Essential Sports Nutrition


Athleta Iron Girl training guide

Late this afternoon I made a quick trip to the Beach Trek Store to drop off some equipment to Karel, for Retul fits. We had a 110% Play Harder event to attend later that evening, where we celebrated raising over $110,000 for breast cancer research! Thanks again to all who donated...there's still time if you wish to donate to 26.2 with Donna.

I am loving my Oakley Women Overtime glasses which fit perfectly on my small face. Sometimes I feel silly in large glasses, despite them being "in". The Overtime is the right size for my face and I still feel sporty, with just enough style :)

I also can't get enough of my Oakley Women's Fly Fleece Short sleeve Dolman, which is a great relaxed hoodie to sport any time of the day.

Now that we are getting closer to racing season, I'm sure many of you all are setting your eyes on a few upcoming races in order to test out your training or to enjoy all the fun that comes with pushing your body and testing your limits.

If you are looking for a FREE training guide to help you get ready for an Athleta Iron Girl Event or need a little motivation, inspiration and education to jump start your fitness routine....I've got just the thing!

For over 6 years, I have been working with Iron Girl. I have been given so many amazing opportunities to speak and write for Iron Girl but my most amazing memories and experiences have come during the races. As a female, you will never experience anything like an Iron Girl event...I highly recommend signing up for one, TODAY!

You can join me in Clearwater for the Iron Girl Half marathon if you want a beautiful challenge? Or check out the other Iron Girl races at Iron
I am so happy that I had the opportunity to collaborate with Athleta, on behalf of Iron Girl, to help create an easy-to-follow training guide for 5K, 10K and half marathons, along with sprint and intermediate distance triathlons. You can visit any Athleta store to pick up this free guide or you can download a soft copy at

Athleta Iron Girl Training guide

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Doesn't this picture make you smile? If only we could all feel the same way about our body and diet. Ask yourself, when was the last time you felt confident, strong and proud about your lifestyle choices?

The theme for National Nutrition Month (NNM) is "Get your plate in Shape."

As a newly credentialed RD, I am so proud to be part of a fantastic community of registered dietitians as well as be part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. But take away my credentials and all that is left of me is a body that absolutely loves the life that I am choosing to live.
When it comes to National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Formerly known as American Dietetic Association) doesn't add a lot of complexity to the theme.

The pictures above remind me of an overall theme as to how we should be eating and living. Each picture is colorful, bold and simply beautifuly to look at. Food in it's real form, natural, wholesome and pure.

When it comes to nutrition/diet and the opinions of many, rules and guidelines over-complicate such a simple idea.

Take a moment and think about 15 people in your life. 5 of those people are training/fitness buddies, 5 people are family members and 5 people are friends and/or co-workers. Now, consider having all of your friends join you for a workout OR perhaps take your least or most fit friend/family member and join him/her for a workout. For when it comes to differing fitness levels, it's so easy to understand that we all differ in fitness ability yet we can all share similar lifestyles as to how we approach physical activity. For we all don't have to be Ironman athletes to be active. It doesn't matter if you are a basketball player, ballet dancer, gymnast, tennis player, snowboarder, runner, triathlete or cyclist - life presents countless outlets to be active, be involved in the community, to enjoy free drugs (thanks to endorphins), to achieve goals, overcome obstacles, be competitive and to test limits.

So when you consider that there are countless ways as to how one can approach physical activity, why is that so many people strive to do what others are doing when it comes to food, nutrition and/or diet? Because a body image doesn't always tell the true story, following the rules of a person who is screaming at you via internet blog posts, facebook posts and magazine articles is no way to help yourself discover your own individual strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your individual diet.

Get your plate in shape

When I read the 2012 NNM theme, I think POWER. As an athletic woman, there's nothing more invigorating than feeling powerful. For with power comes strength and a sense of confidence.

A balanced lifestyle that emphasizes whole food can be powerful. For with a varied diet, one increases the chance of being well nourished. With adequate nutrients in the body, one is more likely to live a quality life. Certainly, while diet and exercise make up a large part of improving the value of your days here on Earth, it is important to recognize that diet and exercise merely enhance how you spend your days here on Earth.

