Strength & Family Fitness: Meet Our Athletes of the Month, Tim & Ben

At Salus, our community is not just about fitness; it’s about inspiring journeys and the bonds we create along the way. This month, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our Athletes of the Month, Tim and Ben, a dynamic father-son duo. Talk about taking family fitness to a whole new level!

Tim, who embarked on his path with Salus in the summer of 2017, seeking a way to regain his fitness and join structured classes. Ben, Tim’s son, followed suit in November 2021, exploring a new activity that would challenge and invigorate him. Since then, their performance, strength, and agility have soared, and their shared commitment to a healthier lifestyle shines through.

Strength, Family Fitness & Beast Mode

Before we meet Tim & Ben, here’s a word from our coaches:

Ben, is without a doubt, one of the hardest workers in the room. He comes to class ready to work and sets a fantastic example for his peers! I’m constantly impressed by his dedication, focus, and positive attitude. It’s a pleasure to be part of his fitness journey, and I can’t wait to see what incredible PRs he’ll crush in the future. Keep up the great work, Ben!” ~Coach Angela

Tim, although generally quiet, very cool and collected, he will surprise you and go beast mode. Tim will take a coaches ques and apply them right away, it’s a pleasure working with him. It’s satisfying watching him get better at the movements and attack once hard front squat squats and snatches.” ~Coach Gino

Ben has been showing up to preteens very consistently for the last couple years. He is a seriously hard worker, always pushing himself. Both his strength and confidence have grown and it’s so fun to watch! He is an awesome runner and has competed in several 5ks with his equally as awesome runner and father, Tim.
Tim is a great example to Ben and the rest of the community, that consistency is key! Tim shows up to 6am class and gets the WOD done before work; he is very coachable and works hard to maintain correct form.” ~Coach Melissa

It was always a pleasure to work with Ben in the kids class, and now in pre-teens. He would go home and work on skills to get better, all on his own. He even learned how to jump rope at home without any intervention from any other adults. Ben always wants to get better, move better, be faster and has a little competitive streak as well! It’s been a few years since I coached Tim, but I worked with him all the time at 6 am. He is also such a pleasure to work with, and fun to have in class. He’s such a terrific role model for Ben. They’re a great pair!” ~Coach Lisa

I’ve only coached Ben a few times in the past but have watched him many of times. Last Saturday I watched him WOD and was amazed how much he has improved on the movements. As always he worked his butt off and listened to the coach.” ~Coach Scott

Meet Meet Tim & Ben, Athletes of the Month for November 2023

Their story is a testament to the power of hard work, family support, and the transformative effect that consistent commitment to fitness can have on one’s life.

Starting the Fitness Journey:

The story of Tim and Ben’s Salus journey began in the summer of 2017 when Tim, looking to revitalize his fitness and simplify his workout routine, decided to join our community. It was a decision that would set the stage for remarkable changes in his life. Ben, his son, followed suit in November 2021, eager to explore a new activity that would challenge and invigorate him.

Physical Transformation:

Both Tim and Ben have come a long way in their fitness journey. They share that they now have more energy, not just during workouts but in their everyday lives. They’ve become more comfortable with various exercises and movements, proving that dedication and consistency pay off.

Tim mentions how when he first started, he couldn’t do a single overhead squat due to mobility issues. Now, he’s not only conquered that challenge but has improved his flexibility and agility significantly. Ben has achieved a major milestone as well, being able to complete toes-to-bar.

Their physical changes are equally remarkable. Tim has gained increased strength, better flexibility, and agility, while Ben proudly shares that his arms are a lot stronger than before.

Beyond Physical Transformation:

Their journey isn’t limited to physical changes. Tim and Ben both highlight the broader impact Salus has had on their lives. They’ve developed a deeper appreciation for overall health and well-being. “I have a better appreciation for overall health and well being. I am not perfect by any means, but am more aware of what I am eating, making sure I have proper sleep, hydration, etc.” ~Tim

As for Ben, he now looks forward to working out, a sentiment that speaks volumes about the positive effect of their journey. “I look forward to working out now.” ~Ben

Motivation and “Why”:

What keeps them motivated to continue this journey? Their “why” is as inspiring as the journey itself. Tim and Ben both stress that working out consistently not only makes them better physically but also enhances their mental focus and energy levels throughout the day.

“This is for me and also Ben, but we are just better people after a class. Consistently working out allows us both to be more mentally focused and have more energy throughout the day.” ~Tim

It’s a testament to the far-reaching benefits of their commitment.

Favorite Aspects of Salus:

When asked to describe Salus to their friends, Tim highlights the personalized small group training sessions that cater to various fitness levels. He appreciates the variety in exercises and coaching styles, all designed to lay the foundation for overall health and well-being.

Ben keeps it simple, stating that Salus is “good.”

Words of Wisdom:

For newcomers at Salus, Tim advises taking their time and focusing on themselves. He emphasizes that nearly every exercise and workout can be customized to their current ability.

“Take your time, focus on yourself. Practically every exercise/workout can be customized to your current ability.” ~Tim

Ben’s advice? “Go light if you need to.”

