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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

Filtering by Category: "dessert"

Sweet and spicy wraps

Marni Sumbal

I guess I should follow up with my previous blog topic when I discussed Karel feeling "off" on Tues. Well, after a massage on Tues and a meeting with his sport nutritionist/chef (aka ME), Karel was physically feeling much better after he got off work on Tues as his mind was never "off" and he still had motivation but just couldn't find that extra gear in his legs. After a great night of sleeping on Tuesday, he was looking forward to a perceived exertion mid-week "long" ride on Wednesday, followed by a short run (his day off from work since he works Saturday's). 

On Wednesday we left our place early in the morning for a 3 hour ride and as we neared 30 minutes, I knew something wasn't right.....Karel was feeling good. Actually, more than good. 

Not even looking at his power meter and simply going by perceived exertion, Karel was "dancing" on his peddles as I was thinking to, if I could only have a RPE ride averaging 22-23mph!

After ~3 hours and around 64-65 miles, we arrived back at home and he went for a 4 mile "go by feel" run...I walked Campy around the block.
I, on the other hand, did not have the day off work (not sure I ever do as a small business owner), as I needed to get to work (home office) and I was glad to skip a run off the bike because my body was not expecting Karel's "steady" pace on Wed. I suppose I secretly like it when Karel has "off" days but then again, I can't get faster and stronger if I am not being pushed. Thanks Karel for bouncing back as if you never had an "off" legs thank you for that ride. 

So to return the favor as I always do, I thanked Karel for letting me discover a new limit with my cycling by preparing a delicious "light" meal on Thursday evening. I took Thursday easy and only swam in the morning - although a 4800 and a great main set solo and then with Karel (I helped him pace 4 x 400's at his IM pace). 

After Karel got home from an evening 1:20 run on Thursday, I decided he needed something light on the stomach to ensure that he could refuel but still get a good night of rest. I made a smoothie earlier that morning so I froze ~16 ounces of it for Karel for the evening knowing he would be doing an evening workout. 

Dinner was super easy to prepare and deliciously tasty.


 I loved the flavors of the spicy wrap and Karel yummed his way through the dessert wrap. I hope you enjoy and feel free to modify to create your own spicy and sweet wraps/ 

Mexican wrap
1 wrap
Mixed greens
Spreadable cheese (I used farmers cheese) - you can also use avocado, hummus or any spread
1 egg +1 egg white (scrambled with a dallop of greek yogurt) - I did this in the microwave, on intervals of 45 seconds, scrambling every 45 seconds with a fork. 
Black beans
Green bell pepper

Dessert wrap1 wrap
Orange slices (you could do any fruit that you like to pair with chocolate - apples, pears, banana or pineapple would go great!)
2 dark chocolate hershey kisses (or any chocolate of your choosing) - melt chocolate (unwrapped) on wrap in microwave on plate for ~45-90 seconds until slightly melted. Quickly spread with knife before chocolate cools and gets clumpy.

(You can use any wrap of your choosing OR you can make your own "wrap" by using your favorite pancake recipe/batter and making it a light consistency by adding extra water and then cooking on skillet to make a very large, thin pancake)

Sweet treats for the holidays

Marni Sumbal

I am not a baker but every now and then I put on my "dessert" apron in order to come up with a sweet treat creation. OK - so my creations are not that impressive and I wouldn't go so far as to call it "baking" but one of the best parts of making desserts is sharing the treats with others. I also believe that if I am going to make a dessert for someone else to enjoy, it better be enjoyed by all - including myself. I realize many people make desserts and never eat them because they are 'not healthy' but I don't understand the reasoning behind that - why would you serve something to others that you wouldn't enjoy? I feel that the better logic is to make sure that your portion at home is not too overwhelming that you feel triggered to eat that food morning, noon and night. Keep in mind that if you eat well most of the time, you don't have to worry about the rest of the time. Through a balanced diet and a healthy relationship with food, you will learn that when you emphasize the food that nourishes your body and fuels your lifestyle, there just isn't enough room for the rest of the stuff that is typically de-emphasized in the diet. Thus, you can still enjoy and not feel guilty when eating the occasional food but certainly, those first few bites should taste amazing because it is a special treat and perhaps that's all you need to feel satisfied after your meal.

