Essential Sports Nutrition


New Year Resolutions

I was given the opportunity to be challenged this week. Challenged in a good way, that is.
Working as a clinical dietitian is always challenging, for each patient (regardless of diagnosis) has his/her own past medical history. Over the past 6 months, I have learned an amazing amount of information about the body as well as healthcare in general. I've gotten to know many of the nurses at BMCB as well as a few of the doctors. I started out seeing patients in med surge and once I got a bit more comfortable, I worked my way to seeing patients in the PCU (Progressive Care Unit). With each change in unit comes more difficult and complex cases and just this week, I was given the opportunity to assess, follow and treat patients in the CCU (Critical care unit).
Accepting this challenge also comes with responsibility as I am assessing and following patients who are on tube feedings, TPN, with decub ulcers, undergoing chemo/radiation, are sedated, are inbuted or are with a trach. I suppose you could say that the most critical patients are in the CCU.
There's a lot to understand when it comes to working with patients in the hospital and while some cases seem "easy", there's nothing simple about being admitted into the hospital after a visit to the ER.

I absolutely love being a clinical dietitian and I can't express the amount of info I have learned since wanting to become a RD. Thinking back, I told myself that sports nutrition and having my own business were the two driving forces in obtaining my RD credential, alongside writing a book and advancing my speaking and writing career.

I would never take back my experience as a dietitian intern and with only a few more days before I enter a new chapter of my life, with a New Year, I am extremely thankful to my friends and family for not giving up on me during the last challenging year of my life.

If you know me, you know I love a challenge. For my challenges are not too extreme but rather life-changing. I enjoy putting myself into situations that will make me a better person and most of all, allow me to really understand what life is all about.

For the New Year, I welcome you to give yourself a few resolutions that will challenge yourself to be a better person. While diet and exercise are two great habits to keep balanced in your life, it is important that you not be afraid to take yourself out of your comfort zone in order to become a better YOU.

1) Become a better all areas of your life.
2) Have a flexible schedule. Don't be afraid of change.
3) Relax. No really, RELAX!
4) Walk more, drive less.
5) Use your brain more and depend on/use electronics less.
6) Write more..with paper and pencil (if you don't have that, I think the stores still sell them)
7) Volunteer or give back
8) Do something that gets you out of your comfort zone, at least once a week
9) Don't be afraid to come in last or to fail with a new sport. Just by signing up, you are already a step ahead of others who are afraid to start.
10) Smile more often.
11) Don't judge people, gossip less.
12) Watch at least 1 reality show (or show that makes you laugh) per week.
13) Support, motivate and encourage those who you care about. Don't preach, just be a good friend.
14) Simplify your life so you have more time for you.
15) Worry less and have fun more often.
16) Say I love you and thank you...if you mean it, it can't be said enough.
17) Talk less, listen more. You can't listen with your mouth open.
18) Be less opinionated. Accept others for who they are.
19) Be more responsible, challenge yourself.
20) Never look back and say "I wish I would have". Live in the moment and make smart choices that will make for a productive tomorrow.

21) Cheerish your true friends and be nice to everyone else.


Too busy or too hungry?

One of the most common complaints (err, excuses) that I hear from individuals is that they don't have enough time to cook meals. Over the past month, I have found myself wishing for a few more hours in the day and wondering where the time goes and if I can find it..... and get some back.

Two things that I prioritize at the top of my daily-functioning list are sleep and exercise. Both make me feel great, allow me to re-charge and help me feel productive. As my good sleep habits make for a consistent exercise routine, I must prioritize the food in my diet in order ensure optimal health and performance gains.

If you are coming home extremely hungry because of a rushed/busy schedule or you are coming home hungry after work, I would completly agree with you that it would be hard to cook a 30 or 60 min. meal. Sure, some meals can be prepared and consumed within 15 minutes but it's likely that most meals involve a little time for prep and cooking (or assembly).

