Some people make big resolutions in January, and last year going sugar-free was a popular choice. As many runners settle on their 2019 new year’s resolutions, The Guardian reports that a record numbers of people are signing up for “Veganuary,” which provides a service to help people try out the vegan diet for at least a few weeks.
Rich Hardy, who is head of campaigns at Veganuary, told The Guardian that on Sunday alone 14,000 people pledged to go vegan for the first month of 2019.
Veganism has reached the mainstream, and in 2018 it became increasingly popular for ethical, nutritional and environmental reasons. While many people are interested in adopting a vegan diet, it comes with a few nutritional caveats. Registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Jennifer Sygo says that people who adopt a plant-based diet should be aware that there are a couple nutrients that are found exclusively in animal products, or are more easily in animals products. “Vitamin B12, for example, is found exclusively in animals foods, and zinc isn’t exclusive to animals products but is found in higher quantities in meat. Zinc is very important for supporting the immune system. Omega-3 fats also seem to be absorbed and used by the body more easily when they come from animals.”
If runners are interested in the vegan diet, but not ready to commit one hundred per cent, they could consider the flexitarian diet. If you’re considering adopting a flexitarian diet, Sygo suggests four animal products where you can get the most bang for your buck, “Oily fish like salmon, trout, sardines or anchovies, red meat like beef or lamb, eggs and greek yogurt.” She suggests oily fish because the omega-3 content is so high, and consuming it once or twice a week would tick a lot of nutrition boxes. Veganism and flexitarianism are entirely possible for runners, but simply require a little more nutritional planning.