Eating to Live on the Outside: Naked Fish

The other day I was thinking, “Do you guys think I’m a vegan?” Not that it would be a bad thing, but, I’m not. I’m a true-blue nutritarian. My diet is vegetable-based; which means I eat plenty of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, and beans, but, I do eat some animal products.

Now, in the beginning I used to eat a lot more animal foods. Just check out these previous Eating to Live on the Outsides: Friday’s, P.F. Chang's, Lonestar Steakhouse, and Sizzler. I’d like to think I’ve evolved because now the only animal I eat is fish.

I don’t eat it all the time, a couple times a month—tops! And when I do, I only eat the fish Dr. Fuhrman’s considers to be low in mercury: salmon, tilapia, sole, flounder, and trout. My favorite fish is Steelhead Trout. Now, thanks to Oceans Alive we can examine these fish further:

See, it’s tricky. Even with the good fish you’ve got to make sure it’s the right kind. So, let’s test ourselves. This week Eating to the Live on the Outside heads to Naked Fish. Obviously this place is a fisherman’s dream, but, is it a nutritarian nightmare? Only one way to find out!

Okay, let’s start with the Starters. Alright, I don’t like shrimp and I’m not into blazing peppers and ham slivers, but, the Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels might work; prepared with tomato laurel broth or white wine and leeks. Yes! I know mussels aren't on Dr. Fuhrman’s list, but Oceans Alive gives them high marks:

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had mussels, so I wouldn’t be too hung up about ordering them. Oh! And I’d probably ask for the tomato broth with the leeks and pass on the wine.

Next up are the Sandwiches. I’m going with the Vegetable Wrap; roasted tomatoes, peppers, onions, mixed greens, tomato lavash bread, with avocado aioli spread. Clearly, the bread is the concession—I can deal with it—although I can’t deal with the side of fries.

Speaking of sides, since I’d be ditching the French fries, I’d ask if I could sub in one of these: Roasted Garlic Red Bliss Potatoes, Sauteed Golden “Maduros” Plantains, Grilled Asparagus, Grilled String Beans, Stir Fry Vegetables, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bananas. The mashed potatoes are cool—provided they aren’t made with any cream or butter—but my first choice is either the asparagus or the string beans. And hey, why not just make a meal out of the sides?

Moving on to the Salads. The Chopped Salad is a good option—although the menu doesn’t say what’s in it—but be sure to nix an undesirables, like croutons and order that dressing on the side or skip it altogether. Now, maybe the Salmon Salad is a nice choice; made with grilled salmon, seasonal greens, red onion, diced orange, and lemon vinaigrette. As along as that salmon isn’t Atlantic Salmon, I’d be sitting pretty.

As for the Grilled Seafood and the Sauteed & Roasted, I’m digging the Tilapia, Mahi Mahi Fillet, and the Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi. The Tilapia is cool, that’s easy, but what about the mahi mahi? Again, it’s not on Dr. Fuhrman’s list. Let’s check back with Oceans Alive:

Yeah, it’d be a good idea to ask the wait staff about the mahi mahi, but in the end, I really wouldn’t have any regret ordering either of these; especially if I were to pair these up with one of those great sides.

In the end, I think Naked Fish is certainly a decent place to eat if you’re looking to have a nutrient-dense meal, but remember this piece of advice from Dr. Fuhrman. Pay attention now:
Choose fish over other animal products, but be aware that the place where it was caught, and the type of fish, matters. Don't accept recreational fish from questionable waters. Farmed fish is safer. Never eat high-mercury-content fish. Don't eat fish more than twice a week, and if you have a family history of hemorrhagic stroke, limit it further to only once a month.
I felt a post like this was long overdue. As a fish eating nutritarian, you got to know what to eat and what to stay away from! But tell me what you think. Check out Naked Fish’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat well! Peace.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Salad Works

Sometimes healthy restaurants smack you right in the face. Earlier this week I was sitting in traffic, and, after I finished banging my fists against the steering wheel. I looked up—and like a message from the beyond—I saw a billboard for Salad Works. A nutritarian’s dream!

Salad Works is along the same lines as Eating to Live on the Outside all-stars Just Salads and Salad Creations. I mean heck, they all have SALAD in their name—they got to be good! But there’s only one way to know for sure. Let’s crack this menu open stat!

