Disease Proof

Eating to Live on the Outside: Time to Recap

Now you might not have realized it but Eating to Live on the Outside is into it’s eighth month—that’s seven months longer than any relationship ever I’ve been in. During these eight months we’ve covered a lot of ground and put many standard American restaurants on notice.

So I figured this is a good time to look back at all we’ve done—in case you missed anything along the way. And for our new readers, well, consider this a good time to get caught up. Okay, so here you go, every post dating back to this past May in the order that they were published. Dig in:
"The Friday’s menu is filled with good looking dishes, but most of them aren’t going to compute with Eat to Live. With every dish you’re probably going to have to make some concessions, but don’t fret, even Dr. Fuhrman acknowledges that there are adjustments to be made when eating away from the home."

"You might be tempted by the Spinach salad. What could be more healthy than that? But check out what comes with it: "hickory smoked bacon pieces, tomatoes, shredded Parmesan cheese, Bleu cheese crumbles and diced, crispy-fried chicken. Tossed in a delicious honey mustard dressing and served with toasted garlic bread." That leaves you with a bowl of spinach and tomatoes--or the the vast majority of your calories from those things up at the top of Dr. Fuhrman's pyramid that are best eaten only "rarely.""

"Burrito bol with cilantro-lime rice, vegetarian black beans, and guacamole or fajita-style with sautéed vegetables, black beans, and guacamole. I could eat that, or a salad. The vegetarian salad comes with sautéed peppers, onions, vegetarian black beans, and guacamole. You can get fresh tomatoes as an extra. They even say they're happy to customize any dish as you wish, so I imagine you could get more fresh veggies piled on top. Think they have actual avocado back in that kitchen? That would be especially good."

P.F. Chang's
"The Ginger Chicken and Broccoli really caught my eye. Check out the picture, there’s a mound of broccoli there, and broccoli is a real nutritional heavy weight. I like the Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Steamed with Ginger too. Steaming is an oil-free way to cook and you get a nice dose of green vegetables with the bok choy and the asparagus. If you’re looking for greens Buddha’s Feast Steamed is also a solid choice."

Outback Steakhouse
"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."

Baja Fresh
"Hmm what to order? The majority of the dishes include some sort of tortilla and unless you go for a soup or salad, this is a concession you’re going to have to make. I like the Grilled Veggie Burrito a lot, there’s tons of good stuff in it: grilled peppers, Pico de Gallo, chilies, onions, black or pinto beans, and lettuce. I bet there’s plenty of nutrients in all that. It also comes with sour cream and a couple cheeses, I’d ditch those."

"Okay, time to flex my powers of guess-timation. This week I’ll being taking a look at the ironically named Friendly’s menu. After a few minutes of perusing the menu sweat actually began to bead up on my forehead. This restaurant is a tough sell for an Eat to Liver—-just lots of good-old fried goo smothered with cheesey American goodness! But surprisingly, you do have some options."

Lonestar Steakhouse
"Like usual my eyes gravitate towards the salad section of the menu; it’s like the Alamo, a safe haven in the middle of hostile territory. The Cobb Salad has some promise, but I’m making a couple alterations—goodbye cheese and adios bacon! Now, I can deal with the chicken and egg, I only eat meat once a week anyway, so I don’t really mind this concession. Overall my favorite thing about this dish is the avocado. I have bit of an avocado fetish."

"The first part of Sizzler’s menu is loaded with burgers and sandwiches, I almost skipped it (since I don’t eat red meat), but the Grilled Chicken Club caught my eye; although it isn’t without its flaws. Now your level of concessions may vary, but as for me, I’m ditching the bacon, Swiss cheese, and mayonnaise. I’d probably swap the mayo for mustard."

"If you are in the mood for chicken, the Rosemary Grilled Chicken and the Chicken Stir Fry are other intriguing options. Both dishes boast a nice amount of veggies, but I’m a little leery about the rosemary demi sauce and Tangy Asian sauce. I wonder if they are oil or cream based."

The Office
"As I’ve admitted numerous times I love avocado (I have a three 'cado a week habit), so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m into the Turkey & Bacon Wrap. The sandwiched consists of roasted turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and avocado mayonnaise, all on warm flat bread. Obviously the bacon is out the window—look, pigs do fly! Now I’m torn, as El Presidente of The Avocado Fan Club I’m curious about the avocado mayonnaise, but my inner Eat to Live is telling me to veto it. What would you do?"

