May 11, 2023
307: Life Plate Meals: Fueling Healthy Habits One Bite at a Time | Chris & Deana Young

In this episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast, Chris and Deana Young, founders of Life Plate Meals, share their inspiring story of how they transitioned to a plant-based diet to address health concerns and how th...

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In this episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast, Chris and Deana Young, founders of Life Plate Meals, share their inspiring story of how they transitioned to a plant-based diet to address health concerns and how this led them to launch their healthy meal delivery service in Dallas. They discuss their culinary background, the importance of healthy eating habits, and how their business is helping people in their community eat healthier and feel better.


Key points:

  • Health concerns and a passion for cooking led Chris and Deana to start their plant-based meal delivery service, Life Plate Meals.
  • Life Plate Meals offers healthy, plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free meal options for busy people who want to eat healthier, including those with health issues or food sensitivities.
  • The Youngs also provide meals to schools, focusing on accommodating all diets, and hope to expand this aspect of their business to promote nutritious food in schools. They prioritize branding and marketing with an educational focus and are committed to promoting healthy eating habits.

Resources mentioned
Life Plate Meals

Meet Chris and Deana Young
Chris and Deana Young are a couple who made a dramatic lifestyle change toward plant-based eating in 2017. With a food service background and a desire to change their family’s medical history, they were committed to finding a solution to their high cholesterol, prehypertension, and abnormal lab results. After watching a documentary on plant-based diets, they plunged into the plant-based lifestyle despite criticism and social judgment from family and friends.

With countless hours spent researching recipes and finding creative ways to cook unfamiliar meals, they made advances and experienced challenges but kept moving forward. Today, Chris and Deana have made exceptional meals well received, even by former critics, and in some cases, made skeptics believers. This lifestyle has restored their family’s vitality and overall health.

Their passion for helping people eat more nutritiously was ignited in March 2021 when they were asked by a family who had heard about their cooking to cook weekly meals. This led to an increased demand for their services, resulting in Chris and Deana wanting to influence as many people as possible toward nutritious, exciting, and flavorful plant-based eating.


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Deana Young 00:00

And after several, about four to six weeks, we were like, this is a real, this is real neat, like people. People need this. And so they keep coming back like they. They're reoccurring customers. So, so maybe this is the thing.

Maya Acosta 00:15

This is the healthy lifestyle solutions podcast, and I'm your host Maya Acosta. If you're willing to go with me together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life. Let's get started. Hello, my beautiful friends Maya here once again. So I have Chris and Deanna Young, the founders of life plate meals a prepared meal delivery service based in Dallas, the city where I'm at Chris, Indiana started their business two years ago after experiencing health concerns and realizing the importance of a healthy plant-based diet. Since then, they have been helping people in their community, eat healthier and have better through their delicious and nutritious meals. Today, we'll talk to them about their story, business, and vision for the future. As always, the full bio in the links to each of my guests can be found on the website healthy lifestyle And welcome Chris and Deanna to the show.

Chris Young 01:13

Thank you. Hi.

Deana Young 01:13

Thank you. Thank you for having us. Thank you.

Maya Acosta 01:15

Yeah, I'm excited to know you learn about your business. I would love for our listeners to learn about you your story of how you started. And I know you have a culinary background as well. Absolutely. So tell us first of all, how long have you been in Dallas?

Chris Young 01:32

Yes, we've been in Dallas, almost seven years from Chicago and Northwest Indiana met right there. A Gary, Indiana. And so we've been here and it's been a cool experience. Yes, yeah.

Maya Acosta 01:43

Now you guys came together to this way of living and creating your business together. There were some health concerns.

Deana Young 01:50

Yes, Chris Was he had high cholesterol and I was I had like, wacky stuff. My sugar levels were high. And it was just crazy. And so we knew we need to do something, we knew that we needed to make a change. And so as a result, we started researching.

Maya Acosta 02:07

Okay, yeah, yeah. It started with, you know, cholesterol concerns. And this is what surprises me. You're very young. And many people are not that interested in their health at your age.

