Essential Sports Nutrition


Medicine in a bowl

First things first.

I was away from Campy for 5 Looong days and I can't stop taking pictures of this little ball of cuteness. I mean, seriously....does life get any sweeter?

Ok, on to a more fun note......FOOD!!!

Between the ISSN Sport Nutrition conference in Clearwater on June 22nd and 23rd in Clearwater Beach, FL, Napa for 5 days and then the Florida Dietetic Association Symposium on Tuesday July 3rd, I am ovewhelemed with info that my fingers can't keep up. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a professional in the field of health and wellness is learning new information - especially when it is ground-breaking, hot-off-the-press. But in the past 2 weeks, I have also enjoyed hearing information that I already know but more importantly, confirming my philosophy of food to fuel exercise and the lifestyle as well as how I choose to motivate, educate and inspire others. Certainly I am open to new things as I don't believe in a black or white -style of counseling/consulting/coaching but it is nice to have credible people to support my views on food and training. Of course, saying that they are "my" views is not true because I have learned from some of the best in the field and I believe in passing along this credible information to others.

I don't waste my time or energy on diet fads nor do I believe there is one way to live life. For if you are happy with how you are living your life, your health improves. And if your health improves, you are going to be happier. It's just that simple.

One of the biggest take-aways from the two conferences is my style of working with others. As you may (or may not know) I do not give meal plans or prescribe a specific style of eating. Plant-strong...absolutely. However, that's only the foundation of building the house. You still need to build supportive walls and decorate...that's where the fun begins.

I believe in a 3-step process of changing lifestyles.
1) Address behaviors - creating a positive environment and developing a healthy relationship with food.
2) Prioritize food for health - improve quality of life.
3) Sport nutrition - gain the competitive advantage by learning how to fuel for activity, recover faster and encourage optimal performance gains.

Each person is different but I still believe in a step-wise approach. For it is my responsibility to make sure a person has a  healthy relationship with food, much prior to addressing the limiters to a current sport nutrition fueling routine during a long workout. Additionally, if food-related behaviors are not positive, it would be difficult for me to suggest eating a more plant-strong diet if you don't like grocery shopping and you don't like to cook. With every behavior change, comes a new habit and with new habits come a new passion for life. It is only when you see yourself doing things that you thought weren't possible, yet make you feel amazing, you will strive for consistency in your new lifestyle routine.

Last night was a simple dinner. A salad.
But with simplicity came a bowl full of nutrients....or as I'd like to say, medicine.

When I was at the Culinary Institute of America - Greystone, I started my intro describing my philosophy of creating balance with diet and exercise and then I discussed my two seperate, yet similar points-of-view.

As an athlete, food is fuel. I eat so I can compete. I fuel so I can reach my goals. That's the bottom line. What's the point of achieving a lean body if I can't do anything with it?

But as a RD (clinical RD), food is my medicine. It nourishes my body, keeps me well and improves my quality of life.

If we could all treat food like a prescription, I think we'd all live a healthier lifestyle....that goes without saying.

For if you were prescribed x-pills to take a day to help you with x-problem, you would take them because you know those pills will help you (or in many cases - save your life). Take less, your body would suffer. Take more, you would be overdosing and harm may be done.

Without even considering the countless (I mean endless) nutrients found in whole foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, oils) complimented with quality protein, you have a purpose and a reason to enjoy the food you are providing to your body.

And if you think I am not giving myself a prescription to eat dark chocolate on a daily basis....well, I'm glad you aren't the doctor of my body because we can write a prescription for anything - just recognize the purpose of how it will enhance your life. For in life, we should not live each day feeling guilty for our actions. You may regret a decision but it doesn't change your character or who you are. Time to move on and make for a better tomorrow (or perhaps, a better next hour).

I hope you enjoy my medicine in a bowl dinner. Light in the belly but heavy in nutrients. A perfect post-workout meal or a delicious bowl of color on a summer day. Enjoy!

Medicine in a bowl

Mixed greens
Red bell pepper
Sweet orange pepper
Purple onion
Sunflower seeds
Protein choice - Low fat cottage cheese (I recommend Daisybrand - lower in sodium than many cottage cheeses on the market and only 3 ingredients. I tried some at the FDA conference and it was delicious!)

For a dressing - I used orange juice (about 2 tbsp) which is rich in vitamin C and will help with absorption of non heme iron in the dark greens. It added a nice sweetness and tartness to the salad.


Oakley Women Napa retreat - day 2 and 3 (inside the Culinary Institute of America)

Breakfast on Saturday was yummy (no surprise in Napa) and I enjoyed getting to know the new ambassadors as well as meeting lots of inspiring women.


We arrived to Trefethen Vineyard and split into three groups. We rotated between the Rolling O lab (to learn about the testing and technology of Oakley Sunglasses and why they are the best in the world).....

The yoga/stretching station with Deena and Andrew Kastor and then the Garmin station to learn about our new 210 Garmin watches.