Future Fitness Goals:

As for their future fitness aspirations, Tim aims to master the elusive muscle-up, while Ben has his sights set on achieving strict pull-ups.

Designing Their Own WOD:

In a fun twist, Tim and Ben share their ideal workout of the day (WOD):

4 rounds of:
1 Minute – Deadlift
1 Minute – Hang from bar
1 Minute – Wall Walk Hold
1 Minute – Box jumps

Beyond the Gym:

Fitness isn’t their only shared passion. Tim and Ben enjoy spending time together fishing “or at least attempting to fish,” another activity that strengthens their father-son bond.

Favorite Healthy Dishes and Splurge Meals:

To maintain their balanced approach to nutrition, Tim enjoys salmon as his healthy favorite but enjoys pizza as a splurge meal.

Ben opts for grilled chicken but can’t resist the allure of pizza either.

Family Superhero Aspirations:

In a light-hearted moment, they share their superhero aspirations. They both choose Superman, not just for his ability to fly but also for his indomitable spirit.

Inspirational Quote:

Tim and Ben’s favorite motivational quote comes from the legendary Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It’s a reminder that resilience and adaptability are key in the face of challenges.

Fun Fact:

To cap off this father-son interview, Ben shares a quirky tidbit about himself – he’s a pogo stick pro.

The journey of Tim and Ben at Salus is a testament to the transformative power of fitness, the enduring bond of family, and the incredible sense of community that thrives here. Their story is a reminder that when you commit to your health and well-being, it’s not just your body that changes – it’s your entire life. As they continue to inspire and push their limits, we can’t wait to see what new PRs they’ll reach in the future.

Tim and Ben, thank you for sharing your remarkable journey with us. You are both true champions in every sense of the word.

Thanksgiving Thank You!

Happy Thanksgiving Salus!

Happy Thanksgiving, Salus!

As we reflect on the past decade (and then some), Gino and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible journey we’ve shared in nurturing Salus.

Your trust has been the cornerstone of our growth and evolution, and for that, we are profoundly blessed.

Salus is not just a place; it’s a vibrant community made up of unique individuals, each contributing something extraordinary. Our community transcends any single person, coach, or member. It’s about all of you. Your individuality, your spirit, and your presence collectively shape this group we call family. We are truly grateful to be a part of your lives – whether it’s to help you release some stress, foster connections, or provide a moment of normalcy in your day. And thank you for doing the same for us.

We want to express our heartfelt thanks:

Thank you for joining our classes with positivity, dedication, and a zest for fun.

Thank you for extending warm greetings and introducing yourselves to both old and new faces, creating an atmosphere of inclusivity that defines Salus.

Thank you for having faith in our vision for Salus, especially during the challenging transitions that have come our way.

And a special thanks to our family and friends whose unwavering support from day one has fueled our journey.

We’re eagerly looking forward to witnessing Salus’ continued evolution, growing stronger with each passing day.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Angela, Gino, Maxson & Joshalynn

Thanksgiving 2023 Modified Hours:

  • Wednesday, November 22:
    • Regular hours
  • Thursday, November 23:
    • Special CrossFit class at 8 & 9:30 a.m.
    • Barbell Club 8am-10:30am
  • Friday, November 24:
    • No 6am
    • All other classes are ON

Members: reserve on Wodify.

Drop ins welcome

Salus Friendsgiving: Sunday, December 3 at 11 a.m.

The only thing better than Thanksgiving dinner is two Thanksgiving dinners! We’re giving thanks for our amazing community and can’t wait to enjoy it with friends, family and food.

Our community is bigger than just one person. It is greater than any one coach and any one member. It is about ALL of you. Each of you make it special and make it the great place that it is.
Join us on Sunday, December 3 for a family-friendly potluck at the box.

RSVP here:
Please let us know if you’re coming so we know how many chairs/tables to set up and note what you’re bringing.

How to Use MyFitnessPal Effectively

Are you ready to take your food tracking, water intake and measurements a step further? Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, lean out or feel more energetic throughout your day, the free app, MyFitnessPal is a user-friendly tool to help you reach your goals and set you up for success. On this post, I’m going to dive into some insider tips on how to use MyFitnessPal effectively.

In my role as a Sports Nutritionist, I relish the ability to monitor my clients’ dietary choices and hold them accountable. As an athlete, I appreciate the foresight it provides in planning and optimizing my macronutrients to meet my performance goals. The beauty of MyFitnessPal is that it caters to individuals of all levels, ages, and aspirations.

But the key to success, like most things, is being consistent with your tracking.

Why Track Food

Food journaling, or food tracking, is a method of mindful eating. According to the American Society for Nutrition, studies show that mindfulness has a great influence on how much we eat, how we feel when we eat and when we choose to eat. It can also help you gain valuable insights:

  • Keeping a food journal helps you remember what you’ve consumed throughout the day.
  • If you’re working towards a specific objective, it’s a useful tool to identify areas where improvements can be made.
  • It allows you to gauge whether you’re eating excessively or not enough to meet your nutritional needs. Portion control!
  • By tracking your meals, you can identify when you typically experience hunger, aiding in adjusting your eating schedule for optimal results.
  • Food tracking can reveal whether you’re eating out of genuine hunger or simply out of boredom.

