Essential Sports Nutrition


Custom Trimarni Triathlon/Running kit

In 2007, I made a life changing decision. Going back to school for another degree was a decision that was hard to make after being in school for college and graduate school from 2000-2006. It was a decision that many "experts", "gurus" and "professionals" overlook as it is a big time and money commitment and it does put life on hold for a while....longer than I planned.

But, like many things in life, never did I realize a challenging journey that required so much patience and hard work, would change my life. I blogged about being nervous about my first day of school as I was earning pre-reqs for my dietetic verification statement. For around 3 years I blogged about all the ups and downs in my dietetic journey as it was no easy road to go back to school to earn my RD credentials. Although I knew that the MS and RD behind my name would help me further my career as a writer and speaker, never did I realize how it would change the way I live my life. With experience and knowledge that can not be found on the Internet, I firmly believe that if you want something in life, you can not take the easy way out and just "google it". To go after your dreams, you have to accept hard work and taking the right path. There is no best path but rather the one that is recommended by the true professionals who are also your mentors and want the best for you.
With an educational background in nutrition and exercise physiology and a passion for sport nutrition and understanding a body in motion, having my own business is a dream in the making. Almost a year ago (with the help of others), I learned the ins and outs of having your own business and I took a risk and created my own website to provide nutrition services to fitness enthusiasts and athletes as well as opening my coaching services to more athletes. Blogging, facebooking, tweeting are helpful for my business as social media helps connect me to the world but above all, my passion lies in connecting with others from around the world and helping inspiring individuals reach personal performance, health, fitness, body composition and life goals. I absolutely love communicating with my athletes and fitness enthusiasts from emailing to skype and to analyzing training logs. I enjoy the process of helping individuals change habits to live a better, healthier and more productive lifestyle. I love changing lifestyles because I know how great it feels to live a quality, balanced life.

Dream Big
With the help of Karel (as the brains to the inner-workings of my business) I have been able to focus on what I love to do and to always dream-big for what's next with Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition. For the past few months, we have talked about having our own Custom Triathlon/Running Kit. An outfit to promote my business but more importantly, a kit that has a deeper meaning and will be used for a be worn by active and healthy bodies, who love crossing finishing lines.
As we  brainstormed for a few days as to the graphics that would be perfect for all types athletes and fitness enthusiasts, we wanted to create a custom graphic that would encourage athletes to dream big. With the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii as the event that gets active individuals interested in competitive sports and motivates athletes to never stop giving up on dreams, a Hawaiian flower with a tribal look was the perfect graphic for our jersey. 
For myself, I know what I want in training/racing gear so we choose a quality company who makes clothing in the USA. Canari. As a firm believer in communication w/ my athletes and fitness enthusiasts, we were really pleased with the great communication with Canari in helping us pick the right "look" and colors of our jersey. Karel was really involved in every step of designing our jersey and bottoms and it was his creative mind that allowed this dream to come true.

About the kit
We choose cycling shorts w/ a triathlon (thin) chamois that provides just enough compression to keep you comfortable while training and racing. A carbon look on the paneling of the shorts and sides of the jersey will not only make the jersey stand-out among your competition but will make you feel fast. There are pockets on the back of the jersey to hold your nutrition during training/racing and the front of the jersey has a zipper for easy, quick cooling as you are racing.
I realize that many people enjoy different products and this is a difficult part in applying for "sponsorships". I love being an ambassador for brands that I use and love and as you know, if I like something you will see me using it all the time.  Understanding that we should all endorse and support companies (and especially small businesses) that provide quality products to enhance our lifestyle, I decided I would not put any logo's on the jersey so that no matter who purchases the jersey, you can still be a loyal customer of your favorite brands.

Incredibly thankful to all the Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition fans/followers out there, it is on Small Business Saturday that I can't thank you all enough for inspiring me as I try to inspire, motivate and educate others to live a more balanced and healthful lifestyle.