Deana Young 02:19

Yeah. So I mean, we watched our family's health deteriorate his but his grandfather died with heart disease. He was in his 80s. But just to go through the process of seeing his heart fail, you know, seeing him 10% 5% And it just decrease, you know, and he passes away. And we're all there to watch that. It was it was difficult. I'm experiencing that. And then my family, my mother has hypertension, and my siblings have hypertension. And the one thing that have in common is what they eat. And so we knew we could change that aspect of our house.

Chris Young 02:49

And this happened my About five years ago, five years ago, we're sitting down. We're watching a documentary, we went to hell, that's what the hell it was. Shout out to them. And it just kind of put it all together for us. Right. I mean, I had been concerned with my health. I thought I was eating healthy.

Deana Young 03:07

We had our Lean piece of chicken. We did our sweet potatoes and green beans. We did.

Chris Young 03:11

And we were about the same size, I guess. But our cholesterol levels were high. And I was shocked by that. And what's going on here? And he said it's the chicken breast. And I didn't know. Yeah.

Deana Young 03:24

So I mean, we watched the documentary, we emptied out our cabinets and started the journey of plant eating. And it just started with eating a whole bunch of pasta and salads and french fries, because that's what we had access to. And then the culinary me just had to start creating. And so that's what we did. Tell us about that culinary

Maya Acosta 03:43

experience. Yes. So

Deana Young 03:45

I started working in food service when I was about 13. I started working with a caterer. She was from West Africa. And I was in the kitchen with her. We did huge weddings for 500 people and it just ignited something in me where I knew that I enjoy this. And so I would be home and I would make all kinds of healthy cookies with applesauce and just try things getting in cookbooks and just have fun watch cooking shows. I didn't watch cartoons growing up I watched Emeril Lagasse so that's kind of how I spend my time. And so and then I will go into kitchen and recreate with my mom. Yeah, so I always was in the kitchen. And then I started working in Child Nutrition. When I was about 1718. And I and I wanted to learn more. I knew that that there was more to learn and I wanted to expand and so I went to the local community college, and I enrolled in the culinary program. And it was so much fun just being in the kitchen and creating with those students and messing up stuff and and, and then I said, Hey, I want to do this more. I wasn't sure which route to take. I did receive a scholarship for a local hospitality program. And I felt like it was going to box Me. And so I was I was struggling with that. And I studied business. And so I have the culinary background and the business background, which kind of tie really great together to do what we're doing now.

Chris Young 05:12

And just to add to that, my, this diet, at least to the degree that we've been able to, to keep it up, wouldn't be possible without her skill and her talent. So it's not just how she's classically trained to cook. It's her love for learning new things and creating new things. And, and that's what we've been able to enjoy at home every night. Wonderful,

Maya Acosta 05:35

who told you about what the help said, it just show up?

Deana Young 05:38

We were just perusing Netflix, you know, at home, and

Chris Young 05:42

I love watching that we had time.

Deana Young 05:44

Yeah, that doesn't happen too much anymore. And we were home and I said, Oh, this is a documentary about health. And so we were kind of thinking about that stuff. And I turned it on while we were just moving around the house doing stuff. And I'm sitting on the couch watching it. And then Chris was walking around. And he's like, What is this? And so I was like, it's a documentary. So we find ourselves sitting on the couch, like just entrenched in watching this, this documentary. And we're like, Oh, my goodness. We talked about it for like hours on and afterwards because we knew that it was it was significant for us and our family.

Maya Acosta 06:15

Some people can watch that film and never be impacted. They might say, well, whatever. And then maybe other seeds have to be planted before they make that change. But it sounds like you did it overnight.

Deana Young 06:26

Yeah, it was it was it happened so fast. I think it through everyone else around us, like family, like what are you? What are you talking about? You're not eating that? Well, what are we going to? What are you going to eat? How are we going to make food for you? And we're like, Hey, don't worry about us. We're fine.

Maya Acosta 06:38

Yeah, we'll be okay. Yeah. You know, Deana, when you were talking about how? So you knew, in terms of watching the film that you had to move away from animal-based products? Yeah, but saying you were like, Okay, you have the pastas and the French fries. Yes. How did you figure it out?