12 Tips on How to Use MyFitnessPal Effectively

With a handy barcode scanner, recipe importer, custom reminders and progress charts, MyFitnessPal makes food tracking a breeze! Here are 10 tips to get you going!

Get Motivated.

Tracking your food, water intake, and measurements can be an incredibly effective way to practice habit consistency which leads to motivation. Every entry, every meal logged, and every workout completed is a step toward your success. The sense of accomplishment you gain from seeing your progress is a powerful motivator to keep you on track.

Be Honest.

Honesty is key. Track everything, from the olive oil spray you put on the pan to the breath mint you grabbed from your coworkers desk. The more transparent you are in your tracking, the more accountable you’ll be, and the faster you’ll progress toward your goals.

Remember, not logging that bite from your kid’s plate doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Track Ahead of Time. Then Adjust.

One of the best things I love about MFP is the ability to plan my day ahead. Whether it’s the night before or the morning of, map our your day of meals and snacks to balance out carbohydrates, proteins and fats and refine nutrient timing.

As your day throws you unexpected curves (like most days), simply adjust accordingly.

Test Yourself.

Learn to eyeball portion sizes. With time, you’ll become more proficient at estimating portions.

The more you weigh and measure your food, become aware of how those portions look using your hand as a guide. This is extremely helpful when you’re eating out, at a friends house, holiday party, etc.

Set Reminders.

As you start this new tracking method, you can set up custom reminders through the app to be reminded throughout the day if you forget to track a meal or snack.

When you log your meals, make note of the time of day you are eating and how you are feeling. Keep your thoughts concise—there’s no need for lengthy entries unless you want to reflect more deeply.

Save Your Meals.

Do you eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every day? Save the foods as a favorite meal so you can add all items to your diary with one simple click.

Copy Your Meals.

Leftovers tonight?

Flip back to yesterday’s entry and click “copy meal” to copy those foods to today (or tomorrow…or any other date). It’s a quick and simple time-saving trick.

Scan the Barcode.

Can’t find the right item in the search bar? Simply hit the barcode button and scan your package then adjust portions accordingly.

Don’t have Premium? Try changing your location and you could get it for free! Go to the app’s settings and change your location to Canada or the UK.

View Nutrition Progress.

While on your diary, flip your phone horizontal and scroll to the bottom to view macro breakdown. Or click the menu bar and then the Nutrition tab to view that day’s nutrients.

Community Support

MyFitnessPal isn’t just an app; it’s a community of individuals on their own health and fitness journeys. Joining groups and connecting with like-minded people can provide an extra layer of support and inspiration. You can share your progress, ask questions, and gain insights from others who have faced similar challenges.

Get Organized.

Start with the free app as you’re getting started. If you feel this is a helpful tool to keep you on track, you can go with Pro, but the free app works well, too!

In the Premium version, you can rename your meals. So instead of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks, you can get creative. Personally, my meals are Meal 1, Meal 2…Meal 6. Here’s how: Once you’ve logged in, click “My Home”, then “Settings”, then “Diary Settings.” There you can change your existing meal names, and add meals to the two optional slots.

Add Your Coach.

Gain an extra layer of accountability by adding your Nutrition Coach or a friend to have access to view your food diary. You get to decide the level of privacy they can see.

Remember, it’s not just about what you eat, but how you use the tools at your disposal to transform your lifestyle and achieve lasting results.

There you have it: my top 10 tips on how to use MyFitnessPal effectively. Take your goals to the next level with one-on-one nutrition coaching. With ultimate accountability and guidance, we’ll help you achieve your goals.

Isn’t it to time to take care of you? Let’s chat!

Endocrine Disruptors: What Are They? How Do I Avoid Them?

endocrine disruptors

You’re diligently staying hydrated, which is fantastic! But now it’s time to step it up a notch and ditch the plastic bottles…and the lurking endocrine disruptors they bring along.

What Are Endocrine Disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors, whether they occur naturally or are human-made substances, intrude upon our body’s endocrine system. Since this system governs hormone and cell signaling, it can potentially lead to detrimental developmental, neurological, immune, and reproductive consequences.

Maybe you’ve heard of the term BPA before? Bisphenol A is notorious for tampering with hormones and mimicking estrogen’s effects in the body, inducing hormonal imbalances. BPA has been associated with a litany of health issues, including insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, ADHD, infertility in both men and women, and altered gene expression.

But here’s the kicker: Being BPA-free doesn’t guarantee safety from plastic’s health hazards.

A study published in Environmental Health indicates that almost all plastics, including BPA- and phthalate-free products, release chemicals with estrogenic activity. Bisphenol S (BPS) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP) are two chemicals often found in BPA-free products. Items containing these chemicals have been marketed as “safe” alternatives to BPA-containing plastics, but it turns out that BPS has endocrine-disrupting effects that are very similar to BPA, and TPP is even more estrogenic than BPA.

What Endocrine Disruptors Do?

