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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: "speaking"

2013 Speaking of Women's Health event recap (w/ recipes)

Marni Sumbal

When I started triathlons, I was rather obsessed. My life revolved around training morning and night. Twice a day, everyday. The training lifestyle was not too much different than my college life of swimming twice a day, 5 days a week and then a long workout on Saturday, day off Sunday. Although I had about a year of discovering triathlons after college in 2004, I welcome my new triathlon lifestyle when I was in graduate school as I loved having something to prepare for and look forward to every day, all day. 

That passion, excitement and motivation has not gone away for if it did, I would not be doing triathlons now 7 years later. But instead, my approach to training has changed as I have discovered that triathlons is not my life, but instead my lifestyle. Life has presented many obstacles, highs and lows over the past few years and as much as I had my swim-bike-run routine to look forward to every single day, I had other commitments in life that required more of my attention and energy. 

Before I started my journey to be a RD I remember my dad, Dr. James Rakes, sharing his wise words with me (as he always does)...

"Marni, make sure you have something in life besides triathlons that makes you happy."

Like any stubborn daughter, I listened to him but it took a while to grasp what he was saying. 

My dad never wants me to stop dreaming big and instead, he is my #1 fan that will be cheering me on as all my dreams come true with everything I do. He has encouraged me to dream big but has installed a "hard work" mantra to everything that I do in life. Nothing worth having comes easy. 

After receiving my RD credential, I discovered that he was right, like always. Triathlons are my lifestyle and I never want that love of sports to go away. But, I have so many other things in my life that make me excited and motivated every day to see what the day will bring. And although I have not slowed down my life in the past 7 years, I have learned to create a routine where I can train hard with the least amount of training stress to experience big performance gains. With quality training and a less is more approach, I have so much room left in my day to spend the unused energy that I could spend training more for triathlons to other things that carry the same value (or more) as triathlons. 


One of the reasons why I went back to school to earn my RD, LD/N credential (Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) was to become more credible as a speaker and writer. Now a day, any person with a strong voice and personality can provide info to the public and receive fame and recognition but I never wanted to the loud voice. I wanted a higher education to learn more to give the right advice with a caring voice. A voice that shows that I "get it" and I also practice what I preach. Two things that required time, patience and hard work...skills also used in triathlon training. 

I was invited by 2013 Speaking Of Women's Health to speak on behalf of Baptist Heartwise for Women a few months ago. I love public speaking but with my audience full of women, there was no way I could say no. I love my job and what I get paid to do and changing lifestyles is what I am all about. 

Months of preparation on a power point presentation, time spent preparing for the cooking demo. Practicing, setting things up, rehearsing over and over. The excitement and nerves of when the day will come and then the rush before it starts and the comfort of when it actually begins. Then, the sadness when it is all over.

Public speaking is my release from triathlons. It brings me a similar excitement, passion and energy that I can not explain but welcome when I have the opportunity to provide my philosophy and knowledge about food, health and exercise.

I don't feel that everyone needs to be a public speaker or a writer but instead, finds a few things in life that bring you happiness and require hard work. Perhaps for you, signing up for that upcoming running or tri race is your hard workout and happiness and for others, finding a different outlet to bring happiness, besides training is needed. Whatever you choose to do, remember that to be successful in life, you must love what you are doing. If you are wasting your time doing something you don't love or haven't learned to love and appreciate, step back, re-evaluate and consider your goals and dreams. Sometimes hanging in there is needed and other times, it's time to move on. If something is very important to you, you will find yourself looking back sometime down the road, thinking that you couldn't believe where you were when you started.

My 45 minute presentation was not long enough for me but I did my best to squeeze in as much as I could for a room of 225 chairs. Amazingly, there were people standing in the back and guesstimates were around 240-250 people in the room. Thank you HeartWise for asking me to speak for this was my largest audience I have ever spoken to and I loved every minute of it!


I have to give a HUGE thank you to Mai Oui Gourmet Catering for they were hired by Baptist HeartWise to prepare 4 of my creations for the participants in the talk. They perfected my 3 recipes (tempeh stir fry, avocado mango salsa with pita chip and homemade granola bar) and also provide trail mix for dessert as the participants were leaving. I never like to talk to hungry bellies so even though my talk was at 10am on Saturday, everyone was very happy during my talk...and lots of yumming was occurring too.


Who doesn't love a lecture that has free samples?


What a beautiful presentation!


Yummy trail mix for dessert.


After spending about 20 minutes discussing my philosophy for eating for fuel, for health and for pleasure and providing a few tips supported by the research of a Mediterranean style of eating, it was time for my cooking demo. When I speak, I try to make sure that my audience leaves feeling inspired and has information that they can easily apply to their every day lifestyle. I don't waste too much of my time talking about grams, portions and recommendations beyond what I feel is most important. Therefore, I stress the importance of the lifestyle component and considering the thoughts behind our actions. I feel there is enough info out there for people to learn what it means to eat healthy but it gets wrapped into a tangled mess because there are too many "experts" out there trying to make a simple concept of eating a more real food diet far too complicated. I try to make eating fun and easy to understand and to break the cycle of women having a negative food vocabulary and to stop the body bashing.

I had a few GREAT volunteers to help me with my cooking demo.

I showed how EASY it was to prepare a homemade trail mix and to bulk it up with cheerios (one of my favorite processed foods for it is fortified very well and is very wholesome) OR popcorn from a brown paper bag (1/3 kernels, roll down back twice and pop for 75-90 seconds in microwave).

While we were preparing the trail mix, I had a volunteer read the ingredients on a protein bar. She was still reading it after we prepared the trail mix in less than a minute.

The Hyatt kitchen hooked me up with a hot plate and I had a blast actually "cooking" in front of everyone. I am not a trained chef but I know food and love to talk about food so my volunteer (Who was a male, a husband of a wife who always attends this conference) was outstanding and we had so much fun cooking my tempeh stir fry. I kept it super simple: 1/2 package of tempeh (chopped) and sautéed in a few tsp olive oil on medium heat with with a cup or two of frozen mixed veggies. We seasoned it with ginger, oregano and garlic and then added prepared quinoa in the skillet for a little toss and voila....a beautiful creation serviced on a bed of greens to make our dish more plant strong.

And lastly, who doesn't love salsa? Salsa actually means sauce but many people think of it as a dip. My volunteer was incredible as she had great cooking skills and I could do all the talk. What a great combo!

I kept the salsa SUPER simple - mango, peaches, cilantro, avocado. All seasonal ingredients for a delicious topping to any sandwich, dish or salad...or straight from the bowl to help boost your vitamin and mineral intake. 

I had such a great time talking that I ran out of time and had to quickly clean up before the next speaker began. What a bummer because I didn't get to answer questions so if anyone has any questions...send me an email as I'd love to help you out.

I also want to send another BIG thank you to Mai Oui and HeartWise for helping me out with my talk. I couldn't have done this without both of them! Also, for the event putting on a top-notch, inspiring, life-changing event for women. I love being part of events like this for I love helping to inspire women and I feel everyone deserves to have good health, happiness and fun in their life and I want to make sure that no day is left wasted. 


At the catered lunch, there was an inspiring video with a segment on Julia Child. I just love her message and what she was all about in life and most importantly, how she approached life and cooking. There are too many quotes of hers to choose from as I love them all but pertaining to my talk, I feel this one is most appropriate. 

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 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.


Oakley Women Immersion event - HELLO FROM LA!

Marni Sumbal

Awwww, miss my buddy!!
After arriving to LA around 11 am on Tues (West Coast time), it was a packed day of lunch at the Alcove, sessions on eye care and skin health at Grifith Park, intense bootcamp with Michelle Lovitt - personal trainer to celebs and then a hike to take a pic near the famous Hollywood white sign.

Dinner was at 8pm (West Coast time) and bed time was 10pm. So I am pretty sure if I do the math correctly, I was up for 20 hours yesterday.

Of course, my body was confused as it woke up at 4:40 am which I guess was "sleeping in" EST time but after laying around with no success to fall back asleep, I was officially up at 5am, had coffee while answering emails and then at 5:30am it was off to the gym for a run and stretching.

Oakley Women invited key employees from Sunglass huts from around the US and international to attend this brand immersion event to learn more about Oakley Women. This event is primarily women but it is a nice change to have males here as they are also understanding what the woman wants when she buys and shops. I know Karel has learned a lot as the GM of Trek Bicycles and that women have different needs than men when it comes to shopping and buying.

