Athlete Recipes: Swimmer Dana Vollmer's Gluten-Free Piza

The difference between hitting the summit and hitting the wall often comes down to the fuel in your belly. Here, 11 pros share their favorite nutritional secrets and performance-enhancing recipes.

Gluten-free pizza.     Photo: Foodies/Flickr

THE MEAL: Vollmer, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, spends hours in the pool, burning thousands of calories each day. To refuel, she needs carbohydrates. There’s just one problem: Vollmer is allergic to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, making quick, easy sources of carbs, like bread and pasta, off limits. “When I found out I had gluten allergies, I was obviously bummed,” says Vollmer. “Then I found out I could still eat pizza with a gluten-free crust.” The best part? According to Vollmer, her recipe below “tastes the same as any other pizza.”

WHY IT WORKS: According to Korzun, pizza is a good post-workout meal. “Even gluten-free crust provides the carbs she needs to refuel, and the cheese and chicken sausage add enough protein to help rebuild muscles.” Plus, he adds, by enjoying a pizza Vollmer still gets to enjoy a comfort food that’s convenient and easy to make.

SECRET INGREDIENT: Spinach contains vitamin K, known to improve bone strength in athletes.

1. Grill 1/2 cup chicken sausage until it’s cooked through.
2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Garnish one Venice Bakery gluten-free seasoned pizza crust (can be found at venicebakery.com) with half a cup of marinara sauce, one large handful of spinach, 1/4 medium diced red onion, 1/2 cup feta cheese, and the cooked chicken sausage.
4. Bake 12–15 minutes.
5. Cool for one minute and eat.

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