For a sweet holiday gift, how about trying my chocolate drizzled popcorn. It's a very easy creation that is quick to make and super yummy to eat. I made some for the dietitians at Baptist South today since I was asked to work there today. Next week I will be at Baptist Beaches. I also made some for the employees at the Trek Store - hopefully to keep their bellies happy as they sell lots of bikes to bike-lovers, both young and old.

                                                           Chocolate drizzled popcorn
2 tbsp kernels (per person)
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
Sea salt
1. In brown paper lunch bag, place kernels (2 tbsp). Fold top over 2 times leaving plenty of room for the kernels to pop. Microwave for 2 minutes or until kernels stop popping. Empty popcorn into a large bowl to remove unpopped kernels.
2. Transfer 1/2 popcorn (without unpopped kernels) to a large shallow dish (a baking dish will work fine).
3. Microwave chocolate for 2 minutes in small bowl, stir w/ fork. If chocolate is not easy to stir, add a little water. If needed, microwave an additional 30 sec until chocolate is soft and is slightly dripping from spoon - it may be clumpy.
4. Drizzle chocolate on popcorn and wipe fork on popcorn to lightly cover the kernels. You will get a little messy doing this so make sure your hands are clean.
5. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt (or a few turns of the sea salt shaker).
6. Repeat w/ the remainder of the popcorn on top of the drizzled popcorn - this will help w/ even coating of the chocolate. May need to add a little water (1 tsp) and reheat for 15-20 seconds.
7. Place in refrigerator for 5 minutes to let the chocolate cool.
8. Place into zip lock baggies or bins and decorate as you wish (I added a silver ribbon the side).

My next creation was created for my Plate Not Pills monthly column for LAVA Magazine. I wanted to do a "dessert" for the holidays and with vitamin E as my key nutrient, I decided to come up with a sunflower creation.

Sunflower granola nuggets

This is one of my favorite creations I have ever  made and because it makes 22 nuggets, you can crumble a few of them to make your own homemade granola. These would make for a perfect after school snack for the kiddos, a sweet guilt-free treat after a meal or a perfect holiday gift or dessert at a party.

Makes 22 nuggets
¼ cup sunflower oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/8 cup water
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 cup oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup your choice crunchy cereal
¼ tsp salt
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two non-stick cookie sheets with a little nonstick spray.
2. Combine wet ingredients in small bowl and dry ingredients in large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a fork until evenly combined.
4. Roll or spoon golf-ball sized cookie dough onto the cookie sheets.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the bottom of each nugget becomes slightly golden brown.
(if your nuggets crumble while eating, not to worry. Enjoy your sunflower granola!)

Nutrition facts (per 1 nugget): 72 calories, 4 g fat, 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 62 mg sodium, 2 g protein, 1.13 mg vitamin E

Fruit pizza and recent training update

Marni Sumbal

And you thought muffins were my only baking creation? Ok, so it's nothing spectacular to look at it but sure does taste delicious!!! Who loves fruit pizza???
One of my favorites for a party or a holiday, I love making fruit pizza with seasonal fruits. This is a super easy dessert that is always a crowd pleaser. Of course, we all know that if it has fruit in the name, it has to be healthy right??? :)
3/4th -1 package chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough (depending on the size of your round baking dish)
Seasonal fruit (I recommend 3-4 options, chopped) - I used canned pineapple, pears, apple. If you use banana, be aware the banana will brown w/ leftovers (however leftovers are the best with this recipe!)
Optional: raisins, cranberries (as pictured), nuts, seeds
Whipped cream cheese (plain) or strawberry

