Strong as a Mother. Lauren Bradshaw Athlete of the Month

Each month we bring you the stories of some amazing athletes in the Middletown, NJ area. Many of these athletes are moms! And this month we are featuring one of those strong moms.

Moms – on their own – are superhuman in their own right. CrossFit moms take it to a whole ‘nother level – they are willing to push past barriers, insecurities, and weaknesses, they bear it all out on the floor to show the rest of us that CrossFit moms are certainly STRONG AS A MOTHER.

Meet Lauren, new mother of Baby Bill. Lauren and her husband, Bill have been a part of the Salus family for many years as a drop-in but have been coming full time since 2020. Whether attacking Murph in the Sports Complex Parking lot, grinding through the cold winter days in the barn, or helping us move locations (preggers), she always arrives with a radiant smile, contagious laugh and inspirational grit. Lauren absolutely deserves to be featured.

Congratulations Lauren! Meet our January 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started Salus originally as a drop in back in 2017 for holiday weekends (when I was still living in NYC) and then joined full time in 2020. I chose Salus because I loved the coaches’ focus on technique and individual attention that was able to be given in class. Also- the coaches and members always made me feel right at home, even though I was only there a few times a year.

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

My performance clearly had to be altered when I became pregnant last January however, it had enabled me to focus more on technique and safe movements, rather than hitting PR’s.

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

Before CrossFit, I don’t think I could even do 1 pull up. Now pull-ups are one of my best movements!

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

When I started at Salus, I was in my best shape and then my body went through major changes becoming pregnant last January!

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Being a part of Salus has helped me mentally get through my pregnancy and post-baby journey. It was very hard to go from being at your strongest, to training while pregnant and then building back even basic movements after my C-section.

I can’t say enough how much the support of the members and coaches at Salus have helped me in my journey.

From cheering me on with my huge belly to encouraging me to take it one step at a time post baby, the community has kept me motivated and mentally stronger.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Salus is a community that makes you feel welcome, encouraged, motivated and included, all while receiving top of the line coaching from the staff.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

My motivation comes from achieving goals. Even though the goals have shifted throughout the years, the motivation from achieving those goals makes me keep coming back. Nothing like the feeling of hitting a PR!!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

My favorite lift is definitely the clean and jerk and my favorite WOD is the hero WOD “Bradshaw!”

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

CrossFit can feel intimidating at first but give it at least a month of classes to see how you feel about joining. Once you start seeing the results and having fun in class, you won’t want to stop!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

My next goal is to hit my pre-pregnancy lifts!

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

It would be something like;
20 min AMRAP:
250m row
9 Pull-ups
3 heavy clean and jerks

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Honestly, my favorite thing is CrossFit/working out with my husband. CrossFit is where we met so it is something that we always enjoy doing together!

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

My favorite healthy dish is grilled chicken and roasted broccoli…yummm!! There are so many splurge meals to choose from but I would have to say that pizza is my favorite!

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

I would be a dog! Sounds cheesy, but I do enjoy putting a smile on people’s faces so I feel like as a dog I would be able to always do that! You can’t not smile at a happy dog wagging their tail at you!

15. Favorite motivational quote?

Years ago, one of my old bosses had said “Don’t think about how you can’t do something. Think about how you CAN do something” I always think of that saying because it changes my mindset going into tough situations or WOD’s.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I am ambidextrous! I write with my left hand but I can do a lot with my right hand!

Nutrition Challenge Rules

Welcome to the 3-Week RESET Nutrition and Healthy Habits Challenge!

This is a 3-week challenge designed to build on healthy habits you can sustain for LIFE.

  1. First, we focus on Nutrition Quality – this includes WHAT you’re eating. It’s time to clean out the kitchen cabinets!
  2. We also add on Nutrition Quantity. This includes how much you’re eating (portions) and drinking.
  3. The Movement task is designed ensure you make the time to move your body even on your recovery days.
  4. Finally, we address Sleep and Recovery. These two go hand in hand and are very influential on your success. So, we’ll be tracking how much you sleep and taking time to recover your body.

How to Join

  1. Register with your gym: Salus or Andare and tell a friend!
  2. Download the App: Wodify Rise (Google Play StoreApple Apps)
  3. Read the rules (below) and print out the food list to get prepared for week 1.

Printable rules can be found here.


