Essential Sports Nutrition


St. Croix 70.3 ready! Team Sumbal race gear specs

Today was our last day of prepping for St. Croix 70.3.
2 hour bike:
40 min warm-up
3 x 20 min @ half IM watts w/ 5 min EZ in between
1 hour transition run:
2 mile warm-up (10 sec walk each mile)
5 x 1 miles at half IM pace w/ 20 sec walk in between
(Because of the difficulty of the St. Croix course, with the heat and hills, pacing on the bike and run will be primarily by effort and not based on watts, speed or min/miles. I love difficult courses because these races require proper pacing and patience and the top athletes are those who slow down the least, all while knowing how to race smart in the conditions given on race day). 

Yay - the training is officially done!
All gear and nutrition has been practiced and perfected throughout months of training and today was the last opportunity to put everything together. 

It's far too common that athletes will welcome race week with months of miles and hours logged on Training Peaks but have no idea as to the best pace, fueling strategy (before/during) and gear to use on race day. 
Remember that your training is to help you execute on race day. To reach your full potential as an athlete at your upcoming race, it's important to use every training session to perfect your nutrition, pacing and mental strength as well as to discover what gear/equipment is going to give you the best race possible. 

As I tell my athletes for race day:
Trust your training, trust your plan, trust your nutrition and trust your gear. 

Here's the details on what we will be using on race day next weekend in St. Croix. 

SHIFTING: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 electric shifting, 11 speed
HYDRATION: Aerobars: Speedfil Z4 cage (with garmin mount). Rear: Xlab Delta 100 mount w/ Elite custom race
COMPUTER: Garmin Edge 810
PEDALS:Look Keo blade 2 CR
WHEELS: Front: Aeolus 7 D3Rear: Bontrager Aeolus 9 D3 clincher (or rear disc wheel: Zipp Super-9)
CYCLING SHOES: Bontrager Hilo
HELMET (with shield): GIRO Air attack shield
SUNGLASSES (run): Oakley Radarlock
BIKE FUEL: 3 bottles of INFINIT custom formula drink (created by me) on bike.
RUN HYDRATION: Nathan sports fuel belt w/ a flask of Osmo nutrition and flask of INFINIT napalm

SHIFTING: Shimano Ultegra Di2 electric shifting, 11 speed
HYDRATION: Xlab turbo wing with Xlab Gorilla cages (2 rear, 1 on frame)
COMPUTER: Garmin 500
PEDALS: Look Keo carbon HM (Ironman edition)
HELMET: GIRO Air attack shield
SUNGLASSES: Oakley Women commit SQ
BIKE FUEL: 3 bottles of INFINIT custom formula drink (created by me) on bike.
RUN FUEL: Napalm in two hand-held flasks


gRUNola bar - product review

100% whole grain
Designed with the active person in mind, gRUNola is carefully formulated with teff, chia and quinoa to provide energy and nutrition without artificial ingredients and preservatives. 

With a little planning and a lot of passion for real food, I know that nothing made in a factory will be as good for my body as real food. If I am in the grocery store, in need of healthy snacks, mother earth has me covered for she has a delicious selection of seasonal fruits for me to choose from, all year long. 
I'd like to think that any food product manufacture that promotes a "healthy" product would not disagree that nothing beats real food.

But my diet does not include an off-limit food list for there are foods I emphasize on a daily basis and other foods that are consumed under specific circumstances. 

And that's why I want to talk about bars. 

It's interesting to hear people talk about nutrition for there's a long list of reasons not to eat something and then another list of reasons as to why to eat something. But in a society that has experts and gurus giving a reason (or excuse) for almost every food in the diet, I believe that we should consider the special circumstances for choosing foods, like bars, that may not be consumed on a daily basis but may still have their place in a heart-healthy diet. 

Certainly, you do not have to be an expert to know that some bars are a bit more healthy than others...


Here are a few bars that I recommend to my athletes and fitness enthusiasts when they need a bar under specific circumstances.

(if during training - I have my athletes get 90-100%% of their calorie needs from a carb/electrolyte beverage like INFINIT nutrition and then if they need a tummy satisfier, 30-50 calories/hr from a carb-rich bar, from a reputable bar company. I do not personally use any solid foods during training/racing for any distance.)

(I recommend the following bars for situations such as traveling, meetings, errands, in your car or "just in case." I do not recommend substituting real food for a bar so whenever possible, combine a bar w/ real food OR be sure to compliment your bar with real food when possible. I never travel without a few bars with me in the car/plane.)

There are many other great bars out there but these are a few of the most common bars that you can find at the grocery store (or local bike/tri/run shop). Most natural food stores have a variety of wholesome bars with real ingredients if you choose to buy a bar, instead of making your own. 