So, without hesitation...for the first time ever.......
Coming soon for 2013.....
The Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition Custom Triathlon or Running Kit

How to place a pre-order:
If you or a friend are interested in either the pink or black kit (or single items), send me an email with your color preferences and if you'd like the full kit or single items.
Pricing depends on pre-orders so the more pre-orders we receive, the more the price will drop. Canari provides quality gear at an affordable price but you are not locked-in if you send me an email and then decide to not order the clothing after you are given the quote on prices.
The clothing itself is not different for the different colors and the pink and black kits are not exclusive to women and men, respectively. Understanding that there are guys who like pink and women who like black, I wanted to give everyone two different options based on your style. I'm a firm believer that if you look good on race day in your outfit, then you will race fast. :)
Pre-orders will stay open until December 7th (allow 6-8 weeks for production/shipping) so if you are interested, I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to pass the clothing pre-order invite along to your active friends and training buddies. The clothing is not  limited to Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition athletes but instead, to any person who desires a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle and chooses to dream big.

Thank you for your support!
-Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC
-Marni and Karel


Thanksgiving Day - in pictures

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Considering that I speak about mindfulness all the time when it comes to sports and eating, this holiday was no exception that I was able to practice what I preach. Because of our exhausting weekend last weekend, we opted out of a Turkey Trot today. Also, with a lot of fabulous food yesterday, it was a wonderful opportunity to savour our food and to not finish the meal stuffed. Just the perfect amount of the dinner + dessert to nourish our body and fuel for our ride this morning.  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and felt thankful for good  health, friends, family, food and love.
My relatives are in town at my parents (north of Clearwater/Tampa)  so after we made our 3.5 hour drive on Wed morning, we headed to Clearwater Beach to hang out with the family. Karel and I use to live just outside Clearwater before we moved to Jacksonville in 2008 so it was nice to see familiar sights and to reflect on great memories when we were dating. Karel moved to Clearwater Beach after he moved to the U.S. in 2000 so he had a lot of memories in that area.

Loving my new Oakley Women Clothing! Thank you Oakley for helping me style my active lifestyle.

After a long day of traveling, Campy was pooped. Luckily, he had two friends to nap with before bedtime.
On Thursday morning, Karel and I had a run on our schedule. I had lots of athletes (coaching and nutrition) trotting before their Thanksgiving feasts and everyone had a great time! From 5Ks to 10 milers - it is wonderful to see so many active individuals showing how thankful they are to be able to use their body.

As for us, we slept in and around 8am, Karel and I headed out for a fartlek run. Karel designed a great interval set for us and 9 miles later, our legs were ready for a windy "recovery" 1 hour bike ride.
The fartlek set was specific to pacing:
Main set 3x's:
4 min @ half marathon pace (6:40 min/mile for me) w/ 2 min walk
2 min @ 10K pace (6:20 min/mile for me) w/ 1 min walk
1 min @ 5K pace (6 min/mile for me) w/ 30 sec walk
30 sec sprint (well - my body doesn't know how to sprint so I was excited to see 5:30-5:40 min/mile for 30 seconds on my garmin 910Xt).
4 min EZ walk/jog recovery, then repeat

The main set was 45 minutes and eventually we will work our way up to an hour of intervals,  with modifications as to the recovery and as we get closer to the IM, we will include longer intervals at a pace more specific to the long distance running. As for now, I am working super hard on my speed for the run so that when it is time to focus on tempo, my body will love the slower pace (thus a more efficient and stronger body).

After french toast and eggs for  breakfast, it was time to prepare my lentil loaf and broccoli slaw for my two contributions to our Thanksgiving dinner.
Lentil Loaf1/3 bag mixed bean mix (raw) and 1/2 bag lentils (raw) - soaked overnight
1/2 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups boca veggie meat
3 eggs (1 whole, 2 whites)
1 bag frozen onion, bell pepper mix
Marinara sauce
Panko bread crumbs
Shredded cheese - cabot sharp
Spices - oregano, onion, rosemary, tumeric

1. In crockpot, cook beans, bean mix, lentils, veggie meat and onion mix, covered with water. Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.
2. Drain water and store in Tupperware container until ready for baking (I did this a day ahead of time for easy prep on Thanksgiving).
3. In casserole dish, press bean and lentil mix until 3/4ths full (you will likely have leftovers). Spoon marinara on top.
4. Scramble eggs and pour on top of marinara. Gently fold marinara and eggs into the mean mix.
5. Sprinkle a light layer of bread crumbs and season.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, covered.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle w/ shredded cheese.

