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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: "fitness tip"

What to do when your workout doesn't workout

Marni Sumbal




Karel and I have always been active....although I think we had our priorities different when it came to bike riding. Since when did it become uncool to ride your bike without a stuffed animal?

One of the best parts about sharing an active lifestyle with someone else is seeing each other grow in a sport (or with fitness). We all have great workouts now and then but not always are they shared with others.

The other day, Karel had an "off" day on the bike. We did a swim+ bike workout and although he had an amazing workout in the pool, he just had no power in legs on the bike. Rather than try to push through it, I continued on with the workout as planned and Karel did his own thing which involved soft pedaling and a little drafting off my wheel. We all have those days when we feel a little "off" but knowing how to handle those days may be different for all of us. Since Karel and I coach ourselves, it is easy to modify workouts on a whim although making smart choices as athletes is not always easy (hence why it is important to have a coach, even if it is your significant other as we all need someone to tell us when to "rest" and not push through).

So what should you do if your workout is just not working out? Here are a few of my tips as to how to bounce back from an "off" day.

Nutrition
If you are having a nutrition-related "off" day, identify what went wrong. Generally, going long hours without eating, overeating a large portion (or late at night), eating a large amount of processed food or skimping on balanced meals can contribute to feel "off". Certainly, this is why it is so important to address the daily diet when it comes to performance/fitness as food is our fuel.

Sport Nutrition
If you are having a sport-nutrition-related "off" day, address what foods/products are not working for you. Maybe it is the intensity/duration or workout or maybe a food isn't sitting right. Generally, it is recommended to reduce fat/fiber before a workout  to help with digestion and be sure to drink water to promote digestion/absorption of nutrients before and during the workout. Many times, athletes under-fuel during workouts so it is important to recognize the importance of sport nutrition before, during and after workouts when your body is under the most training stress.

Sleep
If there is one area in your life to blame for feeling tired while working out, it is not getting enough restful sleep. Although exercise is important on a daily basis, one should never skimp on sleep just to workout early in the morning (or late at night). Try to create an exercise/training schedule that allows for a restful night of sleep most days a week. For many people, 7-8 hours is the magic number which may mean going to bed a little earlier or cutting a workout short a little in order to get to work on time in the morning.

Stretching/flexibility/strength training
Although stretching and strength training can certainly enhance workouts by encouraging strong muscles to move in their full range of motion, strength training should only enhance your cardio routine. Be sure to allow adequate rest after strength training so that you are not sabotaging good form while training during cardio. Also, make time for stretching post workout and include a dynamic warm-up before working out. Many times, the body just needs to wake up and get the blood flowing so before counting yourself out of a workout, be sure to actively warm-up.

Pump yourself up
A good song, a good quote, a call from a friend/family member. There are many ways to turn an "off" day into a great day. Try to see if you can bring yourself into a positive state of mind before working out as many times we can allow stress, emotions and thoughts to keep us from working out when we all know that we are always one workout away from a great mood.

Modifying workouts
I have a suggestion to everyone in that all you have to do is think small when working out. Whether you are having a hard time getting motivation, nervous about your training workout or feeling tired, just tell yourself that all you have to do is workout/exercise for 10 minutes. If you can at least get yourself started, more often than not you will find yourself working out longer than planned. If you aren't feeling it by 20 minutes, just call it a day or if anything, just go for a walk. Lastly, we all need to know how to make progress with fitness. Many times, saying "I can't" will keep you in the same place. To move yourself forward, how about modifying your workout. If you planned to run, just walk. If your workout called for intervals, reduce the intensity. Make progress, don't aim for perfection.

Keep it fun
Don't forget your goals or reasons for working out. I love to train for triathlons but I really love to exercise. I just love using and moving my body so anytime I am not "feeling it" (which is not that often thanks to a balanced training plan with quality workouts), I just feel grateful that I am moving my body.

Forget the gadgets
Ever see a kid running with a garmin while playing tag? Sometimes you just have to have fun and that means going by perceived exertion. It may be helpful to have gadgets with you to reflect on the workout but don't worry about pace, time, HR, speed, etc. Just enjoy your time out with your body.

