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Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your well wishes on my last post! I am again writing you from bed – I barely got out today. Sam has been delivering everything to my bedside because anywhere else in the house is just too cold.

Also, something weird has happened. My taste buds are all messed up. Suddenly everything that I am eating or drinking (like even water) tastes bitter! I don’t ever remember having this happen as a child. All I remember is that I would lose my appetite. But this time it’s different. I still have an appetite but I don’t want to eat anything because everything tastes terrible! It’s like I’ve taken an appetite suppressant!

I looked this up and apparently, it’s due to an increase in the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which is released by the immune system to help fight off inflammation due to an illness. TNF is also responsible for increasing taste sensitivity, making food taste extra bitter.

Well, good to know that my body is fighting to get better. I just hate that nearly everything I’m eating tastes rancid. It’s really impairing my true judgement for my meatless meals. I hope the TNF production slows down so that things can start tasting normal again! Especially the water…I need to drink more but I have been avoiding because it’s so bitter! Have you ever had this happen?

Yesterday’s Food Log (Day 3):

Sam made me a banana, orange, and strawberry smoothie. Everything was perfect about it, but I couldn’t finish it.

Okay. I know this is not something you’d expect to see here on a healthy food blog but given that I’m not cooking right now and given that everything was tasting bitter, I said screw it I’m sick and I asked Sam to toast me an Eggo waffle. I’ve had a weird craving for one ever since Sam bought himself a pack of 72 Eggos from Costco! And you know what? It actually tasted pretty good.

After this I went to sleep for a long time, and then woke up for dinner.

I was so bored of lying in bed all day that I mustered up enough energy to throw on 2 thick layers of sherpa coats and make it out to Veggie Grill (all vegan). I ordered the paleo zucchini noodles with Beyond Sausage.

Sam ordered the Sonoran Bowl with Crispy Chick’n.

As a side, we shared some buffalo chick’n tenders with celery and vegan ranch.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t really like his meal, so when we got home, I had just enough energy to make him some nachos – which he devoured! I also had a few bites.

For dessert, Sam peeled a mango for me (I’m terrible at peeling) and I had it with my sweet, spicy, salty dip.

I’m sad that I haven’t been able to use any of the ingredients I bought from my most recent grocery trip because I don’t have the energy to cook right now. It’s so weird not being healthy. I take my energy for granted all the time. I just push and push and push – in workouts, in career, in life, in everything. But now, I can barely get up out of bed. The only thing that matters is getting healthier. Everything else can wait.

My temp is still over 102 degrees F and I’m extremely tired. If my normal energy levels are 100%, then my current energy level is about 10%. I’m barely a functioning human.

Anyway, hope you guys are enjoying the meatless journey so far. I’m so lucky to live in LA where there are so many options for vegan and vegetarian restaurants!

The Conversation (48)

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  • Denise says:

    Thanks so much for the info on TNF! I’d been wondering why my taste buds were wacko after the flu. Only light colored foods appeal to me right now. Looking forward to getting the energy back to exercise again with you!

  • Jody says:

    Hey, Cassey! I really hope you are feeling better!! Last October, I went through what you did however, after a second occurrence of a fever, I went to my doctor. I rarely have fevers so I was getting concerned. Not to alarm you but I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr aka mono. I have the lesser known strain IgM. Prayers to you that you just have the flu however your symptoms mirrored mine to a T! I ended up losing about 20 lbs and am still recovering which is why I cannot do your workouts yet. The exhaustion is beyond anything I have endured. Sending healing thoughts your way! May you be as good as new soon!!! ☺️

  • Carmen says:

    Hi Casey, I’m sorry to hear you are poorly. I hope you are getting better. The flu struck us, too. The whole family, including my grandsons have been through it!

  • Karen says:

    I’m so sorry you contracted the flu. My 18 yr old son had it last week and it kicked his butt and he is an elite athlete. It takes a week to two for full recovery. Please take it easy and let your body heal. I teach a pilates class and I have loved getting inspiration from you over the years. Thanks!