With thousands of tips and guidelines as to how you should be living your life, reflect on your daily choices and decide on a few key areas that will be the driving reasons that you choose to "get your plate in shape". Maybe you want to train for a half marathon, travel the world when you retire or simply control your diabetes or reduce your risk from cancer (or recurrence of cancer). To get you started on your journey, here's a good starting point:

1) Identify the strengths in your lifestyle that you feel are helping you reach your diet, exercise and lifestyle goals.
2) Identify the weaknesses in your lifestyle that you feel are helping you reach your diet, exercise and lifestyle goals.
3) Decide on a plan of action as to how you can modify a few of your individual "weaknesses" and work on this for the next week. Don't aim for perfection, aim for progress.

Perhaps as you start this journey, you may also want to identify your relationship with food, your exercise routine, your sleep and stress habits or your resources that have an influence as to how you choose to live your life.

Rather than targeting that small serving of ice cream or cereal that you choose to indulge in at the later hours of the evening or perhaps that mid morning snack of a granola bar, be honest with yourself as to what you feel are your personal limitors as to why your life is not in balance...or perhaps, the most realistic ways of getting your "plate in shape".


Oakley Women Laguna Retreat - Oakley Headquarters

Perhaps you don't expect a metal spike to drop directly on your eye, but how many times have you been hit by a small object when running, biking, walking or driving? You only have two eyes and although accidents happen (to some people more than others), there's absolutely no reason that any active individual should be saying the following "Sunglasses are too expensive". More so, if you find yourself spending money on glasses that are not Oakley, I highly encourage you to do some research as to how the company spends their money in terms of design, product development, testing and customer service.

Testimonial: Karel has crashed many times in cycling and mountain biking races and never has he broken a pair of Oakley's. Karel has been wearing Oakley glasses and gear for over 12 years. Sadly, back in Czech Republic, Karel had a major surgery when he was a teenager when he was riding his bike, showing off his skills on a bike ramp. Karel overshot the ramp and ended up in the hospital with his eye, ear and side of his face in need of major surgery. Now a day, Karel and myself never leave home without our glasses.

When I took my first trip to Napa Valley, with Oakley Women, I had the opportunity to tour the Rolling O lab. If you ever get a chance to tour the O lab, I HIGHLY recommend this life-changing tour...well, life-changing in terms of what glasses you choose for both lifestyle and athletic wear.

Having had the opportunity to learn a wealth of information from Oakley, specifically in terms of anti-bacterial clothing (beyond just "wicking), UV-A, UV-B and UV-C protection in gear, purpose of polarized vs non polarized glasses, quality of glasses to avoid slipping, headaches and to provide total clarity and comfort when wearing them, I have also had the opportunity to wear many different types of glasses on a daily basis. What's great about being an Oakley Women ambassador is that the Oakley Women line of active and stylish clothing is new, so they want our feedback. In terms of the glasses, we all know that one size doesn't fit all so for someone like me who is seeks a more sporty pair of glasses on my small face, will differ from someone who wants a more stylish pair of glasses. But the idea is that no matter what style of glasses, article of clothing or gender (male or female), Oakley is more than just a's a lifestyle.

I will be blogging more often on my feedback/testimonials with the

Oakley Women line of clothing and sunglasses so for the ladies, if you have any questions on specific glasses or clothing, please let me know. For the guys, if you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to answer or I can relay your message to my contacts at Oakley.

I can't say it enough but Oakley is a family and it is amazing to feel the energy around other like-minded individuals.

On the last day of our retreat, the time FINALLY came and all of us 10 ambassadors were grinning like little kids, excited to head to the Oakley headquarters in Orange County, California.

According to the Oakley website:

Based in Orange County, California, our 600,000-square-foot headquarters is a statement for all things innovative. Everything we produce, we design here. Most innovations we produce are manufactured here. Our headquarters is home to creative people who find equal time for work and play. Sports and Mad Science define our culture, and our employees live both every day. We open our doors to people who embrace work and life with equal passion.

