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Fertility Friendly Menus

by Meghan McMillin MS, RD, LDN

Meeting up with girlfriends for brunch after yoga class or planning a date night after acupuncture? Worried that you can’t follow fertility-friendly diet recommendations when eating out? Well set your mind at ease, because we’ve taken the work out of it for you! Did you know that located within just a short distance from our Chicago office are several restaurants that feature some pretty amazing looking fertility-friendly dishes?!

These menu items boast local and/or organic products, lean, clean protein, phytonutrient-rich vegetables, high-fiber carbohydrates and good, healthy fats. It is important to keep in mind however that eating out – no matter how healthy the choices we make are – will almost always brings extra calories and that when trying to eat healthy it’s best to cook as much as you can for yourself. That being said, everyone likes to eat out or has to eat out for work, so this guide can help!

If you’re in the mood for all-American cuisine, stop by Farmhouse located at 228 W. Chicago Ave where they describe themselves as ” a farm to tavern concept with a local seasonal focus on craft beer, food and liquor”. Their lunch and dinner menus both feature a grass-fed, pasture raised burger which can often be difficult to find on menus. Sub their roasted seasonal vegetables for the french fries and you’ve got yourself a fantastic fertility meal!

Looking for a place to grab some breakfast? Check out Brunch located at 644 N. Orleans which features many local and organic ingredients including cage-free eggs. Choose the make your own omelet option to load up on fertility-smart nutrients by adding spinach, avocado and broccoli. Thinking lunch instead? Their menu features an amazing looking cranberry pumpkin-seed kale salad that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals!

Another fertility friendly breakfast spot in the area is Beatrix at 519 N. Clark (they also have a location in the Streeterville neighborhood). Their breakfast menu features an amazing sounding dish called quinoa cakes with poached eggs that includes a tomato basil sauce and fresh herbs. On their brunch menu look for the three grain arugula salad with chicken that features fertility-friendly grains such as freekah, millet and quinoa. Additionally, they offer several recipes of anti-oxidant rich, fresh squeezed juices!

In the mood for seafood? Head on over to GT Fish & Oyster Bar at 531 N. Wells. Their menu boasts fresh oysters on the half shell which are low in mercury and rich in iron, magnesium and zinc – essential for when you are trying to conceive! Other smart menu options include their five grain salad or shrimp bruschetta.

Tapas is also a great option for finding fertility-friendly menu items. There are two great tapas restaurants nearby including Cafe Iberico, which is literally across the street from us at 737 N. LaSalle and Nacional 27 located at 325 W. Huron. The key to doing tapas right is to choose plenty of vegetable dishes, select low-mercury fish and seafood and avoid any fried items! At Cafe Iberico look for the aceitunas alinadas which are marinated Spanish olives, the ambos al ajillo featuring shrimp with olive oil and garlic or the grilled tilapia served with white beans and rapini called Tilapia a la Plancha con Alubias y Grelos. If heading over to Nacional 27 try the shrimp and scallop ceviche with avocado, the jicama salad, or the grilled salmon with salsa verde.

So, the next time you are at Pulling Down the Moon for a class or treatment, be sure to check some of these places out for breakfast, lunch or dinner! You can be sure that you can find something both delicious and fertility-friendly to eat. Stay tuned for another upcoming post that widens our search for fertility-friendly menus throughout the city!