Not too long ago, I received a nice email from Karen Simmonds-Brady, founder of gRUNola. 

She asked if I would like to try her bars in exchange for feedback and did not ask for anything in return like a blog post, to pay me or promotion on social media.

The information I share with you via this blog or social media is because I want to be consistent with the information that I give you. Therefore, I do not believe in bashing companies if I try something (or receive something) that I do not feel would benefit other athletes or fitness enthusiasts (and I have turned down plenty over the past few years). However, I also do not want to only promote what works for me for I have worked with dozens and dozens of athletes and fitness enthusiasts and every body is different. I am happy to share what I love and use/eat but it doesn't always mean it will work for you. So to discover what works best for you, let's work together so I can treat you like the individual that you are. 

So, after trying the bars, both Karel and myself really liked them and when I like something, I love to talk about it. I am always proud to support products, food, gear and equipment that I use and believe in and I welcome any questions via email or for us to work together: Contact @

At a recent sport nutrition talk of mine at the Open Road Bicycles store for the monthly Hammerhead tri club meeting, I provided samples of the bars for the audience. 

Happy tummies always listen well when I talk. 

It's really great to see Karen living out her dream with her small business and I am proud to help her support her bars and I encourage you to also help her support her business by purchasing one of her delicious bar varieties to help nourish and fuel your body. 

But most of all, as a sport and clinical dietitian, it makes me really happy to see a bar on the market that uses quality, natural, wholesome and safe ingredients to keep the human body healthy and fueled and that is why I am very happy to share this bar with you.

Unlike other grain-based bars on the market, Karen's bars are made with Teff, which is a staple carbohydrate for elite Ethiopian runners for decades.  Not only is Teff rich in amino acids and protein as well as fiber and complex carbs, it is filled with vitamins and minerals. 

The bars also contain chia and quinoa. Talk about a fiber and protein-rich combo!

It's a nice sweet treat to see that the bars are sweetened with unrefined sugars and that the dark chocolate and they have 72% dark chocolate in the dark chocolate peanut butter and dark chocolate coconut bars. 
If you are unaware of the difference between cacao and cocoa, here's a local TV segment that I did:
Eat, drink and be merry 

Each bar has 200 calories, 8g fat, 27g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 9g sugars and 5g protein and provides 8% iron and 4% calcium in a 2000 calorie diet so this would make for a suitable snack if real food is not available OR you are seeking a healthy way to add in more grains into your diet, especially in the case of traveling or when food options are out of your control. 

The varieties are:
Dark chocolate coconut
Mixed berry (Karel's fav)

For more information and to order:
you can visit the WEBSITE.


Staying balanced in my busy life

The work is done. 
In 11 days Karel and I get to show off months of training in St. Croix. for our half ironman distance triathlon and our first of three key races of the season. 

Although we both feel strong and prepared for this race, this recent half ironman journey has not been without obstacles. Thankfully, no injuries or sicknesses to battle but instead, a lot of major life changes. 

In 19 days we will be moving 6.5 hours north to Greenville SC. After spending my life in Lexington KY and then the last 10 years  in Florida, migrating from Ft. Lauderdale to Clearwater to Dunedin to Jacksonville, we are turning a page in our book of life and starting a new chapter as we grow the Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition business. We have SO many exciting things planned but we just have to get through this little thing called moving first! 

Life is absolutely amazing and I never want to waste a moment. But I know I am not alone that even though I love so much about life, sometimes life presents moments that I ask myself "really, now?"

How many times in the last few months or perhaps even in the past few weeks have you believed in Murphy's law. 
"If anything can go wrong, it will"

Because Karel and myself are balancing on a very thin tightrope lately, I wanted to share a few of my tips as to how I try to stay balanced in an extremely busy and active life as an endurance triathlete and small business owner. 

