Sunday, June 10, 2012

Long Run, Short Post!

Hello, hello; and happy Sunday!
Sunday is always the day I run with my Dad and we usually try to go for a longer run. I like to actually run with him on these days, since I don't often get to run with him, so he sets the pace :)

I have to say, for a run that felt like it was pretty much zero effort for me, and was pushing it for my dad, I am pretty happy with our splits. All of the miles were under 10, because you know, the world would explode if we even have one mile over 10 minutes.....
Just kidding, I just have this OCD thing where no matter how slow I'm going, I really can't stand to have a mile that's 10 minutes or more if it's a longer run.

I am so proud of my dad for keeping such a great pace, he really pushed himself for the last couple of miles and we had a great run this morning! We always take a "cooldown" walking lap after our runs, where we just talk about random stuff, and today, that randomness happened to be vegans + B12. So I thought I'd just write about that in this post for all you all with questions on that topic.

Vegans + B12
What is B12?: B12 is a vitamin, one of the B vitamins, that is required for life by humans. It is the only vitamin that actually isn't produced by plants, it is produced only by living organisms like bacteria and archaea. B12 has cobalt as the central metal ion, and serves as a coenzyme in the human body for important metabolic cycles.

What happens if one is B12 deficient?: If you are B12 deficient for a long time, you can develop severe pernicious anemia and elevated blood cholesterol. Sometimes new vegans develop high cholesterol due to a lack of B12 in their diet, since B12 is related to a metabolic pathway that allows for metabolism of molecules that usually result in elevated bad cholesterol.

Typical dietary sources of B12 for non-vegans: Omnivores and lacto-ovo vegetarians usually don't have a problem getting enough B12, due to the presence of bacteria and archaea in the intestines of animals used for food, and their presence in the foods eaten by said food producing animals. Animal meat, dairy products, and eggs are all sources of B12 in the non-vegan diet.

Problem for vegans?: It is interesting but true that B12 is the one nutrient that is a legitimate concern in the vegan diet (unless once is taking a supplement, which I think is the best solution). In my Medical Nutrition Therapy class, my professor actually said that B12 is the one nutrient that she checks for in her vegan patients. Obviously, most sources of naturally occurring B12 are animal products, but there are plenty of ways to get B12 on a vegan diet.

Dietary sources for Vegans: Fortified foods such as fortified soymilks, nutrition drinks, nutrition/sports bars, nutritional yeast (sounds wierd but is actually quite tasty and used in most vegan cheese recipes), and fortified cereals. Foods such as tempeh and kombucha that are made using fermentation by living microorganisms may also be good sources of B12. However, the most guaranteed source of B12 is a B-Complex dietary supplement. Based on my education in nutrition and my personal experience, I think the best bet for any vegan is to take a daily B-complex supplement just to be safe, and make sure to take it with plenty of water since the B vitamins are water soluble!

That's all for now; I've got to run out the door because my Dad, brother, and I are actually going to look at mountain bikes, and hopefully make some purchases!!! Ahhh, so excited!! I pretty much already know which bike I want, so I'll just be waiting for my Dad and bro to make some decisions, which is why I'm bringing along some reading materials! The book is called "Vegan's Daily Companion." You're supposed to read one page a day for a year, but I got it last week and I'm halfway through it.........I know I'm pretty cool...

Also, I've got a recipe post coming later in the day, so check back later! Happy Sunday!

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