California Pizza Kitchen
"Generally I’m not much of a soup guy, but the Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup could change my mind. It’s pretty basic and cheese-less, so I don’t think you’d be making a huge concession by ordering it. Besides, it’s made with some really savory ingredients: split peas, barley, carrots, onions, herbs, and chopped scallions. I think it could be a nice alternative for someone with dairy sensitivity; myself included."

Ground Round
"The Ground Round also has a couple of sandwich wraps that I’d feel comfortable ordering. I really like the Roasted Vegetable Wrap (given the amount of meat on this menu the word vegetable is a godsend in itself), its ingredients include roasted red peppers, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomato pesto mayonnaise. Sounds pretty interesting right? Other than the flour tortilla the only thing that really gives me pause is the mayonnaise, but I really like sun-dried tomatoes and pesto, so I would be willing to make this concession and keep it."

Just Salads
"The Immunity Bowl looks cool too. It’s made with Mesclun, wild salmon, diced roasted butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds. Actually this one sounds really tasty. I’m digging the pomegranate seeds (we all know how healthy pomegranates are) and the butternut squash, not to mention the salmon. If I were to stick with the salmon I’d make sure I didn’t eat fish again for a while. Even though salmon isn’t overly contaminated, I’d rather be safe than sorry."

Go Raw Café
"For starters I like the aforementioned Kale Salad, I like it more because there are avocados in it. In addition to the bestest fruit on the planet this salad also includes red bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, and is served with buckwheat bread. Buckwheat bread? Sounds interesting. You do have the option of house dressing with this salad, which I’m not totally against, I’d would just go easy on how much I used, but if you’re totally against oily dressing the Go Raw Café gives you the option of cilantro instead. Pretty cool hunh?"

"After much consternation here’s what I’d order if I found myself staring down the barrel of a gun. Oops! I mean thumbing through the menu at Houlihan’s. No surprise here, a nice safe option might be to order a basic salad or a “Tossed Simple Greens” as the menu proclaims. I’m not sure what simple greens are maybe greens that scored poorly on their SATs, but in the world of Eat to Live, any green is good. I’d probably top these “greens” with a few drops of the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. Your other options are cheese and cream based. Egad!"

Paru's Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
"Okay the names of the dishes are tough to decipher, looks like someone blew up a scramble board (Paru’s glossary should help), but they still look pretty darn appetizing. Being that this place is already vegetarian, and in some cases vegan, I don’t think an Eat to Liver is going to have a hard time choosing a healthful meal. Personally, I the only things I would outright avoid are the few dairy selections and foods prepared with hot spices. That’s double trouble for me."

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
"So if I were really hard up for breakfast, and in the mood for animal, I’d probably order a basic omelet. Perkin’s gives you the option to create your own omelet anyway, so I don’t think you’ll get a dirty look from the waitress. I’d probably order the omelet prepared with mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, celery, and green peppers—just trying to get some phytonutrients! Oh, and I’d ask to have it cooked with as little oil as possible."

Carrabba's Italian Grill
"After a few seconds of scanning the menu you’ll notice it’s primed with cheese, butter, olive oil, and prosciutto—Italian bacon! Damn you bacon! Is there no escaping your greasy stranglehold? Sorry, I had a moment. I’m better now, let’s continue. Personally I’m going to be especially vigilant about the cheese, butter, and obviously the prosciutto, a.k.a. bacon. I’m more lenient about the olive oil, but I’ll do my best to limit my exposure to it."

"Now here’s one of Denny’s surprising redeeming qualities. If you check out the menu heading “Fit Fare” you’ll see they give you some nutritional information; carbohydrates, fat, calories, and fiber. I didn’t expect to see this from such a vilified restaurant. So, if you’re an egg-eating Eat to Liver, you might consider ordering the Veggie Omelette. “Might” is the important word here because, again, who knows what that griddle looks like, and it’s not exactly loaded with a lot of veggies any way; only mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. But if you do order it, at least you’ll know what’s in it: 38 g Carbohydrates, 332 Calories, 8g Fat, and 5g Fiber."

Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille
"I’m going to start off easy—well easier—with the salads. At a glance the Tossed Green Salad looks like the best option (I say that loosely). It comes with tossed greens, pico de gallo, sliced olives, cheese, garlic croutons, and lime cilantro vinaigrette. Clearly the cheese and garlic croutons are getting the heave-ho, going easy on or ditching the vinaigrette is a good idea, the greens are cool, and I’m keeping the olives and the pico de gallo. In case you don’t know what pico de gallo is, check out this Wikipedia link; you’ll find it to be very veggie-friendly."