Deana Young 06:55

Over time, honestly, you you, what I learned is that you really understand how your body's processing things after you transition off of certain things. And so I think that just realizing, okay, I don't feel that great, or I cannot eat another French fry. Like, this is just overkill. And it just challenged us to kind of get in the trenches and figure it out, you know, try different things, expose our families to different things, try different cuisines. We realized the American diet just doesn't have enough nutrients in it. You know, it's hamburgers, and pizza and hot dogs. And, and we couldn't eat those things. So we had to tap into other cuisine. Yeah, yeah. Typically is bread,

Chris Young 07:36

meat and cheese. Right? You go across the American diet. That's what you got. And potatoes. Yeah, right. And for me, I can't cook a lick. But I can get feedback on how the food tastes. Yes, you can. So for us, it really was. This is this. My body likes this. Yeah, let's make that again. And so for the last five years, it's been let you know, this is great to keep this on the menu.

Maya Acosta 08:01

Have you gone back to have your labs done again? Since you made the change several times? Yeah. And what what was it like for you to see an improvement?

Deana Young 08:09

Well, we knew we were gonna see. And we were like, yes, game? Well, let's keep doing this.

Maya Acosta 08:15

Oh, that's wonderful. So in many ways, you have halted the possibility of maybe developing heart disease or diabetes, or anything that we see in our families to Yes, because there is a lot of disease in my own family. Yeah. So that's the driving force for me. Yeah. So this was five years ago, when you made the change, and you've improved ever, ever since. And then the pandemic hit, tell me how you survive that? What were you eating all kinds

Deana Young 08:40

of things, which is kind of how the business got started. So I was working for an organization and they wanted us to relocate. And at the time, it just wasn't the right thing for our family. And so I severed the role with them. And I was home, I was taking some nutrition courses with the community college because I was going to pursue a master's in nutrition. The ultimate goal was to do nutrition counseling, and consulting and kitchen sweeps and just, you know, helping people with real life stuff. Yes, that was the goal. And I'm home and I'm making, I'm making breads from scratch. I'm making all kinds of dishes and our neighbors it's a very community-oriented building we live in and so they're talking about what Deanna is making did you try she made this? And I'm like, so I'm talking about my food, please. One of one of the residents comes and she's like, Hey, I got your number from such and such and can you please make meals for me? And I'm thinking okay, it's an extra meals, so that's fine. I'll just make you what we're eating. And we'll just go from there. And within 10 weeks, we were doing over 100 meals out of our small apartment kitchen. Oh my gosh,

Maya Acosta 09:48

yeah. Wow. I'm assuming you were helping in some way.

Chris Young 09:52

Chris my I was going to get ingredients making deliveries you know, packaging things. You Yeah, trying to try to do accounting with accepted

Deana Young 10:04

payment from her. I don't know, they gave you a 20. I think, you know,

Chris Young 10:10

it was chaos. We were excited about it, but it was chaos.

Maya Acosta 10:12

So at what point? I mean, you were probably too busy to figure it out. At what point did you realize, oh my god, we have a business.

Deana Young 10:20

It was probably around January, January of that year, it was 2121. And after several about for about four weeks into it, we were like this six weeks, maybe four to six weeks, we were like, this is a real, this is real neat. Like people. People need this. They enjoy eating by clicking, which is odd. And, and so they keep coming back like they they're reoccurring customers. So so maybe this is a thing.

Chris Young 10:49

Yeah. And then we decided we need to make it official, we need to make it easier. Yeah. And so So my background is in business, and six, sigma, lean processing, and all of that. So I'm gonna be able to make this easier. And so we decided to shut it down for a few months. Yeah, a few months. And we had to develop the website, create a business plan, secure a kitchen, or kitchen. And, and we came back later that year. And I think we launched it in 2023. Launch in 2022. Right in January. And service all 2022 And oh my god, yeah.

Maya Acosta 11:25

And you You already had clients, the ones that you initially

Deana Young 11:30

working with? They came right back. Oh my god. So it's been it's been really interesting to see people have journeyed with us through the entire process.

