PODCAST with Emma Roach – Whole Food Plant Based on $5 a Day.

Andrew Taylor - Spud Fit | July 28, 2017



I’ve been following Emma on her website over the past few years and its my pleasure to meet her and have a good chat about her Whole Foods, Plant Based lifestyle. We cover the solutions to some of the most common obstacles that people face when choosing to WFPB  


Emma is a well travelled step mum and family woman who runs website which specialises in teaching people how to eat healthily and affordably. Her website provides easy and affordable recipes ideas that are nutrient rich and can support anyone on their journey to health.


I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!


Spud Up!



Stuff we talked about


Caldwell Esselstyn – Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Thomas Campbell – The China Study Solution

Dexa Body Scans

Read Emma’s calorie density article here

Buy Emma’s ‘Whole Food Plant Based on $5 a Day’ book

Like Emmas FaceBook page

And her FaceBook group




  • (00:08:40) ….. WHO IS EMMA ROCHE?
  • (00:36:39) ….. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?  


Emma Roach – Whole Food Plant Based on $5 a Day

This podcast has been automatically transcribed by a software and went for a minor editing. If you notice any mistakes or wrong word entry please help us fix them by leaving a comment. We made sure to be the most accurate as we can. Enjoy!


Andrew: All right, we’re back. It’s been a while. But welcome Spud Fit podcast episode 15 with Emma Roche today. It’s been a while. It gets in the way, I’ve been busy. Things happen. No excuses, just reasons. And anyway we’re back to it. This podcast is hard to do, it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort but anyway I’m not complaining. I’m just saying the way it is, so it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to be able to… number one, sit down with someone for a long time and have a conversation and number two, find the time to actually produce the sound files and upload and do everything that goes along with them. It takes quite a lot of effort and a lot of time. I love doing it, I wish I had the time to do it more often but sometimes I’ve got to spend some time doing things that actually get the bills paid or spend some time being a father and being a husband and Spud Fit stuff can get neglected. Anyway, we’re back and we’re doing another episode with a Emma Roche the amazing and lovely Emma Roche from plant plate. I’ll talk a little bit more about her in a minute. First, if you want to get involved in things that I’m doing. The first thing you could do is join the DIY challenge. I’m sorry BUY the DIY but fit challenge, that’s the book that my wife and I wrote together; the first half of it is all about the logistics and the psychology behind doing your own Spud Fit Academy and the second half is recipes. By the way, if you’re new to this show and you don’t know who I am. Uh, my name’s Andrew Taylor. I’m your host. I should have probably said that earlier. I’m the guy that ate only potatoes for all of 2016 and uh, and I had some amazing Health improvements along the way and I’ve improved my life in many many ways in this podcast is about trying to continue to improve my life by speaking to people that can help me do that and hopefully help you at the same time.
So the book The DIY challenges available on the website and it’s also available as an e-book or paperback version on Amazon and also on iBooks, iTunes. So there that is one thing you can do. The second thing is you if you want to do your own Spud Fit Academy, you can do it by yourself. If you like as I did or you could sign up to take the challenge with me and with a group of friends on on Facebook.
Go to you’ll find more information there about how you can join up and take the challenge and get. Dumb supervise and with support from me and many other wonderful people in that group. if you like what I’m doing, of course, you can share it. That’d be great and you could subscribe on iTunes and leave a review. Uh, that would be awesome. And we’ve also I’ve also decided to uh, bring in another couple of options. First of all I created an Amazon affiliate account and what that means. Is that uh, if you want to support me in this podcast and you want to shop on Amazon, you can do both at the same time. You could go to my website but fit and you could click on the Amazon banner ads in there that are take you to Amazon buy whatever you were going to buy. It doesn’t cost you a cent extra but I get a little bit of uh, Loose Change commission change that uh could help me. With finding the time to do this episode more often do this podcast more often. Sorry, so that would be very helpful. If you can go to the website click on the Amazon Banner ad and get me a little bit of commission money for that.
And the second thing is if you want to take things to the next level, I have had quite a few people ask about this option. And now it’s available. You could go to you can go straight there or you can go there’s a link in the in the show notes for this episode. You can go to and you could pledge any amount of money that could you could donate one software.
You can do it make it a monthly thing and you can help support this show and and support my work in general and trying to spread the message of good health. That would be I would be super grateful and super appreciative. If uh, if they were did that you don’t have to I don’t want people to um spend money they don’t have on trying to support me. I’m going to be making this for free anyway, so it’s not like you’re not going to be able to listen If you don’t pay. You can just if you if you feel so inclined then you have the means available to support me then that would be lovely. All right, Emma.
Emma’s great as you’re about to find out. Emma runs a website called she has a book called Whole Food plant based on $5 a day. And uh her Mission out of these things is to try to show people how simple and easy and cheap. It can be to be truly healthy and and live a whole food plant-based lifestyle people team to think that it’s uh, it’s only for the upper class, whole Food plant-based eating is only for the upper class and people with a lot of money and Emma goes a long way to dispelling those myths, and not only that she’s just a fantastic vibrant happy person. She’s a really good fun to sit down and chat with so I’m not going to waste any more of your time.
Let’s uh get on with the show and let’s listen to what Emma has to say. Thanks for joining us. Spud Up!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the most important show sponsor. The only show sponsor that I have is actually my wife Mandy’s business. It’s called they are the most comfortable and amazing tracksuit pants that are on the on the market anywhere in the world. They’ll keep you warm and they’ll keep you comfy and they’re just like an amazing glorious hug for your bum, but not only that they’re made of organic cotton and bamboo, they’re all fair trade environmentally friendly and they have amazing artwork on them. They are hence the name the Dakkery. I don’t know if if it’s called the- if we call this around the world tracksuit pants, in Australia we have a weird way of saying things we call tracksuit pants or track pants TrackyDacks and then since then covered in beautiful artwork, hence the name the Dakkery the gallery of decks. So anyway enough about me, on with the show. Oh no! last thing there’s a sale on now, buy one get one free at so support my wife’s amazing work there.
Alright, now on with the show.. Spud up!

Andrew: Alright Emma Roche here we are on the Spud Fit podcast. Thanks for being my guest.
Emma: Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to do it and to meet you.
Andrew: No. All right. Yeah and likewise. I’ve been following your website for a few years now. So, yeah, it’s good to finally be able to sit down and I’ve read a couple of your books too so it’s good to be able to sit down and have a chat.
Emma: Well, that’s awesome. Thank you!

Andrew: So, actually it’s been a few weeks since I released a podcast. I don’t know when this one’s going to be out. So maybe it’ll even be a couple of months by then. But anyway, It’s your good guest to have for the first one back after a bit of a break.


Emma: Oh, that’s very kind. Thank you. Well, I hope to be.


Andrew: Yeah, we’ll see. I shouldn’t maybe I’m jumping the gun-


Emma: You might be, you hope not.



Andrew: Yeah, let’s just uh Reserve judgment for now then. All right. Um, so my first question is always the same and it’s always interesting how people answer it no pressure. But anyway, who is a Emma Roche?


Emma: That is a good question. I could be pretty boring and say, you know, I’m 29 Australian, um grew up in Canberra. I’ve lived overseas for the last 8 or 9 years now. I’ve lived in the UK. I’ve lived in Belgium. So I’ve done quite a bit of traveling. Um, yeah, you know, I’m um, I’m a stepmom. Yeah. I’ve got a you know, I’m a family person, got a great husband that I live overseas with. Um, Yeah, I think a lot of people know me now through the website as somebody who’s really interested in basically helping other people learn how to eat healthily, how to do it simply and how to do it affordably so that’s been yeah, that’s when a very big focus for me for the past few years. And I think it is a become quite a big part of who I am.


