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Greenville, SC

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

Filtering by Category: "oatmeal"

Lately in the off-season - workouts and creations

Marni Sumbal

After a 3-week break from structure and giving my body the rest it needed from triathlon specific training, I am enjoying the transition to structured training. However, there will be no run-blocks in my training, no running races to train for and no extreme changes from "normal" tri training.

I am a triathlete and swim-bike-run is my lifestyle. There's a lot of work to be done this off-season and base period in order to ensure that my body is strong enough to withstand the training and racing load that I choose to put on myself in 2014. This is the time to work on imbalances and weaknesses with the body and to also maintain balance so that I do not peak too early and so I reduce risk for injury and burnout.

In the next week and a half, we will be launching our newest service which is a 5-week Transition Phase triathlon training plan. There will be more on this soon but Karel and I and our athletes will be following a very similar plan to address areas that can make for successful training performances and race day experiences.

The training plan is specific to lung capacity in the pool (and efficiency), power on the bike, form on the run and a heavy emphasis on core/hip/glute work (and plyometrics/cicuit training) as well as flexibility.

Here's a little peak at what my last week consisted of (not including Campy walks) with a few key workouts and yummy creations:

Mon: 6:30-7:45am: 2000 yard swim + 30 min hip/glute/core work
6:30-7:30pm: Yoga at the YMCA with Karel

Tues: 7:15am: 6 mile run (steady with short walking to reduce residual fatigue - first official run since Kona, aside from our run to and from swim start at IMFL. I didn't need to walk but choose to walk). 7:45 min/mile average pace

Wed: 6:30am - 8am - 2500 yard swim + 45 min hip/glute/core and circuit leg/upper body strength
Stretching throughout the day

Thurs: 7:00-8:30am: 1:30 bike (road bike)
Stretching throughout the day

Fri: 6am - 8am - 3000 yard swim + 40 min strength and hip/core work

Sat: 2 hour group ride (on my new Speed Concept)

Sun: 9.2 mile run. 1:11 (8 miles solo, walked every 2 miles to shake out the legs to reduce residual fatigue. The walking wasn't needed but choose to walk. 7:45 min/mile pace. 1 mile with Campy).
Stretching, foam roller, trigger point

Swim main set 2x's:
8 x 50's (25 as few breaths possible, open turn, 25 fast breath as much as you'd like) w/ 30 sec rest
300 steady swim
100 swim w/ pull buoy between ankles to work on core and upper body strength
(1600 main set, warm-up and cool down as needed)

Toasted quinoa and kamut, leftover baked eggplant, zucchini, onion and mushroom, fresh ginger, one scrambled egg, tempeh, spinach, asiago cheese, red pepper flakes and marinara sauce.
-For toasting cooked whole grains, heat skillet to medium heat and drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil and toast grains until crunchy and golden. It gives them great flavor.
Veggies cooked in oven - 425 degrees for up to 35-45 minutes.
Tempeh - can be cooked in oven or skillet until golden brown

2 hour group ride - have fun and don't worry about numbers

For my 1:30 road bike workout on Thurs:
Main set 2x's:
5 x 1 min FAST cadence w/ 1 min EZ spin
Followed by 5 min steady effort
Recover 5 minutes then repeat
(40 min main set)

Oatmeal creation: raspberries, Bosc pears, chia seeds, raisins, almonds and oats.
-I recommend up to 1/2 cup oats (dry) and if you find that oatmeal does not leave you satisfied after 2-3 hours, add a bit more protein such as protein powder, milk or a side of yogurt.
-I recommend add at least 2-3 fruits to your oatmeal for more vitamins and minerals.
-I always add some kind of fat to my oatmeal to slow down digest. Enjoy any nuts or seeds for a little crunch too. 

Key hip/glute/core exercises:
Hip hikes
Bridge (w/ marching)
Planks on side w/ leg lift
Planks on side w/ hip thrust
V-ups or captain chair
Side crunches standing w/ weight
Bench step-ups

 Chocolate cherry sourdough bread (a gift from one of my nutrition athletes from NC) to compliment my plant strong meal of mixed greens, chives, tomatoes, grapes, avocado, sunflower seeds, raisins and cottage cheese (2% Daisy Brand) sprinkled with Parmesan.

As you probably know, I have a new bike in my life....

And I'm really happy about it!

