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Up to 80 per cent of people receiving cancer treatment suffer from various levels of fatigue. Watch our fatigue video for some tips on managing fatigue at home. Be mindful of how fatigue can affect your mood. Fatigue may arise from underlying depression. Talk to your team if you are concerned.

Key strategies to assist with managing your fatigue and nutrition:

  • Plan ahead: Buy pre-cut meat and vegetables if needed.
  • Use simple recipes that have minimal steps and require less preparation, cooking and/or standing time. See below for our pumpkin, chickpea and red lentil curry recipe.
  • Cook in bulk and freeze meals during periods of feeling well, for when you have less energy.
  • Have a range of appealing, convenient snacks on hand for example protein bars, cheese and biscuits, yoghurt and nuts.
  • If you are tiring during your meal try modifying the texture to minimise chewing and swallowing for example blending nourishing soups and smoothies.
  • Ask for help – utilise family and friends.
  • Plan tasks across the day for energy conservation.

Who can help?

Treating doctor
Occupational therapist
Exercise physiologist or physiotherapist

Cooking can be the last thing on your mind when feeling fatigued. Look for easy recipes that are either quick or require little chopping and standing time like our pumpkin lentil soup below.


Slow cooker pumpkin, chickpea and red lentil curry 

Preperation time is 5 – 10 minutes

Cooking time is 6 – 8 hours

Recipe: Mel Scattergood, senior clinical dietitian at Royal North Shore Hospital

Creamy, hearty, and full of flavour, this Indian-inspired slow cooker recipe is so easy to assemble. A perfect recipe that can be made in bulk. Scoop over rice and serve with coriander and fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

For extra protein and energy serve with Greek yoghurt, or add meat/chicken to the slow cooker. Once cooked the meat will shred with ease.



2 cans chickpeas, drained

1 medium brown onion, diced

2 tsp of minced garlic

1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock

1 cup dry red lentils

1 canned condensed pumpkin soup

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (omit if you have a sore mouth)

1 teaspoon salt or more to your personal taste

1 x 400 ml can coconut milk


For serving:

Pre-cooked rice – reheated as per microwave instructions

Fresh lime wedges (optional)

Coriander leaves (optional)



Add all ingredients except the coconut milk to a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours or on high 5 – 6 hours. Stir in the coconut milk and cook on low for another 30 minutes.

The curry will be a bit thin at first; it thickens as it sits.

Serve warm over rice.