  • Danielle Grant says:

    Guys, “breaking the fever” is NOT a thing! If you have a fever you absolutely cannot wrap yourself in multiple blankets or you’ll be trapping the excess heat in! Take an antipyretic, maybe cover yourself with ONE blanket if you’re shivering and keep your feet out to dissipate the heat. Please.

  • amy says:

    only gingerale and jello taste good when taste buds go bitter like that lol

  • Rachel says:

    That happened to me once! But it was “pine mouth” where you get a bitter taste after eating anything and lasts a few weeks. So weird. Caused by eating pine nuts.

  • Vanessa Wikel says:

    Dear Cassey and the Universe, thank you for reminding me to appreciate my health more. I am surrounded by people with chronic lyme disease which is basically like having the flu all the time, only worse. My best friend has it, stage three. After reading you blog and the comments I really feel truly grateful that a ‘bad day’ for me is doing a 20 min HIIT workout, working a 10 hr day on six hours of sleep. I am someone that needs 10 hours a day so I don’t go mentally psycho (body is okay with six a day, mind is totally not and I literally become a crazy person that can’t mentally function). I’m rarely sick and I can say I don’t eat as healthy as you do. I want to say it’s good genes, but maybe it’s because I over expose myself to so many germs and being outdoors a lot. *shrugs* Either way I thank the Goddess every day now that I’m blessed with good health and I hope you and everyone else who suffers from illness–occasionally–or chronically–gets well soon :).

  • Basil says:

    I’ve had the bitter taste before! I wasn’t sick though – it lasted for a week and the only thing that fixed it was oil pulling. I looked it up and there’s something called Pine Mouth that I think was the cause :O

  • Lynn says:

    I had this and it lasted for several months. I wasn’t sick either. Never figured it out.

  • Katheryn says:

    Get better soon. Try some posole. It’s great when nothing tastes good

  • Anafdz91 says:

    Aww hope you get better soon!

  • JulieBK says:

    I’ve had this bitterness problem after I had pine nuts from China and it caused that sort of “allergic” reaction…

  • Michelle says:

    Hope Feel Better Soon

  • Nina says:

    I got the exact same thing going on.. I got the flu and I can’t do anything anymore.. Also eating something is difficult to me… I have been surviving on fruits and sport drinks (cuz I am dehydrated). For the past 4 days..
    Take care!

  • Dragana says:

    Get better soon, or as we say in Dutch: Beterschap!

  • gracyvictoria says:

    Get Well Soon Cassey! Yes being ill really drains out all the energy and enthusiasm for anything. I wish u good health soon… dear. Tkc!

  • Rhema Thom says:

    Oh my goodness!!! You have more motivation at 10% than I do at 100%!!! You are such an inspiration!!!

  • Hey Casey love work out tips and healthy jounnery love to meet you someday

  • Get better soon! I can’t believe you had enough energy to cook salmon meal and also right up this morning post. You are a true champ.

  • Nicole says:

    Omg, Cassey! It sounds like you have the flu which you have 48hrs to get tamiflu once symptoms begin if you choose to go to the doctor. If not, please stay home!!! Stop going out for now and potentially spreading your illness to others, especially vulnerable populations! As a RN I cannot stress this enough. Please take care of yourself and rest. I know it’s hard to stay home. I know you want to go out and hope to feel normal again, but with a fever that high you’re not helping yourself or anyone else.

  • ldefluiter says:

    My boyfriend also bought the 72 pack of Eggo waffles Costco, theres still a bunch lurking in our freezer 😂
    I hope you feel better soon!! 😘😘

  • Lady-J says:

    Get well soon.

  • Trish says:

    Oh no Cassey,sending you love and big hugs

  • s_mucker says:

    I’ve definitely experienced that bitter taste before while sick, it’s the worst! I really hope you recover quickly, I know it’s no fun to be held back by sickness :( Hang in there!

  • Raven says:

    I’ve definitely had the TNF thing happen before. It would mostly happen when I was a kid and sick. I wound up hating a lot of soups and veggies for a while because of it. I never knew about TNF production though so it’s interesting hearing it’s a natural response of sorts.
    Feel better! Don’t push too hard. I know it sucks since I’m like you with constantly pushing myself but you’re body needs the break.