Well, pretty much anything on Salad Works’ menu is workable. Sure, some of the salads harbor nasty things like bacon, croutons, and cheese, but, if you nix these things, you’ll be in good shape. So, here are my selections for the “best” choices—tallyho!

As for the Signature Salads, the Garden Salad and the Mandarin Chicken are solid choices; together they include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, carrots, onions, chicken, mandarin oranges, craisins, and chow mein noodles. Alright, the Garden Salad is completely without problems, but in order to make the Mandarin Chicken concession free. You got to de-chicken it and while you’re at it, toss the noodles too. What do you think? Good move?

Now, you’re probably wondering about the dressing. Salad Works has a bunch of them. Here are the ones that caught my eye—yes I’d order them all on the side—Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Vinaigrette Italian. The others are very creamy, and, I don’t do creamy—at all!

Okay, if for some bizarre reason I didn’t feel eating a SALAD at a SALAD JOINT, there’s a couple wraps that look interesting. I could go with either the Oriental Wrap or the Veggie Wrap; combined they’re prepared with a “fresh spring mix”, chicken, mandarin oranges, cucumbers, carrots, oriental sesame dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and your “favorite” dressing. What’s got to go? The chicken—go cross the road! Now, no matter what dressing I ordered, it’s definitely going on the side.

Next up is the Grilled Panini. I’ll pass, there’s nothing worth investigating here. Alright, if you feel like taking a salt hit—can’t imagine why you would—you could go with the Tuscan Bean Minestrone; made with vegetables and white beans. Or, maybe you like the Vegetarian Vegetable, prepared with lots and lots of vegetables! On face value, these soups look cool, but chances are—like all prepared soups—they are salt-heavy. I’d double-check with the wait staff, but why bother. The salads are great!

Yeah, Salad Works is an awesome place for a nutritarian. Now, here’s the really awesome part. There is one practically down the road from my apartment, so very soon I’ll haul my butt over there, eat some delicious nutrient-dense food, and tell you all about it. But, as for right now, its time for you to check out Salad Works’ menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Then, make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat greatly! Peace.

No Trans-Fat: Friendly's Friendlier?

Believe it or not, but its been almost two years since I reviewed Friendly’s for Eating to Live on the Outside and I’ve worked hard to block it from my memory—it’s bad, real bad—here are some lowlights. Proceed with caution:
One minute you’re at home checking out Followhealthlife (shameless plug) and the next you’re at a restaurant with friends—-totally dumbfounded by the menu! It may be Friendly's, bit it's not looking very Fuhrman-friendly! You’re scared. Your initial reaction is, “Oh man! I gotta get out of here. I can already feel myself getting fatter.” Don’t worry, you're not alone. We'll stare down this menu together. Although feel free to curl up into the fetal position if you need to…

…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 cheesy American goodness! But surprisingly, you do have some options…

…Another dish that is certainly worth a try is the Vegetable Fajita Quesadillas. You Eat to Livers know what I mean, you see the word vegetable on a menu and your eyes snap to attention. Now, it's not perfect, but you can work with it. The flour tortillas are a problem, but an acceptable concession if you skip the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese. Then you’re left with baby portabella mushrooms, sautéed onions, and red peppers and green peppers—-I’m a sucker for portabella. Yes, I realize cheese is high on Dr. Fuhrman's list of evil foods.
Eek! Not good, and, I actually go on to recommend ordering a chicken dish. This was WAY before my healthy lifestyle. Now, onto current events, its being reported that Friendly’s is going trans-fat free. More from The Boston Globe:
Friendly Ice Cream Corp., once an iconic New England venue for family restaurant meals heavy on burgers and sundaes, could become the latest restaurant chain to switch over to using trans fat-free oil.

Friendly's, a Wilbraham-based chain of about 500 restaurants, said it expects the change-over to be completed by the fall.

Trans fat has been linked to heart disease in humans and to diabetes in experiments with animals.

Although Friendly's said it has been working on the initiative for over a year, the chain came under fire yesterday from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group that crusades on behalf of such issues as nutrition.
Well, nixing the trans-fat is great, but, what about the cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, ice cream, and other garbage? It’s a start, but I hardly think this move is going to skyrocket Friendly’s out of the Eating to Live on the Outside reject list. Sorry Friendly’s, try again.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Firkin Pub

Eek! We got a Firkin nightmare on our hands this week. As you’ll soon see Firkin Pubs will quickly join the ranks of Eating to Live on the Outside rejects: Hobee's, Carino's, and Huddle House. I’ve said it before, you got to take the good with the bad. So, let’s see if this standard American restaurant has SOMETHING that a nutritarian MIGHT considering eating.