Sometime ago, our society dismissed the idea that we need to make time to cook and eat at home. We (society) suddenly decided that there wasn't enough time in the day to take time for our health...but there is plenty of time for X (fill in the blank with what keeps you too busy to create a wholesome meal to provide nutrients to your body to help reduce risk for disease, help maximize performance and improve well-being). For my parents made time to cook for me and my grandparents surely cooked for my parents. I believe that it is necessary for our health to know exactly what we are putting into our body and to have control over how much we eat.

Earlier today, one of my former nutrition athletes sent me a picture of her lunch. She said that that it was yummy and it made her smile. I love these emails and I get them often. You have no idea how much I love it that people are taking pictures of homecooked meals because they are impressed or inspired by their own personal creations.

I think we all have an hour in the evening. No matter how busy we are, if you are cleaning the house, watching TV, playing with kids or catching up on's like you can find an hour in your evening (or morning) to prepare a few meals.

If you have an hour, that's great! However, can you spend that hour cooking a meal when you are extremely hungry after you come home from errands, work or extracurriculars/workouts? NOPE!

You must set yourself up for good behavior. One of my easiest suggestions is to plan for a pre-meal snack. Nothing big but enough to curb cravings and hunger. I like to snack on veggies as they are nutrient dense and don't pack a lot of calories (but rather a lot of nutrition). However, I am also a big nut lover and enjoy snacking on a few walnuts and almonds as I am chopping produce for my upcoming meal. The idea is to not obsess about calories in the pre-meal snack but to keep it small and satisfying enough, to hold you over to ENJOY cooking a dinner meal (as well as preparing extra for lunch the next day).

Although a pre-meal snack can help calm down your tummy as you look forward to making a yummy creations, preventing cravings, overeating and quick eating start as soon as you wake in the morning.

In a former blog post I discussed about making a plan for your eating...just like you have a training plan. I recommend focusing on your "sports nutrition" in order to properly fuel and recover from exercise FIRST and then plan the rest of your day. As you focus for balance in the diet, with 3 fabulous meals (starting with breakfast or a protein-rich snack within 90 minutes of waking if not working out) and several snacks to fill in nutrient-gaps, always think back to previous meals and snacks to keep your diet filled with variety.

As I was cleaning my place, folding laundry and packing for our trip to the NC mountains this weekend, I prepared the most simple and best-tasting meal (no joke, it was SO yummy!) with NO ADDED INGREDIENTS!

I hope you can find a little time in your day to prepare a homecooked meal. Remember, aim for progress, not perfection....if you struggle with cooking at home, start with 1 simple meal with a base of frozen veggies (which offer similar or sometimes better nutrition value compared to fresh) or pre-chopped produce.

I hope you enjoy my fabulous glad I made leftovers for work tomorrow (for both Karel and me!).

Brown rice (cooked in water on stove and then "browned in oven" for 10 minutes
Red potatoes (tossed in olive oil and cooked at 425 degrees. Sprinkled with parsley, chili pepper and a dash of sea salt)
Veggies (Green and Red bell peppers, onions and steamed broccoli - tossed in olive oil, cooked at 425 degrees and sprinkled with sesame seeds and no salt seasoning).

Because Karel and me both have different nutritional needs, this meal allows for everyone in your family to choose their own portions. I added 1 hardboiled egg to my meal to go with the brown rice (I didn't have beans but that would make for a complete protein) and then served mostly veggies in the middle of my plate and added the red potatoes to the side of my dish. YUM!


Veselé Vánoce and Happy Hanukkah!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday from the Sumbal household!

Sporting my new LG jersey...hopefully by now, you know how much I L.O.V.E. Louis Garneau!

Karel rocking one of his two new pairs of Oakley's and his new Road ID Elite.

We had a very merry Czech, Jewish celebration last night and it was filled with yummy homemade food, family traditions, a few special gifts for Karel and me (I feel like I have everything I need in life..can't ask for much more!) and Campy getting way too many gifts :)

Homemade Czech cookies and candy from Karel's family in Czech. Thank you (Dekuji)!

