Busy lifestyles can sometimes get in the way of healthy habits. With parents in between their child’s practices and business individuals working around the clock, it can be easy to resort to unhealthy eating or fast food.

One Dallas local has the answers to a flavorful, inexpensive and nutritious food with convenient pre-packaged meals. Chris Sanchez, the founder of REFUL, has made it his mission to provide gourmet food assessable with pick-up locations.

His most recent healthy refrigerator is located in the YMCA of Waxahachie.

Sanchez worked as a personal trainer in college and became the marketing director for Whole Foods Market. “So I’ve been in natural goods for 15 years,” he said.

Growing up he played just about every sport offered by the YMCA in Houston, “and that’s why it’s so special to me. I know how much the 'Y' represented so much of my young age, kind of giving me a place to refocus my energies instead of being out in the streets getting into trouble like a lot of my friends.”

With a heart of giving back, Sanchez said eight percent of each meal purchased is contributed back into the location it is picked up at.

REFUL has two storefronts in Dallas and Fort Worth with seven YMCA locations across the Metroplex and two locations on the campus at the University of North Texas. REFUL has been part of Waxahachie YMCA since the week of Feb. 11.

“I think in general, food has been over complicated and a lot of things food doesn’t really need has been added over 30, 40 years,” Sanchez explained. “We use real ingredients and don’t put anything in the food it doesn’t need.”

There are over 45 menu items all prepared without dairy, gluten or soy. Meals on the menu include breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even plant-based options. When scoping out the menu, an individual will find that each item is identified to either focus on protein, healthy fat or good carbs.

“We try to deliver the best quality food, and we are realistic. We realize that everyone wants to taste something that tastes good," Sanchez elaborated.

Regular sized meals average at about 250-300 calories while large sized meals average about 350-500 calories. Breakfast, snacks, salads and vegan meals are only available in regular sizes.

The menu continually evolves through seasons, customer feedback and as new trends emerge. The professional chefs utilize 100 percent natural ingredients and strive to use organic and local products. Sanchez said there are no artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, or growth hormones added to the meals.

“People ask, ‘How do you differentiate yourself from others?’ And I say, ‘Honestly, we focus on making great tasting food being conscious of ingredients, the portions and how we are cooking it.’”

So, the process is simple. Customers order meals online by Friday, and that person can pick up at the YMCA in Waxahachie the Sunday or Monday after. An individual does not have to be a YMCA member to pick-up meals.

To place an order visit, https://reful.co/.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450