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Your Guide to Healthy Nutrition with Chrysalis

Your body is like a machine. There are so many moving parts and things that we don't fully understand. One day we're told something is good for our body and the next we're told it's not. Chrysalis is not designed to replace advice of your surgeon, dietitian, or other medical professional whom you work with on an individual basis. The nutritional component of this program is designed to give you general guidance on healthy foods and tips that will enhance your recovery. Recovering from a breast surgery requires making healthy choices regardless of the reason for your surgery. Overall, eating as healthfully as possible is the ultimate goal. Don't shoot for perfection, strive for making overall healthy choices on a regular basis and you will set yourself up for success! 

Keeping your body fueled with healthy foods is essential for a speedy recovery. Hydration is extremely important not only on a normal day, but especially when your body is recovering from a surgery. 

  • You should aim to get 64 ounces of water a day. (Or divide your body weight in half and consume that number in ounces of water per day) 

If you like the taste of something hot in the mornings, try drinking green tea! Green tea is rich in antioxidants which are great for the brain and some research suggests it even aids in weight loss which is a bonus. If you absolutely cannot give up coffee, make sure you’re not adding cream and sugar. Keep it black! If that’s just not possible, use a substitute such as Stevia or Truvia as your sweetener and use almond milk instead of cream for a lower calorie healthier option.

Your program includes 21 recipes, a few snack ideas and one dessert recipe. You do not have to eat these recipes, but they are healthy options with great nutrients and low in calories and salt. When you are recovering from surgery, you want to fuel your body but not overeat and certainly not eat foods high in sodium (salty) and fats. Salt will increase your water retention and make you feel more bloated and puffy.

  • If you can stay away from processed foods in the weeks following your surgery, you will have a better recovery. 

  • Think about eating foods that come from the ground and straight from animals. Dark green leafy veggies are the best! 

  • Add spinach to a smoothie, use spinach or kale for a salad, put spinach in an omelet, and/or mix it with your other veggies.

  • Make sure that you are getting plenty of protein. A general rule of thumb is to get 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. So, for a woman weighing 140 pounds, it’s recommended that she get 50.4 grams of protein in one day. 

  • When recovering from surgery, it’s fine to get a little more protein so don’t be afraid to add some extra for that extra healing you need. It’s always best if you can get your protein from a natural source instead of supplements. Think about eating lean meats, eggs, almonds, oats, and Greek yogurt.

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the first few weeks and no alcohol when you're taking your pain meds!

  • The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. Sugar comes in many forms. Try to limit yourself to natural sugars. Natural sugar comes from some fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

  • Chrysalis does not promote the use of dietary supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. Chrysalis encourages getting sufficient vitamins, minerals and nutrients from foods that come from the earth. However, as always if your physician has instructed you to consume supplements, you should always listen to your physician for your specific medical case. 

  • Vitamin C is a critical vitamin that’s essential in healing. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and aids in healing tissue. Prunes are high in vitamin C and assist with constipation. If you’re taking pain meds, a common side effect is constipation. Getting adequate vitamin C will thus aid in tissue healing as well as decrease constipation. Try drinking a glass of sugar-free prune juice, eating raw prunes, or dried prunes for some good Vitamin C!

  • During breast cancer treatment, some may experience deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals. It's important to talk with your doctor to determine if you have any deficiencies so they can be adjusted in your dietary intake. 

Now that you understand the importance of eating healthy during your recovery, use some of these suggested recipes as well as keeping your diet low in fats, salty foods, processed foods and starchy carbohydrates. 

  • Don’t forget to drink PLENTY of water and flush those toxins out.

If you have any questions about something you want to eat or a recipe you find, don’t hesitate to ask on the forum, or email our registered dietitian!

If you’re dining out and need support or suggestions of what to choose on the menu, often the choice with a lean meat and vegetable is more nutrient rich and lower in calories compared to a salad loaded with cheese and dressing. 

  • If you get a salad, choose a lighter dressing and ALWAYS ask for it on the side and use a dipping method. This will cut down on the total fat, sugar, and calories. 

  • Try to avoid anything fried and opt for the grilled options instead. Most restaurants now are required to list their nutrients so it makes decisions easier when choosing healthier options for optimal recovery.

The nutrition provided in these recipes is estimated using low fat/lean meats, olive oil where oil is required, and low-sodium ingredients. If an ingredient is suggested as a possible addition, it’s not included in the nutritional analysis. All nutritional information and recipes are provided for 4 servings. There is a nutritional breakdown for one serving as well in the chart provided. If you do not need 4 servings, you can either make the entire recipe and save the remaining for later (recommended) or you can divide all the ingredients by 4 for one serving.

Fat (g), Cholesterol (mg), Sodium (mg), Carbohydrates (g), Dietary Fiber (g), Sugars (g), Protein (g), Calcium (mg), Potassium (mg)

Food guidelines have changed over the years and it's recommended to stay up to date with those changes. Chrysalis and it's dietitians utilize the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If you would like to read more, click here to download the pdf resource provided by the USDA. 

If you have specific dietary needs, we are here to help.  Feel free to email our registered dietitian at for any questions related to nutrition following your breast surgery. 

10 Foods for Recovery


  1. Vegetables (Carrots, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes)

  2. Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Mustard Greens)

  3. Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)

  4. Other Fruits (Oranges, Mango, Apples)

  5. Lean Meats/Proteins (Fish, Poultry, Tofu)

  6. Healthy Fats (Olive Oil, Nuts, Avocados)

  7. Whole Grains (Whole wheat, Oats, Quinoa)

  8. Probiotics (Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut)

  9. Eggs

  10. Water

Healthy Snack Ideas


Protein Shake - Use lean protein powder, a handful of spinach, 1/4 C blueberries, 1/4 C. oats, 8 oz. almond milk, 4 oz. water and a few ice cubes if you want a thicker consistency.

Yogurt Parfait - 1C. fat-free Greek yogurt. Mix in a packet of Stevia or Truvia for sweetness. Mix in 1/4 C. of your favorite fruit and top with 1/4 C. dried oats. 

Hummus Veggie Snack - Use 1/2 of hummus and 1 cup of carrots or celery for dipping. 

Almond/Egg Snack - 10 almonds and 2 hard boiled egg whites.

Rice Cake Snack - Low-salt rice cake with sliced avocado and lean sliced deli turkey on top.

Apple Snack - Apple sliced with 1 Tbsp. of almond butter or organic peanut butter (avoid peanut butter that is processed with loads of sugar like Jiffy.) Pure peanut or almond butter is best. 

Turkey roll-up - Turkey deli meat roll-up with your choice of veggies int he middle along with 1 Tbsp. of hummus or avocado. 

Click buttons above to view/download Chrysalis Recipes

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