I am staying in the W Hollywood which is amazing. Today I spent the morning preping for my talk and catching up on training plans and emails for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

After a delicious lunch, I did some final prep for my talk and at 1:10pm - it was time for 40 minutes with a room of 100 active individuals who were excited to learn about sport nutrition and nutrient timing for the fitness enthusiast.

The talk went great and so many people asked wonderful questions and shared stories of how they stay active which is just what I love. You don't have to be an athlete to be healthy..just move, us and thank your body.

After my talk we heard a great social media talk and then it was time for a short boot camp, champagne and fruit, photo booth pics and then a little down time ( write on my blog) and now almost time for our last dinner. Always hard to leave these inspiring and motivating events with Oakley Women but I must return home tomorrow and continue my quest to motivate, educate and inspire others to live a more healthy balanced active lifestyle.

So for now..enjoy the pics!
(bummer- my phone died at the park so no beautiful pics of the hollwood sign or on the hike :(


(this should say UNSTOPPABLE!)

Oakley Women VIP Fitness Progression Session: San Diego

Marni Sumbal

Every time I attend an Oakley Women event I leave inspired. I have a saying that in life, we should surround ourselves with people who give us energy and not take it away from us. Oakley Women makes that super easy and this time was above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined in terms of feeling inspired and motivated.

I woke up around 5am on Thursday morning and headed to the Jacksonville airport around 5:30am to make my 7:20am flight. Compression socks, Oakley bag, Brooks running shoes...check! I was so excited to get to Cali for the first ever VIP Oakley Women Fitness Progression Session.

I had a small snack on my way to the airport, along with my coffee so my 1/2 banana w/ PB kept me satisfied until I boarded my first flight to Dallas (a little less than 3 hour flight). I brought along 2 pita sandwiches of PB and J along with snacks of fruit (Plum, apple, nectarine) and trail mix (cheerios mixed with nuts, seeds, granola and raisins). I had my big pink water bottle to fill up after security and before boarding my second flight, I bought a Subway Breakfast sandwich packed with egg whites, swiss cheese and veggies on flat bread. I had 1/2 of the 12" on my flight to San Diego and the other half when I arrived in San Diego. Because I was arriving around noon west coast time, my body was a bit confused on the time change. Since I have been flying out West rather frequently in the past year or two, I have learned that my body does better with small meals every 2-3 hours rather than the standard breakfast and lunch while traveling. 

My Oakley Women "mommy" Abbey, picked me up at the airport and it was great to catch up since our last Oakley Women ambassador summit in Utah. We checked in to the Hyatt at Mission Bay and then headed to the event venue just a quick 10 minute walk away. 

The event included a mass boot camp for all 200 hand-selected ladies, interviews to become the next Oakley Women ambassador (to join the team), a yoga workshop, a nutrition workshop (with me!), t-shirt making station, the Oakley Women shopping "trailer", a complimentary food truck (YUM!), a social media tent and swag for every lady in attendance. 

Before dinner at the Red Marlin, I had a little time to practice my talk a few more times (I don't like using papers when I speak so I have been working on 7 pages/30 minutes of information to recite by memory) and I was able to make time for a great 1 hour workout in the fitness studio (weights, stretching, cardio). 

After dinner I received a few goodies from my other Oakley Women "mommy" Chelsea and I was so excited to sport a few articles of clothing from the 2013 spring collection. 

I woke up early for San Diego time but felt great "sleeping in" based on EST. I planned to get my breakfast before heading to the fitness studio for a quick 30 min stretch session knowing that Einstein bagels was likely to get busy as the morning went on. At 6am, there wasn't even a line..just like I like it as I don't enjoy waiting for food, especially with a hungry belly.

I got ready in my room while enjoying my delicious bagel thin sandwich with asparagus, swiss and mushrooms. I also got a big cup of fresh, sliced mixed fruit to save for later in the morning before I began my series of workshops. The last thing I need is a brain that is low in fuel when I am asking my mind to remember 7 pages of information for 4 x 30 min. workshops!

Before the event started, I had a little segment with Channel 6 San Diego news. We tested out the Shape Diva Dash obstacle course - lots of fun!

Here's the first clip (Haven't located the second segment yet)


Oakley ambassadors Cari and Carrie from Bombshell - Bootcamp.

Hopefully all the ladies brought a credit card....hard to pass up a display of Oakley Women shades. I tried on the Oakley Women Radar Lock with vents....Love them!!! Perhaps you may see me at Ironman Lake Placid sporting this pair of comfortable, light shades with just enough competitive vibe to them. 

After setting up my table with my yummy energy balls (my creation created by a catering company with Oakley Women), it was time for bootcamp!

What a workout!!!!

Time for a snack!

I will share the recipe in a future blog but for now you can imagine how delicious they taste!!

I met so many inspiring women throughout the morning and I had such a great time sharing my top 7 tips on living a balanced active and healthy lifestyle.

I had great questions from the ladies on nutrition and I also enjoyed speaking to several aspiring "dietitians" which was so great for me to share my story and experience and how taking that challenging, long road to earning my RD credential was beyond worth it!

Talk about a busy day.....around 3pm, Oakley Women announced the new brand ambassador ( Caitlin O'Hara). 


Then it was time for champagne and cocktails with the Shape Magazine staff and Oakley Women team.

What a fabulous weekend and inspiring to say the least. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given in the past two years, thanks to Oakley Women, for letting me share my passion and knowledge with active and health conscious ladies. I was so excited to officially sign my Oakley Women agreement, letting others know that my Oakley Women gear is "for living my active life and not for impressing others".

Ladies - there is still time if you will be in the Denver and Dallas area in May. I look forward to the upcoming VIP Oakley Women Fitness Progression Session. events and meeting more inspiring women who love to get after it!

Asparagus Casserole

Marni Sumbal

Last week was filled with talks, talks and more talks. It all started on Monday for News4Jax and ended on Friday at the hospital for a busy day of clinical nutrition, seeing patients in the hospital.
On Wednesday evening I spoke about "Train smarter to train harder and reach success faster" to the Hammerhead Triathlon Club. Trek Travel also gave a great talk about their upcoming triathlon training camps which I am super excited about. Karel and I (and his boss Jeff) may have the opportunity to attend a camp this April if all the pieces fall into place so I will fill you in with more details as I feel this is a great opportunity for triathletes of all levels. 

I made some yummy granola bars to give out at my talk as I hate speaking to athletes with hungry bellies. The balls were super easy to make - in a ninja blender (food processor) I combined peanuts, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, oatmeal, prunes, apricots until chopped (not finely) and then in a bowl I added pumpkin seeds and honey. I will give you a yummy recipe soon for my homemade raw bars that I made for my TV segment on Wed. 

Tuesday I had the opportunity to speak to a room of 8th graders for Career Day at Baptist Medical Center Beaches (where I work PRN as a clinical RD). I am always excited to wear my fav tshirt "Trust me, I'm a RD" and I had a blast talking to the kids about all the careers as a RD - speaking, writing, clinical, sports and counseling came to mind but the opportunities are endless. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in helping others with diet and healthy living to seek out a career as a RD and take the steps to earn your credential. It is not an easy or quick road but it will be worth it!

By the time I got home on Friday and finished some work for my business, I was pretty exhausted....nothing that a good night of sleep can't fix but "cooking" was not on my mind. However, I know how good real food makes me feel so it is one of situations where I need to think of the outcome and how it will make me feel after I eat than to think about how tired I am to take a few minutes to prep a nourishing me, fuel my body and most of all, reward my body for what it allows me to do on a daily basis. I didn't become exhausted from doing body lets me live a very busy, active and great lifestyle and I owe that to consistent eating and sleeping. 

This casserole is super easy to make! You can certainly add your creativity and use whatever veggies or protein you want. Enjoy my latest yummy creation!!
This serves 2-4 (depending on servings) - we also had rice with this meal. 

1 bunch asparagus (washed and 1 inch stems removed)
Purple onions (about 1/2 medium sliced)
Yellow and red pepper (1/2 large sliced)
Mixed frozen veggies (oriental mix - I used enough to just cover the bottom of the dish)
4 eggs (2 whole, 2 whites) + ~1 tbsp greek yogurt (chobani) (scramble together)
Seasoning - pepper, chili pepper
Almonds for a crunch on top
Shredded cheese
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Steam asparagus in pot or in microwave (I did in microwave in large bowl w/ an inch or two of water on "vegetable" setting). Chop into pieces after steaming.
2. Drizzled olive oil on casserole dish (about 2 tsp or so to lightly cover. 
3. Place frozen veggies on bottom of dish. Then place asparagus, onions and peppers on top. Sprinkle with seasonings. 
4. Pour scrambled eggs over dish (slowly - you will not cover the veggies - this is OK). 
5. Top with almonds and a  little shredded cheese.
6. Bake for 45-50 min or until eggs are firm.

