Eating Out…

One of the discussions we have most often with those who are new to this nutrition plan is centered on the challenge of eating out. The two books we are using for education, reference and recipes, Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD and The Engine 2 Diet, by Rip Esselstyn, are indispensable resources for how to make this lifestyle work in a practical manner. The websites for both of these men also have a wealth of advice. We’ve successfully used many suggestions out of their experiences and won’t try to reiterate here.

We are sending lunches from home quite often. However, I did think it might be useful to share which restaurants have items on their menus which are “Esselstyn-safe”. My three current favorites are:

Kyoto Sushi: Vegetarian Sushi (though they do not yet have brown rice, we’re hopeful), Miso Soup, Edamame. Their green tea is lovely, too.

The Smythe House: Veggie Delight Salad (minus cheese) and Baked Potato (minus all but the fresh chives). This is the best salad I’ve eaten out in a long time…very fresh and a great combination of vegetables. Note: The scoop of guacamole is legal with E2, but not for heart patients.

Duncan Regional Hospital, Atrium Cafe: I know what you’re thinking, but our young Chef is really outstanding and has produced some dishes which are at the top of our list. So, check out the Re:Fresh food station. They always include E-safe items. and monthly menus are posted on their website. Additionally, the Director of Food Services, Jimmy Fetters, has priced the vegetarian and vegan items below the rest of the menu to encourage diners to try these new plates!

Do support our local merchants and feel free to share any other local restaurants you are frequenting which have approved foods!

Let’s Talk Salad

Salad is the answer to so many questions. Pie is the answer to many of the questions which cannot be answered with Salad.


Loving your Salad will come with time invested in this lifestyle. And it won’t take as long as you think. The Esselstyn men know this and teach it in their respective books. What is impossible to convey to the newcomer is just how drastically your tastes will change. So hang in there and eat your Salad. Lots of it.

Some women have told me they are not losing weight, even though they are not “cheating”. What I have noticed in my own experience is exactly what Mrs. Ann Crile Esselstyn has said. If you are not losing weight, you are probably indulging in too many carbs. Simply bump up your intake of vegetables. Eat them first. I think the tendency, particularly in that first adjustment phase, is to compensate the loss of meat with carbs. My personal recommendation is to prepare your plate with 3/4 vegetables and 1/4 carbs. See, the answer is… Salad.

Another question is that of cost. Some have been disappointed to see their food bill go up. Take inventory. You are likely purchasing too many ready-made products. Now personally, I do not buy what I will refer to as “substitute products”… Generally tofu pretending to be something else. If you must have a hot dog, then make that tofu dog a once a month treat. These types of foods are expensive. I recommend for daily meals you simply purchase greens or grains you’ve never tried. It’s an adventure and far less expensive. Once again, the answer is… Salad.

A big concern for many of us is the issue of time. Friends and patients from many different walks of life have expressed the difficulty of keeping within the parameters of the diet amid their busy schedules. This has certainly been true in our home. I find that three things help us immensely. The first is keeping lots of raw vegetables shredded in separate containers in the refrigerator. They can be easily tossed together to play a major part in meals at home or away. The second is that I try to keep an item high in protein with those. Thirdly, I keep a bottle of the 321 Dressing going at all times.  Answer to question #3? Yes, that’s right…Salad.

So, be creative with your Salad. Set yourself up for success by thinking ahead. You got involved in this because you started thinking about what you were eating.

My Favorite Salad

(The Salad currently being exploited as my header is a variation of this Salad)

Mache and Spinach

Red Quinoa, prepared according to package directions

Shredded Cabbage

Shredded Carrot

Shredded Beets

English Peas (I keep frozen peas on hand)

Campari Tomato

Fresh, Steamed Green Beans

321 Dressing

You know how this works. Arrange the vegetables beautifully, with respect for their amazing colors. Sprinkle on a bit of 321 Dressing, and dig in!