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5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan

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(upbeat music) – Hey there, Lacey here with A Sweet Pea Chef. Welcome back. I am so excited you’re here today because we have a pretty epic video going on. We are gonna be doing something that so many of you guys have been requesting. You’ve been asking me to do another five day meal prep like my meal prep for weight loss that I did a while back.

And I know you’ve been so patient, and I asked which type of video you guys want me to do, and the by far number one request was to make an anti-inflammatory meal prep video. So that’s what we’re gonna be doing today because you guys requested it and because bloating and inflammation is just the worst. So we’re really gonna focus on that today. So we’re gonna make a five day anti-inflammatory meal plan that is gonna cover all of your breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners for the entire week. It’s gonna give you just a ton of anti-inflammatory recipes that are gonna help with inflammation.

And we’re gonna do this entire meal prep in less than two hours.

So you’re gonna have all of your meals done for the entire week in less than two hours, so it’s a really good deal. Make sure if you haven’t yet to go subscribe to my channel so you never miss my new weekly recipe videos and get healthy inspiration and you get to be a part of this healthy lifestyle choice we’re making to eat healthy and clean. If you do, come and say “hi” in the comments, and I’ll say “hi” as well. All right, so let’s get started with this anti-inflammatory meal plan.

So right off the bat, if you’re following a clean eating diet already, fortunately a lot of overlap happens with anti-inflammatory foods as well. So in an anti-inflammatory diet we’re looking for foods that are whole, have really good vitamins and minerals, are unrefined, and are just basically good, whole foods for you. That means we’re gonna be choosing to avoid things like processed foods, processed snacks, sodas, high sugar, highly refined flours, and all that kind of stuff.

And we’re avoiding that anyway on a clean eating diet and opting instead for things like nuts, fruits and vegetables, beans, and just everything that’s whole and good for ya. So that all being said, while this meal plan is clean-eating, it is highly intentionally planned for anti-inflammatory foods to get your body feeling better and to get you back on track.

The first step with any large meal plan, to save time, is to start with the foods that take the longest to cook. So for this meal plan, that means we’re gonna be choosing our sweet potatoes, our wild rice, and our quinoa because starches generally take the longest to cook. We’ll be having roasted sweet potatoes in our dinner, so we’ll need to start preheating our oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a rimmed baking sheet with some parchment paper. Then set that aside. So go ahead and get your whole sweet potatoes, and we’re going to wash them in some running water to remove any debris or dirt.

Then we’re gonna pat them dry and then, as we lay them out onto our baking sheet, we’re gonna poke several holes along the outside of it, either with a fork or a knife.

For your sweet potatoes, try to find ones that are pretty evenly sized. That way it won’t be difficult to have an even portion every meal for our dinners. If you can’t, I’ll show you how to mix and match your sweet potatoes later, but it’s best if you can have them be evenly sized cause they’ll also bake the same amount of time evenly in the oven as well. Then just pop our sweet potatoes into the oven.

We’re gonna bake them for about 55 to 65 minutes until a fork or a knife inserted goes in easily into the sweet potato. You can also gently squeeze it, and if it’s tender, that means it’s done. No need to add any oils or wrap them in aluminum foil or anything. These are very simple, and trust me, they are gonna be so tasty. Next we’re gonna get our wild rice started, so in a large stock pot, go ahead and add in our wild rice, some water, and some sea salt.

We’re gonna heat this over high heat until it comes to a boil, and then we’re gonna reduce it to a simmer, put a lid on our pot. And then we’re gonna cook this for about 40 to 45 minutes. We’re looking for the wild rice to absorb all that liquid and to become nice and tender. If you didn’t want wild rice, you could always substitute it for another rice like brown rice. Just we’re looking for something that has a lot of fiber to it and is a whole grain.

So when our sweet potatoes have about 20 minutes left, we can start our quinoa.

