Run Happy (Recipe: Pre-Baked Pizza Crust)

Try to approach your runs with a positive outlook. It has been shown to improve both your performance and your health. I’m serious.

We all know that because of endorphins, running is a way we can lift our mood if we are stressed, sad, or insecure. However, while running improves happiness, happiness can also improve your running performance.

According to research, a happy runner suffers fewer injuries. Happiness reverses the body’s muscle-tensing stress response which decreases our risk for injury.

Another study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that cyclists who were given positive feedback did better in a time trial than those who did not. By removing distractions created by negative emotions, you are more in tune and can improve your performance.

Furthermore, happier people have more dopamine coursing through their brains. This chemical makes it easier to tolerate uncomfortable sensations.

Also, happier people get sick less often, and when they do get sick they recover more quickly. According to research, ongoing negative emotions can provoke cellular activity that leads to illnesses including cancer. Feeling joy can help reverse this process.

How can you be happier?  Well, eating well is important–it is impossible to feel positive in a sustained way if you’re low on nutrients like magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D. Sleep is also important. It is hard to be excited and happy if you are exhausted. Studies have also shown that music distracts athletes from pain and fatigue. Other studies have shown that negative thoughts will increase muscle tightness which intensifies the sensation of pain. Furthermore, experiential purchases have been shown to boost happiness levels–book a run-cation in an exciting locale, sign up for a fun run with a group of friends, or treat yourself to a relaxing massage.  Just do it! Go run! Be happy!

And Callie turns 5 today!!  Time has just flown! Birthday cake pictures to come shortly (as soon as I finish making the cake–this frosting better be delicious after all the work that has gone into it!)

FU days... 1808 IMG_1188

1 year ago: $3,450 Raised and Another 26.2 in the Books!

2 years ago: My LRD is THREE Years Old!!! (Recipe: Perfect Yellow Cake)

Quote of the Day:

“Exercise doesn’t just improve happiness, happiness can improve exercise performance.” -Alfred Bove

So, I tried this Pre-Baked Pizza Crust recipe from Food Network. It was just okay. I wasn’t super impressed with it.

DSC_9989

Pre-Baked Pizza Crust

Ingredients

– 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

– 2 teaspoons kosher salt

– 1 teaspoon rapid-rise instant yeast

– 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl

Directions

– Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in 2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons olive oil with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough rises slightly, about 1 hour.

– Using lightly floured hands, transfer the dough to a generously floured surface and knead several times until it just starts becoming smooth and elastic, about 1 minute (do not over-knead). Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone or inverted rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack and preheat to 500*.

– Brush two rimmed 13×18-inch baking sheets (not nonstick) with 3 tablespoons olive oil each. Place one piece of dough on each baking sheet. Prepare the pizzas one at a time: Cover the dough with plastic wrap, then press firmly with your hands to fill the baking sheet. (If the dough is hard to stretch, keep it covered and let rest up to 30 more minutes.)

– Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the baking sheet to the hot pizza stone. Bake until the crust starts browning, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully loosen the crust from the pan using a spatula. Top and bake, or let cool, lightly wrap in plastic and set aside up to 8 hours.

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