Andrew: Cool and well we might as well say the name of the website-


Emma: the name of the website is
Andrew: Yeah. All right, cool. And it’s yeah like I was saying it’s a it’s a pretty cool resource that I’ve I’ve looked at over the last few years quite a number of times so. Yeah, thanks off the top for running that
Emma: Well, thank you. I’m glad to hear that.
Andrew: Yeah actually as an aside we’re talking before the podcast it turns out that we actually for a period of time lived not far from each other without actually knowing it. So, uh, yeah, I lived in Rotterdam and you live near Antwerp. So, you know, it’s a it’s a couple of hours probably.
Emma: Yeah so small world. Closer than Melbourne and Canberra.
Andrew: Yes. So do you speak Dutch then?
Emma: I speak it. A little bit and well, actually I speak a little very well, but, the rest badly. Yeah, If that makes sense.
Andrew: Yeah fair enough. Yeah. I have trouble learning Dutch actually.
Emma: It’s difficult
Andrew: Its difficult language, but harder than that is actually being able to practice because I would go out and the Dutch are excellent at English. I don’t know how it is in Belgium, but in in Rotterdam or all around, uh, the Netherlands. Their excellent English and so I would go to shops restaurants or whatever and I’d get right I’m going to speak Dutch. And as soon as I say one word, they go. Ah, this guy has an English speaker and they switch to English and I can’t practice.
Emma: It’s very much the same in the northern part of Belgium in Flanders very much like the Netherlands
Andrew: and then when you go south I speak French.
Emma: Yes, and so you either seem to be stuck speaking English or French which unfortunately, I don’t speak a word of it. And its okay now because my Antwerp accents, all right, but I have the same issue if I go to Holland because my accent is nothing like there’s that they know straight away.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I work there’s a as a PE teacher there. But I was in an International and Bilingual School and my job was to teach PE to Dutch kids, but in English, so they’ve got this amazing education system where they have a lot of bilingual schools. And the Dutch kids do most of their education speaking English. Well, so yeah, my job was to speak English so that they could the kids could practice while they’re doing PE. They also practicing their English with me, so I didn’t speak Dutch at work. I spoke English and then out and about as soon as somebody picked up that I wasn’t a Dutch speaker though I switched to English. So I lived there for three years and I could I can speak a little bit of Dutch. But you know, I could have a reasonable conversation with um a toddler.
Emma: Yeah, that’s not uncommon. I think I hear the same story from a lot of people. Yeah from English-speaking countries. They just make it. You get lazy.
Andrew: Yeah. Anyway, that’s- we’re again side tracked but that’s okay. So you haven’t always been Mrs PlantPlate and Mrs Vegan- Whole Food plant based on five dollars a day. It hasn’t always been your thing. So, what’s the background? How did you get to. Be doing this.
Emma: That’s a good question. I mean, I became vegetarian quite young, mostly for ethical reasons, but also I was interested in in getting a little bit healthier. Then started with veganism when I was about 16
Andrew: 16? So how how old were you when you got to vegetarianism?
Emma: 13.
Andrew: All right, let’s quite young.
Emma: It is quite young. Um, and I’m really glad I did because I think it’s made every step of the transition to being a whole food plant-based much easier because I was already, you know already used to you know, avoiding animal products. Yeah, well meat and then animal products and so it was it was a bit of a progression. So I sort of did the switch to veganism about- so that would have been about 13 years ago now. All right. Um and I like I said, I was always quite health-conscious. I always tried to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and tried to minimize junk food or save it for special occasions.
Um, but it wasn’t until I read… the China Study, I think I read it in 2011 that I started following more of the recommendations in line with the whole food plant-based diet. So making sure to eat almost everything, you know whole grain, whole meal; cooking without oil, less refined foods less eating out more just more and more of that and even then it wasn’t an overnight thing. It’s sort of something that’s become more closer and to 100% as the years have gone on, So yeah that was pretty much it.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s cool. So it’s just a gradual step-by-step. I always find it interesting because I I’m very much an all-or-nothing kind of guy. I’m not someone who can take those gradual steps like you described. I envy that,I wish I could do that. But uh, you know, I’m I’ll take a step forward and then to back and.
Emma: I don’t think you’re alone there
Andrew: I don’t think I’m alone. But you know, I’m definitely I’m a cold turkey or nothing kind of guy. If I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it all the way all in one go.
Emma: I kind of envy that a little bit I think sometimes that-
Andrew: doesn’t always work… I’m interested in that, uh that the different ways the different approaches that people have. How it works in different ways with different people. So that’s cool. Um, so back to gone back a bit again. You said, you initially- it was an ethical sort of thing. Was there some sort of event that happened in your life or was that a gradual sort of awakening
Emma: It wasn’t really a major event. It just happened that I guess I didn’t know very many vegetarians or at least I didn’t know that I knew many when I was young, and I ended up having one very close friend in year 7 I think and she was vegetarian. She’d been vegetarian since she was 9 and the same year I had a teacher that I really really liked at school and she also happened to be vegetarian and I spent a lot of time with both of them and without them talking about it or getting into specifics. I just sort of started to think about it more and think… Okay. Well, why would you why would they be vegetarian, what’s the reason? and you know, it’s it comes back to that thing about not feeling good about eating animals or um, Using animals for food and I just, it just sort of it did just sort of click with me one day that I wasn’t that’s not something I really agreed with. I really liked animals and I didn’t really enjoy eating meat that much to be honest and one day, you know, I sat down and I just I just couldn’t, I just went I really don’t really want to eat this and I went said to my mom. I think I think I’m going to be vegetarian. And she said okay thinking it would only last a few days and here we are, you know, 16 17 years later. And yeah and it’s stuck. So-
Andrew: Yeah, cool. That’s interesting. Yeah. Uh, so was it was there anything gradual about that or was-
Emma: No, that was really like it overnight thing. Yeah, like I’m just stopping, you know one day sat down to think it was to eat a chicken wing. Yeah something I still remember. Definitely.
Andrew: So it wasn’t like stop cows first, and then stop pigs.

Emma:  No, I think I did continue with the seafood. Yeah for a little while because um, I can’t even remember why because I don’t even think I like seafood very much. So I can’t see myself eating it and then that was probably a few months before I went so yeah, that’s that’s kind of the same thing to me so I won’t keep doing that. No, I probably around four days into it changed my mind and ate something. And then from that moment on it was completely finished.

Andrew: Yeah this the the Spud Fit Academy the potato thing that I did was not uh, not really about veganism was just about me trying to get healthy people.
A lot of people don’t realize that I was vegan for a long time before that, but definitely a junk food vegan and um, anyway, I just just as a fellow vegan. It’s uh, it’s interesting for me to hear stories of how other people got to it because you know, we’re all different we all get there in different ways. So thanks for sharing that with us too.

Emma: Ah! thank you for asking. It is absolutely it’s always different.

Andrew: Yeah, and some people get into mine was ethics obviously, if it was for health, I wouldn’t have been –

Emma: Yeah.

