Sport and vegan nutrition - how do they go together, Jacqueline? # veganuary2021
Many people use January to start the new year with good resolutions. In addition to more sport and exercise, nutrition is often on the list of desired improvements. Veganuary - the word is made up of the word vegan and the English january together - is a non-profit organization and campaign that encourages people around the world to eat purely plant-based (at least temporarily). Because we all know by now that a plant-based diet is not only one of the most effective measures to protect the environment and our climate, but also to avoid animal suffering and have a positive effect on our health.
When it comes to exercise, most people are more concerned about their own diet and tend to rule out a plant-based diet, because exercise = muscles = a lot of protein = a lot of meat. The Netflix documentary "The Game Changers" shows very impressively that there is another way, in which various vegan professional athletes are portrayed and also perform tremendously with (or perhaps because of) the power of plants.
We spoke to Jacqueline Otchere. She is a #wholeyathlete from the very beginning and a pole vaulter. Since she has been vegan since 2014, she can speak from her own experience and assess how her plant-based diet affects her sport.
What role does nutrition play in your life?
Jacqueline: Diet plays a big role in my life. On the one hand, because nutrition is very important in sport, on the other hand, because I enjoy cooking and baking a lot and I like to try it out.
What made you change your diet and go vegan?
Jacqueline: The whole thing was a gradual process. Because of a documentary about factory farming, I stopped eating meat overnight. In the years that followed, all animal products, such as milk, eggs, and fish, were banned from my meal plan. While the moral aspects predominated at the beginning, there are now also health and environmental reasons why I no longer want to have animals or animal products on my plate. I've been eating completely vegan since about 2014.
Sport and vegan diet - how do they go together? What do you have to pay more attention to, where are the difficulties?
Jacqueline: Sport and a vegan diet go well together. Just like an omnivore, I also have to make sure that I get all the nutrients and vitamins in my food. And that works very well with a vegan diet. It is difficult for me or a little more effort when I travel because of the sport. Over time, I made a list of which foods I always have with me as a backup if the range in the hotel or in the surrounding area is not diverse enough. But this has now become routine for me and I have a delicious packed lunch bag with me next to my gym bag :)
What is your experience when you talk to other athletes about the subject? How is the response to youren nutritional style?
Jacqueline: So far, the response has always been positive. Many cannot believe that you can achieve such a performance with a vegan diet. Most of them want to know what I am eating, because for many vegan it's still just the salad. I am always happy when I can inspire others and be a role model for vegan nutrition in competitive sports.
Your tip for a change in diet for beginners?
Jacqueline: Take a relaxed approach. Find inspiration on Instagram or on the internet. There are so many great and delicious recipes. Nobody has to make the transition from one day to the next.
Simply enter the word "vegan" when searching for your favorite dish on the Internet and you will always find great recipes to cook at home.
And don't be afraid to try out vegan convenience products. There are great products, such as vegan cheese, which are delicious on a lasagna or on a homemade pizza.
What food do you always have in your pantry?
Jacqueline: Oat or rice milk, buckwheat.
And the ingredients for my absolute favorite dish: LENSEN DAL (Indian vegan curry) by Bianca Zapatka. For the lentil dal, however, I use sprouted lentils, leave out the coconut blossom sugar and add 2-3 heaped spoons of yeast flakes.