Yuliya Lee Athlete of the Month July 2021

Like many of the moms who do CrossFit at Salus in Middletown, NJ, Yuliya was on a mission to get back in shape after having her second child. Drawn to the challenging environment, welcoming community, and mood-boosting endorphins, she decided to join. Within just four months of doing CrossFit and Nutrition Coaching, she has already lost over 30 pounds and is strong enough to carry 2 kids to and from the beach with ease.

Congratulations to this strong mamma. Yuliya, you are an inspiration and we love having as part of the community.

Please meet the July 2021 Athlete of the Month: Yuliya Lee

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

April 1st, 2021.

I’ve made a bet with my hubby who will get 6 pack abs first. 😝 Just kidding. We actually did make a bet in January 2020, but then 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. So after the birth of my youngest, I really wanted to get back in shape. I started to Google “tough workout,” because I knew myself, Pilates and yoga are not my cup of tea (of course there is nothing wrong with those) I just needed to get results ASAP. So, I decided to try Martial arts and CrossFit at Salus.

After trying both, it was an easy choice.

CrossFit was exactly what I needed. And I never regret my decision.

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


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

Well, you name it, LOL…
Handstand push-ups seemed surreal, I actually fell down when I tried my first handstand.

I couldn’t do toes to bar, double unders or even 1 regular push-up.

Now I can and I’m feeling proud.

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

I’ve lost 30+ pounds for 3.5 months.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

For me it started with one main goal – lose extra postpartum weight. However, now it is transforming more and more to a lifestyle of healthy choices.

  • I have more energy.
  • I’m stronger.
  • I can carry 2 kids (extra 42 lbs) at a time from the beach (15min walk) because one can’t walk yet and another one has scraped knee. And It doesn’t bother me.
  • I feel great.
  • I feel more confident.
  • I feel happier.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

This awesome ever challenging tough workout that never gets boring and after completion of which endorphins kick in and you feel exhausted, sweaty but yet happy.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

Because I have 3 kids under 5 years old. I want to be strong for them. I need to be strong for them.

I need to be healthy, because I want to enjoy life with them as long as possible.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Oh, man, I looooove tabata. It’s different.

In regard of lift, probably “Deadlift”. It is the one that is easier to master.

With cleans and jerks it’s too much technique to process. My brain registers everything that coaches say: knees here, hands there, back like this, tummy like that, chest up, head straight, use legs, forget about arms, just like a zipper, just like a scarecrow, just pull yourself under the bar, don’t lift with arms, shoulders there, hips here, just dip under the bar, head out, heels grounded, elbows up… AAAhhh😳, trust me I hear you! I understand you! It’s just my body doesn’t follow 🤭, (he-he-he). But it’s ok. I’ll get it!

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

Don’t give up trying.

Don’t be discouraged after completing the WOD, even if you come in last (at some point those people also were last).

Just keep on moving and keep on trying. One of the worst things you can do – is do nothing.

Just keep on trying.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Click that RX button more! 😝

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

  • 10 wall balls
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 barbell thrusters
  • 10 pistols
  • 10 handstand push-ups.
  • 3 min rest.


12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I don’t have one thing. I have a lot. 😛
Spend quality / adventurous time with family and friends: have a God centered fellowship, playing soccer, doing murder mystery, game nights, traveling, doing escape room, visit new places, create new traditions…

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

I love king crab legs and I do love some home fried potatoes with onion, garlic and dill.

My splurge? Chocolate mousse cake. Yum! Have you tried one from the Cheesecake Factory?

(on the side note: back when I watched “Friends” in Ukraine (where I’m originally from) there was an episode “The one with all the cheesecakes” and they ate it from the floor. I didn’t get it and it wasn’t funny, but rather disgusting… well, let’s just say I didn’t eat one from the floor, but it took me years to actually get the joke. Ha-ha.)

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Hmm, not sure about a superhero, but if I had super powers I’d protect the little ones who cannot protect themselves. My heart is yearning for innocent children who are abused, kidnaped… and for innocent animals who are getting killed. I know those are 2 completely different categories, but I feel like I need to do something, I’m just not yet sure what exactly. I wish AAALLL the children would be happy, and loved, and cared, and nourished. I wish that people would leave animals alone. I guess I just need to pray more about it, to know if I can do anything in that regard to be helpful.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“Be water, my friend.” by Bruce Lee.

“Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water … now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup … you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle … put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot … water can flow … water can crash … be water, my friend.”

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I’m not actually sure when was the first time I met my husband. I’ve pinpointed it to a year.
(but hey, don’t ask me which year, it’s gonna take me a few minutes to think about it, lol 🤦‍♀️)

Healthy Swaps

So we’ve purged some obvious sugar culprits in our pantry and gotten clear on our WHY. Let’s step it up a notch by swapping out one (or more) of those sCRAP-py (sugar-filled, completely refined and processed) foods you found earlier this week for a cleaner version. 

While whole and fresh foods are strongly encouraged, I also recognize that having a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer can be time saving while adding flexibility to your meal choices. Your challenge today is to identify a healthier version of one of your typical packaged foods.

Here are a few healthy swaps to try:


Pre/Post Workout



Salad Dressing: 

Salad dressing can be loaded with sugar and preservatives. Don’t be fooled by low-fat or fat-free labels. You may think that you are doing yourself a favor if you choose these versions of salad dressings, but they are actually even worse when it comes to hidden sugars.

Try this homemade Basic Vinaigrette recipe instead:

  • 1 Tablespoon no sugar added balsamic vinegar (check the label – some have sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.

What’s Driving the Urge to Eat?

Beyond finding a swap, it’s also important to address what’s truly driving the urge to eat. Such as if your blood sugar is low. Low blood sugar could mean that you are skipping meals, spacing them out too much, or you’re not eating enough blood sugar-steadying protein. 

Try instead pairing a simple carbohydrate with protein, like mixed nuts and fruit. The healthy fat in the nuts helps to slow down the absorption of the fruit’s natural sugar so that you get back into balance and are better able to control cravings.

What swap did you make?  Take a picture and share it with the group!

Take the sCRAP-py Food Quiz

You already know that consuming too many sCRAP-py (sugar-filled & completely refined and processed) foods can halt your goals (and it’s no bueno for your health). Yet, it’s found in practically everything we eat (way more than you may realize).

Let’s figure out any patterns as to why you eat what you eat…and when you eat it. Is it within acceptable limits, totally out of whack, or somewhere in between? This quiz is a powerful tool to help you start your journey to understanding and limiting processed foods and sugar intake.

1. How often do you eat or drink sugary foods or beverages including those made with artificial sweeteners?

a. Once or twice a month at most. I’m not big on sweets.
b. Have dessert a couple of times a week but I rarely drink regular or diet soda.
c. Pretty much every day

2. How much sugar or sweetener do you usually add to coffee?

a. None
b. A teaspoon or one packet.
c. 2 teaspoons or two packets. At least.