Andrew:  Yeah, you know and you’re in it for ethics, but there’s a lot of other people that I’ve spoken to on this podcast and and everywhere else as well that are into it for health reasons or environmental reasons or whatever else.
So um, and it’s interesting how it evolved to because so you’ve been evolved from more ethical towards health and so am I and other people start at the environment and then evolve towards ethics and then health and it’s just it’s oh all these ideas are so interesting to me. So, uh, anyway when you made that change to vegetarianism first, but then veganism later, was there some sort of moment that you had where he went like this really feels good and this is working for me, from you know, an ethical perspective or a health perspective or anything. Was there some sort of big moment where you went like “Yeah, this is right for me. This feels good…”

Emma: Um, I don’t know because I was vegetarian and I honestly didn’t eat. I really barely was eating anything that was animal-based and I think that that’s why I sort of just said to myself “Oh well I practically am anyway, so what’s stopping me?” So when I was vegetarian I was eating mostly fruits and vegetables whole grains, legumes. I had soy milk and instead of dairy. So it was really the occasional, you know bit of egg or cheese or if I was eating out, you know, um wouldn’t have been vegan would have been vegetarian.
Um, but. Sorry, I lost my train of thought that’s right. Um, yeah, I just I just sort of said, okay. Well, I’m you know, practically doing it anyway, so I’ll try it and see and if it’s too hard I’ll stop because I didn’t really know. I think I knew one other person that was vegan and I thought “oh this is going to be… this is going to be really tough” and it wasn’t! and I did feel I felt really good. Just felt really nice kind of knowing um that I wasn’t contributing to any any of the. You know sort of processes that that I didn’t agree with in terms of the way the animals were treated and um, yeah and I felt good and I I loved cooking. So I was discovering all kinds of new recipes and doing lots of baking for my friends to convince them how great it was to be vegan.
And that was just as easy as you know as anything else and. And so I actually got I got more excited about food when I made that switch just because I was doing something a little bit different. I think it made me more adventurous.

Andrew: That’s something I think that people are often surprised by to uh, Which I say the same thing. You know when I went vegan, I did it for ethics and it felt like it was going to be a big sacrifice but it ended up being the opposite, I ended up trying. Uh, so many more foods that I’ve never had before and eating so many different kind of cultures and cuisines and trying all these ingredients that I never would have tried before and I was meeting free veg and you know food was the opposite it was the opposite of boring.
Food got much more interesting and um, Yeah, that was that was a cool very cool experience for me. And I know maybe more people would uh, give it a try if they if they understood that how interesting it was going to be.
So it sounds like you were like pretty healthy eater from the beginning, you know.
Where as a vegetarian you said you mostly ate fruits and vegetables and whole grains and things like that. Anyway, so your were you- how was your health? were you already pretty healthy as well?

Emma: Uh, I think I was yeah, I was really active. I played a lot of sports when I was a kid. So I was playing netball and cricket and you know, sometimes I had training three or four times a week.
I did find that I had to be conscious to eat more when I was trying to eat healthily which is interestingly enough something people will tell you when you switch to a whole food plant-based diet is that you have to make sure you’re getting in. You know enough, if you have those higher energy needs you need to make sure that you’re you know taking in enough food and eating enough volume.
So that was a bit of an adjustment because when you’re a kid when you’re young and you eat quite calorie rich foods, you can you can sort of not quite understand the changes you need to make if you are going to start to try to eat more healthily so that, that took a little bit of you know, fine-tuning over the years and interestingly enough when I switched from vegetarian to vegan I actually started eating less healthily because you know, if it was vegan then I wanted to try it and whether that meant it was, you know, ice cream or donut or mock meat or something. So I did that for a few years and then went back to eating more the way that I did before because I realized how much better I felt when I when I stuck with those foods that were sort of born- what I what I used to say was foods that are naturally vegan that aren’t made to be vegan food, that happen to be-

Andrew:  That’s a good way to look at it.
I sort of had a similar experience because when I first went vegan, uh, without knowing it I was eating Whole Food plant-based. Because of “what do I eat when I’m vegan?” I don’t know. I didn’t really do much research on what to eat. I just knew I didn’t want to eat animals anymore. So, yep. Uh, what does that leave me?
Yes. Okay. I’m gonna eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and whole grains and things like that and I think in the first month I lost a fair bit of  weight. I can’t remember exactly how much but I lost weight and I felt great and then I started discovering all the vegan junk foods. I was like, oh great. This ice creams vegan I’m gonna eat all of it!

Emma: “I wouldn’t have done it before I was vegan. But now I am YEAH!”

Andrew: the vegan cookie? I’ll give me 10 of them.

Emma: And Im about to say that it’s not it’s not good that you know that market is expanding and people are becoming more aware of sorts of things, but I think that it can yeah it can it can be detrimental for some for some people definitely in terms of health.
It can it can turn into a bit of an issue.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, obviously, you know from an ethical point of view those things are good because you can have ice cream without having to you know be involved in the dairy industry but uh you know if you want to be healthy, yeah probably vegan ice cream probably healthier than-

Emma: Its a step.

Andrew : Yeah, I’d say Vegan Ice Cream is  healthier than Dairy ice cream, but that doesn’t make it healthy. That’s correct. And and like you said, it’s a step. So you there are people who are now that having sort of things that you can see is transitional foods have helped them to get to the point where they are eating much better.

Emma: But as you said at someone like you where it’s um all or nothing, you know, those can actually be roadblocks. So it’s really different really different for different people.

Andrew: Yeah. Well if I knew about what I know now about health if I had have known that then. Um, I probably would have never got to the point where I wanted to do a year of only potatoes and quit all food and you know all that sort of stuff because I would have you know, that first month, I would have understood what was happening and in my head I’d lost weight and got healthier, a little bit of weight and got a bit healthier because I went vegan so that meant everything that vegan was okay, but that was… I didn’t understand what was going on and you know, if in hindsight would have been nice, but whatever we live and we learn, we move on

Emma: -but here we are then

Andrew: that’s it

Emma: and we might not have been doing this.

Andrew: Exactly, yeah. So let’s get onto what you do and and your website and your recommendations for people. How is it that you recommend people it?

Emma: Oh, look. I don’t want to be too specific. You know, like we’ve already said I think I think the focus should be, you know, if you’re eating a plant-based diet the focus should be on those.
Those foods that are going to be health-promoting. So fruits vegetables whole grains and legumes as your focus with with uh other things added in to help you actually make meals to help you actually make the food taste good, you know herbs and spices and some condiments and nuts and seeds.
If you don’t have a weight problem or a cut, you know, an issue with cardiovascular disease.

Andrew: Can we talk about that a little bit more like why what’s wrong with nuts and seeds if you got to wait problem or a heart problem?

Emma: Well, I’m just following the advice of the people who are more informed than I am which is that  if you look at a lot of the studies and particularly the work of Dr.
Esselstyn, you know, there’s there’s proof from the work that they have done that fat’s in any form can actually contribute to the to the progression of cardiovascular disease. So people who already have developed problems… even the fats we sort of see as healthy fats, fats that are contained in whole plant foods can be a problem for them, and also a problem for people who are trying to lose weight just because the the calorie density is so much higher than it is in in more carbohydrate-rich foods.
I mean that’s something I include a bit of because neither of those things are a problem for me. But even I know that that it’s very easy to get carried away with the foods that that are higher in calorie density. So keeping the focus on you know, those four other groups, I think is if most of what you’re eating is those four things the fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
I think that’s really- I don’t want to say it’s that simple but I like to simplify it to that if that’s where most of the food on your plate is that in every meal. I think you’re doing pretty well.

Andrew: I agree with that too. And I avoid nuts and some seeds and things like avocado as well because weight is an issue for me. So the higher calorie density food that you eat makes it more likely to then start triggering the pleasure centers of your brain and make them addictive and things like that as well

Emma: Even I try to avoid them as sort of snacks of themselves, we might add a little bit to a meal to a salad but like you said…

Andrew: Like a saute or something.

