Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Get Motivated. Stay Motivated. But HOW?

A couple weeks ago I attended the Perform Better Summit and one of the things that stuck with me (amongst many other things) was what Martin Rooney said: Get Motivated. Stay Motivated.


Makes sense right? Well.. how exactly do you do that? Get motivated and then stay motivated.


When we feel that kick it’s not always clear where it comes from. Maybe it’s just divine inspiration? Or maybe you just watched Khloe Kardashian’s “Revenge Body” and you’re thinking of all the ways you can get your own revenge body. Whatever it is, when it hits, it’s strong.


When you feel that motivation, ride it.

Realize when you usually feel that motivation and then schedule your “X” then. For example – you feel most motivated on Monday morning. Great! Schedule a workout and weigh-in then.


Sure, that’s great and all… but… what if that motivation isn’t happening?


Sometimes it feels like weeks drag on without anything inspiring happening… so how do you get motivated then? Maybe try a few of these things?

  • Read a book.
  • Watch a documentary.
  • Watch a Ted Talk.
  • Check out your Instagram feed or do a hashtag search. Suggestions: mealprep, fitmom, fitdad, shortworkouts, fitspo, happy
  • Talk to someone you know will inspire you.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Take a shower – some of my greatest brainstorming time is done in the shower.
  • Talk to a coach!
  • Remember a time that you WERE motivated.


And the next time motivation hits?

Write down what you’re feeling in that moment – in a spot you can access. Maybe write it on your bathroom mirror or make a note on your phone. Take note of what happened to make you feel motivated. Can you recreate it in the moments you don’t feel that motivation?


Get motivated. Stay motivated. OR at least try to.


See ya in the gym!



Coach Jess
5:00 AM

The Secret to Weight Loss

I’m going to say it right up front – the secret to weight loss is that there isn’t a secret.


Over the past years, we’ve complicated the whole system. Eat acai, not bananas. Eat half an apple 15 minutes before your workout then have a protein shake exactly 35 minutes after your workout to optimize your body’s uptake. Don’t eat after 6. Do this, don’t do that.  No wonder people are confused. We’ve overcomplicated the whole thing.


So I’m going to say it right now – you can throw it all out the window. Okay, maybe not all of it, but most of it. When it comes down to it there are only a few hard and fast rules and here they are:


But first, a disclaimer:

Every person is different. This is one reason why weight loss is difficult. The same system that worked for Person A most likely will not work for Person B. Or it will work, but only for the first three weeks and during the 4th month of the year and when the sun is shining at exactly the right angle. Does that make sense? You have to figure out what works for you. Sometimes that takes trying a few things. And sometimes it’s not even that difficult.


That being said, here’s why it’s not that difficult. There are some basic rules that typically work for everyone:

1.         Eat whole, unprocessed food. This means checking your food labels. If that list of ingredients goes on for a whole paragraph, I can guarantee you are not eating a whole, unprocessed food.

2.         Eat balanced meals. “Balanced” means there is a protein, a carb, a healthy fat, and vegetables on your plate. Sometimes those proteins will have fat in them, sometimes those carbs mean vegetables. What I’m saying is that most foods aren’t 100% protein or 100% carbs. But don’t complicate it. If you have a palm-sized amount of chicken on your plate, a fist full of sweet potatoes and kale, and a thumb’s worth of olive oil, you’re sitting pretty.

3.         Eat till you’re full.

4.         Stop eating when you’re full.

5.         Know what fullness feels like.

6.         That probably means slow down.

7.         Do the above every day – at least three times a day.

8.         Drink water.

9.         Limit alcohol. I know.

10.   Limit sugar. Fruit sugar = okay. Cookie sugar = not so okay. Don’t complicate this.


Hey Jess, so what about the protein shake? What about meal timing? Is alcohol really that bad for me? etc…?


Here’s what I’d say: If you’re planning meals like the ones listed above, you might not need that protein shake. If your meals lack protein, then you probably need that shake. Are you passing out during your workout? Then eat before. Are you starving after your workout? Then eat after. Is that vodka soda habit doing you well when you can’t sleep well or you wake up hung-over? As for the “etc…” well we could be here all day.


Truthfully, it’s simple. I get it, its actually very very hard to put these things into practice… or is it? As I say, don’t complicate it.


Still confused? Let us help! info@functionandfitnessla.com

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

A Few of My Fave Recipes


I get a lot of requests for healthy recipes. I try to keep things really, really simple because honestly, who has the “thyme”? Sorry about that… I kind of had to. Below you’ll find my “go-to” meals and snacks.


Paleo Sweet Potato and Ground Beef Hash (Whole 30 Friendly)

This one is awesome for post-workout... or any meal really.


