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Breast cancer is one of the most frequent diseases affecting women in the United States, impacting one in every eight women at some point in their lives. Although hereditary gene mutations account for 5–10% of breast cancer incidences in the United States, lifestyle factors account for the majority of instances.

Because of this, adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced food and staying at a healthy weight may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer as well as other illnesses like heart disease.

How can you adopt healthy habits and what does a healthy lifestyle look like?

The best method to make sure you can plan and cook healthful meals at home, especially on busy weeknights, is to meal prep.

1. Start with Your Schedule

When choosing the days you wish to prepare meals at home, take into account your weekly routine. Do you have late shifts on some evenings? Do certain weekly activities that your family members participate in make cooking at home challenging? Make a note of the evenings you will be spending away from home, and think about scheduling a meal at a restaurant that serves healthy options on those days.

Don’t forget to allow for flexibility when making plans. Decide whether to order takeout or prepare a simple dinner at home on days when you have a busy schedule or important event. Decide which days you will cook at home after your weekly schedule is complete.

2. Choose Your Recipes

Consider what ingredients you already have on hand when choosing recipes for your meal plan. Which foods from your freezer, fridge, and pantry can you use to cut down on food waste and make your grocery list shorter?

How to Prepare Healthy Meals for the Week
How to Prepare Healthy Meals for the Week

Plan your breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack meals carefully. Don’t make it too difficult. Make use of leftovers whenever you can. Make a note of if you have to bring meals to work or school or if you intend to buy prepared foods like salad kits.

Be honest and practical about your preferences while selecting dishes for the evening meal. Choose recipes with fewer ingredient lists and cooking instructions if you enjoy making straightforward meals. When feasible, try to use meals that are well-prepared and nutritious. If you want to cook, you might want to limit yourself to one labor-intensive recipe each week to avoid being overworked.

Simple, healthful meals can be found in recipe books, on social media, and on blogs. To exchange ideas, ask friends and family for their best healthy dish recommendations. In addition, have everyone in your home list three to five meals they like to eat. This will assist you in creating a rolling list of go-to dinners. Making a list of 10–30 meals you like to eat will help you choose recipes for the coming week quickly and effortlessly.

Additionally, think about how you may modify your dishes and snack selections to include healthier options:

  • Replace the chips with carrots.
  • Instead of using frozen French fries, bake sweet potato fries.
  • Select whole-grain pasta and bread.
  • Instead of pasta, try using noodles made from spaghetti squash or other vegetables, such as zucchini.
  • Instead of candy, munch on some nuts.
  • Use avocado oil in place of butter.
  • Instead of using white rice, try using ancient grains like quinoa or farro.
  • Instead of using refried beans, use whole beans like pinto beans.
  • Swap the mayo for reduced-calorie condiments like mustard.
  • Instead of using a salad dressing with cream, try using oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Instead of serving mashed potatoes or a fried side dish, provide sautéed veggies or a side salad.


3. Make Your Grocery List

Make a list of the groceries you need once you have your weekly meal plan. Think about the food shopping plan that is most effective for your family. Would you rather buy groceries once a week or every day? Which would you prefer—making a monthly meal plan or making a single, large grocery store trip?

Consider how you can be creative as you write your list. Is it possible to double a recipe and store half of it for use on a hectic weekday later in the month?

4. Go Grocery Shopping

How to Prepare Healthy Meals for the Week
How to Prepare Healthy Meals for the Week

Use supermarket delivery or curbside pickup to save time the next time you go grocery shopping. See a friend or family member for assistance if you wish to use these services but don’t know where to begin. They can help you order groceries. Grocery businesses may provide free curbside pickup, but some delivery services demand a fee.

5. Start Prepping

Once you have your ingredients, choose the amount of meal prep you can fit into your schedule and the time you want to do it. Would you rather set out a Saturday afternoon to prepare some ingredients ahead of time for use in dishes during the week, as well as wash and cut your produce? As an illustration, you may grill a big quantity of chicken breasts for the week and freeze some for later use.

Plan to consume some of the food you cook for dinner that day if you like to set up a lot of time for meal prep, or schedule takeaway or a pre-made meal to make dinner more feasible. While you are preparing dinner, you may also meal prep. For example, when you slice one onion, chop two more and package the second one to put in the freezer or refrigerator for later use.

Although it takes time, meal planning is possible if you have the right intentions. To ensure that meal planning is feasible, divide your chores into manageable chunks. Think about organizing recipes one day, grocery shopping the next, and meal preparation the following day when creating a weekly or monthly meal plan. To include healthy meals into your life, come up with a plan that works for you and your family.

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