Later next week I will be talking about the specifics of my new bike as well as an overlooked part of getting a new bike....getting a proper fit by an experienced bike fitter/mechanic.
Karel is the owner of the RETUL system and has over 20 years experience with bikes and in the bike industry. I like to call him the Bike Doctor. He knows his stuff and he has been really busy helping athletes around our area with their bikes so I will be talking about the RETUL technology soon which I highly recommend for any triathlete who is looking to reduce risk for injury, gain more power w/ a more comfortable ride and to help run more efficient off the bike. 

Oh, almost forgot.
My weeks are always filled with Campy love. 

Kona IM training update + yummy creations

Marni Sumbal

Wow - 45 days until the big day!! I'm so excited for my 3rd opportunity to race in the Ironman World Championship and I am incredibly grateful to my body for allowing me to have some awesome workouts so quickly after recovering from Ironman Lake Placid (IM #6). 

Last week was very challenging but I allowed myself plenty of rest so that the weekly volume wasn't so high that my immune system, motivation and body would suffer. 

Sunday was a mentally and physically tough workout thanks to Coach Karel for reminding me that you don't get very far without hard work....and you have to get faster before you go longer. 

Saturday: AM 4 hour bike + 45 min run (average pace ~8:15-8:20 min/mile) (brick)
Bike Main set: 
4 x 30 min @ 10-15 watts higher than IM pace w/ 4 min EZ in between

Nothing like a 2 hour and 16 minute main set to keep my mind focused. 

Monday was a day off (+ hip/core work and stretching). 

Tuesday: AM 1:45 bike (trainer) + 6 mile run (+ 1/2 mile campy run) (brick)
Main set 3x's:
5 min @ Z4 watts, 10 min Z3, 5 min Z4
5 min EZ spinning
(another mentally and physically tough workout!)

6 mile run off the bike:
First mile steady, perceived effort 7 out of 10. walk 1 minute.
Main set: 4 x 1 miles at sub 7:30 min/mile pace (Half IM pace) w/ good form w/ 1 min walk in between
(7:22, 7:21, 7:12, 7:18 min/mile)
Cool down + Campy run

Wednesday: AM 1 hour swim + 1 hour run (brick)
Swim: 3100 yards
Main set: (with 1 minute rest in between each set)
4 x 200's w/ 20 sec rest (IM effort)
4 x 100's w/ 10 sec rest (olympic distance effort)
4 x 50s w/ 5 sec rest (fast)
4  25's w/ 5 sec rest (fast)

20 min warm-up (walk as needed to keep good form, slow pace)
Main set (20-60 minutes):
3 min @ marathon goal pace, 2 min @ half marathon goal pace. Straddle treadmill 30 sec, keep repeating until 1 hour.
Total 7 miles with warm-up//cool down 
Stretching + light hip/core work

Body and mind feel healthy and happy. No signs of being run-down, overtrained or injured and I love the balance of training with life. Just enough training stress for my body to adapt but not too much that my life would feel overwhelming with the upcoming IM. I'm looking forward to a bike-only workout tomorrow, long swim on Friday and a solid 3-day weekend of training with focus on intensity and moderate volume (and day off Tues). My first "long" ride after Placid will not occur until Sept 7th and that will be 5 hours. 

I love to keep my body and brain fueled on a daily basis, in addition to fueling before, during and after EVERY workout that I do. No ifs, ands or butts about it...I love to fuel my body when it is under the most physiological stress as my body doesn't need  "extra" fuel when I am sitting around in the evening after dinner from 7-bed (~9;30/10pm) and it rarely asks for it because it received adequate fuel when I want it to adapt to get stronger, faster and healthier. There is no time during my day that I restrict myself from food so I am consciously aware of when my body needs it the most.

Nutty Fruity Oats

Sunflower seeds
Flax seeds
1/2 cup oats
Water (no milk at work)
~10g whey protein powder
(I used a little of everything)

Homemade 90-second popcorn
1/3 kernels in a brown bag and fold over twice and pop for 75-90 seconds.

Cabbage, edamame and quinoa stir fry
Karel's mom's cabbage recipe (steamed cabbage with seasonings)
Edamame (bagged, frozen)
Stir fry - mushrooms, onions, garlic in olive oil with toasted quinoa
(My picture doesn't look that pretty but me an my belly enjoyed it so I wanted to share the wonderful mix of flavors and color). 

Warning: DO NOT EAT this little delicious ball of cuteness. 

Healthy, budget and kid friendly lunch ideas

Marni Sumbal

 First off, a few yummy recent creations from my Facebook page that were enjoyed while working at Baptist Medical Center Beaches last week. Delicious fuel for my body and brain to help me be a great clinical RD to be patients.

