How did my fascination with food begin?
It started with a kiss … a Hersey kiss that is. At age seven, I was barreling down the stairs on Christmas morning as my sister and I discovered the mound of presents under the Christmas tree. Among them was a giant Hersey kiss.
We could think of no better way to enjoy the sweet treat than to savor it while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Just as the lucky winners of the golden ticket Wonka bars entered into the chocolate room, we unraveled our 7 oz. chocolate kiss and stuffed our sweet little faces.
It didn’t take long to realize that my day was not going to end like Charlie’s on a glistening glass elevator ride to the land of happily ever after. No, instead, my head was screaming and I began puking up every morsel of the chocolate kiss and then some for the next two days.
I soon learned that even the smell of chocolate could make me violently ill. I discovered this during a family vacation to Hershey Park. The plan was for me to stick to the rides, avoid the goodies and I would be fine. Not so! As most kids were dragging their parents to the gift shop, the mere smell of the town had me dragging my parents to the closest trashcan to hold my hair back while I puked some more.
What I didn’t know then, but do know now is that that chocolate kiss was the catalyst that opened my eyes to just how powerful of an effect the food has on the body.
In the years that followed, I used my little adolescent body as a personal lab to reveal which foods would enable me to keep being my normal trouble-maker self and which would throw me into the fetal position in a dark, quiet room.
And so began my little science project … me.