Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

Ask the Anytime People; Expert answers to your health and wellness questions

Grant and Cathy Pritchard

Grant and Cathy Pritchard

Ask the Anytime People – Expert answers to your health and wellness questions

By Grant & Cathy Pritchard

Question: I love fast food, but I am trying to lose weight and improve my health. Is it okay to eat fast foods while on a diet program?

Answer: Yes, but as always, there are a few important points to keep in mind. We all know fast food isn’t necessarily the healthiest meal in town, but we also know that setting realistic goals is an important component of any successful weight loss program. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to completely deprive yourself of fast food, especially if it’s appropriate for your specific situation. In other words, if you’re crunched for time, fast food may be the only reasonable option. That said, if an occasional trip turns into four or five weekly trips, your weight loss efforts and health goals will likely suffer as a result. The key is to become a savvy shopper and watch out for calorie-laden foods with added sugars, sodium, and fat. Look for a Nutrition Facts pamphlet in local restaurants and educate yourself on their menus. If you make the effort, you’ll be able to find a sensible meal no matter where you go. Remember, balance, variety, and moderation are the words to live by when it comes to food. If you apply these principles regularly, you won’t have to sacrifice your health and wellness goals when eating out.

Question: I’ve heard some people say dieting just doesn’t work, and that you should focus on exercise if you want to lose weight. Is this true?

fruitAnswer: No, this is simply not true. If you’ve ever looked at food labels and compared them to the calorie counters on your exercise equipment, you’ll likely come to some startling conclusions. It is much easier to decrease your calorie intake by 300-500 calories per day than it is to expend that many more calories each day through exercise. Researchers have addressed this issue as well, and it is generally accepted that diet is the more important variable when it comes to weight loss. Exercise is still beneficial however, and actually plays a much more prominent role in weight maintenance. Here’s the bottom line… incorporate both healthy eating and exercise no matter where you are in the weight loss process.

Question: My wife thinks she’ll get big and bulky if she starts lifting weights with me. How do I convince her otherwise?

anytime-fitness-logoAnswer: This comes up all the time, and it’s one of the biggest myths out there. First of all, women simply don’t have the proper hormonal balance to put on large amounts of muscle tissue. Secondly, even if they did have the right physiology, it would take some serious training to do it. Getting bigger muscles requires high-volume workouts (lots of sets and repetitions) and a pretty high intensity level as well. Picking up a few weights here and there isn’t a recipe for building mass—it’s what you do and how you do it that really makes the difference. Remind your wife that weight training programs can always be tailored to specific goals, so if she doesn’t want to put on large amounts of muscle, that’s just fine. Generally speaking, a full-body circuit with higher repetition ranges a few days per week would work well if she’s just looking to tone up or maintain her current level of muscle tissue. If she wants to get an individualized program based on her goals, look for a qualified personal trainer in your area.

Exercise is still beneficial however, and actually plays a much more prominent role in weight maintenance. Here’s the bottom line… incorporate both healthy eating and exercise no matter where you are in the weight loss process.

About the authors: Grant & Cathy Pritchard are the club owners at Anytime Fitness in Buckley & Orting To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at grantp@anytimefitness.com


Seared Scallop Salad and Chocolate Cake

Over the holidays the rich foods and decadent dessert tables are difficult to resist and by the time January rolls around, New Year Resolutions often include fad diets and self-promises to hit the gym.  Those pesky few pounds that were added during the cocktail party season simply need to come off.

VeggiesWhile I am certainly on board with shedding extra weight, eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to try and subsist on fruits and vegetables.  Eating lighter, doesn’t mean you stop eating altogether, it simply means make smarter choices and cut down on your portions.

I have found that the “give and take” method works for me, I generally walk along the following guidelines;  If a larger breakfast that includes bacon and eggs or breads such as cinnamon rolls were on the table, then lunch and dinner will be as low fat as possible.   If  plans have been made to dine out with friends for the evening, a very light breakfast, smoothie or yogurt is on the docket, and then perhaps salad with fat free dressing or something comparable, for lunch.

When it comes to food I confess I have several weaknesses, baking is not only a hobby of mine, but a deep rooted obsession.  While baked goods are available here in my home for the fam,  I do not indulge in breads and desserts every day.  If I have a craving for chocolate cake or that piece of amazing ricotta cheesecake, I will lighten up my dinner portions so that an “extra” item can be eaten without a shred of guilt.  When I have that day of sheer indulgence, and I do, I watch my menu items for the next couple of days to ensure that does not become habit.

