Rachel, 19, a student from Leicester, was 15 when she decided to switch overnight from a mixed diet to a vegan diet.
At first she tried to eat varied and balanced meals. But after a while she stopped preparing food carefully and lost weight and lacked energy as a result.
‘I didn’t know a lot about the vegan diet,’ she says. ‘I knew I needed protein from different sources, but I wasn’t good at getting a varied diet.’
It was not the first time Rachel had swapped diets. At 13 she went vegetarian, but began eating meat again after a year when she became anaemic.
She lost a large amount of weight and felt generally weak. As concern grew for her health, Rachel was persuaded to go back to eating meat.
‘As a vegetarian I was not getting a balanced diet,’ says Rachel. ‘I relied mostly on pre-prepared vegetarian meals, but I didn’t get much variety.’
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