The 5K was beautiful - right between the vines, we ran 3.1 miles and had beautiful scenery along the way. It was warm but I managed to squeeze in a 21 minute (low) 5K and finished 4th. It wasn't a "race" but after 15 hours of traveling on Friday, my legs were ready to RUN!

After the 5K it was time for - more wine. I also had the opportunity to speak with Olympic medalist and Marathon super-star Deena Kastor, and her husband Andrew. Both are super nice!
As you will see - all the women received the Warm Up sunglasses (not released yet) AND ran in them! I love the sleek ear pieces as well as the comfort on my face when running (they don't slip or move)

Also at the 5K, Coola Sunscreen (which is probably the best sunscreen I have ever used - I highly recommend it!) and Zico Pure coconut water provided us with goodies.

When we got back from our morning of activities, we enjoyed a great lunch outside the Silverado resort and had about 30 minutes of "downtime" before our Trek Travel bike tour through Napa Valley.

It was kinda funny because several of us triathletes felt so weird on these bikes...but after a few pedal strokes, it was fun to feel like a kid again on a bicycle.

Our first stop was at Black Stallion. A beautiful winery with an outdoor terrace that had misters which was perfect for our hot afternoon of wine tasting and bike riding. The total bike ride was around 8 miles and each stop was around an hour to ensure plenty of time for multiple tastings of wine. I wouldn't consider myself a wine (or beer) drinker but I made sure to try wine at each of the winery's....and it was all outstanding!

The next winery was Astrale e Terra. I absolutely LOVED this place for the outdoor grass seating and wide open fields of vines. The setting was very relaxing and we all enjoyed lying on the grass, getting to know each other a bit more.


 The final stretch to the last winery was my favorite. Five miles of riding in the Napa Valley on the Silverado Trail. Absolutely beautiful...I didn't want it to end!

Around 5:30pm we arrived at the final winery - Cliff Lede Vineyard. We were served appetizers and, you guessed it, more wine.

We had no idea what to expect for dinner but when we walked into the winery, we were all a bit speechless....well, the heavy drinkers were not so speechless. But - it is an Oakley event and these ladies know how to have a good time. There was lots of cheering during dinner - alongside fantastic food!

The evening ended around 9pm and we headed back to the resort. Although today was an AMAZING day, I could not wait for special Sunday!

On Sunday morning, I went for an early 30 minute run to clear my mind. I needed a little "me" time to prepare myself for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was awaiting for me around 11:30am.

Around 8:30am, we got into our Toyota Prius's and headed to the cute, beautiful town of Yountville for a sculpting aerobic session with the Tone It Up , Oakley Women ambassadors Katrina and Karena. I learned a lot of new glute exercises (always helpful as a triathlete/runner) and enjoyed an amazing breakfast outside on the lawn.

After a fresh and refreshing breakfast, we had a little free time to explore downtown before heading to the CIA. Appropriately, I met this guy as I was getting more and more excited for what was to come in less than 1 hour!

That's one happy cook!

There are only a handful moments in the life that leave you overwhelmed, excited, proud and thankful - all at once. This happened to be one.

The CIA - Culinary Institute of America - Greystone. WOW - what a treat for all 100 women.

I had a vision of what it would be like to enter this castle but I had absolutely no idea what was waiting for me when I walked inside the door.

So completely overwhelmed with emotions, my eyes teared up and I was speechless.

It was everything I imagined it would be....and more. Stadium seating, TV monitors, a beautiful kitchen, an amazing chef (Sandy), student chefs and a clip-on microphone. For 1 hour - my dream of having my own Food Network show - was coming to life.
A few of the women at Oakley asked me and pro triathlete/model, Jenny Fletcher to do a nutrition workshop. In prep for this workshop, Jenny and I discussed some of our favorite snacks, meals and "sport" foods and I came up with a few "creations" for the CIA staff to tweak to their liking.

I really can't describe what it feels like to see some of my creations come to life in the CIA - but if you are a regular reader of this blog, I'm sure you can imagine my excitement. I couldn't stop smiling.

Chef Sandy was amazing and certainly a pro at what she does. It was so much fun to be able to work alongside her as she was demo-ing the recipes and provide some nutrition-related info and tips for the Oakley Women audience. Each woman received a green fruit smoothie along with Jenny's favorite trail mix of cacoa nibs, almonds and gogi berries. OMG - so good!

I was instantly relaxed after Jenny gave her introduction, as well as her background of turning from a model to a pro triathlete. I shared my philosophy of nutrition which includes three basic concepts: develop a healthy relationship with food and the body, appreciate a nutrient dense, whole-food, plant-strong, balanced diet (aka real food) and reward the body with daily exercise. I made clear that you do not have to be a triathlete or runner to be healthy and that food is for fuel and for health.