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray pan with non stick spray.
3. Gently press cookie dough in pan to form a small layer (about the size of two tic-tacs on each other) - use a clean palm of your hand for pressing (have the kiddos help with this).
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown on edges (you want to remove when tough is still a little soft as it will firm-up when you let it cool). Do not cook as recommended on package, that will burn the "pizza".
5. Let pizza cool for 5-10 minutes. When cool, spread a light layer of cream cheese on pizza and top with seasonal (and/or canned) fruit.
After a needed 2-3 week break from my triathlon season, I always welcome a change of pace for a few months in order to remove myself from structured triathlon training. Over the past few years, I have welcomed my "unstructured structured" phase of training to include emphasis on running speed which includes 3 runs a week dedicated to training for one or two upcoming running races. As a pro-active triathlete, I am always thinking ahead not only with goals in mind but also what can I do to keep myself healthy and strong year-round. Lessons learned along the way but for the past two years, I spend a lot of my "training" energy on stretching, strength training, recovery and cross training in order to keep myself consistent with training. Learning from mistakes and thinking before I act, I have been able to be extremely consistent with training over the past two years and I feel my body is in a great place as I gear up for my 6th Ironman in July. Thinking ahead, it's not the distance that I think about when it comes to an Ironman because I don't do fear-based training. I know I can do the distances so my goal is to get stronger, more efficient, more economical and faster as an athlete. That means training smarter not further and making sure my body will respond to training stress over the next year, the year after, etc.

Although I love learning as I go, I believe my balanced approach to training which includes training hard and recovering harder prevents me from experiencing burnout, fatigue and injury. On the flip side, however, having specific intense and hard workouts keeps me motivated to see what my body is capable of achieving on a daily basis.
Since I am only running about 3.5-4 hours a week (25-30 miles/week) which includes running w/ walk intervals (for all my runs), I still swim twice a week (W, F) with my Master's Swim team and join the lodge ride in Nocattee on Saturday (around 52 miles round trip) which is fast and a lot of fun. Strength training includes primarily hip and core strength on W/F and lots of stretching morning and night. Depending on the week, I may do a tempo short swim (around a mile) on Monday but the past two weeks I have enjoyed having a full day off from training. Oh, and then there are lots of Campy walks and "sprint" runs around the block when I finish my run. Karel has been pacing me for the past two weeks for my long run which has been very helpful for my pacing. It hurts in a good way and I don't appreciate the progress I am making until the run is finished and I can analyze my logs.

So, what's all this hard work going toward??
This weekend I will be racing a local 10K with Karel and on December 16th I will be racing in the Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon.

 The training has been intense over the past few weeks and I'm excited to see if I can get closer to my BIG running goals. One would think that the upcoming races will show off training from the past month of run-specific training but as an athlete, I believe we bank fitness year after year, month after month and race after long as the training is consistent and we keep having fun in our individual journey. Never stop performing beautifully.

When it comes to setting goals for sports/fitness, I believe we should all set realistic, yet challenging goals. Although seasonal goals will keep an athlete motivated throughout a season, I personally enjoy having long-term goals that keep me entertained on the possibility of achieving something beyond my capability at that moment in time. For the past few years, I have challenged my body to running a sub 1:30 half marathon and a sub 40 minute 10K. Earlier this year I broke 20 minutes in a 5K which hurt....bad. I love having a triathlete's body and toeing the line with "runners". I am not afraid to fail and as I have mentioned before I need faster athletes around me to help me reach my full potential. Although in triathlons, I am rarely set on a finishing time, there's something to be said about working so hard for a time in a running race. Picking the right race is important, the weather has to be ideal and the competition should be fierce. Will all things considered, I feel we can all reach goals or inch our way closer to the goals. Remember, some progress is better than no progress.
Half Marathon
12/16/2012 Jax Bank Half Marathon - 1:??:??
11/24/2011 Subaru Half Marathon - 1:31.51
12/19/2010 Jax Bank Half Marathon  - 1:32.34
11/28/2008 Outback Half Marathon - 1:36.30

10K11/17/2012 Mandarin 10K - ??:??
11/14/2011 Rotary 10K - 40.06
4/4/2009 Iron Girl 10K - 45.27
11/15/2008 Mandarin 10K - 45.08
Are you a goal setter? What's your BIG racing goal that seems so impossible but you are willing to work hard in order to achieve it? Or, did you recently achieve your BIG goal?

