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EXECUTIVE SNAPSHOT: Matthew Jensen, founder, I EAT FIT

While Air Force pilot Matthew Jensen was deployed in Afghanistan nearly two years ago, he said, he and his fellow airmen spent most of their free time working out and talking about the best ways to build muscle.

“One guy spent $400 on supplements, and I told him he could eat certain foods and get the same results without the supplements,” Jensen said. “When I looked for a website to teach him the information we talked about, I couldn’t find one and thought there was room for me to put something together.”

In August, the 29-year-old launched IEATFIT.com, a website that gives recipes and meal plans based on an individual’s fitness goals. Since August, the website garners 1,000 page views a month and 250 users have signed on to receive meal plans, recipes and grocery lists.

The site uses volunteers and looks to add sponsorship and advertising support in the future.

How did you come up with your business model?

I knew that in order for it to be used by everyone, a website was the best way to go. I sat down and saw what was missing from current websites and what I wanted to provide. It was also a lot of trial and error.

I knew I wanted the website to be free because I wanted to help people and didn’t want them to think I was going to make money off of them. I wanted to do it right.

How did you assemble your team?

I have a dietician, chef and full-time computer programmer. Everything that’s on the website we’ve developed and all the recipes have been tested in my personal kitchen to ensure that it’s delicious.

I also went to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas dietician program and met with some professors who explained the criteria that they go through and the certification process. I was talking to a friend and he said he knew a dietician and put me in touch with her.

Since I don’t have a dietician background, I wanted one to come in and validate everything I’ve put together to fine tune it and to add on different meal plans. We’re going to be adding vegetarian and vegan meal plans very soon and since I have no background in that,I knew a dietician would be perfect.

What are some suggestions you have for someone who is trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle?

Set a goal and find an activity to enjoy doing such as hiking, going to the gym or going for a run. Make sure your goals are attainable and find someone who wants to join you.

How active do you think the Las Vegas community is?

Not as active as it could be. I’m still surprised how many people don’t realize how many outdoor activities we have here. When it’s too hot, go to Mount Charleston and the rest of the year go to Red Rock and explore.

What’s in store for the future of I EAT FIT?

I’d like it to be the brand name in fitness nutrition. In the short term we’re going to be adding meal plans for vegans and vegetarians as well as those with allergy and food preference restrictions. We’ll also be launching an app so you can have the program with you on the go so it’s easily accessible.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to launch a website?

Slow down and take the time to really get some feedback once it’s launched. You want to make sure you produce something that people don’t know they need but definitely want.

 

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