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

Actually Achieving That New Year, New You Goal

According to Health every January, roughly one in three Americans make resolutions. Of those that make resolutions, 75% of people manage to stick to their goals for at least a week, but 46% are still on track with those goals six months later.

If your goal is to lose the weight this 2017, you’re going to need a strategy and it’s going to need to be one you can actually stick to. Here are some tips for building a strategy that will work for you:

Remember your WHY? 
There’s a reason that you want to lose weight - maybe it’s because you want to look bomb dot com in your jeans, or maybe it’s something more serious like your doctor recently told you that you are pre-diabetic. Whatever it is, grab on to that motivating “WHY.” Sometimes it helps to find a video that motivates you - there are tons of “fitness motivating” videos on YouTube. Maybe there’s an old photo of you where you thought you looked awesome. Use all of these things as ways to keep you on track and remembering your why.

Find a way to keep yourself accountable.
We all know how easy it is to spin out of control. In fact, you can probably draw upon a few examples from the end of the year where you maybe went a little overboard. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the entire box(es) of cookies you ate. Let me ask you - if you had been forced to write down just how many boxes of cookies you ate would you have eaten all of that? Okay, maybe yes, but maybe no. Keeping yourself honest can help you, well, if anything shame you, out of over-indulging.

Set small food and exercise goals.
You don’t need to go all cold turkey with your health goals (although if you’re one that can’t do moderation (a.k.a me) then maybe you need to go cold turkey). Maybe knock it down to one glass of wine per night - or ever better - per week. One cookie per week.

In terms of exercise, hitting the gym 7 days a week when you’ve been going 0 days a week is the best way to burn out. Set a goal of maybe 2 days of training with one day of walking. Ease into it so that by week 2 you aren’t in serious sore-ness hell.

Join our New Year New You Challenge!
We’re here to get you on track. Ask any of your FUNction and FITness team members about how to enter! You could win big $$$ and also lose serious weight!

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

So How Much Water Do You Really Need?

Oh, water. We all need it. But when it comes to determining “how much,” it really depends on you (and no, that doesn’t mean you can get away with a teeny tiny glass of water a day).

How much water your body needs depends on various factors including how active you are, what you eat, and where you live. So if you’re attending our Team Training class (link to the Team Training page) or a Semi-Private session (link to the page), then you need to drink up!

As explained by Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of nutrition counseling company Nutritioulicious for SELF (http://www.self.com/story/how-much-water-should-you-drink-a-day), "Fluid requirements vary among individuals based on age, sex, activity level, and even where you live.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, women should drink 2.7 liters (11 cups) of liquid per day and men should drink 3 liters (13 cups). But all that liquid doesn't have to be “water” exactly. You can get your water from lots of sources including coffee and the water content in foods you eat. Your body will absorb the water from the food that you eat like cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges. See! It IS important to eat your fruit and vegetables!

Just remember that some foods can create a need for more or less water - such as alcohol (like that Friday night margarita) or high-sodium foods (you KNOW what those are). In cases like this, remembering to chug down that H20 can help dilute your system to keep your fluids moving regularly.

So what’s the best way to gauge your hydration? Check in with how you feel. Thirsty? That might mean your body is trying to tell you to drink more water. As Levinson suggests, another way to determine how hydrated you are is to take a look at the toilet after you pee. "If your urine is light yellow, you're probably getting enough fluids,” she says. “If it's dark or smells strongly, you probably need more water.”

Bottom line: That “8 eight ounce glasses of water a day” law really depends on you, and in fact, it should be re-phrased as “eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid.” If you’re working out, you’ll need more - before and after you workout. If you live in the Sahara, you’ll need more. If you’re dealing will illnesses or other health conditions, you’ll want to talk with your doctor. So while it’s up to you to determine, just remember to base that determination on what your body needs.

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Healthy Snacks You HAVEN’T Thought Of

We all kind of get burnt out on our snacks. Seriously, how many times can you eat apples and almond butter?

