The Best Medicine for Anti-Inflammation… Is This Menu!
There is a clear link between chronic disease and inflammation related to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle habits according to a recent article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This article explores how chronic disease – including heart disease, cancer, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and other “diseases of civilization” as referred to by the CDC – may be, in fact, caused by inflammation. But what can we do about it? As usual, experts say that diet and exercise are the first steps to better health, but getting the motivation to work out and eat right are easier said than done. Or are they?
“The best medicine to ease the massive suffering endured by so many in our population today is an active lifestyle and an anti-inflammatory diet; food should be nourishing and pleasurable,” says nutritionist and “Juice Lady” Cherie Calbom, MS. In her latest book, “The Juice Lady’s Anti-Inflammation Diet,” Calbom outlines the causes of inflammation, and she offers workable solutions with healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as robust juicing recipes.
“Whether you’re on a vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, no-carb, Mediterranean, Neanderthal or any other kind of diet, there are delicious recipes available to anyone who wants to up their anti-inflammation efforts.”
We got her to share three simple recipes that we’re sure you can handle — they include ingredients that are probably already in your pantry!
- Breakfast: Spanish frittata and simple salad with maple orange vinaigrette (serves 4-6).
12 large organic eggs
½ cup coconut milk
½ tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
2 tbsp. coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, small chop
½ cup sautéed mushrooms or your favorite vegetable
1 cup spinach or arugula.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the eggs and coconut milk with 2 pinches of salt. Set aside. Prepare pan with coconut oil and medium-high heat and sauté onions until translucent, about 3 min. Add mushroom or favorite vegetable and sauté until soft. Toss in spinach and fold into veggie mixture just until wilted. Remove vegetables from pan; set aside. Turn down the heat to low, adding a little more coconut oil if needed. Using the same skillet, add the eggs, shaking to distribute the mixture evenly. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 min. using a spatula to spread the eggs from the edges to the center until the edges are no longer runny. Arrange the vegetable mixture over the top evenly.
Transfer to a 375-dgree oven and cook for 5 minutes until set and slightly browned. Remove from oven. Be very aware of the hot handle!
To finish, slide partially cooked frittata onto a large plate; wearing oven mitts, place a plate over the pan and, holding the two together, invert them so the frittata drops onto the plate. Slide the frittata back into the pan so partially cooked side is up. Place back in oven to cook 3-4 min. more.
“The simple salad with maple orange vinaigrette is something I dreamed up for a ‘breakfast for dinner’ themed night – a nice complement to the main dish,” Calborn suggests.
- Lunch: tropical quinoa salad with cashews with carrot fries (serves 4).
1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 cup apple or carrot, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. honey or agave
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large mango, chopped (not overly ripe)
¼ cup mint, finely chopped
1 tsp. seal salt, to taste; freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½-inch-piece ginger, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped or thinly sliced
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
3 cups Romaine lettuce (or greens of choice), roughly chopped.
Cook the quinoa: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add the quinoa and simmer, covered 15-20 min. Set aside and let cool (spread out for best results). In a large bowl toss the chopped red onion and apple/carrot. Whisk together the lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add to the bowl. Add the cooked, cooled quinoa and mango to the bowl and toss well. Mix in mint, cilantro, ginger and salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with sliced avocado and cashews. Scoop mixture over greens and serve chilled or at room temperature.
“Who doesn’t like French fries? – Carrot fries are a healthy alternative!” Calbom says.
- Dinner: grilled salmon and asparagus with stone fruit and lavender chutney (serves 4-6).
2 lb. stone fruit, small dice
1 large onion, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon or lime
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
¼ tsp. chili flakes (optional)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup raw honey or agave
¾ tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. fresh lavender (or use basil or mint; use 1 tsp. dried lavender if you cannot find it fresh).
In a saucepan combine all prepared ingredients except the herbs. Bring to a boil. Continue cooking at a rolling boil, 15 min. Stir occasionally. Mix in fresh herbs and/or lavender at the end.
“This chutney will get you excited for salmon all over again,” she says. “Of course, buy wild salmon, which is significantly healthier and environmentally friendly.”
- Bonus Snack: Cherry Chocolate Shake (serves 1).
1 Tbsp. unsweetened, unprocessed cocoa powder
½ cup frozen dark cherries, pitted
1 cup coconut; almond or flax milk
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract; several drops of liquid stevia (suggest Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme)
ice cubes as desired.
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Our immune system is telling us that inflammation is an issue that can’t be ignored. (And our tastebuds are telling us not to ignore Calborn’s creations.) Try using these menu ideas to jump start a scrumptious habit of inflammation prevention.