Rest and recovery
A massage can be a beautiful thing. Karel and I get massages 2-3 times  a month as part of our pre-hab. It is very important to me that with all the work I do with my body, that I keep it as healthy as possible with recovery and sometimes I can't do that alone. We have amazing sport massage therapists in our life which are worth the money. Other methods of recovery include trigger point, foam rolling, compression, espon salt, compex, sport legs, arnica cream and simple rest and relaxation with a clear mind.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Don't let an "off" day ruin your week. Be appreciative of the progress you have made and keep your eyes on where you are heading. If you are having trouble getting the motivation you need to get started, send me an email. I have pre-built run/tri plans available if you need something to help you stay consistent or we can discuss your missing link in your diet/fitness routine.

Happy training/exercising.


Tips for an active and healthy lifestyle

Marni Sumbal

 
Thanks to Oakley Women and Shape Magazine, I was able to have an amazing venue to speak about topics that have changed my life. Because "healthy" can be a word that is often overused and not clearly defined in our society, I enjoy helping others live a more balanced lifestyle.
 
In San Diego, Boulder and DFW, I spoke to over 600 women (combined) for over 6 hours (total) and loved every minute of it. When you are passionate about something, it is easy to talk about. But when you can practice what you preach, it is easy to communicate to others with happiness, joy and satisfaction that the lifestyle that you live is so amazing that you hope that others can share it with you. Sure, this can be taken out of context as many people strive for a lifestyle that is unrealistic, extreme and often, unhealthy but I feel that to be healthy, you have to be happy. Sadly, as many people go about changing habits, they are not happy and feel that only the end result will bring happiness. With tomorrow being my golden birthday (wow - turning 31!!) I can only think back to the last year and smile when I think about all that has happened, thanks to a balanced life. Living a healthy life is not about a number on a scale, sticking to a certain diet or bragging about how many hours of weekly exercise you can do. Living a healthy life is about your quality of life and I hope my 7 top tips for balanced living, help jump start or enhance your journey to an active and healthy lifestyle.
 
 
Keep in mind that it's not about how well you balance everything on your plate but instead, making sure everything you do has a purpose and brings meaning to your one and only life. You don't have to be perfect or be like others. It's better to be really awesome and great at a few things (and spend the time working on being great) than to be OK at a lot.
 



1) Develop a mindful eating plan– Eat with attention and intuition. Does anyone not like to eat? Eating mindfully means that you don’t feel guilty when you eat and you always feel better after you eat than before. To eat mindfully - you have to eat! Aim for 3 balanced meals a day to nourish your body and then snack wisely. Snacks should serve 3 purposes: to fill in nutritional gaps between meals, to control blood sugar and to honor hunger.
 
2) Train smarter to train harder – You don’t have to be a triathlete, training for an Ironman to be "healthy". You also don't have to be  a "runner". Recognize the difference between training for an event and exercising. Remove the pressure that you have to do x workouts a week and for x-minutes a day and just focus on ways that you can move your body more - athlete or fitness enthusiast. In addition to your current cardio routine, I recommend to strength train 2-3 times per week, add in yoga, cross training and flexibility work. Also, if you own a GPS –HR enabled device, be sure you know how to use it for consistent training? Take advantage of gadgets, equipment and anything else that will take the guessing away from working out and will help with more consistent performance gains. Thus, training harder by training smarter. Focus on quality workouts, not quantity. For more info, read here for an article I did on training smarter.

3) Develop a positive relationship with food and the body – Consider this example. I bring Campy into the vet and put him on the scale. He has gained 5 lbs and in disbelief, out-loud I complain "uggh, how disgusting". The vet, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be concerned as he is telling me how healthy Campy is, how strong his bones are, how he has a good heart beat and that he is really fit and happy. However, I hear nothing of how "healthy" he is because I am obsessed with that number on the scale. So, as a result, I think about how I can get that weight off...quickly. Detox, cleanse, over-exercise, restrict his food.....Should I exercise him obsessively during the day? Should I cut out carbs and his calories? Should I not take him to the doggy park because they other doggies are going to notice his extra wiggle and talk about how bloated he looks? Should I put him on detox for 5 days?
Certainly, I'd never do that (I only give him lots and lots of kisses because he gives me unconditional love every day) but that just sounds like crazy talk, right? But what about you all or someone you know. Do you let a household appliance tell you how your day is going to go? Are you going to let numbers tell you how to eat, how to exercise and how to act for the day....do you let a number run and ruin your day and affect your self worth? Certainly the scale can be a positive thing but for many, it is used irresponsibly. 

