Q&A with Protein Poppers Leading Lady, Mariko Crane


Susan Suarez

Co-Founder // Digital Maven at simplyWORKOUT
Barre girl at heart.Susan loves the strong movement of health & fitness and the creative beauty displayed simultaneously in fashion, lifestyle and wellness products.She is an accomplished blogger and online media guru.
Susan Suarez

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I managed to grab some delicious Protein Poppers at Nekter Juice Bar. I’m so glad I did – I swear, they taste like cookie dough. The creator, Mariko Crane, concocted a satisfying snack to leave us properly fueled without raising our blood sugar.  My favorite, the chocolate, is more than just peanut butter with a dollop of  yummy chocolate.  It’s a mixed combination of ingredients to create the perfect ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrates – similiar to the Zone Diet. The perfect time to eat them? Mariko says, Pre and post-workout. She says it’s the perfect fuel to feed your body for energy and recovery.  

1. What are Protein Poppers?

Marifit Protein Poppers are all natural, handmade, protein filled snacks that utilize the health benefits of whole foods to aid in muscle recovery and energy production. Unlike other protein bars, each popper tastes like a delicious, homemade treat, that is not riddled with preservatives, chalky texture and bland flavor. The nutritional ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat, help to maintain balanced blood sugar levels and hormones, which help reduce hunger cravings and maintain mental alertness and energy.

2. How did you come up with the idea?

I started the concept of Protein Poppers because I needed quick energy and nutrition that was not fattening or full of sugar. Actually, I should say that my mom helped me start this concept. When I was a little girl, studying ballet, my mom used to send me to my dance class with “peanut butter” balls to get me through my routines. I remember snacking on them before and after my classes. Later on in life, when I realizedI needed something I could eat before or after a workout that would aid in muscle recovery and fuel new workouts, I went back to my mom’s old recipe and modified it into what it is today. Now I have, what I believe, is the perfect pre and post workout snack.


3. You used to be a dancer. Did your health journey start at a young age?

I started dancing right out of the womb. LOL. I have always loved to dance. I started with gymnastics, then jazz and ballet. In the interest of time, I eventually picked ballet as my main priority. Once this decision was made I completely devoted myself to anything and everything ballet. To me, although I wish I thought differently, this meant maintaining an “ideal ballet physique.” Being that I was slim already, I might have taken the pressure to be thin,a little too seriously. Never the less, I started dieting at age thirteen, went to nutritionists, and studied everything I could find on nutrition, muscle building, weight loss, you name it. Through all these experiences, good and bad, I found myself realizing the importance of balanced nutrition, rest, exercise, and a healthy body image.

Berries, Cherries, and Pomegranate Seeds

4. Your products have a ratio of fat/protein/carbs that Marifit says is optimal for the body’s performance. Could we hear more about this?

The 40/30/30 diet, known as “The Zone” is based on books by biochemist Barry Sears. It is basically an easy way to balance a meal, optimize hormonal response, and control inflammation. For me, this is the best way to maintain my energy throughout the day. More information on: https://www.zonediet.com/the-zone-diet/

5. I love your protein poppers. Especially the chocolate ones. Given there popularity, are you thinking of expanding with more products?

YES!! I have many products on the horizon that I’m super excited to share with everyone. I can’t wait. Experimenting with different recipes and enhancing the health benefits is one of my favorite things to do.

6. Do you have a secret favorite?

Crunchy!! The candy bar, “Payday,” used to be my favorite when I was a kid and I think the Crunchy Protein Poppers taste amazingly similar…without the sugar crash of course.


7. We have done yoga together and I’ve noticed you are quite bendy and also a fire cracker!  Are there any other activities that you participate in to keep fit and stay moving?

There are so many different kinds of fitness activities that I love. Weight training is probably my favorite. I love feeling strong, I love the challenge, I love the countless number of goals you can set and the journey it takes to get there. I absolutely love cardio dance of course. Yoga has become increasingly more important for me as I occasionally let anxiety and stress get the best of me. Group fitness classes in general are great, the camaraderie, the people, the familiar faces, and the support. One on one fitness coaching is great too. I just love it all.


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