Happy pancake day!

Marni Sumbal

Happy Pancake day!
Here are two of my pancake creation recipes that I think you will enjoy:
blueberry pancakes
On Monday morning I was super excited to head to Winn Dixie to meet Melanie to do a segment on healthy grocery shopping. We had a lot of fun navigating through the aisles with our camera-man. The segment will be on tomorrow along with me (live) showing my homemade raw energy bar recipe and how to be a more healthful shopper. Stay tuned on my Facebook page for the link when it is on the web and I will share on my blog also.

I had so much fun this morning! I spoke with a large group of 8th graders who were at Baptist Medical Center Beaches for "career" day. Our hospital had a lot of cool gadgets and robots for the kids to try-out and I was asked to talk to the kids about careers as a dietitian. I was really excited to share with them my journey in becoming a RD (as it was a looooong one) and all the cool jobs (careers) you can have with the RD credential. A lot of the kids were excited about sports and medicine so that was helpful when I spoke about being a clinical RD and a triathlon coach who specializes in sport nutrition. I also brought in my 5 Ironman medals along with several of my magazine articles and I think they really enjoyed hearing about the many different things you can do when you are in a field that you love and one that allows you to help others live a healthier lifestyle.

Tomorrow is my talk at the Trek Store for Tri night. I am so excited about this talk...another busy day but I wouldn't want it any other day. Time to make some raw energy bars and get myself ready for swim/strength in the am, LIVE segment on News4Jax and then speaking in the evening.

Another reason why I love food being used for lifestyle would not survive if I didn't get good sleep and keep my body nourished. I have no time or energy to be sick or feel fatigued.

Hope you are having a great week!

Endurance swim, pasta creation and upcoming talk

Marni Sumbal

Looking forward to a busy day tomorrow (FRI). Swim, strength, work at the hospital and then speaking at the Jacksonville Running Company (Tapestry Park) along with Heartland Rehab, about maintenance and recovery at 6:30-7:30pm. I will be speaking with 110% Play Harder to talk about how I value recovery after training and how recovery gear (like 110% and compression) has  made a big impact in my success (and health) as a competitive athlete. Karel is racing on his road bike this weekend - 4 races in two days! I won't be going to watch so I will be awaiting anxiously (like always) for his call that all went well and he enjoyed his suffering :)

Wednesday was a tough swim! The pool was packed and I found myself stuck between too lanes...not quite fast enough to keep up with the fast guys but still wanted to be pushed. I had a great workout and the main set was exhausting!

Main set 2x's:
4 x 200's steady pace (on 3 minutes)
800 steady
50 EZ
Then repeat

With a main set of 3300 yards, our 4000 yard workout went by rather quickly. I was a little tired after swim for my plyometrics but surprisingly, I had a good strength training session. I walked a little slow out of the gym but recovery quickly with a yummy smoothie when I got home.

Last night's dinner was exactly what my belly needed....YUM!

Time to throw away the off-limit food list and learn how to prepare balanced, portioned controlled meals. Tonight's yummy creation: Roasted chunky veggies (eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini w/ garlic) to fill my dinner bowl. All topped with marinara and 1 cup pasta noodles and a little shredded cheese. Instead of having pasta w/ veggies, try a plant-strong meal of veggies topped with pasta. Same flavors but a belly that feels satisfied after eating a portioned controlled meal.

Pasta noodles
1-2 cloves garlic
Spices/herbs to your taste
Shredded cheese
1. Grill the veggies either in the oven (cut in thick slices, tossed in a little olive oil - be careful, eggplant loves to soak up olive oil!) at 425 degrees or stove top on medium heat in skillet until golden brown. Chop garlic and serve raw for more intense flavor. 
2. Cook pasta, drain water and portion 1 cup serving per person (give or take 1/4-1/3 cup). 
3. In a shallow bowl, serve a large portion of veggies, top with serving of pasta and spoon in a little marinara and cheese and toss. 

No need to go into a meal starving when you can make an appetizer salad in less than 5 minutes. This is helpful not only when you one home from work hungry but also to help with portion/craving control when eating outside the home. 20-40 min before your meal enjoy a nutrient dense appetizer: mixed greens, leeks, pre-sliced carrots, strawberries, baby tomatoes, raisins and pumpkin seeds.

Carbo loading, TREK tri night and TV segment

Marni Sumbal


Dr. Seuss makes it sound so simple and easy. Although at times, I am sure we all feel like the following...


As an athlete, I always tell myself I am teetering on the edge: the edge of injury, burnout, exhaustion, over-commitment, stress, anxiety, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and on and on. We (as athletes and fitness enthusiasts) are very comfortable with a lot on our plate and while some people may struggle with one or two daily tasks, we love to see how much we can handle until we break. Of course, we never expect to break, right?

Really no point in the beginning of this blog post except to continuously remind yourself as to the best balance in your personal life so that every night you go to bed feeling satisfied with the day and excited for tomorrow. Find that right balance between diet and exercise so that your days aren't wasted but rather used with a purpose.

As you reflect on your daily routine, here are a few recent media links of mine, that I would love to share with you. Thanks for reading/watching.

Carbo-loading: Friend or Foe?
is a recent article I did for 904 magazine. A topic that is heavily discussed and one that can be confusing in today's society due to a number of factors. I hope you enjoy my take on carbo-loading.

Introducing new foods into the diet - maintenance
is a recent TV segment I did for News4Jax on behalf of the Baptist Heartwise  program. It's not just about eating certain foods but understanding why they are helpful in your diet.

Creating a positive home environmentHERE is my January article for my monthly column on Be sure to check out my tips on creating a positive environment at home to help you reach your goals. And while you are on the site, ladies be sure to check out the event series! Can't wait to see you at some of the events!

Build a better body imageHERE is my last article for my new column with This was one of my most favorite articles to write as it is a topic that can not be overlooked in the beginning parts of a training season (or New Year). Stay tuned on for my next article on destructive eating. I'll be sure to let you know when it is posted on my Facebook Page.

Lastly, I am really excited to be speaking at the next Hammerhead Triathlon Club meeting on Feb 6th, 2013 which has now become an exciting Trek Bicycle event at Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville!!


Trek travel will be presenting about their trips/camps as well as handing out some cool swag! I will be talking about "Breaking out of triathlon boredom - how to train smarter to train harder."

If you are in the area, I'd love to see you there!

Oh and one more thing.....

What good is a blog post without a Campy pic?

Finally warming up again

Marni Sumbal

Two weeks ago I braved 20 degree temps in Utah at an altitude of 8000-11000 feet. I stayed extremely active in the snow, both on my board and a few times on my butt. The Oakley Women product testing summit was amazing and I had such a great time stepping outside of my comfort zone.
The following weekend (1/11-1/14) I braved even colder temperatures and traveled to Iowa to speak to the Missouri River Runners group for their yearly banquet. Despite living in Kentucky for the first 21 years of my life, I have become quite soft in the cold..or as we like to say in Florida - when it gets "down to 40 degrees outside".
An average temperature of around 10 degrees each day, with a few flurries and a few gusts of wind making the wind chill drop below zero.


My talk was on "Common mistakes made by runners: train smarter to reach success faster."
I met so many new people and got to know some of my Trimarni Nutrition athletes (from the web) even better in person. My hosts - Patty, Stacy and Therese were amazing and we had so much fun together. I think the most fun was working out together, cooking together and eating together. I was all for them picking my brain all weekend on all things training, nutrition, diet, fitness and health and I just loved being able to cook for everyone and have others enjoy my creations.
After arriving around 9pm Iowa time, it was a rather long day and around 11 am EST, I was ready for bed. It was an early morning wake-up call at 5am for we had a full triathlon on the schedule for our training.
6am swim - 2000 yards (indoor)
7am spin class - 50 min
8 am treadmill run - 50 min (I included a few fartlek intervals)
Afterward, a well-needed shower. I almost forgot how cold it was outside until I stepped outside and was quickly reminded I was not in Florida anymore.
I was super excited to make the girls some breakfast. I figured our catered dinner would be fairly carb heavy but with our morning workout, I didn't want everyone to feel depleted all day. The perfect creation was a veggie stuffed omelet (stuffed w/ sautéed in olive oil, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and spinach) all topped w/ homemade salsa and shredded cheese. We enjoyed homemade muffins on the side (thanks to Therese) and a side of fruit w/ mixed nuts.

