October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

 Happy fitness woman with towel and bottle of water celebrating her victory

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs. Scientific studies show that following a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and regular exercise can help reduce your risk for developing cancer and many other chronic diseases.


Recommendations for Breast cancer prevention*:

  • Keep a health weight. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week and choosing a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).
  • Research shows that lack of nighttime sleep can be a risk factor.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per


  • Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens) and

chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the body.

  • Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT

scans, and PET scans if not medically necessary.

  • Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.
  • If you are at or above the age of 40, be sure to have a mammogram one time per year and breast self-exam monthly. Prevention is the best medicine!

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Healthy Meal Plan

Here is a great way to get started on a healthy diet; this is a sample meal plan almost anyone can follow…its quick & easy!

Still hungry? Add extra fruits & veggies anytime.


Breakfast: Peanut Butter & Banana Oats

  • 1/2 cup Oats prepared with 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 banana, sliced


Mid-morning Snack:

  • 2 Rice Cakes
  • 2 Tbsp Hummus
  • Baby Carrots


Lunch: Grilled Chicken & Avocado Sandwich  & Veggie Soup

  • 4 ounces Grilled chicken
  • 2 Slices Whole Grain Bread
  • 1/4 ripe Avocado, sliced
  • 8 ounces Vegetable Broth-based soup* (see note below)


Afternoon Snack:

  • 1 Apple
  • 1 ounce unsalted cashews or other nut of your choice



  • 6 ounce Salmon Filet, baked
  • 5 ounce sweet potato, baked
  • 2 cups+ Sautéed Veggies of your choice (use olive or canola oil)


*NOTE: Soups are great make ahead meals. Consider preparing soup over the weekend and serve for lunch during the week. If canned soups are a more convenient option for you, choose a low-sodium brand.