Emma: Yeah, you know toast up some some flaked almonds and put them or sunflower seeds and put them on a salad. But as you said, you know, you have to know yourself.  and I know if I have a bag of cashews in the drawer they’re gonna disappear in the middle of the night.
So sort of have to you have to learn a little bit about yourself. And what’s good, what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.

Andrew: Yeah definitely. So there’s always- I guess you talked to a lot of people about making changes to diets and stuff and there’s always uh, people always have their own roadblocks and things that get in the way of making changes.
So what are some of the things that come up in for you when you’re talking to others what people say gets in the way or question is do they have?



Emma: oh social situations are really big one, people struggle when there’s a- you know, they are used to eating out or going to their friends houses a lot to eat and they find that they can’t get they can’t- It’s difficult for them to eat the foods that they want to be able to eat in particular with oil because of course it’s recommend that one of the big recommendations in the whole food plant-based diet is to avoid oils and of course when you’re eating out or even eating with friends, that’s one of the the most difficult things to avoid.
So people people are often asking, you know, about that because then they they know what they want to do. They know what they should do, but then you’re in these situations where the food is just kind of there and you don’t want to be the odd one out and you don’t want to be difficult and I experience that myself as well, that’s really really hard one. And just changing habits, you know, just changing the things that you’ve been doing in the way that you’ve been eating for possibly decades and decades. So just getting yourself in the habit of doing things differently, you know getting yourself in the habit of cooking preparing your meals, getting yourself in the habit of not grabbing stuff and just kind of, you know, eating whatever you feel like eating whenever you feel like eating it. I think that in its in and of itself is a difficult thing for people to- for some people to change. If you’re used to just eating on the go or I’ll go grabbing a chocolate bar or having a packet of chips. And you know, you switch over because you think okay. Well, this will be really good for my health or this will help me lose weight. Um, It’s a big adjustment. Yeah, that’s what I probably hear about the most.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay. And uh, how do you guide people through those things in our I’m a big uh believer that you need to always be prepared basically, this is not my saying it’s lots of people saying “prior preparation prevents poor performance” Did I say that right tongue twister?
Um, So yeah, is that you along the same lines of that or

Emma: that is one of the main things I always tell people is just being prepared is one of the most vital things, so you just have to get yourself in the habit of being prepared, you know in different situations, whether that’s you cook up a bunch of potatoes and you have them in the fridge so that if you have to run out and you might be out the whole day you have them ready.
You’re not going to be tempted by things that are that are out there when you’re out, you know that you might get stuck somewhere and you’re starving and there’s really nothing that’s going to be good for you. Well, then it doesn’t matter because you have the backup you’re going to be yeah, you’re gonna be less tempted. And even at home just having your fridge and you and your cupboard stocked with lots and lots of healthy food and and and having meals prepared having meals in the freezer having vegetables cut up in the fridge. They just get you in the habit of making healthier choices. So it does require forethought and planning, but it it’s not that difficult if you just basically get yourself in the habit of it and force yourself to sort of find Windows where you can can do the preparation.

Andrew: I think in the end you probably end up saving time when you’re prepared like that because you can absolutely get enough food to make a huge pot of whatever it is and then you can put it in the freezer and you got food for a week. Yep, and then you don’t have to cook for a week and its great!

Emma: That’s one of the things I like to do. Definitely!

Andrew: If you like me and don’t mind eating the same thing every day, then just you can make a week of food on Sunday and just eat it for the week.

Emma: I’ve definitely been known to do that and at the same way I don’t mind. I don’t mind the repetition and I think that I think again, that’s another thing that I tell people that maybe they need to- and I think a lot of people are never able to do it. But I think if you if you do become comfortable with eating a little bit more simply and eating, you know, some, like you said repeating meals. I think that will make things easier getting as well.

Andrew: Yeah just the simplest thing of all when you’re out as well and people often say, you know, what if you’re out and there’s nothing you can eat and I don’t know about Antwerp but in Melbourne is you never far away from a shopping center or a fruit and veg shot where you can just go buy some fruit and just eat it. Like it’s the fastest food there is

Emma: and you are spoiled for choice in Melbourne because even beyond fruit there’s there’s still you know, a few good options for grab and go, definitely bit less in Antwerp I think but I do the same thing, you know get an Apple, get a banana, get a packet of cherry tomatoes and tie yourself over till you can find something a little bit more substantial if you need it.

Andrew: Yeah, good advice. So I’m sure you all we’ve got to-

Emma: I said tie yourself over instead of tired.

Andrew: You are jet lag.

Emma: That’s how tired I am hehe!

Andrew: I’m sure you get all of these questions and I’m sure they get a bit boring but we have to go through them anyway. When you’re eating a whole food plant-based you get all these concerns about from other people that want to make the change or family and friends that are concerned about you- I’m sure you know, what’s coming; “Where do you get your protein?”  


Emma: Yes, the big question. I think that I don’t get asked that very often anymore. because I think people know how annoyed I’ll get? but I know that that my mom gets asked when she tells people as well, but even she’s really good at answering that question now,

Andrew: So she’s whole food plant-based as well?

Emma: Most of the time definitely moved more and more and more over to that way of eating and and um really influenced a lot of other people as well because she’s lost weight and lowered her blood pressure. So that’s been fantastic for her. So she’s yeah, she’s good at fielding questions. She just says just write to Emma and she’ll tell you and it’s interesting that people are so hung up on that and I’ve notice since I’ve been Australia just this insane sorry, that’s a bit rude, but that’s how I feel it is this insane focus on protein as you know, it’s just-

Andrew: even to the point where we don’t even call meat, meat anymore. We call it protein even though there are other components to it.

Emma: High protein ice cream and high protein-

Andrew: I haven’t seen that.

Emma: Oh, yeah, I did a little. Explore in the supermarket. Yeah, it just I was just baffled and I saw it again waiting at the tram stop today, you know, super loaded protein milk, which was supposed to be comparable to eating a steak. I’m not sure why you’d want to do that, you know, but I don’t- yeah and so and so I often explain, often what I do is when people say, where do you get your protein? I just say “Well, how much protein do I need?” and they sort of stop and go. “Well, I don’t really know…” and that’s kind of the answer because people seem to be quite focused on it as a you know, as as something that’s extremely important, but they don’t actually know what our requirement is and
Based on what people are eating they seem to think it’s three or four or five or six times what we actually need so I often just say to people, look if you’re eating enough calories, uh to meet your needs. There’s very little chance that you’re not eating enough protein because I mean how many people do you know who are protein deficient? You might meet someone whose iron deficient you might meet someone who’s vitamin D deficient but protein deficiency isn’t something that we see in as soon as you explained it to some people they go. “Wow, I just never. I just never knew that” -just did not know that we didn’t need we didn’t need that much.

Andrew: “Yeah, that’s okay for you that but I need protein. Yeah, I’m different.”

Emma: Yes, I start to feel really weak and shaky if I don’t have protein, yeah, and and of course if you know, I understand that it could be a little different for athletes depending on what kind of activity they’re doing, but it seems to me that even some people who think that they’re going to the gym once or twice a week that suddenly they need ten times more protein than the average person which again doesn’t

Andrew: drink protein every opportunity.

Emma: exactly in every way that you can.

Andrew: and you needed in your ice cream now too.

Emma: apparently you need it in your ice cream because you’re going to need more protein that’s where you really should get it.

Andrew: all things are health food now as long as you mix some protein powder in with it, its healthy.
Okay next one, there is probably a similar answer I imagine but let’s ask it anyway. What about calcium?




