Essential Sports Nutrition


Tempeh stir-fry with Basmati rice

There's food inspiration everywhere and depending on your creativity in the kitchen, the possibilities are endless.

I recently received my first every wok from my brother and his new wife and I couldn't wait to put it to good use.

When I was reading a recent issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter, I came across this page on stir-fry recipes.

Instant Trimarni Motivation!!
One of my favorite proteins in my plant strong diet is Tempeh. Actually, Karel is the one that turned me to LOVE tempeh after he had a wrap from Nat with Tempeh inside of it.
I am a big fan of soy (in it's whole form) because it is a complete protein and contains all essential amino acids. So, not only is this ancient fermented soybean food great for my health but tempeh is also protein packed (20g per 4 ounce serving) which makes for a great fuel in my active lifestyle.

With the following ingredients in my kitchen, it was time to get to work with my wok and make something beautiful for my belly.
Rice Vinegar
Olive Oil
Iodized salt
Onions (white)
White beans
Sweet peppers (yellow, orange, red)
Basmati rice (cooked)

Heat your wok to low heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
Zuchini (chopped)
Onions (white) - chopped
White beans (rinsed and drained)
Tempeh (chopped, 4 ounces or 1/2 package per person)
Sweet peppers (yellow, orange, red) - chopped

Stir occasionally and add additional oil and a splash of water to prevent overbrowning or sticking. Season with paprika, a pinch of salt and any other seasonings.
After veggies begin to soften, add 2-3 capfuls rice vinegar and stir.

After 15-20 minutes of letting veggies and tempeh cook, add a small handful chopped almonds and give it a final stir.
In a shallow bowl, spoon a few ladels full of veggie mixture and top with  1/2 - 1 cup basmatic rice (or your choice of rice/whole grains - or you can use any type of small cooked potato, chopped). Then mix together.

Top with Parmesean cheese and yum your way through your meal.
And in other yummy news....

My recent find at the Bartram Farmers Market....oh my yumminess. The BEST bread I have ever had.
A little about the baker from Boutique Du Pain:
"Nana (Chef/Baker) is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute (NYC) and has a worked
for Dean and Deluca (the beloved retailer known for its curated selection of artisanally
made gourmet products) in NYC. With her knowledge and expertise, she brings to your
table breads that are simply irresistible and wholesome."

And her breads:

Boutique Du Pain gives you the opportunity to enjoy a great selection of breads
 preservative-free and additive-free. All Breads are rustic, flavorful and artisanally made
from start to finish with French technique.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf, White Sandwich Loaf, Bagels, Baguettes, Old Fashioned
French Sourdough, Ciabatta, Challah, Brioche, Donuts, Oatmeal Blueberry Walnut

Also - if you are local in the Jacksonville area, check out Mina's Bakery and her holiday special. There's nothing we love more than our yearly shippment of Czech cookies from Karel's mom in December, but now everyone in our area can enjoy the many traditional types of European cookies.
50 homemade European cookies for $20!!!
To order: 904-463-3752


Ramekin omelet and kale chips

I don't like diet fads. There's something special about having motivation (and not desperation) to focus on yourself, your own needs and your own goals. 

As a clinical RD, I have to lump people into categories all the time in the hospital based on a primary diagnosis - COPD, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Heart Attack, Small Bowel Obstruction, Pneumonia, etc. But after the diagnosis, everyone is different - everyone has his/her own past medical history, medication list and treatment plan which affects how the patient is treated. 

For whatever reason, there are far too many people who do not consider individual needs when modifying the diet or prescribing to an exercise routine. A mass marketed diet plan or exercise/training plan is hard to abide to especially if you are making life fit into your plan. Instead, I find joy in making sure a style of eating and exercising enhances life and that the plan fits into your life. 
It's a short-lived investment to follow a plan, marketed to the masses, which requires you to change your entire life (and habits) all at once. 

So regardless if you are a diabetic, cancer survivor or are obese or have an eating disorder, are at risk for cardiovascular disease or an elite athlete, you have to consider your quality life and own health needs if you are changing your lifestyle in order to be "healthy." First off, what is YOUR definition of healthy? 