NUTRITION QUALITY 

  • LEVEL 1: Make one positive change today. (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stick to the food list for at least two meals and two mini-meals/snacks. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Stick to the food list for all meals and mini-meals/snacks. (3 points)

Rules:

Eat only whole (unprocessed), nutrient-dense foods from the food list. This will be entered in the “food journal” section where you can snap a picture of your plate or write what you ate in the comments.

Note: for youth, we want the focus to be on adding in nutrient-dense foods and using this as an opportunity to teach them about healthy replacements. For example, encourage them to try a new vegetable at dinner (level 1) or to replace their morning cereal with eggs and fruit.

NUTRITION QUANTITY: PORTIONS 

  • LEVEL 0: no score- you kinda went out of control today
  • LEVEL 1: Make one positive change today (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stick to the portion guidelines for all but one meal. Did not pick in between meals. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Stick to the portion guidelines all day.  Did not pick in between meals.(3 points)

Rules

Follow portion guidelines

Eat 3 scheduled meals and 2-3 planned mini meals/snacks (**no mindless picking when you’re bored) and eat only to satisfied, never stuffed.

What if I’m following macros?

For those of you who are already weighing/measuring your food and following prescribed macros under the guidance of a nutrition coach, you are encouraged to continue doing that during the nutrition challenge. If this is the case, your scoring will look like this:

  • LEVEL 0: no score- you kinda went out of control today
  • LEVEL 1: You are within + or – 15 grams away from any planned target ranges (1 points)
  • LEVEL 2: You stay within + or – 15 grams of protein & carb macronutrient target. And within + or – 10 grams of fat macros (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: You stay within + or – 10 grams of protein & carb macronutrient target. And within + or – 5 grams of fat macros (3 points)

SLEEP 

  • LEVEL 1: Sleep within 1 hour of recommendations (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Sleep within 30 minutes of recommendations and turn off electronics 15 minutes before bedtime (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Sleep according to the recommendation and turn off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime (3 points)

Rules:

Follow sleep guidelines for your age range. Note: this will be scored for the NIGHT BEFORE.

See sleeping tips and bedtime routine tips on our blog.

RECOVERY (for mind and/or body)

  • LEVEL 1: Destress* (stretch and/or do meditate) for at least 5 minutes. (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stretch and/or do meditate for at least 20 minutes. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Destress for 20 minutes AND limit recreational screen-time to less than 1 hour each day. (3 points)

Notes:

Stretch/roll for specified time. Mobility, stretching, myofascial release, etc., can alleviate ‘everyday’ aches and pains as well as improve our body awareness & performance. 

Implement stress-relieving techniques to take better care of your mind, body and spirit. This can be meditation, yoga, taking a bath, walking, organizing a messy area, talking to a friend, drawing, getting a massage, taking a nap, etc. Everyone is affected by stress differently, so try a variety of strategies to discover which ones are the most effective for you. 

Screen-time, for the purpose of this challenge, is referring to time spent on devices such as a smartphone/tablet doing recreational activities such as gaming, mindlessly scrolling…aka: getting sucked down the social media rabbit hole, etc. This does not include reading on a kindle or time spent working.

EXERCISE

  • LEVEL 1:  Make one conscious positive change today (like standing up during a conference call or parking further from the door). (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Complete at least 20 minutes of physical activity. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Complete at least 45 minutes of physical activity (if it is your recovery day, this means adding in a low intensity 45min workout, like a walk) (3 points)

Notes:

Dedicate time in your schedule each week to make exercise and manage stress a priority. Remember, a little bit of activity goes a long way. Whether it’s a walk outside or a superset of pushups and sit ups, any exercise is better than no exercise. That’s why getting up and moving around is a big component of our challenge. 


Decide- Make a decision that your health is worth it and attack your goals head on!

Commit- Tell your friends and sign up for the challenge together for the ultimate level of accountability.

Attack- Join as an induvial or partner up with a friend. But, remember – everyone is on their own journey, so you have options! Choose a level for each goal and challenge yourself to make at least one positive change every day. They all add up!

IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

SIGN UP TODAY!