                                                       Fruit salad oatmeal

Walnuts and sunflower seeds
Oatmeal (1/2 cup dry)
Water (to meet consistency needs)
~10-15g protein (Whey protein - if I don't add it I'm hungry in an hour)
1 tbsp flax seeds

Yogurt parfait

~4 ounces greek yogurt (Fage 0%)
Granola (a few spoonfuls)
Trail mix (w/ a few M&M's for to make my tummy smile)

I had so much fun on set of News4Jax yesterday, talking about my tips for planning healthy, budget-friendly lunches for kids with Melanie. Here are the two segments: 

Part 1 - Don't make it complicated and Dips

Part 2 - Un-sandwich and creating balanced lunch meals

Pear-berry oatmeal, IM-prep swim set, Trimarni "summer" checklist

Marni Sumbal

Pear-berry oatmeal

1/2 cup oats (dry)
1/2 small pear (chopped)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp (about) red currants (or raisins)
~10g protein powder (optional: whey, vegan, soy -to help slow down digestion and to promote satisfaction for a few hours)
Water or milk to meet consistency needs

1. Mix ingredients together in large tall bowl (Recommend a tall bowl as oppose to a wide bowl which will help prevent spilling over, although watch for rising oatmeal).
2. Add water/milk (liquid) to almost cover the dry ingredients (leave about an inch or so not covered. if not using protein powder, cover 3/4ths dry ingredients)
3.Stir well with a spoon (especially if adding protein powder)
4. Microwave (uncovered) for 1 minute, then stir.
5. Continue to microwave in 45 second intervals until oatmeal meets your consistency needs (it may get more thick the longer you microwave. I like my creamy so I typically microwave around 2:15). 

This morning swim set was the perfect way to start my day before working at the hospital. I followed swim with hip strength which I do 3x's a week (Mon, Wed and Fri) as well as hip work daily (ex. clams, bridges, hip hikes, McKenzie moves). 
This set was exactly what I needed for mind and body to finish another GREAT week of training (can't wait for the weekend!).
 I always feel a boost in swim confidence when I do repeating 100's on a cycle and I have always incorporated them into my IM training for the last 8 weeks or so of my peak training (typically on a Friday either as a short "intense" set or within a longer distance set.
Doing repeating 100's is a great way to increase your anaerobic threshold without compromising form so long as you take advantage of recovery. Depending on your comfort in the water, you may need to lessen the number of 100's that you do. For example, rather than doing 4 x 100's on a cycle like I did, try 2 x 100's trying to keep the same cycle. Then work your way up to 3 and then 4. The key is to make sure you are only resting "just enough" so that you compromise your respiratory system just a bit to raise that threshold. You don't want to fatigue too early in the set so be sure you pace yourself. With this set, you are able to be more consistent as the workout goes on without letting fatigue destroy your form or exhaust you from finishing the set if you were to just swim "fast" for a 2000 or to swim steady and not make progress to getting faster in the water.  In an Ironman you do not have to be "fast", you have to be efficient so if you are new to swimming or uncomfortable in the water, keep on working on your form and endurance and limit the speed work to once a week and within a "short" workout. 

5100 yard IM-prep workout
4 x 500's warm-up (odd swim, even pull w/ paddles - try to be steady on these)
100 backstroke recovery
Main set: 20 x 100's
Perform the main set like this: 4 x 100's with 10 seconds rest (keep the same cycle - for ex. I did these on 1:30 and was holding ~1:18-1:19 per 100), then do 1 x 100 EZ backstroke recovery (take a total of 3 minutes rest OR double your interval for the fast).
Repeat this cycle of 4 x 100's fast, 1 x 100 EZ for four times for a total of 20 x 100's. 
Optional: 500 pull  w/ paddles - work on stretching out the stroke
Optional: 400 choice
100 cool down

Training, exercising or racing this weekend? 