3. What does your typical breakfast look like?

a. Scrambled eggs with veggies, avocado toast, or even last night’s leftovers.
b. Greek yogurt, oatmeal with fruit, or a shake.
c. Sugary cereal, a muffin, donut, or a not-so-healthy bar.

4. How often do you go out of your way to get something sCRAP-py, like stopping at the store just to buy some ice cream.

a. Almost never.
b. Every once in a while if I get a crazy craving for something.
c. Often… like at least once a week.

5. Do you ever eat food in secret?

a. No. If I’m indulging, it’s part of a meal or an event with others.
b. A couple times a year. I definitely feel like polishing off some ice cream or a bag of chips on the couch by myself.
c. I usually wait to eat those foods until I’m alone so I can eat without anyone judging me.

6. Do you ever hide food just to eat them later?

a. No. Never.
b. Not usually. But, if I know there is just a little bit left of my favorite splurge left, I might rearrange some things in the refrigerator just to make it harder for anyone else to find.
c. Yes. I have a stash of my favorites to eat when I’m by myself.

7. Do you ever feel powerless in front of certain foods, like chips, bread, or cookies?

a. Rarely. It just doesn’t tempt me.
b. Maybe once in a while, if I’m hangry. But, I can usually have one or two and then stop.
c. Yes. Usually once I start eating stuff like that it’s hard to stop. Even if I’m already full.

8. While indulging, have you ever gone overboard and told yourself that “this is the last time I’ll ever eat like this again?”

a. Not really. Maybe one or two times.
b. I tried cutting out sCRAP-py foods in the past but nothing ever works.
c. I tell myself that a lot and end up feeling guilty when I don’t follow through.

Count up how many times you choose each letter, then read the descriptions below to determine your sCRAP-py food dependence and how this challenge will help you move forward.

MOSTLY A’s: Congratulations! Sounds like you don’t have a whacked-out sCRAP-py food diet (Sugar-filled & Completely Refined And Processed). However, you can still benefit from this challenge. Throughout the next three weeks we will reveal lots of amazing tips to help you make even more lasting changes. Take it to the next level by eating mindfully.

MOSTLY B’s: You are in good command of your sCRAP-py food intake, but there’s always room for growth. This challenge will make you even wiser about your choices and learn great tips to swap out the junk and stay on track with your goals.

MOSTLY C’s: Sounds like sCRAP-py foods are a frequent choice for you, so you may be hooked. I’m here to help get unhooked! To jump-start your efforts and break free of this trap, start by getting clear on your WHY.


Have you joined the private Facebook Challenge group yet? Being a part of the community will not only help you to stay accountable with your own goals, but also see how others are doing, find support, share your successes and struggles, and of course, get some great, new meal ideas.

Is Sugar Bad? Plus Hidden Names for Sugar

Is sugar bad? Will sugar make me gain weight? When is it OK to eat sugar?

Many of us think of sugar as the white stuff people put in their coffee and the stuff that makes up most of those cereals in the breakfast “food” aisle. Sugars also occur naturally in many whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and even whole grains. You recognize these as “carbs.”

Along with sugar, the macronutrient carbohydrates also includes starch (potatoes or rice), fiber (husks of whole grains), etc. The more complex the molecule, the slower it digests. That’s why eating more fiber can help us feel fuller for longer. Sugars, on the other hand, are simple- they digest very quickly. In other words:

Sugars are a type of carbohydrate, but not all carbohydrates are sugars.

The above point is vital to understand, because it teaches us that not all carbs do the same things in (and for) our bodies.

Let’s take a fresh look at sugar now and address the question many are wondering: is sugar bad?

Eating Sugar: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Is Sugar Bad? Well, It Can Be Ugly.

No doubt, this is a difficult topic to address because most of us are emotionally attached to where we stand on food, especially sugar.

Try talking about the topic at the dinner table and you’ll be just as welcome as if you were talking about politics. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Did you know that most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars every day. That’s way more than what the American Heart Association recommends, which is  no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) a day of sugar for most women and no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) a day for most men. Sugar impacts our brain function, it can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and can increase your risk of heart disease.

And sugar is hiding everywhere.

Over 68% of barcoded food products sold in the US contain added sweeteners—even if they are labeled as “natural” or “healthy.” The safest way to ensure you’re not ingesting excess added sugars is to get in the habit of reading the ingredient list below before you add them to cart.

Added sugars fall under all kinds of different names on ingredient labels.  As a side note, the higher up an ingredient is on an ingredient list, the more of it will be included in that product. Find an ingredient ending in “ose” on the top of the list, put the product down. Many of those sugary products are empty, meaning they have no other nutrients associated with them. These products generally contain little protein, fat, fiber, vitamins or minerals.

Common Hidden Names for Sugar

(Excluding artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes)

‍Basic Simple Sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides):

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose

Solid or Granulated Sugars:

  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar (aka, powdered sugar)
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Diastatic malt
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Florida crystals
  • Golden sugar
  • Glucose syrup solids
  • Grape sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panela sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar (granulated or table)
  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Liquid or Syrup Sugars:

  • Agave Nectar/Syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Buttered sugar/buttercream
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Golden syrup
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Rice syrup
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Treacle

Looking Deeper

Let’s look deeper at ten common sweeteners:

  1. AGAVE NECTAR (Agave Syrup)- found in cereals, ice cream, and “healthy” organic foods. This sweetener is more concentrated than HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup), so use cautiously.
  2. BARLEY MALT- found in beers, cereals, and candy bars. This grain-based sugar is half as sweet as white sugar, but it’s just as high on the glycemic index.
  3. BEET SUGAR- found in more than 20 percent of the world’s sugar. But don’t be fooled, the word beet suggests this sugar is natural, but it’s not. The beets used for this refined sugar are stripped of their nutrients when processed for use in many packaged foods.
  4. BROWN SUGAR- found in baked goods, sauces, beverages. Brown sugar is just as bad for you as table sugar. The only real difference? How it tastes and how it has been processed. 
  5. CANE JUICE (Evaporated Cane Juice)- found in yogurt, lemonade, liquor. Although less processed than table sugar and contains more riboflavin, it’s benefit is negligible. 
  6. CANE SUGAR- found in 80% of the world’s sugar. Multiple studies have shown how cane sugar drastically raises blood pressure and cholesterol and also contributes to insulin resistance. 
  7. CORN SYRUP (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)- found in sodas, cereal bars, bread, junk foods, fast food. Corn syrup is 100% glucose. Just one tablespoon contains 16 grams of carbohydrates. To make HFCS, enzymes are added to corn syrup to convert some of the glucose to fructose making HFCS “high” in fructose compared to the pure glucose found in corn syrup. Your body metabolizes this sugar in a way that encourages body-fat storage.
  8. EVAPORATED CANE JUICE- found in baked goods, cereals and many beverages. Actually not a juice, evaporated cane juice is a sweetener derived from sugar cane syrup making it much more concentrated than a juice with trace amounts of nutrients. 
  9. FRUCTOSE- found in baked goods, but also occurs naturally in fruits and honey. Ingesting added fructose (not naturally occurring) has been linked to rising obesity rates over the past several decades. When you eat a piece of fruit, you also get a healthy dose of fiber that can help to slow the absorption of sugar and provide a wide variety of phytonutrients and minerals that can counteract the effects of sugar. Nobody does it better than nature.
  10. HONEY (raw honey)- Honey is higher in fructose than table sugar and it weighs more than the white stuff, so it’s more calorically dense at 21 calories per teaspoon vs 16 cals for table sugar. On the plus side, honey is sweeter than table sugar, so you won’t need to use as much.

