Raleigh, NC fitness instructors Jennifer Broughton, 37, and Lauren Peper, 30, have stumbled upon every entrepreneur’s dream: an organically growing following of a business idea that practically found them, rather than the other way around. During a Crossfit competition just one year ago, fellow athletes fell in love with their healthy home-made protein balls, sparking the idea to sell their delicious creations in conjunction with their already successful personal training careers. Nine months later, they launched Two Fit Girls, a business pairing boot camps with their healthy grab-and-go foods, to local excitement.
But long before they shared the Two Fit Girls monicker, Jennifer and Lauren shared a passion for health and fitness. Both grew up playing competitive sports, earned personal training certifications (Jennifer graduated from the same NPTI program that I did), became Crossfit instructors, and worked in the fitness industry for the past seven years. After meeting each other teaching at the same facility almost two years ago, the pair became fast friends and felt destined to work together.
“It was love at first trap,” Jennifer joked, having been impressed by Lauren’s strength and muscles. Shortly thereafter, they competed as a team in their first Crossfit event, leading other competitors to underestimate them with their outward silliness and don’t-take-things-too-seriously demeanors. But their performance in their events proved anything but, quickly earning the nicknames Assault and Peper. It was at these events that they realized their own needs for healthy protein fuel options between events and began experimenting with different mixtures.
Today, operating out of a small in-home kitchen, they fill a nutritional gap not only for themselves but for many other athletes and health-conscious consumers by creating tasty and balanced breakfast items, meal replacements, pre- and post-workout items, and desserts–and having a ton of fun along the way.
“We use absolutely no preservatives or refined sugars,” Lauren said, “and we didn’t intend to be gluten free. It was just a result of using healthier flours and ingredients.” They focus on high protein, moderate carbohydrates, and natural sugars from coconut sugar, honey, and small amounts of agave and maple syrups, Jennifer added. They get most of their ingredients from wholesome food providers where they can order in bulk, like Trader Joe’s or The Grain Mill in Wake Forest, NC, or from local farmers and greenhouses, using things like oats, dried and fresh fruit, local eggs and more. “We try to maintain complete consistency by using the exact same ingredients at all times,” Jennifer said.
By using quality local and in-season ingredients, perfectly balancing macronutrients and delicious flavors, and even grinding their own oats, TFG recipes make mindful eating a treat (we know, we’ve tried many of their goodies!) And in addition to making everything themselves, Jennifer and Lauren personally deliver orders to every client around the entire North Carolina Triangle area. This two-pronged method of making healthy eating as easy and enjoyable as possible for their customers has created a local following.
The same can be said of their boot camps in which their training expertise and personalities shine. “We have a lot of fun, and we accept people where they are and we meet them where they are,” Jennifer said, which she thinks is the biggest draw of their programs. Attendance at TFG camps tripled over the following months, with roughly 75% of clients returning for additional sessions.
They take a practice-what-you-preach approach to teaching as well, leading by example with their own fitness philosophies. “Be consistent,” Jennifer said. “There is no magic pill. One of my pet peeves is when someone is looking for that quick fix, when that’s not what a healthy lifestyle is about.”
“Find what you love to do,” Lauren added. “If something motivates you, stick with it and don’t try to mold to something that claims to give you results. If you find what motivates you, it becomes a real game changer.”
It’s clear Two Fit Girls have found what they love to do and what motivates them, so the Raleigh area can expect to see much more of these game changers in 2015. To order their goodies or sign up for a bootcamp, join their Facebook community or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not local? That’s ok! Travel Well will feature a TFG column every month so you can take advantage of their best advice and recipes no matter where you are.
TFG’s Recipe of the Month: Vegetable Frittata – By Jennifer