Ryan Miller is a firm believer in the power of visualization. Whether it stems from his background in the visual arts or from his goal-oriented nature, Ryan has used this technique to accomplish personal and professional milestones.
Less than 18 months ago, Ryan detailed the dream of owning his own smoothie company. Not only did he create a business plan with specific benchmarks and deadlines, Ryan even overlaid an image of his logo onto a photo of a building façade so he could literally envision what a Live Fit store would look like.
As a native of Mandeville (Ryan graduated from Fontainebleau High School in 2000), Ryan feels a kinship with the area and understands the importance of supporting the community. His dreams are being realized according to plan with a relocated site along Highway 59 that features a drive-through window and a second location on Highway 22 near his business partner, Robert Cole’s, successful company, CrossFit Mandeville.
“I’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle. I enjoyed going to the gym, cooking and eating well. But I really didn’t think I’d make a career out of it,” Ryan said. “After working in the graphic design and construction industries, I began looking for a business opportunity that would fuel my passion.
I inevitably returned to health and fitness.”
Ryan explained that he noticed the lack of nutritious, on-the-go dining options while he was working in construction. He was always looking for two things: a gym to exercise and a healthy place to eat. “I figured if I wanted these things, other people wanted them too. I knew I could fill a niche in our community and provide a service that would help people,” he said.
Three months after Ryan completed his business plan, he opened his first Live Fit location. With a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, Live Fit offers clean-eating options to people with a variety of health and fitness goals. With no added sugar, no preservatives, syrups or purees, Live Fit smoothies can be used as a low calorie, nutritional meal replacement or as a high protein supplement for people who are interested in weight training. Gina Groh of Made 2 Matche Boutique, one of Live Fit’s biggest fans, loves that there are options for people who are lactose intolerant. “I can’t get enough of the non-dairy Green Apple Spinach Smoothie!” she raves. Live Fit carries Ponchatoula strawberries when in season, along with locally produced honey.
Additional vitamins and supplements can be added to the smoothies depending on a customer’s goals. Live Fit staff members have been trained to assist customers with choosing the right enhancements. Sandwich wraps, salads and snacks are also available.
Ryan also occasionally offers homemade lunch specials. He joked that while he likes to cook—he really loves to eat. “When I cook, I can control the ingredients I use. I can adapt recipes and make sure what I eat tastes good while also being good for me,” he said. “One of my favorites is a take on spaghetti and meatballs. I use spaghetti squash instead of pasta and turkey instead of ground beef.”
“Our goal is to show people that they can enjoy eating well and being fit. There is no need to sacrifice taste or enjoyment,” Ryan said. “We’re about so much more than smoothies. We try to give people the tools and the support to live a healthy lifestyle. ‘Live Fit’ is our philosophy.”
“We’ve had some customers who have never eaten healthy before but who want to make a change in their lives. We understand this can be daunting, but once people begin fueling their bodies with nutritious foods, it is so much easier to stay on track. Junk food begins to lose its appeal,” he said.
Ryan noted that food companies and restaurants often make it difficult for people who are trying to make better choices for their wellness. Nutritional labels are difficult to decipher and some can even be misleading. “I don’t think people realize how much added sugar there is in processed foods. Even products like corn syrup and agave, which are not considered ‘true sugars’ have the same effect as sugar on our bodies.”
In order to provide the healthiest options for its customers, Live Fit features ingredients like organic peanut butter, almond butter, Greek yogurt, coconut milk and 30-Calorie almond milk. There are a variety of proteins available including rice, soy, egg, pea, casein, hemp and whey. Live Fit also carries a full line of products as well to help maximize performance.
While Ryan wants to help educate customers on health and nutrition, he also understands that his customers are an important resource as well. Therefore, he has created a dynamic where customers help and support one another. He tweaks smoothie recipes based on customer feedback and has added features that customers want. He’s added a juicing machine, which allows for a variety of fruit and vegetable juices, and also increased Live Fit’s offerings of Paleo diet and gluten free options.
Live Fit is a community. We strive to provide what our customers want—high-quality, healthy products—in a friendly and supportive environment.
This is one of the reasons that Live Fit features its own goal board where customers can list their fitness goals and update their progress.
“I’ve found that once you write down what you want on paper and include a date to achieve it, you make it real. That’s the difference between having a wish and having a plan,” Ryan said. “It is what helped me make my own dream come true.” I
Live Fit Smoothies is located in Mandeville at 3925 Hwy. 59 near Fountainebleau Junior High School (985-630-1157) and 4240 Hwy. 22 near CrossFit Mandeville and Style Encore (985-792-7733). For more information, you can visit their website, livefitsmoothies.com.