Date Rolls (Whole 30 Friendly)

  • 2 lbs Dates
  • ½ cup Coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup Almond meal

 Mix them together. Form 2 inch rolls with hands. 


Breakfast Fun Time Bowl (Whole 30 Friendly)

  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 cup Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan. Add in Brussels Sprouts and bell pepper if you’re so inclined. Cook down a little bit – about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in sausage until it’s browned. Add in scrambled eggs. Thyme, Salt, and Pepper to taste.


Broccoli and Almond Meal (Whole 30 Friendly)

  • 1 bag broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Almond meal

Whisk egg, add broccoli, mix. Add almond meal to coat broccoli

Oven bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes.


Easy Vegetables  (Whole 30 Friendly)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme


Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts – 425 degrees for 25 minutes

Potatoes, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes – 425 degrees for 45 minutes


Sweet and Spicy Paleo Chicken Fingers (Paleo)

This can be made Whole 30 friendly if you don’t make the sauce. In other words, you’re just breading the chicken with almond meal



  • Raspberries and Cashews or Almonds
  • Banana, Almond Butter, and sprinkle of coconut flakes
  • Almond Butter and Apples
  • Grapefruit and Cashews

So there you have them, some of my favorites! Let me know your thoughts!


Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Eating for Health... Not Weight Loss

It seems every day I get another text from my healthcare provider regarding the flu and ER wait room times. With the flu running as rampant as it is this year I thought it would be a good idea to talk about food in a different light - instead of eating for weight loss, let's talk about eating for health. Interestingly enough, you'll find when you eat for health, you'll also most likely achieve some weight loss. But you already knew that... 



There's no wonder that we're urged by our doctors to eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables. In addition to the flavor they bring to meal-time, they are also chock-full of “phytonutrients,” or plant nutrients, that help us fight disease and stay strong. Examples include the following:

Resveratrol in grapes/grape skins
Isoflavones in soy
Lycopene in tomatoes
Lutein in spinach
Naringenin in grapefruit

Phytonutrients can help fight cancers, lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and can even improve memory! 



Food can also help you fight inflammation. Anti-inflammatory fats like the kind found in avocado oil, nuts, seeds, flax, and FISH OIL (yes, I'm still pushing fish oil even on the blog) can help you recover. Add in spices like garlic and turmeric and you have not only a delicious meal but also a meal that will serve your body. 



Lastly, let's consider how food is fuel for the things you love to do - like our BURN and STRONG classes. When you eat well your body has what it needs to do the things you need to do - like move and concentrate on work, and fight off infections and viruses and the flu! When you're eating food that allows your body to work at peak performance, you're more able to fight off all the things that are rolling around your environment - like that pesky flu! 


Coach Jess
5:00 AM

What's Causing Your Weight Fluctuations?

Up-and-down goes the scale. We often postulate what is causing the fluctuations on the scale but here are some things you might not have considered:


1. Strength Training. I hear this a lot: "I just started working out, so shouldn't my weight be going down?" Not necessarily. In fact, I always find that the first few days back into a workout routine, the number on my scale is actually higher. Here's why: intense exercise, like weight training, can cause inflammation due to the fact that you are creating little tears in your muscle. Don't worry! This is actually how you gain muscle. When the muscle rebuilds those tears in the muscle fibers you get stronger. Your body must take on more water to rebuild that muscle and this can sometimes cause the scale number to go up.


2. Secret Sodium. Eating clean (and adding your own salt) is a great way to monitor your salt intake. Every now and then though you might buy something that I call a "secret sodium bomb." Sure, it might have looked healthy ingredient-wise, but on second glance it was filled with sodium. The good news is after a couple days this should go away.


3. The Time of the Month. Hormones released during your monthly cycle can cause water retention - hence why we feel bloated in addition to all the rest of it. The good news is, once your cycle is over, you should return to your normal weight. 


4. Prescription Medication. If you've noticed weight fluctuations you might want to take a look at any prescriptions you might be on. Often times one of the side effects is water retention. As always, you'll want to speak to your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to the medications you're on. 


5. Your Water Intake. This may sound obvious, but here's a way it can cause fluctuation in a different way: weighing yourself on a day where you have had water versus a day where you haven't had much water. If you drastically increase your water intake from one day to the next you'll most likely see that on the scale. This doesn't mean that you're gaining weight though. It just means your more hydrated, which in turn is healthier than being under-hydrated. 


And lastly, because I feel like it's always super important to remind you of this, that number on the scale says nothing about your "true weight." We always want to judge based on body composition, a.k.a. how much muscle mass you have in comparison to fat mass. That's why I always recommend that you do a body comp test on our InBody machine from time to time. All you have to do is email us to schedule one!