    • SarahR says:

      Totally agree with how interesting TNF is; the functions of Tumour Necrosis Factor are super fascinating. As a protein in the body that causes inflammation, it’s linked to so many processes and also diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, milaria, and various skin conditions too. It’s also down to TNF production that people lose their appetite when fighting infection or illness! However, it’s worth keeping in mind here that the effects Cassey attributed to it here (regarding causation of bitter taste) hasn’t been definitively established…. It was a *suggested* finding/hypothesis from a 2015 study of lab mice. TNF production causing taste bitterness isn’t yet established medical fact in terms of humans.

  • Chanee says:

    It sounds like you might have the flu. Keep resting! Feel better soon

  • Anne says:

    Hi, Cassey, I just found you on youtube and wanted to tell you that I’m so glad I did. Oh, and you and I must be fighting off the same TNF-inducing virus, everything tastes like vomit (sorry for the TMI). I hope this passes soon for both of us, get well soon!

  • Aleisha Uy says:

    Get well soon! I hope there are more vegan restaurants here to choose from :(((

  • Diana says:

    Yes, you are extremely lucky to live somewhere like LA. I wish there were HALF the vegan restaurants/options where I live. Its getting better, though.

  • Donna says:

    My youngest was like this during Christmas. Fever, low energy, everything tasted bad, but he was tested positive for the flu. I hope you feel better!

  • Sandy says:

    Get well soon Cassey!!
    Thanks, I learned something new today, TNF.
    My mom got pneumonia back in Oct. She is all well now, but back then she kept saying everything tasted very salty. we didn’t know why, we thought it might caused by the medication that messes with the tastebud or she was having some sort of psychological block..

  • KJ says:

    Gws, Cassey! Maybe its just the new year blues?😅

  • Reema says:

    Get well soon Cassey!!
    This too shall Pass…😊
    Even I used to fall sick frequently…..I can Understand it feels soo bad.
    Please dont Stress yourself about things you cannot do. Stay normal and you will be well soon in a day or two to enjoy making them.

  • Beth Lynch says:

    Hope you feel better soon! Also maybe with the bitter thing, I have no idea if it would work but would be interesting to know (for science!) Haha that if you can take some Synsepalum dulcificum (miraculin) whether it could temporarily balance your bitterness?

  • Anglena Waller says:

    Ugh, it’s horrible when being sick affects the taste buds! I pray you get well soon, and good for you on listening to your body to rest; as long as you have a fever and active symptoms, staying home and resting while nourishing and staying hydrated is very important.

  • J says:

    The eggo was so cute. I do the same thing when I’m sick. Usually it’s crackers or a bag of pretzels. Comfort food! It heals!

  • Andrea WW says:

    Take care Cassey and get lots of rest. Hope you feel better soon.

  • roufayda saidi says:

    get well soon Cassey!! i know how much it sucks to be sick!! i just got better today ,but the flu is literally no joke! it made me feel like i’ve been hit by a truck!! sending all the love and positivity to help u get better !! love ya! thanks to u i’m smaching the 2020 challenge! lots of looove

  • Jenny Love says:

    Sending you healing prayers, lots of love, and hugs. Get well soon, Cassey!

  • jesudivine says:

    I hope you will feel much better soon, take care of your health 😭💕

  • Alessia says:

    I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me where everything tasted bitter when I was sick.. It was the worst experience and hard to describe.. The only thing I could eat without wanting to vomit was an apple. Feel better soon :)

  • petra.lewis says:

    Get well soon! Sending you much love and support!! <3

  • M says:

    Hope you feel better! Even though it might be cold symptoms, sensitive taste buds and weird cravings can also symptoms for pregnancy. Is it possible that you might be pregnant?! 😳

  • Zuzka says:

    I hope that you will get well soon:-) From the description I got the feeling… Is it possible that you are pregnant? :-D

  • Katie says:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling sick. But I loved how real and human this post was. You’re eggo waffle and Sam’s nachos made me smile :)
    Hope you feel better soon! <3

  • Melissa says:

    Cassey, please sleep and take a few self care days and get over this sickness. I hate being sick too and always get cold too. Make sure you don’t get worse and you don’t have the flu. The flu sucks. Sleep, drink water and sleep some more. *hugs*

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