Chef Sandy did a great demo of my quinoa stir fry but she spiced it up a bit with red quinoa, fresh vegetables (zucchini, peppe,r, onion and asparagus - cooked in vegetable stock instead of oil) and topped with pistachios and Fromage Blanc cheese.

The group was yumming a lot during the talk (wish there woud be more of that on a daily basis rather than talk of "I shouldn't eat this, this is bad, I feel guilty, etc." and near the end, Chef Sandy, did a demo of cooking fresh salmon in safflower oil and using a crisp leaf of lettuce to hold the salmon and topping it with sprouts and red onion. A beautiful presentation - as every meal should be when we provide our body with nutrient-dense fuel.

Chef Sandy gave a great tip that when coating Kale chips in oil, drizzle the oil on the side of a large glass bowel and then rub the kale leaves along the sides for even distribution. She sprinkled with paprika and a little salt and pepper, and then baked at 250 degrees, for 30 minutes.

Although rude for most talks, I was so surprised when I saw how many tweets and facebook posts I received during my nutrition workshop. I stole a few pics from Twitter and Facebook.
Isn't it so neat that the audience can see on the big screen, what Chef Sandy is preparing! Like a real cooking demo - oh was!! :)

After this life-changing experience, I had a challenging 45-min hike to reflect on this opportunity. I was so thankful for all the nice comments from the crowd which confirmed that I am continuing to provide practical and realistic information to help change the lifestyles of bite at a time.

Nearing the end of Sunday, I couldn't wait to spend a little alone time in my room at the resort, to reflect on today as well as the weekend. Oakley Women has given me several opportunities over the past year to show my passion for living a healthy and active life as well as allowing me to inspire others to perform beautifully.

At the farewell dinner, I had one last chance to network, reflect and enjoy my time with the new ambassadors.

 I appreciate you reading my recap of the event as it was a great weekend, filled with lots of activity, great food and a total appreciation for my only life and confirming my desire to keep my body in good's one last video to recap the event - I love being part of the Oakley Women family!


Planning a Healthy Event

Back in Florida from Napa but I'm not home yet....
I will be attending the Florida Dietetic Association annual symposium on Tues in Orlando and although I may be a little confused as to what timezone I am on, I can't wait to network and learn from some great professionals in the field of health, wellness, clinical nutrition and daily nutrition.

If you haven't checked out my Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition facebook page - be sure to LIKE the page and check out videos and pics from the Oakley Women Napa retreat.

In the meann time,  I hope you enjoy my latest article from Iron Girl - just in time for the 4th of July holiday.

Planning a Healthy EventBy Marni Sumbal MS, RD, LD/N

You name it - cook-outs, holidays, fund raiser, birthdays and weddings - food is often the central ingredient.Because of many food-centered events, it is extremely common for individuals seeking fitness, diet or body composition changes to stress about social functions due to the lack of control and unknown ingredients when it comes to eating food prepared by others.
To the disbelief of many, healthy food can taste good and without removing all the butter, oil, sugar and salt.
A well-prepared event planner should always consider creating a healthy event atmosphere, being mindful that your "yuck" may be someone else's "yum."
Here are a few food tips for a great event:
  • Create a buffet of dark leafy greens with all toppings in individual dishes for guests to create their own plant-strong meals.
  • Place dressings, sauces and toppings on the side with easy-to-pour/spoon items for portion control.
  • Home-cooked desserts are often more appreciated than store-bought .
  • Use non/low-fat plain yogurt, fruit purees and applesauce to lower the fat and calorie content when baking with oil, butter, eggs or sour cream. Ex. replace 1 cup butter with ½ cup butter and ¼ cup non-fat yogurt or instead of 1 cup oil, use ½ cup oil and 3/8 cup non-fat yogurt (1).
  • Add veggies and fruit (ex. carrots, zucchinis, apples) to dips, sauces, baked goods and anything else that can become more powerful in nutrition.
  • For every starchy appetizer, double the number of fresh fruit and veggie selections. Ex. for a bowl of pita chips, have a dish of seasonal fruit and a veggie plate of bell peppers.
  • Use smaller utensils for serving higher-calorie options such as nuts/trail mix, casseroles, dips etc.
  • Limit the punch and soda and allow guests to make their own spritzers with sparkling water and 100% fruit juice varieties. Place water at every seating area for your guests to stay hydrated without the calories.
  • Although smaller plates certainly reduce portion size, it is hard to eat a plant strong meal on a 4" plate. Provide larger bowls close to the plant-strong options and use smaller plates near the more calorie-dense options.
  • Label food items by their name or ingredients, particularly for those who have dietary intolerances or any other restrictions.
  • Focus on variety (plant and animal proteins, healthy fats, whole grains and of course, lots of fruits and veggies).
  • Don't overwhelm your guests with too many new overwhelm your guests with too many new food options but at the same time, introduce others to a few new flavors by preparing a home-cooked dish inspired by your favorite blog or cookbook, rather than purchasing a dish at your local grocery store.
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