My mom's sweet potatoes (not canned) w/ roasted marshmallows

My broccoli slaw w/ garlic, lemon tahini dressing (I will share recipe in my next LAVA Plate not pills article) with slivered onions, sliced mango and canned apricots (without the juice).

Marni-friendly stuffing (prepared outside the bird)

My 19th Thanksgiving day meal as a vegetarian. It gets better and better every year - yummo!
The homemade cranberries (prepared by my uncle) were made w/ sugar, fresh cranberries and orange juice.
We had a few other items on the table but none of them were vegetarian friendly so that means more for everyone else :) Thankfully, everyone enjoyed my slaw and lentil loaf.
My mom's homemade chocolate and mint bark creation with toasted almonds. This recipe can be found on the back of the Nestle Toll House Winter Limited Edition bag (dark chocolate and mint morsels).
Another of my mom's creations - apple and cranberry cobbler.

Campy's Thanksgiving plate. Consumed in less than 2 minutes.

Waiting patiently for "accident" floor-droppings of turkey leftovers.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving! I  hope you enjoyed your day as well. I'm so lucky that we were able to share this day with my family as it has been a long time since we were all together.

Campy passed out early after enjoying his Thanksgiving feast.....perhaps this was a valuable lesson that we should all enjoy our "occasional" treats a few times during the year for they are best enjoyed when we "treat" ourselves for having good daily habits that keep us healthy and well, all year long.

As for today (Friday).......
What a great day for making more memories! Eight of us headed to the Tampa/Florida Aquarium for a few hours to visit with the creatures under the sea. As a lover of the water and for all creatures, I love any opportunity to be close to nature and the sea. Nemo and Dori say hello.




Focusing on the positives


With Thanksgiving approaching and the New Year around the corner, we can not deny that time is flying by!! I feel like it was just yesterday when I was registering Karel and myself for Ironman Lake Placid for July 2013.
If you are a goal setter or someone who gets anxious with a lot of to-do's, this can be the hardest time of the year to feel balanced. But not to worry - focus on the positives in your life.

Last night I was reading Mind Gym by Gary Mack with David Casstevens. As you all may know, I have discussed many times in previous blogs about my work with my friend Gloria with Life With No Limits Coaching who has helped me take my training to the next level. In working together, I have also learned how important having a strong mind is when it comes to developing a healthy relationship with your body and food.

When I was studying exercise science in college to earn my bachelor degree, I decided to earn a minor in psychology so that if I were to ever work with athletes, I would know how to "counsel" them. Who would have thought that 8 years later I would still find the importance of developing a strong connection between the body and the mind.

Now as a RD and endurance athlete, it is amazing how much I use and believe in psychology when it comes to helping people reach goals. Gloria has not only taught me how to stay mentally strong in races but also to keep my mind positive during training. In working with my own athletes for coaching and nutrition, I know first hand how important it is to focus on behaviors rather than to blame actions. Taking a more proactive approach to life, I have a deep passion for changing lifestyles...not just habits and not just telling people what to do. If you have ever encountered hardship or obstacles in your life and felt defeated, it is only with a positive mind that one can turn any negative situation into a positive.


Here's a little from the book that will help you in your quest to develop a strong mind and to create more positivity in your life....

Pg 6.
Studies have proven that mental training will not only enhance performance and improve productivity but also add to your enjoyment. Whatever your age, whatever your game, you can learn how to use your mind more constructively. You can learn how to stay focused. You can learn to deal with adversity. Stay motivated during difficulty times. Avoid fatal distractions. You can learn how to follow your dreams and live your life on purpose.
Achieving inner excellence is a process. Building mental muscle, like building physical muscle, requires time and effort. The more you work on the inside, the more it will show on the outside. First you will make a commitment. As Yogi supposedly said, when you come to the fork in the road, take it.

As we approach the holidays, do you struggle with negative thoughts when it comes to healthy eating or developing a positive attitude to their body? Do you strive to wake up in the morning and say to yourself "I'm proud of myself from how I acted yesterday" or do you wake up and think "I can't believe I was so bad yesterday." Are you someone who says "I'll be better tomorrow" or do you think before you act to make for a better tomorrow?
Here's the thing......
it's not the actions that you are making but rather the thoughts that are likely consuming your brain prior to making decisions.