Lake Side Café
"Lake Side Café also offers up a couple interesting salads as well. Naturally they’ve got a Simple House salad that’s prepared with lettuce, carrot, peppers, tomato, onion, and sesame seeds—pretty cool right? But the one I really like is the Greek Islands. It’s not very fancy, but I’m a sucker for balsamic vinegar. In addition to the balsamic it comes with red onions, olives, peppers, tomato, cucumber, olive oil, and feta cheese. Now, I’m not sure if you can veganize the feta, if you can that’s great, but I take no chances with dairy so it’s gone. I’d also ditch the olive oil in this case because balsamic vinegar is all I need to top off a salad. It’s got more than enough flavor for me."

"Now even though these fish sound tasty, what really caught my eye were the sides that come along with them. Unlike many of American restaurants, Luby’s actually lets you pick the sides that accompany your dish, this way you’re not at the mercy of the chef. Trust me, this is a good thing. Luby’s sides, for the most part, are pretty health conscious. Here are the ones I’d order: broccoli, carrots, cabbage, corn, spinach, pinto beans, pineapple, fresh green beans, black-eyed peas, mixed field greens, mixed melons, and marinated cucumbers. Compared to the sides of many standard American restaurants, Luby’s offerings kick butt!"

Boston Market
"At first glance there are other sides on the menu that grabbed my attention, but if you read the fine print, they’ve got problems—especially for me! Take the Sweet Corn and Greens Beans for example, I love them both, but they’re both seasoned in a garlic butter sauce, and butter is a major no-no! And the sides that aren’t prepared with butter have cream in them, this doesn’t bode well either. So despite the vast offerings, and Eat to Liver would find this list pretty limiting."

Ruby Tuesday
"Finally, and we’ve seen this come up before, Ruby Tuesday has a decent selection of side dishes. So I think another great option would be to construct a meal out of the healthier sides they have available. For example, the premium baby greens, sautéed Portobello mushroom slices, fresh steamed broccoli, and plain baked potato all look good—just think of all the phytonutrients in the broccoli and baby greens. The creamy mashed cauliflower also caught my eye, but before I’d order it, I’d want to ask the waiter if there’s really cream in it. If so, that would certainly ruin a good thing."

Tony Roma's
"Okay, back to the menu. I like the Chicken Club Salad and Tony’s Asian Salad, but both need significant tweaking. For the Chicken Club Salad I’m ditching the smoked ham, bacon, cheddar cheese, and croutons. I’ll also pass on the egg. I’m okay with the chicken, especially since after you remove all that stuff, you’re really not left with much. Now, for Tony’s Asian Salad I’m chucking the fried won-ton noodles, and I’ll probably top that with salmon—I’m a sucker for seafood! And of course, I’m going very easy on the dressing."

Bonefish Grill
"Let’s start off easy. I wonder what lurks under Soups and Salads—cool, check out the Bonefish House salad! It’s prepared with chopped greens, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, hearts of palm, pine nuts, and citrus herb vinaigrette—sounds pretty tasty to me. And since there’s no fish, you don’t have to worry about chemical contamination. Olives are oily and salty, but all in all, not bad. The Florida Cobb Salad is looking good too, but I’d probably make a couple alterations. For starters, the blue cheese is out—no dairy for me! And second, while I don’t mind occasionally eating chicken, spicy anything is a problem for me, so adios jerk chicken! The great thing about this salad is it comes with avocado, and as many of you know, I’m a total avocado mark!"

The French Laundry
"Now pour le final dish that caught my eye—did I just speak French again? Sacre bleu! I’ve never heard of Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms before, but I really like mushrooms and I’m willing to taste test almost anything, so what the heck! The mushrooms come with French Laundry garden heirloom carrots, Tokyo turnips, spring garlic, and “Jus de Legumes Rotis.” Which from my best estimation is juice from Rotis beans, but I could be wrong. Since this dish is entirely veggies, there’s got to be some phytonutrients in there. I’d ask the wait-staff for confirmation on the Rotis juice because as it stands right now I don’t see myself having to make any concessions—which is definitely a good thing! You won’t find that Denny’s."

"Fazoli's? Actually, this place should be called Faux-zoli’s because the menu is loaded with faux-talian food. Yup, you guessed it, loads of cheese, meat, and rich sauces. Yum! Get ready for a heaping helping of standard American food—or should I say—standard American “Italian” food."

