Looking for some great anti-inflammatory meal plans that are not just eating vegetables all day? Look no further. I’ve compiled some delicious and simple recipes from the best food bloggers, so your two-week diet never gets dull and can fit YOUR specific body’s needs. But first, I want to discuss WHY inflammation happens and where you can start when healing your body of inflammation. Whether you’re suffering from an autoimmune disease or simply want to rid yourself of unwanted inflammation, this is your one-stop shop, all inspired by my journey to health.
What’s the fastest way to reduce chronic inflammation in the body?
As a woman in her 30s who suffers from an autoimmune disease, I know how important it is to keep inflammation down in my body to feel better. Whether you suffer from an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, or diabetes or heart disease, inflammation is inflammation. Whatever disease or ailment they have, a person’s body will feel better when its inflammation is minimal.
But here’s the thing. It’s a challenge to figure out WHY your body is inflamed, what foods you’re reacting or allergic to, and how to keep your gut healthy to better digest the food you love and gather all the nutrients your body requires. When your gut isn’t healthy, it leaks toxins into your blood and keeps your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals it needs, better known as leaky gut. This can lead to histamine intolerance, oxalate issues, so on and so forth.
Where to start with reducing inflammation and healing your gut
So what’s the fastest way to reduce inflammation and heal your gut?
I’ve personally been on a journey for the past four years to reduce inflammation in my body with a full functional doctor, and I can tell you how much better I feel when I eat foods that are right for my body.
One diet doesn’t fit every single person. And believe it or not, reducing inflammation in your body has MORE to do with your gut health than a fad diet.
If your gut functions properly, it can help your body absorb nutrients from your food, properly digest toxins, and help your body overall.
Step One – Process of Elimination
When it comes to autoimmune, it becomes more about the process of elimination than anything, and in my experience, that process should begin and end with FOOD. For instance, my one-year-old dog’s health was slowly declining. His ears were infected, his eyes goopy, and he had no energy — I knew something was off. So I decided to change his diet. Even though it was expensive, we switched to Ollie, and the results have been astounding. It’s like he’s a puppy again! His health issues are completely GONE.
This inspired me to be more strict about my diet and nail down what’s bothering me. More than that, nailing down the root cause of my gut issues has prompted the elimination diet. Once you heal your gut, you can add things back in.
The best way to figure out what foods are bothering you
If you’re looking for an affordable way to figure out what foods you’re allergic to so you can do an elimination diet, check out the at-home food allergy test kit from EverlyWell. This is an incredible way to get started. I wish these tests had been around when I started my journey, but unfortunately, I spent thousands of dollars to figure out what I needed to eliminate.
With autoimmune issues, it costs so much money and takes time to nail down exactly what’s happening, which is why I love EverlyWell. They also have tests for heavy metals, Lyme disease, celiac disease, and so much more.
Whatever your think might be your issue, there is a test for it at Everlywell.
At some point, you realize you have to become your own doctor. You know your body best, so doing your research and trusting your body will be the greatest asset in your health journey.
Try Carnivore or the Lion Diet
Another incredible way to figure out what foods aren’t beneficial to your body is to do the ultimate elimination diet, the lion diet, to heal your gut quickly and get to the bottom of your trigger food. I’ve recently done this diet, which has worked wonders on my autoimmune symptoms. I must say, though, this anti-inflammatory diet is not for the faint of heart. You eat ONLY ruminant meat (beef, lamb, bison, bone broth, and animal fat from those animals) for a minimum of 30 days. You can also try Carnivore, but I suggest starting with the Lion Diet if you have extreme food allergies and sensitivities.
But as everyone is different, you can figure out the best option for you and begin there.
Step 2 – Find a Good Doctor
It may take a lot of time, but finding the right doctor, whether functional or medical, will be critical in your healing journey. Because insurance can sometimes hinder finding a more natural-minded doctor, don’t let that deter you from finding a medical doctor who thinks outside the box. When it comes to autoimmune issues and inflammation, you want a doctor who truly understands this.
A great tip for finding a good medical doctor who thinks more naturally is to ask your chiropractor!