Our endocrine system consists of glands that release hormones. Once released, those hormones act like chemical messenger that travel throughout our body, bind to target receptors on certain cells and cause predictable cellular change.

Endocrine disruptors imitate our natural hormones and end up binding to receptors, consequently altering hormone production, transport, binding, and breakdown. They are incredibly stable, resisting easy breakdown (which is why manufacturers use them in products), and they linger in our bodies for extended periods.

When our hormonal systems are altered, it can lead to disrupted metabolism, immune function, bone health, mental well-being, impaired testicular function, conversion of cholesterol to steroid hormones, oxidative stress, promotion of obesity, and more.

Where are endocrine disruptors found?

We’re exposed to a cocktail of endocrine disruptors every day, often without realizing it.

They lurk in our plastic bottles, possibly within your carpet, and most likely in your drugstore beauty products. They also infiltrate food packaging, shower curtains, cleaning supplies, children’s toys, canned food, and, yes, even BPA-free water bottles. In essence, we’re constantly bombarded by hormonal manipulators. They’re everywhere.

In fact, the CDC has found over 92% of people tested, including newborns, have detectable levels of BPA and other plastic chemicals in their bodies.


The good news? We can control most of our exposure.

Tips to Avoid Endocrine Disruptors

Research finds that BPA, phthalates and other plastics have harmful effects at both high and very low doses. Given the above evidence, I recommend trying to avoid all kinds of plastic, even ones labeled as BPA-free.

  1. Use glass and stainless steel whenever possible for drinking, cooking, eating and storing food.
  2. Never reheat your food in plastic containers or wash them in the dishwasher. Use glass.
  3. Don’t cook with plastic utensils. Instead opt for bamboo or wood.
  4. Use parchment paper or a lid from a pot to cover your food instead of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
  5. Watch what you eat (avoid canned foods and choose organic when possible).
  6. Cook with cast iron instead of nonstick pans which can also hide endocrine disruptors.
  7. Use a stainless steel thermos to pack your kids lunches instead of plastic baggies.
  8. Don’t forget to say “no, thank you” to your receipt, as these have BPA coating as well.
  9. Take a look at your (and your kids) cosmetic and personal care products (sunscreens, lotions, make up, soap, etc). Avoid those that contain phthalates in the ingredients and find natural replacements.
  10. Choose wood or fabric toys for children instead of plastic.
  11. Swap out those plastic water bottles and shaker bottles for an insulated stainless steel or glass (just make sure you keep the lid clean from mold).

Choosing what we put into and on our bodies can have an enormous impact on our health.

What actions do you currently take to reduce plastic usage, and are there challenges you face in finding alternatives?

Take action, today… and every day.

Consider going plastic-free on your next water bottle purchase. But, remember: No matter what nutritional or lifestyle changes you’re here to make, you have to get better at making a change in the first place if you want those changes to stick.

One realistic step at a time. 

More on our Salus Nutrition Health Coaching Blog:

Inspirational Transformation: Joanne Schiffres – Salus Athlete of the Month, October 2023

Joanne, Athlete of the Month CrossFit Salus Middletown NJ

Meet Joanne Schiffres, our Athlete of the Month for October 2023, a true inspiration in our community. Joanne’s journey at Salus began in June 2023, following five years at another gym in Hazlet. Since joining Salus, she’s showcased an inspirational transformation physically and mentally, embracing challenging workouts and conquering exercises, like handstands. Beyond the physical challenges and transformative changes, Salus has taught her the importance of nutrition and serves as a stress reliever.

Joanne’s motivation thrives on setting and surpassing goals, making her feel strong and gratified. Her favorite part of Salus? The camaraderie in Saturday morning classes. As an inventor and artist, she’s also on the cusp of launching an innovative fashion accessory, leaving a remarkable legacy. Joanne’s motto? “I don’t know how, but I will!

Here’s what our coaches have to say:

As Joanne’s nutrition coach, I’ve been truly impressed by her dedication to implementing gradual, manageable changes in her eating habits. It’s clear that she’s not just focused on short-term goals but is building a foundation for lasting wellness that will support her through life’s inevitable ups and downs.” ~Coach Angela

From day one, Joanne has been eager to learn and has brought a positive energy to every class. She’s not afraid to try something new or scale back when necessary. I’ve noticed a huge increase in her endurance since she began.” ~Coach Scott

“‘I’m seeing changes.’ This is what Joanne says to me when she comes to class now and rightfully so. Those positive changes have been earned with consistency and enthusiasm. You can always find Joanne right up front, attentive and willing to try new things (while sneaking in a joke or two). She’s embraced all things Salus, be it team wods on Saturdays or paddle boarding for an outdoor WOD.” ~Coach Erin

Meet Joanne, Athlete of the Month for October 2023

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at CrossFit Salus in June 2023, I was a member of RPSC in Hazlet for 5 years prior to joining Salus in Middletown.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

The challenging workouts have definitely made me stronger in ways I never thought possible. My physical stamina is much greater and I have developed my mental stamina to push through these WODs.

