Even the most health-conscious among us is all too familiar with the witching hour, that time of day between lunch and dinner when hunger is at a high and energy at a low.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Even the most health-conscious among us is all too familiar with the witching hour, that time of day between lunch and dinner when hunger is at a high and energy at a low. Desperately, we reach for high caloric snacks with zero nutritional value, undermining a perfectly healthy diet one bite after another. To get us over the rough patch, Debra Holstein has come up with The 4:00 Cookie.
“We all know what to have for breakfast: oatmeal, yogurt or eggs. And we know what to have for lunch: salad with protein or a sandwich, etc. But at three or four o’clock, something diabolical happens,” explained Holstein. “My job is to get that afternoon craving under control and keep you filled until dinner time, so your whole day is smoother.”
A year and half ago, she decided to create a product that would do just that. Today, The 4:00 Cookie may be found at various locations in Rye, including Andy’s Pure Food, Core Pilates, and Henri’s right here on Purchase Street, as well as other parts of Westchester, and Greenwich. At the end of September, The 4:00 Cookie will have its own retail space and state-of-the-art kitchen at 15 Purchase Street, beside Arcade Booksellers.
Having educated her three children at Rye Country Day, Holstein feels entirely at home here. She will bake, sell, and distribute her cookies from this compact, but central location. As she said, “I’d rather be small and perfect than big and mediocre.”
The savvy marketing dynamo has two decades of experience in advertising, cultural trends, and new product consulting for Grey Advertising, Coke Foods, and Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve. After having children and preferring more flexible hours, she started her own firm doing new product consulting and branding for Kraft, Nabisco, Unilever, Avon, and Neutrogena.
A keen observer of consumer behavior, Holstein’s marketing insight segued into a personal quest to meet the unfulfilled needs of “healthy active women.” She noted, “Women want to eat right and stay in control without going on a diet.”
After a great deal of nutritional research, Holstein learned that it’s all about the glycemic index and the effects that different foods have on the rise and fall of blood sugar. In a nutshell, carbohydrate consumption spikes glucose levels, insulin responds, and the following crash triggers fatigue and hunger.
“While we think we’re curbing our cravings with traditional snacks loaded with white flour and white sugar, we are perpetuating them,” explained Holstein. “What if I came up with something that didn’t spike our blood sugar? A cookie that used only whole grains and low glycemic ingredients, so we felt satisfied and didn’t have to deal with that blood sugar crash-and-burn.”
Not a baker herself, Holstein hired recipe developers for her trademarked 4:00 Cookie and learned fast. She took painstaking efforts to come up with delicious flavor combinations, as well as a perfect balance of healthy, clean ingredients that included slow-absorbing whole grains, low-glycemic coconut flower sugar, fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate. She also experimented baking lower calorie cookies, but they just weren’t as good. “I didn’t want to make them too small. One cookie should make you feel satisfied and stop the craving,” she said referring to her 200-calorie crave buster.
Cookie flavors include: fig, dark chocolate, and coconut; cherry, dark chocolate, and hazelnut; wild blueberry and almond; cranberry trail mix; and chocolate macadamia crunch. “I wanted big chunks of fig, blueberries, almonds, cranberries, and cashews on top of the cookies. Why should I chop them up and hide them?” said Holstein, who made both taste and aesthetics top priorities.
“I want women to be able to relax about food a little bit. I’m excited to introduce a product that allows them to enjoy food more than they have in the past,” Holstein said.
She added, that women shouldn’t be surprised if their husbands and children find they feel the same way.
To buy cookies, log on to www.4oclockcookie.com or drop in the new shop.