From my experience, every person with autoimmune issues should begin by finding a good gastroenterologist who thinks outside the box. That way, you can rule out any serious problems, such as a hiatal hernia,(many women who have had babies have this and don’t even know it), EOE, IBS, ulcers, H.Pylori, etc.
It’s now known that many autoimmune issues are from poor gut health, allowing pathogens and viruses to enter the bloodstream. Read more on that here.
Also, follow Nutrition With Judy for more info on CIRS and its relation to autoimmune issues.
Step 3 – Don’t Lose Heart
Don’t lose heart. Even though figuring out how to reduce inflammation from your autoimmune issue can be tedious and exhausting, there is always hope! I am proof of that. There have been days when I didn’t want to live anymore. My anxiety, depression, and hurting body were all catching up with me. But once I take steps to do what I need to do, I start healing.
The challenge for me has been to stick with it. One of the biggest mind hurdles I have to overcome is the fact that my body isn’t like anyone else’s, which means I can’t eat what everyone else eats. Even as I write this article, a guy sitting across from me at the coffee shop is eating a blueberry muffin, and I literally want to jump across the table and scarf it down — that used to be my favorite breakfast treat. But I can’t eat that anymore, and even though that’s challenging to accept, it beats feeling the way I did.
Don’t lose heart. Dealing with an autoimmune issue is HARD. But don’t give up.
Try different supplements
When it comes to supplements, you can go down a rabbit hole that never ends, which is why I advise you to do that under the care of a functional doctor. OR start with the Lion Diet, and try taking one supplement at a time to see how you react to it.
I went down the supplement rabbit hole (you should see my cabinet full of various herbal supplements and tinctures), and my husband had to cut me off from buying any more. But if there is one company I would recommend, it would be Silverfern – for probiotics, microbiome healing, digestive enzymes, and much more.
Symptoms of an inflamed body
I can always tell when my body needs to be deflated — when my hands and arms begin to ache and swell, when I feel tired, lethargic, and like I can’t get through the day. I get a migraine, and my ears and nose clog up. My head feels completely underwater. I’m depressed and sometimes anxious.
This is my body’s way of telling me I need to eat better and be conscious of what I put in my body, mostly because my gut health is off.
That being said, I’m not a dieter OR a doctor. But I AM someone who suffers from chronic inflammation if I don’t eat healthily, and an advocate for eating smarter to aid inflammation — sometimes our minds need a reminder, so our bodies tell us. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a stricter food intake so your body can reset and you can start feeling better.
I went through this whole healing process without medication. I am not saying this is right for you; I’m simply speaking from personal experience. Even though I still have some rough days, I can see a BIG difference when I treat my body right and implement certain healthy habits that enable me to heal.
Here are some common symptoms that your body might be displayed when your body is inflamed.
- Water retention
- A swollen joint that may be warm to the touch
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Skin issues
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Gut issues
- Muscle stiffness
My personal story about eating an anti-inflammatory diet
Four years ago, my body went through something strange. I would wake up some mornings with a high fever, achy body, and chills, and I could barely move. It would last a few days, then completely disappear. I ended up seeing dozens of doctors only to be told that I had Lyme’s disease, an autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, nothing at all, or that it was all in my head. It was the most frustrating experience of my life. For one year, I struggled to find the answers.
I finally decided to see a naturopath who practiced full functional medicine, and I ended up using herbs and an elimination diet to get my gut health back on track.
We did an extensive and EXPENSIVE test to see whether or not my body displayed any antibodies for any of the five borrelia bacteria found in people with Lyme disease. I ended up testing positive.
That being said, the protocol for healing was the same as if I had anything else — get my body to its optimum function, so it’s healthy enough to fight off bacteria, viruses, imbalances, etc.
After spending thousands of dollars, my body healed with an elimination diet, taking care of the various parasites, healing my gut, and eating healthily. I am SO grateful for the experience and the expert advice I received to heal my body with foods and herbs.
Get the at-home food allergy test kit to avoid spending LOTS of money.
I can now manage it by understanding what foods irritate my gut and how to get back on track if I am feeling inflamed again without spending a ton of money.
That’s where this anti-inflammatory diet comes in.
If you think of an anti-inflammatory diet that way — giving your body what it needs — then your mind can accept it instead of rebelling against some diet fad.