Joanne, Athlete of the Month CrossFit Salus Middletown NJ

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?


4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I now see definition in shoulders and arms, abdomen and hips!

5. How has Salus transformed you in other ways?

I have learned a lot about the importance of nutrition, especially at certain times of the day and how to fuel before and after workouts.

Joanne, Athlete of the Month CrossFit Salus Middletown NJ

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

An amazing example of CrossFit workout, introducing gymnastics and other challenging exercises that I have never personally attempted before.

With Strength, Perseverance, and Innovation:

7. What keeps you inspired to continue? What’s your “why”?

I am truly motivated by the need to be challenged daily to push myself by setting short-term goals and surpassing them while continually to strive for other goals.

This makes me feel not only strong physically but mentally and I find it as a huge stress reliever. Although some mornings I have to drag myself to the gym, I always feel significantly gratified on my way out!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I enjoy all of the WODs because they’re challenging in their own way.

As most people know, I do not read the workouts beforehand because I don’t want to talk myself out of showing up. I just do whatever they tell me to do and I deal with it!

I don’t think I’ve done a WOD more than once yet, but my favorite lifts would be back squats because I have now been taught how to do them properly and go below parallel to get the full benefit and overhead presses. These make me feel the strongest.

Joanne, Athlete of the Month CrossFit Salus Middletown NJ

Joanne’s Inspirational Transformation:

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Just show up, do the best you can and take one day at a time-you will get there!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Toes to bar… when I first came here I could barely hang on the bar let alone lift my legs. Now at least I can get my knees up to my abdomen and although it’s going to take me a while, I think eventually I’ll get those toes to the bar. Knowing how to do a kip swing properly definitely helps!

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

It would have rowing, squats, renegade rows and burpees. I truly love core work.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Honestly it’s go to the gym, I especially love Saturday morning classes because of the teamwork…

To me–This truly is fun!

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

My favorite healthy dish is any kind of flake fish with sauteed, zucchini, onions and other vegetables in a garlic sauce.

My favorite splurge dish would have to be anything Italian, especially pasta.

14. If you could be a superhero/animal/superstar who/what would you be and why?

This is a tough question, I had to think about this one for a while. I am neither a superhero or a superstar because that would mean I make the assumption that I think I’m super. I am not. I see myself as a survivor.

So if I had to select one of these three I would say animal, and that would be a cheetah mom, one that fails more than she succeeds but is persistent in her pursuit of survival for herself and her family. That pursuit requires persistence and I am nothing if not persistent! In all aspects of my life, relationships, physicality, and of my ultimate dream of being an entrepreneur and seeing my invention to fruition.

And I do all of this to leave a legacy for my family!

15. Favorite inspirational quote?

“I don’t know how, but I will!”

This quote has inspired me over the last few years to learn things about an industry that I knew nothing about, I took one little step at a time to teach myself so that I can get to where I want to be. It’s taking more than 3 years but I am on the threshold of seeing this dream come true!

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I am an artist and inventor that has a patent and pursuing a second patent and am on the verge of launching my innovative new fashion accessory!


In Joanne, we find not only an exceptional athlete but also a testament to the power of determination and innovation, inspiring us all to pursue our dreams with unwavering commitment.

Thank you!

The Daily Weighing Dilemma: To Step on the Scale or Not?

Should you weigh yourself every day?

Is Daily Weighing Right for You? Understanding Your Perspective

Should you weigh yourself every day? It’s a question that has sparked debates among health enthusiasts and researchers for years. Recently, a study conducted at the University of Oxford delved into this very topic, shedding light on the various psychological aspects of daily weighing.

Let’s explore the findings and weigh the pros and cons.

Should you weigh yourself every day?

In this intriguing study, participants were tasked with a simple yet revealing routine: they had to weigh themselves each morning for eight consecutive weeks. However, the unique twist was that they were also required to “think aloud” during and after stepping on the scale, either by audio-recording their thoughts or jotting them down in a journal. The goal? To gain deeper insights into the participants’ mental processes regarding their daily weigh-ins.

The scientists behind this study meticulously analyzed the participants’ responses, and the results were illuminating.

Comparison Game vs. Action Planning

One of the key findings was that 90% of participants instinctively compared their current weight to a previous weight or a predetermined goal weight. This behavior highlights a prevalent trend among individuals who frequently weigh themselves—the constant pursuit of numerical validation.

Additionally, 58% of participants reflected on their daily decisions and actions that might have influenced their current weight. This introspective approach demonstrated an awareness of their behaviors, but it often lacked a concrete plan for improvement.

Shockingly, only 14% of participants made an action plan after their daily weigh-in, and a mere 6% developed a specific action plan. This stark contrast in percentages emphasizes that most individuals engage in passive reflection rather than proactive decision-making.

The Power of Specific Action Planning

Here’s the real revelation from this study: when the researchers tracked which behaviors actually facilitated weight loss, the only one that proved effective was specific action planning. In other words, those who devised concrete, actionable plans after stepping off the scale were the ones who saw tangible progress in their weight management journey.

