Essential Sports Nutrition



That's how many hours I have left of interning for my clinical rotation. I anticipated 3 more weeks of interning for a total of 9 weeks for my acute care rotation but the hours are clicking on by!
Since I have been at St. Vincent's I have averaged around 9-9 1/2 hours a day. Over the past 2 weeks I have put in several 10 hour days. And believe it or not, the dietitians come in before me and leave after me. It's a lot of work to be a clinical nutrition and a lot work once you are one!
I can't believe how time is passing and the way things are going, it looks like I only have 2 weeks left of this rotation!!! WOW. I will finish my internship with 128 hours of staff relief and I am fairly certain that I won't be putting in less than 9 hours a day.

At first I was not doing very well with the 9-10 hour days of interning. I have been completely exhausted and overwhelmed with my non-stop life of interning. But this week was a step up in my learning curve. I went from seeing 3-4 patients a day to seeing 8 patients a day! I can't believe how much more confident I feel in the hospital. So, I guess this learning experience comes with a price but a price that I want to pay. If I was watching the clock and sticking to 8-hours a day of interning, I probably wouldn't be where I am right now, at this point in my internship.

My day includes giving nutrition education's (ex. heart failure, weight loss), doing length of stay screenings, doing nutrition assessments and doing nutrition follow-ups. I see tube feeding patients, patients in the Long Term Care vent unit, patients with heart failure, patients with HIV/AIDs, and well, you name it..I probably have seen it.

I never would have thought it would take this much work to be a Registered Dietitian. I think nutrition is a passion for many people but not many people take the necessary steps to receive the RD behind their name. Nutrition is a sticky topic because many people dish advice and love all-things related to nutrition, but only people with a "RD" behind their name are legally allowed to give advice and treat individuals. Just like myself in the past few years, there are many people that bend the rules and write books, create websites/blogs and even create companies dedicated to nutrition and helping others reach weight-related goals. I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I wanted to be a dietitian but this has been a life-changing experience. This 3-year journey has been tough and as I near the end of this amazing learning experience, I can't wait to share all this knowledge with the world and put my soon-to-be "RD" credential to good use. There are a lot of personalities out there that pretend to be RD's but call themselves "nutritionists" and I am so proud that I will one day (very soon) be part of an amazing group of licensed Registered Dietitian's.

You better believe I have worked HARD for those two letters!!

Thanks for reading and for supporting me.


Vegetarian Blogging

On Tues evening, after a long 10-hour day of interning at the hospital, I was super excited to receive the latest Vegetarian Nutrition Update Volume XIX, Number 3, 2011 in the mail. I quickly turned to pg 12 only to see my article on Vegetarian Blogging. I wrote this article back in the fall and have waited very patiently to see it in the magazine. Similar to writing for LAVA magazine last summer, there is a long waiting period after you submit an article and then see it in print. Well, the wait is over and I am really happy to see my first-ever article in a magazine associated with the American Dietetic Association.

Vegetarian Nutrition is a dietetic practice group of the ADA.
Here are some great links:

I hope you enjoy my latest article!

Vegetarian Blogging
Marni Sumbal, MS

Web-log: A personal diary, an unfiltered chronicle of life, a photo album, a research tool or a publication of interesting facts. Although the definition may vary, a blog is nothing more than an online journal, arranged chronologically, intended for a specific audience.
To the aspiring writer, blogging is an online avenue of creative freedom, by which thoughts and voices are shared with the world. Blogging is a way to express ideas, share experiences with friends and family or enlighten others with knowledge and practical experiences.

Certainly, blogging is not for everyone. Blogging takes time, creativity and organization and requires a healthy, thick-skinned, ego. Success in the blog world isn’t about quality writing but rather connecting to the outside world. Whether you are a potential blogger or experienced blogger, the most important component of blogging is that you stick with it and follow your passion.

Now more than ever, vegetarianism is gaining a great deal of popularity due to a large amount of scientific evidence demonstrating that a plant-based diet is advantageous both for individuals and the planet. Done correctly, the vegetarian lifestyle is a very healthy way of eating and living. However, living a vegetarian lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But, as a health-minded individual, you are likely living a lifestyle that many aspire to achieve.

As an advocate of healthy and active living, you are probably extremely dedicated and passionate about your life. Have you ever considered using your knowledge of plan-based eating to reach out to others?

Blogging is a great way to share your experiences, opinions and ideas for a health-promoting, energetic vegetarian life.