I have conjured up some delicious and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from the best food bloggers around for you to make a meal plan.
If there is an ingredient in the recipe you KNOW bothers you, or you’re allergic to, then simply replace it with something else.
An anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t mean you have to eat vegetables all day. In fact, some vegetables can be part of the problem. If you haven’t heard about the Lion Diet or the Carnivore Diet and oxalate dumping, research how it helps people with autoimmune issues.
What might be anti-inflammatory for you is not for someone else
Here’s the thing about an anti-inflammatory diet. Not everybody is the same, so what might be anti-inflammatory for you may not be for someone else.
I would strongly suggest that you take a food allergy test either online or through a holistic doctor. When I did this, I was able to eliminate the foods that were causing inflammation in my body. For me, even some healthy foods like celery, avocado, beans, and chicken were causing inflammation.
Think of it this way: When your overall digestive and gut health is operating the way it should, you won’t react to healthy foods anymore — or food in general! One of the main causes of food allergies is when your gut health is not properly functioning, causing food to irritate your body. But when you can digest food the right way, you’ll be able to eat the foods you love without problems.
So as you’re looking through these recipes, you might find that some ingredients aren’t anti-inflammatory to your needs. So simply swap out that ingredient for something else!
I know for me, I don’t eat store-bought tomatoes. I don’t trust them due to the chemicals they apply to ripen them off the vine. But I WILL eat them in season and from a local organic farm, or I will grow them myself in direct sunlight. So if the recipe calls for tomatoes, and they bother you, then replace them with something you can tolerate.
What are the worst foods for inflammation?
You will want to figure out what foods are causing YOUR body to inflame. Like I said earlier, many foods that are considered healthy were causing me issues. After I healed my gut, I could implement them back in one by one. But there are some I still can’t eat, like almonds and peas, as well as caffeinated coffee.
If you’re looking for an incredible decaf coffee option that is organic, mold-free, and non-toxic, check out Fabula! Seriously the BEST tasting decaf coffee. My husband drinks the caffeinated version as well. They offer a great deal for your first order. Coffee is my love language when I wake up in the morning — I didn’t want to stop drinking it altogether, so I switched to decaf.
Some of the WORST foods for inflammation might seem a bit obvious, but again, you must get a food allergy test to see what’s bothering YOUR body the most.
- Sugar from unnatural forms
- Artificial Trans Fats
- Vegetable and seed oils (unless from a trustworthy source) omega-6 0ils. Recommended intaking more omega-3s to balance out your omega ratios.
- Refined Carbohydrates
- Excessive Alcohol
- Processed Meat
- Any foods you’re allergic to (mostly eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, corn)
- Fruits and Vegetables high in oxalates
- Food high in Histamine
Common Anti-inflammatory Foods
Make sure you take the allergy test I mentioned to figure out what foods you’re sensitive to. Remember, some foods considered very healthy can cause your body inflammation.
- Grass Fed Beef and any ruminant meat (Lamb and Bison)
- Bone broth
- Animal fats (dairy and eggs can be an issue for many, I eat beef tallow)
- Celery (careful, high in oxalates)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Green Tea
- Beets (Also high in oxalates, eat in moderation if you have an oxalate issue)
- Fatty Fish
- Red Onion
- Leafy Greens (I would avoid spinach)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sweet Potato (high in oxalates)
- Some nuts and seeds (most are an issue for many)
- Oatmeal (again, high in oxalates, be sure you aren’t allergic)
Anti-inflammatory supplements and vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3’s Fatty Fish Oils
- Resveratrol – antioxidant found in grapes, blueberries, and other fruits with purple skin, red wine, and dark chocolate.
- Green Tea Extract
- Prebiotics and Probiotics
- Moringa Tea
Grocery planning and shopping list
If you want to buy groceries to plan your entire week, then check all the recipes out for that week, and make sure you have all the ingredients.
These recipes are uncomplicated and will leave your belly AND taste buds happy. No reason to starve yourself on an anti-inflammatory diet. The food you will be eating doesn’t need to be calorie counted or monitored, as they are full of vitamins, causing that bloat to go.
Here are the recipes that will help you feel better in no time.