So, what does specific action planning look like? After weighing yourself, you might ask questions like:

  • “How can I ensure that I eat slowly and mindfully today?”
  • “What type of vegetable can I include with each meal?”
  • “When exactly will I fit in my 15 minutes of intentional movement?”

By posing these specific questions, you transform your daily weigh-in into a strategic tool for success. Rather than meandering through the day with vague intentions of making better choices, you proactively create a roadmap towards your health goals.

The Individual Perspective: How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

It’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to daily weighing. For some, stepping on the scale every day can be an empowering ritual that provides feedback, motivation, and a sense of control over their health journey. However, for others, it can trigger anxiety, disappointment, and even shame, leading to a negative impact on mental well-being.

The key takeaway from this research is that you should consider your own experience and feelings about daily weighing. Ask yourself, “Is this helping—or hurting?” Remember that weighing yourself daily isn’t a requirement for successful weight management. Instead, it’s one of many tools you can use, provided you approach it with the right mindset and strategies.

Remember, the daily weighing dilemma isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue. The University of Oxford study highlights the importance of shifting from passive comparison to active, specific action planning after each weigh-in. Ultimately, the decision to weigh yourself every day should align with your goals, preferences, and mental well-being.

The scale can be a valuable ally on your health and nutrition journey, but only if you use it as a tool for empowerment and positive change.

Frie K, Hartmann-Boyce J, Pilbeam C, Jebb S, Aveyard P. Analyzing self-regulatory behaviors in response to daily weighing: a think-aloud study with follow-up interviews. Psychol Health. 2020 Jan;35(1):16–35. [PMID: 31198059]

From Deprivation to Empowerment: Your Guide to a Healthy Eating Mindset Shift

Healthy Eating Mindset Shift

Moving From a Deprivation Mindset to a Decision Mindset: A Scientific Approach to Healthy Eating Mindset Shift

Our daily choices shape our experiences and energy levels in profound ways. What we consume plays a central role, impacting both our physical vitality and mental well-being. The journey to a healthier life starts with a fundamental truth: “Healthy Eating Mindset Shift.” This shift isn’t just about food; it’s about transforming your entire approach to nutrition.

Scientific studies reveal the direct link between our dietary choices and how we feel, think, and perform. If we eat clean, healthy foods full of energy, we’re going to feel full of energy, have clear thoughts, be productive and advance toward our goals. And the complete opposite is also true. If we eat garbage, we’re going to feel like garbage: sluggish, foggy thoughts, procrastinate and waste opportunities.

It can be a hard cycle to break. 

Let’s explore the science behind this phenomenon and discuss how shifting from a deprivation mindset to a decision mindset can significantly improve your dietary habits.

Your Environment Matters

If your kitchen is filled with tempting foods (whether they are yours or your kids), it can be… a real problem for goals. No matter how much willpower you have, it’s just natural to grab the most convenient and most tempting food options, especially when you’re tired, stressed, or ravenous.

Recent research in nutrition science has provided compelling evidence for the direct relationship between diet and cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience found that individuals who consumed diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains experienced enhanced cognitive performance, including better memory and attention span. Conversely, diets high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats were associated with cognitive decline and increased risk of mental health disorders.

A little effort ahead of time can lead to substantially better choices in the moment. That’s why it’s helpful plan your indulgences with a proactive mindset rather than responding reactively.

You Choose: The Science Behind Dietary Choices

The more you clean up your diet with highly nutritious foods, the more your taste for junk fades. In other words, keep the junk out of the house.

Numerous scientific studies support the idea that our environment plays a crucial role in shaping our dietary choices. A study conducted by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that individuals are more likely to choose convenient and tempting food options when they are readily available. This tendency is exacerbated when we’re tired, stressed, or hungry, as shown in a study published in the journal “Appetite.”

But, this wonderful switch doesn’t happen until you shift away from a deprivation mindset to a decision mindset.

Think Differently: Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Thoughts

Transitioning from a deprivation mindset to a decision mindset is not just about restriction; it’s about empowerment. It’s your conscious decision to eat foods that make you feel better, look better and perform better. Own it.

So, instead of: “I can’t have that.”
Say: “I don’t want that.” “I don’t need that.” “I don’t eat that anymore.” or “I’ll have this instead (insert healthy alternative).”

Scientifically, this healthy eating mindset shift can be explained through the concept of self-determination theory. Research in this area has demonstrated that when individuals feel a sense of autonomy and choice in their behaviors, they are more likely to sustain positive changes. By making a conscious decision to eat foods that make you feel better, look better, and perform better, you are taking control of your health and well-being.

Embracing a Decision Mindset for Better Nutrition

Instead of labeling foods “good” and “bad,” reframe your thought process by identifying how these foods affect you. For example, let’s look at them as red, yellow, and green light foods.

Red light foods

Red light foods are those that present such a difficult challenge for you that they just aren’t worth the struggle.

Scientifically, red light foods can be those that don’t align with your health and fitness goals, are prone to overeating (a concept explored in the “Food Addiction” literature), or those to which you may have allergies or intolerances. Research has shown that avoiding trigger foods can be effective in managing weight and promoting healthier eating patterns.

