FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I place an order?
Why vegan, plant-based?
How much protein do the meals provide?
Do you use organic ingredients?
How many calories are in each meal?
Are your meals designed for weight loss?

What types of sweeteners/sugars do you use?
Will your meals support my running / fitness / intense workout routine?  Can I build muscle on a vegan diet?
Are your meals Paleo compatible?
How should I begin my transition to a plant-based diet?
Do you offer breakfast?
Are your gluten (GF) items safe for someone with Celiac disease?
Are you still delivering meals to St. James Episcopal School?

 

How do I place an order?
  1. Stop by the store and pick from what we have on hand. Our store hours are: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 10am - 7pm; Friday 10am - 6pm; Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 10am-6pm.  (Closed Tues)   We are located at 10233 E. Northwest Hwy, Ste 432 in Dallas.   intersection of Northwest Hwy and Ferndale (northeast corner) in the Northlake shopping center.
  2. Pre-order online for the next week and pick up your order.  We publish a weekly menu by Tuesday – order by Friday at 7pm, and pick up after 3pm Sunday or anytime Monday.  Our meal plans also operate on this schedule but you don't have to remember to order!
  3. Group Delivery.  We will also deliver to select group locations including Camp Gladiator at Watermark and current office deliveries – we’re open to future office/group locations as well!
Why vegan, plant-based?

A plant-based diet, based on whole foods, has been shown to be provide defense against “diseases of affluence,” including heart  disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.  A plant-based diet that avoids processed food is also great for weight control as well as general health and well-being.  Here are some resources for much more information:
Forks Over Knives
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Thrive Forward (Brendan Brazier) 
Plant-Based Dietician

How much protein do the meals provide?
Each of the entrees, soups, and  sandwiches provide at least 10% of calories from protein with most providing  14-15%.  The USDA’s recommendation for protein is a minimum of 8-10% of calories and the World Health Organization recommends less.  Although some experts  recommend more for athletes, there are a large number of studies that show 10-15% of calories from plant-based protein is more than sufficient to support  muscle maintenance and growth, even in world-class athletes.  A large number of studies also show that excess protein (20% or higher, especially animal protein) has damaging effects on the body.  We believe eating 10-15% protein (on the higher end for athletes) is the best way to balance all of this information.

Do you use organic ingredients?
At least 75% of our ingredients (by weight and number) are organic.  We do not list all of the organic ingredients for each item because it may vary by week.  We ALWAYS use organics for the Dirty Dozen, corn, and soy. Additionally, beans, grains, and spices are almost always organic.  Outside of these items, we use organics when they fall within our price structure which is quite often.  If you ever want to know what ingredients are organic in a given week, just ask.

How many calories are in each meal?

The regular size "main dishes" all  provide between 275 and 375 calories.  Soups and cold dishes are generally between 225 and 300.  You can find specific nutrition info for each dish linked from the menu page.

Are your meals designed for weight loss?

A plant-based whole food diet has  been shown to promote weight loss, as calorie dense, low-nutrient foods are replaced with more filling, nutritious foods.  Plant-based whole foods are naturally high in fiber which also supports weight loss.  In general, people are much less likely to overeat when avoiding sugar and eating nutritious food.  So yes, you can definitely use Nature's Plate meals as part of a weight loss plan, and we'd be happy to work with you on a full meal plan.

What types of sweeteners/sugars do you use?

Most of our meals contain no added sugars at all – and the same goes for our Sour Cherry & Pumpkin Seed Bars!  In our baked goods (and some meals), we use organic maple syrup, organic coconut sugar, and/or organic agave nectar.  You will also see evaporated cane juice as an ingredient in a few items.  It is a very small component of the bouillon paste and chocolate chips we use.  Generally speaking, we choose sweeteners that are less refined and lower on the glycemic index – they also contain more nutrients than refined sugar. 

 

Will your meals support my running / fitness / intense workout routine? Can I build muscle on a vegan diet?

In  a word, yes.  Based on our experience and those of several elite athletes,  you'll feel better and perform better on a plant-based whole food diet.  For  more information, try these links:  No Meat Athlete, Thrive / Brendan Brazier, Eat Clean, Train Mean, Live Green, Vegan Bodybuilding

And here's a quick summary of why building muscle with animal protein may not be a good idea: McDougall's Moments: Protein and Muscles.

Are your meals Paleo compatible?

The major Paleo tenet is eating fresh unprocessed foods. We couldn't agree more and our menu reflects  that. We  disagree, however, on the recommendation to eat meat and high percentages of protein.  We focus on high plant consumption instead. We also utilize grains in our recipes in their whole state, as humans have been consuming them for 30,000  years or so, and our anatomy has responded accordingly. Grains are often targeted mistakenly in diets when, in fact, flours are what turn grains from healthy high fiber foods to simple sugars.  We do not use refined flour in any of our meals, even our breads are Ezekiel sprouted grain products. Even our snacks and treats are made only from whole grain flour.

How should I begin my transition to a plant-based diet?
Here are some tips on how to start down this path.
  • Eat more vegetables, especially green ones, raw or cooked.  Some ways to do this:
  • Eat vegetables with lunch and dinner. Have a side of broccoli, carrots, green beans, or any vegetable you like 
  • with whatever you would normally eat.
  • Add greens to a smoothie in the morning (you won’t taste them if you also add banana).  Try spinach, kale, or 
  • chard.  The baby versions are easier to blend or you can use frozen greens.
  • Eat a salad with your lunch (or as your lunch).  If you start with a large salad and add beans, nuts, or seeds, the salad can serve as a meal.
  • Add veggies to soups or stews.
Eat more fruit, especially brightly colored fruit.  Some ways to do this:
  • Add fruit to your breakfast if you have cereal, oatmeal or a smoothie.  Frozen berries are great for this in the winter.
  • Have fruit for a snack (in the morning and afternoon). Snacks can also include other stuff if fruit is not enough -- nuts, nut butter, whole grain crackers.  (Almond butter spread on apple slices tastes great!)
Try having some plant-based meals every week. You can do this by incorporating “Meatless Monday,”  or having a few vegan lunches per week. Some ways to do this:
Limit processed food.
  • You will naturally eat less processed food by following the steps above. Next, take a look at the remaining processed foods and look for 
  • alternatives.  
  • Generally speaking, food is best when it doesn’t come in a package. If it’s in a package, look for ingredients that you recognize.  
  • If you need an alternative to protein/nutrition bars, try those with only a few ingredients such as these:  Kit's Organic Bars, Nature's Plate Chocolate Chip Snack Bars, or make your own: Ultimate Energy Bar Formula.

If you have any questions about additional steps or alternatives to items you currently enjoy, please e-mail us: info@naturesplate.biz

And even if you continue to eat some meat, eggs, and/or dairy, you can enjoy significant benefits from moving towards a plant-based diet..

Do you offer breakfast?
Yes! We have several options including Tofu Scramble Tacos and Refrigerator Oats.


Are your gluten free (GF) items safe for someone with celiac disease?
Our gluten free items are prepared with ingredients that are certified to be gluten free, but they are prepared/cooked in a kitchen where ingredients containing gluten are present.  For this reason, some risk of contamination exists, and you should use your judgement / consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions or concerns about consuming these items.

Are you still delivering meals to St. James Episcopal School?
Unfortunately, no. We were down to just a few families ordering school lunches regularly which was just not sustainable for us.

We added the St. James lunch items to our regular Kids Menu, and you can order using the standard weekly ordering menu and process. You will be able to pick up your order in our store on Sundays or Mondays and send the lunches with your children to school all week long.