After breakfast and chatting for a bit we bundled up to head to Hy Vee. This was my first trip to this grocery store and the girls (and Michele) picked my brain on their own private grocery store tour, asking me about all the products that they were interested in adding to their diet. It was a lot of fun but by the time we were finished, we were ready for another meal. Since I rarely call meals "breakfast, lunch and dinner" on the weekend due to timing of workouts, I will call this creation #2 for the day.

I'm pretty sure we put everything in the kitchen out on the counter and we each created our own salad from this buffet of food. We also cooked bulgur and quinoa to top on the salad. My creation had mixed greens, pineapple, mango, avocado, dried cherries, pistachios, homemade salsa for dressing, quinoa, bulgur, cottage cheese, onion, pepper, cucumber, carrots and tomato. It was delicious!
I spent a little of the later part of the afternoon preparing a little more for my power point presentation. The venue was super cute - a log cabin that is rented out for functions. There was a fire inside to keep us warm but I think I needed a few more of them as I was a bit on the chilly side all evening. Luckily, the catering company prepared a delicious meal that warmed my belly. Vegetarian lasagna (for a few of us), roasted veggies and salad. There was a dessert of brownie or cheesecake but my tummy had no room for it so I decided to pass.

My talk went well and the group was very attentive and asked great questions. My focus was to open the minds of new and veteran runners (and a few triathletes) to the many ways that you can enhance training besides just focusing on the miles. I look forward to seeing some great results from the athletes in my talk as I know they were able to walk away with a few tips on how to train smarter to reach success faster.

I took my own advice on Sunday and woke up without an alarm to ensure a restful night of sleep. But as soon as I woke up around 7am, I put on layers of clothes to prep for my first icy trail run. It was less than 10 degrees out and a wind chill of -6. Let's just say that thankfully, Nike (below) kept me happy the whole ride to the trail.
No, I am not frozen. This was after my first ever trail run on ice/snow in snow spikes. Almost 7 miles and an enjoyable change from the normal sweaty, hot Florida run-routine. However, I'm not saying I'd trade Florida for this weather...I'm just accepting of a change every now and then.

As I was running, I just couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have a body that is able to travel, workout and stay extremely busy and active and still function at full capacity when I need it to perform. My brain is healthy enough to remember information so that I can speak publicly, my body is healthy enough to move whenever I ask it to perform and my heart is healthy enough to keep on beating so that every day I can try new things and try new opportunities and experiences. I can't think of any other reason than my daily habits that allow me to live a very active, busy lifestyle. I recognize what I want to do in life but I can't expect it to all happen without taking care of my body. It is with good sleep, good food and a deep respect for my body that I am able to live this amazing lifestyle. I only hope you are able to do the same for it is no fun to feel uggh, and to see days pass on by and to feel like you are not able to join in on your imaginary fun and active life. To make those dreams come true, be sure to start with your body as that is the only place you have to live for the rest of your life.

Thanks Stacy for letting me run with your snow spikes! I would have never made it without them! I also want to thank Oakley Women for the base layer top and soft shell jacket for keeping me warm during this run.

Our running group + 2 fast doggies :)

Post-run french toast smeared w/ crunchy natural peanut butter and topped with cinnamon and greek yogurt. A side of eggs w/ spinach and fruit w/ nuts. Oh and a cup of coffee consumed with the making of this creation.
Well - I am finally warm again and I will not be complaining about our "cold" Florida weather any longer. The shorts and sandals are on again and Campy and I are loving our time outdoors. Life is still busy and active but I can't complain.
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."


Active kiddos - Marathon High Program

Marni Sumbal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking news! Trimarni creations are going LIVE tomorrow am!

Marni Sumbal

Two of my passions in life are public speaking and writing. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a room full of women, wanting to learn how to eat better to improve cardiovascular health.
Baptist Heart Wise is a program that was recently created by Dr. Rama. The program is a comprehensive prevention program addressing the unique cardiovascular needs of women at every stage of life. A leading edge program designed by women who are experts in women’s cardiovascular care, HeartWise connects women across North Florida to the medical services, information and resources you need to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.
For less than $130, you can get screened to know your numbers, learn how to eat heart- healthy in a 2-hour nutrition lecture (incorporating the Heart Wise Eating plan) and get a fitness assessment to get the body more active. Talk about the truth in "Prevention is cheaper than medicine."
What I love so much about this program is that it is everything I believe in....and more. I don't have to fake anything when I talk and I am surrounded by a room full of passionate women (alongside working with a team of well-educated and passionate health professionals).
Recently, I also had the opportunity to speak to, on behalf of the Heart Wise Program. My very first time on TV and I could not have asked for a better platform to talk about food and health.

Here are the clips:
Back to class

Inside the kitchen
As I mentioned above, this program has been a dream come true for me because it has provided me with several opportunities to speak passionately about food for fuel and for health. I get to endorse a plant-strong diet as well as introduce women to the importance of a balanced diet - whole grains, lean/quality protein, healthy fats and low-fat dairy. As an endurance athlete, it is easy for me to express the importance of daily activity as well as food to support a healthy cardiovascular system.
Speaking of dreams coming true......
Tomorrow I will have my first ever LIVE segment on TV during the 8am hour of Jax4News!!! Nervous???? Kinda.

First off, I get to talk about food and the Heart Wise Program. YIPPEE!
Secondly, 4 of my new whole grain creations will be showcased on the segment. What a dream come true!!!
Third, an early morning interval run should shake out any last minute jitters. I'll consider it a healthy dose of medicine to calm any nerves.
Finally, I had the best audience ever to "prep" for my taping (although it is live so I am not sure what questions I will need to answer and how it will flow)

I'll be sure to post the link on my Trimarni Facebook page after the video is on the website. I encourage you to also check out the Baptist HeartWise for Women Facebook page as well (lots of great articles, tips and recipes).
For your viewing are the creations that I will be talking about tomorrow morning (I'll try to do the nutrition facts tomorrow on my software program):

Carrot Cake oatmeal
1/2 cup oats (dry)
1/8 cup packed shredded carrots
Pinch of all spice
1 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp almonds
3/4 cup non fat milk
1/4 cup coconut water

1.Mix together in large bowl.
2. Microwave for 2 minutes (watch to prevent spillage, the oatmeal mixture will grow)

Quinoa, chickpea and avocado salad1/2 cup quinoa dry (cooked in 1 cup water)
1/2 avocado (diced)
1 Tbsp cashews (chopped)
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
Seasonings to taste: Parsley, chili pepper, pinch of sea salt, pepper, basil

1. Prepare quinoa according to package (allow ~15 minutes)
2. Combine other ingredients in container.
3. Add quinoa and mix well.
Serves 2

Pear and walut pita (a nutrient dense replacement for a granola bar snack, with less than 180 calories)
1/2 whole wheat pita
1/2 medium pear thinly sliced
3 walnut halves (chopped)
1 tbsp farmers cheese (or whipped cream cheese)

1. Slice pita bread in half, open carefully.
2. Spread cheese on bottom of pita w/ fork or back of a spoon.
3. Lay pear slices on cheese.
4. Stuff w/ arugula and finish off w/ chopped walnuts.

Rosemary and Parmesan popcorn
2 tbsp popcorn kernels
brown paper bag
2-3 tsp Sunflower oil
2 pinches rosemary
2 tsp Parmesan

1. Place kernels in brown paper bag. Fold bag over two times (don't do a big fold, just about a thumb size).
2. Microwave for 90 seconds.
3. Place into large zip lock baggy.
4. Drizzle w/ sunflower oil (I will be using a spritzer on the show that I purchased in the travel section of Wal-mart)
5. Add rosemary and Parmesan and shake.

Although these may be Trimarni creations, these are 4 simple ways to boost your intake of whole grains, which is an important component of the Heart Wise Eating Plan.

Ladies Tri Night event recap - fuel efficiently

Marni Sumbal

2011 Ironman World Championship    Kona, Hawaii

The world of endurance sports continues to grow. This is wonderful for the ordinary individual who wants to do something extraordinary with his/her life. From a 5K to marathon to a sprint triathlon to the Ironman, from ultra distance swimming to century rides, there's a sport and a distance to challenge the mind and body, no matter the age or fitness level.

One major problem that is occurring frequently over the past few years is the struggle that many athletes face w/ sport nutrition. I do not feel I need to go into the specific struggles that athletes are experiencing but to mind; bloating, GI distress, rapid decrease in energy, brain fog, cramping, injury, bonking, weight gain, dehydration, ongoing fatigue, lethary and burnout. Nothing that can be pinpointed to one cause but rather, the remarkable connection w/ sport nutrition to training is far too often overlooked either due to lack of education/knowledge, confusion or lack of emphasis/importance.

