FROM ROCKFORD MICHIGAN! Kristin Austin reported in February 2017 on mlive.com of a local Michigan athlete who developed a protein cookie to help with her triathlon training. Rebecca Cruttenden started baking her own creations in order to have a ready source of protein. Not caring much for bars, but loving to bake, she put her talent to work.
A founder and director of Team Orphans, the seven-time Ironman finisher has raised over $203,000 in the last seven years through her racing. The money has funded adoption grants that help children with special needs to find “forever homes”. The Ironman competitor works with six adoption agencies throughout the nation as director of Team Orphans, as well a West Michigan agency, Bethany Christian Services.
Cruttenden started making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies about 5 years ago for her personal use, as a substitute for the PB&J sandwiches that fueled her training. She was encouraged by her husband to turn the cookie-making effort into a business, which was established in May 2016. Ultimately, she was inspired to change the cookie name to Clara (Clara Cookies), after a little girl who was helped by Team Orphans.
What makes this cookie-making special is that, according to the website, 100% of profits are donated to Team Orphans for adoption grants. And the business is 100% run by volunteers. A local organization, Camp Rodger, allows the business to use its commercial baking facility.
The facts: 4 flavors (peanut butter chocolate chip, lemon poppy seed, double dark chocolate chip with roasted almonds, coconut dark chocolate chip); 8 to 13 grams protein, 180-350 calories.
Nutrition labels show that each cookie is about 60-66 gm, is gluten free, and contains eggs and soy. Nuts are also a source of protein in two of the flavors, milk in 3 flavors. The cookies are great tasting and pleasantly filling. They are not heavy or sweet.
Opinions vary as to what ingredients combine to make the nutritionally 'best' protein bars (in this case, cookie) if online articles are consulted. You'll need to read the label and decide for yourself.
Clara Cookies can be ordered online and are sold at about 30 local/regional stores. Just before Christmas time the bike stores I checked were out of this product; I found two of the flavors at an outdoor sports outfitter retailer. Call ahead if you're local and wish to buy at a store.
It’s worth trying these 100% charity-supporting cookies if you’d like to use your heart to help train your muscles.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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