Maya Acosta 11:37

Not that what a supportive group you have. Yeah, that's beautiful. Most people in general, would eat healthier if someone else made the meals. I mean, that's the hard part. It's the having to buy from knowing what to eat, buying from scratch and then constantly having to cook your meal.

Deana Young 11:52

Exactly, exactly.

Chris Young 11:54

And what she didn't tell you about the story about how we came about was the lady to ask her to make meals for them. She said I don't I don't know how to cook. I don't want to learn how to cook. I just want you to cook for me.

Deana Young 12:06

She said so look for her. Occasionally. Yeah, sometimes she Yeah, she ordered and then things get crazy with her life. And so but she's like, I'm coming back.

Maya Acosta 12:16

Yeah. So for our listeners, if you're not watching the video are for our listeners. Chris and Deanna are wearing their shirts like plate. Yes. Beautiful shirts. I love that. Tell me because you you halted the program your business for a little bit while you kind of went back to really studying the business aspect. You brand it yourself, you develop you created this name? How did that come about?

Deana Young 12:43

Oh, my goodness, it was it was exhaustive research, I think we we did a lot of brainstorming. We talked about it nonstop.

Chris Young 12:56

There was a lot of collaboration, a lot of research it was. And we want the name to say what we were what the mission was exactly the mission of life plate is to influence people toward nutritious plant eating. That's what it is. Yes. And here's our tagline. We believe that when people eat better, they feel better. And when they feel better, they live better. And that's been our story we've been able to live. I mean, we work 1216 hours a day. And we have two little kids, four and eight. And I'm in school and how do you do it? I mean, it's definitely to die. Yeah,

Deana Young 13:31

I think also, we, when starting a business, we didn't know what we didn't know. And it was so amazing how different organizations came alongside and equipped us with, you know, the access to life planning to build our business plan, or reimburse us for filing the licensing for business. And so and then provide coaching and contacts of people to help us and so it's a community, it's a community thing, where people come alongside and they just kind of help you to, to build and grow. And we've learned a lot along the way. You know, you think it's a food business, and it's really not, you know, we're heavily technology based. And so, learning ecommerce and learning technology and learning the terms and learning about brand, and it's so much and so we've just been in this in school all over again and 23 with how business runs how businesses run today.

Maya Acosta 14:26

Yeah, what you have to offer can really save people who have busy schedules. So who are by the way, some of your

Deana Young 14:33

clients, they are honestly flexitarians most of them are flexitarians want to eat more plants, you know, they realize that they need to eat healthier, they need access to healthier options. And some of them have had a diagnosis of health or they have a kid that has a dairy sensitivity and so they end up buying dairy free items, but they don't really know how to use them. And so we provide a just an opportunity for them to have more exposure to those things and they end up enjoying them and their families eat them and it becomes a staple in their household.

Chris Young 15:05

Yeah. And a lot of them are busy just like you were, don't have time to prepare meals, don't have time to learn how to prepare meals, but they needed nonetheless to keep up with their busy lifestyle. And then the other thing that I've learned about our customers is that they, our customers want to eat better. But don't think better eating tastes like anything. No, I think it tastes like grass or something. So we get that a lot, which is why most of them are

Deana Young 15:32

rabbit food. And, you know, you know,

Chris Young 15:36

my line is put that in your mouth, and then tell me

Maya Acosta 15:39

Oh, I love that.

Chris Young 15:40

That's a good one. And then give me feedback. And so it's been great for us to experience seeing their facial expressions, hearing their feedback after it tasted the food. And, and, and watching their mind change. I mean, we're talking about a lot of people who, who, who said they would never leave their meat. Okay, I need my meat and this, this and this. And those are the same folks, five, five meals a day five meals a week, I mean, yes. Or buy from us, you know,

Maya Acosta 16:08

tell us a little bit about some of the foods that we can find on your menu. And also how does your website work? Are you do you deliver them only locally within a certain mile radius? How does all that work?

Chris Young 16:21

So I'll talk about the delivery really quickly. So you can go to life plate Life plate And you'll see our menu there works as you order every week, up to a certain deadline. And then we deliver once a week to your home. So we deliver our meals, they're cooled. They're fresh, but they're cool, and insulated bag, and they're right at your door. So typically, all deliveries are made by 6am. So when you wake up your foods right there you before you go to work, you put it in your frigerator.

