Updated April, 2023.
The best thing about this diet is you can eat as much as you want! Here is a list of common alternatives, foods and recipes that help make it easier to do this diet.
The Importance of Planning Ahead
Firstly, when you are doing this hard core, it is very hard to eat out. Every restaurant uses bad oils somewhere, and sugar finds its way into sauces, dressings and more. As discussed in Part 3, gluten free alternatives often contain ingredients not allowed on this diet. This means you will have the most success if you plan ahead and have food on hand before you begin – and keep stocked up for the full two weeks!
Best Food for an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Bread Alternatives – Bread and buns are big downfalls for many people. When we were on vacation last month I ate bread foods easily two or three meals a day. Belgians Waffles, paninis, sandwiches, pizza as well as cornbread and flour tortillas – and none of these are on the OK to eat list.
During the two weeks on the anti-inflammatory diet I made a fantastic Paleo/Keto Naan Bread that I used (and still use) as a substitute for bread and buns. I had grass-fed burgers on this and no nitrite/nitrate hot dogs and lunchmeat, as well as chicken salad and tuna salad.
We also found Siete grain free wraps and tortillas – great for healthy sandwiches and tacos.
Best Gluten Free Naan Recipe
1 1/2 cups organic almond flour
3/4 cup organic casava flour
1/2 cup organic arrowroot flour
1 cup organic coconut milk
1 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder (optional)
1. Get a griddle or frying pan warming up with melted real butter, ghee or coconut oil. I use an electric griddle at 300°.
2. Put all dry goods in a large mixing bowl. I tried this recipe with garlic and ginger, too! Those are also good.
3. Add the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, stir well. Add water until it is a think pancake batter consistency. You don’t want them runny. They are a bit like pancakes, but not really.
4. Once the pan is hot and the butter is melted, drop scant 1/4 cup amounts on the griddle and spread them around a bit so they aren’t too thick. Then basically cook them like pancakes. I like them a bit crispy, so I let them brown a little in the butter. Yum! I get 14 to 16 out of a batch. They reheat easily in the toaster oven or air fryer. Since it was just me eating them, I froze half until I needed more.
Best Sugar Alternatives for an Anti Inflammatory Diet
One of my favorite white sugar replacements, coconut sugar, is not allowed because it is very processed. But, I found plenty of other yummy sugar alternatives to use.
Try these anti-inflammatory-diet-friendly sugar alternatives:
- Maple syrup
- 100% Monkfruit powder or liquid
Dairy Alternatives to Try
Many prepared dairy alternatives are highly processed and may contain canola oil or corn oil as part of the process.
Read the ingredients very carefully and think about the process before you pick a milk alternative. Avoid soy milk as the process is toxic. Oat milks and almond milks require careful reading of the labels. My favorite milk alternative is Native Forrest Simple Coconut Milk from a can, full fat. I use it in my morning smoothie.
For milk alternatives, check for added ingredients and remember the less processed the better.
Expeller Pressed is the Key for Anti-Inflammatory Oils
This is a list of less inflammatory oils and fats. Some good words to look for on labels are expeller pressed, cultured and pasture raised.
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
A few years back I found the Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayonnaise and did a little happy dance. I had been avoiding mayo because of the highly processed toxic oils. With this you can make tuna salad, chicken salad etc. They also make sugar free, avocado salad dressings and sugar free ketchup and mustard. I swear I don’t notice the lack of sugar in these condiments!
Surprises We Found to Eat on this Anti-Inflammatory Diet
One of my sisters was very sad to lose her lunch meat. But, we found that some better brands, like Applegate, make lunchmeat, sausages, hotdogs, and more with no nitrates/nitrates and free range meat. I had hotdogs on my nan bread one day for dinner!
Meal Suggestions for this Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Breakfast can be the hardest meal because so many people have some kind of bread or cereal for breakfast. Toast, bagels, muffins, and most cereals are not an option.
This one is easy for me because I make a smoothie for breakfast every day. Here’s my most recent favorite breakfast smoothie recipe.
Super Fuel Summer Smoothie
- 1/2 cup fresh watermelon (any fresh fruit works, but watermelon is my fave this Summer)
- 2 TBS full fat Organic Coconut Milk – I like Native Forrest Best
- 1 1/2 scoops Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
- 1 scoop Perfect Acai Powder
- 1/2 scoop Perfect Aquatic Greens
- 1 TBS organic chia seeds
- 1/2 cup frozen organic raspberries (again, any frozen fruit works)
- 1/2 cup water or 100% organic juice (optional depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
1 Add all but the last two ingredients into a blender. Blend a few seconds.
2 Add the frozen fruit and blend until well combined and smooth. Add more liquid if desired.
Breakfasts of Champions (And Those Who Want to Live Pain Free)!