14 Day Anti-inflammatory Meal Plan – Two Weeks Worth of Healthy and Easy Recipes
Anti-Inflammatory Meal Ideas for Breakfast
- Oven-Baked Sweet Crepes | Marinya Cottage Kitchen
- Anti Inflammatory Oatmeal | Further Food
- Matcha Pancakes | Well and Good
- Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl | Pure Wow
- Oven-Baked Sweet Crepes | Marinya Cottage Kitchen
- Power Fuel Green Smoothie | Cotter Crunch
- Easy Golden Milk Overnight Oats | Fit Mitten Kitchen
- Quick Carrot Rice Breakfast Nasi Goreng | Cotter Crunch
- Anti-Inflammatory Blueberry Smoothie | Lemons & Zest
- Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash | Fed and Fulfilled
- Tropical Turmeric Smoothie Bowl | Zen and Spice
- Green Smoothie Recipe | Healthy Taste of Life
- Vegan Pumpkin Muffins | Well Done
- Amaranth Porridge with Roasted Pears | Naturally Ella
- Sweet Potato Protein Breakfast Bowl | Fit Mitten Kitchen
- Overnight Oats with Blueberries and Almonds | Pure Wow
- Overnight Blueberry and Buckwheat Oats | Rise and Shine Cook
- Anti-Inflammatory Blueberry Smoothie | Be Whole Be You
Anti-Inflammatory Meal Ideas for Lunch
- Mediterranean Tuna Salad | Lexis Clean Kitchen
- Mediterranean Chicken Wrap | Nutritious Eats
- Turkey Taco Lunch Bowls | Sweet Peas and Saffron
- Sushi Salad | Word From The Bird
- Fennel Prosccuito and Melon Salad | Word From the Bird
- Grilled Salmon and Butter Lettuce Taco Wraps with Avocado Sauce | Trina’s Paleo Newbie
- Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup | Oh She Glows
- Chicken Quinoa Salad | Fit Women Eat
- Anti-Inflammatory Blueberry Salmon Power Salad | Eat Spin Run Repeat
- Garlic Salmon, Asparagus, and Potatoes | EatingWell
- Spaghetti Sauce Garlic Noodles | Paleo Gluten Free
- Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits | 40 Aprons
- Pad Thai Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Salad | Simply Quinoa
- Curried Chickpea Lettuce Wraps | Beauty Bites
- Chicken Quinoa Salad | Fit Women Eat
- Bombay Buddha Bowl | Eat Spin Run Repeat
Anti-Inflammatory Meal Ideas for Dinner
- Honey-Ginger Shrimp Bowls | Rally Pure
- Broiled Salmon with Spinach | Nutritious Life
- Lemony Kale and Sausage Soup | Clean Eating Veggie Girl
- Lemon Chicken with Asparagus | Pinch of Yum
- Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Sweet Potato Curry Stew | Wholesomdelicious
- Curried Chicken Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Raita | Epicurious
- Black bean Buddha bowl with creamy cashew dressing | Taste.com
- MEDITERRANEAN BAKED SWEET POTATOES | Minimalist Baker
- Artichoke Ricotta Flatbread | Halfbaked Harvest
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas | Number 2 Pencil
- Fish Taco Bowls With Chipotle Aioli and Coconut-Lime Cauliflower Rice | 40 Aprons
Trader Joe’s has a great selection for these options! Remember that dehydrated veggies and fruit maintain 90% of nutrients compared to any other form of preservation, but if you have a histamine intolerance, stay away from dried fruit.
I just found out you can use the Instapot Air Fryer Lid for those of you who want to DIY dehydrate!
- Roasted Chick Peas | Skinny Taste
- Goji Berries with Nuts
- Apples with nut butter
- Plantain Chips
- Homemade sweet potatoes fries
- Homemade Kale Chips
- Veggie’s and Homemade Dip
- Freeze Dried Fruits
- Paleo Kale Chips with Paprika | PaleoHacks
- Apricot Turmeric Lemon Energy Bars | Vegan Chickpea
- Mexican Cucumbers with Chili and Lime | Give Recipe
- Hot Pepper Hummus | Primal Palate
- Raw Shoestring Zucchini Fries | Rawmazing
Pumpkin Stuffed Dough Balls | Cotter Crunch