Sugar in Cereal

Stay with me for a moment while I go on a little rant.

About cereal.

Yes, I know, most Americans love their breakfast cereals (I grew up eating cereal – though my parents saved the extra sugary stuff for Saturdays). Cereal is bright & colorful, it’s sweet, it’s super convenient….and we mistakenly think it’s good for us and our kids.

And cereal brands spend millions of dollars every year marketing to our kids to make us think that. In fact, during kids TV shows the top category of advertised food is… you guessed it, cereal (even beating out candy, other snacks and fast food).

Did You Know:

  • On average, cereal’s that are marketed to children have more than 40% more sugars than “adult” cereals, and more than 2x the sugar of oatmeal.
  • According to EWG’s analysis, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (which used to be called Sugar Smacks) leads the list of one of the highest-sugar cereals.
  • And, even with the update in food label regulations, since serving sizes on cereal labels are still unrealistically small, many adults and children will typically eat more than one “serving” in a single sitting. And according to FDA’s analysis of food consumption data, 97 percent of the most common cold cereals underestimate the amount of cereal people actually eat.

Bottom line: most cereals are just as sweet as cookies and should not be considered a part of healthy meal.  But, if you just can’t give up cereal, use common sense, read the ingredient label, and as always, don’t believe any information printed on the front of the box.

Eating Sugar: The Good

OK, thanks for hanging in with me.

Now about the good.

Somewhere along the way, we started hating on all sources carbs. But (all) carbohydrates are not the enemy here.

We need carbohydrates for energy. They are energy-packed compounds that give us quick energy. This is why choosing the right source of food where those sugars come from is so important.

It should go without saying that you’ll find much more sugar in processed foods than in whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Along with starch and fiber, sugars live under the larger umbrella: carbohydrates. The more complex the molecule, the slower digestion takes. Simple sugars, like from fruit, digest quickly and can have a positive effect in the right amount at the right time (ie: right before/during/after exercise). Starch and fiber, which is a much more complex molecule, digests slowly and help you feel fuller, for longer.

Unfortunately, one problem we’re faced with is this strange notion in our culture that if you’ve worked really hard in a workout, you deserve a big, gooey, sugary treat. Maybe this satisfies an emotional hunger temporarily, but it is certainly not what your body needs after a training session. Get clear. What your body needs is some real, whole foods.

When in doubt, opt for a diet mostly composed of lean meats, vegetables, essential fats, little starch, little fruit and plenty of water. Your body, your training and your health will thank you big time!

Why Does Sugar Taste Good?!

Sugar tastes good, partially because when it’s in its natural state, whole foods, like berries, are full of good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and energy. Our bodies are naturally attracted to them.

But everyone is different. Some of us pull the dessert plate closer after dinner while others can easily shrug off grandma’s pumpkin pie. Some of us simply respond to sugar more than others which could be from genetics or something we learned growing up. Which brings us to the next question number.

Will Eating Sugar Make Me Gain Weight?

The over-consumption of foods that have added sugars (not generally those foods that have naturally occurring sugars) can contribute to health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Added sugars feed yeast and bad bacteria in our bodies which can damage our intestinal wall, increasing intestinal permeability, AKA: leaky gut. That can trigger chronic, low-grade inflammation and lead to the transfer of substances from our gut into our bloodstream. In turn, this can lead to obesity and other chronic, metabolic diseases.

Plus, if we eat more processed, sugary foods, we’re probably taking in more energy (calories) overall. Many of these foods are tasty, in fact they’re engineered to make it hard for you to stop eating. And since we digest and use their energy very quickly, these processed foods tend to overstimulate our brain’s reward/pleasure centers which can lead to weight gain and even obesity. Data from the USDA tracking food intake from a variety of angles show consistent trends. Since 1980, Americans have continued to eat about the same total amount of fat, yet ate more carbohydrates, especially refined ones with added sugars. Over this time, the obesity rates in the United States have also grown significantly.

The World Health Organization defines “obese” as having a Body Mass Index higher than 30. Of course, some fit and muscular athletes tend to have a higher BMI even though they still have a low percentage of body fat. So, let’s look at those number for a moment. Currently, the average body fat percentage for women is about 40%, for men: 28%. To compare, the “healthy” range for a woman should be around 22-33%, and for men, that range should be around 11-22%.

While we can’t blame one single thing alone, including sugar for all the health problems and obesity surge (sleep & stress factor in, too), multiple studies do show that an increased sugar consumption does correlate with increased obesity levels, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,  leaky gut, diabetes and cancer.

How Much Sugar Should I (Can I) Eat?

Remember: Sugar (alone) doesn’t provide nourishment. No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber, no antioxidants, phytonutrients or  hydration.

Sugar from nutrient-dense, whole foods, like fruit on the other hand, contains sugar, but they provide numerous positive health benefits.

When it comes to how much sugar (from whole foods) you should eat, everyone is different and has unique energy needs. Some people do well cutting sugar out of their diet (almost) completely, while others thrive on a high-carb diet. Some athletes will count their sugar intake down to the gram, while others do well with the general guideline of “eating less-processed foods & more healthy foods” and be very successful.

As a general guideline, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020) recommends limiting sugar to 10% of your intake. So, for example, if you’re eating 2000 calories per day, that would be about 50 grams, or 200 calories from sugar.

Start reading food labels to get a clear look at how much sugar you’re actually eating. Remember, it tends to hide in packaged foods (a lot). So, better than that, eat more foods without a label (like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, meat and seafood, etc.).

When Should I Eat Sugar?

As far as when to eat sugar from nutrient-dense carbohydrates, it’s very specific to your body type, time of training, training intensity, training duration, stress levels, health/illness and a slew of other factors. Nutrient timing is very specific. When done right, it can positively affect your performance and recovery, but what works for your training partner (or a template) may not work for you. In fact, it could actually backfire.

In general, your pre-workout meals should be consumed about 1-2 hours before training. It should be carbohydrate-rich (about half complex and half simple, which can be consumed during the workout depending on workout length), moderate in protein and fiber and low in fat. Intra-nutrition and post nutrition are just as specific as pre-workout nutrition.

Much of your performance success is dependent on how well you eat. So, remember this, even if you’re eating the “right number of macros” or counting your sugar grams before and after your workout, it can make a negative impact on your goals if those macros are coming from processed foods.

How Sweet It Isn’t. Should I Choose Low-Sugar Foods?

