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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Isolate and Grow: Nourish Your Goals – Part 2

ISO-Ambassador Search: Challenge 2: Vote for me before December 1st at http://www.isolatorfitness.com

Click the InfoGraphic below to watch my challenge video submission and see why I love my #ISOBag!

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Until next time…#EatClean, #TrainDirty and #IsolateandGrow compliments of your very own #ISOBag on sale NOW at http://www.isolatorfitness.com

~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~

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The following blog will show you step by step how I #IsolateandGrow with the help of my #IsoBag!

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Step 1 : Stock up on healthy food and clean eats! Can’t eat healthy if your kitchen isn’t healthy!

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Step 2: Pick a cooking day. Cook as much as you want to have ready in advance. I typically do 2 to 3 days worth because I’m in competition prep.

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Step 3: Fill the handy containers. How nifty are these! I typically store what ive cooked and fill my containers nightly for the next day’s worth of meals.

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If I know my schedule is going to be super hectic I will fill containers for 2 days worth of meals.

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2 Days Competition Prep meals

Step 4: Refrigerate until morning or Pack your #IsoBag. If you filled your containers for the next day or several days just place everything in the refrigerator.

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If you filled containers specifically for that day go ahead and pack your bag.

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Step 5: Hit the ground running,  your #IsoBag has you covered! As a busy full time grad student, yoga teacher , fitness trainer, part time nurse and figure competitor staying fueled with healthy food on the go is essential to my success.

The following are just a few highlights from a typical day with my #IsoBag:

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4:30 am workout at the gym
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Study break in the park before class
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Teaching yoga in the community

The list goes on! Trust the process,  trust the bag and #IsolateandGrow!

Until next time. ..#EatClean…#TrainDirty

~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~

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Don’t forget to visit Isolator Fitness to vote for me to become your next #ISOAmbassador

Why I ❤ Lentils!

Original Content: September 18, 2013 at 7:25pm, Revised and Updated

Why I  ❤ Lentils! Check the Nutrition Facts!*Don’t be fooled by the “calories”they carry!* Those calories are ENERGY from the Powerful Plant-based PROTEINS & the important Complex Carb called FIBER that they PACK in every bite! That’s what I call “SuperFood!” #powerfood#fuelyourworkouts #fuelyourlife

Planning to cook some today along with some Salmon. Below are some nutrition facts about Lentils! You gotta ❤ these little guys! If you are looking for alternatives to additional protein in your diet, this is it, along with my other favorite little grainy super food, Quinoa seeds! You can find my rant about them in an older post in this blog!

Lentil Plant:
The lentil is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 centimetres tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. ~ Wikipedia

Nutrition Facts: Lentils
Amount Per 1 cup (192 g)
Calories 678
% Daily Value*
Total fat 2 g 3%
Saturated fat 0.3 g 1%
Polyunsaturated fat 1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 12 mg 0%
Potassium 1834 mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 115 g 38%
Dietary fiber 59 g 235%
Sugar 3.9 g
Protein 50 g 100%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 14%
Calcium 10% Iron 80%
Vitamin B-6 50% Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 58%

Until the next post…..
~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~
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