Emma: What about calcium? Yeah, that one’s not quite as straightforward to answer because people, again, it’s a bit like protein.
You don’t call meat, meat anymore you call it protein. Well, it’s a bit like calcium. You know, it’s dairy. That’s what calcium is to a lot of people. And what’s interesting and something that I know a lot of people in the plant based community know is don’t quote me, because I’m not, you know, I’m not a doctor, not a dietitian, but just-

Andrew: you’re allowed to talk about that..

Emma: I can talk about these things reading a few things from the World Health Organization and a couple of other places that seem to indicate that your calcium your daily calcium requirement actually goes down. If you’re not eating Animal product and you’re eating less sodium because your calcium output is lower, this is my understanding there could be people listening that a lot better than I do.

Andrew: I’m sure there are- I didn’t know that so that’s good.

Emma: So yeah, so if you have a look at some of the documents and their recommendations on calcium, they’ll actually put it down for people that aren’t eating animal protein and then down lower still for people that are consuming a low sodium diet, which if you’re eating Whole Foods plant-based is exactly what you’re doing. So…

Andrew: What makes sense to me… because you know, I always go back to my potato thing. But calcium was one of the nutrients that wasn’t quite high enough according to the mainstream daily requirements. I was getting about half of what I was supposed to last year. I knew that would be okay because it had been something done so many times before and I wasn’t worried about it, but it was interesting, that my bone density and weight of my bones I got scan through the year and it actually went up slightly over the course of the year and I didn’t really understand why or how but I just knew that I’d be okay because so many people, you know, the entire Irish population had been okay doing it. So I thought I’d be okay. But that’s an interesting explanation of why perhaps  having about half the calcium intake was okay because my body just didn’t need as much because of what you explained.

Emma: I think yeah. I think that the. I again I could be wrong but I think it’s a thousand it’s about a thousand milligrams a day. And then yeah, you’re half would be sort of 500 and I think some of the documentation that I was referring to earlier talks about a level of you know 4600 being normal for some populations depending on their diet and where they’re located.

Andrew: I know those populations tend to have less osteoporosis.

Emma: Yes interestingly enough in the Sweden and Norway and where dairy consumption is the highest you also have very very high rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures. Of course being that far from the equator, being in the the darker colder climates could have you know, there’s an association there as well, but it is, it is interesting. But if in terms of you know plant foods that do contain calcium, there are obviously, I put aside from potatoes which seemed to do a good enough job for you.
If people are concerned, you know eating, making sure you eat lots of leafy green vegetables. That’s gonna that’s really going to help you get a lot of that’s going to answer a lot of questions to do with minerals iron and calcium and all those sorts of things. And um and yeah beyond that, you know legumes whole grains, some nuts and seeds of all got Trace Amounts that if you’re eating if you’re eating enough food, you know, if you’re eating a good very diet if you you know, just just putting a little bit of effort into making sure that you’re eating. Well, I think that for um, from what I’ve seen or what I’ve heard of what I’ve read, just another thing that we don’t need to be so deeply concerned about.

Andrew:  Yeah, I spent quite a lot of time searching and I haven’t been able to find any documented evidence of someone with a Calcium deficiency who was eating enough calories from plant Foods. When I read that I was like well, I’m gonna be fine. Yeah, actually sorry I shouldn’t say when I read that when I didn’t read it because I couldn’t find anything but I just spent a long time and I just can’t find any evidence that. I’m gonna have a problem.
Yeah, anyway, uh, so the last uh, interesting question about Whole Food plant-based, you know that these are the those two questions the protein the calcium there just a general vegan questions. But when you go Whole Food plant-based then suddenly everyone’s concerned about the oil where you going to get your good healthy fats from you know, you need olive oil in your diet It has to be there. So how do you answer that one?




Emma: It’s interesting that I’d never heard of this olive oil deficiency until I started telling people that I didn’t cook with it. Um, yeah, I think I’m not quite I’m not sure about that one because it’s pretty logical to me that if you know, If all you’re doing is taking the pure refined oils out of your diet.
I don’t quite understand how you could see that as a problem in and of itself. I can understand how some people might have a concern if you’re completely restricting all in any fats. I can understand that for some people that that would raise questions because of course A lot of people are told about the importance of fats for brain health and for other bodily functions how you know, again, it’s one of those things that I think people think we need a lot more on than we actually do, but you know, I sort of compare eating pure oils to eating pure sugar as well, you know, if I completely stopped eating fruit, Um or completely stopped eating anything, you know fruit or carbohydrates or anything with natural sugar in it. People could ask me questions. But if I just stopped eating table sugar, is anyone going to be concerned by my health. No. Well, it’s a little bit the same for me with oil. It’s the you know, pure extracted oil from a whole plant food, which does have fiber and vitamins and minerals and nutrients. I just don’t see how you would think that something terrible would go wrong. If you’re just doing that.

Andrew: That’s actually a really good comparison made between table sugar and oil

Emma: Most people just won’t see it like that.

Andrew:It’s like sugar is something that is high in and concentrated in calories and it used to be a part of a whole plant and oil is the same. It’s very high in concentrated calories, not much other nutrition and it used to be a part of a plant and we view them so different so different quite so far removed from their natural state and maybe it’s because they’ve been a part of some cultures for a very long time, you know, they’ve they’ve been they have been a part of you know, some mediterranean cultures.
I can’t say how long but you know, it’s it’s just something that people are used to having in the diet and and it’s part of the foundation of cooking where your sorting things in all or your  frying things in oil that it’s hard for people to wrap their head around how just how you would eat without that theater sort of to start you off.

Andrew: How do you then?

Emma: Water! Water’s a magical thing. I don’t fry anything in water that doesn’t end well, but you know, you have different techniques for doing things if we’re just doing our onion and garlic. We usually use vegetable broth or veggie stock, you know, homemade or something that’s low sodium and that’s really great for adding flavor and if you cook it down for long enough you get really nice caramelization. Baking, you know, we just bake things in the oven on baking paper non-stick baking paper and and it’s just amazing how- for some people it’s an adjustment in the beginning but it’s something you get used to so fast, you know, it really is that easy, and baking even baking um certain things a little bit more difficult. But you know, if you wanna make cookies or cake or muffins can use mashed banana, you can use apple sauce, you can use um pureed tofu. There’s all kinds of things that you can do.

Andrew: I haven’t heard of pureed tofu, I’ve heard the others but-

Emma: Sometimes good for different recipes so, yeah people are just amazed when they do it. They think “oh god. Why did I think this was so hard? It’s really easy. I wish I’d been doing this the whole time. I didn’t realize I could save myself, you know, the extra the extra unnecessary fat and calories just by using a little bit of water instead.

Andrew: Yeah talkin about the extra unnecessary fat a good segue into a read an article on your on your website a while ago about calorie density. So what is calorie density? That’s probably a foreign concept to lots of people say how do you explain that situation?

Emma: I think it’s been a while since I read that I should have I should have done a refresher, but-

Andrew:  that’s all right It’s basically the updated version then-

Emma: Yeah the jet lagged version. You know basically different foods, the calorie density is the amount of calories that they have per hundred grams or per pound or per kilo. So at the lower lowest end of that you have vegetables, green, you know, mostly green red and yellow vegetables things like leafy greens and well everything carrots, capsicums, lettuce, all that sort of stuff is really low and starchy vegetables. That’s better. You know 2 to 300 calories per pound which if you know, we don’t use pounds but you know

Andrew: it’s all the literature you read, you know, everything, it comes from the US doesn’t it?

