My name is Michelle & I'm the girl who makes your Protein Donuts! I just wanted to start off by saying never in a million years did I think I'd be doing this, but here I am... making your favorite donuts!
Back in 2017, I found myself laid off from my job, completely stressed out about life, and gaining weight fast! Before I knew it I was the heaviest I had ever been at 199lbs and also at one of the lowest points in my life. Sadly, this wasn't the first time I had fluctuated so rapidly with my weight... I struggled with a long cycle of binge eating & had a hard time staying consistent with whatever so called 'diet' I was on.
With my past experience of being a trainer, I knew how to properly train & eat, but could never find the secret to make it a lifestyle. I would always try to go overboard and be all in on some type of dieting fad, or completely out of it because I wasn't able to sustain what I was doing and felt like I was failing. I had worked as a Personal Trainer and Dance Instructor from 2009-2012, but found myself working in corporate & office jobs once I began feeling inauthentic to the work I was putting in at the gym and the lifestyle choices I was making. I felt if I couldn't take care of my own health, how could I help others do it for themselves? After doing the corporate job for some time, I ended up getting laid off. Once I got laid off I really took some time to sit down and think about what I wanted to do with my life. Something told me to go back to what I knew, this meant cooking, training, and my Cuban roots.
I began cooking every day no matter what, I made it an absolute habit and it made me feel good. Slowly I began to lose weight and decided to take a trip to Cuba, the place my family is from. Once I got there it really reminded me of my grandfather and how important he was to me. He was a baker in Cuba who fled all he knew to continue to do what he loved here in the USA. Some of my fondest memories were helping him at his bakery and even sharing the same birthday as him. It wasn't until he passed that I realized how much his food made an impact in not just my life, but others as well.
Once I got home, I continued to rebuild my relationship with food and understand why I'd done things wrong for so many years. During that time I also met my husband, a Strength and Conditioning Coach, who thought it would be a great idea for me to start doing meal prep and nutrition plans for his athletes. Since I was jobless I agreed, not knowing this would be the start to a journey that consumed the next few years of my life. I was blessed to work alongside top coaches in different sports, athletes from the youth level all the way to professional, and worked hand in hand with MMA fighters competing in the UFC at Black House MMA.
Since I was a home chef, this really allowed me to work hands-on and find out what each client craved, liked and disliked. My goal was to never have anyone feel deprived or on a 'diet' like I once did. Once my clients started to understand the balance of dieting and really bought into what I was teaching them, this seemed to do the trick. They began to see results and trust that it wasn't about pulling out the foods they loved from their life, but rather finding alternative foods to continue to enjoy them. It wasn't long after that, they started to request things like waffles, cookies, brownies, and of course, donuts!
Donuts were the last thing on my to-do list for making “healthy” food. Skeptikal about the attempt, I took on the challenge and found myself sitting in the kitchen for the next 4 days. I couldn't believe how much of a mission I was on to complete the perfect recipe. But after 3 days and countless failed batches, I finally found myself with the perfect Protein Donut!
I decided to give any samples I had to my clients thinking this would be a recipe I'd put in the drawer for a rainy day. Shortly after giving the samples out, I found myself overwhelmed by the feedback I began to receive. Word began to spread and because of a few samples and an instagram post, it started to snowball into hundreds of emails and messages requesting where one could buy these donuts? I was taken back by the response and knew I had done something special. Soon after that I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do, keep doing meal prep or go down this donut rabbit hole. I knew what I had to do, so I decided to take a leap of faith and transition out of food prep and focus all my time and energy to become Head Chef and Owner of The Protein Donut in Los Angeles from 2018-2021.
It wasn't until March of 2021 that everything took a complete turn and I was in a severe roller skating accident, snapping my tibia and fibula. I ended up not being able to walk, bake, or continue with my business. For where I was at in my life, it felt like a sign. Although we were establishing ourselves in LA, something deep down was telling me it was time for a change and new scenery. While recovering, my husband and I decided to pack all our things and head back to his hometown in Miami. Since then we have been able to take ourselves to a whole new level on the business side and I have been able to open up and be myself again to do what I do and that is create! I feel like our story still has so much to be written but we have also gone through a lot on the journey to get here.
My goal as The Protein Donut continues to expand, to grow in my community, and to show the beauty of living in moderation. I want to be an example to those who feel like giving up, that no matter where you are in life, it's never too late to start over & rewrite your own story!