Here are some suggestions from our group for healthy anti-inflammatory breakfasts.
• Eggs with no nitrite sausage or bacon and some fresh fruit
• Egg Muffins – This recipe is great because they can be made in advance and just heated up in the morning.
• Oatmeal – Obviously this will need to be the unsweetened, plain oatmeal, but you can add to this. I like to add maple syrup, walnuts and apple juice sweetened dried cranberries. Raisins, slivered almonds, honey, thawed frozen fruit and coconut milk are just some of the clean ingredients that can be added!
• Paleo Blueberry Almond Crumb Muffins – This is a yummy recipe that can be made in advance for a quick breakfast.
• Paleo Granola Cereals with milk alternative
• Rice Porridge – This is a delicious warm breakfast cereal made with rice.
Healthy & Luscious Anti-Inflammatory Lunch Suggestions
• Salads – Always a great option, but not filling enough for many. Although, when you add last night’s grilled chicken, shelled edamame, and some sunflower seeds, a salad can be a very filling meal. Add in a piece of toasted Naan Bread from above and now it’s really filling!
• Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Gluten Free Pasta Salad – This is why I love the Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo. These salads can be made in advance and added to a green salad or eaten on the yummy Naan bread or a grain free wrap as a sandwich. Check out this Curried Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe for a savory treat for your tastebuds.
• Slaws Galore – There are tons of paleo veggie slaw recipes out there. Some are asian inspired with cabbage and nuts like this one. Remember to replace the coconut sugar with 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup or honey. Others might have a more southwestern flair with cumin, black beans, hot peppers and broccoli slaw. If they have a mayonnaise base, use the Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayonnaise.
• No Nitrite Lunchmeat – Enjoy rolled up with a side salad or on the bread alternatives mentioned from above. My sister found Siete also makes clean ranch and nacho dips for their grain free tortilla chips – I love their Hint of Lime Chips!
• Last Night’s Leftovers – It is a good idea to plan your dinners so there are leftovers for a few other meals.
• Hard Boiled Eggs – Alone or as egg salad, hard boiled eggs can be a good addition to a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack!
• Bean Salad – You pick the beans! I like this with green and wax beans along with kidney beans and black beans. This makes a great addition to a garden salad or a nice side dish with your lunch or dinner. Lately I’ve been adding leftover grilled chicken straight to my bowl of beans and eating this for lunch.
Keto Bean Salad
5 15 oz (ish) cans of organic beans – green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, etc. – pick your faves!
Juice of one lemon or 4-5 Tbs organic lemon juice
3/4 cup organic vinegar of choice – I’ve used apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar and balsamic.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2Tbs onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp monk fruit powder
Reserved juice from canned green or wax beans or water
1. Put all but the last ingredient into a large bowl.
2. Add water or reserved juice to taste. I use 2 – 3 cups of water or bean juice when I make this. Yes, the juice completely covers the beans so they marinate in it.
3.You can eat it right away, but it is best after it marinates at least a few hours. Once all the beans are gone I add more cans of beans to the marinade for a quick second batch when the first is finished!
Dining in Done Right! Anti-inflammatory Dinner Suggestions
• Grass-fed hamburgers – I like adding dried onions and a dash of homemade steak seasoning for burgers. I enjoyed mine on the Naan from above while my sister had hers on a Siete almond flour wrap.
• Pasta Alternatives – There are a lot of gluten free pastas that work on this diet. Read the labels and choose one with only a few ingredients. I like the Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Pasta because it has 21g of protein per serving. My favorite clean pasta options are spaghetti squash or zoodles. Try these yummy anti-inflammatory friendly recipes with your pasta alternative. Hearty Paleo Meat Sauce or Shrimp Scampi.
• Wild Caught Fish – I love wild caught sockeye salmon with this mouthwatering Asian Ginger Marinade. Pair it with fresh organic veggies and some rice for a balanced meal.
• Free Range Chicken – Yes it does cost more, but for two weeks while you do this anti-inflammatory diet, give it a try. Most Paleo recipes will work for this diet as they automatically don’t have gluten and white sugar. I love this recipe we found for Buffalo Chicken one year while on the 21 Day Detox. You can use the butter on this diet, so either coconut oil or butter is acceptable.