Emma: I know, so we could do kilos just double it. Yeah, we’ll just say double just double everything um, and then you have fruits, you know that are a little bit higher again, um, fresh fruits, you know, things like apples and pears and oranges. Of course, there’s like, you know, there’s little variations bananas have more calories than. Then berries do and and things like that they’re in a window you know. And then you have your legumes and whole grains. So intact whole grains things that haven’t been ground up or processed very fast. So things like, uh brown rice things like oat, whole oats, buckwheat, Millet, you know things that are whole grains they’ll have I think- whole grains and legumes are around 5 to 600 calories per pound and it goes upwards from there. So those are the four food groups that I mentioned before and interestingly enough those are you know, the four groups that are the lowest calorie density. So for people who are looking to lose weight or who um, You know have struggled with their weight and want to maintain it without obsessing over how much of something they can eat or weighing or measuring that food generally speaking if you’re eating below that line. If you’re only eating foods that are 600 calories per pound or less… It’s going to be quite difficult to overeat because the volume of food that you have to eat, to fill your stomach Is only going to be a certain amount of calories, now, once you get higher even once you get to things like bread even 100% wholemeal Breads and pastas or I think pasta is lower I think is still down there because of the water that it absorbs things like crackers and whole grain crackers and whole grain Breads and things like that you get higher still, so they could be sort of a thousand to twelve hundred calories.
We’re already talking double, so if you’re if you swap out, you know an equal weight of brown rice for bread, um not to say it’s bad for everybody. You know, if you don’t have an issue with your weight or with over eating you might not notice that you might not notice it in your stomach because it’s taking up the same volume in terms of space or weight, but it’s double it’s double the calories

Andrew: I had no idea it was- I should have looked into this more I guess but uh

Emma: I hope I’m right. I shot it and obviously again, it’s a window. There are ones that are gonna be as ones that are going to be more and once you had-

Andrew:I dont need a lot of bread, but I do eat little bit of bread these days

Emma: Its hard to live in belgium to avoid the bread. But yeah and and then it gets higher still so you get to you know, dried fruits and then once you get up to, you know nuts and avocados and the high fat foods because fat has nine calories per gram the calorie density is you know, And especially once you get up to oil is three to four times that of the stuff that we were talking about eating before so the more and more and more of those foods that you include in your diet the higher in calorie density it becomes. So you can be eating the set what looks to be the same amount of food, but actually you could be eating hundreds more calories a day. Some people need that. But a lot of people don’t. Most people probably in this day and age don’t need that and so it’s kind of – applying the principle of calorie density is really handy for some people who want to lose weight because counting calories is you know, it’s a well, I think it’s a pain in the butt.  I can imagine it would be,

Andrew: Lots of times. Yeah.

Emma: You know because it’s just not really a natural thing. You know, you sort of want to eat till you’re full. And so if you do it,low calorie density foods, you can’t just eat fruit and vegetables because they’re not going to, say she ate you you’re not going to they might fill your belly up, but they’re not going to get to those receptors that say, okay.
I’ve had enough food, I’ve had enough fuel to keep me going. So once you add in the the legumes and the whole grains, you know, you’re talkin about food or a meal, you know, combining those elements that does both those things fills your belly up makes your body feel like, you know, you’ve got enough calories to sort of keep going.
But without really letting you  overdo it in terms of calories.

Andrew: Yeah they’re the ultimate in comfort foods in my opinion. They’re just you know, potatoes, especially obviously I like you know, people called potatoes comfort food. And of course they are, they fill you up and they make you feel great. What could be better?

Emma: But they make you fat didn’t they?

Andrew: Well, I’m working on that to find a way to get fat on potatoes. I don’t found it.

Emma: You must be an anomaly.



Andrew: Oh yeah, it’s just me. So all this experience and all this work that you’ve done with your website and everything, eventually led you to writing some books and I really like the idea of the books because so often you hear that “I’d like to eat whole food plant-based. I would like to eat vegan or whatever but I just can’t afford it. That’s only for you know, the upper end of town. That’s um, you know, the average Joe just can’t can’t do that.” So that’s why that’s what I love about these books.
So can you tell us a little bit more about them was that part of your reason for writing them or that was my whole-

Emma: well, that was yeah almost the entire reason for writing them because,

Andrew: Sorry, I should interrupt but I should say the “Whole Food plant based on five dollars a day”

Emma: Yes it’s a mouth full.

Andrew: Is that on Amazon or just on your website?

Emma: No,  it’s just on- they’re available through It’s an ebook. An ebook hosting website. But if you go to you’ll find the links to both of it there as well. It’s a long title, but I really just wanted to say exactly what it was about because even if you say on a budget well, what’s a budget?
To some people a budget is only spending $15 a day on food to some people it’s four, you know, so I thought okay, I’ll be as specific as possible. So people can know exactly what they’re in for and yeah, that’s why I did it because I would say the more that I got involved in learning about plant-based nutrition the more I became integrated into these online communities where I could see what people were saying what they were writing and how they were feeling, it was common.
“Yeah, I’d love to do this. But you know, I am a single parent or I’d love to do this, but I’m studying I’d love to do this, but I’m on a on a low pension. You know, so I just can’t afford. I just can’t afford to eat this way. It’s too expensive for me and I understood where people were coming from because if you do walk down the produce aisles, you know fruit and veggies it can it can look expensive, being focused on that. And likewise if you’re looking at those, vegan substitutes for animal based alternatives, if you’re looking at the fake meats and the vegan cheese’s and the vegan ice creams all that also looks.
Incredibly expensive.But I knew that it wasn’t yeah for a fact that it wasn’t because I didn’t, this way for quite a while and I didn’t this way while I was young, you know, living out of home for the first time making next to no money trying to save to travel and I was eating that way. I was living in the UK at the time where I first really tried a whole food plant-based diet and doing it on a budget and I was spending 16 pounds a week

Andrew: Right?  That’s good going.

Emma: Yeah, and not like bird, like, you know, little tiny meager amounts of food, like proper proper meals. Enough to really fill me up and keep me going for the whole day because I was working quite a lot.
And yeah, so for years I was living on a budget for a different reasons moved overseas and you know, little bit difficult to find a job sometimes and adjusting to new circumstances. And yeah, I just I just knew it could be done because I was doing it and I had done it and I just thought if people really need to know that it’s possible because a lot of the people that can benefit the most in health terms from a whole food plant-based diet are people that possibly don’t have you know, a high-income, our people who um, you know, you know don’t have as much money to pay the medical bills to pay for their for the drugs, you know to treat diabetes or heart disease, so I really wanted those people to know or to feel that they were able to do it and that it that it wasn’t unattainable. So I just thought okay. Well, I’ll show other people that it can be done and I’ll show them just how how cheap, you know can be done for.

Andrew: I think it’s a really important conversation to have because when definitely in Melbourne, and I know from a couple of trips going to the US lately and it’s probably the same in Europe as well. I guess that when you get to the the lower socioeconomic areas where that household incomes are lower then that’s where there are more McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s, Burger King all those sorts of things and people are on low incomes and they just want to they just want to feed their family for cheap and these fast food restaurants make it seem like they are cheap option when in reality you could probably feed your whole family for a day for what it costs to get one meal there and also you know, like I said, the medical costs that come with eating those foods are huge. So you’re saving in two ways there so. Yeah, I think it’s really important to have that conversation and it’s books like yours are important that they exist to help people help people through it as well.
But you know, I’m imagining. General public. “Okay, five dollars a day is good. But I want to eat more than just oats and rice, you know..”