Deana Young 16:54

And then they're in an ovenable recyclable container. So you can slide it in a toaster oven or slide in the oven microwave and reheat shirt, reheat your meal if it's a if it's a hot meal, and it just makes it really easy for people who are working teachers, they enjoy just having access to something that makes it super easy for them to be able to continue their lifestyle of eating.

Maya Acosta 17:15

Yeah. And so I'm assuming you have breakfast, lunch and dinner or whatever your meal. So

Deana Young 17:19

they're like lunch and dinner. linter options. Yes, we, one of the aspects of our business is education. And so one of the easiest things you can do at home is make a breakfast, whether it's a smoothie or energy bites or something that you can just grab and go. And so we want to kind of make a community as it relates to plant eating. And so we don't offer many breakfast options, but we do have lunch and dinner.

Maya Acosta 17:51

Now. I think that's important. And plus a lot of people skip breakfast. They only have coffee or

Deana Young 17:58

breakfast. Yes, exactly. Yeah. And then you asked about the menu. And so that's that's the fun part. We've been doing a lot of creating a research and development as it relates to making sure that the meals have enough protein, or some some significant amount of variety of plant protein and then just a lot of flavors. And so what you'll find is you'll find some, some Indian, some Asian influenced meals you'll find like stuffed or loaded sweet potato options, you will find different kinds of salads and quinoa bowls, you will find what we consider to be a transitional item, which is our crispy cauliflower bites that people tend to love and like the taco form, or we'll do it with like an orange sauce and you'll have like a fried rice. And so just a lot of textures, a lot of variety and flavors, a lot of variety and cuisines. We've implemented some jackfruit options, and so like a smoked BBQ jackfruit or a jackfruit for carnita tacos. And so just a lot of the things that you love to eat and a traditional diet but a very cleaner, more clean, healthier plant

Maya Acosta 19:10

option. Yes. And so you're sort of the taster or tester called either one so you're the one that vouches or vets for some of these meals.

Deana Young 19:19

Oh, him and our two our two daughters. Yeah, they are like a become critics they have you would think that they were on a cooking show. How would you

Maya Acosta 19:27

how was it for them to transition when you started incorporating healthy meals.

Chris Young 19:31

So again, when you have a chef in the house, it's not hard at all. I mean, every day at the table is an adventure. Yeah, really, I mean to a different cuisine, like the ANA talked about. And you get to explore with her. I mean, she's in there creating some, even if it's the same meal you had last month. It's not she didn't make it the same way. You know, and so it's a new experience all over again. And so that's why that's how we got the menu, right? I mean, we have what about 40?

Deana Young 19:57

More than that? Yeah, about 50 Yeah, yeah, about 50 items.

Chris Young 20:00

So we went from one to 50. This is how because she's reiterating the same thing differently. And so for us for our eight year old, she transitioned about three and a half. Yeah. And I mean, she didn't complain. And our four year old has has never been on a meat diet ever. And she doesn't

Deana Young 20:19

even like so I'll sometimes try to make stuff fun. And I'll do like a, like a plant based grilled cheese sandwich to see how they like it in our eight year olds, like, Oh, mommy, this is the best thing ever. And and the youngest is like, Mommy, I don't like she doesn't like alternative things at all, at all. And so she just wants Mommy, can I have some of that spinach? Or kale? Or can I have a salad and she'll just eat like a salad? Like it's, you know, some spaghetti or something, you know,

Chris Young 20:45

so she's never had meat or dairy. Oh, and, and she's just as fit and active. Just in her DNA. She's very good. You know, stocky legs. I mean, you would think that she, right. I mean, with with what we've been taught, right, you know, drink milk, you have weak bones or something? Yeah. No, she is very active and very strong. Yes. Yeah, that's

Maya Acosta 21:09

beautiful. I wonder if, since you're talking about, like, you know, being an athlete and knowing that you don't necessarily need the calcium from milk, because you find calcium and other like green leafy vegetables? For example, is there an educational component to what you do? Like, do you do? Do you send out a monthly newsletter?

