Staying fit on the fly, or lean on the go, doesn’t have to be challenging, nor does enjoying social meals with friends. When I used to travel a lot with my former career, Panera Bread was always one of my go-to places to eat while on the road traveling from city to city every few months because of their generally “healthy” menu choices. However, as a fitness professional and competitive aesthetic athlete, over the years I have learned that you never have to settle for just what’s on the menu, especially when you have precise health and fitness goals to meet. Always customize if and when you can, something I like call lean couture.

Ms. Natural Alabama State Figure Champion
Ms. Natural Alabama State Figure Champion

Below you will see how I reduced the fat and turned a normally greater than 262 calorie fattening menu item into an under 500 calorie nutritionally dense and deliciously filling meal that can be enjoyed solo or socially through restaurant menu customization.

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The Panera Bread menu item: Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT. Half a sandwich ordered off the menu as is: a whopping 255 calories before side items or beverages.

SO what exactly did I do to not only reduce the calories of this hefty half of a sandwich, and be able to enjoy a fun side item?

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Home screen of the myPanera app

I customized my order through the myPanera app that can be accessed through Google Play or iTunes App Store, or simply visiting the Panera Bread website.

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I am allergic to tomatoes, hate pork so I hate bacon, but love turkey and the health benefits of avocados, mayo is a very unhealthy fat whereas mustard has metabolism boosting properties, and don’t need added salt, also I prefer the nutrients in spinach over lettuce, and the bloat and inflammation reducing benefits of cucumbers and onions, plus whole grain bread is simply a healthier complex carbohydrate bread of choice

If you are a myPanera member, or simply have a smartphone or access to a computer, simply go online and set up an online ordering account. From there, you can pre-order a customized entre’ for rapid pick-up at any Panera Bread location and quite possibly if you decide to dine-in, you can pre-select your customizations, and see the complete nutritional totals before leaving home, and read your list of custom changes for your order at the restaurant counter.

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Get the Facts: Nutrition facts that fit my macros and my fitness goals. NOTE: be sure to calculate the macro exchange ratios. Panera math is not the most accurate: Totals: 366 calories (Fat 2.5 g x 9) + (Complex Carbs 63g x 4) + (Protein 23 g x 4)

So my customized Panera Bread menu item was ready for pick-up during the busy Saturday afternoon lunch hours after leaving the gym, made exactly how I wanted it, fit and filling, for a busy afternoon of writing, creating and blogging.

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My Customized Panera Bread Roasted Turkey and Avocado NO BLT half sandwich on whole grain bread just 366 calories, plus a serving of baked chips and black coffee: Total meal: 496 calories

Until Next Time…Train Smart, Eat Smart

~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~

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Cold weather blues call for comfort foods that aren’t always so healthy. This can be overtime very uncomfortable for your fitness goals.

Solution: Homemade soups made with healthy hand picked ingredients! Forget “cuffing season” and searching for a winter swolemate, get in the kitchen because it’s “Souping Season!”

My first concoction of the season: Tuna & Veggie Egg Drop Soup with a touch of Indian spices for fun flavor!

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Tuna & Veggie Egg Drop Soup

Before you get all bug eyed. Here’s the ingredients list:

Soup stock:
3 – 4 oz. Chopped Yellow fin tuna steaks
4 cups Frozen Cut broccoli florets
1 – bushel fresh Chopped kale
13.5 oz. Cooked 100% liquid egg white
Indian inspired broth:
1/2 Gallon Water
Cumin powder
Masala powder
Corriander powder
Ginger powder
Tumeric root powder
Cardamon ponds
Black peppercorn
Cloves
Basil leaves
Mustard seeds
Garlic flakes

Toss everything in a crockpot on medium to high heat overnight about 6 to 8 hours and it’s ready to go for tomorrow’s winter lunch or even dinner.  Heck if you just don’t feel like fixing anything else to eat you can eat it all day. It’s low calorie,  low fat, low carb, low sodium, and high protein and high in essential nutrients. Feel free to add additional veggies of your liking, just note that the nutritional data will vary. Below are the nutritional fact for the batch I made from the above ingredients. It yields about six 8 oz. servings. Essentially a cup of soup.

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Nutritional data uploaded into my fitness pal app

Optional toppings for serving can be about 15 to 30 grams fresh avocado or a half ounce of reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Of course you’ll have to account for the extra nutritional data here as well. Use these optional fatty toppings sparingly for a more robust and tummy filling experience.

Plus the aroma of the Indian spices in the air while it cooks gives a warming holiday healing calm to a cold winter night. Similar to the wholesome aroma of kitchadi an Indian healing soup I learned how to make when I was in yoga school.

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So get your cups and spoons ready. ..it’s “Souping Season”

Until next time. …. I AM CANDICE MARIA

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The making of the beloved #CashewMylk! I am so excited to have finally began experimenting with making this! So nutritious and filling! Perfect pre, during, or  post workout sustenance for active people like myself!

Here is my first journey into making cashew mylk in step by step pics! #Enjoy!

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STEP 1

For best results use only raw organic ingredients!

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STEP 2

Mix and add water…

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STEP 3

Wait for it, wait for it….lol! Depending on how thick you prefer your “mylk” you can add more or less water to the straining process. …

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STEP 4
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STEP 5

Pour and enjoy…..

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STEP 6

….or freeze it for a yummy treat that’s better than ice cream or yogurt any day, plus it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan friendly so everyone wins!

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Until next time. … Eat Clean and Train Dirty!

“The Clean Nutrition Project is an experimental exploration into the lifestyle of clean, healthy eating by Candice Maria! ”

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