You Get What You Pay For

Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best option. Not just with your health but anything. For example, a cheap apartment might cost you less per month in rent, but when the landlord doesn’t take care of things and there’s bugs everywhere or something’s always broken and needing repairs, the inconvenience isn’t worth it. Just like a gym that cost $20 a month but you’re left to your own devices and training your own body, figuring out what works for you through trial and error. Or maybe you pay $80 a month for unlimited group classes but then you’re drowning in a sea of other people, forced to go through a workout that everyone else is going through, that might not be right for your individual needs.

This is when it pays, to pay a little more for personal training. You get one on one attention, exercises created for your unique requirements, and you can ask questions, offer feedback to your trainer, and the workout can be modified to best address what your body needs!

Sure, it costs more, but when you only have one body to invest in, make sure it is a wise investment. You want to see AND feel tangible results that are sustainable, rather than just paying someone to stand around and count reps while you do the exercise they just demonstrated. Our trainers do all of that, plus we let you know what to expect during the exercise, where you should feel tension, what is normal, and what is not supposed to be, and then while you’re doing it, we remind you of what you’re supposed to be focusing on to manifest what we described during the demonstration. You’re constantly being reminded what you should be mentally focusing on, so physically your body is doing what it needs to be doing to ensure you aren’t going to hurt yourself.

If you want to shut your brain off and just copy an exercise you see for the desired amount of reps without knowing what muscles you should be working or how to activate them, then use YouTube or a cookie cutter fitness app. But if you actually want to learn about your body’s function and how to put that function to use correctly, to mitigate pain, ward off injuries, and enhance your peak physical function- during exercise and in life outside of the gym, then follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, read our blogs, check out to see the type of training methods we utilize, and then you can decide if you want to spend your money with us!

No pressure, it’s your body, treat it the way you want to treat it.

Health- What Does It Mean To You?

The health and fitness industry can be overwhelming with all of the information- information that contradicts itself and information that is unpopular from the mainstream. You have to read all the sides and decide what is best suited to you- with all your health history and complex individual requirements. We think its helpful to consider what health means to you? Is it a 6 pack abs and big arms, is it good blood panels, is it being able to move without pain, is it eating nutritious food, is the ability to keep up with your kids, grandkids, and fur babies, is it NOT having to take prescription medicines, is it all of the above and then some?

We view health and fitness with the overall ability of the body to thrive. Physically, mentally, externally, internally, handle stress well, fuel your body with the right foods and environment, and have the ability to live life without being limited by pain, poor health, and other restrictions. We don’t view health and fitness as simply having a nice looking body. What looks good on the outside might be in turmoil on the inside- either from poor dietary habits, inability to cope well with stress, or too much emphasis on the physical and not enough on the mental, emotional, and internal needs of the body. All of those factors cumulate to make up health and fitness.

We want to be upfront that we aren’t your typical gym that just pushes a good looking body and doing whatever it takes to get there. Sure that is nice and a reflection of health but without all of the other aspects, no matter how toned and trim your body is, you can still be unhealthy or unfit.

So take a moment to reflect on what being healthy and fit means to you. If you’ve been hesitant about going to a gym because you’re concerned it’s all about what you look like, then look no further than SA Functional Fitness! Our gym is tailored to what your body can do, not what your body looks like. Come as you are, and as a byproduct of regaining and training function, your body composition will change along of the way. But remember, that shouldn’t be your sole focus because the way you look doesn’t always align with the way you feel and the way your body performs.

Fitness is defined as “an organisms ability to survive and reproduce in a particular  environment.” This is from a biological standpoint and not what popular opinion defines fitness as. So if you hold true to this definition, then are you fit? Are you able to navigate the daily demands and real world conditions of your environment, without turmoil, pain, anxiety, aches, and being overwhelmed, exhausted, and incapable?

Being fit determines your health, the more adaptable you and your body are to the environment you live in, the more strength you can use to handle the physical demands, the more focus you can exert to manage stressful situations without feeling like you need to cope with a drink or comfort food, the more energy you have to make it through the day without fueling yourself with caffeine just to have another restless night of sleep because your body and brain are too wired to rest, truly rest.