If you’re sidelining your sugar habit, be careful of adding another unhealthy habit with artificial sweetness. That’s not the right answer…at all.

When you consume these nonnutritive (“no nutrition”) chemical sweeteners, they stimulate sweetness in your mouth and the body naturally expects the carbohydrates to follow. But, they’re faking it. When carbs don’t follow, the body gets mixed messages that may cause cravings for MORE SUGAR. Additionally, studies show that artificial sweeteners cause a variety of health problems, including cancer.

Be careful of “low sugar” products because they often use man-made artificial sweeteners (read the labels). Instead, focus on whole foods where you won’t find added sugars or even packaged foods where sugar is not one of the first three ingredients.

Sideline the Sugar

Look in your kitchen cabinets. Your refrigerator. Your freezer. See if you can find a product that you once thought was a healthy choice but have since discovered an ingredient (added sugar, for example) hiding in plain sight. Take a picture of the front/back and share it with us. Then start researching alternative options that are more nutrient-dense.

If you can’t find anything, score! Maybe talk about a product that you once thought was healthy and have since swapped out for something else.

More Questions About Nutrition?

If you eat quality, nutrient-dense foods and get your portion sizes right the majority of the time, your can still indulge in a small portion of those processed treats on occasion. It doesn’t always have to be “all or nothing.” Yes, structure your diet around nutrient-dense, colorful REAL foods, but also remember that a healthy life is not about macro math or obsessing over everything you put in on your plate.

Read the label, make smart choices, but be nice to yourself…in all areas of life.

And, as always, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact your Salus Nutrition Coaches at info@salusnj.com to chat more about your 3-month individualized plan to get the personalized structure you need.

3-Week Body Weight Workouts for Summer Shred

Welcome to the 3-Week Body Weight-Only Program!

We are excited to help you get your at home workout into your routine for the Summer Shred Challenge.

Remember, to earn points for this task, you must take a class at your gym or do a 45 minute workout at home. The workout below is optional. Bookmark this page for future travel workout ideas!

If it is your active recovery day, add in a low intensity 45 min workout, like a walk or easy bike ride to earn your points for that day.

Week 1, Day 1

Warm Up:
Walk outs x 3
Supermans x 15
Side Plank lift x 10 hold & 10
Alternating lunges x 10 each leg
Single-Leg Balance Holds x 30 seconds each leg (:10 sec each position: toe in front, side and back)

Rest 2 minutes then…

10-minute circuit:
20 Alternating -Leg Step-Ups (on stair or sturdy bench)
20 Jumping Jacks
20-yard Bear Crawl
20 Legs Straight Toe Reach Crunches

Day 2

30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

60-90 second transition then…

Every 3 minutes for 9 minutes (3 sets):
30 Walking Lunges
20 Bench Dips

60-90 second transition then…

TEST: 2 minutes MAX rep Burpees

60-90 second transition then…

3 Sets:
15 Supermans
15 Single leg VUps
Rest 30 seconds

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Day 3

Alternating jog/walk + sprint/walk for 10 rounds:
Jog ~200 Meters
Walk ~200
Sprint ~200 Meters
Walk ~200

Day 4

Around the World Lunges x 3 rounds to each lunge position with each foot (forward, lateral, reverse)
Cat-Cow x 10-15 reps
Pushup to Pike stretch x 5

60-90 second transition then…

Three Sets:
60 seconds Alternating Side Lunges
30 seconds Plank Shoulder Taps
30 seconds Glute Bridge Marches
Rest 30 seconds

60-90 second transition then…

Three Sets:
30 seconds Jumping Squats
Rest 15 seconds
30 seconds Flutter Kicks
Rest 15 seconds

60-90 second transition then…

Plank Challenge! — Hold each plank position for 60 seconds without resting (if possible):
Straight arm Plank
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right
Plank on Forearms
Hip Bridges

Day 5

Warm Up:

60 seconds Jog
20 seconds High Knees
20 seconds Butt Kickers
20 seconds Skipping
60 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog

60-90 second transition, then…

Every minute on the minute for 8 minutes (Two rounds):
40 seconds of Alternating Lateral Lunges
40 seconds of Super Slow Push-Ups
40 seconds of Side Plank
40 seconds of Side Plank

60-90 second transition, then…

EMOM for 10 minutes (8 rounds):
5 Burpees
10 single leg V-Ups

Day 6

One set of:
Run 1600 Meters (1 mile) at an easy pace
Run 800 Meters (½ mile) at a fast pace
Run 800 Meters (½ mile) at an easy pace
Run 1600 Meters (1 mile) at a fast pace

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.

Week 2, Day 1

Warm Up:

Single-Leg Balance Holds x 30 seconds each leg (:10 sec each position: toe in front, side and back)
Walkouts x 3
Supermans x 30 seconds

Rest 60-90 seconds then…

Every 90 seconds for 12 minutes (2 rounds):
A – Single-Leg Deadlift x 10 each leg (hold jug, book, bag, light weight)
B – Side Plank x 30-40 seconds per
C – Chair/Stair Dips x max reps
D – Push-Ups x max reps

Rest 60-90 seconds then…

EMOM for 10 Minutes:
Even – 10 burpees
Odd – Single-Single-Double V-Ups

Week 2, Day 2

Warm Up:

Walk/Jog around the block ~5 minutes

EMOM for 4 minutes (2 rounds):
Station 1 – Air Squats x 20
Station 2 – Arm marching from elbows to hands in plank position x 20

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Every 1 minute for 18 minutes (6 sets):
Station 1 – Mountain Climbers
Station 2 – Single-Leg Box/Stair Step-Ups alternating legs
Station 3 – Wall Sit

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Week 2, Day 3

Walk/Jog 5 minutes

Scapular Push-Ups x 10
Lateral Lunges x 10
Plank Walk x 20 steps each direction with hands and feet
Table Top Hip Lift x 10
Mountain Climbers x 20-30

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Three rounds for max reps of:
30 seconds of Air Squats
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Push-Ups
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of V-Ups or Crunches
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Burpees
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
Rest 30 seconds

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Walk/Jog 5 minutes

Week 2, Day 4

30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Run 1 mile
20 walking lunges
Run 0.5 miles
20 walking lunges
Run 1 mile

Week 2, Day 5

Tabata Fun!
Set timer to repeat: 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest. Complete 4 sets of one movement before moving onto the next.

• Lunges
• Hollow Hold
• Plank Shoulder Taps

Rest 60 seconds, then…

8-Minute Circuit:
5 Burpee Box/Stair Jump Ups
10 Push-Ups
20 Box/Step Ups
30 Flutter Kicks
~40 Yard Bear Crawl

Rest 2 minutes…

Three Sets:
Single-Arm Plank x 30 seconds (if you are able, lift the same-side foot so the opposite hand and foot are the only things touching the ground)
Superman Hold x 30 seconds
Single-Arm Plank x 30 seconds (if you are able, lift the same-side foot so the opposite hand and foot are the only things touching the ground)
Hip Bridge Hold x 30 seconds

Week 2, Day 6


Every 3 minutes, for 30 minutes (10 sets) for time:
Jog into a Sprint ~400 Meters, walk the rest of the remaining time

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Week 2, Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.