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Don't Mow The Lawn If The House Is On Fire

Having been evacuated myself this past week, I understand the sensitivity around "burning houses." Still, the concept of mowing the lawn while the house is on fire is an important topic that's been on my mind for a while. 


Mowing the lawn while the house is on fire is the concept that you're focused on one thing while there's a big ole other thing happening that probably needs more of your attention. Here's an example: you're wondering what kind of protein shake is best after a workout... you spend all your time researching protein brands... you buy that protein and have it religiously within an hour of finishing your workout.. but you're still hitting up the McDonald's drive-through every morning for breakfast. See what I mean? Even the BEST brand of protein will not counteract that Egg McMuffin habit. Now when you have that protein shake for a healthy breakfast (along with some healthy carbs and fat), now we're talking! 


There are so many healthy tips and fad trends, not to mention fad foods, pills, supplements, etc... that get thrown around in the media. The second a Kardashian endorses a fruit, a drink, a whatever, it becomes something that "everyone should be doing." So we drink the drink, take the pill, and still don't see any results. With all these fads we've gotten so far from the basic tenets of good nutrition: eat balanced meals when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. It really is that simple. Oh, and drinking water! How else are you going to put out that fire? 


On that note, stay safe everyone! 

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

My Four Tricks to Losing Weight

I know, I know, no one is thinking about losing weight around this time of year. If anything, we're all just hoping not to get too big during this next month. But let me tell you this, if you can secure your healthy habits during the holiday season, you can do just about anything! That being said, here are my four tricks to losing weight (during any time of year):

1. Have a STRATEGY. Knowing how you're going to attack weight loss is key. There are so many ways to tackle weight loss: calorie counting, watching portions, adding in exercise, eliminating certain foods, etc... Whatever that strategy is, know that you might need to adjust as you lose weight. For example, you might start out with just walking 4 miles a day. As you progress and lose more weight, you'll need to increase that amount of walking and even add in weight training, etc... in order to continue to lose weight. 

2. Meal Prep. It's a known fact that when you fail to plan you plan to fail. That's where meal prep comes in. And here's a little trick - meal prep for your weekends so that you don't get into that "Oh, but it's the weekend!" mentality. 

3. Accountability. Figure out a way to hold yourself accountable. Write down what you're eating. Set an alarm on your phone to drink more water or meal prep. Have an accountability buddy. 

4. Consistency. If you can do the top three things and do them for a while - like, I'm talking MONTHS - you WILL be successful. True weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. If you're in it for the long game you will have success. 

If you need help with any of these, we have launched personalized nutrition counseling at FUNction and FITness. Even if you aren't a member, come on in and let's discuss how you want to tackle your weight loss goals - whether they be for the holidays or for the new year! 

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Thanksgiving is Only ONE Meal

"Thanksgiving." Need we say more? It's that special day once a year where we stuff ourselves silly. Growing up, the running joke in our family was "there goes Jessie, to take her Thanksgiving nap." After gorging on turkey, yams covered in marshmallows, mashed potatoes, and pie I would stumble into my grandparent's bed and pass out for the rest of the afternoon. It was my very own Thanksgiving tradition. 

A couple years ago (and yes, this only dawned on me a few years ago) I read a quotation: "Thanksgiving is only one meal." Whaaaaa?! Is it not fourteen meals in one as I had always treated it? On that note, I give you my Thanksgiving Day tips:

1. Treat it as ONE meal
2. Remember that you can Thanksgiving food all year
3. Sides like sweet potatoes, green beans, and vegetables can all be made as a "healthy version." Think olive oil, salt, pepper, and that's it!
4. Not everything requires a side of gravy
5. For every glass of wine, have a glass of water 
6. Concentrate on the real meaning of "Thanks-giving"
7. If your Thanksgiving is bound to be a stressful one (as big gatherings of family can be) figure out a way to de-stress. Maybe that means taking a walk with the family members you actually want to be around. Maybe it's making a list of what you're grateful for. Let's ensure that the stress of the day doesn't turn into stress eating or drinking.
8. Come to our BURN the BIRD workout at 8 am Thanksgiving morning!
9. If you're going to multiple Thanksgiving dinners, rather than eating full Thanksgiving at each dinner, choose which sides you'll eat where. For example, I'll have turkey and sweet potatoes at the first dinner, turkey and green beans at the second, pumpkin pie at the third. Side note: try to have protein (ahem, the turkey) at each meal to ensure you're eating balanced meals.
10. Host. I know this sounds crazy, but if you host you can control all the ingredients that go into the meal and your mouth. 

