If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
Today, we’re going to talk with someone who owns and operates, not exactly a business, in the traditional sense of the word, but a fantastic local brand. Her name is Brittany St. Germain, and she is a mom, wife, former surrogate mother, Beachbody coach and the driving force behind Barbells & Brownies! Barbells & Brownies is a health and fitness brand aimed to support those who need a little extra accountability in their lives. Through her B & B website, Brittany has created bi-weekly menus, workouts, recipes, and even clothing, all while supporting women and men through food and fitness. Having a heart to see the Elko area live healthy/active lives is a fantastic gift, Brittany! Before we hear more about Barbells & Brownies, why don’t you tell us how you got into the world of fitness and nutritional encouragement?
“I was born in Florida; my mom was in the Navy. We moved to Virginia when I was fifteen, and then we went to Fallon followed by California before moving here (Elko) in my early twenties, about six years ago. I had my oldest child at seventeen; I was in an unhealthy relationship. There were a lot of issues, and the word “fat” was thrown around. I always struggled with thinking I had to be skinny and wear size zero pants to be worthy of something, but I knew I wanted to be done thinking that way and not do that to myself. So, I got into the mindset of looking to be strong, rather than skinny.”
“That’s how Barbells and Brownies came about. I found out that a lot of people want to live with this mindset as well, but they may not know where to look. Some people may not like going to gyms, especially when they’re already struggling with their image, so I came up with the idea for my brand because I knew people want to be healthy and get their life back, and they’re already scrolling online!”
That makes a lot of sense, Brittany. Thanks! Now, as I mentioned at the start of this feature, Barbells & Brownies might not be classified as a traditional business; why don’t you tell us why that is? “My site is free; everything is free to access. If you want to change your lifestyle, your income shouldn’t stop you from doing that, especially my friends out there with health issues. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, gym membership, or access to expensive home workout programs, that shouldn’t determine if you’re going to die from obesity or heart problems. It’s never been about income for me. I’m going to help you no matter what; I’m never going to turn you away. You have to have someone cheering in your corner.”
Wow, it’s obvious this endeavor means a lot to you, Brittany! Can you tell us more about Barbells & Brownies? Do you have any success stories you’d like to share? “I created the group on March 4th of this year. I like to work out, but I also like to eat; I love me some desserts! Therefore, I came up with Barbells & Brownies! What a perfect name! Right now, I’m doing clean eating groups to help people with accountability, and I post all of my healthy recipes and monthly workout plans on my website. I also make bi-weekly menus for people who may not know what to make. I have a girlfriend who hated drinking water and was barely drinking eight ounces a day. I told her to focus on drinking half her body weight in water ounces; we’re two weeks into it, and she’s drinking over one hundred ounces a day now! I’m just putting out there how I would want someone to be with me. I’m not a nutritionist, but I do want people to be healthy and happy. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to compete in a fitness show or not; I want you to have enough energy to go out and do what you need to do throughout the day without feeling like you’re going to die!”
Great! What have you noticed about working with the people in our town, specifically? Is there anything you try to keep in mind knowing Barbells & Brownies is based in the Elko area? “A lot of people assume that eating healthy means you have to get rid of all of the things you love; I try to show people that you can eat fudge, there’s just a healthier way to make it! This is big, especially for people or households with someone working in the mines. A lot of my husband’s mining friends, for example, we will take just a frozen meal to work. When you’re working long hours, you may wonder how you’re supposed to do this (stay healthy), so I try to help people make their menus and have it all planned out. I wanted to help stay at home mom’s as well because it’s not easy, when you have kids, to get out and do things. So, when they’re on social media and see that I’ve posted a workout, maybe they can do it for twenty minutes when the baby is taking a nap. Maybe I posted a recipe; they can just print it out and make an ingredients list! I really thought about what I would want as a stay at home mom or someone who works a crazy shift but doesn’t want fast food every day of the week.”
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See you around a local business, Elko!