contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


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: "healthy living"

Where do you get your nutrition advice?

Marni Sumbal




With so much nutrition advice available, how do you know what to believe? 

For example, my friend Jason asked me if I heard about Almased, not because he was interested in it but because he was shocked at the diet plan and that it was endorsed by a Registered Dietitian (RD). So, if a MD and RD recommend Almased, does that mean that you should use the product to lose weight and follow the diet plan? 

At the beginning, you only drink vegetable broth, water and three Almased® shakes per day. For each “meal”, eight level tablespoons of Almased® with cold water (bottled or filtered) or milk (skim, unsweetened almond or soy). The weight loss during this phase may be higher than for the rest of the diet. You can stay in this Starting Phase for a couple of days or up to 2 weeks if you feel good. Then you begin the Reduction Phase, during which you replace two meals (preferably breakfast and dinner) with an Almased® drink and eat one healthy meal. This phase lasts about 6 weeks or until you reach your ideal body weight. Then you enter the Stability Phase. For several weeks, replace one meal a day with Almased® in order to avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect that causes pounds to come back on quickly after a diet. Weight loss continues during this phase.

If you replace your dinner with Almased®, you speed up the fat burning process during the night. Almased® not only curbs your hunger but also improves thermogenesis, the conversion of fat into heat. The body takes the energy it needs for the nightly repair of cells that were damaged during the day from fat cells – you lose weight while sleeping.


There appears to be many nutrition experts out there with plenty of conflicting information. I work with many athletes and fitness enthusiasts and patients in the hospital, who ask me about different diets, foods, products, etc. and although I hear similar questions over and over again, there is always a question or two that makes me a bit upset that there are actually people out there with no credentials who speak so strongly about how a person should eat and people actually go to certain lengths to pay money for their advice.  


Just like with a tri or running coach, a lawyer, a doctor, accountant, etc, you always want to put your trust in a person based on his/her credentials. Certainly, experience goes a long way but there is something very important in society for individuals to gain an education in an area before practicing in that area.

But what about a personal philosophy? With so many experts out there (with and without credentials), who do you trust when your health is involved....and you are willing to pay money for help/advice?

 I feel right there, this would take away a lot of confusion with nutrition for if you want nutrition help, direct your energy toward someone who has a reason to provide nutrition advice and then go with the philosophy that you feel will better your life and will fit your needs. Although I
 highly recommend working with a registered dietitian when it comes to eating for health and a RD specializing in sports when it comes to performance, your choice of who you receive your nutrition advice from should be based on a personal philosophy of the expert. Credentials or no credentials, there is a lot of advice available to the public and you don't have to believe everything that you hear. 

To help you out when it comes eating to improve your health and/or changing your diet for performance/body composition, here are a few tips to follow. 

-Ask yourself if the philosophy of your expert gives you happiness.
-Does the philosophy have meaning?
-Is the advice practice, useful and valuable during all stages of life?
- Can the philosophy apply in all situations and circumstances in life?
-Does the advice seem healthy? Would the advice of this expert work for a child, an elderly person or an individual who just beat cancer? Sure, everyone has different nutrient needs and different eating styles but is the recommendation so extreme for you that it would not be appropriate for others in some way or fashion?
-Does the philosophy work for a lifetime - what about when the quick fix phase is over?
-Can the advice of the expert carry you through the good and bad times in life? Is the advice only appropriate for you to be 100% in control all day every day?
-Does the philosophy seem appropriate to meet your personal needs and goals?
-Is your expert open to change or does he/she give extreme or black/white rules?
-Is your expert open to many ways of thinking about how to improve your health? You don't have to accept every philosophy so don't limit yourself to believe that you only have live one way for the rest of your life. 

-Does your expert appear to be an expert at everything or is his/her philosophy based on a specialty? 
-Does your expert practice what he/she preaches?
-Does your expert have an answer for everything or is he/she constantly exploring new ways of thinking to ensure that you live the best life possible?


The bottom line is where do you draw the line when it comes to believing everything you hear and read? Even when you are most vulnerable, desperate and needy to try anything and everything or feel frustrated that you have failed in the past, consider your primary goals both short and long term with your body, health and fitness/performance before you search for a person who has a philosophy that meets your individual needs.


Simple tips for an uncomplicated life

Marni Sumbal


A few tips for a more balanced day: 
-Aim for 60 minutes of movement today (any way you like it, split up or at once)

-Snack on fruits and veggies 

-Surround yourself with people who give you energy, not take it away from you

-Be motivated by your personal goals that are meaningful and realistic, not by what others are doing and what you feel others expect you to do.

-Eat to be satisfied, fueled and nourished. Focus on a plant strong meal that is balanced with whole grains (1/2 - 1 cup) or high fiber starch (~30-50g carbs) +  20-30g of protein + enough healthy fat to make the meal taste great and hold you over (~7-15g). 

-Work on a good, better, best system. Don't try to be your best right now if you are just making good choices. Accept the patience that is needed to make small changes that will last a lifetime. 

-Learn to love new things in life. Not much is easy the first time you do it, especially if you want it to change you. 

