Getting Back to Healthy Eating + Helpful Tips for the Busy Person

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, it was a huge wake up call for me to evaluate my lifestyle and made me aware of how unhealthy I was living. Because I was so scared that cancer would get the best of me, I was hugely motivated and changed my eating habits instantly. 

Healthy Eating After Breast Cancer

I would juice a few times a day, eat all the cruciferous vegetables, minimised my meat consumption and avoided dairy and sugar. It was easy peasy because at that point in my life, fear was driving me to eat healthy in a way I had never done before.

However, it’s now been six years from diagnosis. The anxiety and fear of a cancer recurrence has somewhat dissipated and frankly so has my motivation for healthy eating.

My life also looks different now. Busier. (Who's life isn't?).

I'm now focused on caring for my daughter. And it's hard work, taking up all my time and energy.

I've finally managed to get her to love broccoli.

Ok, I lie.

Healthy eating and helpful tips for the busy person

She's finally developed a taste for the green florets. The stem? Not so much.

She's only 18 months, so she hasn't gotten to the stage where she is super picky.

But what about when she gets older?

Healthy eating or lack thereof starts when we're young.

The dishes she grows up eating will most likely be her favourite foods in the future. Think about your favourite foods? Most likely these dishes were the ones your mum cooked for you.

So I wonder, how else am I shaping her beliefs towards eating and food?  

We don't think about it much, but food has powerful emotional, social and cultural associations.

The foods that we eat can be driven by these influences, so I'm not surprised that eating habits are hard to change.

If my health declines, the people that will suffer most are my family.

For me, everyday is a battle of priorities. Take care of my daughter or take care of me.

Often I put her priorities ahead of mine. But isn't that what moms do?

We want the best for our kids, but I have to gently remind myself that my health is a priority above anything else in my life.

If my health declines, the people that will suffer most are my family.

It's hard to find a healthy balance. But at least I must try.

I could eat healthy before, so I know I can do it again!

Unlike last time, I want this change to be permanent. If I'm going to make an impact on my longevity, then I need to be consistent. Not just for a month, 2 months, not even a year. I need to do this for the rest of my life.

This time I won't be driven by fear, but by love. Love for my body, health, and family. I'm a mother now, so I need to be an example for my little girl.

So to get started and get back on the right path, I wanted to gain some insights into other people's healthy lifestyle.

I asked nine amazing women bloggers in the health & wellness field, what their tips are for busy people who want to eat healthy and avoid the junk food and take-out.

Check out their responses below. I'm sure they'll be as helpful to you as they are to me.

Before you read their responses below, think about what's stopping you from eating healthy?

Which tip would be most helpful to you? Do you have any tips to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 

Young and Cancer Free Survivor.jpg

Amanda Barnes (registered dietician @ Amanda barnes nutrition)

"Don’t leave junk food around the house. Having a bowl of candy or access to junk food often leads to mindless eating. Instead have a bowl of fruit or healthy snacks already prepared. If you are really craving sweets try to make them a bit healthier- dates, dark chocolate, or a chocolate avocado pudding. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising too much on health. As for fast food, I like to have a few quick go-to meals so when I don’t have time to cook I am not left without options. Veggie burgers in the freezer, frozen vegetables and rice for a quick stir fry, if you know you have options you won’t have to go for the fast food."

Cassie spanner @

Be forever healthier

"Meal prep is key! You don’t have to go crazy like those people I see who prepare an entire week's worth of meals and snacks on a Sunday! Just start with making a bit more food for dinner so you have leftovers for lunch. Or planning your snacks for the week so you steer clear of your work’s biscuit jar. Also pick weeknight dinners that are easy to prepare (ready in less than 30 minutes) but also delicious so you aren’t tempted to stop on the way home and pick up some takeout. "

amy miller @ I heart the new me

"Meal prep is a tremendous help. Make a plan for the entire week. It also helps with portion control and mindless eating. I like to make energy balls for before my workout and I make a crustless veggie quiche in a pie pan and cut slices all week long for breakfast."

Chantal Drouin-Charters @ Mindful munching

"Prep is key. Even if you don’t want to go into big meal preps, having a few things done ahead of time will help you tremendously. Figure out what types of foods you like that are quick and can be eaten on the go. Oatmeal can be made at the office or hotel, nuts and seeds can go anywhere, a good/clean food bar in your purse or car for emergencies.Make a large cold bean salad to keep in the fridge and grab a serving when you’re short on time."

Wendy Hodge (precision nutrition certified coach @ Wendy's Way to Health)

"It all comes down to planning, but it doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Just find what works best for you. It might be planning a week of dinners, chopping up your fruit and veggies for the week or prepping your snacks. Always cooking more than you need when you do cook, is an easy way to have leftovers for lunches or to keep in the freezer. If you really have no time to cook, you can easily avoid take-aways by using a local healthy meal delivery service."

joanna zervas (accredited exercise physiologist @ balanced posture online)

"Meal Prep! If you want to make sustainable changes, you need to set aside time to buy healthy foods and prep your own meals on your free time. I like to make a huge Sunday and Wednesday dinners so I have leftovers for the other days or for the freezer. I also pack food items that I can keep in my bag or workstation, such as nuts, protein balls, or cans of tuna - which stink, but they’ll get me through a few meetings without a rumbling belly. I also source out surrounding areas for healthy food options, so if I need to get take-away, I already know where I’ll go and what menu items to order. "

Susan minich @ my real dish

Meal prep is so important. Spending an afternoon of chopping and cutting to make crockpot freezer meals saves me! It’s an easy way for me to have something that I thaw the night before and throw in the crockpot. I’ve had luck with Wildtree Organics (if you are in the US look into it!). They have organic healthy sauces and spices, and tasty easy freezer meals recipes. Also, on Sundays I prep my veggies and salads for lunch and overnight oats and smoothies for breakfast, so that I can quickly walk out the door in the morning. Meal prep makes my life less stressful and eliminates my need to eat out.

Mj ong

(accredited exercise scientist, pregnancy, postpartum health & fitness coach @ the baby wearing health coach)

Planning ahead helps tremendously. At our house, we usually do a big shop on one day and we will wash all the fruits and vegetables and cut it up, ready to eat. But as life happens to us and we do need to quick meal, there is still takeaway and fast food that are healthier than others.

Ciara Doran @ cool things i love

A way to avoid junk food is to steer past that aisle in the supermarket and keep them out of the house. Out of sight out of mind.