Quinoa is really awesome. It doesn’t take very long to cook, but we want to have it done ahead of time because it’s one of those things that it just cooks on the side while we’re getting everything else prepped. So add into our sauce pan our uncooked quinoa, followed by some water. And then we’re gonna cook this over high heat until it comes to a boil.

Then we’re gonna reduce it to a simmer, add our lid, and we’re gonna cook this for about 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when all of the water has been absorbed, and the quinoa seeds have kind of opened up and puffed up. Then you can remove it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, and then set it aside. All right, so now that we have those starches taken care of, we can go ahead and start on our chickpeas and kale. And these are gonna both be used in our lunch bowls, and, yes, they are both gonna be super tasty.

To season our tumeric chickpeas, go ahead and drain them in the sink, and rinse them off with some water.

And then we’re gonna pat them dry. Then we’re gonna transfer those into a large mixing bowl. We’re gonna add some really tasty seasonings, like some ground cumin, garlic powder, tumeric, sea salt, and black pepper. And then we’re gonna gently toss to coat.

Now we’re gonna heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil. And then we’re gonna transfer our seasoned chickpeas into this hot oil. We’re gonna cook this for about eight to 10 minutes. You’re gonna want to toss it occasionally. We’re looking for the chickpeas to kind of get smaller in size, cooked down, and then also get a nice crispy outside to them.

That’s gonna be really tasty when you have them later. If you notice that you need a little bit more olive oil, that’s totally fine. And also, try to avoid smashing the chickpeas because they can get a little bit tender as they cook. So to avoid that you can always kind of shake the pan rather than using a spoon to stir everything. Once you have them nice and golden brown, and you have that fragrant smelling delicious chickpeas in the air, you can remove them from the heat and let them set aside.

To make our garlic kale, in another saute pan that has a lid, we’re gonna heat it over medium heat and add in a little bit more olive oil. And then we’re gonna add in our kale that’s been broken up into small pieces. So we’re gonna cover our kale and then we’re gonna toss it occasionally. We’re looking for the kale to become softened, which is gonna take several minutes because kale is pretty tough to begin with. So you have to be a little bit more gentle with it, and let it cook a little bit longer to break down those fibers.

Once the kale is really tender, you can go ahead and add in your minced garlic and your sea salt and then toss to combine. Then just cook it for about another minute or so until that garlic becomes fragrant. And then you have delicious sauteed kale. And remove from the heat and set that aside.

So our snack for this anti-inflammatory meal prep are these delicious lemon tumeric energy balls that are chock full of all sorts of anti-inflammatory goodness and they’re just lemony and gingery and so delicious.

So to make them, it’s really easy. All you need is a food processor or a really good heavy, high speed blender. We’re gonna add in our raw oats, raw almonds, pitted dates, freshly squeezed lemon juice, some fresh lemon zest, ground tumeric, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and some black pepper. We’re gonna process this mixture in the food processor until it starts to stick to itself. You might need to press it down a few times using like a spatula or a spoon.

And we’re really wanting it to become really sticky, fully mixed together, and then it’ll start to stick to itself as it spins. So now we need to divide this mixture into 15 portions, and a really easy way to do that is to use a one tablespoon meatball scoop, which is super easy and really helps with making things like energy balls. I can leave the link for the one I use in the description below. So go ahead and grab your one tablespoon portions of your energy ball mixture, and then we’re gonna form each of those into balls with your hands. And then you just set those aside and repeat with the remaining.

And you should have about 15 of these. Each day our snack is gonna be three of these energy balls. So I store these energy balls in the fridge in an airtight container, and they harden up when they’re in the fridge. And they’re super tasty. I keep them all together in one meal prep container, and I just grab them as I need.

But if you need to take them with you, like on a certain day, you can just grab three of them and put them into a separate container. But definitely keep them in the fridge during the week to make sure they store well. All right, so now it’s time to make our quinoa salad, which is gonna be the stuffing for our sweet potatoes, which is gonna be for our dinners.

And it is seriously one of my favorite things, so I’m really excited to show you it. So in a large mixing bowl, we’re gonna grab our cooked and cooled quinoa and add it to it, followed by some diced cucumber.

