as you knead.
4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Drizzle a few drops of oil and coat the top of dough to prevent the surface from becoming dry.
5. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
6. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls and place in large zip lock plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
7. When ready to use, remove from fridge, and let the dough come up to room temperature before using.