By Matthew Pearce
Food trucks are a common sight on Central Queensland streets, but Cassie Amber’s Plant Based Power is a little different to the rest.
A holistic nutritionist, Cassie took her vegan food creations on the road about a month ago and hasn’t looked back.
The Plant Based Power food truck has become a popular stop on weekday mornings on the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road.
“As a nutritionist, I do meal plans and online programs for people but a lot of them aren’t motivated to do the cooking needed to eat healthy and stay on track, so I thought I could provide the food for them and it’d help them feel amazing,” Cassie said.
“Men are loving it as well, but heaps of women in particular are raving about it because there’s not many healthy options for people on the go, normally it’s just deep fried stuff or pies.”
As the name suggests, Plant Based Power’s food is all plant based, including the coffees which are made with coconut, almond, oat or soy milk instead of cow’s milk.
Her salads and slices are all vegan. Most are also gluten free, with menu items including cookie dough protein bars and a gingerbread oaty slice.
“I make all the food myself. My Vitality Muesli Bars have pumpkin seeds and oats so they’re really nourishing and help people feel full.”
Online, the business has been more popular than Cassie dreamed.
“In the first two weeks I’d gotten 500 Facebook page likes. My nutrition business was only up to 750 likes after three years,” she said.
“Some of the posts reach 12,000, 18,000 people, I’ve never seen numbers like that in my whole life.”
Cassie said there were many benefits to a plant-based diet, including how easy it was to stay in shape.
“Many women struggle, they starve themselves or limit their food to the extreme which can lead to eating disorders,” she said.
“People look at me and think that I have a really strict gym routine and I can’t eat anything bad but with plant based food you never have to limit calories.
“I don’t have to track macros, I only really exercise three or four days a week, not intensely like people think, because the foods are high in fibre and healthy fats and low in saturated fats.”
Cassie said Plant Based Power’s clientele included a wide range of people, including those you wouldn’t expect to be health conscious.
“With the plant based milk I thought people would be stuck in their ways and angry, but they like it equally or even more than what they’re used to.
“I have middle-aged men who aren’t vegan buying the salads and slices and raving about it.”
On weekdays, the Plant Based Power food truck can be found at Baga (Mt Jim Crow) on the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road from 7am to about 9.30am, as well as various locations on the weekend.