My homemade Vánočka (Czech Christmas bread) which is nothing compared to the real thing but at least I try, every year. Karel also made his mom's traditional potato salad w/ pickles, parsnips, celery root, carrots, potatoes and peas...which is SOOOOO good! Carp is the traditional fish in Czech but Karel made a breaded tuna steak for him and breaded tofu for me. YUM! I added asparagus for a little color to the plate, made with olive oil, garlic and sesame seeds (my mom's recipe).


Karel's new book...made for a European bike lover!

A page just for Campy!!

I guess he was a bit too tired...

I guess after my morning group ride and Campy miles, we were all a bit tired!

Hope you enjoyed the weekend!


26.2 Donna - upcoming talk!

Shortly before the Ironman World Championships in October, I applied to be a 110% Play Harder Ambassador. If you haven't heard of the company or discovered their amazing line of products, I highly recommend checking out the 110% Gear as well as the limited edition breast cancer clothing.

As an ambassador for 110%, I am proud and honored to be part of this upcoming event at Seasons 52 with an amazing panel of inspiring women.
This event will be a fundraiser to support a high-impact fundraising effort for the 26.2 with Donna: 110M for 110K

Although I will not be running the 110 miles, I will be racing the 26.2 Donna in Feb, here in Jacksonville, for 13.1 miles (the half marathon). As I will be running 13.1 miles with thousands of inspiring athletes, a group of 110% runners will cover 110 miles (on foot!)to the marathon finish of the 26.2 with Donna in an effort to raise $110,000. If they can achieve that goal of raising $110,000, the 26.2 with Donna should be able to meet the Weaver Family Foundation's $100,000 challenge. That would nearly double the contributions raised to fund ground-breaking breast cancer research and to provide financial support to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer!

If you are interested in supporting this cause, there are two ways of doing so...
1) Attend the following dinner (with cocktails included) on January 12th, where proceeds will go directly to 26.2 with Donna.
The evening includes the following speakers:

Donna Deegan
News anchor, author, breast cancer survivor and founder of the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer.

Kellie Smirnoff
Accomplished endurance athlete, ultra marathoner, EPICMAN competitor (that's a triple ironman!). Kellie and her sister Heather will team up for the 110M for 110K, each running 110 Kilometers to the marathon finish.

Marni Sumbal
Exercise physiologist, registered and licensed dietitian, coach, writer, speaker and 5x Ironman finisher. Marni will provide advice about how we can all ensure our best performance on race day.
(I will be giving a short power point presentation on nutrition, exercise and creating a foundation of good health).

Jennifer Levinson
Many of you know that Jen is a Senior Director at NBA Creative Services, but she is also a 10-year survivor and active breast cancer advocate. Jen has served on the board of the Young Survivors' Coalition and the Florida Breast Cancer Coalition Research Foundation and she is a recipient of the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Advocacy Award. Jen will give us her personal perspective on the importance of providing funding to ground breaking research like the Herceptin trial that she participated in at Mayo.

The event will be held in Jacksonville, at the Town Center, at Seasons 52.
Seasons 52, who focuses on providing a Fresh Dining Experience that Celebrates Living Well, is the perfect venue for this event and will be sponsoring the event. Because of their generosity, most of the $110 charge for the evening directly to the 26.2 with Donna.
A portion of the $110 for the evening will qualify as a tax-deductible donation, and we will provide a receipt to all registered attendees.

For your convenience, here is the link to the
Paypal payment page
Please RSVP to Lori Adams @

2) If you can not make it to the event, you can still donate at the following site. Feel free to donate under any name as all of the money will be given on behalf of 110% Play Harder. Here is the link to the 110M for 110K event website: 110M for 110K

Any questions, please don't hesitate to email.

Do you live an active lifestyle and are a breast cancer survivor? Do you know someone (friend/family) who has accomplished an athletic event after being diagnosed with cancer?

