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.


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.

Learning Some Common CrossFit Language

AMRAP, box, GHD…What in the world do all those words mean? No doubt, CrossFit is comprised of it’s own lingo. Here are some basic CrossFit language and terms you might hear thrown around at the box.

Common CrossFit Language: Vocabulary, Acronyms and Abbreviations Explained

  • AMRAP: As Many Reps (sometimes Rounds) as Possible
  • BEAST: A complimentary term used to describe a badass athlete, as in “she/he’s a beast”.
  • Benchmark-A workout or lift that tests or measures your fitness and/or strength. Similar to “What do you bench?” at a Globo Gym, in CrossFit, a classic benchmark may be, “What is your Fran time?”
  • Box: the term which refers to a CrossFit gym
  • BS: Back squat
  • BW: Body weight
  • Cherry Picking: Choosing which days to come to class based on the workout, movements or weather. Selective attendance is a pathway to plateau.
  • Chipper: A workout with many reps and many movements (you chip away at it)
  • CFT: CrossFit Total – consisting of max squat, press, and deadlift.
  • C&J: Clean and Jerk
  • DL: Deadlift
  • DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Dubs: Double Unders- the jump rope swings around twice with one jump
  • Ego: Must be left at the door.
  • EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute
  • Fran: Classic CrossFit benchmark (21-15-9 thursters/pullups)
  • Firebreather: A top- notch athlete, someone who does things that us mere mortals just stare at in wonderment. Someone we can all aspire to be like.
  • For Time: Complete the timed workout as quickly as possible. Be sure and log your workouts (especially the named ones) so you can see your fitness progression.
  • FS: Front squat
  • The “Girls”: Some of the very first CrossFit WODs; The “benchmarks” for assessing one’s level of fitness; These workouts are named after girls (15 total “original girl” WODs; and 6 total “new girl” WODs).
  • GHD: “Glute Ham Developer” equipment that helps to develop core, back and hip-flexor strength
  • Goat: A movement or lift that is difficult for you to overcome. Something you dread coming up in a workout because you either suck at it, hate it or both. Common goats include double unders, muscle ups, running and handstand push ups. We all should be working on our goats, constantly.
  • Hero WODs: Named after military servicemen, police, or firefighters who have died in the line of duty, these difficult workouts are intermittently programmed in CrossFit to provide an extra challenge and reminder of their sacrifice- mentally and physically (Example: “Murph”- Run 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, run 1 mile)
  • GPP: General physical preparedness, aka “fitness.”
  • Globo Gym: Often associated with low membership prices, which proves the old saying “you get what you pay for”. A gym whose business strategy is designed to get you in the door, pay your fees and then hope you never come in again.
  • HSPU: Hand stand push up. Kick up into a handstand (use wall for balance, if needed) bend arms until nose touches floor and push back up.
  • KB: Kettlebell
  • K2E: Knees to elbows. Similar to TTBs described below.
  • Kilos: 2.2 pounds equals one kilogram.
  • Kipping pullup: A rhythmic swing on a pull-up bar that lets you transfer horizontal motion to vertical force. This movement should allow you to complete more (and quicker) pull-ups but must only be mastered after you have the strength to complete a series of strict pullups
  • MetCon: Metabolic Conditioning.
  • MU: Muscle ups can be done on the rings or on the bar.
  • OHS: Overhead squat. The ultimate test for mobility.
  • Paleo: Clean eating nutrition plan that many CrossFit athletes adhere to; Not a ‘diet’, but a healthy lifestyle; The premise is “eat real, whole foods”, including protein (red meat, poultry, pork, seafood, eggs), vegetables (all, including some starchy veggies, such as sweet potatoes/butternut squash), lots of healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil) and some fruit; Eliminates gluten, sugar, most dairy and legumes.
  • Pistol: A squat that only uses one leg at a time (also known as single leg squats). Resistance bands or steadying oneself on a box/pole may be used to help gain balance for those new to the movement
  • Pood/Pd: Weight of a kettlebell (1 pood = 35lbs, 1.5 pood = 44lbs, 2 pood = 70lbs)
  • PR: Personal record. Must be followed by high fives and ringing the golden PR bell!
  • PP: Push press
  • Rep: Repetition. One performance of an exercise completed successfully. A “NO REP” would be a failed attempt at a rep.
  • Rest day: A very necessary component for recovery, both physical and mental. The harder you work, the more rest you need.
  • Rip: What could happen to your hands after pullups at a high volume. It’s preventable! Shave your calluses and buy a roll of tape to keep in your bag.
  • Rhabdo: Rhabdomyolysis; A dangerous condition where muscle fibers breakdown at a high rate.
  • ROM: Range of motion
  • Routine: the enemy.
  • Rx’d: As prescribed; as written. WOD done without any adjustments or scaled movements. Complete WOD done with proper form.
  • SDHP: Sumo deadlift high pull
  • Scaled: Every single workout, movement or skill that we program can and should be scaled to the needs of the individual. For example, if you’re still working on your pullups, you will scale by doing an assisted pullup with a band. Scaling is essential to maintain the proper stimulus of the WOD.
  • Snatch: The snatch is the first of two lifts contested in the sport of Olympic weightlifting followed by the clean and jerk.
  • Stimulus: Each workout is designed to achieve a specific result. Our coaches will help you scale the workout so you can achieve the intended result.
  • TGU: Turkish get-up. Basically it’s getting up off the floor with a kettlebell stacked overhead.
  • Tabata: For twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise. The score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.
  • T2B: Toes to bar. Can be scaled with K2E.
  • WOD: Workout of the Day.
  • 21-15-9: A specific rep scheme for a give wod. (Ex: 21-15-9 Thrusters and pull ups. …Round 1 do 21 Thrusters and 21 Pullups, round 2 do 15 thrusters and 15 pull ups, round 3 do 9 thrusters and 9 pull ups. DONE!)