For the next few days, start learning how to avoid negative thoughts. Surround yourself with positivity.....even if you are in the process of changing habits.

Pg 9.
One key to achieving success in sports is learning how to focus on the task and not let negative thoughts intrude. The mind can concentrate on only one thing at a time. So, rather than suppress what you don't want to happen, you must focus on what you do want to happen or on some neutral thought.
The brain can do remarkable things but, unlike a computer, it doesn't come with an instruction manual. Unfortunately, too often we pull up the wrong "programs" at the wrong times.
What we've learned in psychology is that actions follow our thoughts and images. If you say, "Don't hit it in the water" and you're looking at the water, you have just programmed your mind to send the ball to a watery grave. The law of dominant thought says your mind is going to remember the most dominant thought. Think water, remember water, and water likely is what you will get.
Rather than say "don't hit it in the water," try another instruction, like "Land the ball ten yards to the right of the pin." You get what your mind sets. The mind works most effectively when you're telling it what to do rather than what not to do.

As you enjoy time with friends, family or your furry little ones, be sure to give thanks to your body for getting you to November 22nd, 2012. Never stop focusing on the positives and creating a strong mind to get you to where you want to be tomorrow.


Native Sun 10K Race Report

The greatest challenge with every race is being able to walk away satisfied, knowing that you gave it your best effort. With a season of PR's, I've been able to write many race reports thanking my body for how well it performs on race day.

Yesterday (11/18/12), Karel and I joined hundreds of other cyclists in Clermont, Florida for the Horrible Hundred.  Not as horrible as it sounds, it is a very challenging event that we have enjoyed for the past 4 or 5 years. This was the first year that both of us did the event on our tri bikes and I'm really glad with our decision to not ride our road bikes as we haven't been on our road bikes very much over the past year. I also felt really strong on the climbs with muscles that have been trained on my tri-bike all season long. The last 100 mile ride that we did was a year ago at this event and with very little riding in the past few weeks, I'm happy with how things went yesterday at this fun event.

We finished with 95 miles in about 5 hours. As usual, Karel "races" with the front pack and I hang on with any group that is riding a pace that allows me to ride steady. I was able to draft really well and this year was a huge improvement for me because I didn't get dropped by the group I was with (around 35-45 riders, 2 girls and me and the rest guys) until around mile 60 as I managed to hang with them since the beginning. The day was super windy and although it started out cool, I ditched the arm warmers into my pockets after 15 minutes as I warmed up very quickly by riding on Karel's wheel to "warm-up". After I got dropped, I managed to catch another small group of around 10 riders for the next 10 miles until we stopped at a aid station stop. Even though my legs were a little sore from the 10K race on Saturday, I gave my best effort to draft (for if I got dropped, it would have been much more work for me and my tired legs).
Every year, Karel waits for me at this aid station stop and we do the last 30 miles together. This year he only had to wait about 15-20 minutes because I was able to ride much stronger than years past. The last 30 miles are the hardest in that they have the hardest climbs of the event, including the famous sugarloaf "mountain":

  With a 5 hours in the saddle to think about my 10K race on Saturday (11/17/12), here's my race report......

Native Sun 10K

With the race a few miles down the road in the beautiful area of Mandarin, we woke up around 5am for the 8am start and brewed the coffee before we digested a pre-race "meal". I first walked Campy around the block as he was super excited to get up knowing that with two small bags packed for the race (change of clothes), we may be traveling and he wanted to make sure we didn't forget him.
The morning was cool out and a bit windy so I stayed warm in the morning before I removed some articles of clothing before the start of the running race.

Race day gear:
For my race outfit I wore my Louis Garneau Corsa cycling shorts (more like tri shorts as they have a comfortable yet non bulky padding), my Oakley Women Convert Tank, Oakley Align Bra top, CEP compression socks, Brooks Launch running shoes and Oakley headband (originally had my visor but it was becoming more windy throughout the morning hours so I opted no visor) and my new Oakley Commit SQ Commit (breast cancer awareness edition).
I had my normal shredded wheat with a few raisins and milk and a spoonful of PB. I also sipped on a sport bottle of water to help with digestion and a cup of coffee.

