Clean Fast Food: Panda Express & Panera Bread

M&S Team
Written By: M&S Team
March 7th, 2018
Updated: March 30th, 2021
Categories: Articles Nutrition
Tags: Video
In this video, Brandon Hendrickson takes us through the drive thru at Panda Express & Panera to show us how you can eat out & still eat clean food sources.

Team Beast athlete Brandon Hendrickson recently travelled to Columbia, SC to visit the Muscle & Strength HQ.

While here, Brandon shared some of his most valuable training and nutrition tips.

In this video, Brandon takes us through the drive-thru at two popular fast food chains to show us what you can order that will help you stay on track with your goals.

A lot of people think eating out will wreak havoc on their muscle building and fat loss goals, but as Brandon shows us in this video, that’s simply not the case.

In fact, a lot of restaurants have plenty high protein and low calorie meals you can order.

You just have to choose wisely.

For the examples in this particular video, Brandon takes us to Panda Express and Panera Bread.

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Panda Express

Brandon’s first stop is Panda Express where he orders a plate with half veggies, half rice, and double teriyaki chicken.

However, if Brandon wasn’t trying to eat clean, he’d normally get a double orange chicken plate with fried rice.

After receiving his food, Brandon notices he was given fried rice instead of white rice. So, he makes sure to go back inside to get the white rice he needs to fulfill his caloric and macro nutritional goals.

In the plate with half white rice, half veggies, and double chicken there are about 66g of carbs to help fuel your workouts. You’ll also get some micronutrients from the veggies to help promote health and wellness. Lastly, there are about 78g of protein in this meal to promote recovery during and after your workout.

The sodium of this meal is pretty high, so you’ll have to account for that with your remaining meals during the course of the day.

The great thing about Panda Express is that you can customize your order to better fit your macro goals.

  • Double Chicken, Half Rice/Half Veggies – 825 Cals, 78g of Protein, 66g of Carbs, 26g of Fat
  • Half Chicken, Half Rice/Half Veggies – 520 Cals, 42g of Protein, 58g of Carbs, 13g of Fat
  • Double Chicken, All Veggies – 670 Cals, 76g of Protein, 29g of Carbs, 26g of Fat

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Panera Bread

The second option Brandon takes us through is Panera Bread. It’s more of a soup and café style restaurant – with a lot of carbs to be had. A perfect option for pre or post workout meals.

Here Brandon chooses to go with a half and half option, picking 1 salad and 1 sandwich.

For the sandwich, Brandon asks for a roasted turkey with caramelized kale. But unfortunately, they no longer have that option on the menu. So, Brandon chooses a roasted turkey with avocado BLT. For his salad option, Brandon selects the chicken cobb with avocado.

The chicken cobb salad has two protein sources from the chicken and egg. This salad also has an avocado for healthy fats and plenty of micronutrients from the remaining veggies.

Brandon’s side is a baguette, which is a great carb source for those looking to fuel or recover from their workouts.

The half roasted turkey BLT has some solid carbs from the bread of the sandwhich, protein from the turkey and bacon, and fats from the bacon and avocado.

You can also alter these choices to better fit your needs whether you’re looking for a low carb option (double salad) or lower fat option (go no avocado on your entrees).

Again, when eating out, the sodium in your meals is going to be a little high so you’ll need to account for that during the rest of your day.

  • Half Turkey & Avocado BLT – 320 Cals, 19g of Protein, 25g of Carbs, 17g of Fat
  • Chicken Cobb Salad – 330 Cals, 20g of Protein, 7g of Carbs, 25g of Fat
1 Comment
Posted on: Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:53

You totally failed to specify white rice. For shame! Oh the horror! (and thanks for the fast food advice. double chicken for life.)