Pickled Herrings!

Hi everyone,

Does anyone else( probably those on chemo, but this is open to everyone) get weird food cravings? Have just had 2 pickled herrings for breakfast , have got through 2 quite large jars so far since Monday. Had chemo last Weds , and I am lucky to be feeling hungry rather than sick.

Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing this? Maybe my body is telling me I have some kind of vitamin deficiency?


24 Replies

  • Julie, are yoou taking steroids after chemo ? I had food cravings, sweet things which I dont normally eat and everyone put it down to the steriods, I might be wrong but go with it, I always think its what your body wants in moderation at least for my chocolates ! Love Sue x

  • Hi Sue

    Have had extra steroids this time as am allergic to carboplatin, but stop taking them 2 days after chemo(last chemo was 10 days ago).Maybe they are still affecting me.Also have sweet cravings, I find Kellys Honeycombe Icecream hits the spot.Yes, I think this must be what my body wants,

    Take care


  • I only take 8 steriods after chemo, funn'lly enough I'm not craving this time around.Also i craved pork pies with mustard,kept getting packs of mini pies and wonder why I put on weight !! still they were Lovely.Sue

  • Another pork pie lover ....

    Yes pork pies after chemo ..hits the spot every time also bacon and egg and mustard ..

    Janet xx

  • Mine was fresh pineapple and smoked salmon!

    I always did have expensive tastes! LOL! I also went off a lot of foods especially the few sweet things I liked before chemo! I now no longer eat even good dark chocolate or good quality ice cream! and I still have a problem with my weight! LOL! Heigh Ho! Things could be worse!


  • Margaret

    Thats it , now you have put 'pineapple ' into my head I will have to go and buy one.


  • Hi Julie!

    I'm always on the look out for good deals? Last week I got a giant one for £1.25! I am still munching my way through it! Apparently the enzymes help the taste buds! I am now off to buy pickled herrings! LOL!


  • Hi Julie,

    On my first line chemo I was nuts on sausages...... Yeh!!I know that's bad......a friend even bought me some for my birthday lol ...I drooled even over pictures and adverts of them, it lasted quite a long time after I had finished chemo...but I am cured of that now... haha.....another thing I had a passion for was golden syrup I went through a large tin in a week I had to curb my enthusiasm for that as I would have been the size of a house ... my second line chemo I hated chocolate.. (even the smell)..and hated the smell of flowers...how weird is that?

    Love x G x

  • Haha Gwyn

    you know exactly how I feel and you have described it so well.Its like an obsession.!

    Have never liked chocolate much, but now I have to have it ( it must be the right brand and flavour though).Its really weird , and yes I think something has happened to my sense of smell too. I notice smells much more than other people, quite often bad ones and no one else can smell them! Love perfume at the moment(samsara) , normally can take it or leave it.


  • Dear Julie

    Now I have had a lifelong aversion to Branston Pickle - and what happened when I was on chemotherapy - I couldn't get enough of the stuff. Another strange thing - some way into the line I suddenly got the munchies. Couldn't stop myself eating. That lasted for a couple of weeks until my trousers started to get tight and I had to get a grip of myself.

    It's funny what Gwyn says about chocolate. I'm the same. Can't stand the smell of the stuff - even 70% Green and Blacks which I used to love.

    Herrings ... you should take a holiday in the Netherlands. They have stalls selling raw herrings stuffed with raw grated onion. That would put you off for life.

    xx Annie

  • Hi Annie

    The herrings I've been eating are raw I think and stuffed with a gherkin!I think they are German(from LIDL)

    Branston pickle sounds most enticing.Have not had that since childhood, ...will probably go and get some.

    I'm trying to put on weight so giving in to all cravings,within reason.Normally put on weight while on chemo,but this time had lost a bit before I started so am trying to catch up.


  • Hi Julie

    Over the last three years I've cravings for such diverse things as scampi, chocolate, crunchy nut cornflakes and cream cheese(thankfully not all at the same time !) conversely at different times I've found I can hardly look at let alone eat food that I previously loved like roast potatoes and steak.

    I have found though

    that within 2 or 3 months of finishing chemo the food fads go and things get back to normal. This has happened three times now so it's obviously chemo related. Thanks for mentioning it because at least anybody just starting out on the treatment trail reading this will know its quite common.

    Meryl Xxxxxxxx

    PS. The big problem was when I found scampi on special offer and ended up with a drawer full in the freezer by which time i'd gone right off if it. Neighbours cats were very grateful tho.

  • Haha Meryl

    I'm sure my cat will be very grateful when I go off the herrings.She's already being extra friendly, I probably smell of fish!

    All the cravings you mention have been on my list too. I gave up cheese and all dairy products when I was diagnosed, and actually I don't even like cheese any more BUT when I'm on chemo I have to have cheese and it must be Cambazola.!

    Certainly I would advise people starting chemo not to do a big shop beforehand, our tastes seem to change in quite unpredictable ways.


  • For me I can't pass a fish and chip without drooling I normally can't stand fish and chips. Also I have big craving for chocolate. Now putting on weight just in time for summer x

  • Hi michelle

    Fish seems to be on most peoples list of cravings.I am also craving chocolate, never used to like it at all.


  • Hahaha....forgot to say I went right off porridge and still not had any for about three years...oh yes and ginger biscuits or anything with ginger in it actually made me sick... even though it is meant to stop nausea....( I tried it on the advice of others ) result? violently sick !!! Just goes to show we are all different.

    There is a whole list of things that I either liked or hated some likes and dislikes have remained ...some have gone .... Weird..... :-) :-) :-). X G X

  • All these cravings we have remind me of pregnancy! I remember craving Findus frozen lemon mousse in 1965, when pregnant with my first! This from someone who never buys ready meals and loathes sweet things (I gave up sugar and sweets for lent in 1955 and have been off them ever since)! I too havehad problems with y sense of smell and cannot abide anything scented! At least current cravings are healthy! LOL!

    Funny old world!


  • Me too, first time on chemo it was smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, so much nausea I couldn't eat much else! then I got into rice vermicelli 3-4 bowls a day again it helped with the nausea. This time I can't eat sweet stuff at all, all savoury and I had a run on pickles and roll mops too, it is strange but I think the body knows what it needs!

    love Diane xxx

  • glad to hear of another roll mop herring devotee.


  • I did go mad on Chinese food and worked my way through one of Ken Hom's books. Added lashings of Soy Sauce.

    Another acquired weakness was single Malt Whisky - was my favourite as it's really peaty. According to The Anti-cancer diet malt Whisky is good for us.

    Xx Annie

  • Funnily enough I cooked chinese duck last night( the Jamie oliver version ,which has loads of really strong flavours).

    Can't say Ive had any whisky cravings.....the odd glass of red is good though.


  • i think itsthe steroids as I am ravenous for the 3 days I am on them after chemo.I must say fresh pineapple or del monte pineapple juice is great for thrush in themouth either treating it or preventing it.Apparently its the bromlin content keeps the mouth clean it has worked for me and others.una x

  • Bought a pineapple yesterday and also some Branston pickle, just because they were mentioned on this thread.

    When my mouth feels horrible after chemo ...Lucozade feels great.


  • Yes I absolutely adore Lucozade when I'm feeling poorly. A friend who was on chemotherapy last year rubbed Aloe Gel inside her mouth and said that made it feel a lot better. Xx

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