Entering the Oakley headquarters....
(I wasn't allowed to take pics in the testing rooms or manufacturing section. However, I can say that these places were amazing and HUGE! I also didn't take pics of the dogs that are allowed to go to work with their owners, as well as the cubicles that look like a high schooler's locker...covered in everything "athletic". The dress is casual and several dozen employees have been with Oakley for over 20 years. I guess it's hard to leave a company that treats its employees like family)

Life is About Creating Yourself

Thanks Francesca for sharing! Check out the other motivating quotes and share with others! Everyone needs a little inspiration.
Life is About Creating Yourself


Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Work Out Routine

Ready to take your training to the next level? Train smart with my top 10 tips.
Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Work Out Routine

Oakley Women Laguna retreat - Day 2 in pics

Marni Sumbal, Triathlete & Coach from Mark Woods on Vimeo.

The term addiction is often applied to activities that are non-substance related, particularly referring to individuals who "engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user themselves to their individual health, mental state, or social life. There may be biological and psychological factors contributing to these addictions." (Source: Wikipedia)

Life presents many opportunites to feel as sense of accomplishment. Whether it is crossing your first running or triathlon finishing line, turning in a proposal, giving a presentation, passing an exam or putting together a community or volunteer-related event, I believe this quote says it the best:
"The person determined to achieve maximum success learns the principle that progress is made one step at a time. A house is built one brick at a time. Football games are won a play at a time. A department store grows bigger one customer at a time. Every big accomplishment is a series of little accomplishments.” -David Joseph Schwartz

Far too often in life, we (health conscious individuals) overlook the importance of progress and consistency and become obsessed (or addicted) with our actions and strive for immediate results. For at one time, you felt accomplished at the end of your long journey but when desiring more (which is completely normal) you proceeded to forget about the initial journey that required multiple and multiple actions to trigger a positive end result. Ultimately, many athletes and fitness enthusiasts lose focus of the importance of balance in order to achieve long-lasting results.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard "I'm too busy to work on my nutrition," "this isn't the best time to start an exercise routine" or "I'll start working on myself in a few weeks when life becomes a little less hectic". Tomorrow is never a good time to start on changing habits for if you expect too much out of yourself when life appears "easy", you have missed vital opportunities to develop positive behaviors when life is a bit too tough to handle.

As a triathlete, there are times when the waves in the ocean are choppy, the wind is in my face on the bike and for every downhill on a hilly run, there appears to be double or triple the uphills.

My addiction to triathlons, running and competitions is fueled by my desire of feeling accomplished at what I set my sights on and what I become during the process. For without balance, it is easy to continue doing the same things, all while experiencing the same results. As athletes, most of us are always teetering on the edge of injury, burnout, illness or fatigue. If we weren't, well perhaps we'd just be "exercising" and not pushing our limits.

Although life presents many opportunties for accomplishment, as well as to feel addicted to the process, it is only through a balanced lifestyle that one can truely recognize what it feels like to live life and enjoy all the tiny moments that make up the bigger picture.

Sure, you've heard it over and over again that you should find balance in your life....but it is only up to you, to make the decision NOW as to how you will work on your life, in order to feel what it is like to live a life of balance.

As I share my pics from Day 2 of the Oakley Women Perform Beautifully retreat, I can't help but reflect on how it felt to surround myself with the other 9 ambassadors who all inspire me on a daily basis to perform beautifully. Each one performing beautifully in their own way on a daily basis, I can't help but be reminded that calling yourself a "triathlete" or "runner" or "cyclist" is only a title. Ultimately, your sport of choice is your lifestyle and like anything in life, you may be training for an upcoming event or have your eyes set on qualifying for an upcoming race but at the end of the day, your love for x-sport or activity is your passion and something you want to continue for a lifetime.

Take a moment today (or a few) and reflect on the many opportunities in your life to find balance and be sure to recognize what it feels like, once you find "it".

Stay tuned....the pics you have been waiting for are coming soon!
Inside the Oakley Headquarters!