Zucchini Carrot Muffins

Marni Sumbal

I didn't want you all to have to wait for my Oh-so-delicious muffins to fuel your lifestyle and workout routine. Just enough sweetness from the veggies without sacrificing any flavor by using very little sugar. I went into this recipe semi-blind as to what I would add as I was "creating" this recipe in my mixing bowl...but when analyzing the nutrition facts with my diet analysis software program (as a request by my neighbor who wanted to know what he was eating when I told him I made him "healthy" muffins - Yes, I am known as the "healthy" one by my non-tri friends around where I live and all our neighbors think we are crazy, getting up early, running with campy and riding in cold weather - but it's all in good fun!) when looking at the nutrition facts, I was pleased to see how balanced these muffins turned out!
I am so excited to share this recipe and enjoy these muffins on the way down South to Delray Beach. Often, Karel's riding buddies want to know how Karel continues to ride strong with a plant-strong diet. Simple. Real food is emphasized most of the time, we allow food to fuel our workouts and lifestyle and when training stops, we are both mindful as to the other areas in his life that make for a balanced life.

Pizza, Salad and Muffins. My kind of balance :)

Kashi mediterranean pizza (first time I tried it) - topped with extra tomatoes and onion
Side - oven-baked cauliflower (cooked cauliflower in microwave on vegetable setting. Cut into pieces and tossed with olive oil. Seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and chili spices)

Beautiful salad - strawberries, dark greens, peanuts, carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery

Zucchini Carrot Muffins
1/3 cup soy flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
Dash of cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chocolate chips

1/3 cup unsweet applesauce
1 cup shredded carrots (or 1 large carrot)
1 cup zucchini (shredded) (or 1 large zucchini)
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray non stick muffin tin with non stick spray.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Evenly combine.
3. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl. Mix together.
4. Add wet to dry and stir until flours are well combined.
5. Scoop a little less than 1/3 cup in each muffin tin.
6. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until top of muffin is peaked and firm.

Nutrition facts:
Serving Size 1
Serves: 12

Calories: 105
Carbs: 15g
Fat: 3.75g
Cholesterol: 35 mg
Sugar: 4g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 4g
Sodium: 193mg

Yumlicious Zucchini bread and tofu, pepper stir-fry

Marni Sumbal

Not too long ago, I was eating lunch at work in the hospital and someone asked me what was in my salad. I absolutely love sharing my ingredient creations with others at lunch, but never do I assume the role as the food police.

When becoming a RD, I didn't earn my credential to tell people the right way to eat or what foods are bad. Perhaps for some professionals, they feel the most appropriate way to change habits is to tell people what not to do. But, in my opinion, success with my clients come when they are motivated to change and become mindful of their actions, regardless if those actions result in positive outcomes or require a little reflection and room for improvement. By inspiring others, people are more likely to change and to want to change, with longer lasting results.

Throughout my own journey of life (thus far) and learning how to help others develop a healthy relationship with food, it's easy to question your own actions/habits particularly if you are always comparing yourself to others. Whether you are eating meals with friends, training with others, reading blogs, reading books/magazines or browsing the web and facebook, it is important to feel inspired by others but to always keep the attention and focus, on yourself.

When making creations or working on my training plan for triathlons or running events, I am not too concerned as to what everyone is doing. In regard to my lifestyle, not only do I have my own personal goals that only I can accomplish (perhaps with the help of others) but my lifestyle is dependent on how I choose to live my life and most importantly, how I go about finding the best balance.

There are so many ways to train for an athletic event, become more physically fit or eat for body composition changes or eat for health. There are hundreds of experts, thousands of tips and millions of different people in this world. What makes life so special is that you are responsible for you and only you. If you have a family, work for someone or others rely on you for whatever reason, it is still up to you to keep your body functioning at an optimal level in order to respond to the actions of others and to make your life as profitable as possible.

