First, thank you for visiting our site and reading a bit more about us! Many people ask us how Mancakes started and it has taken a long time to feel like I could write the full answer to that. After 3 years now since Mancakes first pancake flip it seems the right time to tell that story.
Mancakes was spurred by my own struggles with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which I came to learn is so prevalent and needs to be talked about rather than be ashamed of. After a series of difficult events beginning in my last year of college, I struggled with severe anxiety attacks and panic disorder. I felt like I was completely out of my own element; that something was terribly wrong with me, and I couldn’t stop these very real physiological reactions. It was scary and I was very confused, lost, and concerned. After many years of questions and confusion, my doctor suggested intensive weight training in addition to the cardio (mainly running and soccer) I was already doing. She told me to “push as hard as I could.” Finally listetning to this suggestion after a move to Denver made an unbelievable change in my life. Adding intense lifting was so empowering, both mentally and physically that the panic attacks have progressively become less controlling and now are the exception rather than the rule. The only problem I ran into was that I was always so hungry and bored of egg whites, oats, and cereal for breakfast.
We had been playing around with different pancake recipes for a few years when we suddenly realized that protein pancakes were the perfect solution to this new need for even greater sustained energy. Jared got to work on modifying a spice cake recipe of my great grandmothers’ and making it into our first flavor: Cinnamon Oat. The key nutrition we wanted was 20+ grams protein, high fiber, low sugar, and gluten and gmo free. It took a lot of trial and error to get it just right, but finally we had our first recipe.
We care very much about health through the classic staples of a clean diet & regular exercise and since we were able to create something that could help people achieve that we wanted to share this passion with the world and provide delicious tasting food to fuel people’s active lifestyles. Further, we have partnered with Military Muscle to create the Military branch of Mancakes. Their foundation provides support for those struggling with PTSD, a cause very close to my heart.
Another question I get a lot is where did the name “Mancakes” come from? That’s an easy one! It’s simply a play on the word “Pancakes,” but makes it a bit grittier and just makes sense for a high-protein infused product. We kept coming back to it after many brainstorms. It was the stickiest and is certainly memorable! What’s more is it provides us a lot of room for some fun and innovative marketing.
Kerry & Jared Flagg
Our Board of Advisors
Keeping the Nuggets in top physical shape is the job of Steve Hess, the team’s assistant coach/strength and conditioning. Hess oversees the team’s weight training, conditioning and nutritional programs. He designed and arranged the Nuggets’ weight room in the Pepsi Center and also designed functional pieces unique to the Denver Nuggets.
In his 19th season with the Nuggets, Hess creates and administers individual workout programs for each player throughout the entire year. He spends the majority of the off-season working with Nugget players and other professional athletes, overseeing every aspect of their workout programs. He pushes them to reach their peak physical condition.
Hess is one of six trainers worldwide who sits on the Under Armour training council. He also sits on the advisory board for both Mancakes high-Protein Pancake mix and Crosscore 180 Rotational Bodyweight Training System.
In addition, Hess has been featured on NBA Inside Stuff, All-Access with Ahmad Rashad, NBATV and The Eating Network. He also has his own workout segment on the Altitude Sports & Entertainment network.
A graduate of Ithaca College (N.Y.), Hess received a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis on sports medicine and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science fitness and cardiac rehabilitation in ’91. Hess became a Muscle Activation Techniques (M.A.T) specialist in 2013 and just completed his M.A.T mastery certification in 2015.
Dr. Raben is internationally recognized as an expert in the treatment of cancer with radiation therapy with specific areas of focus that include head and neck cancer and prostate cancer. Originally from North Carolina, Dr. Raben attended Duke University from 1981-1985 and received his medical doctorate at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He trained in Radiation Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University from 1991-1994. As a full professor at the University of Colorado Radiation Oncology Department for the past 18 years and an associate scientist and member of one of the top cancer centers in the U.S., he has focused on innovative radiation techniques to improve outcomes of cancer patients. One of his main interests, along with a passion for delivering state of the art care that truly bridges the bench to bedside, has been a keen awareness regarding nutritional approaches that seek to reduce inflammation in the body that may be linked to driving cancer cells to grow and survive. Research indicates that suppressing carbohydrates could suppress or slow cancer growth. Cancer cells, especially rapidly growing ones, depend on glucose for their energy, rather than protein or fatty acids, which may starve cancer cells. This may also be related to the “metabolic syndrome” created by a high carbohydrate diet which contributes to inflammation that may allow cancers cells to escape the immune system, an area of intense research. Dr. Raben believes dietary approaches such as the Mediterranean diet, high in healthy fats and protein, may be be beneficial for cancer patients both during and after treatments. He is always looking for high quality food products that will deliver this type of approach and has recommended Mancakes to many of his patients as a way of reducing unhealthy sugar intake and maintaining lean body mass through a fast and delicious start to the day. “The time is now to move away from foods that raise glucose levels in our systems and Mancakes helps to deliver on this approach”
Michael Rinzler is the Founding Partner and Co-President of Wicked Cool Toys, a Bristol-PA-based multi-brand toymaker with offices in Pennsylvania, California and Hong Kong. Wicked Cool Toys manufacturers dolls, activities, figures, plush, play sets and wood toys based on proprietary brands and top licenses from partners, including Cabbage Patch Kids, Girl Scouts, Wild Kratts, WWE, Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street and The Wiggles. Rinzler has a long history in the toy industry dating back 20+ years, and has worked at companies such as MGA, Mattel, Playmates Toys and JAKKS Pacific where he held senior positions, including President of CDI, a JAKKS Pacific company.
Rinzler is also a Co-Founder and Advisor of Shodogg, a software company located in New York, where he helped raise $4.5million of capital. He is also an Advisor for Mancakes, a high protein pancake and waffle mix product as well as Elemental Path, a technology company that is launching the first-ever consumer product to utilize IBM’s proprietary Watson technology.
He is an Advisory Board Member to Women in Toys, a leading toy industry organization, and is active in the Toy Industry Association. Rinzler serves on the Board of Directors for Snipes Farm, a nonprofit, organic farm that teaches kids about sustainable farming. He is passionate about mentoring and advising fellow entrepreneurs and start-up companies, and has served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
When not working, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Zyta and daughter, Zoe.
Rinzler holds his BA from Washington University and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.