A decade ago there were less endurance events for athletes to choose from and less athletes competing in endurance event.... thus less tendency for athletes to over train and compare training to others. Certainly the prices were cheaper and the selection of reputable sport nutrition products was slim compared to today.

Now a day, the westernized diet is not supportive of athletic performance gains and because of that, I see a direct connection w/ athletes struggling with sport nutrition. For if the daily diet is not under control, it is extremely difficult to believe that a "perfect" sport nutrition plan or product will allow for performance gains, quick recovery and body composition changes. Sport nutrition companies have confused athletes as to what they need or don't need during training, despite fairly consistent scientific research for athletes, over the past few decades.

But with new science comes more confusion and with excitement for a new distance or event, comes the stress of wondering "why isn't my sport nutrition working for me?"

At Ladies Tri Night, I saved my favorite subject for last....SPORT NUTRITION

As an endurance athlete, living with an endurance athlete and as a coach to endurance athletes.....this is one area when I can proudly say "I know what you are feeling when...."

For if it hasn't happened to me, it likely has happened to Karel or my athletes. Therefore, I find it very important that I provide help to others in the area of sport nutrition.  There's nothing worse than seeing the dreams of an athlete unravel because of not understanding the fundamentals of personalized sport nutrition.

Before I post the following tips for sport nutrition, I will be firm in saying that I truly believe that if you are struggling with your training, struggling with your nutrition (daily or sport) OR doing an event or distance for the first time, I HIGHLY recommend working with a qualified professional to help you create a sport nutrition strategy that will work for you at this point in your athletic career. Realizing that most of us are not professionals, we are doing all this crazy training all for fun, a medal and a t-shirt. We pay money to put our body through a lot of stress on race day and we sacrifice a lot to prepare the body and mind for months and months, all for that single race. Never forget that you are constantly fueling and refueling for your workouts during the day but it is around those 30 minute to 2+ hour workouts that your sport nutrition will enhance training so that you can be consistent on a daily basis.

Before you consider sport nutrition, athlete or not, be sure you are always focusing on your relationship with food.

 1. Forget about diets and calories – eat for fuel and for health

 2. Honor
hunger, control blood sugar, nourish your body

 3. Inspire, don’t lecture

 4. Savor food, don’t devour

 5. Food doesn’t solve
problems - temporary emotional numbness

 6. Eat for nutritional
quality, density and value

 7. Good, better, best
system - progress

 8. Think before you
act – hunger scale

 9. Balance – 365 days in a year

10. Create your positive food environment

What is Sport Nutrition?

     ØNutrition around your workout - pre, during, post
Why do you need to prioritize Sport Nutrition?
Øboost immune system, speed up recovery, provide energy, reduce fatigue, metabolize fuel

ØThe quicker you recover ...... the harder you can work.....the more consistently you can train.

How to NOT be confused by Sport Nutrition - keep it simple. What does your body need based on intensity and volume?
ØFoundation of fueling:
Fluids – 20-28 ounces/hour
Electrolytes – Na, K, Cl, Mg, Ca, NaHCO3
Carbohydrates – 1-1.5g/minute, 30-90g/hour maltodextrin or maltodextrin + fructose
Calories - varies

What you need to consider with Sport Nutrition:
1) All products are designed to match the needs of athletes.
-NO PERFECT PRODUCT but rather products with similar ingredients + that extra something to make it "better than the rest".
2) Laboratory setting, controlled environment, trained or untrained subjects.
-RESEARCH SELLS PRODUCTS. YOUR life is not a research study. Take research into the real world and find what works best for you.
3) Fitness level, terrain, weather, intensity, volume, body size, sweat rate, daily diet.
-CAN’T BLAME EVERYTHING ON NUTRITION. If you didn't train your body to run 7 minute miles off the bike, no amount of nutrition will help you do so in your race.

General Guidelines:
*1-2 hour workout:
1.One bottle fluids per 60-70 min of training (20-28 ounces)
2.Electrolytes (full spectrum) - magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, as well as calcium (pills, powders, gels, chews)
3.30-60g of carbohydrates (maltodextrin based) per bottle
carbs (maltodextrin + fructose based)
-water + sport drink

water + gel
-Water + sport drink + gel
-Water + sport drink + gel + solid/chews

4.Fuel frequently and consistently for calories - every 10-15 minutes (regardless of sport, intensity or duration). As tolerated!

If you can't digest the product sitting in your stomach, it won't be absorbed and the body will struggle.
*PRE (~30-60g carbs + a little protein/fat) – as tolerated!
-Examples: Cheerios, shredded wheat, oatmeal + milk
-Grains (bread, rice, pita, waffle, wrap, crackers) + nut butter
-Banana +
hard boiled egg
-8-16 ounces of water (a must to help with digestion!) + coffee
(or tea).
*POST** (recovery snack or meal, protein or protein + carbs) – as tolerated!
-8-12 ounces low fat chocolate milk
-Non fat/low fat milk or protein smoothie (whey or vegan (brown rice/pea)
-Omelet + toast
-Cereal + milk
-Cottage cheese + fruit
-16-24 ounces
water (FIZZ) to replace water/electrolyte loss + coffee

Recovery window is open for 24 hours!

**2:1 or 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein post workout.
on intensity and volume of activity)
*Your nutrition before, during & after training is only as good as your ability to tolerate, digest and absorb nutrition around your workouts.
*Always work your way up in nutrition to discover what works/doesn't work. It is not suggested to make yourself bonk during training, allow yourself to progress slowly, overtime (have back-up).
*For a recovery/off day, the only thing that should change in your diet should be the removal of your “sport nutrition” and macronutrient distribution.
*A well designed, balanced diet keeps you well-fueled, nourished and encourages quick recovery.
*Concerned about sport nutrition calories and weight loss? You are always fueling to prep for another week of quality, consistent training.

Ladies Tri Night event recap - Train Smarter

Marni Sumbal

(pic taken from Branson race report)

In 10 days I will be participating in my 7th half ironman event - Branson 70.3. I am beyond excited that I will be sharing the course with Karel, for his first ever half ironman. We are both ready and feeling strong and we are out to race our competition with our current level of fitness. The goal is to race smart. We are not out for a specific finishing time but instead to be challenged by what the day will bring. In endurance racing it's not about being fast but rather about who slows down the least. No need to make up time or put any time in the bank. 70.3 miles (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) is a long way for the body and whether you like it or not, fatigue is bound to occur. I can only speak about the event based on the course profile and from other reports but it will be a very challenging bike course so the mind and body will need to work well together.....just like we have trained them to do.
(with good nutrition, of course).
This week is a FULL recovery week. As I mentioned before, all the work is done (as of last weekend). We aren't using the word "taper" for "taper" in my opinion, involves intensity. Right now, we are allowing the body to rest, rejuvenate and repair so volume is really low (typical training week for us has been ~13-15 hours a week, this week is around 7 hours). We both took Monday completely off from training and woke up feeling rested (although a bit sore in the legs from the weekend). By Tues, I was feeling really good so I went for an easy 1 hour spin and Karel took another day off. There's a lot of stretching going on and massages are scheduled for Sun (Karel) and Tues (me). Next week we leave on Fri so before then we will be waking up the body with the same type of low volume "training" but adding in a little intensity w/ adequate recovery. This will give the body a little taste as to what will come on Sept 23rd but without the residual fatigue that comes with periodized training.

At the Ladies Tri Night event on Monday, I dedicated the middle third of my talk to a topic that I have learned to embrace this year. In having my best season ever, I can contribute most of my athletic success this year (which in turn, translates to my athletes having individual success as well) coming from training smart.
For many people, there's the basic understanding that if you want to get faster or reach  PR, you just have to train more. It's all about volume.
After removing my stubborn hat a few years ago (pre IMWI '10), I started to recognize the balance, fun and consistent progression that comes from training smart. Or as I like to say, quality training.

So, do you train smart?

ØDo you know the difference between training and an active lifestyle?
ØIs your training/exercise schedule flexible to fit your lifestyle?
ØDo you respect your body when you are injured or fatigued?
ØIs counting miles the only way you feel accomplished?
ØDo you feel guilty if you miss a workout? Are you able to schedule intentional rest/recovery days?
ØDoes a number on a scale or food intake determine your daily training volume and intensity?
ØDo you find yourself comparing your training/exercise routine to others?
ØIs your current training and diet routine working for you?
ØHave you ever raced injured, just for a t-shirt and medal?
ØDo you feel it is normal to experience severe cramps, dehydration, extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, extreme weight loss (or gain) and brain fog, just because you are training for a race, exercising for fitness or racing to a finish line?

