I love the anti-inflammatory diet, and for those of you with whom I've worked, you'll be familiar with it. Healing the gut and calming inflammation in the body are part of treatment in naturopathic medicine. The anti-inflammatory plan requests that you avoid gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn for a prescribed amount of time, (these are the foods considered to be the Big 5, or the most common food sensitivities in North America). There are other foods included in the anti-inflammatory diet, like the nightshades, (tomatoes, zucchine, eggplant, potato), but this post will focus on the Big 5.
After the internal denial and bargaining phase subside, ("what about yoghurt?" "can I still have beer?" "I eat eggs every morning - can I keep eating them?"), the first question I usually get is, "What will I eat for breakfast?". A good question. I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to breakfast, and I understand the stress involved in re-thinking this most important, delicious meal of the day. (For the record, I'm not a person that enjoys dinner leftovers for breakfast).
5 Easy Anti-inflammatory Breakfast Ideas
Yes, it might feel overdone, but smoothies are an efficient, easy, and delicious way to enjoy breakfast.
Green leafies, (your choice - kale, spinach, chard, yes, even broccoli), berries, banana, and avocado make for a sweeter, more traditional smoothie.
If you like to branch out into the alternative-smoothie world, try green leafies, carrots, apples, ginger, and lemon.
Boosters in smoothies can include: hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, tumeric, cinnamon, spirulina, protein powder that is either hemp or pea based, or try the beef protein powders (tasting remarkably like chocolate or vanilla), cocoa nibs, raw cocoa, organic honey, and coconut oil.
2. Gluten-free bread/toast with nut butter and coconut oil, or mashed avocado.
As usual, please be cautious with your selection here - gluten-free does not mean healthy, and a lot of options in the gluten-free bread world arefilled with high glycemic starches and chemical preservatives.
My personal favourite is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix , hearkening back to my childhood enjoyment of heavier rye breads, this is indeed a hearty and delicious bread.
3. Waffles...yes, waffles! (I do love my breakfast foods)
Get creative with your flours: coconut, garbanzo bean, fava bean (did you know fava beans support dopamine?), amaranth, almond, and most others available can be great together or in a mixture.
My basic recipe:
2 cups flour (I mix and match, and try to choose combinations that improve the overall protein and fibre of the waffle - almond flour makes a surprisingly non-crumbly waffle)
1-2 tsp baking soda (or baking powder if the corn starch made it past the bargaining process)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups nut milk or alternative
egg replacer equal to 2 eggs (easiest is 1 Tbsp ground flax in 2 Tbsp of water = 1 egg)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil or clarified butter
Mix the wet and dry together, and start up the waffle maker!
4. Breakfast Pizza
This works best with ground oats, but if oats are a no-go, try it with a gluten-free flour
Preheat the oven to 350C
1 cup oat flour (blend the gluten free oats into a flour-like texture)
1/2 cup (more if you want) ground flax seed
1/2-3/4 cup water - enough water to moisten the batter
Spread the mixture with a spoon onto a pan lined with parchment paper. The crust should be about 1-2 cm thick.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Spread the finished pizza crust with coconut oil, nut butter, honey, berries, or whatever toppings sound delicious to you. Adding cinnamon or spirulina also tastes great.
5. Granola! Grain-free and oat-free
Again, it's a game of "what's in the pantry". This recipe makes a smaller batch, so double it, if you like it.
1 1/2 cups coconut ribbons (flakes will work too)
1 cup mix and match nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom (if you're a cardamom kind of person)
1 tsp tumeric
1 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Spread onto a baking sheet
Bake at 350C for 20 minutes.
Mix in organic dried fruit of your choice.
I see now that I've selected the sweeter options for breakfast foods. Stay tuned. I'll be offering a selection of savouries in the near future.