VeggiesEating in moderation is step one, step two is getting physical. Hitting the gym is always my ultimate goal, however with three children and a busy schedule it isn’t always feasible.  I am fortunate, I have a treadmill right off the kitchen and a minimum of 30 minutes per day on that torture device is required.  If that is not an option for you a brisk walk in the outdoor air is a great idea.

If you are looking for recipes that a bit lighter on the bod, Cooking Light Magazine is a great publication.  As you browse their recipes, take note of changes you might make in each one to enhance flavors or perhaps even to cut the fat and / or calorie level further. Give it a tweak and a twist and make that recipe yours.  You will find with time as you browse other recipes that are not on their site, you will find ways to substitute ingredients to reduce your waistline without sacrificing flavor.  Moderating what goes inside of you will ensure that on those days that indulgence is a must, you will enjoy it, guilt free.

Photo:  Cooking Light Magazine

Photo: Cooking Light Magazine

Seared Scallop Salad ~ Cooking Light Magazine

This is a great idea for lunch.  Not only is it beautiful, but full of flavor.  The time involved is minimal and the shopping list is a breeze; ground fresh ginger, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, sea scallops, salad greens, cherry tomatoes, shredded  carrot, cucumber, red onion and red wine vinaigrette.

This delectable salad and a glass of Chablis is on the lunch menu.  Since it is fairly light, more than likely a bit of venison and potatoes will be on the table for dinner and dessert will call for a piece of chocolate cake.

Healthier Bites for a New Year

After cooking up a storm for two solid months, the rich, heavy holiday foods have done their damage.  Not only is it time to hit the gym three days a week for regular work outs , it is also time to change up the menu a bit and look at healthier options.

I  am such a lover of the cuisine that I post on my Blog, my Facebook page and here in these articles that it is sometimes difficult for me to stop, think and eat in moderation.  The bathroom scale usually is the one to tell me I have been indulging just a bit too much.

Thankfully, I find that I have been craving foods that are not only fresh but will also do a body good.  What it also means is I need to restock my pantry.  In doing a bit of research and talking to some of my colleagues, quite a few of them are in the same frame of mind and that’s when good recipes happen.  So keep your eyes on the page, there is so much more to come.

Here are a few food items to consider when you are looking for options to add to your own upcoming healthier menus.    

  • Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats to help maintain healthier cholesterol levels.
  • Salmon and Tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which may help to decrease heart disease and stroke.
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes that may decrease the risk of cancers, particularly prostate cancer.
  • Green Leafy Vegetables contain flavonoids to help prevent memory loss and are also rich in carotenoids which help to ward off macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
  • Whole Grains – Whole wheat bread, wheat bran cereals and whole wheat pastas contain high levels of insoluble fibre for gastrointestinal health.

I am frequently pressed for time, so snacking with the grab and go option in mind is a huge issue for me.  Since I am well aware of this, packing the cupboards with dried fruits, baked potato and tortilla chips, bagel and rice cakes will definitely keep the fat levels down.  So will stocking the fridge with salsa as a low fat dip and frozen non-fat yogurt as a suitable replacement for ice cream.  I make sure that I toss a few of these items in to my grocery cart with each trip to the market to avoid the excuse that I didn’t have time to prepare anything healthy.

In my recent searches for fast, filling and fresh, I have found a salad that is quick, good for the bod and best of all, tastes fantastic.  Since bell peppers and I do not get on well, I finely chop tomatoes and toss them in as a substitute.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

  • 1/2 c uncooked orzo
  • 2 (6 ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray – preferably olive oil
  • 2 cups torn spinach
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 4 kalamata olives – pitted, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  3. Sprinkle salmon evenly with salt, oregano, and black pepper. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; break into bite-sized pieces with 2 forks.
  4. Combine pasta, salmon, spinach, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well.

It is so important that we enjoy what we eat.  Healthy does not mean food with out taste and while I do not eat the healthiest cuisine every day,  I have learned to eat the more robust  foods with moderation.  I encourage you to mix up your menus and to add a few low-fat options to your meal planning each week.  Experiment, ask questions and before you know it, healthy will be full of flavour.


You can find me every day on my  Facebook page and my Home and Living Column.  I would love to see you there as well, so swing on in and say hello.