I would love to provide the name of YOU or someone that you know, who has turned tragedy into triumph by partaking in a running/walking, triathlon or biking race after being diagnosed with cancer. In the comment section, please provide the name (you may use initials if you choose) of the survivor and race event (and location) so that I can include it in my talk on January 12th. I will only be including names
but feel free to share your/a story if you'd like.

"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~Abraham Lincoln


A year in pics...

A new business, another year for making memories and continuing my journey for living a quality-filled life and the year in which I move out of the 25-29 age group.

As I close 2011, I'd love to share a few pics as I reflect on an amazing, life-changing year.....

Finishing my 10-month Dietetic Internship with 13 amazing weeks at St. Vincent's Hospital

Karel finishing the 2011 Athens Twilight Criterium

Celebrating my brothers' graduation from Carnegie Mellon Business School and his new job at Ernst and young

Spending time as a family...a very active family

Dedicating an entire month to preparing for the RD exam...and passing on my first attempt

Being selected among hundreds to be an Oakley Women Ambassador and performing beautifully with my new friends and family in Napa Valley for the Oakley Women Fitness retreat.

Getting my first job as a RD at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, as a PRN Clinical Dietitian.

Putting my 8 years of education (BA in exercise science with a minor in psychology, MS in exercise physiology and Registered and Licensed Dietitian) to good use as an aspiring writer, hopefully book author and speaker.

Being able to coach an amazing group of inspiring athletes and support Karel during his cycling season, as he becomes Florida Cup Pro 1,2 Series Champion for the 2nd year in a row.

Celebrating my 3rd year of marriage (and fun) with my best friend

Crossing my 5th Ironman finishing line and competing in my 2nd Ironman World Championship and being able to share this experience with my parents and well as 1500+ other amazing athletes, blog followers and Facebook friends.

Enjoying a 10K and Half Marathon PR just 5 and 8 weeks after Kona. Also, discovering that Karel can run...really, really fast.

My first triathlon in 2004...Remember that life is a journey and that with every day, there is something exciting about a change, a challenge or an obstacle. Why be ordinary when you can be extra-ordinary?


Life is challenging

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
-Gilda Radner

Campy is lucky to have Karel and me...but then again, I think WE are the lucky ones

I will be working most of this week and all of next week at the Baptist Medical Center Beaches. I am always so amazed as to what I learn while I am at work and the appreciation I have when I leave work. Cancer diagnosis, new tube feeding regimes, on-going testing, round the clock medications and painful symptoms. These are all things that I am sure none of us wish to have in our personal life, yet we often take for granted that good health is often in our control.

I believe we are all on a journey in life and that we need to see every day as a new day to be OK with change. Change was always something that was very scary for me. I always loved being in my comfort zone. Looking back at my life, I sometimes I wonder where I would be in life, if I didn't accept change as something good. For change brought challenges and an ability to work hard for what I want in life. For change has brought me love, happiness and a great appreciation as to how I want to live my life. Change has allowed me to cross 5 Ironman finishing lines, graduate with my Masters and have the credential of Registered and Licensed Dietitian, behind my name. Change is not easy but if we keep doing the same things, we should expect the same results.

After working at the hospital today, I watched this link sent from my best friend Jennifer. Ever think that life just sucks, is too hard or there aren't enough hours in the day to eat right, exercise or get enough sleep?

Do you ever lay down at night and feel grateful for a tomorrow? Are you thankful for the things you have in life? Do give the same respect to your body, as you do for others?

I've learned that weight loss and "healthy" eating is far beyond calories and good and bad food. I've learned that in order to succeed as an athlete (and improve fitness), there must be consistency..for one will not succeed with a "perfect" training plan, if the training plan increases the chance for sickness, illness, overtraining, more sleep, little time to recover and not enough time to fuel the body for proper health.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could instantly remove pressure to be perfect. Pressure to do exactly what you think you should be doing on an every day basis? How about the fun side of life....feeling great for what you can do today and what you are looking forward to, tomorrow.

