Crystal Maher has always had a huge love for working out and pushing her limits but in 2013 she started CrossFit and was hooked. Since then, she’s gotten her CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certification and enjoys teaching people how to move better. She loves watching them push past their physical capability barriers, while smashing their goals.

After setting a goal of being in the top 100 for CrossFit Opens for females in CT during the beginning of the year, Crystal shocked herself by ending up placing 62nd. She also placed top 500 in the Northeast, which was great for her first full serious CrossFit Opens. Crystal also recently competed locally and got first individual and 2nd place on the team. Her biggest goal this year was to make it to the Wodapalooza Fitness Festival, which she participated in with two other girls from her gym.

When Crystal started getting into the competitive side of the CrossFit training, she realized the importance of nutrition in order to get ahead of other athletes and to optimize her recovery and performance. She slowly started cutting things out of her daily nutrition that she didn’t feel helped her in any way. She omitted gluten, since her boyfriend has celiac disease, and omitted dairy a year ago. Nixing both gluten and dairy though has made it harder to find on-the-go snacks.

Crystal first discovered NuGo gluten-free products at her local supermarket, Big Y, looking for a quick bar to grab. When she couldn’t find anymore of another brand, she saw the NuGo cookies on the shelf and grabbed one to read quick. She was used to seeing protein cookies and knew that most had whey protein or dairy, and she would have to put them back on the shelf. As she read the ingredients on NuGo Protein Cookies, she realized they were perfect and she could eat an entire huge cookie without ruining her entire day of eating! “I just remember going into my training after eating the cookie also and feeling amazing! My boyfriend and I love that we’re both able to eat them and not have to worry about feeling sick, while being fueled for our workouts,” she said.

“I’ve always loved all of the NuGo products, and especially more when I switched over to a dairy-free diet, but when they introduced the protein cookies…I was instantly sold. I buy them almost every day for my pre-workout! I also love the newer egg white protein bars, they’re so delicious for such a simple and clean bar!”

Crystal tries to avoid eating overly sweet foods and she loves oats, so the NuGo protein cookies and bars fit perfectly into what she looks for in an on-the-go treat. She gets to chew a delicious cookie without feeling the grit of sugar in her mouth and without feeling the bad aftereffects. She trains around 5:30-7:30 am so she doesn’t like a heavy breakfast beforehand.

She explained, “I usually enjoy one of the NuGo cookies with my morning coffee about an hour or two before getting to the gym and I stay fueled and full until later on when I’m at work.” She loves eating the NuGo Egg White bars for a mid-day pick me up especially if she goes back to the gym after work. NuGo cookies and bars are also the perfect competition food for her since she doesn’t like eating full meals during them.

Moving forward, her current goals are to enjoy Wodapalooza and try to podium in her team’s division. She would also like to try to push herself to start coaching more. Going into next year, making top 30 for fittest females in CT in the CrossFit opens would be awesome.

Outside of CrossFit training, Crystal is a designer and baker. When she’s not working her full-time job or training, she bakes gluten-free and vegan donuts for a local health store. “I rarely get to eat the incredible baked goods we create, so finding the NuGo Cookies has been huge for me in curbing my sweet tooth while tracking macros,” she said. Follow her on Instagram, her baking Instagram, and her gym’s Instagram.