10-Point Lunch Challenge: Panera Bread

1 Mar

When I first joined Weight Watchers, a co-worker and I would challenge ourselves to find places (and menu items) that could give us a lunch for 10 points or lower. For various reasons, this has gone by the wayside.

Now that I’m struggling in my weight loss efforts, now seems the perfect time to reinstate this challenge. I didn’t really feel like eating the frozen meal I brought with me today, so I took myself and a book to one of my favorite haunts, Panera Bread. (This is not a paid endorsement — unfortunately!)

I like Panera for two reasons: the food is good, and they are very fast. And really, shouldn’t that be the goal of any sit-down fast-food restaurant. I particularly like their “You Pick Two” menu, which offers smaller portions of their salads, soups and sandwiches, so you can get a taste of a couple things without the calories (and cost!) you’d incur buying a full serving of each item. Their Web site is also great, as they have a separate microsite offering full nutritional information on each of their menu items, so it’s easy to plan what you want to have before you get there.

So here’s my submission for the 10-point challenge, from the “You Pick Two” menu:

  • Broccoli cheddar soup – 4 WW points
  • Baguette (comes with the soup, or you can choose chips or an apple I think — I just have a love affair with bread) – 3 WW points
  • Classic salad, no onion – 0 WW points
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing, on the side – 1 WW point
    • I probably didn’t even eat one point’s worth of dressing just by dipping my fork in it, but I’d rather overestimate than underestimate
  • Total: 8 WW points

Unfortunately I’m not always this “good” when I go to Panera. Those cherry danishes behind the display glass just kill me, and those are 10 points. But today — and at this point I’m taking it one day at a time, if not one meal at a time — I was strong and didn’t indulge.

Do you have any yummy, healthy ideas for eating out at lunch? If so, share!

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2 Responses to “10-Point Lunch Challenge: Panera Bread”

  1. Lara 1 March 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    I just want to say RAH RAH RAH!! congrats on being good so far!

    • Lisa 2 March 2010 at 10:24 am #

      Thanks, gal!

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