Proper nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. A good diet is even more important for young women facing breast cancer. Some types of chemotherapy may leave women with challenging weight problems—they can cause survivors to gain weight in a particular way by losing muscle and gaining fat tissue. Unfortunately, this can make losing weight more difficult since many of the usual ways won’t work. It’s normal to feel some frustration—but be patient with yourself. You have the ability to control a lot of things and make some positive choices, like eating a healthy diet.
To help you take control of your healthy diet, we created a Meal Planning Worksheet – an easy way to get you started on the road to healthy eating. The Meal Planning Worksheet will help you keep track of your weekly meals since planning ahead is a good way to understand your food choices.
A few key tips on nutrition that most of us are aware of, but forget to incorporate in our weekly meal plans:
– Eat a plant-based diet and have at least 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
– Try to include beans in your diet, and eat whole grains several times daily.
– Choose foods low in fat and salt.
Some young women face a different challenge after their diagnosis – they have no desire to eat, and they lose weight. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about your appetite and weight challenges. Try eating several, smaller nutritional meals daily.
Now that you have a Meal Planning Worksheet, below are a few favorite healthy recipes from YSC Staff. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Megan’s Favorite Vegetarian Bean Chili
by Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
This is my favorite “big batch” recipe. The chili is delicious and it’s so easy to make a hearty pot that lasts the whole week.
It’s full of protein with two different types of beans and for extra health benefit – add some turmeric!
Turmeric is believed to, among other things, have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Click here for the recipe.
Lily’s Breakfast Bars
I’ve always struggled to fit in a nutritious breakfast in the morning before work, unfortunately my nature is to usually prioritize a pot of coffee over food. This recipe is super simple and flexible; I make some variation of it every Sunday to last us through the work week. Having these bars on hand and ready to go helps me get some fuel in my body early in the day.
– 2.5 cups Rolled Oats (can be toasted in the oven for about 15 minutes)
– 1/3 cup Honey
– 1/3 cup Nut Butter (almond, peanut or cashew)
– 2/3 cup Dates (or dried fruit like apricots or cherries)
– 1.5 cup Chopped Nuts (Ex: almonds or pistachios)
In a food processor, pulse the dates (or other fruit) until it’s finely chopped and forms a sticky ball. In a big bowl mix this with the oats (cooled down if they’ve been toasted), coarsely chopped nuts, honey and nut butter. You can also add anything else you like! Sometimes I throw in a handful of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds, chia or flax. Mix it all well then turn the mixture out into a 9″x 13″ dish lined with parchment or plastic wrap. Use your hands or the bottom of a glass to compress the mixture firmly and let it set on the counter or in the fridge for a while. Then turn it out of the pan and cut into bars. I cut 10 to last two people for one work-week. They can be stored out on the counter in a container, or even frozen for later!
Mary’s Super Simple Spinach Dip
I love this super simple Spinach dip recipe that my friends and family request I make for every get together! I make it a little lighter by using light sour cream and light cream cheese. Then serve the dip with tons of different veggies for a tasty appetizer everyone is sure to love.
Extra Health Tip: As soon as you get home from the farmers market or grocery store, clean and prep veggies and fruits so they are ready to eat and easy to grab when you want a quick snack!
Click here for the recipe.
Jenn R.’s Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms and Red Bell Peppers
This is my go-to favorite delicious and healthy recipe from Women’s Health Magazine. I love it because it takes 30 minutes and I get to whip out my wok.
Sauce: 5 tsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 tsp roasted sesame oil 3/4 tsp cornstarch 1/2 tsp sugar
Stir-Fry: 1 Tbsp (packed) peeled, minced fresh ginger 2 tsp minced garlic 1 Tbsp peanut oil 8 cups sliced baby bok choy (from 3 heads) 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms 1 cup sliced red bell pepper 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1.) Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and sugar until smooth. Set aside.
2.) In a large wok over high heat, stir-fry ginger and garlic in peanut oil for 1 minute. Add bok choy, mushrooms, and bell pepper, and stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Add the soy mixture, then stir-fry for another minute.
3.) Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Makes 4 Servings Per serving: 140 cal, 6 g fat (1 g sat), 20 g carbs, 330 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein
Jean’s Veggie Sliders
These veggie sliders are adapted from the Oh She Grow’s Perfect Veggie Burger recipe. For my version, I add corn, leave out the bread crumbs and make them smaller. You can eat these without a bun. They taste great with sliced avocado and some really good brown mustard. I love them because they are delicious, easy and healthy!
Click here for the recipe.
Keep a look-out for other awesome resources from YSC this week in celebration of National Women’s Health Week!
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