Holiday Schedule 2021

2021-22 Holiday Schedule

Friday, Dec. 24

  • 7am Barbell Club
  • 7am Open Gym
  • 8:30 or 9:30 am CrossFit

Saturday, Dec. 25

  • Closed

Friday, Dec. 31*

  • 9, 10am or 5pm Barbell Club
  • 9-10:30, 10:30-12 or 6-6:30pm *Special 90 minute NYE CrossFit class
  • 12:15-1:15 Open Gym

Saturday, January 1, 2022

  • 9am Barbell Club
  • 9am or 11:15am CrossFit
  • 10:15 PreTeens

See the rest of the schedule here.

Dropping in? Schedule your class and sign your waiver here.

Happy New Year!

We’re excited to continue our twist the annual New Year’s Eve event.

“The Girls” meet the “Heroes”

Join us on December 31st for an unforgettable 90-minute WOD: “The Girls” meet the “Heroes.”

The line up: You choose how many special combination WODs you can do in the time allotted. Start with one WOD and see if you can send of the old year by tackling two!

  • Tommy V meets Fran
  • Morrison meets Annie
  • J.T. meets Ingrid

What do I bring?

Always a fun event, bring some snacks to keep you going strong, plenty of water, maybe a change of clothes. And BYOB to hang and make a toast after your WOD(s) if you want.

Reserve on Wodify

Reservations will be open on Wodify.

Guests are welcome, choose “drop-in” to reserve and sign your waiver.

When you sign up be sure to give us a shout on Instagram or Facebook @Salusnj #GirlsMeetTheHeroes #SalusNYE

RESET Nutrition & Healthy Habits Challenge Begins Jan. 12

2022 is around the corner.

If you’re already looking forward to kicking off the New Year on the right foot and getting your habits back-on-track, listen up.

Starting January 12, we’ll be hosting our very own 3-week RESET Nutrition & Healthy Habits Challenge!

  • Consultations & challenge prep start the week of January 3
  • Challenge begins January 12

Registration opens soon; stay tuned for more to come!

Happy Holidays

From our families to yours, we’d like to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Healthy New Rear!

All the best,

~Your coaching staff at Salus:
Gino & Angela, Lisa, Steven, Scott, Camilla, Melissa, Erin, Alicia

Experiencing Stress and Anxiety? Get to the Gym with Intensity!

Research has long shown that engaging in any sort of physical activity (cardio/strength training) can be an effective drug-free way to improve mood, combat stress, and reduce anxiety. But, a new study now shows that high-intensity exercise may be superior over moderate exercise to help alleviate anxiety.

As you may guess, I am a huge proponent of weightlifting and also high intensity exercise, especially short, high-intensity training like CrossFit – it’s basically like my medicine.

How? Glad you asked.

Exercise is Like Medicine for My Mood

High-intensity and sprint interval training (SIT), like CrossFit workouts, fire up your fast twitch muscle fibers (you know, those quick burst, high-energy fibers that generally sit on the sidelines during endurance exercise). It also increases the amount of your mitochondria (very important energy converters), improves insulin sensitivity, and even trains your body to burn more fat for energy when you’re n̲o̲t̲ exercising.

Bonus!

Research also shows that it can also help increase lean muscle mass, improve your power and boost cardiovascular fitness.

New Study Shows Strenuous Exercise is Superior to Help Alleviate Anxiety

But check this out: new research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders suggests that strenuous exercise is superior over moderate exercise to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, even when the disorder is chronic. This is definitely something we all could use this time of year… who am I kidding – this is something we can use all year round!

The study was based on 286 adults who lived with anxiety for at least 10 years. Their average age was 39 and 70 percent of them were women. Researchers assigned them to one of three groups: A 12-week group exercise program with low-intensity exercise three times a week; a 12-week group exercise program with moderate to high intensity training three times a week, or a single session with a physiotherapist who provided information about the benefits of physical activity and the general exercise guidelines.

After the three-month trial, both exercise groups enjoyed a significant reduction in anxiety compared to the group who just learned about the benefits of exercise. Most of the participants in the exercise groups went from a baseline level of moderate to high anxiety to low anxiety by study’s end.

Go for High-Intensity Exercise to Help Anxiety

Those who did 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵-𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲 experienced even better results. The more intensely they exercised, the lower their anxiety. “There was a significant intensity trend for improvement — that is, the more intensely they exercised, the more their anxiety symptoms improved,” states the study’s first author.

We’re very excited about this new (2021) research that adds to the growing body of evidence showing that physical exercise can be a highly effective treatment for stress and anxiety.

