Monday, 29 June 2015

Internet Findings : June

I've not posted one of these round ups for a little while but that doesn't mean there hasn't been a whole host of articles that have piqued my interest. Here's a selection...

Chrissie Wellington writes about body image in triathlon and sports. This sparked a lot of conversation in Team Bear!

As a vegetarian and consumer of soy I found this article on soy and it's health implications, especially with regards to cancer and whether it's preventative or not. A well balanced article, although not definitive. Moderation and quality seem to be key here. There's plenty of further reading to be found at the bottom of the article too.

This list of What I Promise To Teach My Daughter about body image made my heart ache a bit. Aspirational, certainly.

Need a pick me up? Shia LaBeouf gives an intense motivational speech!

Very interesting article from Runner's World about Fatigue in Men & Women. It seems that we do fatigue differently but we're a long way from understanding these differences.

Did you read any of these articles? Any other related articles I should read?

Friday, 26 June 2015

On Becoming A Boxercise Instructor

Last weekend I spent a day at Brunel University taking my Boxercise Instructor qualification. It was a full but fun day and I learnt an awful lot! I'd been to Brunel University some years ago when I was trying to decide which ones to apply to so it was fun to be back on campus. It's somewhat smarter than when I was last there but felt familiar all the same.
After class. I thought I was smiling. I was apparently too tired!

So what is Boxercise?

Boxercise is a boxing based form of exercise. It doesn't involved getting hit (unless you're unlucky) and isn't promoted as a "pure" sport so is a fun, stress busting activity to suit anyone who wants to enjoy boxing training. There are over Boxercise Classes up and down the country and many Personal Trainers use the principles too. It's an effective form of cross-training as it combines both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and helps to improve hand-eye co-ordination, balance and timing.

What's involved in becoming an instructor?

The basic course is 8 hours long. You are taught the stance, how to move and the eight punches. Teaching points and coaching methods are introduced and then it's time to understand how to hold pads to receive punches. There's a lot of time to practice instructing each other and different combinations. We learnt about the different types of gloves, pads and wraps. My wraps turned my hands yellow! Around the middle of the afternoon you're assessed and the last hour or so is spent trying out different styles of classes. I ended up seriously hot and sweaty but giggling from the last exercise involving We Will Rock you and burpees.

Do you need experience to become an instructor or to take part in a class?

No. Absolutely not. I had next to no experience of boxing before I attended the class but there were people with a solid background in boxing or MMA. It allows for all sorts and many different styles of classes. 
If you want to attend a class, likewise, you don't need previous experience. your instructor will be able to teach you the basics and you can build on this week on week. Some training centres may ask you to attend an induction session before taking part in Boxercise classes so you can learn the basics in a more relaxed environment.

So what are you going to do with these new skills?

Firstly I'm going to practice! I'm new to this myself so I've still got to improve my technique, but I have the skills and resources with which to do this. I'm taking part in a few more classes at Box Bell Fit and in a couple of months I will start to pick up classes to teach. I'm also looking forward to using Boxercise with some of my PT clients, if appropriate.
A host of newly-qualified Boxercise Instructors
Have you ever done a Boxercise class? Was it more aerobic or boot camp in style? Any evil drills you remember?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Vik's Picks : June 2015

I really enjoyed putting together my "picks" list last month so I've decided to make it a more regular feature here. Once again I'm highlighting a selection of products that I've used and loved in the past month. Something for everyone I think!
1. I've been aware of the brand Tribesports for sometime and lusted after the kit. I finally got to try some on at the Brighton Marathon expo and bought two pairs of the double-layer shorts and a t-shirt but only this month have I been wearing them to work out in. I love the understated but quality design, cuts and colours.

2. My go-to cook book this month has been Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Light & Easy. I'm a fan of simple but delicious recipes and at this time of year I'm craving lighter dishes. The breakfast section is well-thumbed now with the rhubarb and orange smoothies, honey baked rhubarb and morning tea slices being firm favourites already. I'll be diving into the lunch section a little more next month I think.

3. Yes I featured a nut butter last month but Pip & Nut's Coconut Almond Butter has stormed into the top spot here. The coconut makes this extra special and is runny enough to be drizzled on strawberries and muesli or porridge at breakfast (my current favourite combo). It's not the cheapest but it's worth it!

