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Prez Corner

President’s Corner: January 2012

By Mark Frankel

I’ve become known at the company gym as “The Banana Man.”  I received this moniker because of my habit of downing a banana immediately after I finish a workout, before I even take a shower.

Bananas, I explain, are the perfect sports bar.  Well, ok, not exactly perfect: they don’t have the four to one, carbs to protein ratios found in the much more expensive bars, but they do have a lot of good stuff in them (just don’t leak that last sentence to my old grad school girlfriend, the nutritionist).

In fact, my company gym used to put out a basket of fruit, so that everyone who finished up their workouts could eat something nutritious during recovery.  So after I’d work up a good sweat, I’d go to the lockeroom and down an apple, a pear, a banana, or whatever other fruit I could get my hands on.

Like any other really good benefit, it was eliminated years ago, ostensibly because some people who never worked out were walking through the company gyms just to get some fruit.  However, I missed being able to wolf down a piece of fruit in the immediacy of a workout, so I began to bring in a banana every day.

Prior to my employer doing away with the benefit, I used to have up to two bananas a day. I had my own banana, and one supplied by the company (or apple, et al).  Now, though, I’m stuck eating just one.

Considering I workout five days a week, and like to follow each workout with a banana, that adds up to a lot of bananas.  Buying them used to be a no brainer: I knew I’d predictably eat five of them per week.  If I bought too few or the ones I had didn’t ripen quickly enough I’d miss out on the wonderful fruit, and if I bought too many or they ripened too quickly I was making banana bread.

Now that I have a family, buying bananas is no longer a scientific discipline, but rather an art form.  My son has gotten quite a taste for bananas.  He eats about half a banana a day.  While this still sounds predictable, he’ll occasionally decide he wants the second half too.  And if that doesn’t make matters worse, my daughter, when desperate for something to eat, will from time to time eat one too.

I’m sure that most parents would agree with me when I say that the best way to rid your life of predictability is to have kids.  In this case, my predilection for post-workout bananas cannot always be satiated: now, I’ll have to do one or two workouts per week and find something else to eat, like sports bars.

I once thought I had the problem solved by buying two big bunches at Costco, but soon found that habit too expensive.  The bananas were cheap enough, but the ingredients for banana bread when bananas got too ripe became prohibitive.  Worse, demand for banana bread is not too high in my household.

Nowadays, I usually make a mid-week run to Trader Joe’s, where bananas are also pretty cheap, or to some other store if they’re on sale, to restock my supplies.  I’ve been able to cut down on the amount of banana bread I have to bake, but there’s still the issue of feeding kids.

Sometimes I try to distract them with other fruit: apples, grapes, peaches, plums, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I buy all of them. It tends to work on my daughter.  She gets so much fruit in her diet she doesn’t have much room for bananas.  However, it doesn’t work on my son: he’s on to me.  He’ll eat his half banana first thing in the morning and then waits to see what he has room for the rest of the day.

In the meantime I’ll still have to suffer, and find something else to do with overripe bananas.  The banana fast is getting old.

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