Eating to Live on the Outside: Outback Steakhouse

Okay another work week in the books. It's Friday and you know what that means? Time to take a look at "Eating to Live on the Outside." If you've been reading DiseaseProof over the past month you know once a week we peruse the menu of a popular restaurant and see what an "Eat to Liver" might order. Sound crazy?

Well it's not. Sure, it's best to prepare nutritious meals at home and avoid the risk of restaurants all together. But we all live in the real world (at least I hope so) and sooner or later you'll find yourself seated at a not-so Fuhrman-friendly dining establishment. Then what do you do?

That's why we started this feature, to help. We've read Eat to Live and how we'll tell you what we would eat, if we found ourselves in various restaurants. An important thing to remember is this isn't a perfect science. In most cases it's impossible to find a 100% Fuhrman-friendly selection, and I'm not a doctor anyway. Rather think of this as damage control because you're going to have to make some concessions.

Over the past month we've looked at Friday's, IHOP, Chipotle, and P.F. Chang's. This week we're going down-under, into the Outback...steakhouse. "Too right mate! Let's see what we can find."

The fact that the Outback is a steakhouse should have alerted you to the need for concessions.

The menu item to jump at me was the Brisbane Caesar Salad. Salad is always seems to be a great choice, if you've got veggies, in particular green vegetables you're good. The Brisbane also comes with your choice of meat, either grilled chicken, shrimp, or an "Aussie-sized chicken breast" (I assume that means bigger). I might get the grilled chicken, the shrimp might be okay too for a special occasion.

Further down on the menu are "Outback Grillers," there's some promise here. If you decide to order the Chicken Griller it'll come on a bed of seasoned rice, grilled vegetables, and pineapple. You also get a salad with it too. Grilling isn't the healthiest cooking technique, but those are actual vegetables with healthy phytochemicals, and the pineapple is cool too, and best of all you get a salad. Skip the dressing and you're sure get a nutrient dense mound of greens.

Now if you're feeling fishy, the selections under the menu heading "Botany Bay Catches" are very intriguing. You get a side of fresh steamed veggies with the Atlantic Salmon and the Botany Bay Fish O' The Day, very encouraging. And neither dish is prepared too unhealthfully. You might want to stay away from the Boomerang Shrimp, the words "battered" and "breaded" are red flags. I'd also consider the Hearts of Gold Fresh Catch: You get Bronzed fresh filet, sautéed artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and green onions. Although you might want to ditch the lemon Alfredo sauce.

Here's another option to consider. Instead of modifying one of the main dishes, try ordering a combination of the healthier sides. You can choose from fresh steamed veggies, fresh steamed broccoli, grilled onions, sautéed shrooms (mushrooms), or a House or Caesar salad. If you were to order half a plate of broccoli, half a plate of veggies, and a House salad with none or limited dressing, you'll have survived you're Outback adventure fairly well.

And as always we want to hear about how you handle eating away from home. What would you do different? Check out the Outback Steakhouse menu and email us at or leave a comment. How do you Eat to Live on the outside?

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
anet - June 10, 2006 3:28 AM

I love these ideas on the Outback. Maybe I can join friends there now.

Sam - June 10, 2006 3:23 PM

Steakhouses can sometimes be the best places even for vegans. They like to put some effort into the quality and presentation of all dishes, not just the main (meat-centered) courses. You've mentioned exactly my approach to these places: (1) Search for the biggest salad and order sans meat/cheese with dressing on the side and (2) build a plate out of sides. One thing about the sides is to make sure to ask how they are prepared. If it isn't indicated in the description, then request your preference specifically. I don't care to receive sides prepared in butter or lots of oil.

Leanne - June 12, 2006 7:17 AM

But what about those of us who Eat To Live but are vegan? Or vegetarian? That where life gets *really* tricky!

All too often I find myself with greasy white pasta in a tomato sauce, or I find myself paying $20 for a pile of limp lettuce.

It can be really hard to eat out and remain healthy on the Eat To Live plan.

My solution? I'm busy convincing all my friends of the benefits of Fuhrman-izing their lives, and downsizing their waistlines! :-) And it's working!

John C. - June 13, 2006 2:37 PM

I usually get the following at Outback:

From side menu

Naked baked sweet potato or reg potato

Steamed vegetables or Steamed broccoli or both

Side salad -no cheese, no croutons (dressing on side)

John C.

Michael - June 13, 2006 2:56 PM

Hey John C. Did you use to post on the Vegsource website on the McDougall board?

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