By Flic Everett Sydney Morning Herald: “A couple of years ago, veganism was booming. I was ‘an expert’ editing a glossy vegan food magazine.  Every day brought more plant-based product launches and glowing Instagram stars proffering raw Buddha bowls.

I had gone vegan in the summer of 2016, aged 45. After years as a vegetarian with an abiding love for animals, it seemed ridiculous to keep eating eggs and dairy when alternatives made from soy, pea protein and lentils were suddenly available. I had constant access to health information and a cabinet rattling with supplements.

What I didn’t have, unfortunately, was any understanding of how veganism would affect my health.”

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“Despite reading glowing reports from other vegans of how their energy had increased, I was tired for hours every day. My hair was dry and brittle. My gums bled, I caught colds and felt low much of the time.”

“It took two years of inexplicable skin rashes and pain before I was diagnosed with a severe nickel allergy – a mineral in abundant supply in soy, pulses, beans and wholegrains. My entire diet, effectively. I had no idea that nickel allergy existed, but the dietitian I was finally assigned told me that she was seeing increasing numbers of patients developing it after turning vegan.”

“Despite my moral reservations, the specialist told me that I had to stop being vegan. I braved a piece of fish, and was amazed by its deliciousness. I introduced prawns, salmon, tuna and mackerel to my diet, along with eggs and cheese.”

“Within a few days, my low mood lifted and my energy returned. I felt like taking long walks again, and over the months my hair was thicker, and my skin less rash-prone, too. Most importantly, I slept better.”

Acknowledgements to Flic Everett and the SMHread full article