As all of the layers of health and fitness work with each other, the better your body is at existing in reality. Instead of forcing your body to workout and eat a nutritious diet because you know it’s good for you, your body will start to want these things because it feels good when you treat yourself right.

So stop working out and dieting solely for “looks” when you know health and fitness goes deeper than the superficial vanity you see on commercials, movies, advertisements, and peer pressure from all sides. Fueling your brain and body that way is exhausting and it’s why we don’t truly have health. The rat race of beating your body up and extreme dietary deprivation places the body in a stressed state and then it doesn’t have the means to heal itself so your hormones become out of whack- and then you’re working against your weight loss goals and so you start working out even more to lose those last few stubborn pounds that just won’t come off. But if you take a step back it’s because your health habits aren’t really that healthy.

The calorie restriction and daily cardio and strength training, stresses your physiology out and your body goes into survival mode to keep from losing more weight, and then when you try to workout harder, you still don’t lose weight because biologically your body is working to stay at homeostasis. True health and fitness is a mind shift from what you’ve been told and seen most of your life and learning to encompass physical, mental, emotional, and physiological aspects of health to truly thrive as a human being.

So, rethink your definition of health and fitness. Does it align with where you see yourself in 10, 20, 30 years. Is it sustainable or are you pushing the extremes to look good now, without regard for what’s going on inside of your body and how that impacts your future health and fitness?

“Live intentionally and not habitually.” – Naudi Aguilar



Why We Build Your Body For Life Outside The Gym

When your training doesn’t involve rational components, your function away from the gym diminishes, because in reality the human body moves via macro and micro rotations. Perhaps not overnight, but eventually routine tasks you used to be able to do without any repercussions become a chore on your body. Playing a game of golf on the weekend leaves you feeling like you just ran a marathon, you start noticing little aches and pains that had been there for awhile but now they’re becoming less tolerable. Since none of this happens overnight you’ll start to blame your age and say it’s just a part of getting older. It can be, if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent the degeneration.

If you’ve been following us or training with us in person or online, you know we teach you how to become a functional being without the pains you used to have to live with. We guide you along the right stepping stones to continue making progress from your first session! The exercises don’t always look so hard but you quickly find out that looks can be deceiving when you execute the movement correctly.

We educate you on what you should be feeling and when/how to produce the contractions naturally during the exercise. We don’t just count reps until you’re done working out, we’re with you every step of the way to ensure your body and your brain get the most of your time in the gym, to get more out of your time away from the gym!

Physical Fitness

If physical fitness only means big muscles and a 6 pack to you then you’ll likely encounter other detriments to your health over time. Fitness has more to do with your ability to function and perform in any given scenario without suffering from aches and pains- during and after.

Without prioritizing function in your training plan your health can suffer. Dysfunctional muscle mass compressing your ribcage can smash your intestines together and lead to GI issues. Or your lungs can no longer inflate properly so your basic nature to breathe becomes a big problem. Overly developed pecs compromise your posture, pulling your head forward out of alignment, leading to “unexplained” headaches that you’ll likely be prescribed meds for, entering the detrimental cycle of side effects that you’ll need another medication for…

You can’t have health without function. Prioritize function during your workouts to develop physical fitness and physiological well-being in the long run.


Recipe: Smoothie Goodness

The best smoothies have a little bit of everything for a well rounded nutritional boost! This is a smoothie that supplies me with energy throughout the entire day, and it’s also a delicious treat.

To make this one you’re going to need:

  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Water
  • Kale
  • Dates
  • Banana
  • Walnuts

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, to your taste, add ice, and enjoy!

This smoothie packs a powerful punch of nutrition, you get a dose of calcium from the almond milk, electrolytes from the coconut water, magnesium from the kale, iron from the dates, potassium from the banana, and omega-3’s from the walnuts… to only name a few!

Top Toxic Chemicals

As ambassadors of health it’s important to consider, not only the things you’re putting in your body through nutrition, but also what you’re putting on your body that influences your health. Chemicals that are in many household products, like cleaning supplies and cosmetics can contribute to toxin buildup in your body which will determine your state of health. Toxins easily enter the body when they are applied topically and absorbed through the skin or inhaled and absorbed through the mucous membranes.