Deana Young 21:27

Yes, we do. We send out a monthly newsletter. And then we're looking forward to once we are in our own kitchen space, to have training experiences where we can open up the kitchen or have like a class and teach people how to read the labels or how to make certain things. And so I'm looking forward to that and a personal connection with the people a lot. But the newsletter does kind of inform on different cookbooks, options, or just different data that's out there about play.

Maya Acosta 21:57

Yeah, yeah. I so that's fine. Because I'm the person that will pay for the class. Yeah, you know, on the person that will go Yeah. And when the other business that I was telling you about dish out, they had like enchilada with cheese. It was like a natural cheese. But that they created out of cashews and that's how I learned to make cheese. And then you get come together with other people that love that food. The the company's food. Yeah, so that's kind of like what you're looking to build. Yes,

Deana Young 22:27

exactly. how exciting it is. It's gonna be fun. And

Chris Young 22:31

listen, she can make a complete meal in under 30 minutes. So there are different tips of the trade, right? How to cut your cooking time down different alternatives, how to how to expand your seasonal palate, you know, yeah, I'm looking forward to those experiences with people.

Deana Young 22:47

What I love is that we get to see it often because our parents will come and visit us, our moms, and they just look they love what led us down to making and so my mom was with us last night and we had like an Indian inspired meal. We had like a chickpea curry. And we had a steamed rice. And we did I did some Indian spice potatoes and some kale. Wow. And she was like, This is so good. I don't know what this is. But it's good. And, and she's just talking about how her body fell afterwards. And so just hearing a 73 year old, who's probably used to eating some, you know, fried chicken and cheese kind of thing. Enjoy a plant based meal and the effects of it. Yeah. So incurred, which,

Chris Young 23:32

which brings me to our, one of our niches in the market. So when people want to eat healthy people want to live longer. People want to feel better, but they don't want to eat grass, in quotes, right? So live play bridges the gap, right? It makes healthy food taste desirable. Not just, you know, you know, they don't have to, you know, just kind of settle for, like, play no as desirable. And so that's what makes us different. We, we bridge the gap in the market.

Maya Acosta 24:00

Yeah. And the idea that you can help your parents that you can have an influence, healthy influence, yes. And impress her that way that's beautiful. And are you collaborating or doing anything else with other people like any or other organization where you have the opportunity to feature your food at someone's event, for example.

Deana Young 24:20

So we've done a few caterings locally, that allow us to be able to do that we've done some testings and in senior communities, which has been really interesting, and exposing them to some more plants and they're like, I need to eat this stuff, you know, and that's best. We didn't do a Veg Fest, a local Veg Fest, here. And so we're looking for more opportunities to be able to do more of that because we know that the exposure from that is great, and it just has a huge impact.

Maya Acosta 24:49

Yeah. Speaking of that, when we spoke on the phone, Deana you talked about how important it is for you to outreach to communities that may be struggling that may not have access to help See options? Do you want to talk to

Deana Young 25:01

us about that? Yes. So we are excited to look forward to launching our own flagship kitchen and retail area in an economically disadvantaged food desert. Yep. And it'll be really great to be able to have that offering in the community because they don't have a lot of those options. And just to educate. So that's half education and access to some plant foods is huge. And we think about our upbringing and growing up and similar places, and I don't think I ate brussel sprouts growing up, I don't think a lot of the things, chickpeas you know, that wasn't a thing. If it was green, it was one type of green and they had smoked meat in it, and so on everything, meat. And so I think that just having an option to influence and and just show people that hey, like, we kind of look like you and we're eating these things. And it's good, and it has a huge impact on our health. So our

Chris Young 26:00

hope and it's going to be in South Dallas, right south of three 366 the highway, right? Okay, quite Warren says right south of that. Oh, my God. And we've already been connected connected with two nonprofits. Right, right in that area already. So both of them are partners with us, and helping us to get exposure in the area. So and we're collaborating on the best ways and rounds to impact the community. If you want to say education is the key. Yeah, right. If you can have sessions with Deanna, get in there, and you're making the food. You're gonna be excited about what you learn. You just may go home and do it. Yeah. Oh,

Maya Acosta 26:35

named two pieces of fruit that you grew up with as a child.