I want everyone to designate at least 2 rooms of your house (the bedroom and kitchen) where you avoid using words like bad, off-limit, restricted, cheat, fat, skinny, gross..  Stop counting calories, see food for nutritional value and give your body a little credit for what is allows you to do on a daily basis like crossing finishing lines and being productive at work. Every time you look at your body - thank it, don't bash it.


(Campy says he doesn't care how much you weigh.....he has a lot of love to give and doesn't judge people by a number on a scale. I agree.)

4) Welcome change by relying on the power of goal setting – Do you  like change? Change can be scary and it can be exciting. One of my favorite quotes is "if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you." If you have goals in your life, don’t wait until tomorrow as there is no perfect time to get started. Set 3 short and long term goals, in the areas of lifestyle, exercise and nutrition to keep you motivated and excited to wake up every morning wanting to see what you are capable of achieving by the end of the day. Life doesn't always get easier, you just discover new limits.
 
5) Think beyond diet and exercise: work on sleep, stress and attitude management.– Everyone wants to blame diet and exercise when it comes to "health" and there's always a quick diet and exercise fix/fad to help us be "healthy". As an athlete and coach, I know that there are many variables that affect performance and to be a good athlete, you can’t just focus on the miles or a perfect nutrition plan.  For a balanced lifestyle, focus on the other variables in your life that can affect your health. Aim for a restful night of sleep most days of the week and surround yourself with people who give you energy and not take it away from you. You can't avoid stress but you can know how to deal with it with an action plan. Make time for you, don’t be afraid to say no and make your health a priority.
 
6) Prioritize a real food diet.  In my mind, one of the most important components of living an active and healthy lifestyle is to create a balanced eating plan that prioritizes “real” food. The keys to longevity are not special K bars, coconut ice cream, kale and chia seeds , but rather a diet rich in foods that are straight from mother nature, from the Earth. Every day you can emphasize foods that are produced by farmers and made in gardens or chemical "food" concoctions created in a factory. Think about emphasizing foods that your body knows how to metabolize and use. I don’t believe in off-limit foods or “bad” foods but rather to emphasize foods with little to no ingredients and when you choose to indulge be sure to savor and enjoy that "occasional/de-emphasized" food – don’t devour it or stress about it. 
To help you reach your fitness, health and body composition goals, consider a plant-strong diet filled with colorful fruits and veggies, alongside lean/low-fat protein, heart-healthy fats and whole grains. It's not about what you do occasionally that matters but what you do regularly.
 



7) Adapt to training stress with nutrient timing and sport nutrition  
Now that we covered 6 tips, it’s time to talk Sport nutrition. When it comes to sport nutrition, I do not expect you all to formulate your own sport drink or energy gels.  There’s no reason you need to make your own protein powder. Sadly, however, many people
confuse or associate the daily diet with sport nutrition and thus, many people have no idea how to properly "fuel" workouts when the body is under a tremendous amount of stress.  Sport nutrition is there to support the physiological demands of training. When you are running for an hour, your body needs fuel. When you are sitting behind a computer at 3 in the afternoon, your body  does not need an energy drink so you can sit for 2 more hours. 
When it comes to eating before a workout, your choices should be easy to find, easy to prepare, easy to consume and easy to digest. Yes, you should eat a high fiber diet to keep you satisfied throughout the day and you should monitor your portions and calories to meet your individual needs, and Yes, you should eat protein and whole grains throughout the day. But before a workout your primarily focus is energy dense food– foods that can digest quickly so you can focus on your workout, not on digestion. During a workout – fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. And immediately after your workout, your body requires quick recovery fuel - generally protein, but often a mix of carbs + protein. 
If you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast, focus a bit more about how you are fueling around your workouts so that your body is primed to perform when you want it to perform. As for the rest of the day, nourish it so you can do it all over again tomorrow.
For more info, I have many articles and blogs dedicated to sport nutrition, here is my most comprehensive blog post on sport nutrition. If you need additional help, email me via my website and we can discuss my services to help you move closer to your fitness and health related goals.