I'm sure many people would give anything for certain parts of your life, that in your eyes, seem boring, hard, easy or challenging. Is there a key to success? Well, I believe that life requires work and certainly comes with challenges. How about welcoming the ability to work for what you want in life and being able to address weaknesses that are causing you to feel inconsistency.
If you are pretty certain that you have "a tomorrow", LIFE can only get better... if you let it. What if you didn't have "a tomorrow"?

Inspired by determination


HCG for weight loss...

Not any more.

HCG off the market

Diet fads, weight loss pills and meals plans don't help. They only confuse you, restrict you and make you feel obsessed, unbalanced, extreme and overwhelmed. Think about training..what if you were told that there was only one way to train and you had to do the same thing everyday. Oh, and everyone you know was going to do the same thing as well because there is only one way to do it correctly.

Flexibility and an open mind, along side an ability to customize training and nutrition allows freedom and a sense of balance.

I am constantly learning as a dietitian and exercise physiologist. As I launch my new business in T-minus 12 days, I have really enjoyed furthering my understanding of the human body and how it reacts to food and exercise. More so, I have really enjoyed working closely with Karel and discussing, in great detail, as to how our personal philosophy's on food and exercise will be displayed in my nutrition and coaching business. I believe that the best way to help others is to not believe there is a "RIGHT" way to do things but rather, keeping the process fun and enjoyable in order to allow a person to feel success in all areas of life...not just in diet or training.

I do not believe in meal plans and I do not believe writing pre-built endurance training plans. There are certain areas that I draw the line, knowing that there is not just one way of doing things, when it comes to changing dietary habits to support body composition changes or health gains OR to improve performance (or to cross an endurance finishing line).

What makes for a successful athlete or fitness enthusiast? In a few sentences, here's my list.....
-A diet balanced in quality protein, whole (unprocessed) grains, healthy fats and a rich amount of fibrous fruits and veggies.
-Water as primary fluid choice
-Healthy relationship with food
-Emphasizing whole foods as the bulk of the diet, prioritizing fruits/veggies as the foundation and focusing on the individual strengths/weaknesses in your diet to meet your individual goals
-Not having rules in your life but being OK with change
-Strength training 2-3 times per week, specific to sport, stability and muscle imbalances
-Quality approach to training
-Massage, visualization, compression and anything else that encourages proper recovery from exercise
-Consistency and enjoyment for diet and training
-Proper sleep on most nights of the week
-Stress management
-Surrounding yourself with people who give you energy, not take it away from you


Happy Friday!

Campy reminds me that every day, we have the choice of having a good day or a great day.

"If you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the new day brings." -
Susan Polis Schultz

Do you have a reason to live for today?

If so, then you are far from a bad day.

"Deal with the bad days quickly, move on in a positive manner and realize that YOUR bad day could be someone's BEST day."

Keep in mind that your attitude will drive you and that one negative experience should not be seen as a streak of bad luck. Most people recognize bad days because they are often among many, many good and great days. Everyone has an "off" day...but it is never a bad day when you can love, live and make choices that will encourage a better tomorrow (and later today).

Happy Friday and don't forget to thank your body!

Happy Friday!

Campy reminds me that every day, we have the choice of having a good day or a great day.

"If you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the new day brings." -
Susan Polis Schultz

Do you have a reason to live for today?

If so, then you are far from a bad day.

"Deal with the bad days quickly, move on in a positive manner and realize that YOUR bad day could be someone's BEST day."

Keep in mind that your attitude will drive you and that one negative experience should not be seen as a streak of bad luck. Most people recognize bad days because they are often among many, many good and great day. Everyone has an "off" day...but it is never a bad day when you can love, live and make choices that will encourage a better tomorrow (and later today).

Happy Friday and don't forget to thank your body!