4. As the weather's warmed up the item I grab for all my runs, after my trainers and Garmin, is my Halo Sweatband. It keeps my hair out of my face and diverts the sweat away from my eyes. The Running Bug are holding a competition to win two of them so try your luck!

5. You may think it's the time for iced lemonades and Pimms but I'm still in a chai mood. Specifically, teapigs chilli chai. the hint of chilli in this gives me a real pick me up and I've been turning to this instead of coffee on my early mornings.

What new products have you tried this month? Have you rediscovered an old favourite?

Friday, 19 June 2015

Recovering and Refocusing

Welcome to another weekend! I think I'm still slightly on a high from Endure24... or it might just be all the sugar I've eaten this week. Oops.
Marvellous cakes from one of my RunFitUK group
The effect that Endure24 had on me wasn't quite what I expected. I found myself needing a lot more sleep and to be significantly hungrier than I had been after Equinox24, even though my eating and sleeping pattern was essentially the same. I guess that's just how it goes sometimes.

But I didn't suffer aches and pains thanks to Georgina's wonderful massages so I was able to crack on with teaching on Monday. Needless to say I didn't see anyone from the weekend in class on Monday! I did get to teach an additional circuits class for Barnes Fitness though which I really enjoyed. A different vibe from Box Bell Fit but still great fun.

I've only run twice this week since Endure24, once for hill reps and one longer easy paced run, a total of 34.5 miles if you add in Endure24, so overall a good volume. I was meant to do a bike set too but technical difficulties meant I missed the opportunity. I've not fallen out of love with running by any means but I'll confess I've been having a minor internal battle about what my goals and motivations are now and whether to continue with external coaching. I think I'm close to a resolution.
Just some of the 3.5kg of strawberries I picked from the allotment.
Hoping they'll offset the cake...
I've still got lots of events still to come this year but unfortunately one less than planned as next week's Dinton Aquathlon has been cancelled. Only nine people entered so cancelling it was really the only sensible option. It wouldn't have felt like much of an event. It is a pity though. The moral is, don't leave it to the last minute to sign up to events, especially local ones. Support local sports!

This weekend I'm taking a Boxercise Instructor course and doing some event planning; both things I'm very excited about. I'll hopefully be able to share more about the event next week but it has spurred me to get some branded t-shirts made up. I feel so smart in these!

Looking the part?
Have you ever entered an event that then got cancelled? How did you refocus? Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Event Review : Endure24

There seems to be a growing trend towards 12 or 24 hour races, popular with those who want to test themselves individually and those who fancy an excuse for a slightly healthier version of a pyjama party.
Endure24 has been in my diary for sometime. I read great reports of it last year (despite the mud) and so when I was asked to captain a team for Box Bell Fit, how could I possibly say no? In total we entered four teams of eight; one all men, two all girls and one mixed. We were all set to take it in turns to run laps of 5 miles for a total of 24 hours in rain, shine, day and night.
We woz 'ere!
Those who could, congregated at BBF HQ on Friday morning, loaded up with tents and made our way in convoy to Aldermaston, to set up camp in the rain. It was the fourth year in a row that BBF had entered teams so a favourite spot was located that allowed us a great view of the course as it wound it's way back towards the start/finish line. 
A small selection of the cake on offer...
After set up we kicked back with some ciders, beers and cards and enjoyed the evening. By 10am the next morning the last few people who hadn't been able to come up on Friday had joined us and there was a fairly steady stream of kettles being boiled for porridge pots and hot drinks. Costumes were donned, race kit prepped and it was off to the start for the briefing.
I took the first lap for the team and despite a bit of jostling at the start found it utterly glorious. It wasn't a sunny day but it was good running conditions and I loved the course. I didn't love *that* hill but the feeling of flying through the woods in the second half was amazing. That was my favourite part; chasing a couple of guys down on the second lap, seeing the trees wound with fairy lights and actual fairies (ok, ladies dressed as fairies) at night and discovering that my legs could still tackle it on my fourth and fifth laps on Sunday morning.
The Box Belles before
Heading out on the first lap
Everyone on the team did what they could whether that was 2 laps or 5. We had not particular expectations and so I think we were all delighted to discover that we came 7th out of 30 teams in our category (Female 6-8) with 30 laps in a time of 24:20:26. And everyone was still smiling at the end of it. Our men's team did especially well by earning third place with 39 laps in a time of 24:12:41!
Running the last leg together
Victorious boys!
One of my enduring memories of the event will be the huge variety of runners who took part. All shapes, sizes and abilities. Special mentions to the RMR group who had never met each other before, the Woodley parkrunners and the runners I'd met at Dinton Pastures 10k earlier in the week. Every single person deserved their medal.
The RMR "Total strangers"
It was a fantastic event and I loved every minute of it. I hadn't gone with a goal in mind but I was really pleased to have managed 5 laps, including my last two back-to-back, in times that I felt were perfectly respectable.
Done? Done in!
But it wouldn't have been half as good without our wonderful support crew. This included friends and family, some of whom kept us on the straight and narrow with by tracking who was out on the course and who was due next and where we all were. This seemed to consist of equal parts black magic and walkie talkies. We also had the lovely Georgina from Wellbeing Treatments on hand to provide treatment for our aches and pains in the form of massage, an endurance event in it's own right.
Sneaky Sloe Gin to celebrate World Gin Day
The site as a whole was really well organised. registration was easy, there were plenty of loos and (hot) showers, the cafe had a good menu for all at reasonable prices, the change over area was large enough to avoid too much jostling and the course was clearly marked and very well marshaled.
The Box Belles after
Finally I want to say a few thank you's; to Hayley for the amazing brownies and Sian for the almond biscuits, and to everyone who brought baked goods for the collective, to Georgina for the massages, to the support crew for getting us up, ordering us, keeping track of where we all were, for and the cheering and photo taking, and to Anna for arranging it all in the first place.