When you have a healthy relationship with food, have a positive body image and appreciate food for fuel and for health, your life will change and you will find yourself living a balanced life. Remember, if you don’t take care of your body, your body won’t take care of you. Don’t forget to thank your body on a daily basis.

 
 




Off to SoCal with Oakley Women!

Marni Sumbal


 
 
 
Shape Magazine hand selected 200 women who entered a contest online to join Oakley Women at the first ever VIP Oakley Progress Sessions in San Diego, California. Ladies - there's still time to enter for Denver and Dallas! Find out more HERE. I can't tell you how much my life has changed because of Oakley Women. It's not about the free gear or amazing free trips but instead, opportunities to expand my passion for an active and healthy lifestyle and most importantly, share it with other like-minded women. There's nothing I love more than a confident, get-after-it woman who doesn't have can't in her vocabulary. When I am with Oakley Women (staff, ambassadors and others), I am always inspired and I leave motivated and even more determined to share my passion with the world.

Yoga, Boot Camp, swag, interviews, nutrition workshop.....this one-day event is packed with activities and fun and I am so excited to share this first-ever experience with 200 amazing ladies.
 
I fly out this morning to San Diego and I come home Saturday. A quick trip that will be packed with memories.

I am so excited to speak about my passion for developing a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle and here are my top tips that I will be speaking about at the event (along with handing out one of my yummy energy bar/ball creations).
 
 
Trimarni tips for an active and healthy lifestyle
1) Develop a mindful eating plan.
2) Train smarter to train harder.
3) Develop a positive relationship with food and the body.
4) Welcome change by relying on the power of goal setting.
5) Think beyond diet and exercise: work on sleep, stress and attitude management.
6) Prioritize a real food diet.
7) Adapt to training stress with nutrient timing and sport nutrition


True or False: Healthy Living

Marni Sumbal


It's kinda interesting how a LIVE TV segment is very similar to someone who is wanting to make lifestyle changes. 
On TV - it is very rushed. You just never feel like you have enough time and you can't cover every topic as planned. There are delays and things can go wrong but yet you just have to carry on and make the best of everything.
I really enjoy being on TV for that very reason....I just have to do the best I can with the time available, hoping that it was enough to allow at least one person to feel like they can walk away with something practical and realistic in terms of info to change their lifestyle. 


When I was becoming a RD, I quickly learned that it is not my job to tell people everything I know. First off, experience is key in my field and I can't tell you how awesome it is to be a clinical RD. I learn so much every time I work and although I feel more and more comfortable at the hospital every time I am there, I still have a long way to go...just like nurses, MD's and other health professionals. Even in my specialty field of sport nutrition and exercise physiology, the human body is so complex that I can't go a day without learning something new. Having said all that, it is not my responsibility to act as if I know everything but instead provide information to individuals that is case-appropriate and to keep on learning throughout my career as a RD/Exercise physiologist.

Just like writing an article, I have to know my audience, the perceived/wanted goals (or outcome) of my talk/article/presentation and what take-aways will be valuable to the audience. I have really enjoyed being part of Baptist Heartwise for Women and helping women change their lifestyle to improve heart health and quality of life.

                                 

TV SEGMENT - TRUE OR FALSE

Here are a few questions for you (seeing that I didn't have time to cover everything during my "long" 4 minute segment):

1) T or F: You have to exercise 1 hour  a day to have a healthy heart?
2) T or F: To lose weight and to be healthy you have to avoid sugar and salt?
3) T or F: You have to eat only whole grains on a healthy diet?
4 T or F: To help your heart, eating, body composition and sleep habits you need to manage stress?
5) T or F: You have to be a vegetarian to be healthy?
6) T or F: Portion control is the most important thing in a healthy eating plan?


Answers will be posted later..... or you can watch the segment and stay tuned on my blog for more details about the answers.