Okay, maybe forever. But if you’re running out of snack ideas, here’s a few we know taste pretty darn good:
  • Grapefruit and Cashews
  • Bone Broth
  • Hummus and Carrots
  • Honey, Peanut Butter, Yogurt Fruit Dip (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/56787645276972646/)
  • Watermelon and Almonds
  • Pistachios and Banana
  • Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Roll Ups (http://www.flatoutbread.com/recipes/banana-peanut-butter-and-honey-roll-ups/?pp=1)
  • Cinnamon Apple Chips http://www.carriesexperimentalkitchen.com/cinnamon-apple-chips/
  • Avocado Toast
  • Cucumber Roll Ups http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/986629/cucumber-roll-ups-with-greek-yogurt
  • Fruit Pops http://www.foodiefun.net/bare-necessities-fresh-fruit-pops
  • Frozen Yogurt Bark http://www.myfussyeater.com/frozen-yogurt-bark/
  • Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding http://hungrybynature.com/2016/10/pumpkin-pie-chia-pudding/
  • Date Bars - 2 parts dates, 1 part almond flour, 1 part shredded coconut. Mix it all together in a food processor
And yeah, in a pinch, there is ALWAYS Apples and Almond Butter.

Happy Snacking!

Coach Ara
2:05 PM

Reduction of Injury

Balance training is one of the fundamental principles behind performance related aspects of training. Performance related aspects of training also include coordination, speed, agility, reaction time and power according to ACSM. When speaking with a concerned coach, a trainer needs to ensure the coach that all athletes need an all-encompassing program covering all aspects of training. A coach needs to understand that there are many facets that go in to a comprehensive strength training program involving strength, power, agility, balance, and conditioning. When speaking on the aspect of balance, a trainer will need to reassure the coach that this part of the program is designed to help strengthen the core and help reduce injury.            

Williardson (2007) did a review on core stability training. Williardson suggests that “increasing an athlete’s core stability will result in better foundation of force production in both the upper and lower extremities. Furthermore, balance board and stability disc exercises, performed in conjunction with plyometric exercises, are recommended to improve proprioceptive and reactive capabilities, which may reduce the likelihood of lower extremity injuries. Myer, Ford and Hewett (2011) also comprised a study involving the core and its effects on lower body injury concluding that “the core of the body could be considered an important contributor to the prevention of ACL injuries” (p. 244).

Seung-Min, Won-Bok and Change-Kyo (2016) focused on balance training to help train the knee and ankle joints. A good amount of injuries in sport happen in the lower extremities of an athlete’s body. Again, to ensure the coach, balance needs to be addressed in the program. Seung-Min et al., determined that the use of balance training helped in the increase of muscle activity of both the knee and ankle joints. Behm, Drinkwater, Willardson, and Cowley (2010) also concluded that the use of “unstable devices have been shown to reduce low back pain and improve the efficiency of the soft tissues that stabilize knee and ankle joints” (p. 108).

Hopefully, after showing all of these studies, the coach will be less apprehensive about the concerns of balance training. Understanding that balance training may help reduce injury and also promote power in both the upper and lower extremities should help ease a coach’s mind. The main thing will be time and results. If the season goes by and the team is performing well, then the coach will definitely have more ease of mind going forward with training. Results will be the key in any training program but a coach needs to understand that this is for the benefit of the athletes, the team, and overall the program. 



Behm, D. G., Drinkwater, E. J., Willardson, J. M., & Cowley, P. M. (2010). The use of instability to train the core musculature. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, 35(1), 91-108.

Myer, G. D., Ford, K. R., & Hewett, T. E. (2011). New method to identify athletes at high risk of ACL injury using clinic-based measurements and freeware computer analysis. British Journal Of Sports Medicine, 45(4), 238-244. 

SEUNG-MIN, N., WON-BOK, K., & CHANG-KYO, Y. (2016). Effects of balance training by knee joint motions on muscle activity in adult men with functional ankle instability. Journal Of Physical Therapy Science, 28(5), 1629-1632.

Williardson, J. M. (2007). CORE STABILITY TRAINING: APPLICATIONS TO SPORTS CONDITIONING PROGRAMS. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Allen Press Publishing Services Inc.), 21(3), 979-985.

Coach Jess
5:00 AM

How to Combine Being a Social Butterfly with a Healthy Lifestyle

Every one of our clients at FUNction and FITness are FUN and super fabulous, so I’m not surprised when I hear, “well, this weekend we had some friends over and we had a BBQ,” or “I went on this amazing wine trip with some friends and…” We are all social butterflies at FUNction and FITness. That’s actually what makes our #fitfam so fun.