Disclaimer: As always, consult with your primary care physician or a medical doctor before kickstarting any new workout regimen that includes high-intensity exercise — especially if you haven’t done moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in recent months.

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Weightlifting Meet (Preview)

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Meet

By Angela Salveo, Sports Nutrition Coach

Below is a snippet of an article that Angela Salveo, Salus Nutrition Coach, wrote an article for the Catalyst Athletics Performance Menu Magazine. To get the full guide, fill out the form below.

Cutting Weight Like A Pro

Just like your training and nutrition needs, cutting weight for a meet is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. And, surprise… it’s not for everyone.

Since some competitive weightlifters train slightly heavier than their weight class, cutting bodyweight without sacrificing performance for competition day becomes a matter of planning strategically and flexing some willpower muscles.

As you’re aware, the rules of a weightlifting meet require athletes to weigh in one or two hours before the start of the competition. With such a small window of time to rehydrate and replenish energy stores, your weight cut needs to be realistic and safe.

Are you ready to get started?

These tips will help you get organized for your weight cut, but you need to be prepared for some mental challenges along the way.

Do you know what weight class you’re choosing (see below guide in kilograms)? Before we dive in to weight-cut strategies, it’s important to set yourself up for success in the months ahead.

Get the Full Guide

Cutting Weight (Full Guide)

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Meet by Angela Salveo, Salus Nutrition Coach

Months ahead into the Week Before Competition: What is An Attainable Goal?

So, let’s say you trimmed down the fat, but you’re still not quite there. How much weight can you expect to cut in that final week…

Last Minute Techniques

Most of the weight that is lost for weigh-in day will be due to lowering glycogen stores and losing water weight. But, realize that everyone has individual differences that is going to affect how they lose fat, body weight, water weight and how it affects their performance and training load. That’s why it’s best to do a test cut and approach it with the guidance of a coach…

After the Weight Cut & Before Weigh-In

After the weight cut, you need to rehydrate properly and choose fluids wisely…

Get the Full Guide

Cutting Weight (Full Guide)

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Meet by Angela Salveo, Salus Nutrition Coach

Is it Possible to Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian?

Did you know that the typical adult in North America gets 27 percent of their energy — about 900 calories a day — from animal products. Only 9 percent comes from vegetables, fruits, and beans… combined.

In general, vegetarians are plant-based eaters and don’t eat meat. However, some may consume animal products such as eggs and dairy. The below only paints a partial picture, but can provide an overview of the many types of plant-based eaters.

Chart from Precision Nutrition www.precisionnutrition.com

As a vegetarian, eating a diet rich in plants isn’t just about eating more fruits and vegetables. “Plants” also includes grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and plant-derived fats.

Is it possible to get enough protein as a vegetarian?

Contrary to popular belief, many plant foods have a decent amount of protein.

Check out how these proteins stack up:

Animal-based protein sources equal to 100 calories

  • Skinless chicken breast 21
  • Cottage cheese 12
  • Greek yogurt, plain 14
  • Shrimp, cooked 24
  • Eggs 9

Vegetarian protein sources equal to 100 calories

  • Banza Chickpea Penne Pasta 7.4
  • Oatmeal 3.5
  • Mushrooms 14.1
  • Broccoli 8.2
  • Edamame 9.8
  • Pumpkin Seeds 5.2
  • Almonds 3.7
  • Cashew Yogurt 2.9
  • Vega Sport Pea Protein 20

Complete Proteins Contain All 9 Essential Amino Acids

But, it’s important to note that not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins. A complete protein refers to protein sources that contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).

  1. histidine
  2. isoleucine
  3. leucine
  4. lysine
  5. methionine
  6. phenylalanine
  7. threonine
  8. tryptophan
  9. valine

Animal products like chicken, beef, fish, and eggs contain enough of every one of these essential amino acids, so they’re considered complete proteins.

Select Vegetarian Sources That Are Complete

Most plant courses of protein, on the other hand, are missing one or more of the essential acids, so they’re considered an incomplete protein. However, a select group of foods are considered vegetarian AND a complete protein:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Edamame, Tofu
  • Amaranth
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Hemp & Chia Seeds

Combination Vegetarian Sources to Make a Complete Protein

Interestingly, you can combine certain incomplete vegetarian sources of protein to make a complete protein.