If you knew the answers, ask yourself where you found out the correct information? Was it common sense, from a website, from a friend, from a health professional? Bottom line, healthy living and eating does not require a degree or extreme program to follow. Think about a few changes you can make today to help you prepare for a better tomorrow. If you put off changes and keep doing the same things, you can expect the same results. You know the answers as to how you can start living a healthier lifestyle - it doesn't require a diet book, a magazine subscription or a trainer. Sure, a health scare from your MD or a wake-up call in your personal life may convince you it is time to change some habits but for the most part, everyone can make a few changes in their personal life (diet, exercise, lifestyle) to improve quality of life.

How's that working for you?

Marni Sumbal

 
 
We are on the verge of the New Year so that means the hype is building for companies and guru's to prove that they have the best pill, fitness equipment or fad diet to help you finally reach your fitness and body composition goals. As I continue to read about weight loss pills that are dangerous for the consumers (like this one called WOW), I am sure I don't need to convince you that weight loss pills do not solve long-term problems.

I really love this picture because I feel it holds true to so many things in life. So much to do and not enough time. As someone who loves to fill my plate just as much as I love crossing things off my long to-do list, it is not exclusive to procrastinators to leave everything to the last minute. Sometimes, we let time pass by too quickly not recognizing that every day brings an opportunity to bring us closer to our goals. The bigger issue is that we can lazy and make excuses so that when we feel the pressure, we expect results. Thus, it is when we feel like there is not enough time, people are motivated by quick results....results that never last and rarely work.

However, despite dedicating the past 11 months to trying to motivate, inspire and educate you on how to create lifestyle habits and to bring you to a more balanced active and healthful lifestyle, it is likely that a few days, weeks or months of over-indulging and/or minimal physical activity have caused you to reach your breaking point. Of course, there's no better time than the New Year to resolve those habits that are moving you further away from your goals but why is it that after 11 months, you are fed-up with habits...habits that result from actions and actions that result from thoughts?

Certainly, if you need help from a professional, seek help before you find yourself setting 2014 resolutions after 364 days of doing the same things yet expecting the same results. For most people, you have the capability to change habits but perhaps you are confused as to how to make changes that will bring long-lasting results?

If you are someone who constantly finds yourself questioning if habits are bringing you closer to your goals, here are 5 of my daily tips that may help you live a more balanced lifestyle:

1) Get a good night of sleep. Try to eat dinner at least 2 hours before bed and create a balanced and satisfying meal that does not leave you stuffed and does not leave you wanting an  after-dinner "snack". If you aren't hungry enough to eat an apple, you aren't hungry (but OK to enjoy up to .5 ounce of dark chocolate or 1.5 ounce dark chocolate daily). Instead of eating or stimulating your brain w/ the computer, phone or TV, try to go to be 30-60 min earlier than normal in order to get a restful night of sleep.

2. Develop a healthy coping mechanism. I use Campy to de-stress me instead of food or alcohol. Find something that makes you feel good when you feel overwhelmed, sad or stressed. Look up quotes, funny animal pictures or just take a walk. Food and alcohol don't solve problems.

3. Create a routine that allows for consistency. If you find yourself like a zombie by Friday due to your training routine alongside balancing work, family, etc. consider a "rest" day on Wed. Too busy to make a lunch every day of the week - aim for bringing your lunch 3 days a week instead of eating out 5 days a week. Always find yourself dragging at work by 3pm, save your favorite email or project for the afternoon so that you have motivation to stay strong all day long.

4. Prepare meals when you aren't hungry. Don't expect to spend 30 -60 min on food prep if you are starving and with low blood sugar. Seek out times during your day to make a few items for meals when you wouldn't normally eat. Cook grains or start the crock pot in the am as you are getting ready for work or pack your lunch for tomorrow immediately after you finish dinner (before you sit on the couch or get to house-work).

5. Don't expect quick results, set yourself up for success not failure. Need to lose weight? How about aiming to lose 2 lbs in 1 month instead of 10? If you happen to lose 5 - you will be more delighted than if you fail to lose 10. Don't expect every changed habit to result in a change in body composition or performance. The body is a very exceptional thing. Don't confuse progress with backtrack. If you find yourself happier, healthier, more productive, more energetic, more satisfied, more balanced or more consistent than yesterday - you have made progress. If you find yourself in a cycle of habits that keep you frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, isolated and sad - it only takes one change to prove to your exceptional body that you are ready to make progress.