Whoa! This is going to be tough sledding. I’m no nutritionist, but, I’m pretty sure there is NOTHING nutrient-dense about breaded chicken fingers, bacon wrapped scallops, and barbequed beef brisket—EGAD! I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Okay, with a “liberal” eye let’s search this menu. Well, the Vegetable Stir Fry is kind of an option. Obviously the FRY part sucks—frying, a great way to ruin a good thing—if you can get passed the frying, it’s made with mixed vegetables, basmati rice, and sesame teriyaki sauce. HELLO CONCESSIONS! The frying, the white rice, the oil, and the salty sauce—I wouldn’t eat it!

Maybe the Veggie Burger? I guess it’s your standard veggie burger amalgamation; prepared with sautéed mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, and your choice of sides (the best being the grilled vegetables). Even with the grilled veggies, I’m not eating it. Processed meat substitutes aren’t my favorite thing, they’re okay, but I usually pass—what about you?

Alright, if by some complete miscarriage of fate you found yourself in a Firkin Pub, just head for the salads. That’s your best bet. The safest option is the House Salad; made with seasonal vegetables, greens, and your choice of dressing—I’d go with the Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side. Go on. See for yourself, the House Salad is really the ONLY option.

Now, if you were feeling naughty, you might want to give the Greek Salad a whirl; includes mixed greens, feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives, and “Firkin” dressing. Well, like I said, if you were feeling risqué, you might want to drop the cheese, keep the olives, ditch the Firkin dressing, and swap in the Balsamic Vinaigrette. Maybe those salty olives would give you a cheap thrill. Personally, I’ll stick with the House Salad.

Hopefully by now you’ve realized just how much of a train wreck Firkin Pub really is. With that being said, if none of these entice you—which wouldn’t be all that surprising—maybe you could ask for a double side order of grilled vegetables. That’d be a decent option, especially if you pair it up with a little salad. At this point, it’d probably be easier to just walk out the Firkin door!

I’d like to close on a high note—I really would—but Firkin Pub is just another junk food restaurant. It might be fun to watch a football game there, but eating a Firkin meal is gambling with your health, and, I don’t think you have to be a nutrition guru to make that statement.

So, another restaurant bites the dust, but hey! Maybe I’m crazy—believe me, it’s a possibility—maybe Firkin Pub is a fantastic place to eat. You decide! Check out the Firkin menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to In the meantime, eat your veggies! Peace.

Coming to a Menu Near You: Char-Broiled Clone Burgers

This past January the Food and Drug Administration was all set to allow meat from cloned farm animals into supermarkets, claiming, “Extensive evaluation of the available data has not identified any subtle hazards that might indicate food consumption risks in healthy clones of cattle, swine or goats.”

Prior to this ruling the livestock industry maintained a voluntary ban on marketing food from cloned animals. Good idea. Since many consumer groups and members of Congress believe more testing is needed before cloned meat can be deemed as “safe.”

The Center for Food Safety had this comment, "The cloning industry's proposal is simply another attempt to force cloned milk and meat on consumers and the dairy industry by giving the public phony assurances.”

Consumer apprehension—especially in light of the massive Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing recall—could be DOUBLY BAD because the FDA will NOT require mandatory labels for clone-derived food. What ever happened to the consumer's right to know?

