Tara Kemp is a mental health coach and researcher. And, delightfully, she's a very “both/and” kind of person.
In our conversation about the root causes of disordered eating, she acknowledges both the inner and the outer dynamics. Our environments are full of junk food. And our hearts and souls crave connection and joy.
As we discussed approaches to making food choices, she emphasized the value of external knowledge and inner wisdom.
And when we compared models of healing, she valued equally taking physical action to change internal states, and addressing internal issues to change behaviors.
Tara previously appeared on Plant Yourself in August 2017, when she shared her personal story of recovering from disordered eating through self-love and education. Fast forward nearly four years, and she is now helping other women heal their own relationships with food.
She's also upending conventional knowledge about a thorny topic: the intersection of eating disorders and vegan diets. Without evidence, there's a belief in the clinical treatment community that veganism is one more expression of disordered eating. Which means that for a long time, you couldn't adhere to a vegan diet if you attended a residential recovery program.
Tara, along with Adam Sud, is conducting research on whether plant-based diets reinforce patterns of addiction or can help to break them. More to come…
Her big message: our relationship with food is a symptom of our relationship with life. If we're not finding joy, meaning, connection, and spiritual fulfillment, we'll use a substance or behavior or thought pattern to cope with that lack.
To heal ourselves, we can't just find the “right” diet and stick to it. Or achieve a body that we're proud to show off at the beach.
Instead, she reminds us, we can use food and our relationship with it to reassert our care of our own bodies and souls. To act toward ourselves with compassion. To explore our food choices with curiosity and respect.
Tara on Instagram: @tarakemp_
Become a Health Coach
New cohort beginning Fall 2021. Live classes will be 10-11:30am US Eastern Time on Wednesday, so this is a Europe- and Africa-friendly class. Also for folks in the US, Canada, and Central/South America who have flexible mornings.
Find out more and apply here: WellStartCoach.com.
New Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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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, WillRidenour.com.
Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.
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