7 Strategies To Get Your Appetite Back During Chemotherapy


Going through chemotherapy treatment for cancer is one of the harshest experiences the human body can go through. Eating during chemo is one of the more difficult challenges you might face. Your taste buds go numb and you can’t taste your food. Many foods nauseate you, and your cravings change almost every 15 minutes.


Developing a supportive eating plan with strategies is essential. Luckily, with my background in nutrition and therapeutic cooking, I worked with my oncology team to develop a list of safe foods and strategies to help during my treatment of Stage 4 Lymphoma.


My 7 Strategies For Supportive Eating During Chemo:

Eat as much as possible: I ate as much as I could so that I didn’t become emaciated.

1. Eat a heavy breakfast: on the first day of each cycle I ate a heavy breakfast the morning of chemo so that I had something sustaining in my stomach. The rest of the days of each cycle depended on my cravings and what I could get down. Appetite changes are a huge hurdle and nutrition became secondary for me.

2. Bland foods: the body loses most of its mucous during chemo, so you need mild foods that are easy to eat and easy to pass. Additionally, because of my severe nausea and sensitivity to strong smells and flavors, bland foods were easiest to get down.

3. Eat carbs: carbs became the center of my diet because of their filling fiber-rich nature, ease to eat and bland flavor.

4. Proteins for nutrient-density: I included eggs and chicken in my diet in order to give my body some heavier and richer nutrition during this process.

5. Pasteurized foods only! I avoided raw and unpasteurized foods because of the risk of potential bacteria exposure.

6.Chemo-safe foods: work with your oncology team to develop a list of safe foods to support you through your treatment. This superfood list I developed for my body was crucial:

Sweet potatoes


Brown Rice





I received a diagnosis that many view as a death sentence, yet six months after my diagnosis when my treatment officially ended, I was cancer-free. Hopefully these strategies will help you to be as successful in your recovery as I have been!

Some of my favorite healing recipes include:

Papaya Enzyme Anti-inflammatory Smoothie

Power Green Smoothie

Broccoli & Asparagus Soup with Coconut Milk

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Kale, White Bean, Avocado Quinoa Salad

Heather’s Healthy Easy Guacamole




Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “7 Strategies To Get Your Appetite Back During Chemotherapy

  1. Tanya

    Heather – this is so helpful. I’m going to share with my friend who’s mother is going through something similar. And I love the shirt! So badass girl!

    1. Heather Juliet

      Tanya, that’s awesome- I’m so glad it was helpful. I wish I had something like this to read before I went into treatment, so share away! I’m sending positive thoughts to your friend’s mom….it’s a tough road. Besides healing food, a positive attitude is the second piece of the puzzle in recovery. 🙂