Week 3, Day 1

Warm-Up: Fun with Furniture Sliders on carpet or towel on a hardwood floor
Lunge back (stand on stationary leg, moving leg slides back)
Tuck Ups with sliders under feet, hands on floor
Mountain Climbers with sliders on feet
Hamstring Curls, laying on back, hips lifted in bridge position

60-90 second transition, then…

Every 90 seconds for 12 minutes (2 rounds) – continue the reps until you have about 20 seconds left in the timer:
Station 1 – Lateral Lunges
Station 2 – Supermans
Station 3 – Arm Marching
Station 4 – Tuck-Ups

60-90 second transition, then…

As many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes:
200 meter Run
50 meter Bear Crawl
15 Burpees broad jump

Week 3, Day 2

10 Hollow to Tuck Sit
10 Push-Up rotate to side plank
10 Air Squats + Squat Jump

Rest 60 seconds, then…

5-Minute Circuit:
20 Walking Lunges
3 Wall Climbs
15 Box/Chair Dips

Rest 60 seconds, then…

5-Minute Circuit:
20 Side Step-Ups (10 each side)
15 Toe Reaching Ab Crunches
20 Jumping Jacks

Rest 60 seconds, then…

8-Minute Circuit:
30 Mountain Climbers
10 Superman to Hollow Rolls (5 each direction)
20 Single-Leg Hip Bridges (10 each side)
10 Tuck Jumps

Week 3, Day 3

800 Meter Warm-Up Jog

Followed by. . .

Two sets of:
Sprint 200 Meters

Rest as needed. Then…

“1-Mile Time Trial”
Run 1600 Meters for time

Followed by. . .

800 Meter Cool-Down Run

Week 3, Day 4

30 seconds Inchworms
30 seconds Side Plank (right)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Side Plank (left)
30 seconds Hollow Hold
30 seconds Arm Marching (or Elbows to Palms)
30 seconds Air Squats

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Tabata Fun! (20s work/10s rest). Complete 4 sets of one movement before moving onto the next.
A – Push-Ups x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
B – Squats x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
C – Burpees x 4 sets
Rest 60 seconds
D – Mountain Climbers

60-90 second transition, then…

Two Sets (no rest):
Side Plank (left) x 45 seconds
Side Plank (right) x 45 seconds

Week 3, Day 5

60 seconds Plank
60 seconds Hip Bridge lift/lower
60 seconds Plank
60 seconds Wall Sit

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

Every 2 minutes for 15 minutes (3 sets):
A – Single-Leg Box Step-Ups alternating legs
B – Wall Climbs
C – Russian Twist (sit, lean back, keep spine straight, balance on tailbone, twist side to side)

Rest 60 seconds, and then…

AMRAP in 2 minutes (retest from Week 1, Day 1):
MAX Burpees

Week 3, Day 6


Warm up 5 min stretch, walkouts

Run 2 minutes
Walk 1 minute
Repeat for a total duration of 45 minutes

Mobility and stretching 8 minutes
Choose at least 4 stretches or mobility exercises and spend 2 minutes on each

Week 3, Day 7

45 minute active recovery like a walk, yoga video, or easy bike ride

Also take time to restore your mind. This will be different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.


Liz and Jonathan, Athlete of the Month May & June 2021

We love featuring Salus power couples, like the Goldblatt’s. Married with children, this hardworking couple balances family, work, friends and WOD life on the daily. Even though they don’t always get the chance to workout together, they’re each other’s biggest supporters. It’s been amazing to witness them crush their personal goals and we look forward to watching them make new ones!

Congratulations Liz and Jon! You two are very amazing people and we love having as part of the community.

Please meet the May and June 2021 Athletes of the Month: Liz and Jonathan:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

Liz: Jon had been trying to get me to join for a while but I had never lifted in my life. When he talked about the things he was doing at Salus, it was like he spoke another language. When the lockdown hit and Salus had to close temporarily, he finally talked me into trying the at-home workouts. He showed me how to modify things so I could make it through and by the time Salus opened up again, I was ready to commit and give this thing a real try! I started on-ramp in August 2020.

Jon: I started Salus in the fall of 2018. I’d always worked out but I was definitely in a place where things had become stagnant. My brother had been doing CrossFit for a couple years at that point and suggested I give it a try. I was approaching 40 and decided that it was a good time to make a move and try something different.

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

Liz: Since I became a mom (almost 10 years ago…Yikes!!) I struggled with carving time out for my workouts. I would start running or doing yoga but I just couldn’t stay focused or committed. I also wasn’t getting the results I used to get when I was in my 20s and my 30s. Furthermore, I was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis and practiced denial and self-pity for way too long. I allowed fear of injury and fear of the unknown to take over and stop me from trying a new approach.

Since I joined Salus last August, I have more energy and stamina to get through each day.

My stiffness and aches are so much better now that I am building muscle to support my joints. I’m seeing muscles forming in places I didn’t know possible! I lost 2 inches in my waist and have officially been bitten by the CrossFit bug! I look so forward to every opportunity to grow, learn, and get stronger!

Jon: I see huge differences in my endurance. We’re big skiers in my family and try to get out West a couple times a year. I’ve been asthmatic my whole life so altitude tends to be all the more difficult for me the first couple days. Since starting CrossFit, I have zero issues getting on the mountain the first day and feel great the next day! No “first day out” soreness and no issue shredding the gnar on the first run :).

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

Liz: OMG let me count the ways… Push-ups, Pull-ups, planks, bird-dogs, squats, hand stands on the wall! Not to mention all of the weightlifting moves. EVERYTHING was a struggle for me before! But now, little by little, I keep plugging away and getting stronger.

The moves become easier and I’m literally fueled by my own progress. Inspired by the amazing and encouraging humans all around me. It’s almost magical…

Someday I will do a pull up without a band!

Jon: I don’t think I’d ever attempted a snatch before I started CrossFit. It was intimidating at first and I was definitely cherry picking (I know, not cool) to avoid them for a while. At this point, I’m totally comfortable even though my technique still needs work.

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

Liz: I am gaining definition all over. My thighs and arms are more defined. I’ve lost 2 inches in my waist and have swapped fat for muscle in several areas.

Jon: I definitely had a bunch of belts that needed a new hole! There were changes in my body composition across the board. I’ve never been overweight, per se, but I definitely dropped a few pounds and exchanged some fat for muscle.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Liz: Since I began at Salus, I have definitely been sleeping better. I don’t toss & turn as much or wake up as often throughout the night. I do find I have improved stamina for stressful situations thanks to improved energy and regular exercise.

I also did 3 months of nutrition coaching with Angela. That experience really illuminated some needed adjustments to my diet and daily habits. I continue to hydrate regularly and look for additional ways to boost my protein intake for muscle maintenance and satiety.

