I'm Chloe, I'm 18 and I'm a newborn vegan.
I adopted a plant based diet back in November 2020 after becoming lactose intolerant. I had been vegetarian for 3 years before that but taking the plunge into veganism seemed scary and there were lots of factors that were stopping me. All of my family were, and still are, meat eaters; I really, really loved cheese; I was working long hours as a waitress in an Italian restaurant; I couldn't cook and most importantly, I hadn't done my research.
Over my 3 years of vegeterianism, I slowly started cutting out dairy products and eggs until only cheese remained - that's right, I gave up ice cream before cheese! In October I started trying to shift some lockdown weight, and one of my main ways of doing that was by reducing my cheese consumption. I didn't eat any for several weeks, then one Saturday night we had a big cheeseboard fest and I definitely made up for all the time I'd missed out on! I woke up the next day and felt so poorly. My tummy absolutely hated me for about a week, so I did some googling and came to the conclusion that I'd developed a lactose intolerancy after not consuming any dairy for so long. I was already planning on becoming vegan in January as my New Year Resolution, but now I didn't really have a choice. I begged my mama to take me to Asda where I spent about 3 hours trying to navigate my way through my first vegan shop. I'd saved a few 'Vegan Must Have' posts from Pinterest that contained the most bizarre ingredients I'd ever heard of. Safe to to say my first two weeks as a vegan were pretty vile and I really struggled as just about every meal I tried, home cooked or shop bought, I could barely swallow.