7 Steps to Meal Planning Mastery

July 14, 2016
· Amy Thompson

If you’re living with cancer, eating well can improve your health, energy level, and overall well-being. But deciding what to eat, shopping for groceries, and preparing meals can be tiring, even on your best days. Here are 7 tips to guide your meal planning before heading to the grocery store. ”share 

  1. Create a plan. Talk with your health care team about what nutrients you need most. Work with them to create a meal plan that will meet your needs and improve your overall well-being.

  2. Strike a balance. Cancer and cancer treatments can have a big impact on your appetite, change how your body processes certain nutrients, and cause other side effects that affect your eating.  Consider these needs as you plan your meals to ensure you’re getting enough calories, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients.

  3. Keep it simple. Make a list of basic items that frequently appear on your meal plan, and keep those on hand to make quick, simple meals. This might include eggs, Greek yogurt, canned beans, frozen vegetables and fruit, or canned salmon. Think about your snacks too, like string cheese, trail mix, or fruit.

  4. Variety is key. Consider which nutritious foods you like and keep a variety of them stocked in your pantry. Keep in mind that your preferences may change as your treatment progresses, so only keep small quantities on hand.

  5. Take advantage of your good days. If you’re feeling up to it, make a number of healthy meals all at once and use them throughout the week or freeze them.  Then it’s a simple reheat or defrost to enjoy home-cooked goodness.

  6. Keep your options open. There will be days when you won’t feel like cooking or when there’s nothing in the fridge or freezer, so consider prepared foods as an option. Prepackaged meals, prepared meals and sides from the grocery story, and even crockpot meals are all things to keep ready for days like this.

  7. Get help from friends and family. People often want to help but don’t know how. This is a perfect opportunity for them to get involved, and could mean anything from running to the store for you to preparing a simple meal to share together.