The BBF Collective
Have you done Endure24 or similar? Could you be tempted? Which event of this kind do you think is the best? Do you prefer team or solo participation? 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Skin Healer Cream

Last week I posted a review of InstaNatural's Scar Gel and mentioned that I'd made my own "skin healer" cream in the past. I had a couple of enquiries about it so thought I'd share it with you today.

Some time ago I went on a course with Neal's Yard to learn the basics of aromatherapy and essential oils. Each oil is thought to have particular properties such as a stress reliever, healer, energiser and so on, and as such can be combined to particular effect. On the course we were shown how to combine oils and to make some basic products like massage oils, muscle rubs and skin creams. Some of these involved making base products, such as balms, from scratch and for others we used pre-prepared products such as creams.

This skin healer cream uses a pre-prepared body cream. The Body Shop used to sell tubs of unscented body creams (you may still find them in their outlet stores) and Neal's Yard also stock one. Any thick, unscented, body cream should work. I would recommend Neal's Yard for essential oils only because I have first hand experience of their quality.

You will need:

  • Unscented body cream
  • Frankincense essential oil
  • Mandarin essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil

Frankincense is thought to have wound healing properties, mandarin helps to reduce the appearance of scars and lemon helps to fight against infections. The combined scent is also rather uplifting.

For every 100ml of cream you will need to add 60 drops of essential oil, for topical application.
I use the following ratio:
Frankincense: 20 drops
Mandarin: 25 drops
Lemon: 15 drops

Add the oils to the cream and stir well to combine. Apply as you would a regular cream, either in place of your usual or perhaps at night before sleeping.

This cream has helped to improve my skin in the past but is not scientifically proven. If you experience any adverse reaction, stop using immediately.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Preparing to Endure and Trying to Relax

Today I'm off to Endure24!! The event doesn't start until tomorrow but as we've four teams of eight entered from BoxBellFit a group of us are heading over today to claim an area to camp in. There have been a few days this week when I've wondered how I'd have the strength or stamina to manage the event because it's so much more than just the running; there's the set up, social aspect and lack of sleep. Then finding time to pack, wondering what to take to eat (I'll probably supplement with food there but I don't like to rely on these things)...
Team Tops!
Credit: Anna Plumridge
I've run 20 miles over four sessions this week, my last being on Wednesday morning. I should be feeling rested but my mind has been constantly "on" for most of the last 7 days and it has left me feeling exhausted. It started on Friday when the This Girl Can Ambassadors meeting with Get Berkshire Active got me buzzing with ideas of things to do and try. This continued into Saturday with the Wokingham Triathlon festival, my own 90 minute run in the afternoon and then teaching on Sunday morning.