1. I have a weekly plan for all workouts that fits my current lifestyle. My training is also flexible.
2. I respect my body when it's tired or fatigued
3. I never sacrifice sleep. I get good night of sleep most nights of the week. I don't set an alarm at least once a week. 
4. I love my whole-food diet but I also do not have an off-limit food list.
5. I always use sport nutrition during my workouts and real-food before/after workouts
6. I plan meals ahead and whenever possible, prep ahead (I love my oven!) 
7. I never bash my body if I don't have the perfect workout. I accept whatever I can do for that day knowing there will always be tomorrow.
8. I am not afraid of workouts and I don't worry if I "don't have it" for that workout. I love to exercise so I give an effort when I get started and then find a way to give my best effort for that day. 
9. I take advantage of every moment to stretch/recover, I don't set a schedule for this, I just make myself do it.
10. I try to see the positive in every situation, as much as possible. I try not to waste energy on things out of my control. 
11. I surround myself with positive and energy giving individuals.
12. I communicate with Karel a lot and share everything with him. We live together, work together, train together and eat together. We are around each other almost every hour of every day most days but I still believe in effective communication.
13. There's always time for Campy for he never complains. He has the best life ever!
14. The outdoors makes me happy. I love being outside, even if it's just for a walk. 
15. I am motivated by my goals but do not dwell on the past. I enjoy giving my best for every day. 
16. I love making to-do lists. If I don't see what I need to do, then I feel overwhelmed thinking about all the things I need to do. I prioritize my list and then get excited when I cross things off my list. 
17. I love to travel. It is a special way to enjoy another culture or to experience a different way of living. Traveling exposes to me to new foods, sights and people and I feel this helps me live a better quality life. 
18. My health never takes a back seat. Sleep, real food and daily movement keep me healthy and allow me to function well in and hopefully for the future as well. 
19. I love my family, my close friends and my athletes (coaching and nutrition). For those in my life who do not do triathlons and those who live a similar busy and active lifestyle like my own, I enjoy sharing life with everyone. 
20. I'll be honest. I put a lot on my daily plate and I function better in life this way. I don't like having nothing to do, watching the clock or being bored. However, life is short and I do not want it to rush by too quickly. I enjoy slowing down in the evening with Karel and Campy and giving my mind and body a little time before bed to relax. If I asked for more time in every day, I'd likely fill it up so I just make the most of every hour to be as productive as possible and I never take a day for granted. 

Well, those are some of my tips as to how I stay balanced. I'm not perfect and I don't try to be. I get stressed, overwhelmed and there are plenty days in my life that I just can't balance everything. But, that's life. It's not perfect and we don't have to be either. 


Happy Earth Day!

After watching one incredible 118th Boston Marathon yesterday, I couldn't be more excited to celebrate Mother Earth today. 
I feel so lucky that I have fresh air to breath, fresh food to eat and clean drinking water. 
Our Earth is amazing and I think many times we take it for granted. 

In three weeks, Karel and I will be moving to Greenville SC. Although we are incredibly sad to leave all of our friends in our active community, we are really looking forward to a more active lifestyle. We will be able to walk/bike to almost everything that we love/need and we couldn't be more excited to walk more and to drive less. We are also excited to be moving to a city that supports cycling and is even ranked as one of the best cycling towns in America. Lastly, the backyard of our home has a garden that is ready for me to start planting!

In honor of Earth Day, here are a few tips that you may be able to implement into your lifestyle in order to help take care of Mother Earth. You don't have to do them all or do any of them all the time but do your best every day to take care of the Earth by doing your part. 