The problem with this is when my #fitfam members express how hard it is stay on track during those outings. Do how do you combine your social butterfly-ness with a healthy lifestyle? I’ve picked up some tips from Daily Burn (http://dailyburn.com/life/health/cheat-days-binge-eating-overeating/) and Jennifer Major, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and health coach.

Be prepared.

Plan your splurges. This worked great for a number of our Drop 2 Sizes members. “In just thinking about an indulgent day or meal beforehand, you’re much more likely to feel in control of the situation when it occurs,” says Major.

Be selective when you indulge.

Just BECAUSE it’s the weekend and everyone goes crazy on the weekends, that doesn’t mean you have to. “If your friends order cheesecake at the end of dinner, and it’s not your first choice, or even your second, consider passing on it. There will be more desserts that are worth it in your future,” suggests Major.

I’m going to add this sentiment: Don’t feel obligated or pressured into eating badly just because everyone else is doing it. If anything, feel free to apply the pressure the other way. Perhaps reminding everyone that they have #healthgoals too can keep everyone else on track. You love your friends! Don’t you want your friends to be healthy too? And live longer? And feel better? I know you don't want to be the “wet blanket,” but maybe it’s okay to be the good influence.

Go halfsies.

While we might not know exact portion sizes, let’s all be a little real with ourselves and acknowledge that we KNOW that a steak the size of your head, or a bowl of mac and cheese is NOT A SERVING SIZE. So why not make it a serving size by splitting it? And then, depending on where you are eating, maybe splitting it again… As Major advises, split the portions with friends or your significant other. You still get to enjoy the dish, but you won’t be able to clean the plate all by yourself.

Beastmode for Feastmode.

You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. But you can commit to working hard in the gym. If you know you’re going to have a blowout weekend, don’t skip the gym that week. Getting your weekend in can help mentally set you up. Think: Wow, I worked out so hard, I don’t want to blow it all in one meal.

The truth is, you can be just as fun and exciting and entertaining without that glass of wine or without indulging in that birthday cake. And while you can have your cake and eat it too - just remember you don't have to eat it.

Coach Jess
6:45 PM

Playing the Accountability Game

It’s always a hard question to answer when people ask me about how I lost my own thirty pounds of “fluff.” For so many of us, we’re looking for that one size fits all “solve” - the “oh, I just ate grapefruit,” or “I started taking this awesome supplement.” I always wish I had “the magic pill” to just hand out, but the honest to goodness truth is I just committed.

And honestly, I know how annoying that sounds.

Weight loss is hard until it’s not hard. And I say that because truthfully, deep down inside we can all admit that we know what it takes to lose weight. Barring any health issues (like thyroid issues, etc…), weight loss comes down to what you are feeding yourself and how much you are moving.  If you put the good stuff in, in the right amounts, and you move often, your body is going to lose weight.

For years I yo-yo’ed between a size 6 and a size 14. I’d have three weeks of “good” and then weekends that devolved into weeks of bad.  Any progress I made was literally eaten away. And I did that - for years - until I finally (and fully and completely) decided I’m not going to do that anymore. Sure, I had said that countless times before, but I was just soooo over feeling and looking the way I did.

In the past, I had done Weight Watchers and been successful, so I knew writing stuff down would be important. There’s just something about having to “fess up” about what you’re eating that keeps you in check. Knowing that, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app. While the app will give you a calorie number to aim for (based off of your height and weight), I suggest you get an InBody Assessment that can give you an accurate number based on your body composition. You can do it at the gym! It’s easy! You just stand on something for like 3 minutes. Once you have that calorie goal number, make sure you track everything. The app makes it so easy - you can even scan the barcodes!!

Track Your Workouts

In addition to food, I suggest tracking the calories you burn during your workouts with a heart-rate monitor. The great thing about heart-rate monitors is that most of them can show you what level you are working in during your workouts. It’s a great way to check in with how hard you might be working. And actually - a lot of the time (or rather, most of the time) I see that I work the hardest when I’m lifting weights. Woohoo #girlswholift!

You might also want to consider wearing a pedometer - or something that tracks your daily steps. I actually burst through some of my plateaus by just making sure that I was getting in my 10,000 steps. It’s a great way to remind you to get moving!