Red light foods may not work for you because:

  • They don’t help you achieve your goals
  • They’re tempting to overeat
  • You’re allergic or intolerant to them
  • You really don’t like them
  • You’ve made the decision not to eat them anymore

Yellow light foods

These are foods that you can eat a little bit of, be satisfied and stop without being tempted to go overboard.

Studies have shown that practicing portion control and mindfulness when consuming such foods can help prevent overindulgence.

Green light foods

These are nutritious and make your body and mind feel full of energy. You can eat them normally, slowly, and in reasonable amounts.

Whole, unprocessed foods usually make up most of this list.

Making a Mindset Shift About Healthy Eating: Habit Formation

As with any habit, adopting a decision mindset towards food requires practice and consistency. And remember, habits are formed through repeated actions and reinforcement (not perfection). Research in habit formation suggests that it takes an average of 66 days to establish a new habit.

That’s why it’s essential to practice this mindset daily to make it a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Practice that mindset habit daily.

Incorporating a healthy eating mindset shift can be a transformative journey toward a healthier and happier you. However, we understand that embarking on this path alone can be challenging. That’s why we invite you to take the next step towards your health and wellness goals by signing up for Salus nutrition coaching.

As a certified nutrition expert with over 20 years in the industry, I am here to provide personalized guidance, support, and evidence-based strategies to help you make lasting changes in your diet and lifestyle. Don’t wait any longer; let me be your partner on this journey to better health.


Earn Your Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge

girl scout staying fit badge

Discover Fun and Fitness with the Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge

If you’re looking for creative ideas to help your Girl Scouts earn their Staying Fit Badge, look no further! At Salus, we’re excited to offer a dynamic and engaging program that combines games, fitness activities, and valuable lessons in health and wellness. Our experienced Salus Coaches are dedicated to creating a safe, enjoyable environment where your girls can learn how to stay fit and healthy while having a blast.

Studies Show Exercise is Good for the Body and the Brain

Research consistently shows that exercise is not only beneficial for the body but also for the brain. Keeping kids physically active isn’t just about developing strong muscles; it also enhances cognitive performance and supports better focus. This is particularly important in today’s learning environments, whether in the traditional classroom or the virtual one. Exercise is like a mental boost that stimulates brain growth, making it easier for kids to learn and excel in their studies.

Cultivate a Love for Exercise at Salus

At Salus, we understand the importance of instilling a love for exercise and healthy living from an early age. Our approach is to make fitness enjoyable through interactive games, fitness challenges, and engaging activities. By participating in our specialty class, your Girl Scouts will not only earn their Staying Fit Badge but also develop a lifelong appreciation for staying active and strong.

Earn Your Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge at Salus in Middletown NJ

The Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge program at Salus is designed to teach scouts various ways to build strength and maintain good health. Our expert coaches ensure that fitness is not only effective but also fun for kids of all ages. Through this badge program, Girl Scouts will gain valuable knowledge about fitness, stretching, and the importance of nutritious food choices for a healthy lifestyle. Best of all, they’ll have a blast along the way!

By earning the Staying Fit Badge at Salus, your Girl Scouts will be equipped with the skills and understanding needed to grow strong and stay healthy throughout their lives.

Schedule Your Private Group Class for the Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge

Ready to embark on this exciting fitness journey with your Girl Scout troop? Contact Angela at to learn more about our Girl Scout Staying Fit Badge program and to schedule your private group class. Help your girls discover the joy of fitness, health, and camaraderie at Salus!

Contact to learn more.

Debunking Nutrition Myths

When it comes to food and fitness, how many false assumptions have you heard before?

Carbs are bad…fat will make us fat…if we do a gazillion sit-ups, we’ll get abs…to lose weight all we need to do is keep cutting calories, right?

Not quite.

In this exploration of common nutrition myths, we’re delving deep into the scientific evidence to debunk these misconceptions and shed light on the truth behind them.

Nutrition myths, meet your match! We’re breaking it down like a funky beat.

Brainwash be gone!

Myth 1: Carbs are bad for you.
Reality: Carbs are not “bad.”

Although low-carb diets do lead to rapid, short-term scale weight loss (spoiler alert: it’s mostly water weight), research shows that people who follow a low-carb diet end up gaining the weight back over time (and then some).

Carbohydrates are a vital energy source for our bodies. Numerous studies, including a comprehensive review published in the journal “Nutrients,” highlight the importance of carbohydrates in providing energy for our muscles and brain. The key is choosing complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which offer essential nutrients and fiber.

Feeling crushed from your last training session? Take a look at your nutrient timing around your workouts…specifically carbs.

Myth 2: Dietary fat causes weight gain.

Reality: Fat does not make you fat.

Not all fats are created equal. Research published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” shows that healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil can actually support weight loss when included in a balanced diet. These fats can improve satiety, enhance nutrient absorption, and support overall health.

Sure, the nutrient: dietary fat, has more calories per gram (9 calories per gram) than carbohydrates and protein (4 calories per gram), but it isn’t to blame for your body fat. What is? Too much of anything, really. Too much sitting, too much snacking, even too much restriction.

