Going Green: WJ’s Guide to Healthy Living

It can be hard to find healthy options when you and your friends hit up the same fast food chains at lunch day after day. So, The Pitch decided to help you out and recommend the healthiest options at some of your favorite local chains (and as an extra incentive, we compared them to the least healthy options). Enjoy!

~ Panera ~

What You Probably Get: The full Italian combo on ciabatta with chips and a small coke
Calories: 1170

What You Should Get: The “You-Pick-Two”  with low fat chicken noodle soup and half a classic café salad with a French baguette (whole wheat if available)
Calories: 410

Why You Should Get It: This balanced meal is light and delicious. You won’t even have to feel bad about getting a chocolate croissant for dessert! Vegetarians can substitute the chicken noodle for vegetable or black bean soup.  Also, you can feel “green” just by eating at Panera because they donate their leftover baked goods each night to local soup kitchens and bake fresh bread and pastries for the next day!

~ Chipotle ~

What You Probably Get: A steak burrito with lettuce, tomato salsa, corn, black beans, rice, sour cream, guacamole and cheese
Calories: 1205
Fat: 53 g

What You Should Get: A burrito bowl with chicken, black beans, rice, tomato salsa, lettuce and cheese 
Calories: 565
Fat: 19 g

Why You Should Get It: Chipotle has fresh ingredients and is healthy in moderation.  It’s filled with fiber and protein that will keep you full, but the portions are so big that either you can’t finish or you gain that oh-so-attractive burrito belly.  Here are some tips: get a burrito bowl.  One 13-inch tortilla has 290 calories! Because the servings are so large, if you share with a friend, you’ll still have enough food to feel satisfied.  Also instead of getting sour cream, cheese and guacamole, just get one. And who really tastes all three anyway?

~ Chik-fil-A ~

What You Probably Get: Four chicken strips, ketchup, small fries, small lemonade and barbecue sauce
Calories: 990
Fat: 44 g

What You Should Get: “Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich,” unsweetened iced tea and a medium fruit cup
Calories: 320
Fat: 3 g

Why You Should Get It: This sandwich has lean chicken, a juicy tomato, lettuce and a whole wheat bun with 7 grams of fiber. The fruit cup balances the meal with fresh fruit with vitamin C and healthy carbs.  Chick-fil-A features 100 percent whole breast chicken and fresh ingredients. And, when getting fast food, try to stay away from fried foods that are filled with saturated fats that will make you bloat and can contribute to cardiovascular disease.