Karel and I drove two separate cars to the race because he had to be at work at Trek Jax at 10am. We didn't end up meeting up until right before the start because we left a few minutes apart from our place and as soon as I arrived to the race, I did a long warm-up. I've learned that the shorter the race, the longer the warm-up to get the blood flowing and to create a little lactic acid for the upcoming high intensity effort.

I did about 2 miles of run, walk, sprint, jog, dynamic stretching, including running the first 1/2 mile of the course so I could know exactly where I was going.

Around 7:50am, the 5K started and it was time for the 10K runners to get ready for the start. A few minutes before the start, I spotted Karel, gave him a kiss and wished him a safe race and just around 8am, the announcer started the 20 seconds countdown.

With my Garmin 910XT screen set on lap pace, current distance and lap time, I was ready to press start when the gun went off for the start. 3, 2, 1...go!

In warming up for this race, I felt good. All has been going great with my running and so incredibly thankful for a strong, injury-free body, I was really excited to see what I was capable of running for a short race. With a body that is made for endurance events, the "sprint" training and racing is only helping me long-distance steady efforts. Rather than training more volume, I just train harder and it has been paying off. Although painful in my legs at times, it is a nice change of pace to step outside my comfort zone and run along "runners" with my triathlon-trained body. To be honest with myself, I knew that breaking 40 minutes was only possible if I had the perfect race. Although this is a time that I want to break as a goal of mine, I am not one to get stuck on times when it comes to races  - especially triathlons. I rarely care about times when it comes to tri's because you can't compare race to race and every day brings something unique to a swim, bike and run performance. As I always say - it's not about the time on paper but rather the behind the scenes that makes for a great race day effort. I believed that breaking 40 minutes was within my capability so long as I was able to draft well off other runners and stay consistent and strong. I knew it would be a major undertaking for my mind and body because I am not a sub-6 minute runner. To average ~6:25 min/mile for 6 miles would be one of the hardest things of my life for I have only been training consistently with my run for the past 2 years. But never have I been able to run this "fast" and running under 7 min/miles has been a major achievement for my slow-twitch body, who loves challenging courses that require strength...not speed.

The first mile was tolerable. I focused on my breathing and form and managed to stay around a group of guys who were running a similar pace. I tried to not go out too fast so I just stayed as consistent as possible. Karel was near the front and I never saw him again until the finish. I kept my eyes on a friend of mine, JC Pinto who is an extremely talented runner and triathlete. I know she has been racing a lot this year with a half marathon recently and Kona in Oct so I tried to keep her in my sights as motivation to suffer.

By mile 2 on this fairly flat, loop course, I was starting to feel "it". I hoped to make it to mile 4 but I could tell that the effort was a bit fast for me. I tried to slow down a bit before mile 3 but the race just seemed to get longer and longer and the miles just didn't seem to come fast enough. Around mile 3, I was with a group of guys and suddenly, 3 of them had a burst of speed and dropped me. Ugghhh, the wind was strong and I was struggling. I really needed them because I knew I couldn't do this effort on my own and I started to give up in my mind. All those thoughts that we all think when the going gets tough. I almost convinced myself that I couldn't do it and I was on the verge of walking because my body was really suffering with 2.5 miles to go. I saw a guy walking about 1/2 mile ahead of me and envious of his decision to walk (as that looked like so much fun compared to my decision to keep on suffering), it took everything I had to not walk. So, I just slowed down. Breathing was getting heavy and not worrying about my heart rate (as I knew it would be high), I just tried to get my body and mind to become friends again.

Nearing mile 4, I changed my mind. "I DO want this!" I convinced myself that I didn't train this hard to just give up and I started to perceive a faster effort than the mile prior. I had my gel flask filled with 1 huckleberry gel (Hammer) w/ water and I sipped it at every mile (starting around mile 2 and a swig before the race start as I also sipped on water and 1/2 gel as I was warming up) so I didn't need anything at the aid stations (mile 2.5 and 4.5 I think). The miles were marked well and with running time at each mile marker, I did what I normally do when I run....MATH.