And this leads me to my question. IF actually given the choice, would you eat meat from a cloned animal? I ran this query by some of Followhealthlife’s favorite health and nutrition gurus. Here’s what they had to say:
  • Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, co-author of The China Study, said, “I would not eat cloned meat…Because I don't support the gross mechanization of living beings…I rely on empirical evidence to make my decisions and there is no evidence whether cloned meat would be better or worse than regular meat.”
  • Dr. Michael Greger, author of Carbophobia, says, “I wouldn’t eat meat from cloned animals…The welfare of so many farm animals is already so abysmal thanks in part to traditional genetic selection techniques…I don't understand the need to add insult to injury by using biotechnology to stress animals even further.”
  • Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, feels that, “Eating meat that is cloned or not is equivalent to the choice of being shot or hung… All muscle whether it paws with a hoof, flaps a wing or wiggles a fin is made up of animal fat, animal protein and cholesterol, all of which are bad for human health.”
  • Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat For Health and Eat To Live, “Cloned meat is not likely to be unhealthier than meat produced by normal sexual reproduction…Factory farming methods with heavy antibiotic use, chemicals and commercial feed are the larger negatives…The cheeseburger, bacon, potato chips, and fries and ice cream are the real factors to be fearful of, not the cloning itself.”
  • Jeff Novick, MS, RD, Director of Health Education for the National Health Association replied, “Why do people worry about cloned meat, when they should be worrying about meat period…Meat is high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and when cooked is known to produce toxic chemicals, like heterocyclic aromatic amines, that have been linked to cancers…I would recommend people avoid all meat period, not just cloned meat. Then they no longer have to worry. “
  • Dr. Howie Jacobson of FitFam said, “The thought of humans cloning animals to feed our obscene appetite for animal protein disgusts me…We're already acting like the world is this giant candy store…Cloning just takes the objectification and exploitation of fellow sentient creatures to a scary new level.”
Clearly, people on the frontlines of diet and health aren’t in favor of serving up Dolly, but what about my fellow bloggers and journalists. How do they feel about cloned meat? Let’s find out:
  • Jim Foster of Diet-Blog said, “Who benefits from cloned meat…It seems that the more industrialized the food supply becomes the easier it is for unsafe foods to be rapidly disseminated across the supply line.”
  • Julie D. Deardorff of Julie’s Health Club, said “I would never eat cloned meat...I've been a vegetarian for 23 years for health, for ethical and environmental reasons…The state of our food supply thoroughly depresses me.”
  • Henry Abbott of TrueHoop wonders, ““Why do we have to clone? Are we short of good cow genes? Isn't this just about profits and price points?”
  • Sally Squires, leader of The Lean Plate Club, replied, “Would I eat cloned meat? No, although I might try it once…But it's not something that I would seek to buy,”
  • UroStream’s Keagirl answered, “I understand that cloned meat shouldn't be any different than ‘regular’ meat, but something about the whole idea of test-tube raised animals puts me off.”
  • Mike “The Mad Biologist” Feldgarden said, “I don't think it'll be bad for you and unlike genetically modified plants, which can crossbreed with other species, cloned meats aren't going to do anything.”
  • Laura Klein of OrganicAuthority, said, “Absolutely not! Cloning is very experimental and the current studies are inadequate…I feel it is completely unnatural and inhumane for the animal.”
  • Scott Wharton of HealthandMen said, “This is a tough one because I love beef, but do we need more cattle producing more methane gases? So no, I wouldn't eat cloned beef, lamb maybe.”
  • Douglas Heddings of TrueGotham said, “I would be very reluctant to eat cloned meat…The entire meat industry frightens me a bit, from steroids and hormones to now cloning.”
Wow, tough crowd! Hardly anyone is clamoring for Franken-burgers. Okay, what about Followhealthlife readers? Would these veg-heads EVER go for the clone? See for yourself:
  • Cindy Prost, a 22-year old nutritional science student from Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada, said “I would never eat cloned meat…Organic, local, grass raised is the way to go if you choose to consume animal products.”
  • Sara Rostampour, a 24-year old nutrition educator from Minneapolis, Minnesota, says, “I wouldn't eat cloned meat…The more we make animals into commodities, the worse they are typically treated.”
  • Rowland Morin, a 62-year old beach volleyball instructor from Santa Cruz, California, said, “My answer is no…This cloning experiment raises huge red flags. Manufactures want it so they can make even higher profits off their animal products. I don’t want to be their guinea pig.”
  • Heidi J. Will, a 37-year old massage therapist from North Tonawanda, New York, insists, “Cloning seems to be a defiance of natural law and the risk is not worth it…Furthermore, the reputation of the food-production community has not gained my confidence.”
  • Michael Natale a 41-year old owner of a computing company from Cumberland, Rhode Island, answered, “No, I don't trust the companies preparing meat for general consumption as it is…I have to believe there hasn't been an exhaustive, lengthy study done of potentially harmful side effects.”
Granted, Followhealthlife readers aren’t known for their meat-eating, but what about diners at a local food court? Here’s what patrons of the food court in the Bridgewater Commons Mall, Bridgewater, New Jersey had to say:
  • Brian Ramirez, a 32-year old manager at Godiva chocolates from Yonkers, New York, replied, “As long as it tastes the same I don’t see why I wouldn’t it eat.”
  • Steven Torres, a 23-year old assistant manager at Aeropostale from East Windsor, New Jersey, exclaimed “No! It sounds bad. It creeps me out.”
  • Thomas Pace, a 45-year old sales associated from Linden, New Jersey, said, “Yeah, as long as the government says is okay to eat.”
  • Leslie Harrington, a 22 year-old student aid from Clinton, New Jersey, exclaimed, “No that’s disgusting!”
  • Irene Coville, a 41-year old homemaker from Green Brook, New Jersey, said, “No. I can’t imagine why we need to clone meat.”
But in the end—consumer and expert reactions aside—it seems we’re right back where we started. “The question of whether consumers will eat cloned meat is moot,” explains Dr. Henry I. Miller Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, “Since there won't be any labeling to identify meat derived from clones.”

Hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, and now, cloned meat; all part of our brave new world.

Eating to Live on the Outside: Live

Eating to Live on the Outside
breaks for the border—the northern border that is—this week we’re checking out Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s own, Live. I’ve got to thank Followhealthlife reader Adrienne for this. Live looks like a GREAT place for to snag a health-promoting meal.

Live’s menu is packed with good stuff. You could pretty much order anything on the menu—barring the alcohol—and only encounter minimal concessions; like olive oil, salt, or rice. So, with that being said, here are the menu items that really caught my eye.

Okay, starting with the appetizers, I’m digging the Pecan “Tempura” Rolls and the Thai Spring Rolls. Combined they’re made with pecan and sunflower pate, sweet potato “tempura”, mixed veggies, almond sauce, collard greens, and coriander oil. Clearly the oil is a concession and apparently the pecan rolls are made sushi style, meaning they might be made with rice. If so, the rice would be a concession too. Other then these two things, I’m call with both appetizers.

Live has some cool salad options too. What’s really great is you can build your salad. That’s a fantastic way to go, but I’m really feeling The Big Bowl; made with field greens, kale, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, sprouts, seeds, grilled tofu, beans, with your choice of dressing. Personally, I’d order the Creamy Ginger (olive oil, miso, ginger, rice vinegar, and agave) on the side—good idea?

Now, as for the entrees, I see three I really like. First is the Ayurvedic Dish: Winter Warming Pave; made with root vegetables, caramelized tempeh, balsamic reduction, and criminni mushroom gravy. I’m not a huge tempeh guy, but I don’t mind it every once and a while. Next, I’m liking the Macrobiotic Dish: The Rejuvenation Bowl; made with brown rice, a creamy tahini sauce, grilled tempeh, steamed kale, carrots, burdock root, lotus root, and served with brown rice miso soup and house-made kimchee. I’d probably pass on the soup, but the kimchee sounds interesting, and the brown rice would be the concession. Oh! And I also like the Curry Stuffed Mushroom; made with criminni mushrooms, curry pumpkin seed pate, and coriander oil. Well, the oil is the concession here, but, I deal with it.

There are some pretty neat sides too. I could certainly make a meal out of these. I’d order both of these. Corn Tostados; prepared with corn tostados, sunflower seed “refried” beans, salsa Verde, guacamole, and cashew sour cream. The corn tostados are a little bit of a concession, but I’m not too worried about it. But the Tropical Fresh Fruit Salad is an even better choice. It’s a nice collection of mango, kiwi, pineapple, and mint. Pairing these two together would make a decent dish.

Live also has some interesting juice options to choose from. Here’s the two I liked. The Green Kick; made with pear, kale, ginger, dandelion, lemon, and hemp protein. Sounds cool to me! I actually eat dandelion greens, so this is right up my alley. The juice that caught my eye is the Liquid Plumber—I love the name—it includes kale, cucumber, celery, dandelion, lemon, and milk thistle. I’m telling you, blended greens are way underrated—good stuff!

Well, I got to say. Nice pick Adrienne! Live is certainly a wonderful place for a nutritarian to grab a bite to eat—thanks for the heads up! But, who cares what I think? I’m just some dopey blogger. It’s your turn. Check out Live’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or a send an email to Until then, eat greatly! Peace.