Jon: I find that I am way more productive on days where I can get to Salus in the morning.

My energy level is higher and it’s a great mental boost knowing that I already did something good for my health before my day really gets going.

If I can’t make it in the morning, an evening workout also serves as a great outlet for a day’s worth of stress.

Liz Jon Athlete of the Month

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Liz: I tell people what an amazing community you have created here. Everyone is super supportive and encouraging of each other! You have a middle-aged mom with arthritis working along side elite athletes and somehow we all belong. That’s something really special.

The competition is within and everyone encourages each other to reach new heights regardless of where they started from.

Jon: I remember talking to Liz about it before she joined to try to allay the typical concerns. In no particular order: I’ll be the worst person there, I don’t know how to do any of these lifts, isn’t it just a bunch of freak athletes. She beats me at most WODs at this point by the way.

My description of Salus is it’s an awesome group of people that are really just trying to be the best versions of themselves. Everyone is exhausted at the end whether you modified the hell out of a workout or Rx’d it.

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

Liz: At this point in my life, this is the exact type of exercise my body needs. I listen to my body and I want to support it for the long-term so I can keep up with my grand-kids when they show up someday! My “why” is to get strong so I can stay strong!

Jon: I want to be as active as I can for as long as I can. As I mentioned, skiing is my thing so I need to stay strong and fit so I can ski moguls when I’m 80!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Liz: The bear complex is my favorite!

Jon: I prefer any WOD that includes cleans. I also seem to enjoy overhead squats now which I absolutely hated when I first started.

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

Liz: I still consider myself a newbie but I would say to take it at your own pace …the timeline is your own so enjoy it and celebrate every step!

Jon: Nobody’s judging so just do what you need to do to get started and keep moving forward. We have everything from Olympians to middle-aged Excel jockeys (me) and everything in between so everyone can do this and get better.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Liz: I want to figure out what my actual max deadlift is. Now that I feel comfortable in the movement, I’m ready to find out and I know I can do more! My older brothers used to bench & overhead press me when I was little so I would like to get to the point where I could (in theory) deadlift one of THEM! 😉

Jon: I need to stop avoiding double-unders (ha!). My goal for the Summer is to give it a real push.

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

Liz: (my “pumps me up” playlist playing) 3 rounds for time: 400m run, 30 situps, 20 pull-ups, 10 front squats

Jon: 21, 15, 9 of Handstand Push-ups, Power Clean, and Pull-ups.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Liz: Listen to live music- really missing it since COVID. And ski, of course!

Jon: Obviously ski, especially with the family now that we can all get out together. It’s also great when the kids are in ski school and we’re not!

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

Liz: My absolute favorite is the kimchi bowl at Seed to Sprout. My favorite splurge meal is a cheeseburger :/ every now & then I just need one!

Jon: Probably sushi. Tuna, Salmon, anything caught locally like Fluke in the summer. It’s very easy to make it not healthy as well but I try to stay strong. Splurge meal is definitely a massive steak with big fries, sautéed spinach, etc.

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Liz: Batman. I mean- he’s the baddest bad-ass there is.

Jon: Yoda. It would be nice to know that all the advice I give to my family and friends is backed by 900 years of experience. Unfortunately, they have to settle for 42.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

Liz: “If you only do what you can do- you will never be better than what you are” – Master I

Jon: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This is especially important to remember when helping your parents with technology issues.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

Liz: I have four older brothers.

Jon: I’m a Star Wars nerd (see superhero) which I seem to have passed on to my kids.

Got Pain? Your Gut Might Be To Blame.

Did you know that there is a strong connection between joint pain and your gut? If you’re experiencing achy knees, chronic pain or stiff joints, leaky gut may be to blame.

Often, these ills are attributed to the unfortunate effects of aging and maybe we just chalk it up to be arthritis. What if that pain was actually caused by an imbalance from another part of our body?

Our gut.

Did you Know:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may affect as much as 30% of the population. Symptoms typically include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and altered bowels (constipation, diarrhea, loose stools).
  • Up to 84% of IBS may be linked to an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. The good news is that many people can experience relief by following diets that reduce bacterial overgrowth.
  • What’s interesting is that when gut health is improved, studies show that it can also improve anxiety and depression. Evidence shows that brain fog and impaired memory can also improve with gut healing.
  • What’s more? data also shows that improving gut health can also show an improvement in metabolism.
  • Additionally, several studies have uncovered a link between microbes in our gut and other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). People with RA as well as psoriatic arthritis tend to have higher levels of a certain type of bug in their intestines that those without the disease. This research suggests that the connections aren’t just between the gut and arthritis, but any type of inflammation in the body.
  • Inflammation in the intestines has been shown to cause insomnia, improving that inflammation can improve sleep!
  • Certain skin conditions (pimples, rashes, skin inflammation) have been clinically documented to improve after reducing unwanted bacterial overgrowth.

Importance of the Small Intestine

The small intestine accounts for over 56% of our intestinal tract, nutrients are absorbed here and it is responsible for 90% of caloric absorption. Yep you read that right 90% of the calories you take in are absorbed in the small intestine. Another factor worth noting is that the small intestine has a profound impact on the immune system: the largest mass of immune cells found in our entire body is seen in the small intestines.

So, you can see, it’s kind of a big deal.

It’s important to note that the small intestine’s thin, protective mucous membrane is much more prone to damage (which can result in leaky gut) than the large intestine.

That is why small-intestinal health is impactful on immune and autoimmune conditions.

What Exactly is Leaky Gut?

Think of the gut as a drawbridge. Naturally, the gut is semi-permeable to allow micronutrients (think of them as tiny row boats) pass through the intestinal tract into our bloodstream (this is normal). Certain external factors such as processed foods, infections, toxins and stress can increase intestinal permeability, causing our drawbridge to stay open which allows larger boats to escape into our bloodstream (this is NOT a good thing). Your immune system marks those foreign invaders that were never meant to pass through, such as toxins, as pathogens and begins to attack.

According to a description in the journal, Frontiers in Immunology, leaky gut is described as:

The intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a ‘leaky gut.’

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Maybe you just tweaked your ankle and have been trying to limp your way through the day with a few Motrin. Perhaps you’ve been taking birth control for years. Or your diet is filled with processed foods. Any of these scenarios can irritate the small intestine leading to leaky gut or intestinal permeability (when the food particles that pass through the intestine “leak” into our bloodstream) which triggers the immune system to go into attack mode and fight the invaders.

This is dangerous.

Leaky gut results in increase in inflammation, this inflammation can lead to joint pain and a host of diseases.

Leaky gut can also be caused by:

  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload (alcohol, antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin, other drugs)
  • Poor diet (inflammatory foods such as added sugars, refined oils, soy, food additives, gluten, dairy,  the typical Standard American Diet SAD diet)
  • Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose, neotame)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Bacterial imbalance
  • Aging
  • Genetic predisposition

In fact, a 2015 review paper, published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews, shoed that food additives found in processed foods can irritate the gut, lead to leaky gut and subsequently, cause autoimmune disease.