Also I use English cucumbers because they’re a little bit sweeter, and you don’t have to remove the peel. They’re really tasty, so if you can find any English cucumbers, especially organic English cucumbers, definitely go with those. Then add in some grape tomatoes, some pitted Kalamata olives, sliced red onion, and some crumbled feta. And then in a separate mixing bowl we’re gonna make our dressing for this tasty salad.

So in a small mixing bowl we’re going to add in some olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.

5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan

And then we’re gonna whisk this all together. And then we’re going to take that salad dressing, and we’re gonna put it on top of all of our quinoa and cucumber and tomato mixture. And then we’re gonna toss it all together to coat. This is so good, you could eat it on its own. But it’s even better stuffed into a baked sweet potato.

So now that our sweet potatoes are done baking and are tender and have cooled enough to the touch, we’re gonna go ahead and grab them and slice down the center using a knife.

And then go ahead and kinda squeeze each end and kinda push towards each finger so that you push all of the sweet potato open a little bit. Then using a fork, press down the inside flesh of everything to kinda get everything spread out and even. You kinda want it to be a little bit like mashed sweet potatoes in there because that’s gonna make it easier to eat later. So do all the hard work now when you don’t have your salad in the sweet potato already.

So like I was saying, I try to get evenly sized sweet potatoes, and a medium-sized sweet potato is perfect for this recipe. If you don’t have evenly sized ones, and one’s like super big and one’s kinda small, you can always take a piece of one of the larger ones and put it in the bottom of one of the other meal prep containers and kinda even everything out. The idea is that you have it nice and even so any meal you grab, any dinner is gonna be the same size.

That way you know kind of what you’re expecting. And you don’t have like a giant sweet potato one day and then a little baby one the next.

So now grab that delicious Mediterranean quinoa salad that we prepared, and we’re gonna divide that evenly across all five of our baked sweet potatoes. And, yes, this is as delicious as it looks. Trust me, it is so good. So this is gonna be our dinner for each of our days, and you can enjoy this hot or cold which makes it really easy to just grab and go. Personally I love it cold, but having it hot also works really well.

Just put it in the microwave and reheat it for about two minutes until everything’s heated through. So let’s set all of our dinner aside, and we’re gonna prep our lunch Buddha bowls.

So for most of these meals today, I’m using my glass meal prep containers, which are super awesome. They’re eco-friendly, and they’re reusable. You can microwave them.

You can just store them in the fridge. They’re awesome. I’ll leave the link for them in the description below if you’re interested in getting yourself some, and they’re pretty cheap too. So they’re a really good buy if you’re looking to meal prep like this for a whole week. So into each of our meal prep containers, we’re going to add in our cooked and cooled wild rice, which is gonna be our base for our bowls.

It’s gonna be about one cup per meal. Then we’re gonna add in our seasoned chickpeas. That’s gonna be about a third of a cup per meal. Then add in our sauteed kale, and then I add in about a quarter cup of sliced red grapes and a wedge of lemon for that additional anti-inflammatory boost.

If you wanted to, you could store the grapes and the lemon separately, or you could just add them in and then I actually reheat my lunch bowls with the grapes and then I remove the lemon right before I reheat it.

And then I squeeze the lemon on, and it just kinda keeps everything stored together. But if you wanted to add the grapes in and reheat them, they’re actually really good heated. So if you want to give that a try, definitely recommend it. So now you have your tumeric chickpea Buddha bowl of goodness all ready to go. This is a really really tasty lunch.

You find that you’re not fully super full and you want a little bit more added healthy fats, I recommend adding in some diced avocado when you’re ready to serve.

Avocado is a really great anti-inflammatory food, so it’s always good to add that in if you want it and if you’re still hungry. So our final meal that we’re gonna be making for our meal plan is our breakfast. And for that we’re gonna be making matcha chia make-ahead smoothies which are really really tasty. And I actually make all five of them ahead of time, and then I store them in the freezer.