Chris Young 26:40

Apple juice. Okay.

Deana Young 26:47

And banana. And that's it. Yeah, right.

Maya Acosta 26:49

That's all we knew. Yeah. And same here. I didn't know any other fruit. This blueberries came into my life when I was already an adult. Actually more so when I became more plant. Exactly. What a shame. Exactly what a shame. Yeah. Spinach. You mentioned spinach earlier. The only my memories of spinach were horrible cafeteria food with the overflow.

Deana Young 27:13

Like the frozen spinach. Yes. for like an hour.

Maya Acosta 27:16

And I know. Like Popeye enjoyed spinach. Nasty. Yes. Now today, I saw a spinach and garlic. Yes. And that's all shallots. Oh, there you go. Shall it? Oh, so good. Yeah. It's amazing that the exposure that we had early on, and very limited. Yes. deprived us of all those nutrients we could have had all along. Yes. Right.

Deana Young 27:41

So and we enjoy taking our daughters to the grocery store. And they were in the produce section. They're like, Mommy tracking fruit. And I'm like, Yeah, we should try that. Or we'll do pomegranates and we'll and I'll do like a toasted nut. And we'll have that. And then like, I mean, it's just so and that's our that's our sweet treat. You know? Was it make? Oh, I'll do like my juice maple over the pump. And it's like, Oh, my goodness. And they just love it. Yeah, love it.

Maya Acosta 28:06

And do you have any favorite stores? Yeah, we

Deana Young 28:09

kind of stay kind of local to where we are when we go to the store with the girls, which sucks because we spend so much money on those things. But we do like to visit the farmers market and see like some of the things that are season with the local farmers and then sprouts depending on the dish. Yes, that's true. Yes. Or Whole Foods go on if they have an item that like we need independent premium for I'm telling you in Kroger's. I mean it's right. It depends on which Kroger you're going. And but we, we say like right in front of deep elements. So there's one that's highly populated, honestly. And they have so many plant based offerings and different access to different fruits and vegetables. And so that's essentially what our grocery cart is. Yeah.

Chris Young 28:54

I don't forget all the

Deana Young 28:56

Oh, yeah. They do. They Oh, and Trader Joe's. I'm there all the time. And they also have great prices. They do have great classes, and they honestly have one of we work in a shared kitchen space. And there's a lady who she's worked in collinear for years, and she's worked in hotels, and she and her family love food and she's like, have you tried to try to show us falafel? And I said, No. And so one day I went in and I was like, you know I'm gonna try this falafel. And it's honestly like a clean label. And it's really good. Yeah,

Maya Acosta 29:31

I'm surprised sometimes the things that I find Yeah, yes. Awesome. Anything else you would like to share with our listeners? Oh, just so

Chris Young 29:38

they know. We obviously we feed the people here in the DFW area right yeah. prepared meals delivered to your door. But we also are feeding schools right now too. So we're currently feeding five schools and and we're looking at getting some more schools but we so life plate as it relates to schools. We accommodate all diets. But we specialize in plant eating.

Deana Young 30:02

Because what we've noticed is with the schools that were servicing their private schools and parents care, you know, the newer generation of parents are like, hey, I want my kids to eat healthy. And you know, I want food for fresh fruits and vegetables, and one of them the salads, and so and whole grains. And so we're able to provide a lot of offerings, and then there's a high vegetarian and vegan population because of religious beliefs or whatever. And so we're able to, to meet those needs. And it was it's near and dear to our heart, because our girls have special diets and their school can accommodate

Chris Young 30:35

right, which is kind of how we came about. We were we actually service their school first. And then five schools came later, because people heard about new about what we were doing. And so yeah, we're influencing children. I mean, can you imagine okay, my we talked about this when you're in school you had to Spanish that was overcooked it was, yeah. Oh, watery square pizza. It's either not done or overdone. But they couldn't get it right. And I don't think they care to get it. Right. Right. Yeah. But can you imagine your kid going to school and they're having falafel and, and can you speak? Oh, we

Deana Young 31:11

had lintu bollock knees today, today.