Many of the items we use everyday contain amounts of toxic chemicals, from baby powder to artificial sweeteners. We’ll break down some of the most common chemicals you’ll likely encounter so you are aware of the potential health risks.

  1. Parabens top the list because over use of these can alter the bodies normal hormone function, leading to possible reproductive problems and cancers. Parabens are compounds that are used as a preservatives in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industry and can contain the names, methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl. Common products that contain parabens are mouisturizers, makeup, creams, and perfumes. Be sure to check the ingredients the next time you grab your favorite product, the same way you would check the quality of ingredients contained in your food.
  2. Talc comes in a close second because it is a common ingredient in baby powders to treat diaper rash and even reduce body odor. Some products may use talc that contains asbestos which is a known carcinogen, however most cosmetic talc powders are asbestos free. It’s better to play it safe and check the ingredients before you use it. The better option would be to steer clear of talc and choose versions of baby powder made with corn starch.
  3. Aluminum Zirconium is another chemical that’s found in most deodorants and serves as an antiperspirant which obstructs pores in the skin and prevents sweat from leaving the body. There is some evidence that links aluminum use with Alzheimers disease but other studies suggest that there is no correlation. At the end of the day you can choose to limit the amount of chemicals you put on your body by choosing aluminum free deodorants.
  4. Propylene Glycol is a chemical that is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medications, cosmetics, or food products. It can be used as a less toxic anti-freeze in food processing centers or residential water pipes where accidental indigestion may be possible, it’s also used in common food products like ice cream and artificial sweeteners. The FDA has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food, however some studies show that it contributes to skin irritation, neurological symptoms, cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, potentially toxic to liver and kidneys, probably not safe for infants and children, and may be a pathway for other harmful chemicals. Although it may be safe, the potential health complications are something to avoid by limiting your intake of this chemical.
  5. Oxybenzone is a common chemical used in sunscreen to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows that it can be absorbed through the skin. Experts believe oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. Such contradictory information, we need sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, yet some of the sunscreens we use may also contribute to skin cancer… confusion overload. My suggestion is that you try using mineral sunscreens with ingredients like zinc oxide which create a physical barrier on the skin to protect it from the sun, instead of chemical sunscreens which contain potentially harmful ingredients. However, sun exposure is good for health and wellbeing so make sure you get outside to take advantage of the natural Vitamin D! I recommend trying to expose yourself during the times when the UV light is least intense like in the morning and evening and if you do go outside during the afternoon make sure you have access to shade, can cover yourself with clothing, or apply a mineral based sunscreen, and ideally only spending a few hours at a time in the sun as your tolerance to the UV light increases over time.

The purpose of this is to create toxic awareness, not toxic fear or avoidance, because it’s impossible to be completely toxin free. What you can do is pick and choose what you expose yourself to, for example if you can use natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners then you’re able to limit the amount of toxins entering your body. By creating more awareness of what ingredients are in the products we use everyday we can begin to make substitutions that lead to a healthier lifestyle by choosing the natural choice instead of something artificial that contains chemicals that aren’t great for us. If we spend time making decisions about eating healthy food that is natural and doesn’t contain chemicals and preservatives then we should also prioritize the quality of the products we use everyday and limit the amount of toxins we expose ourselves to. Remember that your health and wellbeing is influenced through the quality of the food you eat, what you choose to drink, your physical activity, and also the quality of household and cosmetic products you use.


Take Advantage of Your Life

We all wish we could be those people who can eat anything they want and never seem to gain any weight or have any health problems. That being said they may have health problems arise down the road if they continue with their unhealthy eating habits, so don’t idolize these people just yet- just sayin’. It seems impossible to be able to abstain from bread or alcohol or desserts the rest of your life, just from the simple fact that they are always around and everyone is eating them. That sort of mentality can be harmful because if everyone is jumping off a bridge, would you? Just because 90% of the population eats sweets regularly, doesn’t mean you have to, its no wonder that over 60% of Americans are overweight. Just because everyone is overweight do you want to be?

