Cinnamon Banana Bread

Mar 13th

I have two bananas going bad. Which means it’s time for me to tell you the cross fit story.

Last September we had already decided we were going to move to Miami. And the decision was new enough that I was still pretending that I was going to get in shape and upgrade my appearance. So when a new friend, Jen, told me she was a cross fit trainer and did I want to start working out with her, I said yes. My friend Michelle also said yes.

That is when Jen said she trained in her friend Jen’s garage. Because apparently there is no such thing as air conditioning in cross fit. That should have been warning number one. Because I mentioned it was September, right? In Tucson. Which means we are talking 100+ temperatures.

But we showed up. The two Jens told us that they were going to have us do a few different exercises in order to set our “base line”. The goal was to see how fast we could do the exercises, and then in a month or so we would do again to see if we had improved. They also told us it was no pressure, just go at our pace, since after all, it was setting the base line.

They lied.

As soon as we started it was on. One Jen was in Michelle’s face, one was in mine. They stayed in our face as we made the circuit around the room. Push ups, sit ups, rowing machine, jump rope, jumping on and off a high platform, some weird machine that had hoops hanging down and we did like a leaning plank thing.

I can’t remember the numbers they made us do, so let’s just say 100 of each. Because it will make me look less pathetic as this story continues.

So we did each of these exercises, in a hot garage, in the Tucson summer. In around 12 – 13 minutes. And again, in the interest of making me come across better, just know that is an incredible accomplishment.

Because then I won’t feel so bad when I tell you that I immediately felt nauseous. So I crawled into Michelle’s car and she drove me to my car, which was around three minutes away at the kids’ school. From there I got into my car and started to drive home.

And this is where the story starts to get good.

It was roughly a four minute drive from the school to my house. Luckily, they were all back roads with no lights and very minimal traffic. Because around half way to my house I noticed that my hands were tingling and feeling weird. By the time I turned onto my street my hands were locked. Like this:

clawhand1

Luckily I knew Michael was at home, so I tore down our driveway honking my horn like crazy. He came out, shirtless and annoyed by all my honking. I powered down the window and said “My hands! My hands! I can’t I can’t I can’t open my hands!” There might have been a hint of hysteria in my voice.

My loving husband quickly went from being annoyed to being freaked out. He starts yelling that he is going to take me to the ER. I told him no, that he needed to put the car in park and unbuckle me, as my claw hands wouldn’t allow me to do either.

So he does, and then I tell him to call his stepdad, who runs marathons and knows things. Michael went inside to get his phone and I began walking around in circles outside, bemoaning the fact that since we lived in Tucson we had dirt and rocks everywhere and I just wanted grass to lay on.

Michael came back out and said his stepdad said I needed potassium. So he had brought out a banana and a bottle of water. Michael peeled the banana and proceeded to feed it to me, as again, claw hands. As I chewed he would massage a hand, trying to pry my fingers apart.

After around 15 minutes I had finished the banana and my hands were starting to feel better. So I told him I was going to go inside and be sick. Michael yells at me “no! Don’t waste the banana!”

Let’s just say, I wasted the banana. But then I felt so much better and my hands were no longer claws. And that’s when I remembered Michelle. Who did the same workout as me, and was home alone with her toddler. I told Michael he needed to call her and check on her. So he does.

And she tells him she is laying on the floor of her bathroom, nauseous.

I start yelling at Michael that he needs to go to her and help. But he finds out that she has a drink with electrolytes in it at her house, and she agrees to drink it and call back in five minutes to let us know how she is. Which she did and she was doing good.

Except for the big burn on her butt from doing all the sit ups on the very lightly padded garage floor. She still has a scar from that!

Needless to say, neither of us went back for a second work out with them. Although, Jen #1 was so freaked out by my getting claw hands that I don’t think she actually wanted me to come back. 😉

I did learn something from this experience though. Which is that I should eat banana before a work out, instead of the 1/2 tuna sandwich that I had that day. But I don’t actually like eating bananas.

Which leads me back to the beginning of this story, where I said I had two bananas going bad. I’m going to use them to make cinnamon banana bread. Which I will eat before going for a stroll on the beach.

I have no idea where I got this recipe for Cinnamon Banana Bread from. But it is seriously the best banana bread recipe ever. The layer of cinnamon sugar in the middle takes it to a whole new level.

bananbreadcloseup

I also love that I can make it in one bowl. Now, I do not use a mixer because I like to still have some banana lumps in my bread. But if you don’t like the lumps, use a mixer instead of the bowl, for a smoother consistency.

bananabatter

I also did not make the cinnamon and sugar mixture based on the ratios the original recipe called for. Mainly because I always keep some premixed in this super cute spice bottle I got at my friends Nici baby shower, and because I have this cool grinder of cinnamon sugar rocks from Trader Joes.

cinnamonsugar

So my ratio is more 75% cinnamon to 25% sugar. But that works for me because I love cinnamon. And I like the texture and look of the sugar rocks on top of the bread.

bananabreadtop

So if you absolutely must exercise, make sure to make this bread and have a piece first. Or you too may get claw hands. 😉

clawhand2

Cinnamon Banana Bread

4 bananas, very ripe and soft

1 egg

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

Cinnamon Sugar Mix

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 cup cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix bananas, egg, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl with a fork if want lumpy, or in a mixer if do not want any banana lumps. Add salt and baking soda, mix in. Add in flour, mix in.

Pour half the batter into a greased muffin tin. Combine sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle all but 1 tbsp of mixture onto the batter. Top off with remaining batter, and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.