Here are a few tips for creating a great vegetarian blog.

1. Create a focus – Keep your posts related to your overall theme. Whether you are writing about vegetarian recipes, being a semi-vegetarianism, your experience as a vegetarian athlete or your knowledge of vegan pregnancy, your readers are going to gravitate to your blog because of your passion and clear concept.
2. Send out a thought-provoking message – Although many people will relate to your blog, keep in mind that not everyone will agree with your thoughts and ideas. Learn how to communicate an idea without being insensitive to others and to help others consider a different view point.
3. Blog regularly – Once a blog reader connects with your blog, they will look forward to new posts on a daily basis. Because blogging takes time and commitment, try to blog at least once every other day (around the same time) in order to keep readers coming back to your blog. Not every blog needs to be the same length.
4. Keep it mid-length, concise, simple and accurate – Try to entertain readers. Avoid overwhelming the reader with everything you know but at the same time, keep your writing professional. If you blogs become too wordy or contain grammatical mistakes, people will not take you seriously and will stop reading your blog.
5. Involve the reader- Ask questions to your readers and encourage reader comments. It’s very easy to feel inspired by others and with the help of your blog readers, you may find yourself blogging more often and consistently.
6. Demonstrate your credentials – Do not mislead the reader. It’s important that a blog reader trusts that you know what you are talking about and have the necessary qualifications to back up your statements. You worked very hard for your credentials so inform others that you are a professional in your field.
7. Provide links, sources and research –Even if you are a passionate vegetarian, experiences can only take you so far in the blogging world. Educate your readers and be sure to cite sources. Although you aren’t getting paid to write an article on your blog, take your writing seriously. Next time you receive a journal or read an online research study or article, blog about it. Typically, as an educated professional, you will hear or read ground breaking news and research before the majority of the population. There’s nothing more exciting to your blog followers than providing “hot off the press” info with your readers. Although anybody can blog about the many sources of quality protein in a vegetarian diet, providing the reader with links, research and sources will validate your statements and demonstrate your knowledge.
8. Tell others who you are – Although we all love a good mystery, set aside a blog or two (which people can easily refer to either as a bio on the side of your blog or a separate blog page) telling others about yourself. You do not need to provide too much personal detail, but be sure to tell how your philosophy relates to your background story.
9. Stay positive – You want to inspire, not offend. As you blog about your experiences of eating vegetarian while on the road or being a vegen for a week, you certainly do not want your frustrations to bring down others and discourage your readers of maintaining, considering or trying some type of vegetarian diet.
10. Take pictures – Blog readers love pictures, primarily of food. If you are encouraging others to get more active in the kitchen, blogging about animal rights or blogging about certain vegetarian products, give the reader a visual, not just a detailed paragraph about your vegetarian meatloaf or the beautiful selection of veggies at your local farmer’s market.

Popular FREE blog sites:

Marni Sumbal holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a USAT Level-1 triathlon coach, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSM) and holds a certificate of training in adult weight management from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR. She is currently participating in a distance dietetic internship in Jacksonville, FL and is a 4x Ironman Triathlon finisher.


Wholesome Food Tips

I hope you enjoy my latest article from the FREE Iron Girl Newsletter. I love to practice what I preach so this article came straight from my heart. Enjoy!

Marni Sumbal, MS
When was the last time you peeled away the plastic from your "natural and healthy" meal, only to read a paragraph full of ingredients as as you waited for your meal to prepare itself in the microwave? Can one truly enjoy eating food with a plastic fork from a plastic container, especially at a time when the body is asking for nutrient-rich fuels?

One of the many advantages of homemade cooking is that you know exactly what you are putting into your body and where the food is coming from. There is something to be said about having a refrigerator filled with wholesome products. Isn't it beautiful that you don't have to read an ingredient label on a bag of apples, oranges or grapes?

The best way to make healthy choices is to be mindful of the habits that you are creating. With a goal of living a quality-filled, active and healthy life, it is important that you feel confident in your dietary changes, thus leading you to consistency.

Starting today, appreciate the foods that you put in your body and be mindful of what, how much and why you are eating.