As you can see, many things on that list is IN our control (minus aging and genetics).

How Do I Know If I Have Leaky Gut?

In addition to your joint pain, additional symptoms that may indicate the problem is all in your gut include:

  • Inflammatory conditions, arthritis
  • Digestive problems (bloating, gas, IBS, gastric ulcers, diarrhea)
  • General/seasonal allergies and/or asthma
  • Hormonal imbalances (PMS)
  • Autoimmune diseases (celiac disease, psoriasis, lupus)
  • Chronic fatigue and/or fibromyalgia
  • Brain-related symptoms (brain fog, anxiety, moodiness, depression, ADD, ADHD)
  • Skin issues (acne, rosacea, eczema)
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Food allergies and/or intolerances

Create a Healthy Gut Environment for Healthy Bacteria

Remove. Replace. Restore.

Adequate, if not optimal, digestive system function is essential to our health. If you are in pain, try eating to reduce inflammation to create a healthy environment for gut bacteria and improve microbiota/gut flora.

The first thing is to remove all inflammatory triggers such as stress and certain foods like:

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbs
  • MSG
  • Gluten & Casein
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Alcohol

Then replace the good by eating whole, unprocessed foods that support nutrient absorption such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges

Finally, restore a healthy bacteria in your gut (think: high-quality probiotics, prebiotics: non-digestible fiber compounds found in garlic, onions, leeks, raw dandelion greens, curcumin, bone broth).

You must eat to balance blood sugar, and steer clear of food allergens, intolerances, and food additives. Why? As a response to eating food that you’re intolerant to, your immune system will react with inflammation.

How do you know if you’re intolerant to certain foods? Of course you can do a blood test, but the most useful diagnosis is 3-week food exclusion to watch for symptom improvements followed by a gradual food reintroduction to confirm.

One way to try a food exclusion experiment is to follow the Paleo diet, which does a great job of removing common food allergens. In the Paleo diet, you focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, healthy fats, oils, nuts and seeds. You avoid grains, beans and legumes, processed foods and dairy.

Which Approach is Best for You?

Remember, our gut is the gateway to health.

With nearly 80% of our immune system residing in the gut and 95% of our serotonin produced in the gut, chances are, if our gut is healthy, we will also be healthy.

But this is a journey. These changes won’t take place overnight. A good place to start is with the 3-day elimination diet. But, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information above, don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can also set up a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about our one-on-one nutrition health coaching.

More on our Salus Nutrition Coaching Blog:

Courtney Guerriero, Athlete of the Month April 2021

Courtney Guerriero, Athlete of the Month April 2021

Each month we highlight a new athlete at Salus. This individual exudes something above and beyond. They not only give their best in every class, but they’re are hungry to learn more and always ready to put in the work. This individual also supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. We believe that this is what the Salus Community should be all about.

This month, we get to feature Courtney Guerriero. Since joining this summer, Courtney has demonstrated some of the most dedication we’ve seen to improving her health and fitness. Whether that’s bringing her son with her to class or attending the 6am rain or shine, Courtney is an inspiration to many of us and couldn’t be more deserving of this feature.

Please meet the April Athlete of the Month: Courtney Guerriero:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at Salus last August and I wish it had been sooner. I moved to Jersey in July of 2019 determined to find my new CrossFit home. However, between moving pregnant, a few gyms that didn’t fit, becoming a new mom, and a pandemic… it surely took a while.

When I found Salus in August it was immediately clear it was my new home.

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

I’ve gotten so much stronger. I’ve gotten faster and increased my endurance too. I’m still slow as a turtle but I’m a faster turtle now.

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

Yes! I’ve gotten pull ups and a few double unders.

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

It’s changed a ton! I was so worried about getting my pre-baby body back but the body I have now is better.

I have some cuts in my arms, back, and quads. And on a really, really good day there is the faintest sign of some ab lines.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

My commitment to taking care of myself overall has greatly improved.

I put more emphasis on my nutrition and sleep so I feel good enough to train as often as possible. My focus and energy is much better on days I work out than days I don’t.

My day doesn’t feel right if I don’t start it at Salus.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

It’s a great place to get a killer workout with great people. The coaches genuinely care about each member and help them to improve. The members all support each other and have fun together. There are no egos at Salus.

Courtney Guerriero, Athlete of the Month April 2021

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

CrossFit changed my life.
Prior to starting CrossFit I had never worked out. I was constantly sick. I suffered from severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to a chronic illness. I never seemed to feel right no matter what I did; even with medical intervention. Within months of starting CrossFit I felt like a brand new person.

I feel great everyday now and haven’t had a flare up of CFS in years.

8. Favorite lift?

I could do Power Cleans all day long. ALL. DAY. LONG.

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

Just show up and move. Don’t worry about what you can or can’t do.

Every day we are all striving to do something we didn’t think we could do.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

200lb+ Deadlift and toes to bar.

I am so close to both and want it so bad.

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

Hmmm I love a good chipper. I like the idea of finishing something and being done with it. I also love a good partner WOD so probably something like…
Partner WOD:
200 dumbbell lunges
100 clean and jerks
200 pull ups
100 snatches
200 toes 2 bar
100 deadlifts

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I love going to outdoor food or drink festivals. I love trying new foods or new beers. Nothing is better than being out in the sunshine enjoying something delicious.

Courtney Guerriero, Athlete of the Month April 2021

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

  • Healthy meal: Lately it’s breakfast. 3 eggs over easy, whole wheat toast, and mini bell peppers.
  • Splurge meal: A huge steak burrito with guacamole, cheese, sour cream, the works. I mean HUGE. Like one that you are shocked and awed and a little grossed out to see me finish. And I will finish.

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

Probably something in the ocean, maybe a dolphin. I love the ocean. Everything that lives in it is beautiful.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“I didn’t come this far to only come this far”
I feel like this sums up CrossFit perfectly because there’s never an end game. You hit a goal or a PR and immediately start striving for the next step up.

There’s always further to go.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I love to cook and bake. I like to try new and really complex recipes but almost never attempt the same thing twice. It’s more to just challenge myself in the kitchen. I know what I can do so I want to see if there are things I can’t do. I don’t even want to eat it, I just want to see if I can make it.

Overcoming Procrastination: Just Do the Dishes Already

Most of us know that the key to maintaining momentum with our goals is by overcoming procrastination.

Have you ever noticed how the smallest things can feel so difficult? I know I’m not alone on this. Without a doubt, we all have that one thing (or many things) that needs to get done, but we tend to procrastinate doing it. For me, it used to be a resistance to folding socks and doing the dishes.  Now, I’m the kind of person that likes to check off the boxes and get stuff done, but, there was just something about folding socks that drove me bonkers. Don’t judge me LOL

Until I realized how little time those two tasks actually took me. I literally timed myself one day.

Those tasks took me less than two minutes.


Overcoming Procrastination in Less Than 2 Minutes

Personal growth is a form of change. Unfortunately, there is an unconscious, deeply rooted part of us that resists change.