It’s complicated. And it’s not a cookie cutter answer. Speaking of cookies…

Myth 3: Doing endless sit-ups will give you abs.
Reality: 10,000 sit ups a day will not give you abs.

Eat too many cookies and no amount of sit ups will show those abs if there’s too much body fat in the way.

While core exercises are essential for strength and stability, they alone won’t magically reveal your abdominal muscles. A study in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” emphasizes that spot reduction (losing fat from a specific area) through exercises like sit-ups is a myth. A comprehensive fitness regimen and a balanced diet are key to achieving visible abs.

So, check your cabinets first then go do a plank.

Myth 4: Weight loss is all about cutting calories.

Reality: It’s not as simple as calories in vs calories out. Quality matters, too.

Surprising to many, it’s not as simple as calories in vs calories out, especially when it comes to your energy, performance and health. Weight management is more complex than simply slashing calories. A study published in “The New England Journal of Medicine” found that the quality of the foods you eat matters just as much as the quantity. A balanced diet that prioritizes nutrient-dense foods can be more effective for long-term weight loss and overall health.

Focusing solely on calories may cause you to miss the bigger picture. You need a lot of macronutrients to stay alive: carbohydrates, protein and fat. These three macronutrients have different roles within your body, and deliver energy that our bodies use as fuel.

Many different factors will determine your % macro breakdown needs and timing (basic metabolism, genetics, hormones, sleep habits, stress levels, non-exercise activity: NEAT, and intentional physical activity and more.)

In the end, opt for nutrient dense foods that provide higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds per gram compared with less nutrient-dense foods.

Unlocking the Truth: Busting Common Nutrition Myths

I hope this exploration of nutrition myths has been enlightening and empowering for you.

Remember, knowledge is the key to making informed choices about your health and well-being. If you have more questions or are eager to embark on a personalized nutrition journey, I invite you to take the next step. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your inquiries or schedule a free consultation at Together, we can work towards a healthier, happier, and more informed you. Your journey to optimal health begins here.


Leo’s secret to success? Patience!

Leo, Athlete of the Month

In the heart of the Salus fitness community, we often encounter remarkable individuals whose dedication and progress inspire us all. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Leo, a dedicated 6am-er who has been on an extraordinary journey since joining Salus in November 2022.

“From his first day in on ramp busting out handstand push-ups, Leo continues to be a force to be reckoned with. He gives 110% on every workout but still is smart in listening to his body when he needs to scale back. His extra work in open gym, consistency and hard work are definitely paying off!!”  ~Coach Alicia

“Leo is a very hard worker, he enjoys getting feedback to help him with his form. He prefers to work smarter, not harder.”  ~Coach Gino

“Leo has shown up eager and ready to train from his first WOD with us! When he started he had amazing bodyweight strength but he has really been consistent in showing up to class and is starting to master the Olympic lifts as well! Leo’s gymnastics are so strong, often working on strict movements. I have also noticed he has been showing up to Open gym on the weekends and working hard on his own. I love having Leo in 6am class and love that he has brought his daughter on board, too!!”  ~Coach Melissa

Throughout his time at Salus, Leo has since made remarkable progress on his fitness journey. Take a moment to meet Leo:

Meet Leo Brito, Athlete of the Month for September 2023

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at Salus in November 2022. I’ve been into fitness for about 30 years, but I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to try something different.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

Amazing! I have been exercising for a long time, but the new movements that I have learned since I joined have been nothing short of incredible. Muscle Ups, Pistol, toes to bar, wall balls, etc.

Leo, Athlete of the Month

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Definitely, Muscle Ups and Pistols are two exercises I couldn’t do before joining Salus.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’m actually exercising less than I used to, but my body feels stronger and looks leaner. It’s been a noticeable transformation.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Mental focus has been the biggest change. Training your brain to do new things at my age is not an easy task, but it’s been a rewarding experience.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

I tell them it’s a place of instruction, community, and care. It’s more than just a gym; it’s a supportive and motivating environment.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

I am pretty driven individual and the fact that every workout feels like a new challenge keeps me going. Sometimes I look at the workouts before going to bed and I get excited even though they may look out my league.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

 The Murph!!! Been doing it for a few years, and it’s a tough but rewarding workout.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Patience! it will come!! I have been able to learn so many movements in 10 months, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I need to master double-unders and get stronger in all the bar movements. That’s my next challenge.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

1 min Bike
5 rounds
5 Muscle ups
10 Pistols
15 double-unders
1 min Bike

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

This is my fun!!! I love working out and challenging myself.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

For healthy, it’s baked sea bass and rice. As for splurge, it’s definitely pizza!

14. If you could be a animal what would you be and why?

I’d be a lion because it represents pride.

15. Favorite motivational/Inspirational quote?

“Be the best human you can be.”

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

Nothing of note, what you see is what you get! 🙂


Leo’s dedication and progress at Salus are truly inspiring, reminding us that it’s never too late to embark on a new fitness journey and achieve remarkable results. Congratulations to Leo for being our Athlete of the Month for September! Keep up the fantastic work!