For example, rice is too low in lysine to be considered a complete protein. But, by also eating beans, which are high in lysine, it then becomes a complete protein. Some examples of vegetarian combination foods include:

  • Rice and Beans
  • Whole Wheat Pita and Hummus
  • Peanut Butter on Wheat Bread
  • Chickpeas and Sunflower Seeds (think salad topping)
  • Refried Beans and Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • Lentil Soup and Whole Grain Crackers or Roll
  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Pumpkin Seeds
  • Wild Rice with Peas

Of course, there are aisles of packaged plant-based alternatives, too. With the rise of these processed products, it’s important to remember that the main goal is still to stick to whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods.

Want to go plant-based but feeling confused about how to do it and what to eat?

Your Next Steps

If you want to learn whether a vegetarian diet is right for you or how to move more towards a plant-based diet, schedule a consultation with one of our nutrition coaches at nutrition@salusnj.com. We’ll help you find the right strategy to meet your goals.

Team Sports Strength and Conditioning

strength conditioning teams Middletown NJ

Calling all Football, Cheerleading, Soccer athletes (and more!)! Take your team to the next level and help prevent injuries with team sports strength and conditioning training at Salus in Middletown, NJ.

What is Team Sports Strength and Conditioning

At Salus, we work directly with sports teams throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey to bring athletes together for a private strength and conditioning class built just for their team. Our coaching staff has worked with athletes involved in gymnastics, soccer, football, cheerleading, dance, softball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse and more.

Athletes have consistently found that training at CrossFit Salus has improved their strength, power, speed, coordination, and endurance for their sport. We also focus on building strong team spirit with players working alongside each other and encourage team motivation and sportsmanship.

A team sports strength and conditioning program can benefit all athletes, both male and female. The benefits are numerous: it can help reduce the incidence of injury, reduce burnout, improve performance and much more!

Prevent Injury

Youth athletes often experience many changes in life and in sport through their growth and development process. While early sport specialization has trended towards becoming prevalent in the youth athlete, it is vital to expose individuals to a variety of movements to help them become a well rounded athlete.

This can also help to prevent injuries due to overtraining and overcompensation.

This is why youth athletes need to work regularly with a qualified strength and conditioning coach to ensure these potential injuries don’t become an issue.

A recent study finds that “kids who specialize in a chosen sport tend to engage in higher levels of vigorous exercise than their peers and may be more likely to sustain injuries, such as stress fractures, tendinitis and ACL tears.”

The study, published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, helps to explain some of the dangers of sports specialization. “Athletes who focus on one particular sport tend to practice more frequently and intensely compared to athletes who do not.”

The recommendation?

Replace some of their sport-specific training with different forms of exercise, such as conditioning.

A common fear among parents is that if their children don’t play more and more, they’ll fall behind in their sport and won’t ultimately be as good of an athlete. The study says, “But it may actually be the opposite. If children do too much, they may get injured and fall behind.”

Strengthen Your Athletic Performance and Gain the Winning Advantage

Working with a professional coach who specializes in strength and conditioning for athletes is important not only to help prevent injuries, but also to improve athletic performance. Resistance training, stability, coordination, movement efficiency and mobility can have a big impact for a young athlete.

By working with professionals, athletes can improve their speed, agility, quickness, conditioning and range of motion. With a well-designed strength and conditioning program, athletes will see what their body is capable of and what they can accomplish, enhancing a sense of self-confidence and body image. This advantage not only helps them in their sport, but in all avenues of life.

Plus, we know how to make exercise fun! They’re still kids after all, exercise should have an element of fun and not feel like a chore. Our coaches like to mix things up to help athletes prevent physical and mental burnout.

Schedule Your Private Team Sports Strength and Conditioning at Salus

At Salus, we offer Kids and Teens Fitness classes throughout the week that athletes can join at any time.

If you are interested in keeping your group together, Private Team sports strength and conditioning sessions are one hour dedicated entirely to that team’s specific training. Cycles last anywhere from 4-8 weeks depending on the team’s needs. Our coaches can work with you to find the best days and times to meet your players’ needs.

*From elementary to high school and travel teams, various ages are welcome (typically ages 9 and up).

Contact Coach Angela at info@salusnj.com for more information or to receive Team pricing.

Traveling to a New CrossFit Box? CrossFit Drop in Etiquette: What You Need to Know Before You Go.

Traveling to a new box? Check out these five CrossFit drop in etiquette reminders to help you be the best guest and have the best experience.