Even with all the research in the world to prove or disprove a style of eating or exercise regime, we must not be extreme but we must focus on reducing risk factors for disease and quality of life. One of the best things that is often overlooked or forgotten in any change of habit journey is the adaption period that allows you to adjust to a new style of living. 

Whether you are training for your first marathon and struggle with the soreness after your longest run of 1 hour or fear that if you eat a bit more in the morning as suggested you won't still overeat in the evening, there will be a time of discomfort - with the body and/or thoughts. But that is OK and can be a good thing. 

Whenever I work with an athlete or fitness enthusiasts on training, daily nutrition or sport nutrition, I pick out a few KEY areas to focus on at a time. What I have learned in working with so many individuals is that when you only focus on a few areas, the rest just kinda seems to fall into place. Whereas late night snacking was always a problem, it's when an athlete begins to time nutrition better around morning workouts that the evening eating becomes less noticeable. Thus, a habit is broken without even trying....and that's a great feeling. 

Also, when you change a few habits at once and feel the effects, you are more likely going to keep on making more changes and maintaining the changes that you have made. There may be a few changes that take a while longer to adapt to and others that you may need to fine-tune. But the big picture is that you have goals in mind and your changes help you move closer to your goals. And the most important thing is that any changes you are making will enhance your life and are not short-lived. 

The other morning I made a delicious quick meal of an egg omelet (in a Ramekin), Kale Chips and served with a slice of bread (with a topping of your choice - nut butter, avocado, hummus or cheese). 

This is a perfect easy way to start your morning although I don't feel it is "enough" food for most athletes. Therefore, use it as a start if you are struggling to recover properly after a morning workout or if you need to start eating a more balanced breakfast or if you tend to rely on convenience/fast food in the morning hours. 

Because this is a simple way to recover from your morning workout or to start your day with a bit of protein to help you eat/crave less throughout the day, when you feel the need to eat again due to biological hunger, eat with a purpose. 

If you are using this as a recovery snack after a tough workout, how about a mini meal of 1/3 cup oats, dash of cinnamon + 1/2 cup berries and a few walnuts before your next meal (cooked with water)

If you are treating this as a meal, enjoy 1 or 2 omelets. But if you still need something small before you eat another meal, how about a piece of fruit and a few nuts or 1/2 cup 0% Fage greek yogurt.

Ramekin omelet and Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
Red pepper
Goat cheese
2 eggs
Choice of fresh bread
Olive oil

Start with your veggies:
Onions, Tomatoes and Red Bell Peppers

Scramble 2 eggs w/ a splash of milk and add in 1 tsp olive oil, divide into two ramekins. Top with a few crumbles of goat cheese (about 1 ounce total between two ramekins)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Toss washed kale (stems removed) in 1/2 - 1 tbsp olive oil (in large bowl) and a pinch of salt and then place on large pan. I used a pizza pan since that was my largest pan. 
Bake for 12-18 minutes or until brown on the edges. 

You can cook ramekin in oven but I used the microwave. Cook for 60 seconds and then if needed an additional 30-40 sec until eggs are fully cooked. 

Remove egg omelet from ramekin (or straight from the ramekin) and serve with a large handful kale chips and slice of fresh bread with your choice of topping (ex. hummus, cheese, whipped cream cheese, avocado, peanut butter). 

What small change are you going to make in your diet/exercise routine over the next few days that will make a big difference in your lifestyle?


In case you missed it - recent media

When I don't write, my head starts to hurt. Too many thoughts in my head that all need to get on paper. ASAP!

Thankfully, I have had several opportunities in the past few months (in the world of magazines, deadlines are far before the publishing date) to empty all the thoughts that typically build up in my head when I am swimming, biking or running.

Happy Reading!