Emma: Yep.



Andrew: So what is it? How do we do it? Because obviously oats and rice are cheap.

Emma: Yes they are but you can’t just cook up a bowl of them and eat them every meal. I think most people wouldn’t find that very exciting.

Andrew: So what are some tips that you’ve got for that point of view then?

Emma: It really comes down to planning.
That’s why I wrote the books because the planning part is the difficult part and I knew how to do it because I’d been doing it for years and years and years, but I could only imagine how hard that task would be for somebody who was just trying to come from, you know, an omnivorous or even a junk food diet onto a whole food plant-based diet.
It’s an overwhelming amount of information and learning, you know, “what can I buy? What meals are suitable? Um, you know, what ingredients are okay?” So, um, I wanted to do the planning for people to show them how to do it. So, um, you know, you do have to you do have to plan ahead and say, okay. “Well, what am I going to use to make my meals?” You can’t just go out and buy a bunch of cheap ingredients and then. Just make meals for them because like you said just oats and lentils and and rice alone aren’t really going to make a meal then, you know, it’s gonna be…

Andrew: There was a time in my uni days where I was struggling and uh and had the odd meal that was just white rice and tomato sauce.

Emma: Yes, but you are not alone there.

Andrew: and that’s pretty cheap. But you know, like I said, that’s not going to cut it

Emma:  and it’s not exactly health-promoting. I think a few days of eating like that. Yeah. Um, so it’s it’s planning. So I I made the books as a plan as a whole plan with telling people how to shop and planning the meals and using up all of the ingredients.
So that that people could learn and see how to do it. So what you kind of do is you plan what Pantry Staples you need, so you need some herbs and spices to flavor your meals and you know, you might need a few condiments or you know some dried fruits or something to add flavor to your meals and then each week make a menu plan.
And say, okay. Well I’m gonna make these four or five recipes and like you said with repetition, you know, you don’t cook something new every day when you’re eating on a budget you might cook big big batches of three or four or five things and you’ll have them for lunch and dinner and that’s that’s what saves you money.
So I was kind of showing people. Um how to do that, you know, using a lot of the same ingredients but making different meals, you know, different flavor profiles. So you might use beans and rice to make a Mexican Chilli and then another night use them to make an Indian curry or use them to make burgers, you know, so showing people that how to utilize these inexpensive ingredients in different ways using different flavors to create different meals that aren’t you know, really boring because I could have said to people you know; “here is what you can buy or here are the recipes but if you went to make 14 different recipes in a week wouldn’t cost five dollars a day because you’re buying too many different ingredients. So it really just does comes down to planning and learning, you know, what kind of meals can be done the cheapest and you know, that means sometimes a bit more of maybe frozen veg and a bit more of legumes and rice and less of you know, quinoa organic kale, you know, stuff like that.
So it’s um, yeah, it’s just it’s just learning and planning. That’s really what it comes down to.

Andrew: Cool. What about the organic side of things and I was gonna ask about that anyway, but since you brought up organic kale like, I get a lot of people that say, you know, I want to I want to go Whole Food plant-based or I want to go vegan, but I can’t afford organic.
Yeah, but what are your thoughts on that? I can tell you my thoughts but this is your- I was about to start-

Emma: I feel like maybe my thoughts are in line with yours.

Andrew: Yeah, I was gonna start answering the question when I realized that this is- I’m interviewing you.

Emma: Yeah, I actually went out I was conscious of of making a page explaining that in the book.
So it’s actually in the appendix in each of the books because it is important to a lot of people and I think from an environmental perspective and and maybe in some ways from a health perspective it’s important to some people and some people don’t see the point in even eating a whole food plant-based unless you’re doing it organically but,
I think it’s an unnecessary roadblock. If it’s not within your means. If it is, that’s great. If it’s important to you and you can afford to buy organic ingredients. I think that’s really fantastic. But if you can’t don’t let it stop you from eating this way, because the benefits that you’re going to get just from switching to a whole food plant-based diet. If it’s in my- this is again, this is my opinion, you know conventionally grown foods is going to be enormous, you know, someone switching from you know, meat free veg, or you know, the family living on a low income eating you know, fried foods and McDonald’s and you know bags of Frozen unexplainable stuff, um, you know switching over to you know conventional broccoli and and oats and brown rice and bananas. I mean it’s a no-brainer. It’s that much healthier that people shouldn’t need to stress about whether or not it’s organic if it’s not possible for them. So that’s what I explained in the book because I know from having lived on, you know, A low food budget for quite a long time It just wasn’t possible. You know, I just couldn’t justify spending three to four times as my I just could I didn’t have you know, if you don’t have the money you don’t have the money. So just do what you can with what you’ve got basically that’s the principle.

Andrew: Yeah, I like that too. That’s pretty much along the lines that I do.
I would prefer to eat organic but most of the time I just can’t afford it.

Emma: Yeah. That’s if I pick something up from stuff from your cupboard I think it’s a little bit more reasonable. But definitely when you’re going through, the fruit and veggie aisles some things are close in price and I always try to buy those so things like you know, I buy onions and carrots and beetroot and stuff like that organic because the price is pretty similar, but sometimes you pick something up and it’s four to five times the price and it’s not a choice for some people. That’s what’s important to remember for some people. It’s not a choice if organic or not. It’s a choice of um, you know, having that food or having crap basically, you know having a conventionally grown banana or having twenty Cent potato chips

Andrew:  Yeah and like I’m a big fan of mandarins at the moment. They’re delicious at the moment. I went to the shop just yesterday to buy some and right next to each other there’s conventionally grown mandarins which are delicious and still healthy, and that was I think three dollars 90 for a kilo.
And next to them were organic mandarins and they looked pretty similar. But yeah, they probably taste pretty similar to and pretty similar for your health. But that were I think they were 12 or $13 a kilo. You know, I’m on a budget too. I’m not as tight as I was when I was at Uni, but you know, I want to budget and I’m like, I just got can’t justify that and in the end I look at it as though there are two reasons people eat organic one is I think it’s healthy and it probably is but from for from a health point of view I think he probably talkin about the difference between an A and an A+, you know one an A+ but if you can’t get an A+ an A is pretty good. Let’s just go for an A and from an environmental point of view maybe you’re talkin about the difference between an A and a B.

Emma: Depending on the food.

Andrew: So yeah exactly depending on the food or maybe an A plus or an A minus or something. I don’t know. But anyway, the point is that it’s still pretty good when you compare it to, you know, all the all the other crap that a lot of people eat

Emma: and the effect, you know, the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. So if you want to do good thing, you know, if you can’t afford to go all the way to organic then get close. That’s okay.

Emma: That’s really the main point to drive home. Don’t let that stop you. Don’t think that if you’re not doing it the hundred percent, A plus, perfect way, that there’s that you shouldn’t do it at all.
Yeah, there is there is room in between.

Andrew: Yeah, definitely definitely. All right. So we’re gonna have to wrap this up soon. But before we before we do I wanted to know what’s a typical day of eating involve for you?

Emma: I’m pretty consistent. Not so much when I’m traveling but as I am-

Andrew: That’s another thing to talk about actually but first typical day at home?