For me, I found that keeping myself accountable was the only way I was going to be able to keep myself honest. As coaches, we can make sure you’re doing the work in the gym, but we can’t be there when you’re sitting in the drive-through line at McDonald's or standing in that freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s (that’s my downfall). In so many ways you have to be your own coach or ref when you’re out in the grocery/restaurant/real-life field. Finding a way to make yourself and keep yourself accountable (over the months and maybe years it takes to lost the weight) is the first step in winning the weightloss game!

Coach Jess
8:10 AM

Why Alcohol and Weight Loss Doesn’t Mix

It's a harsh reality to face: alcohol just doesn’t mix with weight loss. But why is that?

There are a number of reasons that if you want to drop the weight, you’re going to need to drop the alcohol or at least cut back on the alcohol.

The first reason: Alcohol is calorically dense. Fat has nine calories per gram. Alcohol has seven. Mix it up with sugary soda, simple syrup, and all those other delicious options, and you’ve got yourself a calorie bomb

Another reason: Alcohol jacks up your metabolism. As Christopher D. Still, D.O., director of the Geisinger Obesity Institute, explained to SELF, "Because your body cannot store alcohol, it becomes a priority in the metabolic process.” That means the body will focus on clearing that alcohol before it focuses on clearing out all the food you consumed with the alcohol. There might be a silver lining, though. As Still goes on to explain, "Alcohol slows down the rate [at which you digest nutrients], but it doesn't stop it, and those nutrients will still get processed in the same way.”

That doesn’t mean drink up though! Even though your body will still process all that food - it won’t do it as efficiently. And that can be a big problem if you like to consume lots of food while/because you’re drinking, or rather if you get real snack crazy when you’re drinking (like me!).

The “drunchie” reason: As Ashvini Mashru, R.D., L.D.N., author of Small Steps to Slim, explains, “Most cocktails are loaded with simple carbohydrates, so during a night of drinking, you end up with soaring blood sugar followed by a 'crash' that leaves you ravenous.” Mashru suggests the best way to deal with the “drunchies” (awesome name, right?) is to eat a complete meal or snack before you go out. That means having protein, fiber, and a healthy fat that fills you up before you fill up that red Solo cup, or if you’re classy, that martini glass.

So if you’re trying to lose weight, consider just how alcohol might get in the way of that goal. While we will always encourage “everything in moderation,” if alcohol causes you to fall off the healthy wagon, you might consider just filling your glass with some soda water and a lime. 

Coach Jess
2:05 PM

Surviving the Holiday Season

’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 tastebuds 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! You can also join Coach Ara for the Turkey Trot!

Coach Ara
3:31 PM

Forearm Postition in Plank

How you should position your forearms during a plank so you will perform the exercise right?

Coach Jess
5:57 PM

“I Deserve It”

As I dove into a giant coffee-cake-pastry-piece-of-heaven, the first thought that occurred to me (besides the holy $%&* this is good!) was “I deserve this.”

“I deserve this.”

It’s a phrase that we utter a lot when we’re working really hard on our #healthgoals. When you’re killing yourself in the gym and making all the “right decisions,” when it comes to choosing what goes in your mouth, it’s not uncommon (nor bad) to think that you deserve _____. But it’s important to choose that “blank” carefully.

For the majority of us, it comes down to this equation:

Being good all week = I get to treat myself this weekend.

That “treat” comes in the form of a glass (x4) of wine, a cocktail (x5), a piece (+ a few nibbles) of cake, or 1 (x a bag) of potato chips. Or, okay, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you're in a good habit and you reward all your good eating habits with good foods! 

Uh… okay, so I’m about to get real here.

After a great workout, do you reward yourself with a cigarette?

You don’t - right? (If so, maybe we should talk a little about that).

So why would you want to reward all your good eating habits with something that will derail all those efforts and make you feel guilty? Do you really want to reward yourself with guilt? No!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate your wins. Believe me, I run on “treats” and will always say you have to treat yourself. But don’t “treat” yourself the way you would “treat” your dog - with food. Instead, I suggest you treat yourself with these some of these options:

A relaxing bath

A massage

A mani/pedi

A fresh new ‘do

New workout clothes

A new workout experience - like trying a yoga or rock-climbing class

A healthy cookbook

A session of Netflix and Chill

Aromatherapy oils

A trip to the movie theater (minus the popcorn)

A nap

Let’s reward our efforts with more health - and healthy options that will promote your health even further - because hey, you DO deserve it!