Dear Coach column, pg 18 (Contributor highlight pg 6)
What's the difference between simply eating health and fueling properly for training? In this article I discuss my thoughts on eating to stay healthy versus eating to perform.
Never forget that an unhealthy body cannon perform, no matter how much sport nutrition you provide it wit. Prioritze fuel around workouts when your body is under the most training stress to help you be consistent with your workout routine. Your nutrition surrounding workouts is only as effecitve as your day-to-day diet (which fuels your workouts and lifestyle routine).

Pro Share - pg 9
Feeling sluggish, power up your plate with these RD approved picks. I provided a quote on delicious, yummy FIGS: "A great preworkout snack teeming with calcium, magnesium and potassium: three power nutrients."

Women's Health Magazine - December 2013
Ask Women's Health: Pg 20.
I'm hungrier on days when I exercise - how do I make sure I burn more than I eat?
In this article I provide an easy and delicious pre and post training snack and ensure the readers that it is OK to be hungrier on the days you workout out because you are expending more energy to support the training/exercise load. The key is to time nutrition around workouts to support training stress and to prevent overeating later in the day.

Runners World Magazine - November 2013
Perfect Pairs - Pg 44 and 45 (written by Matthew Kadey MS, RD)
Eat these foods together to boost health and energy.
In this article, I was quoted on my thoughts on food pairings. What a great topic!
Did you know “when we eat certain foods together, their nutrients combine
to produce a performance or health benefit that outweighs what you’d get if you
ate them on their own.” Read more to learn about food pairings to boost your health and workout routine.

The Times-Union Beaches - December 7, 2013
Tips for eating smart after enjoying those holiday favorites Pg 8.
During this food-centered time of the year, I write about a few "smart" ways of eating (and living) to help you transition your healthy habits into the new year.
-Plan your meals and snacks
-Exercise regularly
-Maintain a positive food vocabulary
-Maintain a positive body vocabulary
-Prioritize a wholesome, real food, balanced diet
-Address sleep, stress and attitude management
-Set Goals


Giving a shout-out to your body

For the past five years, I have written 60 articles for Iron Girl. Wow- that's a lot of brainstorming and researching!
Every month, I try to think of a topic that is relatable but can also make a difference in your life and how you go about reaching your personal goals.
There are many topics that I can choose to write about for my last monthly column (December) of the year on, especially with the New Year approaching.
But, I try to stay with my philosophy of seeing food for fuel and for health and focusing on a balanced lifestyle in order to improve quality of life.
I hope you enjoy my latest column with Iron Girl as you think about your goals for 2014 and reflect on 2013. Not only is it a personal topic for myself, but as a clinical dietitian and exercise physiologist specializing in sport nutrition, my mission is to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts (men and women) learn how to have a better relationship with food and the body as the first step to improving health, reducing risk for disease, changing body composition and reaching performance goals.
(this article is not limited to females - male Trimarni readers, you need to thank your body as well)
Dear BodyBy Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N
Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC

As an Iron Girl athlete, you have a lot to be thankful for and you owe it all to your body. As the only place to live for the rest of your life, it's important that you go into the New Year with a balanced approach to reaching your health and fitness goals. Instead of spending the holiday season body bashing and making unrealistic exercise/diet resolutions for 2014, perhaps it is time to thank your body for all it has allowed you to do in 2013.  
I will help to get you started.
Dear Body,
Thank you so much for everything that you have done for me for the past ____ (age) years. I am a ______ (job), a _______ (parent to, significant other to, family member, best friend, etc.) and I love to ______ (hobby) and ______ (sport) and ______ (in your free time). I enjoy inspiring others by working hard for my goals and body, you keep me going strong every single day. We had some amazing highs, like when __________ (best athletic moment) and as you know, a few lows ________ (what obstacle did you overcome). But, I refuse to give up, so body, please don't give up on me.
I have hopes to ________ (short term goal) and eventually _______(long term goal) so let's continue to get out of bed every morning, to see what WE are capable of achieving in our awesome life together.

