A gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, super healthy and delicious Mediterranean meal plan. This meal plan is full of functional foods that reduce inflammation and support overall health.
It's meal plan Wednesday! A new feature here on Abra's Kitchen. Each month I will be featuring a complete meal plan focused on one particular dietary topic.
I am not a proponent of any one specific dietary dogma, rather as a nutritionist, I lead my clients through therapeutical protocols to support their unique healing journey.
Disclaimer: I have a very inclusive philosophy around food and truly believe that in a healthy diet all foods can fit, I work with eating disorders in my private practice so I am sensitive to a strict unbending attitude around food. I also work with clients with hormonal concerns, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, or gut issues. In these cases, we engage in specific therapeutic food protocols to encourage greater health and healing. This is where I am going to focus the attention with these meal plans.
This does not substitute for medical advice and I do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition.
How to Use this Anti-Inflammatory Mediterranean Meal Plan:
Scroll down to find recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, snacks. This is a 7-day meal plan, including one week of delicious, wholesome, health-supportive foods.
You can also download a comprehensive version of this meal plan which includes:
- Detailed meal schedule
- Full nutritional analysis
- Complete Grocery list
- All recipes as a pdf
- The pdf costs $4, or you can simply scroll through this post for all of the recipes
Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:
One of my go-to tools in practice is using an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean style of eating to support a variety of conditions. The Mediterranean diet relies on wholesome real food in a balanced not terribly dogmatic approach.
The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea and is best known for the following characteristics:
- Abundant consumption of plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- A focus on whole grains and legumes.
- Olive oil as the principal source of dietary fat.
- Fish, shellfish, and poultry are consumed several times per week.
- Cheese and yogurt in moderate quantities
- Red wine, sweets, and red meats are consumed sparingly.
The MedDiet is recognized as one of the best patterns of eating. Studies indicate that the Mediterranean diet may help prevent type 2 diabetes', can reduce heart disease by 79% in patients with established heart disease and appears to decrease the risk of several types of cancer by 13% (Gotsis et al., 2015)
Why is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Important?
The inflammatory response is a normal function of the body and in some instances not something that you want to necessarily stop. Think about when you get a cut, inflammatory cytokines are sent to the injury to help promote healing, that is why the site of the injury becomes red and swollen, this is good inflammation. Exercise also promotes inflammation in the body to support the breakdown and build-up of muscle, this too is beneficial inflammation.
Chronic inflammation, however, is not what we want.
Inflammation is a perpetual component of chronic disease that can be greatly altered through proper dietary intake. An anti-inflammatory diet is based on limiting your body’s exposure to foreign antigens while increasing the intake of beneficial nutrients especially nutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects.
The general concept of an anti-inflammatory diet is:
1. Reduce processed, refined or manufactured food
2. Eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables every day.
3. Minimize the intake of saturated fats and eliminate trans fats while increasing good sources of anti-inflammatory fatty acids such as omega-3.
4. Minimize intake of processed flour and high glycemic index sugar sources. Always choice whole grains instead of refined grains.
5. Eat lean animal protein and more plant-based sources of protein.
6. Add spices to your diet. Many of them are anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric, ginger, rosemary, oregano, and cayenne are all common spices that promote an anti-inflammatory state and that can be easily supplemented into food preparations in a variety of ways (Jungbauer & Medjakovic, 2012).
Who is the Mediterranean Diet Right For?
Clinically the MedDiet is used to support greater cardiovascular health and metabolic function. I find the MedDiet is a great shift for just about anyone.
Keep in mind that one of the reasons the MedDiet performs so well in clinical trials goes far beyond just what's on the plate. The Mediterranean style of eating embraces community, connection, movement, and a truly holistic perspective on healthy happy living.
7- Day Mediterranean Meal Plan Recipes
If you'd like a complete pdf download of this meal plan including, a detailed schedule, full nutritional analysis, grocery list, and recipes. You can download it by clicking the button below.
Anti-Inflammatory Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes
I like to keep breakfast simple, mostly plant-based, tons of nutrients and antioxidants.
Starting your day with fruits and vegetables is definitely a good idea! Adding in antioxidant-rich beets, pomegranate seeds, and red berries is an excellent idea! Use the protein powder of your choice for this recipe I alternate between SP Complete, Xymogen Opti-Cleanse (this is a product that I use in practice with clients), and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
Breakfast Salad with Jammy Eggs – Kale, cucumbers, avocado, sliced almonds, and perfectly jammy (yolks that are just slightly runny) eggs. The veggies are tossed with heart-healthy olive oil. This breakfast provides 2 full servings of vegetables and the perfect amount of healthy fat to keep you full for hours.
Our greatest clinical tool when it comes to fighting inflammation is found in curcumin, the active compound in the bright yellow spice, turmeric. I love starting the day with a dose of turmeric. This smoothie also has a serving of vegetables (cauliflower), sweet mango, orange, and lemon. YUM!
Mediterranean Diet Lunch and Dinner Recipes
I love having dinner leftovers for lunch, therefore, lunch and dinner anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet recipes are interchangeable.
Kale, quinoa, cucumbers, tomato, chickpeas, olives, a dollop of hummus and a sprinkle of feta cheese. This classic Mediterranean recipe is loaded with antioxidant-rich veggies, heart-healthy fats, and a ton of fiber! Perfect to make at the beginning of the week for lunches all week long.
Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Chickpeas –
Simply steam or roast spaghetti squash and then saute with garlic, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and chickpeas. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and finish with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
This is one of the easiest and yummiest recipes around! Salmon is a superstar in the anti-inflammatory food world because it is high in omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats. Paired with simple zoodles, olives, tomatoes, and spices, baked on a sheet pan, and ready in 30 minutes.
Another fish dish because fish is definitely a staple in the Mediterranean diet. This recipe I have made over 50 times, it is truly a family favorite. A few simple ingredients, one pan, in the oven, and finish with a super delicious lemon dijon pan sauce.
This is my go-to roast chicken recipe, perfect for lunch leftovers the next day! Loaded with good for you garlic, thyme, and cauliflower. You won't believe how easy this recipe is!
Anti-Inflammatory Snacks, Beverages, and Treats!
I am all about the healthy anti-inflammatory snacks. Snacks are a great opportunity to get in more anti-inflammatory foods.
Coconut Chia Pudding – Chia pudding is a staple snack in my house, and this coconut version is to die for! Combine 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup chia seeds, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir well and allow to sit overnight.
I made these energy bites as a completely sweetener free recipe. The lemon, turmeric, and coconut are so good together you really don't need any additional sweetness.
Sweet Potato Toast with Yogurt and Blueberries – Have you made sweet potato toast yet? It couldn't be simpler. Roast or literally toast slices of sweet potato and top with plain Greek yogurt and blueberries.
Avocado Chickpea Hummus – Combine 1 avocado, 1 cup chickpeas, the juice from one lemon, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup olive oil in the food processor, process until smooth. Eat with crackers. YUM!
Turmeric Lemonade – This recipe is optional but if we are going for gold in the anti-inflammatory world let's really go for gold! Combine 1 lemon juiced, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 3 tbps maple syrup, and 3 cups water. Stir well.
For the days when you need a little afternoon pick me up, forget the sugar and coffee and have a golden turmeric latte!
Download the recipes, grocery list, meal schedule, and full nutrition analysis.
To make this super duper easy I put this together in a comprehensive pdf with all of the recipes, grocery list, meal schedule, and nutrition analysis. Download your copy below!
MORE MEAL PLANS YOU WILL LOVE
If you make any of these recipes be sure to tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen.
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