Athlete of the Month: Shawn Winters

As one of our most dedicated 6am-ers, we’re excited to showcase Shawn Winters as our next Athlete of the Month. He’s lost almost 40 pounds since starting CrossFit- in fact, his reward for breaking 200lbs was getting his cat, Pumpkin! And the best of it all, he now has normal blood pressure for the first time since he was 18!
Check out his story below:

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I did my first trial class on June 13, 2015. I decided I needed to stop sitting around and slowly dying. I had tried the gym, personal trainer, running and a myriad of other crappy diets/fads over the years. CrossFit seemed to resonate with the last time I was really healthy back in High School. My wife keeps asking me why. I don’t really have an answer other than that.

I decided I needed to stop sitting around and slowly dying.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

Geez. I went from couch to CrossFit. I’m now able to RX more WODs than I used to and I’ve lost a ton of weight (37 lbs and counting). I don’t get winded playing with my kids anymore. My back and neck pains are gone. My blood pressure is normal for the first time since I was 18. I’m as light as I’ve been since I was 20 or so.

My blood pressure is normal for the first time since I was 18.

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

A pullup. I hadn’t done one of those since High School. I can now do double unders, too.

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

The tire around my mid-section is virtually gone (lost 3-4 inches on my waist). I have more definition in my arms and back, in fact, I’ve gone from a large to a medium shirt size. I’m stronger and in better aerobic condition too.

5. How has CrossFit (and the paleo challenge) changed you in other ways?

I sleep better now. My wife says I’m happier and talk more then I used to. CrossFit definitely helps with stress management. It’s an outlet that has helped me find a new normal. I feel guilty when I don’t workout, which is a dramatic change from the past when I saw it as an annoyance or another chore I need to do. My blood pressure is normal now when it was always really high. I’m hoping to get off the medication or start to reduce it at my next physical.

My wife says I’m happier… CrossFit definitely helps with stress management.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them it’s like doing athletics in High School, with a group of people you like and feel like you’re in the same boat together. We all gotta get through the workout to survive. There’s a kinship that I haven’t seen in the traditional gym before. People are usually curious- I just want to be healthy and enjoy getting there while I’m doing it.

There’s a kinship that I haven’t seen in the traditional gym

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

The results. I keep losing weight and keep getting stronger. I also am enjoying the variety of the workouts.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Back squats and floor press are my two favorites.

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

Be patient. It’s tough getting over the soreness and new movements, but eventually you’ll start to get it. Listen to the coaches and you’ll be fine.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Do more Pull Ups and get two unassisted Pull Ups.

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

The Angry Irishman – AMRAP 15 mins – 10 Deadlifts – 10 Wall Balls – 10 Burpees – 20 Sit-ups

12. Best take away from the Paleo challenge?

Awareness of how much sugar I still ate even after changing my diet. I read all the labels now on everything.

13. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

Paleo slow-cooker beef chuck chili. For a cheat meal-I love a chicken parm sub from Fairwinds deli in Fair Haven, but really, any al all chicken parm is welcome….

Athlete of the Month: Chris Mulvaney

We’re excited to announce this month’s Athlete of the Month is Chris Mulvaney – also our top winner for the summertime Paleo challenge! Give Chris a chalky high five next time you see him at the box! Way to go, Chris!