Orange walnut biscotti's

Tis the season of holiday parties

and cute pics of Campy

Last night was the end of the year Hammerhead Triathlon Club party and was catered by the Pita Pit. The falafel and hummus pita's were delicious! The party included a cookie contest and I was excited to come up with a new creations to bring to the party. Knowing that I am not a baker and that my "healthy" creations do not compare to the decadent taste of chocolate covered peanut butter balls, Andes-mint chocolate chip cookies and Scandinavian powdered balls....I figured that I was baking for me and Karel and I knew that my coffee-loving husband would LOVE my biscotti's.

Although only a few people at the party commented that they liked my creation (I'm surprised people tried them as they were sitting between chocolate chip cookies and my favorite...carrot cake!), I am positive that you will enjoy them as a crunchy treat, not loaded with butter, sugar and oil. So while we all welcome a few occasional treats around the holiday's, I invite you to try to make these biscotti's as a healthy alternative to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Although baking requires a bit more "science" in terms of having the right quantity and mixture of ingredients to create the final product, my intent with my "Creations" is to not focus on reducing calories, fat, carbs, sugar, sodium, etc. and to promote an item as "low cal, low sugar, low etc." nor do I feel the need to add "diet" foods to my meal in order to reduce calories. My goal and hope for you, is that you will spend more time and energy focusing on adding nutrients and nutritional value to your meals and onward, to your body.
I find that when I create meals and a few blog-worthy desserts with wholesome ingredients, there is little need to "worry" about the nutrients that so many feel are necessary to control, in terms of controlling weight and reaching fitness gains. From my own experience and through working with others, there is something so magical that happens for both mind and body when you not only take pride in your creations but you build a meal from primarily wholesome ingredients.

As you are waiting for your biscotti's to bake, here's a blog I did in 2008 on
clean and healthy eating

Orange Walnut Biscotti's
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs + 1 egg white
1 tbsp plain yogurt (non fat)
1 tbsp orange zest (wash the orange before zesting)
1 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp chopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. Beat eggs, yogurt, zest and almond extract.
4. Add liquid to dry and beat on low.
*After a few minutes of beating, I removed the beater and mixed by hand until flour was well combined.
5. Fold in raisins and walnuts.
6. When ingredients are well combined and flour is mixed in very well, lightly rub olive oil on a non stick baking sheet.
7. Take pieces of the dough and roll with hands (may need to use a little water or cooking spray on hands to prevent sticking) into logs (about the size of your pointer finger) and press down to make the shape of the biscotti.
*After 20 of them, I was tired of making the logs so I decided to just roll them in my hands so that they were more like large pretzel sticks.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown on the bottom and snap when broken in half.

*I made a cranberry dipping sauce to go along with the biscotti's. This is where you will likely need to adjust recipe by taste because I used 1 bag cranberries and only 1/4 cup sugar (cooked according to package of cranberries) so the sauce is a bit tart but we like it that way (and use it in smoothies, oatmeal and with PB).


Iron poppers and Seasons 52

Unbeknown to many, I spend a lot of time researching information for my articles. This article (on Iron), specifically, took a lot of time in putting together. What a complex topic!! But that's ok...all it took was a little time in my kitchen to come up with one of my most favorite recipes EVER!!! My editor and I are calling them "Iron poppers" but feel free to call them what they are.....Iron balls!

A friend of mine, Jennifer Hutchison, RD, commented that she made a similar recipe in 2000 when she made something wholesome and easy to carry for her friends who were training for an Ironman. She called them Iron Ballz.
Jennifer reminded me that we have a similar product on the market... "POWER BITES"!! Although my intent wasn't to re-create a sports nutrition product, I guess my idea to combine several non-heme foods in a food processor and roll them into a ball, is a great "powerful" snack!

I hope you enjoy them and if you want to make them a little less sticky, be sure to keep them in the refrigerator and perhaps, roll them in oats prior to putting them in the 'fridge.