Don't forget your Trimarni checklist for outdoor activities in the heat: 
-Sport drinks w/ carbohydrates (for workouts/exercising over an hour)
-Sunscreen (SPF 30+, broad sp...ectrum)
-Wicking clothing 
-Recovery drink/food
-A smart game plan (adjust intensity as needed)
-Recovery compression/ice

Fueling oatmeal creation, wild rice side dish and pre-race dinner

Marni Sumbal

While at our friends house (Stefanie and Kenny Swanger) from Thursday evening until Saturday (for our race - which I will be writing our race report soon), we enjoyed lots of delicious food creations. Seeing that Stefanie has been a long-time nutrition and coaching athlete, and Kenny is an amazing cook, we are always incredibly spoiled in our belly's when we go to visit them for a race in Georgia.
To start off the morning before a pre-ride warm-up on the Rock N' Rollman race course, we both enjoyed a delicious oatmeal creation. Stefanie and Kenny set up their kitchen like an oatmeal buffet with all the fixings on the counter and us to create something delicious.
I measured out 40grams of oatmeal on their scale (150 calories) to ensure I was getting enough to meet my needs for the morning. I then added 1/2 large banana (sliced) + 3 large strawberries (sliced) and a little each of cinnamon, PB2 (chocolate kind - delicious) and ground flax seeds. I mixed it with milk and just a tad of water and voila - a delicious Trimarni creation. I added some of my homemade trail mix granola (granola + peanuts and sunflower seeds) on top for a little cold crunch on the warm oatmeal. My belly was super happy and it did what it needed to do - it keep me satisfied and fueled for the morning activities.
On Wednesday, I made a trip to Whole Foods to buy several items from bulk (nuts, seeds, granola) for our trip to Macon and as usual, I just love buying whole grains and coming up with a delicious creation for them. The wild rice really caught my eye as it was so beautiful in it's unrefined form. I LOVE wild rice because it has a great nutty taste to it and mixes well in stir fry's or on top of a salad.
Since I was planning to fill our bodies with medicine (salad) that evening as the main part of our meal, I decided to do the rice as a side dish, combined with steamed  broccoli and veggie crumbles and after it was prepared, I topped it with a little asiago cheese. If you are trying to make dietary changes, I encourage you to not try to eliminate food...especially food that can be beneficial to your workout routine and overall health. Wild rice is a good source of carbohydrates to help keep your body energized and without added sodium or preservatives or food coloring, you can't go wrong with this type of carb. It contains protein and dietary fiber to help keep you satisfied. You will never find yourself "missing" out on anything while having a salad as the main part of your meal for having a side dish of whole grains is the best compliment to create a balanced meal - instead of making the "carb" or starch the main part of the meal, which often leads to people blaming "carbs" and starches for weight gain due to oversized portions.  Wild rice also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B9 as well as iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. No need to pop pills when you can get your vitamins and minerals from real food. Plus, I absolutely love cheese that is so tasteful that you only need a little to be satisfied. Asiago cheese does just that as you can't eat a lot of it at once for it has just enough salt taste to cure your cravings and it is so delicious that you have no choice but to savor a little of it.
For cooking rice, you want to first rinse the rice. Generally, the ratio is 1 cup of rice + 3 cups of water. Boil the rice over high heat. Once the water level drops and the rice is visible, turn the heat to low and allow the rice to steam for 30 to 45 minutes. I usually keep my rice covered while cooking.

For serving sizes as a side dish, I recommend 1/2 - 1 cup of rice + ~1/2 cup veggie crumbles (or around 2 ounces protein of your choice) + broccoli (your choice of amount)  + 2 thin slices of asiago cheese.
For our pre race dinner at the Swangers, we kept it light and simple. Easy to digest, delicious and the right balance to keep us fueled for race day (Especially with a 4am wake up call).
When I work with athletes on race week/day nutrition as well as sport nutrition for training, it's important that I recognize that every athlete is different. We all train for different events at different intensities and our bodies are unlike our training buddies. Nerves, stress and sleep can all affect appetite and your relationship with food and individual fitness needs can also affect your dietary choices. Therefore, although the science is there in terms of how to eat before a race, I don't believe that there is a cause and effect - one size fits all (especially when research is often in a controlled setting) with how you eat before a race and how you will perform on race day. There are things to reduce (fat/fiber) as well as emphasize (carbs with a little protein) but in terms of what you choose to eat, this will always vary. My pre-race, happy tummy meal always includes a sweet potato and veggies and a little protein. I do bread and rice as well on the day before the race if it is available.
Kenny prepared chicken for Karel as well as all the other items on my plate. It was so absolutely delicious!