Body, I realize that I have not always been the best to you. There were times when you were ______ (ex. sleep-deprived, stressed, uncomfortable) and you told me that you were feeling off. Sometimes I listened and sometimes I did not. 
Body, I apologize for keeping you malnourished at times and my dietary choices made you feel restricted, moody, lethargic and hungry. Body, thank you for reminding me that you love to eat real food.  Body, I'm ready to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
Body, I love the muscles that help me cross finish lines and the beautiful weight on my arms, thighs, butt and hips that remind me I'm in good health.  
Body, what matters to me more than anything is that you don't fail me. I want to live until I am ______ (years of age) and I promise I will always respect you.

Body you are beautiful and I thank you for an amazing past year. I look forward to making memories with you in 2014!
Love, ________ (your name) 

You do not have to share this letter publicly with others like I did in 2010, but I encourage you to share this exercise with anyone who may need to give a little (or big) shout-out to their awesome body. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to share your letter with me or let me know how this exercise will make a difference in your lifestyle in 2014 (or now).


Spreading Campy Love

Animals are amazing. They sure do know how to brighten your day. In the past 5 years, I have created so many memories with Campy. It's not because he gets to travel to cool places all the time but without even speaking a human word, he has shown me what life is all about. Campy does a great job of enjoying every day. Not thinking about the future or complaining about the past, Campy lives-up every single day.....even when he is napping.
There's can be a lot negativity in this world, especially on social media and way too much confusion as to how to live a "healthy" life so I decided to let Campy share with us as to how we can all live a quality life.
Travel, move your body and smile.

Dream big.

Enjoy a little "me" time on a daily basis.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Love yourself just as much as you love others.

Play hard. Life is short.

Make the most out of every moment.

Don't stress.

Did you thank your body today?

Don't rush life.

Enjoy the outdoors.


Cheerish every moment and experience.



When I see the body of an Olympic athlete, I am in awe. I do not get envious at his/her abs or ripped legs/arms and I do not begin to bash my own  body. I see a body that has been trained hard, pushed beyond limits and on the verge of breaking and I am amazed at what the Olympic athlete can challenge his/her body to do on event day. I do not dream to be an Olympic athlete because I do not have the gift of mental, physical and emotional strength to push my body to those limits and therefore, I do not expect my body to look like an Olympic athlete. But, I can share my passion for using and moving the body, just like an Olympic athlete and I can be proud of what my body allows me to do, even without an Olympic medal around my neck.
The human body is amazing and this is why I went on to earn a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology. The human body is so complex at rest but make it move and you have something absolutely incredible to study, watch and marvel over. You don't have to be a runner, triathlete or sign up for an Ironman to use your body for fitness gains. What you must do is appreciate the body that you have been given and that your body has the opportunity to take you places that you may never have dreamed of, if you keep it sedentary.
I don't believe that every person has to sign up for a race to be healthy, fit or to change body composition. but I do feel that having a goal (like a race or event) gives a fitness enthusiast, like yourself, great motivation to take care of your body and use your body for what it was designed to do - move, think and overcome obstacles to discover how strong you really are inside (and out).
I hope that you have thanked your body today. No matter what size, frame or number on a scale, your body is amazing. If you made it move, cross a finish line or sweat with muscles burning in the past few weeks, your body is even more incredible and you should be celebrating your gift that you actually enjoy using and moving your body.
Today is the last day that the Trimarni store will be open for our 2014 Triathlon and Cycling kits. Items can be purchased as single items or you may purchase multiple items (with FREE shipping).
After brainstorming on the design for our kits, Karel put our vision of "dream big and use your body" on a blank Canari canvas and the NEW Trimarni kit was born.
We appreciate those who have already placed an order. Because the Trimarni kits are not limited to Trimarni coaching and nutrition athletes, you can learn more HERE about our story behind our design and decision to offer a Trimarni kit.

If you love to use and move your body, cross finish lines, workout and use your body to live an active lifestyle, we believe that you would be the perfect "athlete" to sport our Trimarni clothing as you also support Trimarni.....a coaching and nutrition company that provides education, inspiration and motivation in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and life.
Thank you for your order!
Any questions - send me an email: