Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix // Girl… Don't Do It™
Welcome back to my favorite “healthy” food review series. After a long and refreshing hiatus, I am back with all new foods to give you my opinion on.
For those of you that are new to Girl… Don’t Do It, it is my food review series in which I take a so called “healthy” food, and use what I’ve learned on my healthy food journey to really pick apart if this “superfood”, or “low calorie” treat is actually worth your dollars.
So just FYI cuz I’m in way too much grad school debt to afford getting sued right now (real talk), I just wanted to let y’all know I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, but I am a girl who looooooves food, and has seen and felt the benefits of how eating good food can change your life physically, mentally, and emotionally (also did I mention how much I love food, cuz duh).
I’m more like your big sistah auntie queen that’s just trying to look for ya. But know that I also have close friends in the medical, health, and wellness field that I check in with from time to time (like Yes Queen’s favorite doctor/fitness entrepreneur, Dr. Daniel Reardon… aka Dr. Dan)! Don’t forget to check out the homepage calendar to see when I host my monthly 1-on-1 livestreams with him!
So how I like to assess if a food is worth incorporating regularly into my diet is by reviewing the three major parts of its nutritional story to decide if it’s “YAAASS QUEEN” or a “Girl...Don’t Do It!”
Every food that we eat has a nutritional story, and over the course of the last few years that I have been restructuring my diet, I have found that the foods that have a synergy between those three crucial parts tend to be the most nutritionally valuable.
So what are the three parts?
The serving size indicates how many servings of a food are in one container/package. The calories indicate either how many calories are within that one standard serving, or how many calories are within the container/package.
So I always like to look at the calories in relationship to the serving size because more often than not many food brands will list the calories for one serving size rather than the standard serving that most people will eat. Doing this can make it appear as if you are eating less calories than you actually are.
And while many companies do this without ill intent, it doesn't change the fact that many people will misunderstand how many calories they are consuming because of it, and many companies still do nothing about it.
So the macronutrients refer to the protein, carbohydrate, and fat breakdown of a food. Ideally, healthy packaged foods have a balanced/appropriate ratio of each component.
When reviewing the macronutrients, I specifically use the Altman rule to help me rule out any unbalanced foods.
PROTEIN (G) + FIBER (G) > SUGAR (G)
It's SO important to look into the ingredients of the foods that you consume because that is the ultimate telltale sign of whether or not something is worth putting in your body. Many people are taught to only focus on the calories or the macros, but if it's coming from a shitty place then it won't matter how balanced or perfect the calories/macros look because it will still be sourced out of crappy materials.
Okay so now that you know how the process works, let's get into it!
Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix
Have you ever heard of people saying that your taste buds change the older you get? So things that you might have disliked when you were younger become your jam now? Well, that’s what happened with me and pancakes. I never cared for them as a kid (unless we were at IHOP, and I could drench them in strawberry syrup).
But honestly, I think it might have been going to Norms one night in college that really put me on. Norms is this diner chain in LA, and after a drunken night in college a group of friends and I ended up at Norms. And of course, every meal at any diner/breakfast joint always comes with a side of pancakes. So there they were, staring my slightly buzzed ass in the face, and I said why tf not? They’re free…
And let me tell y’all… I swear Norms puts some kind of addictive something in that batter, because I was not ready. I’ve never devoured pancakes like that in my life. And ever since then, I’ve slowly found pancakes to become a comfort food. But given that most pancake batters can be very high carb, and have very low nutritional value, I decided to look into what options I’d have.
Which leads us to this week's choice: Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix
I was first introduced to them as a sample in my BLOGHER Health goodie bag. The 14g of protein per serving, while not as prominently featured as some brands, really attracted my attention. But will all the other components pass the test? Let’s find out.
190 Calories per ½ cup (or three 4” flapjacks) / 380 per package ( or six 4” flapjacks)
Visualizing what a 4” flapjack looks like, I definitely feel like 190 calories for three pancakes of this size feels right. I also like that even if I ate all 6 pancakes, I'd still be consuming a pretty low amount of calories for such a big meal. But as I’ve mentioned before, calories only show us a small part of how what we eat plays into our overall daily diet. So, as far as I can see, this section definitely checks out. But I’d definitely need to look closer into the macros to see how truly comfortable I’d feel eating the whole package.
Total fat (per serving): 2g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Total carbs (per serving): 30g
Total protein (per serving): 14g
Total fat (per package): 4g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Total carbs (per package): 60g
Total protein (per package): 28g
Honestly… I feel like I’m being scammed. The macros on these pancakes are truly AMAZING. You couldn’t find a better macro ration than this. It’s low fat, low sugar, and high protein?! GIIIIIIRRRLLL WHET! It must be Christmas.
What I love most about these is the fact that the protein marketing on the front is really true to what you could expect to get from one serving. Many companies like to do this shady form of advertising where they will market the total amount of protein you could expect from eating the whole package of something rather than one serving. But then will only display the calorie information for one serving. This might not seem like much, but to a frantic eye that just wants to grab a decent healthy snack quickly or to someone who is intimidated by food labeling, you might believe that you’re getting more protein than you actually are, or you might be consuming more calories than you are actually aware of.
And remember, eating more calories is not the problem. The problem is the lack of awareness. I don’t look into food labels as a way to deny myself the ability of eating more. If I want more, I eat more. But being more aware of what I put in my body allows me the ability to decide how I counterbalance what I had in the present with what I decide to eat later.
Meeting with a dietitian once, she suggested that I use what's called the Altman rule to help me make quick judgments about packaged foods to buy that wouldn't impede my health and fitness progress. The Altman rule is basically adding up the protein and fiber amounts, and comparing it to the amount of sugar in the food. If the sugar is higher than the protein and fiber combined, then I was told that it's not nutritionally valuable.
So applying the Altman rule…
14g (protein) + 5g (fiber) = 19g
19g protein/fiber > 3 g sugar
28g (protein) + 10g (fiber) = 38g
38g protein/fiber > 6 g sugar
So these pancakes basically obliterated this test! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a drastically positive result. With such a high fiber and protein number, you would definitely be satisfied with 3, and probably stuffed if you ate 6. Foods high in protein and fiber are great for helping us feel fuller for longer, and can help to reduce the desire to overeat naturally.
Ok, so there’s just one more section to check…
100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, power cakes protein blend (wheat protein isolate, whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate, egg whites) non-fat sweet cream buttermilk powder, brown sugar, leavening (monocalcium phosphate sodium bicarbonate), sea salt.
So I'm already in love with this ingredients list because it's very, very short, and contains many familiar words that I can pronounce. It's usually a very big red flag if the ingredients list is super long, and filled with words that you've never seen before or that you would need a chemistry degree to pronounce; that usually means that it's being made with junk.
So I’m pretty familiar with all these words, but there are a few that I figure some people might not know if you’re not into digging in ingredients lists. I found additional sources you can read up on to learn more about them for yourself.
So considering everything I've looked at today, I would say that these pancakes are a…
Shoot, these are a “fuck yaaass queen” in my opinion! The calories, macros, and ingredients have an amazing synergy that demonstrate a very well thought out and constructed product. Every part builds off of one another. I never feel like the brand is trying to hide anything. What you see is what you get, and I can only hope more food companies follow in Kodiak Cakes footsteps.
I LOVE eating these, and always feel satisfied with the serving size amount. And for those of you that don’t have time to cook, you’re in luck because they also offer a frozen pancake version that you can always pop in the microwave and be on your way.
For added protein, you could use milk or a protein nut milk instead of water, and/or add in an egg to the batter when cooking them. You could also use greek yogurt instead of butter, and pair it with a side of scrambled eggs or tempeh bacon for additional protein! I paired it with a homemade protein smoothie. But remember, just eating more protein for the sake of eating more protein does not make your meal healthier or better. Just like the other macros, it’s all about balance.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Girl… Don’t Do It review! If you want to see what other healthy snacks I love to eat, don’t forget to check out my Amazon influencer store, which I update regularly.
In love, peace, and unapologetic thiccness!