If you do, then go right on ahead and eat like everyone else chooses to eat, notice I said “chooses” to eat, not “has” to eat. We all choose what to eat and how much, it’s not like someone is forcing us to eat that slice of pie after dinner or finish an entire bag of chips for lunch. With everything in abundance it’s easy to overeat because we no longer have to save food in case our source of food runs out, if we want more we just go to the store and buy more. It’s rare to find someone who can try a bite of dessert after dinner to taste it and leave it at that, usually the taste turns into the whole thing.

So how can you enjoy all life has to offer and still maintain a healthy lifestyle? Simple. Everything in moderation. Easier said than done. If you aren’t already you can start with moderately exercising, then slowly increase your exercise frequency over time. Another option is to start eating moderate amounts of foods that have a high nutritional value, like snacking on vegetables and hummus instead of hummus and pita chips. The more you include moderate amounts of exercise and moderate amounts of nutritional foods instead of junk foods the better equipped your body will be to handle all life has to offer, including a slice of pie after dinner- just make sure you wash it down with a walk around the block!


No-Churn Avocado Ice Cream

Here’s a follow up to the No Bake Brownie Bites we made last week! Now you can have a scoop of ice cream with your brownie, without all the guilt. This ice cream has only 5 ingredients, all from real foods, making it one of the healthiest alternatives to ice cream you’d eat from the store.


  • 1 1/2 large Avocados, ripe
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 2 cups Coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp Lemon or Lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (again, we used Pink Himalayan sea salt)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy
  2. Pour mixture into a loaf pan or other container and freeze for 4 hours (or overnight)
  3. Allow ice cream to set out 5-10 minutes to soften before serving

This recipe is great for a healthy homemade treat, however I’m not advocating that you only eat sweets and desserts, no matter how healthy they are. What I’m saying is that when you do treat yourself, you should try to make it as healthy as you can by choosing natural ingredients that are good for you. If you build your body’s foundation with nutritious foods then it will operate more efficiently leading to a healthier lifestyle, healthy weight management, and a healthy mental state!

Balancing Life

It shouldn’t come as a shock that our lives should be in balance with everything around us to stay healthy. Life get’s rough or busy, or both, and we tend to navigate to one extreme or the other. We’re either walking around the block every morning and eating our fruits and veggies or we’re sleeping in and rushing to work and going out to lunch every day and stopping at a drive through on the way home because we just can’t seem to make time for our health.

What if we tried to do a little bit of everything? Life is never going to lay out the magic carpet for us to walk down and live a perfectly healthy life so we shouldn’t treat our lives as perfectly healthy all of the time. There will be times when you see some of your old friends one weekend and you may choose to drink some alcohol, yes we know alcohol isn’t good for us, but socializing is part of life. I am not advocating that you go out every weekend with your friends and get drunk, but what I am saying is that you should make time to spend time with the people you love and if you choose to have a few drinks as you visit with old friends then enjoy that time spent together. You could balance out the alcohol with healthy eating choices throughout the day and making sure you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. It’s important to not let the habits of one weekend turn into the habits of the next week, then we’ve lost our ability to stay balanced, and our health will begin to deteriorate.

Maybe drinking isn’t something you enjoy but you love to go out with family and friends and load up on appetizers or dessert because everyone is together and having a good time. A good time doesn’t have to entail eating until you can’t eat any more or sacrificing all of the hard work you’ve spent creating healthier eating habits. You can work to create balance and enjoy some of the foods you don’t normally eat, like nachos at a Mexican restaurant, but instead of eating half of the plate, share it with everyone around the table and enjoy one or two nachos. Most importantly, enjoy the people gathered around the table and take your mind off of the food, you should recognize that you’re at dinner to spend time with the people you care most about, the food may be delicious but it pales in comparison to the joy the people you’re with bring to your life.

Balance is a part of life, and it takes a great deal of effort to practice balance, in my experience you won’t sustain a balanced life over night. It will take some trial and error to start to establish balance and it’s a continuous work in progress because each day is going to be different from the one before it. That means what worked for you one day won’t always work for you the same way the next day, or one weekend to the next weekend. Balance is about being open to new experiences and incorporating your foundation of healthy habits into the adventure that life creates so that you can adapt to life while still living a healthy lifestyle.