More Fit Foods

Healthy meals startup Pick a Fit Foods runs on El Centro power

Healthy meals startup Pick a Fit Foods runs on El Centro power

You may have noticed that "fit" has become a Thing: Healthy to-go concepts have sprung up all over with names like My Fit Foods, Ready Fit, Simply Fit, Custom Fit and Fresh 'N Fit. Now comes Pick a Fit Foods, a West Plano startup whose brain trust includes a longtime El Centro College cooking instructor and one of her former students.

Pick a Fit is a collaboration between El Centro alumnus Scott Shipley; former Gilley's manager Brad Weiss; and Lynn Mattie, a chef and cooking instructor who taught at El Centro and Collin County Community College.

Their menu includes turkey meatballs with whole wheat pasta, chicken and dumplings, pork with white rice and black beans, and breakfast casserole with sausage. Two large chicken tacos have 282 calories, 20 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 559 milligrams of sodium.

"These programs are all the same in that they do pre-portioned food for people on the go who want to eat healthy but don't want to buy the higher-calorie, higher-fat food from places like Eatzi's or Central Market," Mattie says. "We're geared toward people with serious dietary concerns about salt and fat, or people who are seriously looking to lose weight."

She says their food fits standard diet programs. "If you are on a plan like Weight Watchers or Atkins, our food has 'points' on the labels used in those programs," she says.

Shipley, the founder, learned the ropes after working with a relative who had a Simply Fit franchise. Mattie oversees the commissary-style kitchen in Fair Park, where everything is made in-house.

"We make our own black beans, our own pita, roast our own turkey, make our own turkey sausage," she says. "And rather than having to purchase it like a TV dinner, we separate out the components so that you can mix and match and get whatever sides you want."

Alas, each item comes in its own individual environmentally unfriendly disposable plastic container.

They're still working through the opening. The website isn't operational yet, and, for now, no one answers the phone or returns calls. But they plan to open more branches and will continue to look to their alma mater for help.

"We're hoping to staff the whole company with El Centro people," Mattie says.

Philly Pretzel Factory
Plano startup Pick a Fit Foods is a collaboration between former El Centro instructor Lynn Mattie, El Centro alumnus Scott Shipley and former Gilley's manager Brad Weiss. Photo courtesy of Philly Pretzel Factory