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Fertility Foods and the Happy Places We Find Them

By on December 21, 2011

“Mom? If you didn’t feed me this food when I was little I don’t think I’d love coming here as much as I do. You know, Mana is one of my happy places.”

My younger daughter, Adi, who is (would you believe it?) turning seventeen in April, is off from school and we are spending a day in the big city. As always, our first stop is lunch at Mana.

Mana, a vegetarian, vegan-style restaurant, on Amsterdam Avenue, between 91 and 92nd street, has been our happy place ever since I embarked on a search for the feisty follicle that became this brown eyed teenager sitting next to me. And when we lived in Manhattan, Mana was a home away from home for our family.

Lee, the lovely, seemingly ageless proprietess (her glowing skin and inside-out beauty is the best testimonial for the food she serves) greets us with a hug and a wide smile. Often, she treats the girls to a story from their childhood.

“Are you still as independent as you were when you were little? She asks Adi, then turns to me laughing: “I would try to help her put on her jellies, but she wouldn’t let me. She would sit there and keep trying over and over until she got it right.”

As always, Adi loves to start with miso soup and a side of brown rice, I treat myself to a thyroid-soothing bowl of piping hot seaweed soup, with shitake mushroom. I pretty much never eat fried foods, and samosa in Indian restaurants is almost always fried. So it’s a rare treat to be able to enjoy Lee’s comfort-giving plate of steamed sweet potato samosas.

We share an entrée of wild salmon teriyaki and split an adzuki almond mousse for dessert.

When we lived in the city, we used to love to come to Mana for a Sunday brunch and watch Lee make her signature oatmeal waffles, and whole grain fruit pancakes.

I get to do my share of mothering both at home and in my work. Finding places where I sit back and are served food made with organic and fertility friendly ingredients as pure as the ones I use at home, a place where I get to be greeted by name, and taken care of by a friendly wait-staff and a gracious hostess, are the best of gifts.

I thought it would be fun to hear about your happy restaurant places and your favorite meals in those eateries in your city, or anywhere else you’ve traveled and enjoyed a healthy meal. If you have a relationship with the proprietor, perhaps you could ask for permission to post one of their recipes. And be sure to post a link to the restaurant’s website.

Let’s do it! May the virtual fertility friendly restaurant tour begin!

P.S. If you’re not a “purist” when it comes to organic produce, you might find the Fertile Heart Guide on the Most Important Foods to Buy Organic, to be a useful resource.

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