Last night, Karel and I joined the other 3 dietitians from my work (Baptist Medical Center Beaches) and their hubby's at Seasons 52. This restaurant just opened in the Town Center here in Jacksonville, FL and was a perfect place for 4 RD's to celebrate the holiday season. If you have the opportunity to go to Seasons 52, get ready to be inspired!! This restaurant is a fresh grill and wine bar, that provides a "fresh dining experience that celebrates living well".

guests feel the freedom to indulge in a complete dining experience, including our custom flatbreads and signature mini-indulgence desserts, while still feeling good about themselves and their dining choices.

Here's a little about the menu from the website:

We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling,
brick-oven cooking and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through. And we execute precision with seasoning, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles. An added benefit to this style is that our menu items are naturally lower in calories. In fact, we make a promise that nothing on our menu is over 475 calories. The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that just so happens to be good for you!

Our Dinner Menu evolves with the season and features broadly appealing signature guest favorites. Guest favorites include the Cedar Plank Atlantic Salmon, Caramelized Sea Scallops, Garlic Chicken Flatbread, Roasted Crab-Stuffed Shrimp, Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread, Grilled Rack of New Zealand Lamb and the Char Crust Filet Mignon. This menu is designed to offer something for everyone, featuring a precise balance – no more and no less- of what needs to be featured every day. It is approachable and easy to navigate with straightforward terminology and accessible price points.

Our Specials Menu features specials and new market inspirations 52 weeks a year. It features the future of Seasons 52, offering guests the adventure of tasting fresh infusions and flavor combinations which feature ingredients at their peak of freshness and flavor profile. Because the Specials Menu is constantly evolving, we keep it flexible and nimble enough to change on a moment’s notice.

We’re enormously proud to be the pioneer, originator and founder of the mini indulgence. And we’re flattered that other restaurants are trying to emulate what we have done. The whole concept of the mini indulgence is just that- indulgence in a smaller portion size. Our desserts are designed to feature high-impact flavors and top quality ingredients, such as Belgian Callebaut Chocolate. We make the real thing… dessert… in all its decadence, and then we put it into a shot-size glass. So our guests get to have all of the pleasure and none of the guilt- along with the chance to try more than one in a visit!

I speak a lot about plant based eating in order to create a solid nutrition foundation for overall health, wellness and to support the demands of physical fitness. But I also believe in my saying that "if you eat well most of the time, you don't have to worry about the rest of the time". Holidays, special events, celebrations and occasional treats are all "welcomed" opportunities that should not make a significant impact on your personal fitness and weight goals, so long as you are focusing on the small consistent habits that make for a lasting life-changing journey.

Because we do not eat out but more than a few times per year (primarily when we travel or for our anniversary), I typically look forward to something "different" that I wouldn't normally eat on a daily basis. I love a warm brick oven fired pizza veggie burger on fresh bread or a mexican-inspired tofu wrap. I love to support local and family-owned restaurants and primarily eat at chains only prior to a race (ex. Outback!). It just seems silly for me to go to a restaurant and order a (expensive) salad similar to what I would eat on a daily basis. Also, due to fact that many restaurants lack the concept that in order to keep the vegetarians happy as well as others who see eating out as an opportunity to add more nutrient density to the diet, a bowl of greens topped with veggies will not do the job! A plant based diet is simply the foundation of our daily diet and should be complimented with lean/low fat protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Sadly, most "marni-friendly" meals at restaurants leave me un-satisfied after the meal...and I cringe when I look at the prices (especially when I have to order a meal without the meat but I still have to pay full price).

Well, I was pleasantly satisfied after my meal last night. The Farmer’s Market Vegetable Plate with butternut squash, grilled ponzu tofu and toasted almond tabbouleh was one of the most amazing-tasting "creations" that I have ever consumed. Every part of this meal had my taste buds jumping up and down and I was in total "plant-based" heaven as I consumed this meal.

What's the best "plant-based" vegetarian (aka "animal-protein" free meal that you ever ordered at a restaurant? Please share your comments of your favorite restaurant and meal below. If you asked for substitutions or add-on's, include those as well!
Let's see if we can get 52 suggestions for some "rest of the time" creations! Your suggestions will likely inspire me to get creative in my kitchen!