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Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

Active kiddos - Marathon High Program

Marni Sumbal

A few weeks ago I spoke to a group of half marathon runners in the Jacksonville area on the topic of daily and sport nutrition. This is not my normal crowd as these individuals are not running for PR's...and they are not allowed to drink. Some of them can't even drive yet.

That's right....almost 200 High School kiddos in the Jacksonville area (divided among 5 schools) are training for their first or second half marathon - 26.2 with Donna

If you are not familiar with Marathon High, it is a non profit program that encourages high school students to develop self-respect, confidence and healthy lifestyles through training for and running a 13.1 half marathon. 
Here's a bit more about the program:
"We are a proud partner with the Galloway Training Program and the 26.2 with Donna Foundation. This is a free, after-school running club open to teens of all backgrounds and abilities in grades 9-12. The program is non-competitive, which means speed does not matter. What does matter is showing up, being committed and completing the goal during each training session and on race day.
Marathon High may appear to be all about running, but it's more about the life lessons that happen because of the running. Marathon High is about changing lives, inspiring dreams, and making a difference. It’s about helping teens rise up and become the people they were meant to be. It’s about shifting the way young people think about themselves and their place in the world. And it’s about challenging them to make the “impossible” possible. All while doing something most teens never do: running a half-marathon."
If you'd like to get involved or donate, here's the link w/ more info about the program:  Marathon High - Florida
One of my friends and fellow Oakley Women ambassador (Fitz) has a similar program that she developed called the Morning Mile. Morning mile is "a before-school walking/running program that gives children the chance to start their day in an active way while enjoying fun, music and friends. It’s supported by a wonderful system of rewards, which keeps students highly motivated and frequently congratulated. It’s a proven project geared towards fighting childhood obesity and increasing the physical activity levels of school children nationwide."
I don't think we can disagree that kids need a lot of activity in their life.....and so do adults. When was the last time you said to yourself  "I feel like a kid, I have so much energy!" Or perhaps, maybe you are saying "I wish I was a young again." Either way, there's something to be said by having an indescribable amount of energy and wanting to use it without tracking miles on a Garmin or software program. Why can't we get back to moving the body without a purpose (outside), inventing games that are best played with a healthy imagination and eating until satisfied (even if food is left on the plate) because you are eager to keep on playing until it is time for bed. There is something that is removed from our society....physical activity yet we place blame on so many factors affecting childhood and adult obesity and we have all these ideas as to how we can be a "healthy" society but the bottom line is that we just aren't moving enough....yet we eat (and crave foods) as it we were moving our body all day long.

Even if you exercise daily or train for a sporting event at an age-group level, it is likely that while you are working for 8-10 hours a day, the primary times that you get up out of your chair is to eat or use the restroom. There's a lot of research on sitting too much but I also believe that we would have more energy if we had a balanced lifestyle....good restful sleep, stress management, healthy work and home environments, consistent exercise and a diet to support individual lifestyle, health and performance needs. 
I really enjoyed speaking to the kids about fueling their bodies with foods that would help them get stronger and fitter and keep their bodies healthy as they get older. Although the Marathon High program is not a competitive program, all children like to see improvements - whether it is exercise or learning, it is nice to see hard work be put into action. 
If you have a child who is active (or is trying to become more active) and you feel their eating style can be improved, my best advice is to inspire. Do not speak of food as "healthy" and to categorize food as "good or bad" but instead, show them in a way as to why they should be eating certain foods.
Carbohydrates like grains, starches and fruits and veggies give the body energy and keep the immune system strong to prevent sickness and reduce risk for disease. We want to keep the body in great health so that we can make sure all our dreams come true as we get older.
Proteins like fish, lean meat, beans, lentils, milk, yogurt and tofu/tempeh are all great options to keep the muscles strong and to help with appetite control.
Fats are not bad and can be wonderful for the heart. Without them, food wouldn't taste that good and we would be hungry all day long. Nuts, seeds, oils, avocados and nut butters are a few that can be enjoyed with meals to keep the tummy happy.
To help with energy before workouts, encourage kiddos to have a small pre workout snack - something that will digest well and will not cause stomach discomfort. Keep it simple and easy to consume, like a PB&J sandwich or a small wrap. Other simple options include cheese and crackers and a piece of fruit or yogurt and raisins.
During the workout, kids should emphasize water and encourage kids to stay hydrated all day long.
Post workout, don't let the child "wait" for dinner - have a post workout snack ready such as a chocolate milk (low fat), low fat milk w/ cheerios or a banana with yogurt. Again, be sure the food is tolerable post workout and leaves enough room for the next meal to nourish the body.

As you work on inspiring your children, consider your own personal diet. Consider the snacks you are eating as well as meal time. Is there a connection between your eating habits and energy levels? Do you eat with a plan and a purpose and do you expect willpower to be your #1 reason to stop changing habits? Create a positive food environment and set yourself up for success. 

If you  head over to my website and click on Events & Media, I have a few articles (one featured above) featured in USAT magazine dedicated to active kids. 

Any questions or concerns about kids and nutrition? Feel free to send me an email. 
I would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Oakley Women and Hammer Nutrition for providing all 200 kids with a water bottle (Oakley) to help the kids stay hydrated during all workouts and a few samples of Hammer Nutrition products. I feel 100% comfortable recommending Hammer Nutrition to children who need the added electrolytes and carbohydrates and as a long-time Hammer Nutrition user, I couldn't ask for a better company to help fuel active bodies.