Friday, October 14, 2011

A Tough Crowd

Mark and I went to eat at a new "fast food" restaurant that opened up right across the street from Girya in Palo Alto called "Lyfe" Here's what Lyfe Kitchen's facebook page says about their concept:

LYFE Kitchen is a transformational, socially-responsible “lyfestyle” brand whose acronym stands for for Love Your Food Everyday. Follow us at @LYFEKitchen!

There really is alot more information about how Lyfe started, but I'm not a reporter so I invite you to gather up more info by google-ing them if you are interested in more details. Basically I became interested because Chef Art Smith is one of the co-creators.

Being a "foodie" myself, I am familiar with who Art Smith is and what has happened to him in the past couple of years. First of all Art was Oprah Winfrey's Chef, enough said. But what's more amazing than working for Oprah, much more amazing, is that Art has lost over 100lbs himself!

I've seen Art on numerous Cooking Shows most recently on "Top Chef Masters" a couple of years ago before he lost weight. Last year he returned to the Top Chef show as a judge for one of the challenges, most notable half the size as the year before. Of course I knew how he did it....he started eating right! No mystery. Good God if a professional Chef can't figure out how to eat right then who can?

The big trend everybody is starting to focus on about good health and eating is a "plant based" diet. I figured this out years ago and 100% credit it with the success of my own weightloss and lifestyle change. I consider my own diet to be plant based, but that doesn't mean plants only! I've written for years how I compose a meal based on vegetable first, protein second, fat, and then carbs. Sure I eat meat, alot of meat but I also eat more veggies than most vegetarians. And not to say that I don't have a "carb" meal without any veg like oats, or yogurt, but that's only one meal out of four daily meals.

Back to Lyfe Kitchen.....

I stopped by Lyfe Kitchen earlier in the morning to pick up a menu so I could decide ahead of time knowing Mark and I would come back after our training that afternoon. As usual, nothing on the menu excited me or impressed me enough to ever think about changing it out for any of my own homemade meals or foods....I'm a tough crowd! There wasn't anything on the menu I couldn't make better, bigger, less calories, more nutritous and cheaper myself....but I'm lucky that way. If Lyfe's philosophy is to "Love Your Food Everyday", well I already do!

I ordered barramundi with edamame, mushrooms and spinach in some kind of broth. Basically fish was OK. (I should of ordered the fish tacos that Mark had) When I was leaving the restaurant one of the Servers asked me
about my experience. I hesitated, but prefaced my comments with the fact that I had high standards.

I'm not a fan of edamame, in fact I don't care for it at all. It's a "non" flavor, they're soybeans and I consider it a carb....there are many other carbs I would chose over edamame. But I always try and choose something I would never cook at home. I never cook fish, and I've explained why in many past blogposts, so that's what I based my decision on.

Here's what I shared with the Server.....

The fish was just OK, the broth was actually good but not enough of it...its just broth for God's sake give me a little more! I think there was a couple of leaves of spinach, a decent amount of mushrooms and way to much edamame, but still only about 1/3 c I would still didn't eat it all. She told me I could ask for the adjustments next time and the kitchen would accommodate my requests. Normally I would "custom" order had known what to expect, but I won't be back need.

What I didn't tell her was how I thought the restaurant was way overstaffed, but I do recognize it was opening day and they wanted to make sure the customers were taken care of...but "too many cooks in the kitchen" (no pun intended) made the service confusing. They had one counter for credit and debit card payment and one counter for cash...really? Did this make it faster? Not in my opinion.

And I didn't find it to be "fast food" at all. In fact the
only reason why I didn't order something else or have my food adjusted is because I didn't want to wait anymore, I was HUNGRY!

Although there is no need for me to ever go back I can see the value for other people not in my situation. I guess some of the foods are better choices, especially the vegetarian and vegan choices, but in my opinion you could walk two blocks to Whole Foods and get just as many choices, faster food and cheaper! Yep, Whole Foods would be less expensive!

Mark and I spent $28 bucks! $12 per main dish and $2 per drink (I had tea, Mark had a cooler), and we were still hungry when we left.... We both grabbed one of the cookies I keep in the fridge at Girya for the ride home!

On a positive note....I had tons of fun training clubbells alongside my favorite trainer and sweetie!


Anne said...

did some post-pull up clubbell work at the track yesterday ... SO awesome!

Roland said...

My wife and I love to try places like that in the hopes that they will be good... They rarely are as good as I'd hoped, and their version of healthy rarely jives with mine.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I traded one of my seven weekly
Bikrams practices for an additional clubbell workout on Thurs...need a day off from yoga...lovin' the extra training with Mark!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I know, I know... I saw one of the owners of Lyfe sitting near us ordering and testing some of the meals and I thought to myself if he would really chose to eat here himself?

I mean if a person has such high standards for "eating clean", organic, vegan, etc., would they be eating out? I don't, and don't want to.

Baked goodies, and ice cream are things I don't make (on purpose) and I don't have a problem going to a bakery or ice cream parlor to get some...(do we still use that term? Ice cream parlor? lol)

Maribel said...

When I eat out I want to eat junk. Eating healthy is what I do regularly (mostly) so when I do eat out, it's not for's usually on a cheat day and I want something "bad".

I do see how this could be good for people who just don't cook. I know so many people who don't like or want to cook, so this could be a good option...though, kind of line with a blog post you had in the past about abundance in food everywhere, this now becomes another option.

Tracy Reifkind said...


You make a great point about eating out when you don't want healthy!

I'll add ordering a pizza every once in a while to my bakery and ice cream shop exceptions!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they need to hire Gordon Ramsey. lol



Tracy Reifkind said...


Gordon Ramsey? I'd eat anything Gordon Ramsey cooked! Thank God I never have to work with him...unless he wants to learn how to swing, lol!

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