Movement toward connectivity brings homemade meals into the picture

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Wible

By Meredith Wagner | Arts & Life Editor

Baylor alumna Dawn Wible is a true testament to the idea that a course of study doesn’t necessarily solidify one’s career, nor does a business model. Wible founded the movement “Talk More Tech Less,” and now owns local health food business “Talk More Meals,” both of which seek to inspire healthy lifestyle habits focused on connection, relationships and slowing down to enjoy your surroundings.

Wible received her bachelor’s degree in education and taught first grade at Texas Christian Academy for six years before alternative passions steered her in a different direction.

“It’s really interesting to see where life turns,” Wible said. “I didn’t go to business school, but that’s what I’m doing now.”

Wible’s journey began in 2014 when she, with the help of her family, constructed their first “Detox Box.” Wible was at summer camp with her three boys and other children their age.

“We had some leftover wood that they use to build bridges, so we used the extra wood to make these phone boxes called ‘Detox Boxes,'” Wible said.

The boxes began as a joke of sorts. They laughed as they assembled the wooden crates designed to cradle their phones during dinnertime and promote connection at the dinner table. The kids took them home. Their parents gave positive feedback.

Wible continued pursuing what she described as a “counterculture” movement — putting phones away and getting back to the basics of connection. Married to a youth minister, mother of three boys under the age of 11 and a teacher of elementary-aged students, Wible said over time, she had noticed a shift in the habits, hobbies — even the mannerisms — of the young people in her life.

“We were noticing a difference in eye contact and conversation over the years. Kinda seeing a huge shift, a huge trend, first hand,” Wible said.

As time moved forward and technology advanced, Wible said she came to realize that technology addiction wasn’t strictly limited to youth culture, but encompassed a widespread cultural movement that integrated into personal, professional and family life across the board.

“Technology is moving into the education field. It’s not going anywhere. It’s really every part of our lives,” Wible said.

The initial Detox Box, and further research into advancing technology dilemmas, prompted Wible to start the movement “Talk More Tech Less.” The website and small organization “provides tools, resources and products that bring awareness and action to issues our culture is facing,” according to their website. Wible now visits children in elementary schools about managing their technology habits, offers 30-minute training videos for families, groups and schools, and even sets up one-on-one consultations with families.

“I used the name “Talk More Tech Less,” because it’s really about prioritizing. We’re about [placing] connections … at the forefront of our lives,” Wible said. “Technology kind of has that seat, but we’re human before we’re anything else.”

Not long after Talk More Tech Less took off, Wible began integrating other passions into her activism, which eventually sprouted into its own branch of the tech-less movement.

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Photo Courtesy of Dawn Wible

“I was cooking at home for some friends who are really busy,” Wible said. “I started cooking for them, and it just caught on. Word got around.”

Wible’s love for cooking and passion for helping others slow down and enjoy their surroundings, she realized, were not confined to their own callings.

“Well, these [ideas] kinda go hand-in-hand,” Wible said. “So we added the meals to Talk More Tech Less as one of our products to unplug.”

Wible, along with her small staff of cooks and deliverers, now produce up to 200 pre-made meals per week, a notable increase compared to the two meals per week she initially started with. Just one year later, Talk More Meals delivers homemade, pre-packaged meals to multiple locations throughout Waco.

Each of Wible’s meals are gluten free, Paleo and Whole 30 approved, in addition to being composed of ingredients directly sourced from the local farmers market.

To continue in her work and her mission with Talk More Tech Less, each of the meals includes a question on the packaging that promotes discussion at the dinner table, which Wible calls “Talking Points.”

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Photo Courtesy of Dawn Wible

“It’s really just that initial, opening way to begin a conversation, and then hopefully the dinner conversation keeps going and continues,” Wible said.

Ranging from “surface” questions such as “What was the best part of your day?” to those of a deeper nature, “What is something that you’re unlearning that you’ve lived your whole life thinking or believing?” the boxes serve to promote her original movement’s mission of inspiring connectivity.

“So, not only is [Talk More Meals] nourishing our bodies,” Wible said, “it’s nourishing our relationships, and that is going to be healthy for us in the long run.”

Jennifer Tobin, regular Talk More Meals customer, said the business has changed her life as a busy single mother.

“My daughter and I were eating way too much fast food,” Tobin said. “Now, I don’t even have to think about it.”

Tobin said the time and brain power saved from purchasing healthy meals, as opposed to making them at home, has allowed her to relax after work but still feel good about what she’s eating and what she’s feeding her daughter. She and her daughter have been eating at least two Talk More Meals dinners per week and said it has radically improved her health and introduced them to foods they otherwise would not have tried.

“After about three months of that, I went to the doctor, and they told me I had lost four pounds. As of right now, I’ve lost about seven pounds, and I’ve kept it off,” Tobin said. “It has also expanded our palettes.”

Talk More Meals delivers to two locations each Monday: Gather Waco, a store that focuses on the “art of hospitality” located at 719 Washington Ave, and Crossfit Misfits in Hewitt at 9205 Oak Creek Woodway. The business also offers home deliveries, though they include an additional fee. Wible said a group of Baylor students order their meals together and split the delivery fee, which she encouraged students to try, especially given the pressures and time constraints college students experience each day.

“Talk More Meals is really catering to the busy culture — giving people an option to slow down,” Wible said. “It’s really big for busy moms, it’s really big for fast-paced families, but it’s also really important for Baylor students.”

Be it through Detox Boxes or wholesome meals, Wible said she seeks to promote the causes of both her movement and her business for Baylor, in Waco and beyond.

“Here, slow down. Eat our good food. We’ll make it for you.”

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Photo Courtesy of Dawn Wible