Don Pablo's
"Now I want everyone to know I tried really hard to come up with some more menu selections, but as I mentioned earlier, Don Pablo’s menu is no joke. Sure, it’s better than The Desert Moon, but it’s hardly a picnic. Now I could have opted for a couple of the chicken-based dishes, but after months of doing this I find myself less and less drawn to chicken. This shouldn’t be a shocker to regular DiseaseProof readers because as I’ve admitted, the older I get the less I desire meat. I’m sure a lot of you can relate."

"Can I be honest for a second? I’ve never had Ethiopian food, and before I discovered Mesbo, I wouldn’t have had much to say about it. How lucky am I that Mesbo is only about an hour away from where I live? I think a visit is in order. I’ll keep you posted—that was a blogging pun in case you missed it. In the meantime if you have any Ethiopian cuisine stories, please let me know, and maybe I’ll blog about it."

Angelica Kitchen
"For starters, I like the Thai Mee Up—go ahead, get your giggles out. Raw fanatics will really like this one because according to the menu it’s all raw. Not to mention there’s a lot of good stuff in it too. Things like delicate strands of daikon radish, butternut squash, carrots, Thai Tahini sauce, and garlic-lemon marinated kale. Can you say phytonutrients? I can."

Happy Buddha
"A couple salads also caught my eye. The Papaya Salad includes shredded green papaya, peanuts, basil, and lime dressing. And the Watercress Salad is made with watercress, tomatoes, onions, and vinaigrette dressing. Now, I guess to play it safe I could order the dressing on the side and limit the amount I consume, but all those phytonutrients extinguish my worries about a little salad dressing. Also, I don’t eat out very often, so it’ll take more than some vegetable oil to make me uptight."

Sacred Chow
"Scared Chow has a lot of tapas options. So many that it looks like they actually encourage you to make a meal out of them. Three for twelve bucks is a pretty good deal if you ask me. So if I had to pick three, what would I order? Okay, first I’m going with the Dijon Marinated Raw Kale. As Dr. Fuhrman’s blogger, I think he would personally strangle me if I didn’t pick the kale—so that one’s a keeper. Next I’m going with the Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms with Toasted Sunflower Seeds. I like mushrooms and I like sunflower seeds, so I’m going out on a limb here, but I think this combination will be nothing but good times."

Alive Vegetarian Restaurant
"Soup is one of those foods that often goes overlooked in these series. Not due to any personal biases on my part, its just most menus don’t really have a lot of soups. Well, Alive offers four, and they all look pretty good. Two in particular caught my eye. Ever heard of astragulus? Me neither. But I’d be willing to try it. So I’d definitely check out the Astragulus Miso Yam Soup. It’s made with astragulus, miso, yam, seaweed, fresh vegetables, and shitake mushrooms. Sounds kind of interesting, right? The Seaweed Shitake Mushroom Soup also looks pretty cool. It’s prepared with wakame, sea palm, Atlantic dulse, and Shitake mushrooms. I hope you like Shitakes, they’re everywhere."
And let’s not forget the Eating to Live on the Outside extras:
Sara Eats to Live on the Outside
“Now, Sara and her husband are quite the travelers. Check this out. She also told me how the two of them managed to Eat to Live during a recent square dancing weekend at the Nevele Grand Resort & Country Club in the Catskill Mountains.”

Lost in Translation: The French Laundry
How’d I discover my lingual shortcomings? Well actually, I didn’t, and I probably never “would have because foreign languages aren’t exactly my strong suit. Put it to you this way, I’m full-blooded Italian, most of my family speaks fluent Italian, and in fact my mother was born in Italy, but I barely managed to eek by with a B- in Italian I & II. Did I mention my mother did all my homework too? So I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I received this email from Amy.”

Dr. Fuhrman: Eating to Live on the Outside
“Choose restaurants that have healthful options, and how the places that will cater to your needs. When possible, speak to the manager or chef in advance. When traveling, look for restaurants that have salad bars. This is not an all-or-nothing plan. Every person exposed to these ideas can improve over his or her current diet. People have a tendency to like best the foods to which they have become accustomed to. So, keep in mind that eventually you will lose the desire for some of the unhealthful foods you are eating now and you will enjoy the pleasures of healthy, natural foods more. (From Eat to Live.)”

Eating to Live on the Outside: Vegas Style
“Because last week I hit the strip, the Las Vegas Strip that is. When I wasn't beating my bank account into submission, I sat down for a bite to eat at a couple Eating to Live on the Outside’s favorite restaurants, P.F. Chang’s and The California Pizza Kitchen.”

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