-Sautéed asparagus and mushrooms with sesame seeds (thinking back, every time I Have had asparagus before a race, I have done very well - perhaps my new good-luck food :).
-Hard boiled egg and cottage cheese - for protein.
-Salad with bell peppers and avocado with a little shredded cheese - topped with balsamic and olive oil.
-Sweet potato with cinnamon and a little butter.
-Sliced potatoes (Karel isn't a sweet potato lover like me so he typically does white potato or rice pre-race but I am happy to enjoy both).
I finished the dinner satisfied, around 6:30pm and felt energized and ready for a good night sleep before the race.

Eat like me - I'm a RD!

Marni Sumbal

This morning at work, while enjoying my delicious blueberry loaded oatmeal (w/ coconut shavings, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, chia seeds, a little whey protein and milk) and looking at my patients charts before seeing patients in the hospital, a nurse walked into our charting room and looked over at me and said "What are you eating?"

I smiled and told her what was in my yummy creation and her response was "Sounds interesting. I should eat like you. I always want to know what dietitians eat 'cause they are always so skinny."

Ahem. Skinny?


I politely smiled and said nothing although in a nice way, I assured her that I do not eat to be "skinny" by telling her how yummy my oatmeal was and how easy it was to make - hopefully she is inspired now.

Healthy - absolutely. Strong - yep. Fueled - without a doubt. 

This assumption has happened to me several times in the past for I guess if your profession revolves around teaching people how to eat, what to eat and why to eat, I guess it is important to lead by example.

But regardless if you are in a health-related field, shouldn't we all be proud of how we eat and are we quick to judge a person's health simply by a body composition or what we see them eat every now and then?

As an athlete, it would be no surprise for me to say that my health status is best represented by my actions - physical and daily.

I feel that no matter what you do in life, you are constantly judged when it comes to food. Maybe not all the time but how you look, how you act, how you perform and how you live all relates back to food. Nothing wrong with enjoying food but many people take it overboard. There is more obsessing and talking than doing.

I don't enjoy being in a food lecture when I eat. Do you like to be around people who tell you about bad food, what diet they are on and how awful they felt after they were bad last night. Of course, you may not want to be around those people while you are enjoying your meal (that makes YOU feel good) so rather than lecturing about food,  try to inspire. When I work with individuals who desire a change in eating, it is not my "job" as a RD to tell others how to eat in order to eat like me. There's a lot of research out there as to how to eat but if you are unable to connect healthy eating with healthy living, what's the point in following a diet plan or having an off-limit food list?

I feel we all need to re-discover the enjoyment with eating. The pleasure, the nourishment and the fuel that comes with meal time. I suppose I am doing my "job" well as an RD for I am living an active and healthy lifestyle that is supported by a plant strong diet but I hope that I am not being judged by my body composition as if the way I look is a representation as to what is required by my professional role. 

I am healthy. Not as a RD, but as a health conscious, active individual. My health is not determined by a number on a scale and certainly I am not "skinny" for I have jiggle just like the rest of the women out there who don't choose to restrict food and aim for perfection. I love my life and my diet keeps me active, it keeps me well and it keeps me happy.

Moments like this remind me why I love what I do. I get to help people in many different settings  - from athletes racing to finishing lines, to health-focused individuals and to patients in the hospital in order to help others live a more balanced lifestyle. I get to improve the quality life of others because we all know we have no guarantees in life so why not enjoy every day that happens, when it happens.

Because everyone is looking for tips and suggestions on weight loss and "getting healthy", I thought I'd share a great read from the March 2013 issue of Environmental Nutrition: 

Top Eight Cancer Findings of 2012
The American Institute for Cancer Research released the top 8 scientific findings in 2012 that advanced the field of cancer prevention.

1. Pancreatic Cancer is preventable - a healthy weight can prevent 19% of pancreatic cancer cases.
2. Exercise helps cancer survivors - physical activity in cancer patients helps improve function, quality of life, body weight, strength and fatigue.
3. Soy is safe, despite previous warnings - breast cancer patients and survivors can safely eat moderate amounts of soy. 
4. Inactivity is harmful - sedentary lifestyle causes 10% of both breast cancers and colon cancers. 
5. Lightening our heavy nation - 2/3rds of adults are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of seven cancers.
6. Sugary drinks linked to weight increase - regular consumption of sugary beverages contributes to weight gain. 
7. Losing weight to lower risk - losing weight can reduce chronic inflammation, which is linked to some cancers. 
8. How to keep weight off - adding vegetables and fruits is the single most effective strategy for long-term weight loss. 

So in other words - no need to eat like me. Hopefully I can inspire you to love your life and the food you choose to put in your body. Use your body, love your body and respect your body. It's your life - live it and love it!