ØAre you having fun?

It's not necessary to fit into every category but hopefully the questions (and your responses) will make you think about your current training (and perhaps, diet) regime and if it is working for your body, your personal life and your athletic goals. You may think that your current training routine is working for you but take my word, it is possible to gain fitness and improve performance by focusing more on quality over quantity. It's not just about the miles and burning calories.

If there was one word I could suggest for athletic individuals, the word would be: CONSISTENCY
You do not achieve goals in life on one day. Goals require hard work, dedication, patience and time. If they don't, they likely aren't seen as major life accomplishments.
oLife changes frequently. Your eating and training routine should also change to allow you to be as consistent as possible at this point in your life. In order to receive the most prominent physiological adaptations to the body with the least amount of training stress, train smart by focusing on consistency.
To help you out, I've created several tips for both fitness enthusiasts and athletes to start training smarter and more consistently. It's not rocket science but it does take a lot of strength. Understanding that athletes improve by putting stress on the body and then recovering, it doesn't surprise me that athletes get so caught up in the training and the miles with the rapid increase in endurance events. Whether it is fear of the distance and you feel you need to prove something to yourself in training (? - what if you can't do that 20 mile run that you squeezed into training 2 weeks out from race day, because you got too tired last weekend during your 16 mile run....what then?) or worry that you will gain weight during taper, athletic events (like tri's and running races) require a body that is trained, recovered and well-fueled. You can only beat the system for so long until you end up with an overtrained body or an injury. Additionally, it isn't a contest as to how little you can consume nutritionally, in training. What you may feel is normal or OK, perhaps should be addressed with a qualified professional, specializing in sport nutrition and/or exercise physiology.

1) Get a massage and stretch before you badly need it.

2) Fuel consistently during
workouts, before you feel tired and fatigued.

3) Prioritize nutrition before and after workouts, before you find yourself struggling with recovery.

4) Prioritize your nutrition throughout the day to compliment your intense/long daily training regime rather than obsessing about your intake on your "off" or lighter days.

5) Don't strive for a race weight but rather a strong body that will perform optimally by x-day.

6) Don't wait until taper (or rest week/day) to feel "normal" again. Find balance now.

7) Don't "rest" an injury/pain
after a workout. Address normal vs. not-normal aches on a daily basis and seek help before it gets worse.

8) Don't
just train hard and "rest" unintentionally – when you badly need it. Consider intentional rest days long before you actually need them.

9) Respect and thank your body for what it
allows you to do on a daily basis.

10) Have
fun, trust yourself and be confident. Don’t rush the journey.
Always keep in mind that if you are an athlete, training for an event finishing line, you will always need to appreciate daily exercise, just like the "normal" people in this world.
You don't have to train for an Ironman or run marathons to be healthy, fit and well. Daily exercise can do wonders for the mind, body and soul and best of all, most of the time, it is free!! Ever tried that thing called walking??? You can find it right outside your front door or office and it doesn't require a membership fee.
1.Think like a kid - have fun!
Have you ever seen a child with a garmin while playing tag?? Isn't it funny how so many athletes have to get to x-miles or x-time before the workout is officially complete. I challenge you to run or bike to a destination or to just stop when it feels right.
2.Focus on the little things – skills, sleep, strength, nutrition
3.Step outside your comfort zone
4.Set goals and track progress
5.Start slow, have a plan
6.New stuff – clothing, gadgets, location
7.Involve others for motivation
8.Time-focused or break it up
9.Use perceived exertion and/or effective tools
10.Make it a priority – when is the right time for you?
*BONUS TIP*: Daily prescription and long term health investment

Ladies Tri Night event - Perform Beautifully

Marni Sumbal

I could not have asked for a better crowd.....a bike shop PACKED with active women who all aspire to train smart, fuel efficiently and perform beautifully. Familiar and new faces filled the room and without enough chairs for the 60+ women in attendance - I'd say that's a great turnout for the first ever Trimarni Ladies Tri Night! An event not exclusive to triathletes but rather, an open invitation to anyone who lives an active lifestyle. And a huge thank you to those who changed schedules to be at the event, who came early and offered to help and to our amazing friends in Waycross, GA who made the drive just for this event. Thank you!

After changing out of my scrubs from a busy day at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, I dressed "up" in my Oakley shine support tank and had all my Oakley Women shades out for display.

The first 40 women who arrived by 5:50pm received a PACKED goodie bag thanks to Hammer Nutrition. Hammer Nutrition has been wonderful in terms of fueling my active lifestyle and I am thankful that they also help me out in many of my speaking events. I've been a loyal Hammer user for at least 5 years and with 5 IM's (2 IM World Championships) and 6 Half Ironman's behind my name, I couldn't ask for a better company to provide quality products to help me fuel my endurance lifestyle. If I had to pick my favorite products they would be Strawberry Heed, Grape Fizz and Huckleberry Gel (+ gel flask). And for supplements, hands down tissue rejuvinator is the best because it takes the place of ibuprofen and keeps me functioning well during my peak training. I have not used an anti-inflammatory pill since 1 week post Kona last October (I never use any type of anti inflammatory during or immediately before any race). Also to thank, 110% Play Harder helps the recovery process thanks to their genius mobile-ice bath + compression.

Without a doubt, everyone LOVED Veronica's Health Crunch. Not a seed or nut left in sight at the end of the event. I'm so proud of Veronica for having a vision and a goal and for making her dreams come true. A few years ago she approached me at one of Karel's cycling races, telling me about her idea for granola. Now, several years later her product is ending up on shelves at Fresh Market (can't wait for it to get to Jacksonville) and she is selling her product online. It is absolutely delicious and the ingredients are so simple, yet perfectly blended. YUM!!
Another big thanks to Chobani for donating Greek yogurt for the event. To introduce the ladies to other types of yogurts, I picked up my favorite plain yogurt, Dannon nonfat which sits very nicely in my tummy and is the perfect compliment to any fruit or smoothie. Both yogurts are packed with calcium and protein and went nicely with the health crunch. Oh, and the pink napkins are super cute.
(don't worry - the dietitian in me made sure all the yogurts were on ice before the event. No need for anyone to get sick)

I'm sure no one forgot about the amazing giveaways.....Hammer, Oakley, Veronica's Health Crunch, 110% and Nootca really hooked us up with some amazing swag. Also, president of the HammerHead Triathlon Club, super star IM triathlete Susan Wallis also provided lace locks to two newbie triathletes, doing their first triathlons this month.
  • Oakley donated the Drizzle and Overtime shades as well as the adorable Carver bags.
  • Hammer went above and beyond with Recoverite and Gel jugs + flask + fizz.
  • Veronica's Health Crunch donated a HUGE bag of her delicious crunch.
  • Nootca donated their amazing anti-fog 207 goggles (which I have been using for the past few weeks and will be wearing at Branson 70.3 next weekend).
  • 110% Play Harder donated the Mercury sock as well as one of their TOP sellers, the calf sleeves. They also provided a visor which is super comfy (Karel and I both have one for the hot summer training).
  • And last but not least, I have to give a HUGE thanks to Trek Jax for opening the shop after hours for the event. Karel is the GM of the San Jose location but his boss Jeff Kopp and his wife Alycia have been super supportive of all my career endeavours. They didn't even hesitate when I asked if I could hold a Ladies Tri Night event, after my friend Sky wanted to have an "informal" nutrition and training talk to 5 of the ladies who she is training for their first triathlon. Who knew it would end up being such a fabulous event with such great support of some amazing companies who embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. I also want to thank Trek employee Nicole for taking time out of her evening to be at the event to answer any female bike-related questions. Courtney P. also works at Trek but she just finished the Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships.

The presentation lasted around 40 minutes so I'd like to recap a little of the first part of the talk....saving the rest for another blog.


I read a study not too long ago which triggered me to begin my talk on the topic of Perform Beautifully, as part of the Oakley Women campaign.

-Gender and Body Image Study:
ØFemales 50+ years of age, 1,800 U.S. Women
Ø27% obese, 29% overweight, 42% normal weight, 2% underweight
Ø4% binge eat
Ø8% purge
Ø70% diet to lose weight
Ø36% dieted ~50% of the time in last 5 years
Ø41% check body size daily
Ø40% weigh themselves at least twice a week
Ø62% report body weight negatively impacts their life
Ø79% report body weight affects self-image
Ø64% think about their weight daily
Environmental Nutrition Sept 2012, Vol 35, No 9.

