In 2015, Freya Robinson decided to go vegan. For more than a year, the 28-year-old from East Sussex did not consume a single animal product. Then, in 2016, on a family holiday in Bulgaria, she passed a steak restaurant and something inside her switched. “I walked in and ordered the biggest steak I could have and completely inhaled it,” she says. After finishing it, she ordered another.
For the previous year, Robinson had been suffering from various health problems – low energy levels, brain fog, painful periods and dull skin – which she now believes were the result of her diet. She says her decline was gradual and almost went unnoticed. “Because it’s not an instant depletion, you don’t suddenly feel bad the next day, it’s months down the line. It’s very, very slow.” In just over a year, the balanced plant-based food she cooked daily from scratch, using organic vegetables from the farm she works on, and legumes and nuts vital for protein, had, she felt, taken a toll on her body.