Here is a great Keto Instant Pot Pulled Chicken recipe my family loves.
Keto Instant Pot Pulled Chicken
3 lbs Free Range Chicken Thighs
1/4 cup Organic Tomato Paste
1 1/4 cups Water
1/4 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey
2 Tbs Coconut Aminos
1/2 Tbs Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Tbs Dried Onion Flakes
1/4 tsp 100% Monk Fruit Powder
1/4 tsp Ceyenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
1. Combine everything but the chicken in your instant pot on saute. Stir until the tomato paste is mostly combined.
2. Add the chicken thighs and pressure cook for 10 minutes with a 5 minute natural release.
3. Release the rest of the pressure and remove the cover. The chicken will fall apart, but you still have to pull it a bit. This is great served over rice or riced cauliflower. Or in the Tacos or Nachos below!
More Healthy Dinner Suggestions
• Tacos and Nachos – One of my sisters found Siete hard taco shells, tortilla chips and their dairy free Queso and Nacho sauces. She made tacos with grass-fed beef, and says she didn’t miss the cheese with the Siete Queso on there. Try with free range meat, fresh veggies and homemade guacamole!
• Crustless Quiche – This is a hearty take on the original. Try layering frozen sweet potatoes, healthy breakfast sausage bits and some green veggie. Filling and tasty!
• Keto Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps – I was the only one in my family doing the anti-inflammatory diet so I had to find meals my whole family would like and this one is always a big hit! It is really very versatile because people can eat it over rice, or in nice little bib lettuce wraps. My 19 year old son loves this and eats it by the bowlful with no rice or wrap!
Keto Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
1 lb Ground Turkey Burger
1 Tbs Olive or Avocado Oil
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
2 Tbs Dried Onion
4 tsp Minced Ginger
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/8 tsp 100% monk fruit powder
8 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
3 cups Broccoli Slaw or shredded veggies
large lettuce leaves – Bib lettuce works nicely
1. Start browning the turkey burger in the oil in a large pan.
2. Combine coconut aminos, dried onion, ginger, garlic, and monk fruit powder in a covered container and shake well.
3. Chop the water chestnuts.
4. When the meat is almost done add the sauce, veggies and water chestnuts. Continue to cook until the meat is brown and the veggies are al dente.
Desserts & Snacks to Keep You On Track!
Desserts and snacks are a big downfalls for many people – me included! Having these alternative on hand helps when you get a craving you just can’t ignore. And honestly, you don’t have to resist when the choices are this healthy.
• Fruit, fruit salad and cut up veggies with an approved dip like guacamole – there are oodles of locally grown this time of year!
• Raw nuts and seeds with apple juice sweetened cranberries, raisins and coconut chips makes a flavorful, antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory-friendly trail mix.
• I made delish Paleo Maple Glazed Nuts with maple syrup. This is yummy, slightly sweet and salty – perfect for clean snacking.
• Good Health makes potato chips in olive oil and avocado oil. But read their labels, not all options are allowed. I also found beet chips and sweet potato chips in healthy oils.
• Smoothies – Not just a healthy breakfast! Try the Summer Smoothie above or try any of the milkshake recipes listed here but with your milk alternative.
• Guacamole – This is such a healthy snack on some Siete chips! Honestly, I had this for lunch at least once!
• Chocolate Popsicles – A great recipe even the kids will enjoy!
• Vanilla Coconut Chia Seed Pudding – This is another favorite recipe from the 21 Day Detox Plan.
• Unflavored organic rice cakes – Salted is OK. Suzie’s is my favorite! I often had these with a homemade chocolate nut spread, recipe below.
Healthy Chocolate Nut Butter Spread
For this you have to use a good unsweetened, minimally processed nut butter. You know the ones I mean, with only nuts and salt for ingredients.
1/4 cup unsweetened, minimally processed nut butter of choice
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs maple syrup
Just combine all the ingredients until smooth. Enjoy on rice cakes, paleo pancakes or waffles and so much more!
Do you want even more information? In January, 2023, we did a new blog post with updates on how I managed through the holidays and even more tips and recipes! Check that out here!
Ready to start feeling better?
So that’s it! You now have all the tools to begin. 😉
What are you waiting for? Get to the market and go online to order your food so you can begin your two week journey to less inflammation and more pain free days!