When we say our meal kits are healthy, it is not an empty slogan. Long before we started creating and testing our recipes, we teamed up with vegan nutritionist Emily Levy to ensure that our meals are not only delicious and easy to prepare, but also genuinely healthy.
Emily is an accredited practicing dietitian (APD) who holds a master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Wollongong. Having personally followed a plant-based diet for over a decade, she is passionate about empowering people to optimise their health through a plant-based way of eating.
Emily helped us to develop a nutritional framework for our menu, based on the latest scientific insights. In other words: Emily’s expertise is in every bite of every meal kit that we deliver to you!
She will also share her knowledge about nutrition via regular contributions to the Just Add Vegan blog. So, we thought that you might want to know a bit more about Emily and asked her to introduce herself. Here we go...
Why did you choose a career in nutrition?
“I have always had an interest in health, and grew up in a predominantly plant-based family. I knew for a long time that I wanted to have a career in nutrition, and was compelled to sign up to study a masters of nutrition and dietetics after attending an international plant based nutrition conference in the United States. Listening to some incredible plant-based dieticians and other health professionals talk about the power of plants to not only prevent but also reverse chronic disease in some cases was incredibly inspirational. As I have gone on this journey, I have also become increasingly aware of the environmental and ethical considerations a plant based diet addresses, which further strengthens my commitment to embodying and promoting this way of living.”
What are you most passionate about in your work?
“My main area of interest is in helping people transition to and maintain a plant-based diet for overall health and chronic disease prevention, and management. I never get tired of witnessing the complete mental and physical transformation in some people when they commit themselves to forming healthy habits!”
What do you wish most people knew about good nutrition?
“That it doesn’t have to be complicated! I get so frustrated seeing endless ads for fat burning supplements and detox teas, every month there’s breaking news headlines for the best weight loss diet, and on top of that we are completely bombarded with articles promoting nutrition misinformation online. The amount of times I have heard soy is bad or legumes are unhealthy - both of which of course are completely unfounded claims! I want people to focus on the basics of good nutrition and don’t over complicate it. Make the basis of your diet whole plant foods and you are well on the right track.”
How did you get involved with Just Add Vegan?
“Padma and Arthur reached out to me when they were on the lookout for a vegan dietitian to assist them with developing a nutritional framework with which they could use as the foundation to develop their meal-kits from. I met up with them, they ran me through their business idea, and we instantly clicked. I really love the Just Add Vegan concept and think there is a huge demand for a service like this. I know it is something I personally would love to have as an option, and know that it is something many of my clients have asked about as well. So, I immediately knew it was a project I really wanted to be involved in.”
What is your best healthy eating tip for our customers?
“It’s hard to choose only one, but as a general principle it would have to be to just eat more plant foods! Whether you decide to go vegan or not, choosing to eat more plant-based foods like legumes, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables is a big step in the right direction. Don’t underestimate the impacts small dietary changes can make, because they all add up. I also find that proper food planning and meal preparation can be so important when you are looking to form healthy habits and eat more plant-based foods. That planning might involve taking lunch with you to work each day, having cut-up fruit and vegetables in the fridge readily available to snack on, or even subscribing to a Just Add Vegan meal plan!”
What do you eat yourself on an average day?
“I love starting my day with a bowl of oats, as I find this often fills me up and carries me through to lunch. I often make it the night before, soaking the oats overnight in some plant milk with chia seeds or flaxseeds, and some fruit. For lunch I’ll often have a sandwich, wrap or salad, with some tofu and hommus. And then for dinner it might be a dahl, vegetable stir-fry, Mexican beans and rice, or a curry.”
What are your favourite treat foods?
“Choc chip cookies! Warm, chewy in the centre and lots of chocolate chips. I am yet to perfect the recipe and it’s probably better if it stays that way!”
How can people contact you?
“I run an online clinic and am available for consultation worldwide. You can find me on Instagram, @thevegetitian, or head on over to my website, www.plantpowerednutrition.com.au.