Emma:Typical day at home for me, usually oats in the morning because a lot of the time I’m commuting to work so I’ve got to have something that I can eat cold and can it on the train. Doesn’t leave me with a huge amount of options. So I usually soak some oats overnight with some fruits and berries some apple, some flax,a little bit of soy milk and some water and I eat that on my way, on my way to work or I eat it at home if I’m at home in the day, lunch is always pretty much leftovers from the night before.
Leftovers from dinner night before. So whenever I’m cooking I don’t make- there’s usually two of us… I don’t make two portions of anything, I always make four or six or eight and we always take the leftovers for lunch. It just makes it just makes life easier for us. And usually it’s something that we’ll just warm up at work and that means you know, when you do make even more servings you can stick them in the freezer and when you don’t feel like cooking there, And yeah, so there’s a leftovers from dinner and dinner can be can be anything.
It’s a usually a staunch, you know, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole meal pasta or a different whole grain, um paired with a legume usually? something like lentils or chickpeas and a bunch of vegetables. So we’ll make a lot of curries. We make a lot of Mexican chilies. We make a lot of pasta dishes with you know, really veg heavy sauces a lot of the time we’ll have a salad with dinner as well just to get in some more veggies at the end of the day because sometimes you’re really busy. So yeah, that’s basically it, oats for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, typical Whole Food plant-based meal for dinner, you know, and in between, fruit raw veggies. Sometimes I baked you know, I bake healthy muffins or ??? will have those as a snack.
Sometimes we’ll have extra oats with fruit as a snack. Sometimes we’ll have whole grain toast with sliced tomatoes as a snack, just depends how hungry we are.

Andrew: So yeah. Keeping it simple. All right. Uh, so one two more questions actually, traveling. What’s a traveling day?
I do get a lot of people “I’d like to do this but I travel a lot for work. So what can I do?”

Emma:  And so that’s another preparation thing, you know plan ahead. It’s not always possible when you’re traveling because if you have really big travel days and you can’t keep stuff cold It’s Tricky. But yeah plan ahead, you know, uh, if I’m just doing a day trip or something I’ll bake potatoes.
We’ll pack those, make some sandwiches, some homemade, you know, the day before makes them homemade hummus, get some whole-grain bread, make sandwiches cut up veggies, pack some fruit and and that’s it you’re done. When I’m traveling like a long way, you know from Europe to Australia. I might grab some things that I wouldn’t normally eat. So things like the fruit, You know the fruit and nut bars just in case I’m totally stuck in ??? anything– but I always try to book accommodation where I can cook.

Andrew: Now this place is not this is good kitchen here.Now you got a supermarket across the road

Emma:  the big Cole’s across the road that’s just been fantastic.
Yeah. So, you know just again planning ahead. Yeah try and get a place where you can cook prepare your meals bring some ingredients If you if you know it’s going to be necessary and do a little bit of research beforehand so that you can set yourself up to make better choices while you’re away, of course, you will Invariably have to make some compromises sometimes but the less compromises you can make the better.

Andrew: Yeah cool. All right last question then, how do we make it, you know, Whole Food plant-based eating and veganism the two things we’ve talked about, they are growing, but how can we what can we do to speed it up? How can we get people to realize that? This is a good healthy way to eat and embrace it.

Emma: That’s a difficult question because, I mean I have seen it explode. I’ve seen it, you know from veganism in particular from 13 14 years ago. Yeah. It’s just in a completely different place and I think you know, Hate to say it but you know the internet and social media has been hugely helpful in that in that respect. Um, I just think getting out there and being positive, being positive about the message and sharing it with people who want to hear it and just demonstrating how it can be done. And sharingI think especially transformation stories like your own, you know, people who have overcome Health obstacles, you know, getting those stories out there so that people can see that you know, this is something that can really help them or help their friends or help their family, that they don’t have to live with with certain chronic diseases that they don’t have to go through what their parents went through if they had heart disease or they develop type 2 diabetes later in life. I think I’m getting off track here again.I mean if it’s something bigger, be a good example and get out there and spread the message, you know, organize things in your area, you know put together a little meetings even if five or six people come or they might tell their friends have a potluck bring some food, , you know, lend people DVDs order all the documentaries, order what the health and Forks Over Knives and get the DVDs and and lend them to people take them to your local library so people can rent them out. There’s there’s all sorts of ways you can get the message out there, might seem slow, but it is happening.

Andrew: Yeah, cool. All right, look, can you leave us with one?Can you encapsulate your message in a sentence or maybe a sentence is too much? maybe a paragraph… hehe

Emma: My message ooh. You put me on the spot there, but I do like to ask this without warning so that I just see what comes to mind. I don’t know. My message is basically, keep it simple. Okay, I think I said that in another podcast. I think I just keep saying the same thing, but that’s really what Im trying to do. Yeah, um, Show people, uh, keep it simple. Yeah don’t over complicate things don’t make it harder than it has to be.
And you know, what, I do is aimed at helping people do exactly that.

Andrew: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more actually that’s a keep it simple is a huge thing for me as well. And it’s something I talked to a lot of people about over complicating things is a big deal. So It took some thought that I think you got to a good point.

Emma: Thank you, maybe you can edit that giant gap hahaha.

Andrew: All right so if people are into you and want to find more, want to connect with you a bit more, how can they do that?

Emma: Uh you can head to the website. It’s you can send me an email from there. You can find plant plate on facebook, It’s just one word together, so you can follow their for updates. Uh, you can also get in touch with me through the plant plate facebook group, which is actually called Whole Food plant based on five dollars a day. That’s great that I run. It’s a bit of a support group for people who are using the menu plans who want to learn how to eat this way on a budget, so those are those are the three best.

Andrew: and what was the website you said where you can get the book?

Emma: That’s where both the books are available.

Andrew: Alright. I must have been there because I bought the book but it was a while ago. So I forgotten where that where that was. But anyway, all those links I’ll put them in the show notes on my website. So don’t worry, If you forgot to take a note there just look on at the page for this podcast and you’ll get links to to go wherever you need to go. All right, that’s that then we’re done. How do you feel?

Emma: I feel pretty good.

Andrew: Ready for another sleep?

Emma: Ready for another sleep.

Andrew: All right, Emma Roche thank you for joining us on the Spud Fit podcast.

Emma: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Andrew: Alright and Spud Up!
What did you think of that? I had a really great time talking to Emma, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Isn’t she great? Full of life and positivity I felt really great when I finish that conversation. I feel good after having listened to it again too. Alright, if you want to support more of what Emma’s doing, go to and find out everything you need to know about Emma and her work there. And once again if you’d like to get involved a little bit more with what I’m doing, you can get my book The DIY but fit challenge it’s available on my website or on Amazon.
You can also take the challenge go to,  if you want to do your own Spud Fit Academy and get support go to the website and find it there, like and share and subscribe and all that. Tell all your friends about the Spud Fit podcast. Again, if you feel so inclined and have the means available, then I would greatly appreciate any support anyone can give me on patreon go to or find the link in the show notes page.
Again, the Amazon option is there too if you are going to shut buy something on Amazon, then please click through my website and uh, it won’t cost you a cent extra, but it’ll give me a little bit of loose change to help keep the lights on here. That’s that for today. Again, go to Emma’s page, and I hope that this has helped simplify the way you think about food and I hope it has also helped to lighten the load that the grocery bill brings.
All right, that’s enough for me. Enjoy your days everyone and Spud up. Oh, hang on. I forgot again. I’m in good form today. The Dakkery. Support my wife’s amazing- not just support, get yourself some awesome track pants. Tracky Dax. amazing artwork for your ass comfortable, and luxurious pants with amazing works of art made from organic bamboo and cotton. Get into them at

All right. Thanks everyone. And I hope you enjoy eating a wholesome diet of Whole Food plant-based eating for five dollars a day for the next week until the next podcast. Thanks everyone. Spud up!



Thanks to my wife Mandy van Zanen for the theme music.


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