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit shortly after CrossFit Salus opened in Middletown the end of April 2013. I was just finished with a 2-year run on antibiotics for Lyme Disease and wanted to get strong again. I was working out at home, but needed something to keep me motivated and help me get stronger.

My friend (Pat) didn’t stop talking about its awesomeness so I decided to give it a shot!

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I am way stronger now than I was before I started. I also have a better engine (but still needs work)

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

I never did a snatch a day in my life… or a muscle up. Now I can do both!

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I am definitely more defined now than I’ve ever been with a lot less body fat to carry around.

How has CrossFit (and the paleo challenge) changed you in other ways?

I’m sleeping better because I’m so wiped from the workouts;) It’s definitely helped me de-stress and I feel that my business has greatly improved since I started CrossFit.

Whether it’s coincidence or because I can think and focus better from CrossFit, my business has been growing at a faster rate since I started.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them the workouts we do, then I tell them they should do it too (and they think I’m crazy). I also talk about the community and try to describe it as much as possible, but it’s something they really need to experience to understand.

I’ve made a lot of great friends, and it’s helped me push myself harder at the box.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

I see the improvements physically. I also feel horrible when I take 1 or 2 days off which really motivates me to workout every day (either at CrossFit Salus or on my own if I can’t make it in).

Favorite WOD or lift?

Snatch! Love it!

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

You aren’t going to see improvements right away. It will take time. Learn to “eat to perform” also!

Your body needs fuel to perform so make sure you put the right kind in your body!

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Handstand walk! I can do handstands against a wall, but I need to walk…on my hands!

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

200 calorie row cash in
Snatch ladder 1 min each attempt to 1rm (start at 50% body weight)
timed calorie row cash out

Best take away from the Paleo challenge?

Paleo challenge wasn’t too difficult with the food as I eat Paleo mostly anyway. The one thing that was hard was eliminating whisky and vodka! I’m not a huge drinker, but I would usually have a few drinks once or twice per week. I would then skip the day after and not workout hard or even at all. I think that not drinking at all for 5 weeks enabled me to not only shed a few pounds but also perform at a much better rate. It was also hard eating out and to know what everyone else is putting in your food. I guess my take away would be to try to limit my alcohol intake a bit when I do drink and prepare myself to recover better when I do.

Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

My wife makes great paleo meatballs! I can eat them all day. For a cheat meal, I’ll need another blog post because the list can get big. If I had to break it down to just one thing that is accessible, give me a pizza with peppers and onions and I’m sold!

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight. What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some. They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too. They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is. Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better. Have a nomination? Let us know who!


Athlete of the Month Gretchen Goode

Gretchen Goode: CrossFit Salus Athlete of the Month

From the moment Gretchen walked in CrossFit Salus, we knew she would be a hard worker and dedicated to training (giving every workout her all)! You’ll find her bright eye’d and cheery every 6am class…and even the oly classes! She shows up, puts in the work and has made some amazing progress in just 9 months.

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in September 2014. I had been going to school at night to get my MBA for the past several years and when I finished that I wanted to focus on health and getting in shape. I’d been going to SoulCycle regularly but wanted to add in some strength work and wasn’t sure where to start on my own.

I was surprised at how quickly CrossFit became my primary workout!

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

My endurance and strength has improved a lot. I could barely survive a workout when I started!

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

Many! Doubleunders, pushups, and most of the weightlifting exercises I’d never done before.

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

I’ve lost about 30lbs and have gone down several sizes since starting.

I feel stronger and more capable and am starting to see some muscle definition. Plus, I’m usually covered in mysterious bruises and callouses.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

The 6am classes have turned me into an early riser for the first time in my life. Getting my workout finished early in the morning improves my mood all day.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

My dad calls it the “GI Jane” workout routine. I describe it as a constantly changing combination of weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I love that everything is tracked so you can see your performance improve over time. It’s hard to tell one day to the next if you’re getting any better but when you start to see the data it’s easy to remember how impossible things felt initially and how far you’ve come and how much better you can be.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Back squats are my favorite by far!

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

Don’t think about it too much and just do it, don’t get too wrapped up in how you stack up against everyone else. Be inspired rather than intimidated by the incredible athletes and coaches at Salus – everyone is very encouraging, welcoming, and friendly!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

I need to get off of the baby box jumps and move up to the 20″ box. I finally moved up to the 18″ box recently so the 20″ is coming soon!

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

Back Squats
Double unders
Clean & Jerk

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

My favorite paleo dish is definitely bacon and eggs with berries on the side. I’m always starving after I workout in the morning and I love breakfast. The best cheat meals are comfort foods – grilled cheese with broccoli cheddar soup is one of the best.