A dash to London to meet my dad was rewarded with the most epic lunch I've ever had. It lasted me a full 24 hours! It was a wonderful relaxing afternoon but I got stuck into a book on Personal Training when I got home and my mind buzzed again.
Wednesday night was my opportunity for packing and making food for Endure24 as I was on race duty at Barnes Fitness last night. Dinner, glass of wine, a step back from social media and several episodes of The Moomins was apparently what it took to finally quieten my mind and r-e-l-a-x. And certainly no reading before bed! Thinking about my career change I can see how important it's going to be to set aside specific time for reading, for social media and for relaxation. And to stick to it!
All set!
Team flapjacks
But back to Endure24 for a moment. I'm hoping to do 5 laps and get a bit of sleep here and there. There's some rain forecast but it certainly won't stop play. There are quite a lot of people I know going, aside from my team so hopefully I'll be able to find them and say hello. All in all it should be fun and I'll report back, of course, next week.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, have fun!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wokingham Triathlon Festival

The sun was shining and he breeze was carrying the sound of the loud speaker into the bedrooms of those who were not up and about at 8am on a Saturday morning. It was a great day for a triathlon!
You could be forgiven for thinking that Human Race have the monopoly on triathlons in the Berkshire area but Barnes Fitness put on a great Sprint distance triathlon. 2015 was the second year of this lovely event taking place in Dinton Pastures country park. It attracts a lot of first-timers but plenty of seasoned triathletes too, such is the friendly and inclusive nature of all of Barnes Fitness' events. 
The overseeing official
Everyone was in good spirits, competitors and volunteers alike. Registration seemed to go without a hitch, aside from one or two people forgetting to bring their Triathlon England membership cards, and soon enough it was time to head to the waters edge and acclimatise for the swim. It was quite a sight to see everyone getting into the water and bobbing about before the start. The swim course was an out and back, designed such that it was possible to see almost the entire thing from the bank, just around the corner from the start.
The leaders put quite some distance between themselves and the pack, and were soon out of the water and running the 650m to transition. Not ideal but it did at least give the legs a chance to get used to being on land again. The bike leg was out on the open roads; a route that is regularly used in the Barnes Fitness events such as the duathlon. Plenty of signs and marshals ensured that everyone got round safely and I was able to see most of them come back into transition to set off on the 5km loop of the park.
The transition and finish lines were close together and near to the cafe so it was a veritable hub of activity. The winners were crossing the finish line before a good portion of the other competitors were out of transition but everyone got cheered on as loudly. Friends and family joined newly-made triathletes as they crossed the line, arms were thrown in the air and a few grimaces made it over the line too. As many name checks as possible were given and applause was plentiful.

Every finisher walked (or hobbled) away with a superb medal in their goody bag and, I hope, a sense of achievement and satisfaction regardless of their placing. A special mention to the penultimate lady who was taking part for charity and made her children very proud indeed.
Once again, I relished being involved in this event, from a marshal point of view. It's unlikely I'll get to take part in this event myself but I hope that people looking to take part in triathlon continue to seek out and support their local events, whether first timers or not. The organisation may not be as shiny as at the bigger events, but they are friendly, well priced and a great way in to the sport.

And remember, events such as these rely on volunteers so please consider donating some of your time to marshal, hand out water, or help with registration. It takes all sorts and allows these fantastic events to keep on going. Join the mailing lists or email the event organisers, or look for opportunities on Join In.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Reviewed : InstaNatural Scar Gel

I have a lot of scars. I'm clumsy and I'm fairly slow to heal (though general recovery from illness is pretty good) and I'm very bad at letting things heal. I don't mind my scars too much. They are just part of who I am and some of them remind me of certain events. That said, I wouldn't say no to reducing the appearance of at least some of them.