Whether you’re traveling for a business trip across the country or for an exotic vacation across the equator, it can be exciting to try out a new CrossFit box so you don’t miss out on your workout. Thankfully, one of the great things about CrossFit is the community, so you’re in luck.

But, make sure you scope out their rules first. Remember, CrossFit is an affiliate, not a franchise…so each box has their own guidelines for dropping in (programming, prices, etc.).

These five CrossFit drop in etiquette reminders will help you be prepared before you go…and be a good guest.

CrossFit Drop In Etiquette: What You Need to Know Before You Go.

1. Searching for a “Drop-In CrossFit Near Me”

Do your homework before you take off. Your best bet is to start by searching the CrossFit Affiliate Map or the “Wodifind” feature within your Wodify app. Once you find a couple CrossFit boxes near where you’ll be staying, Google them. Read their reviews and scope out their social media pages to get a feel for their vibe.

2. Consider Their CrossFit Drop-In Fee

Every box is different, so be sure to check their website for details.

Some boxes require you to have your home affiliate email them to confirm that you’ve completed their fundamentals class.
Some have particular classes for drop-ins (you’ll usually find this in vacation spots), others allow drop-ins for any class. Don’t expect to just show up and have free-reign of their gym.
Some boxes require you to book your spot in class and pay ahead of time online, others will discount the drop-in fee if you buy a t-shirt. Either way, expect to pay – as a traveling guest, you’re a “drop-in,” not a “free-trial.”

Always email or call them ahead of time to get the scoop on their policies, especially if you’re traveling over a holiday.

3. Allow Enough Time

Early is On Time, On Time is Late, and Late is Unacceptable.

Allow enough time to fill out your waiver, pay for your drop-in and hey, you’ve been traveling…you’ll probably need to mobilize. Take a minute to introduce yourself to the coach and a few members, familiarize yourself with the gym and scope out their t-shirts! You can never have enough CrossFit swag, am I right?

Nothing is worse than having a new face show up in the middle of a warm up and trying to get them situated while keeping the rest of the class going.

4. Know Your Abilities

Whether you’re an elite athlete or fresh out of fundamentals, you’re a newbie to them. Know your own abilities and limitations…and remember to leave your ego at the door. Now’s not the time to attempt your first RX workout if it’s way beyond your abilities.

And if you’re nursing an injury, be sure to inform the coach ahead of time (you know, when you arrive early).

5. Leave on a Good Note

Remember the universal rule, no matter where you go: be a good guest & clean up after yourself. Put away your equipment, disinfect your things and hey, if you spilled some chalk, clean that up, too.

Visiting other CrossFit boxes is a lot of fun. So, don’t be afraid to snap a selfie and take a moment to drop them a review on their Facebook or Google page. Reviews are extremely valuable to a small business.

Save travels!

Dropping in at CrossFit Salus, Middletown NJ?

Traveling to the Middletown, New Jersey area? We’d love to have you!

We offer drop-in options all of our for our CrossFit, Weightlifting, CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Teens classes! Just shoot us an email at info@salusnj.com before you come so we can get you set up.

We’re located at 1706 State Highway 35 in Middletown, NJ (Located in the Fountain Ridge Plaza). We’re soon moving to 1680 (same plaza).

Schedule Your Drop In Here >>

Maintaining Your Health & Nutrition During Travel

Vacations and traveling can put a damper on our health and nutrition goals in more ways than one. From added stress and interrupted sleep to more time seated and limited healthy food options, it’s frustrating to lose all the momentum you’ve gained recently.

Don’t let one week undo all your progress and detour you from your goals. Maintaining health and nutrition during travel is easier than you may think.

How? You just need to get a little creative with your choices and (gasp) be OK with plan B.

Here are a few travel tips to help you stay healthy, keep stress low and actually enjoy your time away.

Exercise (Or Not?)

If traveling tends to create a lot of stress for you (packing, airport security, delays, etc.) adding in high intensity exercise may not be the best idea. Vacations are an optimal time to take a recovery week, not the time to compromise sleep just so you can squeeze in an before sunrise workout.

But, if your schedule is flexible and you’re not under a lot of stress, I recommend making your workout a priority!

When you’re out of your normal routine, this is a great opportunity to switch things up and get creative. Add in more body weight movements, drop in a a local box or add in more mobility work. Additionally, you can go for a jog to familiarize yourself with the area, get your blood flowing and enjoy some fresh air, which can all help you reduce stress.