I struggled making it through my Dear Body letter as I read it allowed but I felt it tied so nicely with the study which shows how women can spend so much of their life focused (and obsessed) on body image - almost wasting life away just to achieve this "perfect" vision of what they feel is "healthy". There's no point in a lean body if you can't do anything with it and certainly, as an athlete, the body is going to change throughout the year and season.
I wrote this letter to myself just a few days before my 4th IM. I found it a life-changing experience and I encourage others to spend the time thinking about what you would say to your body - hopefully positive and perhaps apologetic at times.

 I always try to leave my audience with take-aways rather than just lecturing on what to do. I like to give advice that everyone can use based on their own lifestyle needs. I don't like to lecture, but rather inspire.
Here are a few tips if you are striving to perform beautifully:
*Aim for progress not perfection.
*Love your body not for a number on a scale, but for allowing you to cross finish lines by being healthy and strong.
*Don’t rush life. Every day is worth living.
*Every body is special. Embrace your body and individual needs. Don’t live a strict lifestyle but one of balance, consistency and enjoyment.
*Give yourself a reason to wake up every morning with a can-do attitude.
*Set short and long term realistic goals rather than living a life of regret, failure and obsession. Goals require dedication, energy and passion.
*Recognize your own individual needs based on your current training and lifestyle requirements.
*Be kind to your body so it doesn’t fail you. Thank your body, daily.
*Recognize the rewards of consistent daily exercise. Eat for fuel and for health.
*To perform beautifully, one must be patient. Take pride in the steps that are required to achieve goals in life and find ways to overcome obstacles with beauty, passion and grace.

More to come on how to train smarter......

Ladies Tri Night - 9/10/12 @ 6pm

Marni Sumbal

I'm SO excited for tomorrow!

Not because Karel and I will be entering our "official" -less than 2 weeks until race day - countdown but because tomorrow is LADIES TRI NIGHT!

I was asked by a friend of mine to speak to a few new triathletes on the topics of training and nutrition. With weekly emails from blog and facebook friends requesting info as to how to train and fuel better, I decided it would be appropriate to dedicate an evening to women-only, who live an active lifestyle.

If your are in the area, I welcome you to this FREE event. I have a fun and informative power point presentation discussing the topics of "Train smarter, fuel efficiently and perform beautifully".

Besides walking away with motivation, inspiration and education on those topics, I have snacks provided by Chobani Yogurt and Veronica's Health Crunch to keep tummies happy during the event, which starts at 6pm.

And if that wasn't enough, I have goodie bags to give out to the first 40 ladies who RSVP to the event (by this evening), all thanks to Hammer Nutrition. top that, I have some amazing companies who have donated items for this event, in order to give out as raffle items.

A BIG thanks to:
Hammer Nutrition.
Veronica's Health Crunch
Chobani Yogurt
Daisy brand
110%Play Harder
Oakley Women

The flyer for the event can be found on my website under the events section (
or on the Facebook page for the event:
Where: Trek Bicycles of Jacksonville 1313 Beach Blvd Jacksonville Beach 32250
Time: 6pm - 7:15pm
Want to get faster, stronger, more confident and more skilled (and have a lot of fun along the way)? Don’t miss this event….and the chance to win some FREE gifts from Oakley Women, Hammer Nutrition, Veronica's Health Crunch, Nootca and 110% Play Harder.
Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N , owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC will provide a fun and informative presentation to answer all your questions (and concerns) about training for a triathlon, how to eat for fuel and how to live a more balanced lifestyle.
*Runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts are welcome— but NO boys allowed!
(GM Karel Sumbal and/or Owner Jeff Kopp will be available during the event to answer all your bike-related questions)

If you are interested in me speaking to your corporation (lunch n' learn), training groups or athletes, send me an email to discuss details and request for topics. 

Super simple lifestyle tips - really, just that simple!

Marni Sumbal

Thanks Northwest Mutual for having me speak today about a topic that I am so passionate about..healthful living! If you are interested in me speaking to your company/business, send me an email. My power points are always very entertaining and fun to watch - your group will never get bored, I promise!

Hopefully I can get the video uploaded soon so I can share with was a great group and the talk went great!

So, I had a fantastic blog written but my computer decided to clear it all and now it is time for bed so without wasting my energy on something that is now out of my control, I'm going to go snuggle with Campy to make me feel happy again.

To get you motivated for a brand new day tomorrow, I leave you with this (below) as I conclude a jam-packed day today
.......which I will re-blog tomorrow after I do my swim and strength workout in the early morning and then help to teach the Diabetes Class at Baptist Medical Center Beaches later in the day.

My 8 simple tips for healthy "dieting" involved...focus on the lifestyle and the journey. It's just that simple!
  1. Have a mindful eating plan
  2. Be consistent with exercise
  3. Develop a positive food and body vocabulary
  4. Appreciate food for nutritional value, not just calories
  5. Welcome change by relying on the power of goal setting
  6. Work on sleep, stress and attitude management
  7. Prioritize real food
  8. Focus on YOUR needs – live for a better tomorrow

Trek event recap- Sport Nutrition in Today's Society

Marni Sumbal

The look of confidence

A-mazing swag!!!

So, why is sport nutrition so confusing??? You'd think with how much Ironman athletes, marathon runners and every other "athlete" trains, there must be a major calorie deficit to encourage major weight loss. Sadly, I find athletes struggling with weight despite training 10, 15, 20 hours a week and often, sport nutrition is overlooked. I find it absolutely amazing that athletes will excuse 200, 300, 500+ calories in the late evening hours due to working out earlier in the day yet when it comes to supporting ALL the metabolic processes that are needed to encourage gradual performance gains during training, athletes will often compromise performance by being fearful of pre, during and post training sport nutrition. Certainly, by prioritizing liquid calories (electrolytes, fluids and carbohydrates) during workouts, you will put yoursel in a better situation to reach your short and long term training goals and if you want to "save" calories, you can find 100-200 calories to "save" in your 1500+ calorie a day, diet.

Because sport nutrition is so individualized, I absolutely LOVE working my Trimarni coaching and nutrition athletes on developing an efficient and practical training and racing fueling plan to reach both performance and body composition goals. Although it can be scary at first for athletes to try something new, it often pays off in more energy during workouts, less fatigue during workouts, quicker recovery, an increase in lean muscle mass and performance gains.

Because what works for one person doesn't always work for another person, we must understand that sport nutrition depends on:

-Weather, terrain, duration, intensity, nerves, body size, fitness, efficiency, choice of fuels, fueling strategy, previous meals and daily diet.

Additionally, your sport nutrition will likely vary on a day to day basis, as well as throughout your training routine- with the hope that your body is becoming more metabolically efficient with each workout. To sum up the purpose of sport nutrition: your goal is to regulate body temperature, ensure proper gastric emptying and absorption of electroyltes, carbs and fluids, ensure proper muscle contractions and relaxations, postpone fatigue, support cardiac and respiratory functioning and of course, support all metabolic processes.  
The purpose of my talk was to give some insight as to why sport nutrition is so confusing in today's society. The reason why I picked this topic is because on race day, your race day performance is simply based on how you trained. Therefore, your goal is to train your body to execute a plan on race day and to be well-fueled throughout the course of training. Perfecting race day nutrition starts WAY before race day and of course, if you didn't train your body to run sub 7 min miles off the bike in a triathlon, no amount of sport nutrition will help you out on race day.
The first part of my talk was spent on the factors contributing to the confusion with sport nutrition:
1) Research - every sport nutrition company has research showing that their product is better than the rest.
2) Celebrities (aka "professionals" and sponsored athletes)
3) The current food industry

As you can imagine, I spent some time talking about the current food industry.

As you all know, we live in an obesity-promoting environment.. Today, our society is eating much differently than it did 10, 20, 30 years ago.  Today, we aren't consuming food, we are consuming products. We are consuming chemical concotions, created by science, that appear more healthful than the real option. Because of the choices athletes and fitness enthusiasts are making within the daily diet, often sport nutrition puts to the backstide. Not sure where the viscous cycle starts but athletes, overeat/undereat post workout due to poor fueling during (and before) the workout. Improper nutrition post workout often leads to feeling of guilt (or control) which can ultimately sabatoge a workout. Athletes are tired from poor nutrient density as well as from overtraining or training for quantity, not quality (often the overtraining comes from the desire to burn more calories or the obsession of burning calories to be able to eat certain foods). Althetes are then so tired during the day, that the rely on energy drink products and pick-me-ups (coffee, sugary treats, sport items, etc.) to give them "short term" energy that can also be obtained with a balanced training plan and more sleep. I find that for many athletes, the blood sugar is completely out of whack and luck for me, I learn a lot about diabetes from being a clinical dietitian - different yet oh so similar. It's a tough cycle to break - luckily, I have the tool set to help athletes learn how to fuel both the lifestyle and the workout routine.