In the past I've made my own "skin healer" body creams with essential oils that have helped to improve my skin, but I've never tried an off-the-shelf product. I was given the opportunity to try InstaNatural's Scar Gel, which claims to help to diminish and erase surgical scars, acne scars, burns, or other dark spots over time by making them less visible in appearance. As with anything, it's effectiveness relies on regular use, in this case twice a day.
InstaNatural is an American company but you can find their products on Amazon. The Scar gel doesn't contain any parabens, sulfates or alcohols and comes in an easy-to-use pump dispenser. The gel itself is brown in colour and has a slight medicinal smell but it turns clear on application and the scent doesn't linger so don't be put off. It's quickly absorbed leaving no residue and a little goes a long way. I only needed to depress the pump half way to get enough gel for the scars on my legs and hands.

I've been using the product as directed for almost two weeks on scars less than a year old on my legs and hands that have resulted from burns, insect bites and general scrapes. The gel has had no effect on flat, white scars but there has been some slight improvement in the appearance of the red scars on my legs. They seem to have faded a little, but in general there hasn't been as much improvement as I expected in the two weeks and probably no more than I would have seen from using my own concoction. But it's pleasant to use and didn't irritate at all, even when applied to healing wounds (which it did seem to help heal a little faster).
Before (L) and after (R)
Before (L) and after (R)
If you wish to try this product yourself, it can be purchased via Amazon (I don't make any money from this). If you'd like me to share my own "skin healer" recipe let me know in the comments!

I received this product for free in return for my honest and unbiased feedback.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Gearing up for Endure24 and Tentative Cycling

June seems to be playing fair and giving us a bit of warmth and sunshine this week and so it would have been rude not to have made the most of it.

I started last weekend with a lovely run in the woods in the evening sunshine alongside some of my fellow Endure24 runners, which a couple of us followed up with park run on Saturday morning. I ventured out again in Thursday's early morning sunshine for a scurry and another woodland run with the gang that same evening. Beautiful it was too. A total of 18.5+ miles run. Only a week to go now and despite a last minute change to the team I think we're about set. No grand designs about numbers of laps or times but I think it's going to be a great weekend. Tiring, but masses of fun, especially as there will be 4 teams of us plus supporters!

This week's been the usual mix of training, teaching and PT-ing, all of which has been thoroughly enjoyable. I think my favourite moment was post-RunFitUK, discussing the Outlaw Triathlon with the group and collectively plotting a version involving pedalos or amphibious vehicles. I do wonder about us sometimes... I love my group but would equally love to expand it. I collected a RunFitUK flag from co-founder Leanne during the week so hope to generate some real interest from passing foot traffic, rather than just attracting nervous stares. Also thinking of getting a couple of banners to put up around town.
The big achievement for me this week was venturing out on my bike for the first time in about 9 months. I'm nervous about going out on the roads but now I've cancelled my gym membership I have fewer options. There is a decent bike lane on part of my usual 5 mile run route so I was able to make use of that for peace of mind. I didn't fall off, cause any accidents or get a puncture. I even managed to fix my clicking gears and inflate my tyres to the right PSI before setting out, thanks to the booklet and skills I picked up on the Evans Fix It course. I managed 9.5 miles before deciding to call it a day and even though I was about 20 minutes short of what my training plan said, I'm really pleased with what I achieved and won't be so nervous next time.
This weekend will be full of socialising, teaching and marshaling. I'm also excited to go to a This Girl Can Ambassador's meeting tonight. It's going to be a great weekend.

If you run clubs or classes, have banners been effective at drumming up interest? What crazy races have you done or would like to see? 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Outlaw Half Iron DistanceTriathlon - Supporting My Team Mates

Bruised legs and fingers, aching arms, headache coming on strong and very tired. And that was just from supporting, heaven only knows how the competitors were actually feeling.

The National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham on Sunday May 31st was the setting for the Outlaw Half Triathlon. A 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run to be completed in less than eight and a half hours. Team Bear had several members competing and with a number of us set to support as well I jumped at a rare opportunity to meet more of my team mates in person, dispersed around the country as we are. I also got to meet my coach for the first time!

Competitors set off in waves from 6:30am. Unfortunately I wasn't there in time to see the swim section but encountered the lead bikes out on the roads on Nottingham and was on site to see a large proportion of them heading out in the wind and rain. The National Water Sports Centre is similar to Dorney Lake, in as much as it's purpose built and very spectator friendly.