Even if it’s a positive change.

This internal resistance can show up in a variety of ways, from feeling lazy, scared, complacent, doubtful and that overwhelming feeling of procrastination.

Here’s the deal…

Most of these things we procrastinate aren’t actually difficult to do (I mean, come on…folding socks? What was I thinking?) We just avoid getting started on them for some reason. Of course, the more time-consuming the activity is, the bigger resistance to starting it is created in the mind of the procrastinator.

How do you overcome?

The two minute rule

Relative to the size of the task, the 2 minute rule can be applied in two ways:

  • The first way is to do short and easy tasks right away.
  • The second way is applied to bigger projects that require added time and effort. And just start chipping away.

Originating from Newton’s first law of motion that states that objects in rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion, the 2-minute rule in this case means finishing that bigger project 2 minutes at a time. Research shows that the way to start big projects is to break it down into as many small tasks as possible where completion will lead to an increase in motivation. For example, get dressed for a workout and lace up your shoes (2 minutes, check!) and you’ll be more likely to go to the gym, exercise and have more energy! Or sit down to write your grocery list and you’ll be more likely to go grocery shopping, meal prep and eat healthier.

Countdown from 5

But, getting started can be harder than it sounds – even if it’s just for two minutes. So, try this trick. The moment you have an instinct to act on something, count out loud: “5,4,3,2,1” and then physically move your body before your brain has a chance to stop you. The counting distracts you from your excuses and help you focus your mind on moving in a new direction. It interrupts your default thinking and becomes a “starting ritual” that activates your prefrontal cortex which will help you change your behavior.

Try it! I promise the 5 second countdown preceding the 2 minute rule will ignite something powerful if you just give it a try!

Procrastination Trigger: Feelings

You can probably name a handful of things you’re currently procrastinating. The truth is, overcoming procrastination is not necessarily going to be your cure-all. It’s about teaching yourself to anticipate your specific triggers and coming up with a plan in advance on how to get started without hesitation, such as the two-minute hack.

Common procrastination triggers are the fear of the unknown, distraction, lack of motivation and resistance to get started (doing the dishes). Big or small, every task comes with a certain level of resistance.

And one of the most common reasons why we procrastinate is that we want things to be perfect. Our feelings get in the way. Instead of focusing on getting started, we obsess about achieving perfect results and end up paralyzed.

According to neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio, our feelings decide for us 95% of the time. We FEEL before we think. We FEEL before we act. As Damasio explains, humans are “feeling machines that think,” not “thinking machines that feel.” Ultimately, our feelings have a strong influence on how we make decisions. You need to learn how to separate what you are feeling from the actions that you are taking.

The 5 second countdown to the 2 minute rule is a remarkable took in this regard. For example, the moment you don’t feel like meal prepping, you won’t. But if you countdown from five and tell yourself that you’ll just take 2 minutes on the task, you can untangle your feelings from your actions and get started.

Remember, set realistic expectations and strive for progress, not perfection.

Remember to Reinforce Your Habits

William H McRaven said it well in his book, “Make Your Bed,”

“Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room, and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard, and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack.

It was a simple task, mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that we were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALS, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made-that you made-and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Overcoming Procrastination in a Simple, Yet Powerful Way

What is that one thing you have been procrastinating that might be holding you back from achieving your goals?

Are you paralyzed about food choices?

Does taking the time to stand there and fill up your water bottle hold you back from staying hydrated?

Does the latest episode on Netflix prevent you from getting enough sleep?

Whether you’re waiting for the “perfect time” to start exercising, eat better… or do the dishes, I encourage you to use these tools to help you overcome procrastination and attack your goals head on. Whatever it is that’s taunting you, hanging over your head, if it takes less than two minutes to get started, then do it now.

Knowing what you need to do is the easy part…pushing yourself to do it takes courage.

If you already started making positive changes, you’re likely learning a lot about your body and mind. Hopefully, these are changes that you can embrace and carry through with you for life. Ride that momentum and take the steps you need to feel confident and become a better, healthier version of you.

Let me know how it goes!

Athlete of the Month: Carrie Bendik

Each month we highlight a different athlete at Salus. This individual has something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn more and always ready to do the work without complaining. Not only that, but this individual also supports their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals, too. We believe that this is what the Salus Community should be all about.

This month, we get to feature Carrie Bendik.  Carrie has been with us almost two years now and has made some serious strides both physically and mentally. She has overcome obstacles, faced some fears and has come back stronger than ever. We couldn’t be more excited than to feature Carrie this month.

Please meet the March Athlete of the Month: Carrie Bendik:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I joined Salus in May 2019. I had always been dying to try CrossFit. I actually was going to a physical therapist in the same building as the old box. It took me awhile to work up the courage to try a class, but of course I’m so glad I did!

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

I’m so much stronger overall. I can lift heavier, my core has strengthened, and I’m more confident in myself.

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

I can do handstands and double unders! All of the lifts we do with the barbell were new to me also.

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

My arms and legs are more defined which is awesome.

I keep checking for my abs but no sign of them yet.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

When I push myself to get through a really hard workout, that work ethic carries over into my everyday life. The discipline it takes to show up and work hard at Salus has given me more discipline in other areas of my life. I make better food choices, I make sure I get enough sleep, and it sounds silly but completing a hard workout gives me the motivation to do the daily life things I might not necessarily want to do.

I am also more mindful of my body positioning as I go about my day. For example, I pick my 3 year old up with a squat, instead of rounding at the back.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

The best all around workout you can get, both physically and mentally, one you’ll never get bored with.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I love to challenge myself physically and I try to do that daily.

You can learn a lot about yourself that way. Making progress in a lift or movement is also a big motivator. There is always something to work on or improve.

8. Favorite lift?

Squat clean- I love to squat and I love to clean.


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

Sometimes the hardest part can be getting started.

CrossFit can be intimidating to someone just beginning, it certainly was for me. The best thing you can do is to take that initial step.

Start with trying one class.

Remember that everyone has been a beginner at one point, the only thing you have to do is show up and try. When I first started I remember thinking:

“A year from now where do you want to be?”- and that gave me the extra push to begin.


10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Body weight back squat, toes to bar, and the ever elusive pull-up.

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

I like long, gritty workouts-
5 rounds for time:
400 meter sandbag carry
10 squat cleans
10 wall balls
10 back squats
10 push press

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Spending time with my husband and girls, I love to cook and bake, and I love to run.

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

Healthy dish: A big rainbow salad with grilled vegetables, olives, lentils or beans, and a homemade dressing.
Splurge: Bananas and peanut butter. Not really a meal but with the amount of peanut butter I eat it becomes one lol. I LOVE peanut butter.

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Batman. I have loved Batman since I was little, I actually have a Batman tattoo! He doesn’t have superpowers and always does the right thing.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer-Albert Camus

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I am really into food, nutrition, and health and have recently started my own food blog called Happily at Home. It isn’t live yet but will be soon!!