Wishing you and yours a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING! We'll see you in the gym for our 8 am BURN the BIRD workout!

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Getting Through the Holidays

’Tis the season - of treats.

As we round the corner into the most festive time of the year it can feel almost impossible to stay away from all the treats. To help keep you in check, we’ve put together a little list of reminders to help you survive the holiday season. 
  • Eat two healthy, satiating meals before the “big meal.” For whatever reason, we all seem to starve ourselves the morning of Thanksgiving/Christmas/etc… so that we can “eat more” during the actual meal. Um… what?! Make sure you get some healthy in there.
  • Remember that most holidays are JUST ONE DAY. Think about this: if you limit your “splurge” to JUST Thanksgiving dinner, it’s really not that bad. Just because we’re going to “go big” at one meal, that doesn’t mean you need to eat poorly all season.
  • Eat a healthy snack before the party. Something about a buffet turns us all into plate-piling-monsters. Fill up on the good stuff at home before you hit the party, or just commit to only eating one plate of food… and not three.
  • Remember your last year’s New Year’s Resolution.
  • Wear tight pants. This one sounds a little silly, but wearing tighter clothes can help to remind you to not stuff your gullet at the holiday party.
  • Remember that you can still make macaroni and cheese/casserole/stuffing at any time of year. Sometimes we think “oh, I’m not going to have this again for a while so I’m gonna fill up on it now.” Remind yourself that you can make those foods at any time of year.
  • Bring the healthy option. Fear there won’t be anything “safe” for you to eat? Why not bring the “safety” food? You might just inspire healthy habits in your fellow party attendees.
  • Make a healthy meal. Just because it’s a “holiday” that doesn’t mean you have to eat badly. There are so many ways to create your favorite foods out of real ingredients that feed your taste-buds as well as your “feel goods.” Think: sweet potatoes without all the brown sugar on top, or actual cranberries instead of that gelatinous tin-shaped guck, asparagus that tastes like asparagus instead of a pound of butter, you get the idea.
  • Exercise. Sure, we want to see you in the gym, but we know how scheduling around the holidays can get tight. If you can’t make it to a team training or a semi-private because you're with family and friends, why not suggest a walk around the neighborhood that everyone can do?At the same time, remember that exercise can help keep you on track, or at least keep you in check.
  • Balance out your plate with the green stuff.
  • Remember it’s not about the food. Sure, the food is a really awesome part of the holidays, but it’s really about getting everyone together. It’s hard to stuff your mouth if you’re too busy catching up with everyone.

Getting through the holidays without gaining weight is hard, but it’s completely doable! And remember: we’re always here to help! For example, we’ve got our “Burn the Bird” workout at 8am on Thanksgiving morning! 

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

FUNction and FITness' REAL CHANGE Nutrition Coaching Program

I'm so excited to announce that we are launching a new nutrition coaching service at FUNction and FITness! 

Are you ready for real and lasting change? Rather than giving you a meal plan and sending you on you’re way, let’s get to the bottom of why you keep returning to “day 1.”


A weight loss program built around YOU!

Weekly accountability check-ins with a Precision Nutrition Certified Coach.

* We know accountability is the number one reason people are successful. We’ll

check in with you in whatever way works for your schedule - either by phone,

email, or in person meeting. We have to make this work for you!

6 weeks to as long as you need.

* We ask that you give us a 6-week minimum because Rome wasn’t built in a day.

3 (if wanted) InBody assessments performed Bi-weekly.

* We want to track measurable changes. That’s often done with numbers - aka

hopping on the scale. BUT this is not a requirement. If you want to go off of how

your jeans fit, then let’s do it that way.

HOW it’s different:

Rather than giving you a meal plan you'll never actually follow, we'll look at addressing the real reasons why you haven't lost weight or why you're on the yo-yo diet routine.

We’ll take a look at the food and exercise habits you already have and build from there. Yes, you'll need to change some habits and yes, it will be difficult, but you have to do what you've never done to get the results you've never achieved before.

It’s personalized. We’re going to look at YOU and what your goals are. Maybe that’s gaining muscle, maybe it’s finally achieving a responsible relationship with food, and maybe it’s just to look awesome in your skinny jeans. We’ll base your plan on what you want.


Because you’ve been stuck in a loop of weight loss to weight gain and are tired of it.

Let’s actually get to the root of the problem so we can make some real and actual changes that will carry over for the rest of your life. This is the challenge to end all challenges!

Contact the gym for more details on how to get started! 

2833 Honolulu Avenue
Verdugo City, CA 91046
(818) 369 - 7775