As the bike section was off-site there was time to grab a breakfast butty and coffee in the cafe and set up camp before the competitors started the run loop. We picked an area of the course where we would see competitors twice per lap on the run route, giving us four opportunities to roar our support, wave encouraging signs and flags around and attempt to deafen everyone with cowbells. The supporter team were all wearing our Team Bear hoodies and it was rather wonderful to see Team Bear trisuits and vests out on the course. We certainly made ourselves known!
Credit: Sid
Our supporter group grew and morphed over the course of the day as partners and children came and went but it was a fantastic atmosphere. Cake and pizza was munched in between giving out high fives. I couldn't quite get over how fresh the vast majority of people looked. So many smiles! I may have been getting rather excitable on the course but frankly that was nothing compared to how I felt once we relocated to the finish area. Huge hugs were administered to team members who had already finished and then we proceeded to drape ourselves over the barrier to scream everyone else home.

And scream I did. Years of Quo concerts had prepared my voice very well for hollering at people. There may also have been dancing, fist pumping and the flapping away of emotions after every high five or competitor crossing the finish line with a child. One chap was corralling four youngsters down the red carpet, undoubtedly the hardest 200m of the whole race for him. The announcers were wonderful, making sure everyone got a name check and including those who were passing the finish line with another lap still to go. Heroes, each and every one of them.

I am so proud of each and every one of my Team Mates who competed; Rob who took part in incredibly short notice, Rach who blasted the swim, Tracey and Catherine who I understand stayed together the whole way round and Cathy who was our first lady. You were all full of smiles and a total inspiration. So much so that I may have struck a deal with my coach to take part next year... Erm, yeah.
Credit: One Step Beyond
But frankly I can't think of another triathlon of that distance I'd rather do. The organisation was phenomenal, support throughout was excellent and the crews worked damned hard to make sure everyone went the right way, stayed fuelled and hydrated and completed the right number of laps. Particular recognition, I think, for those out on the bike course. That's a lonely place to be.

The full distance event take place on the 26th July and will feature team mate Sid on a BMX. I'd say look out for him, but I don't think you'll miss him. Crazy fool. He's raising money for charity though so please consider supporting him in his endeavours here.

What would you consider the best half distance triathlon in the UK? Have you ever been swayed to enter a race you've supported?

Monday, 1 June 2015

Recipe : Quick & Easy Pizza

Last week, inspired by a recipe I found on the BBC website, I made pizza for dinner. From scratch. Although not particularly traditional in it's toppings it was absolutely delicious and on my plate in under 30 minutes. That's quicker than ordering in and much healthier! 

It got a good reaction on twitter so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. thanks to a clever trick involving yogurt, pizzas don't really get any easier than this one and of course you can use whatever toppings you want. Using yogurt to make a pizza base isn't an unfamiliar concept to me but it's a really useful one to remember. Making a whole pizza from scratch is so satisfying and means an impromptu pizza party with friends is only moments away!

Quick & Easy Pizza

Serves 4. Prep time 10 mins. Cooking time 10 mins. Approx 570 kcals per pizza.


300g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
300g plain yogurt

Toppings (per pizza)
2-3 tsp green pesto
40g feta
5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
5-6 black olives, halved
1 tsp fresh or dried herbs (I used marjoram but oregano or mixed herbs work just as well)
Black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. You'll need to preheat a tray per pizza. If you don't preheat them, the bases have a tendency to stick - you have been warned! If you've only got room for one or two, that's fine, these don't take long to cook. 
  2. To make the base, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the yogurt and mix with a fork to combine. When the mixture forms a rough dough, tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll out into thin circles.
  3. Remove the baking tray from the oven and place a pizza bases on each. Bake for 4-5 minutes until beginning to rise then remove from the oven.
  4. Turn the pizza bases over and top with the pesto. Place the sliced tomatoes and olives on top, crumble the feta over the top, sprinkle over the herbs and season with black pepper.
  5. Return to the oven for 5 minutes until the bases are crisp and the toppings hot.
If you don't want to make four pizzas in one evening the dough will keep, covered in the fridge, for a day or so, or you can freeze the bases after the first bake, ready for defrosting and topping another day.

Get creative with your toppings! I fancy trying wilted spinach, olives and a baked egg or maybe sliced boiled new potatoes, rocket and pine nuts.

Have you used yogurt to make pizza dough before? What are your favourite pizza toppings?