5 lessons on living well from cancer survivors

I learned so much from my professors at Cornell and New York University, but I learn the most from the cancer survivors I work with every day.

5 ways you can get healthy, no matter how busy you are Click To Tweet

Here are five lessons on living well from cancer surviors:


1.   Stop thinking of exercise as a chore.

Can't talk now, got stuff to do(via reddit)

Use the time, even if it is just 15 minutes, to engage your body in something you love to do.

As a New Yorker, my day is packed with “to dos” from sunrise to sunset.  As much as I love to be physically active, exercise often becomes another thing to check off of my list.  It’s my clients who remind me to stop thinking of exercise as a chore and instead realize it’s my time to release pent up energy from the day.

I make time to be fully present and get in touch with my body. Some days that means challenging myself with a class at the gym. Other days it’s finding time to a loop around the park when I’m running errands.

2.   Work smarter, not harder.

Voila! Easy meal prep(via Giphy)

Use your time wisely for meal preparation.

Make healthy eating easier:

  • Chop up fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them in the fridge to grab as a snack
  • Cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers for future meals
  • Keep things on hand to throw together for quick, healthy meals:
    • simple lean proteins (organic eggs, veggie burgers, cans of wild salmon, beans, etc)
    • frozen vegetables
    • quick cook whole grains

3.   Focus on simplicity.

Down with carbs!(via Giphy)

Don’t get crazed by the latest health trend.

The news may be reporting on a great new diet, but our bodies haven’t changed. Regardless of what’s popular, a healthy diet is full of unprocessed whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds and lean proteins.

Stick to a diet consisting mostly of plants. Ingredient lists should be short and easy to pronounce. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

4.   Have fun.

Learn to love cooking(via Tumblr)

Enjoy your food and keep it interesting.

Nature has given us so many amazing different natural ingredients that food should never be boring. Pick out something different from the grocery store and find a new recipe to use it in. Cooking can be really fun — don’t be afraid to experiment.

5.   Listen to your body.

I'm 'hangry.' That means I'm hungry and I'm angry.(via Giphy)

Are you just hangry?

Our bodies give us signals to help guide us each and every day. Are you hungry or just tired or bored? Are you cold to your core and in need of a hot meal or a hearty soup instead of a salad or something cold or raw? Take time to hear the signals and address them accordingly.

5 real world tips on how to stay healthy Click To Tweet
Hillary Sachs, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

Hillary is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO). She received her BS in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and MS in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, and completed her dietetic internship at the James J. Peters Bronx VA Medical Center. Hillary works as an outpatient dietitian at the North Shore-LIJ’s Cancer Institute, where she counsels patients and their families before, during and after cancer treatment. Additionally, Hillary counsels clients on nutrition through her private practice, Recipe for Health, L.L.C., and has been invited to present at several nutrition-related events including the Breast Cancer Update Symposium at North Shore-LIJ (2013) and Adelphi University’s Farm to Table lecture (2014). Hillary strives to translate the science behind health, nutrition and prevention into practical and easy-to-follow recommendations.

2 Comments
    1. As a registered dietitian, I believe all foods can fit into a healthy diet. Complete deprivation is not healthy either. Enjoy your brownie once in a while (who knows, maybe you need some magnesium?!); Just take time to eat it slowly and “savor”!

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