1) Ride your bike to work, the gym or to a friends house as often as possible. You don't have to "train" when you ride your bike so, ride like a kid and enjoy the downhills and a little sunshine. You can also roller blade, skateboard or walk. 
2) Participate in a clean-up day in your town at least once a year. Pick up trash, plant trees or start a flower garden. Or do your own part by recycling around your house/office.
3) Grow your own vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices or if a friend/local farmer already does this, support the locals. Use a compost to convert kitchen waste into good soil
4) Turn off the TV and enjoy nature for 60 minutes a day. Take a walk in the park, go to the dog park, feed the birds, go hiking or invite your friends over and have a picnic. 
5) Protect water quality. Don't dump used oil, paint, coolants or other chemicals into the ground, storm drains or garage drains.
6) Buy a water filter and cut back on plastic water bottles. Go to your nearest bike/tri/sport shop and invest in a good re-usable BPA-free every-day drinking water bottle. This will come in handy if you travel a lot.
7) Produce less waste with towels, napkins and paper by conserving to what you actually need at one time. 
8) Bring your own bags when you grocery shop or re-use plastic bags to pick up after your pets. Too many plastic bags in your house? Use the bags as "lunch-boxes" and start bringing your lunch to work. Every day, Americans spend an extra dollar more for every $10 they spend on groceries to pay for the boxes, bags, and other packaging's that those products come in. The less processed food you eat, the less waste you will have. 
9) Buy products in bulk or with minimal packaging materials. Re-use and recycle as much as possible. 
10) Open the window shades and enjoy natural light. Don't turn on the lights or AC if you don't need it. You don't need the TV on while you shower and don't forget  to turn off lights and the fan when you leave a room (or the house). 
11) Carpool, walk, use your bike or plan errands to minimize driving. Keep the car (and your bike) tuned and leak-free, and get it inspected regularly. Keep tires properly inflated and dispose of used motor oil and cooling fluids at designated recycling centers. 
12) Don't water your sidewalk. Be mindful of your sprinkler system, especially if it just rained or is about to rain. Conserve water in and outside the home. 
13) Take care of your lawn. Trying to decide what to do with your leaves, grass clippings and garden "waste?" Learn about composting and mulching. These natural fertilizers will improve your garden soil’s fertility and will help to retain soil moisture. Keep your lawn 2 inches long and leave your grass clippings where they’re cut. 
14) Be aware of how much paper you waste in the home. If you pay bills online after they come in the mail, save those paper envelopes for coupons. Instead of throwing out a bad print job, use extra paper for scrap paper. Instead of using a whole napkin for every meal, use half a napkin (ex. when eating a salad or something non-messy) or half a paper towel. Use towels and rags, instead of paper towels for cleaning big messes. 
15) Did you know that toilets are the most common source of household water use? A leaking toilet can waste more than 150 gallons per day! You may not see or hear water running, but your toilet may have a silent leak. These leaks are easy to fix with parts from you local hardware store - make the repair and save water and money! 
16) Drive smart. First, avoid revving or idling your engine over 30 seconds. Always accelerate gradually, maintain the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Avoid waiting in long drive-through lines - turn your car off and go in. Minimize use of air conditioning if you can. Use an energy-conserving grade of motor oil and get regular engine tune-ups, and don’t ignore "check engine" or "service engine soon" lights. Fill your gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation, avoid spilling gas and don’t "top off" the tank. Many people live within 2 miles of somewhere that they are driving to. If you can walk or bike, leave your car at home.
17) Use less stuff! There are many ways to reduce waste in your home. Use washable utensils and plates instead of throwaway plastic picnic gear. Share magazines and newspapers with a friend, neighbors, a nursing home, hospital or library or leave in a gym. Donate used goods such as clothing, furniture and toys to a thrift shop, day care center, charity or second-hand store instead of throwing them out.
18) Conserve energy in your kitchen everyday. Use the right size pot or pan on the stove for the item you’re cooking. When your oven is done pre-heating, be sure to use it. Cover pots and pans when cooking if possible. Set the refrigerator's temperature to somewhere between 36° and 39° F, and the freezer to 0° F. Make sure to clean the refrigerator coils and switch the refrigerator to its power-miser setting. Finally, turn your water heater down to 120° F. 
19) If you only use a few dishes day, wash your dishes and only use the dishwasher when it is full. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it’s full or just partially full of dishes, so make the most of it. When doing laundry, save energy and use cold water for wash and try to wash full loads. Control the water settings when you wash and if you only have a few items to wash immediately, wash by hand. 
20) Did you know that one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years? Or that one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years? Every year, between 8 and 10 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters. Sadly, most never find homes. Too many animals competing for too few good homes is the most obvious consequence of uncontrolled breeding. Say no to puppy mills!! Low cost spaying or neutering is a solution to pet overpopulation and is available at most shelters. If you can provide a loving home, attention and give exercise to a pet, go find a rescue animal to call your own or to foster.
21) Go digital! Save paper and send an email. There is nothing wrong with a nice hand-written letter but pay bills online, stay organized on the computer and avoid printing every piece of information you find interesting on the Internet. 
(Some of the information above was used from reputable earth-day websites on the internet and used for this blog)


How to eat healthy when dining out, day after food in Lake Placid! 
Veggie burger and fries for me and a meat burger for Karel.

These days, you don’t need a special occasion to have someone serve you, wait on you, prepare food for you and clean up after you. Close to 50 percent of all food spending in the U.S. is at at restaurants, fast food joints, or food away from home. With food available at every corner, cooking has declined in both value and necessity. Clean-up, dirty dishes and burdensome meal planning are among the most common reasons as to why many people don't make the time to eat home- cooked meals. Throw in training for a triathlon and you have a list of excuses as to why you can’t find time to properly fuel your active lifestyle.

Despite its convenience, eating out comes with many dangers. Bigger portion sizes, increased calories, sodium and fat can make frequent eating out a problem area for athletes seeking to maximize their daily nutrition,and stay lean. If an occasional habit has turned into daily occurrence, try the following tips to help keep you on track.  
But, before spending all your energy on how to eat better outside the home, here's my top tip: Consider commiting to eating a home-cooked, balanced meal for five to six of your meals per week. This will help you feel better equipped to dine more healthfully outside the home, without feeling guilty or worried about damaging your training or packing on the body fat.

Don't let a spontaneous dinner invite derail your goals. Arm yourself with these smart tips.

Click HERE for my dining out tips, featured on 

Enjoying pastries and coffee in Karel's hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic. YUM!