Oh, not to mention that people are eating in the cars, behind the computers, during a 5-minute "break" between meetings and wherever else athletes choose to eat...or not eat/restrict. Oh darn it, forgot to mention poor stress and sleep management as well as emotional eating, anxiety, depression and feelings of being overwhelmed.

The western diet is nothing close to natural and because of that, athletes are confused as to how to eat - both for fuel and for health. My advice, eat real food, be mindful of how food makes you feel, honor your hunger and prioritize sport nutrition before, during and post workout. Yes, it can be a bit complicated for some people so be sure to contact your favorite sport nutritionist/RD to help guide you along the way.

Showing how much sugar is added to products like oatmeal packets, cereals, chocolate milk, granola bars, juices, yogurt, etc. (the list goes on and on and on)

Be aware of claims. Always read the ingredients and nutrition fact label. Often "healthy" options are no better/worse than the other "unhealthy" option. Remember, no bad or off-limit foods - just de-emphasize. This will allow you to appreciate what you do have in the diet. My favorite tip for cereal, make a veggie, fruit and protein smoothie (mixed with a healthy fat like chia seeds or flax oil) and top with a handful of your favorite cereal. I always have cheerios and a shredded wheat-type cereal in our place, as well as oatmeal (instant, plain) and crisp/wasa crackers for a nice crunch (especially with peanut butter or cheese). 

If you want chocolate, eat chocolate!! But make it the good stuff (>75% cacao) and pass on the granola bars, sugar free candies/goodies and anything else that is modified to be almost as good as the real thing. We LOVE sea salt chocolate dark chocolate in our house....yum.

Mango juice? How about eating a mango! fruit which is low glycemix and empties from the stomach slowly. I don't encourage a high fructose consumption (sport drinks) during training which may increase risk of bloating, cramping or diarrhea. No need to fear fruit for the "sugar". Keep in mind that you need to give food a nutritional value for what it provides to your body as well as how it makes you when you eat it (and after you eat it). Fruit has electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and fiber...go on and eat the rainbow!

Natural. Such a misleading word. now a day. In my right hand, I have an almond, in the shell. When Karel was growing up, he couldn't get enough walnuts from all the walnut trees in Czech Republic. Once a nut is picked, companies think you desire more so they add seasonings, salt, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. to "natural" nuts. Grab yourself a nut cracker, save some money, and buy the real thing. I think you will really appreciate nuts a lot more after cracking them yourself. There's something so beautiful about food in its real form.
Oh, my thoughts on organic? We don't do organic because I like to shop around and shop seasonal. Last time I was sick was in 2006 - still going strong as no virus has stopped my active lifestyle. I don't get flu shots, I don't take antiobiotics, I don't take daily supplements....I just eat real food, get good sleep, try to manage stress and exercise just enough to receive optiomal performance gains (but not put me over the edge). Certainly, everyone is different and we must always respect the body and focus on what is best for us at this time in our life and to protect us from the future. I am not against anything and for those who have worked with me, they know I don't have "rules" for my athletes but rather suggestions and tips - with research in mind, but practical for real world settings. I encourage others to shop what is in season and to aim for a variety of color in the diet. Certainly, choosing an organic food from california would not be as fresh and nutrient dense as local strawberries from a farmer down the road. And although I like to say that food without a food label is not processed, anything that is handled by someone else and travels, is likely "processed" in some form (cut, washed, chopped, etc.) As for fear of pesticides, approximately .04% individuals over 20 years of age were exposed to pestides in 2011. More than 140,000 people die from stroke, which is the third leading cause of death in America. Eat your fruits and veggies people!

As for the rest of my talk...I got into the fun stuff, that all athletes want to know about: how to improve performance with sport nutrition! I spent a bit of time talking about what factors affect gastric emptying and absorption (ex. intensity, type of carbs, osmolality, fluid intake before and during training, electrolytes, etc.) as well as how to recognize factors that may be affecting performance besides just sport nutrition:
-Training tools/gadgets (ex. power meters, garmin/GPS, HR monitor, training peaks, etc.)
-Stress and sleep management
-Periodized training
-Proper pacing during training and racing/intervals
-Daily diet

. Want to learn more??? Contact me and I'd be happy to arrange a talk at your local triathlon or running club...I always try to come with goodies...and a yummy Trimarni creation.....

Yogurt dip:
Non fat Dannon yogurt (about 2 cups)
Chili pepper (pinch or two shakes)
Lemon pepper (pinch or two shakes)
Dried chopped onions (1 tbsp)
Parsley (1/2 tbsp)
Feta cheese (1 tbsp)
Cumin (optional - start with a pinch, then add more to your liking)

                                                          1. Mix together in a bowl.
2. Refrigerate.
3. Serve with veggies - carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.

To conclude the evening, I had a fantastic group of individuals donate items for the raffle. I am so fortunate to be an ambassador for so many great companies. I don't believe in calling myself a sponsored athlete because I embrace the brands that I support. They aren't paying me to use their products. As a loooong time Hammer and Oakley, I love the brands that help me succeed (like CEP compression) in my athletic career. Over the past year and a half, I have created a fantastic relationship with 110% Play Harder and love their fantastic products and gear. Although not an ambassador of Trek, I love being part of the Trek family and I am proud to support local small businesses. I want to give a special thanks to the following for helping out with my event:
Carla - CEP, I totally believe in compression. It has helped me out in so many ways. I don't train without calf sleeves or socks. As a helpful reminder, only socks or tights covering the feet (not sleeves) should be used for recovery for graduated compression.
Steve - Vibewired (currently website under construction - check out vibewired on facebook and on twitter). Great invention Steve - short wires for your nano so you don't have to battle with dangling wires while you are working out! Just attach to your hat or helmet (ride safe please, use music only on quiet roads and not on group rides or in races) and you are good to go!
Hammer Nutrition - Please support local tri or running stores but if you want to order online, use my customer code 97495 for a 15% discount on your first order. My favorite products - huckleberry gel and Strawberry Heed. I've heard from many that Hammer sends lots of free samples with your first order :)
Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville - Thank you Jeff, Karel and the other guys who stayed after hours to listen to me speak...and drink your beers behind the service counter :)
110% Play Harder -    Have you seen the new quad sleeves? Need to boost your recovery post workout
Oakley women - for the NEW radar edge sunglasses. I am so proud to be part of the Oakley women ambassador team and to be able to call Oakley women, my family. I invite you to check out the website as well as on facebook, as Oakley is gearing up for the olympics with a lot of inspirational campaigns (Beyond reason) and information on the latest with Oakley USA olympic athletes. If you have any questions regarding Oakley sunglasses or gear, just let me know. BTW - you don't need polarized unless you like them better than polarized. I hear it all the time and Erik (Jax Oakley rep) discussed the importance of Oakley testing, lenses, style, cut of lenses, etc. and explained that polarized shades reduce glare - like on snow and water. They make it hard to see computer screens but many people like it better. So do you have to have it? No, it is an individual decision. My fav racing/training shades: Radar edge and commit.
**And a SPECIAL BIG thanks to my friend Tyler S. for taking these wonderful pics during the event. If you'd like to have Tyler take pics at your upcoming event (or family pics, active, or anythingn you need), just send me an email.

Showing how my Drizzle active eyewear do not fall off my face. You can even run in them - no slipping!

Congrats to the Oakley shade winners!!

My biggest take-home message for the evening was to remind everyone that triathlons are our lifestyle, not our life. It is a hobby that makes us feel good and that should certainly enhance our lifestyle. We don't have to train for an Ironman or marathon to "lose" weight and the goal of any diet or training routine should never be for the goal to be skinny. I believe we should eat and train to gain strength, both in body and mind.
Secondly, we only have one chance at life. I don't believe that we can prevent disease, simply reduce the risk. Lifestyle factors have a significant impact on what gets "turned" on in your body as well as how the organs will continue to function, 10,20,40, 50 years down the road. By taking care of yourself now, you are more likely to create fantastic memories as you continue to age. If you are one of the many who experience an illness or disease later in life, hopefully you will be reminded of all the amazing steps you took to reduce your risk and you will be one of many who will come out a winner.

Life isn't about being perfect. Just do the best you can - don't waste energy on things out of your control and set goals for yourself to feel just as good, if not better, tomorrow, as you were today. I'm not one for making excuses but rather for making things happen.

I know you can do the same.