And then each day, the night before, I’ll grab out one of my Mason jars with the smoothie in there and put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Then in the morning I can just grab it, and it’s ready to enjoy. So doing this make-ahead smoothie method is awesome because you make it once. You only clean the blender once, and you have all of your smoothies ready to go. If you’re someone who makes a smoothie every morning, you know the struggle of having to clean your blender every morning and get all of the ingredients out.

So this is a really big time saver and perfect for this meal plan. All right, so to make our smoothie, we’re gonna start with your milk of choice.

I use unsweetened almond milk, but any milk will do. Follow that with some frozen bananas, pitted dates, some matcha powder, chia seeds, and some fresh baby spinach. And then just blend until smooth.

Depending on the size of your blender, you might need to break it into like three smoothies at once and then two. Or if you can make all five smoothies at the same time, more power to you.

That sounds like an amazing blender. But I usually have to break mine up into like three and two. And then I divide that evenly into five Mason jars, and I really recommend using these Mason jars.

They’re super awesome. They store well in the freezer or in the fridge, and I have reusable Mason jar lids, which are super awesome. And I can link to all of this below for you. These are really great. Just make sure that you don’t fill your Mason jar all the way to the top.

You’re gonna want to leave a little bit of space because, as you know, when you freeze something it expands, and you don’t want to break anything. So leave a little bit of space, put that lid on your Mason jar, and then transfer all of these into the freezer. Okay so let’s go over our meals for each day. For breakfast we have our matcha chia make-ahead smoothies which contain dark leafy greens with our spinach, our matcha powder, the dates and chia seeds.

And all of these have proven anti-inflammatory properties.

Plus there’s no added sugar or any refined ingredients or artificial ingredients, so this is a fully good for your body recipe. For lunch we’ll be enjoying our tumeric chickpea and kale Buddha bowls. They’re so tasty, and they contain anti-inflammatory chickpeas, kale, red grapes, and wild rice, all with proven anti-inflammatory properties. And that lemon squeeze right at the end to top everything off not only adds a burst of flavor, but also adds to helping reduce inflammation and helps your muscles and your joints and just overall inflammation. So really good to add that lemon squeeze at the end too.

For snack we have our lemon tumeric energy balls each day.

And those have lemon and tumeric and other anti-inflammatory spices like pepper and cinnamon and ginger. Plus because they’re so chock full of so many tasty and healthy ingredients, they’re also gonna keep you full and be a really good snack each day. And then dinner is gonna be our Mediterranean stuffed baked sweet potatoes which are so delicious and filling. We have so much anti-inflammatory goodness stuffed into these baked sweet potatoes, including the sweet potato itself which is high in vitamin C and E.

And also they have alpha and beta carotene which have anti-inflammatory properties, so those are good for you.

Plus you have it stuffed with quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion with that fresh lemon vinaigrette. All of those were chosen because of their anti-inflammatory properties. All right, so like I said, every recipe in this five day meal plan has been specifically chosen and optimized to be as anti-inflammatory as possible to keep you well balanced and just regular for your diet and just really reducing a lot of inflammation. So you might have noticed that I haven’t added any meat into any of the meals for this five day meal plan.

That’s not because meat is a bad choice if you’re following an anti-inflammatory diet. In fact, foods like fish and cold water fish specifically, like tuna and salmon, are really great for you and high in omega three fatty acids and omega six fatty acids.

So they’re really a great option if you wanted to add in some fish as well. And so as much as food is very important, it is not everything for an anti-inflammatory diet. I also would encourage you to drink a lot of water, get regular exercise and make sure to get good sleep.

Because all of those really help in addition to your diet to reduce inflammation. Thank so much for hanging out with me today. I hope you enjoy this anti-inflammatory meal plan, and let me know if you have any questions on substitutions in the comments below. If you’re looking for more meal plan inspiration, check out my seven day meal prep for weight loss video. And make sure to give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it.

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