So the summer is upon us, and that bikini diet you stuck to religiously throughout the first few months of the year may be a distant memory. As you get back from that jam-packed indulgent vacation, or look forward to your up and coming one, we show you one way you can deal with those moments of weakness with sweet things and give you an option to replace them.
Samantha Johnson recently took a trip to New York where she introduced us, and now you, to The Protein Bakery. Here’s her interview with Founder, Stephen Lincoln.
Words By Samantha Johnson
So how’s that health kick going? You know that fitness vow you started for 2014, we’re half way through the year and have you had any temptations? Well, we may have found something to help you with your sweet cravings. New York based company The Protein Bakery are currently hitting the UK’s sweet spot with their cookies and brownies, and as founder Stephen Lincoln explains ‘There is no enemy if you are living in balance and what better way to bring balance in your life than through a cookie!!’
Stephen thank you for inviting me to your Sweet Spot HQ, tell me about your inspiration behind The Protein Bakery?
It really started off as a hobby when I was a fitness instructor but I created The Protein Bakery in 1999. The inspiration came from standing in the queue at Starbucks looking in the case for something to eat and I remember thinking ‘I want protein’ and there was nothing in this case that had protein in it so thought ‘what if we just added a little, not a lot like 50 grams because it would taste like chalk, but just a little’. From then, my idea was to create something inspired by my Grandma’s cookie recipe, Martha Stewart’s best baking segment and then combine it with your high energy fitness gym that’s all about ‘you’. So, when those meet, that’s where the Protein Bakery lives.
What about your ingredients? At the moment there’s a lot of emphasis on the amount of sugar in products, what are your thoughts on the ‘War on Sugar’.
Well, first and foremost I’m a ‘Cookie’ guy and I’m a ‘Brownie’ guy and I’m never going to apologise for that. There are too many things out there already that are sugar-free, fat-free and in my opinion taste free, texture free and satisfaction free. I would rather eat one of my cookies and be satisfied. Again, I’m not pretending to be a non-sugar item and there are alternatives, if sugar is your gig then go for the Walnut or Coconut brownie – basically anything without a chocolate chip has less sugar. My plain peanut butter is the lowest sugar, lowest calorie, highest protein, because it’s literally peanut butter dough baked, with no chips, just a good solid cookie with no added sugar.
How does your product fit into a healthy diet and How are they different to what’s already on the market?
It’s definitely a treat, but you wouldn’t overindulge and you wouldn’t want to because of the added protein, it fills you up faster. That’s the other counterbalance to the sugar, sure there’s 30g sugar but there’s 15g of protein and there’s 2g of fibre and it’s made by hand every week and you can pronounce every ingredient on the back. It’s a healthier product than what’s out there. Everyone deserves a cookie, so why not have something, healthier, fresher, less processed, all natural, higher in protein and working for you instead of working against you. What doesn’t work for me is seeing a protein bar made into the shape of a cookie and calling it one… Who’s fooling who?
Is it just for gym goers?
No, I want to be for all people, I wouldn’t want people to assume, ‘Oh only bodybuilders eat your products’ pregnant women love my product because it helps stabilises blood sugar, it’s satisfies their sweet craving, and they’re getting protein in with their cookie. I’ve had so many women tell me ‘you got me through my pregnancy, which is always such a great compliment to me. I recently had a couple come to the ‘Sweet Spot’ and say ‘we found you 8 years ago, our child is now 8 and my wife ate your products while she was pregnant’ so that was our first Protein Bakery baby.
You have a strong following in the US – you’ve been endorsed by Oprah – why launch in the UK? Why now?
I’ve always loved the UK and in particular London. I love the spirit, the energy and the sophistication, and we’re always striving to better ourselves. The other big reason why we are coming to the UK is we get so many requests, we’re always asked ‘can you ship to the UK?’ or ‘When are you launching over here?’
And what’s the next step for The Protein Bakery?
Next step is expand the different flavours in the UK, I would love to sell my protein as a powder online and maybe a soy protein bar so it could be suitable for vegans. I’d also love to manufacture a dry ingredient so you can make it yourself at home and add in things you love. I have to say the response so far has been amazing, our UK website has really taken off.
So, why not give these tasty little protein treats a try, they really are delicious and you can enjoy them guilt free!!
Check out the website – http://proteinbakery.com
Or if you’re on twitter, give the guys a follow –
@proteinbakery or @proteinbakeryuk