I fear two things: snakes and cinnamon. I can’t explain the root of my snake fear; for as long as I can remember I have been terrified of snakes. It must be the creepy, slithery, scaly nastiness. I know exactly where my fear of cinnamon comes from: a fateful “Cinnamon Challenge” on Christmas Eve in a quiet suburban Indiana home.
When I was 10 years-old my brother Aaron, who was 18 at the time, returned home for his first Christmas since leaving for college. I was excited to see my older brother, but anxious at the same time. I grew up constantly trying to prove myself – and with an eight year age difference that is no easy task. I was subject to a fair amount of bullying, but it only made me stronger.
Aaron took me into the kitchen and lowered his voice to a whisper, “You know, it’s impossible to eat a spoonful of cinnamon in under 10 seconds.” “Impossible?” I said, puffing up my chest and trying my hardest to lower my voice, “I bet I could do it.” After a five dollar bet and a hand shake I found myself staring down at a spoonful of cinnamon that was substantially bigger than what I had imagined.
Roughly 0.083 seconds into my Cinnamon Challenge I knew something was gravely wrong. I wanted to give up, but that would be giving into my big brother and there was no way I could do that. First, the cinnamon coated my entire mouth and throat, making it impossible to produce saliva. Second, instead of backing down like a pansy, I tried to forcefully swallow the roughly two tablespoons of cinnamon. It instantly clogged my throat, and the next thing I knew I couldn’t breathe.
My brother’s laughter soon turned to horror as I turned blue in front of him. My short life flashed before my eyes and I started getting light headed. Aaron’s yell beckoned my mother who whipped around the corner into the kitchen faster than Usain Bolt. She repeatedly slapped my back until I coughed up a giant cinnamon cloud and vomited (sorry for the graphic detail) in the middle of the kitchen.
Aaron got coal for Christmas; I tasted cinnamon for days and mom’s blood pressure finally went back to normal the following week. Following the incident, and for about the next 10 years, my entire body would seize every time I smelled cinnamon. I am now able to eat reasonable amounts cinnamon without having flashbacks. Good thing, because cinnamon has these amazing health benefits!
- Cinnamon can be effective in helping you fight bacterial of fungal infections
- Cinnamon has been shown to decrease blood sugar
- Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv found that a chemical in cinnamon can help stave off Alzheimer’s disease
- A study from Penn State showed that eating cinnamon can reduce your body’s negative response to eating high-fat meals (make sure to have it after turkey legs!)
- Cinnamon, when taken regularly, can help reduce your LDL “bad cholesterol”
- Cinnamon can slow the growth of cancer cells
Tasty Holiday Protein Shake
I normally don’t post recipes because I’m a trial-by-error cook. I never use recipes, thus I never remember the amounts of what I put in them. I stumbled across this amazing concoction that is sure to please. You will need:
- Organic honey crisp apple
- Organic almond and/or coconut milk (plain or vanilla)
- Vanilla whey protein powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Minced or ground ginger
Directions: core and dice an entire apple, making sure to leave the skin on. Put the apple pieces in a blender, along with a handful of ice. Add 8-12 ounces of almond and/or coconut milk and a scoop of protein powder. Add spices to taste (I’m sure you will use more cinnamon than I did), and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Photo by TheDeliciousLife
Originally posted 2013-11-13 12:28:47.