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Tara Kemp is one of the happy luminaries of the plant-based movement. Spend an hour in her presence and you'll be charmed and delighted into eating better – no lectures or harangues required.

When I first met Tara, I just assumed she was a natural-born positive person, never given to depression or anxiety or even garden-variety snarkiness. But as I discovered in our conversation, she has overcome a great deal to get to where she is now.

And it's that journey, and the hard-won lessons gleaned from it, that give Tara the wisdom and authority and power to take on the task she's chosen for herself: helping people everywhere learn to love themselves, make peace with food, and eat life-nourishing plants.

We had a very long conversation – one of the longest in the four-plus year history of this podcast – and we really dove into Tara's early struggles, her disordered eating, and her battles with self-doubt and anxiety. I was keeping my eye on the clock (I aim for 50-60 minute conversations), and I knew there was a lot more to cover, but my curiosity got the better of me as Tara shared her story with clarity, grace, and exquisite vulnerability.

Think of this as a double-header: one 50-minute podcast about the problem, and a second podcast of equal length about the resolution: plants, meditation, service, and self-love.

We covered:

  • Tara's current career goals
  • why she's chasing an RD degree when she disagrees with much of the dietitian party line
  • her sheltered childhood of suburbia and gymnastics
  • anxiety about poor gymnastic performances, and the snowball effects of lack of control
  • running and food restriction
  • adding butter and eating Snickers bars before bed – the medical solution to underweight
  • her addiction to people pleasing – and how that differs from a life of service
  • drinking Ensure in college to gain weight
  • eating healthily from a place of fear vs self-love
  • trying the “vegan thing” after reading Born to Run
  • how Forks Over Knives changed everything
  • discovering that food didn't have to be all love/hate, restriction or guilty pleasure
  • “food has so much healing power and we have so much power over our health”
  • working on Radical Acceptance and meditation
  • becoming our own best friend
  • “I'm stronger than the anxious thoughts that come into my brain”
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Tara on Instagram

Email Tara:

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

Forks Over Knives

Plantstock by Engine 2

Dr. Pam Popper of Wellness Forum Health

Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach

Tara on the PlantPower Podcast with Dylan Steeples

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Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons
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for your generous support of the podcast.

Ready to embark on your Big Change journey?

Are you tired of knowing what to do, and still not doing it consistently? The Big Change Program, led by Josh LaJaunie and myself, will help you take the steps to finally live according to your knowledge and values.

Join the Plant Yourself mailing list (top right of this page) to learn more, and to get notified about the next Bobsled Run of the program. (Hint: it will be in September 2017.)

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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