Restaurant ordering can sometimes be tough when you’re trying to ‘eat better’ or just eat well. It can feel overwhelming or frustrating and nine times out of ten, you end up asking for a salad, which can become repetitive or boring or doesn’t always fill you up.
Here are a few foolproof questions you can ask yourself or your server to ensure you’re ordering as healthy as possible when you go to a restaurant:
- What has the most vegetables? Perhaps there’s a vegetarian entrée, hearty soup or some nice side dishes that, when ordered together, would make a filling meal. If you don’t see many vegetable options, look at the vegetables that accompany other dishes and ask the server if it’s possible to order them a la carte.
- What has the fewest ingredients and is therefore easiest to digest? The more complicated the food, the more your body will have to work to process it. Especially if you are trying to heal your gut, keep it simple. Choose a dish with a max of 5 ingredients.
- What is freshest? Fresh ingredients have more nutrients than older ingredients, according to the National Institute of Health.  Know what’s in season in your area. (You can find the New York produce growing season here, for example.) Then, put on your best Carrie Brownstein face, and ask your server to ask the kitchen what’s local and come in most recently. (Carrie Brownstein is one of the stars of the television show, Portlandia, which pokes fun at people who do this. Whatevs. It’s for your health and a learning opportunity for your server.)
 “Foods-fresh vs. frozen or canned.” National Institute of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. 8/29/2013.