When making my dinner last night, I couldn't help but smile as to how yummy this meal turned out. Once again, a few "on my gosh!" came out of my mouth as I was eating this meal with Karel. With many zucchini bread creations, this one is the winner. With value placed on my training as well as on my diet, I try to be very mindful of lifestyle so that I am not just a passenger in my own ride of life. I love being the driver and feeling control over my actions. By developing a healthy relationship with food, there's never a time when food becomes "bad" or the human body becomes worthless. YIKES - I could never imagine talking about my body as being "worthless!?!?" Secondly, there is no right way to train for an athletic event or improve fitness but rather the best way for you at this point in your life. Although we all strive to be better and to embrace challenging situations, the focus is always on seeing yourself grow as an athlete and to be patient with training and physiological adaptations.

I hope you feel inspired by my latest recipe as it was super delicious! A conventional dinner? Probably not. But take away the voices from the celebrities, the experts who tell you how to "eat this, not that", all the research studies and what your friends/training partners are doing and, perhaps you may find yourself taking a bit more time to prepare your own creations and being proud (and appreciative) of the way that you are choosing to live your life.

Feel like you aren't living your life like you should? Overtrained, do you have an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise, do you struggle with feeling hungry all day, do you need help creating a balanced training plan? Contact me ....I'm here to help and to be your guide.
If you keep doing the same things, you should expect to receive the same results. It's up to you as to whether or not those results and actions are helping you meet your ultimate short and long term goals.

My best-ever Zucchini bread!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar. Brown sugar is sugar w/ molasses and tends to hold a little more water than white sugar. But no signficant nutrition or calorie difference.
2 cup zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
1 cup carrot (1 large carrot)
1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp rum extract
1 egg

1/8 cup chopped almonds (optional, your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
3. Combine all wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
4. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Add nuts.
5. Poor into non-stick glass casserole dish (or other dish), which is sprayed with non-stick spray or rubbed with oil.
6. Bake for 30-40 min or until top is firm and toothpick comes out clean in center of bread.

*THESE ARE SO GOOD! Perfect for kids, breakfast or a snack with just enough sweetness but packed with vitamins and minerals. YUM!

Nutrition info:
Servings: 20 squares
Serving size: 1 square
77 calories
3.4g fat
10g carbs
2.45g protein
1.45g fiber
4.8g sugar
78mg sodium

Tofu, pepper stir fry
Firm tofu
Red and green bell pepper
Ginger (2 tsp fresh, chopped)
Grapeseed oil

1. On a non stick pan, cook garlic, tofu and peppers in 1 tbsp oil until soft, on medium heat.
2. Add sliced/chopped tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Stir to prevent sticking.
3. Season with your choice seasoning and add in spinach. Toss and turn off heat.
4. Cover pan and let sit for 5 minutes.

LOVE to Brownie Thins!

Marni Sumbal

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha

I have learned to love myself on a daily basis, just like I love others, by embracing a positive attitude and being grateful for what my body allows me to do. I believe it is much more difficult to debate, criticize, blame and complain when you can simply love, smile, think positive thoughts and spread joy to others.

While researching for a great amount of time on my latest topic for LAVA magazine, I couldn't help but think about my power to educate others as a health and fitness professional. The simple choice as a passionate individual would be to write about topics that I know and feel comfortable discussing. But perhaps that is why so many people are confused as there is too much chatter from passionate individuals and not enough time spent on putting the pieces together. As a licensed dietitian, my service to you is to make sure that you are reading reliable, practical and sound advice that you can apply to your every-day lifestyle. I am not here to confuse you, mislead you or overwhelm you and my goal is never to "lecture" to you. I take my job very seriously, whether I am writing an article, speaking or providing nutrition consultations via the web on my website

Despite reading research, I also find it important to embrace my philosophy of balance, finding the best way for each individual to merge diet and fitness into complete balance.

I am very excited to share my latest article on Magnesium with you as I feel it is such an overlooked nutrient in the every day diet. I expect to see more research and more press-related information on the importance of dietary magnesium, in the next few years. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email (there are no silly questions, especially when it involves your health).

After you read the article, click on the link to see my delicious Brownie Thin recipe. A perfect treat for Valentines day as well as a feel-good chocolate "fix" snack for any day of the week. Enjoy!

Plates Not Pills: Magnesium : LAVA Magazine