Health-conscious New Yorkers are feeling better about having sweets thanks to healthier new snack options from a city fitness expert.
Stephen Lincoln, Director of Group Fitness for New York's David Barton Gym, has created a line of baked goods that are all-natural and so packed with protein that they're acceptable for the Zone Diet.
Lincoln's The Protein Bakery products— which are wheat-free and contain no artery clogging, partially hydrogenated oil— passed our NY Post taste test and even got the seal of approval from a Manhattan holistic food counselor.
That's good news for anyone who can't imagine their lives without, say, peanut butter brownies.
And that includes Lincoln himself. It seems that before he started The Protein Bakery, the trainer— who lost 82 pounds by following a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet— would have daily drool sessions over the high-carb, high-fat pastries at his neighborhood Starbucks. So he went searching for a way to satisfy his sweet tooth without jeopardizing his waistline.
While shopping in a health food store, Lincoln noticed a cookie recipe on the label of a can of whey protein. He took the concept to a baker and the result was protein-packed, wheat-free, gluten-free cookies, brownies, blondies and minis made with the finest ingredients, high fiber oat flour, light brown sugar and zero trans fats.
All of which is fine, but how do they taste?
THE BAKED GOODS
We offered the whole line of Protein Bakery fare to a panel of judges, including a local nutritionist, a massage therapist, exercise experts and good old working stiffs.
“This is such a good cookie,“ said the nutritionist, giggling to a mouth full of Oatmeal Cranberry. “This has how much protein?“
“Oh my gosh!,“ exclaimed the masseuse. “I could seriously eat this instead of any other cookie, ever. Can I take these home?"
Lincoln's creations still resemble regular sweets in their fat and sugar content, and they're not low-cal, but unlike most store-bought cookies and brownies, his have no preservatives and have 5 times the protein, on average.
"Keeping it all-natural is big with me," says Lincoln, whose high protein Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie can be part of the protein-rich Zone Diet.
Lincoln stresses that his snacks aren't meant to compete with energy bars.
He says the point of his fresh-baked goods is to preserve the enjoyment of indulging but lower the guilt factor associated with having one or two for dessert.
"If you were to eat an Entenmann's cookie, for instance, you would be consuming 7g of fat and 1.4g of protein. Our Peanut Butter Cookie, on the other hand, contains 3g of fat but boasts 6g of protein."
"It's a cookie, people," he explains, "so you can't eat a ton of them, but what we offer won't spike your blood sugar and will leave you feeling satisfied instead of craving more and binging."
THE EXPERTS WHEY IN
Rachel Bensadia, a holistic food and health counselor at the Parmanand Yoga and Holistic Center in SoHo, agrees with Stephen's approach.
“When you have more protein and fiber in your snacks, it helps offset that sugar spike by giving you longer lasting energy and feeling of fullness. You won’t be as hungry with these cookies.“
"Also, using white flour can really raise blood sugar fast, and that creates the system where any excess sugar gets stored as fat."
Bensadia examined The Protein Bakery goods and proclaims them nutritionally sound.
Lincoln's fresh-baked line-up is carried by Just Salad, Protein Bar & Kitchen, LA Fitness, Equinox and fresh&co, among others.
To find out more, go to proteinbakery.com or call 888.459.6652
by Sadie Nardini, The New York Post