TIPS for wholesome food habits:

* Take pride in preparing meals and give yourself the proper amount of time to do so.
* Be creative with your meals and snacks
* Purchase useful and fun Tupperware and dishes
* Aim for less than 5 ingredients for at least 75-80% of the foods in your home
* Take time to eat your meal, with little to no distractions (ex. computer, TV, phone)
* Enjoy occasional desserts and sweet-treats, without feelings of guilt
* Spread your calories throughout the day
* Look forward to one item at every meal
* Focus on variety throughout the day
* Bulk up your meals with plant-based foods
* Try to consume at least 3 servings of fruits and veggies before dinner
* Plan for snacks between meals, as well as pre-meal snacks, while preparing your meals
* Plan pre-and-post training snacks
* Drink plenty of water
* Get a restful night of sleep
* Eat for fuel, not for a number on a scale

Marni holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and holds a certification by the American Dietetic Association in Adult Weight Management. Marni is a Level-1 USAT Coach and is currently pursuing a registered dietician degree. She is a 4x Ironman finisher and has qualified for the 2011 Ironman World Championship. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Lava Magazine, Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to and
Any questions, Email


March - National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month!!!
Wow-a whole month dedicated to nutrition. I am one happy "RD" in training.

Check out this site for a list of Good Nutrition Reads

Also, check out for lots of great tools and tips to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

As a future RD, I feel compelled to post the following. I can't believe in less than 8 weeks I will be eligible for the National RD exam and will one day (hopefully mid-summer) be part of this elite group of professionals:
Who is a Registered Dietitian?
Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts, translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. The expertise, training and credentials that back a registered dietitian are vital for promoting positive lifestyle choices
Trust a Registered Dietitian
When you need food and nutrition information based on fact or need to know how a healthy diet improves health and fights disease— rely on qualified professionals in the field.
Registered dietitians draw on their experience to develop a personalized
nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. They are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. A
registered dietitian can put you on the path to lowering weight, eating healthfully and reducing your risk of chronic disease.
Registered dietitians know the science of nutrition. They have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected,
accredited colleges and universities.
Looking for a Registered Dietitian?
When you need trusted, accurate, timely and practical nutrition advice, seek the services of a registered dietitian.
To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit and click on “Find a Registered Dietitian.”

I just have to share my super delicious and refreshing carrot, ginger and pineapple slaw...YUM!! BTW-it's packed with anti-inflammatory foods!!

Carrot, Ginger, Pineapple Slaw
Equal parts shredded carrots, chopped pineapple and shredded green delicious apple (about 1 cup each)
2-3 tsp shaved raw ginger
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. mix together and refrigerate


Anti-Inflammatory foods

Whereas fatty meats and sugars may promote inflammation in the body, there are so many wonderful foods that can help reduce inflammation in the body.

The occasional use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as advil, alieve or ibuprofen are accepted if they are needed for you to function well in life but I do not recommend them as part of your athlete-in-training routine for the side effects of gastic bleeding/ulcers, GI upset and kidney issues.

Since there are a lot of wonderful properties in food, not to mention the ability to act as anti-inflammatories, stick to a real food diet before reaching for the over the counter medications to make your tired/sore body feel better.

Additionally, we can't blame everything on the diet. To help reduce inflammation and to protect the immune system (two very important factors of reducing risk for disease such as cancer) you must also maintain a balanced training plan as to not overstress the body. Additionally, stay hydrated with water and get into a good sleep cycle. Also, positive thinking and good stress management will help with overall healthy living.

Here are some must-have's for your diet to support your daily training/fitness routine:
(Disclaimer: some foods may not have extensive research to confirm anti inflammatory effects, however, you can't go wrong with the nutrients that the following foods will provide to your body)

-Celery - did you know celery is a good source of potassium too!
-Ginger - buy it raw or powder at the grocery store, great on salads or in smoothies
-Oregano - a great antioxidant
-Red pepper, cayenne pepper - may help relieve pain
-Pineapple - containing bromelain, helps prevent inflammation
-Rosemary - contains anti-inflammatory substances - earnosol, oleanolic acid, rosmarini acid and ursolic acid
-Sesame Seeds - contains essential fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and copper.
-Tumeric - may be as effective as cortisone in some models of inflammation
-Omega-3 fatty acids - fatty fish, leafy greens, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax oil (or ground flax seeds)
-Fiber - whole grains, veggies and fruits
-Vitamin C - may help inhibit an enzyme in the body that is responsible for inflammation, choose strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers and mango, cherries

Rather than waiting til you feel sore, tight or inflammed, focus on the daily diet so that you are taking preventative measures to maintain a consistent exercise routine, rather than not taking pride in your choice of foods that fuel your workouts and your lifestyle.