I figured it was going to be close. It's just too bad that I wasn't able to have that magic effort a mile earlier for my margin of error in the 10K was very small. I was dealing with seconds compared to minutes in a long-distance triathlon race.

Giving it everything I had, I picked up the pace like I was running one of my intervals that my body knows all too well. So many half and mile repeaters in training for more speed in my endurance body and with 1 mile to go, I knew I wasn't going to make my goal time of sub 40 minutes.
(Thank you Kathleen Kaye and First Place Sports for the picture)

I crossed the line in 41:11.
Mile 1: 6:20 (heart rate 149)
Mile 2: 6:22 (heart rate 163)
Mile 3: 6:33 (heart rate 167)
Mile 4: 6:49 (heart rate 165)
Mile 5: 6:51 (heart rate 166)
Mile 6: 6:42 (heart rate 169)
Mile .2: 6:29 (heart rate 171)

1st age group, 6th female

Karel was waiting for me at the finish and he could tell that I was disappointed but that moment passed very quickly. The first time in several years that I was able to run a race without my leg going weak (previous piriformis/hip injury by doing Kona in 2007, injured), I found this race as a huge confidence builder. My goal over the past two years is to always be able to train consistently hard, race strong and smart, stay balanced and be healthy. Mission accomplished at the Native Sun 10K.

After the race, we chatted with a few friends and met a few new ones (thanks Jen Vogel and Anthony Duran for saying hello) and enjoyed the yummy food from Native Sun. Karel had to leave before the awards due to work so after we bundled up in warm clothes, Karel left as I stayed for the award ceremony.

It's amazing that at every race, I learn something about myself. I realized that my body is designed for long distance racing. With success in longer distance triathlons, my main focus moving forward is to continue to step outside my comfort zone, work on my weaknesses and to continue to work hard for my goals. Realizing that as a triathlete, I am going to be pushed by racing amongst runners, I do not need to prove anything at a running race. I am out there to better myself as a triathlete and at the end of the day, I know that a healthy and strong body is going to be able to race for a lifetime. Every race is a different experience. The weather, the terrain, the competition, the time of the year. As I mentioned in my previous blog on pre-race nerves, we must be content with our expectations as to what the body is capable on race day. I do not feel as if I exaggerated my potential to run sub 40 minutes. I also don't feel as if I need to change my goal of running sub 1:30 at the upcoming half marathon (Jax Bank Half Marathon) on December 16th.

As athletes, we all have our own goals and reasons for achieving them. I do not feel that sports should come with risks such as stress fractures and overtraining in order to reach them. I firmly believe that we can live a balanced lifestyle and still work hard for our goals. Secondly, do not let your goals be mixed-up with another athlete's goals. Live your life within your own capabilities so you do not overlook your own successes. A few years ago I would have only dreamed about running under 7 min/miles for a 10K. As athletes, we can not feel defeated by our own performances only to hear about others who are faster than us. I feel one of the hardest things for athletes is reading a race report where someone is honest about feeling defeated in their effort and feeling like they didn't live up to their potential, knowing that someone slower would give anything just to have your "bad day". Keeping in mind that your worst day may be someones best day, do not let your own goals be confused with the performances of others.

Karel had a 3 minute PR without training for this race. I trained my butt off - literally.
Averaging 5:54 min/miles, Karel placed 2nd age group and crossed the line in 36.4 minutes. If you can't believe it...neither can Karel. I'm not surprised - Karel can suffer more than anyone I know.

I am so proud of Karel for enjoying his new multisport lifestyle and enjoying the process of testing himself as an athlete. My job is to keep Karel well-fueled, as well as staying on him about his stretching so he can remain injury-free as he gears up for his first Ironman in July as we share our first Ironman together (my 6th). Karel's performance made it so easy for me to remind myself how grateful I am to share these experiences together. It's hard work to get to the starting line at races and it's hard work to execute a realistic and practical race day plan. The easy part is having fun, enjoying the journey and making memories along the way.
As I rest my tired and exhausted body, I may not have a PR in the record books for my 10K but once again, I get to write another race report, thanking my body for not failing on me and for helping me live a fun, active lifestyle.
Thanks for reading.