Chris Young 31:13

Oh, my god, wow, for the school for the school.

Maya Acosta 31:17

I love that you have this partnership. I'm like, blown away, because I'm like, how did you get your foot in the door? Their private private

Deana Young 31:24

public has not really adopted

Maya Acosta 31:28

this to the guidelines. Oh, my God.

Deana Young 31:31

So you can see how far they're coming? They're coming. Yeah. And so the private schools, I think that you get a different buy in from the parents, right? And then it's not federally funded. Okay. So they're like, hey, whatever we have to do.

Maya Acosta 31:45

That's right. Yeah. So this is amazing what you're doing. And it's still in

Chris Young 31:49

the thought process. But there's some other things in life plate will do. Okay. And so it's just that they tune I mean,

Deana Young 31:56

subscribe to the newsletter. It's it's wrapped by plate

Chris Young 31:58 and go to the newsletter. Yeah. But a lot of things are coming.

Maya Acosta 32:02

Wow, I'm so excited. So your social media, your branding, all of that you have support with as well, right? Like your design? And yes.

Deana Young 32:13

So we have someone who does like our social media and communicates on our behalf. And it's actually a family member who went to school for Communications and Public Relations. She loves it. And so she's kind of helped us with our, with the way our social media looks, and the messaging and she, she's, she works in marketing. And so she's trying to make sure that our branding is clear, which is really cool. Because I talked to a marketing company the other day, and he was like, hey, kudos to the name like it's clear. And I was like, well, thank you, you know, because we worked really hard on that. And so that's been cool. And you can get to see us at live plate meals and get some healthy tips and some fruits there and season and all that fun stuff is on there. It's more an educational way that we communicate. We don't we, our focus is not to sell you. Because I feel like you will come to that conclusion on your own. You can try and see how you feel. But we want you to incorporate more plants into your diet if you don't have them in there already. And the site helps us to be able to do that.

Chris Young 33:21

And by the way, if your kid goes to a school that like plate does not service currently reach out to us. I mean, we'd be we'd love to come and do a free tasting for the school. And let the parents taste the food and the kids and

Maya Acosta 33:32

get the feedback. Yeah, that's a wonderful idea.

Chris Young 33:35

Well, my thanks for inviting us to be here with you in the studio. We it's great. No one Yeah, I mean, your story, too. Yeah, we really believe in influencing the world toward nutritious planning. I really believe that. I mean, during the pandemic, we were in the apartment with our kids. And if you have kids, you know what I mean by that you were not on vacation. It was very difficult. But to do this, while while in that in that situation, and to still be energized to date, and to continue to deal with all the challenges we've faced. We really believe in it. Why? Because we've heard different stories. We've seen lives changed. We've seen health claim bills of health. And so we want to we just want to, you know, share with the world what's happened with us? Yeah, yeah. So,

Maya Acosta 34:20

and you're doing great things. It's an honor to have met you guys and know that you're here in Dallas, and I look forward to maybe possibly collaborating. If there's a way that we can support you as well. Yeah, thank you again. Thank you. And that's all we have for you today. Friends. Thank you Chris and Deanna young for joining us and sharing your inspiring story and your valuable insights. If you want to learn more about their company it's live plate meals and order their delicious meals. If you are local. Visit their website live plate remember your health is your wealth and making small changes to your diet and lifestyle. can make a big difference. Stay healthy, and stay tuned for our next episode. As always, thank you for being a listener. You've been listening to the healthy lifestyle solutions podcast with your host Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave an honest review as well at rate this forward slash H L S. This helps us to spread our message. And as always, thank you for being a listener.

Chris & Deana YoungProfile Photo

Chris & Deana Young

Chef and CEO

Chris and Deana Young are the founders of Life Plate Meals. They share their inspiring story of how they transitioned to a plant-based diet to address health concerns and how this led them to launch their healthy meal delivery service in Dallas. They discuss their culinary background, the importance of healthy eating habits, and how their business is helping people in their community eat healthier and feel better.