-Snack with a purpose: control blood sugar, compliment meals and fill in nutritional gaps between those meals, honor hunger and don't be a clock watcher. 

-Don't let a store-bought household appliance run or ruin your day. Instead of chasing a number on a scale, use your eating and exercise routine for something more meaningful in life. 

-Reframe situations that appear to make you unhappy. Tired of your job? Be grateful you are making money to pay your bills. Is your training/exercise routine too challenging at times? Acknowledge that your body is strong enough to do something on a daily basis. 

-Let the important people in your life know that you love and care about them. 

-Tell yourself that you love yourself. 

-Stop wasting time reading tips in magazines, on the internet and in books that tell you how to get a quick fix for a healthy life. A balanced life is not extreme or rushed. Don't make excuses, make things happen with small steps that allow for some progress. 

Waiting for your wake up call

Marni Sumbal



Athletes are all too familiar with wake-up calls. Waiting until things happen and then wishing they would have started doing things earlier. Injured? Perhaps you said I should have been better with strength training, I should not have pushed through that workout and I need to be stretching. Burnout? Perhaps you said you knew you should have rested when you kept pushing through. Not at your racing fitness? Perhaps you wish you would have made slow progress earlier in the year than trying to make everything happen in the last few weeks of training. 

As humans, I feel it is perfectly normal to use wake-up calls appropriately for we all need a little kick in the butt to remind us that life has meaning and we need to appreciate it to the fullest.  For the 20+ year smoker has been known to quickly stop smoking when he/she finds out he has cancer and the individual who thought that diet and exercise didn't matter may feel instantly motivated to change habits after learning that his/her current state of health is at a result of not focusing on lifestyle habits earlier in life. Most people find it easy to change their lifestyle when they are given a wake-up call...but why wait? 

Everyday you are forced to answer hard questions with your lifestyle choices. Perhaps everyone is doing it so you want to fit in. Maybe your standards are lowered because of lack of confidence. Or maybe you are excusing your behavior because you just don't feel you deserve any  better. Maybe you feel great and you love the way you are living life.

 Life is hard because many times we feel fine and have no reason to change, to think or to act differently. But when we ignore many things for too long, it only takes one quick wake-up call to recognize all those former positive thoughts that could have made an impact on how you are living today.

There are no guarantees in life. We often receive wake up calls because we are being given another chance. The call is not typically welcomed and many times, it keeps us from living the life we had been enjoying. But if you do a little searching, there are many times when wake-up calls are given to you as a learning experience and not as a punishment for your previous actions or thoughts.  Sadly, sometimes you aren't given a wake-up.

 Wake up calls require you to rethink your priorities and that is something that you can do now, tomorrow and everyday. Whether or not you have been given a wake-up call in the recent months, don't wait for your first one or another.

Remind yourself as to what is important to you in life. Crossing a finishing line, traveling the world, being successful at work, being a role model for your family, keeping your body in optimal health, sharing love and education with others. Many times it doesn't involve a number on a scale, a size of clothing or a 'fast' racing time or place. Eager to be perfect or to do well at everything, many choices are often extreme or goals are often pushed off due to difficulty.

Your body is there to take care of you for the rest of your life. Subtle changes have cumulative effects on your quality of life. If your body is giving you a warning signal, if you feel like you are waiting for the right moment to start or if you feel like all is wrong in your days....at least you have days to make things happen.

Start now, don't wait and enjoy the journey of life. Don't wait for the worst to make things better now.

Body and mind stir-fry creation

Marni Sumbal

Fuel your body with real food because your body needs fuel to function, to thrive, to live, to be happy.

Don't watch the clock.

Don't say you're being bad.

Don't regret what you choose to put into your body.

Don't say you're cheating.

Don't worry/stress about what other people are doing, what others may think or what others may assume. Own your actions.

Feed your body throughout the day when your brain and body need energy.

As I was seeing and charting on patients today in the hospital today, I couldn't help but think (as I always do) about how grateful I am to have a body that is well, happy and healthy.

Every time you think about (or do) body bash or voluntarily restrict food that can be used for fuel or for health, consider reframing your thoughts.

That same body that you think is fat, ugly or gross or just messed up or failed you, is the same body that you push to cross finishing lines, wakes you up in the morning to take care of your family, helps you have a productive day of work to pay the bills and is where you will live for the rest of your life.

 
Body and mind stir fry
 
Cubed pre-cooked potatoes (you can buy frozen, in bag or slice fresh and then microwave for 2-3 minutes until soft)
Cubed firm tofu
Red bell pepper
Sliced mushrooms
Garlic
Peas
Pistachios
Peanuts
Dark leafy greens
Salsa
Olive oil
Herbs/spices

1. In a large skillet, heat to medium heat and place potatoes, tofu, pepper, mushrooms, sliced garlic and peas in the skillet with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add 2 tbsp of water and cover for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking).
2. When veggies are slightly brown and soft, add a spoonful or two of salsa and then ~1/8 cup mixed nuts (pistachios and peanuts).
3. Season with your choice of seasonings - a pinch of salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano.
4. Prepare a Tupperware container (if bringing to work for lunch) or shallow dish with a large handful of leafy greens and top with the veggie creation.

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.