Recovery

Mentioned above, time away is a good opportunity to get the quality rest that your body needs and deserves. As you’re aware, quality sleep is essential for the basic functioning of your neurological, immune, digestive and endocrine systems. It also does wonders for your hormones…which is directly related to weight-loss goals, performance goals and so much more.

If you’re in a hotel room, blackout the windows as much as possible, bring your eye mask, unplug any unnecessary alarm clocks and nightlights, keep the room temperature cool and unplug from your phone and TV at least an hour before bed.

Stick to your normal bedtime routine – that means if you normally shower, read and stretch before bed at home, you should do that in your hotel room as well.

Traveling is also an optimal time to focus on mobility and lots of stretching. Check out MobilityWOD, GOWOD Mobility First or RomWod if you need some guidance.

Reduce Jet Lag

If you’re traveling to a different time zone that last longer than one week, consider moving all of your activities, such as meals and bed times, up by an hour for a few days before your departure date. For any shorter trips that last shorter than a week, try to stay on your home time zone as much as possible.

Stay hydrated (even more than usual) – that means avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Once you arrive to your destination, try to get exposure to early morning sun, which helps to rest your body’s circadian rhythm.

Nutrition On-The-Go

Airplane food is never optimal if you’re focused on quality nutrition. To ensure you get sufficient fuel, prepare plenty of healthy and convenient snacks and a to-go meal.

I typically pack:

  • Crudites (carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, snap peas)
  • Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapes…also very hydrating)
  • Jerky (ex: Epic Bars)
  • Protein Powder in zip lock bags (remember your shaker bottle)
  • Bars (ex: RXBar, Lara Bar, Joes)
  • Nuts and dried mango (no sugar added)
  • Tea bags (herbal and green)
  • Reusable water bottle to fill up after I get through security

If I’m traveling during a mealtime, I usually pack a big salad with chicken to eat on the plane.

Tip: if you toss in frozen veggies, like peas, that will help to keep the meal chilled until it’s time to eat.

Eating Once You’re There

Before your trip, do your research to map out healthy restaurants near you. Having a plan of attack before you land will help to reduce any anxiety about where to eat and what to eat on vacation. Search on Google for keywords like “healthy,” “paleo,” “local,” “gluten-free,” etc. Scope out menus in advance and even call the restaurants to see what substitutions they are willing to make.

Consider a trip to a nearby grocery store or market to pick up healthy snacks and mini-meal options. Or check out if AmazonFresh or InstaCart will deliver to your area.

Be OK with Plan B

Your brain likes a plan, but there’s only so much you can control when you’re traveling. The best thing you can do is go with the flow and be OK with plan B (and C & D). Don’t stress about being perfect with your nutrition when traveling or fitting in your workout.

Stress, by the way, is one of the biggest causes of digestive problems. That means that even if you’re eating clean, but you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re hindering the absorption of vital nutrients you’re attempting to get from a whole food diet.

A few years ago, we went on a “vacation” to Disney World with our 8 year old twins. For those of you who have been to Disney, know it’s not much of a relaxing vacation (at all). One big thing I learned on this trip is not to not allow the weight of the things we cannot control to hold us back. There’s freedom and there’s power in letting go.

Instead, I focused my energy on the things I could control. The chaos, the rain, the lines…those were all OUT of my control. I stayed the course with my nutrition as much as possible, got super creative with my choices and was very selective with any indulgences. Mickey waffle with fake syrup? No thanks. Chocolate covered strawberry? Yes, please! 

Listen, when you’re out of your routine, you’re presented with a unique temptation to give in, but I encourage you to hang in there and be selective of what you choose to indulge in. You’ll have more energy and be much happier when you get back. And while you’re away, strive for progress… not perfection, remember to keep celebrating small victories and be thankful for the challenges — as they are opportunities to learn and improve.

Healthy Swaps

If you’ve already purged some obvious sugar culprits in your pantry but are looking for healthy swaps in the kitchen, you’re in luck. Let’s step it up a notch by swapping out one (or more) of those sCRAP-py (sugar-filled, completely refined and processed) foods 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. I challenge you today to identify a healthier version of one of your typical packaged foods.

Here are a few healthy swaps to try:

Flour/Baking

Pre/Post Workout

Other

 

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!