This week’s post includes an interview with Marni Sumbal of TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC. After following the TriMarni Facebook page, I reached out to Marni because I have really enjoyed reading about her tips and her overall take on nutrition. What has impressed me is that Marni emphasizes a “food as fuel” approach, yet she does it in a way that totally celebrates food and nutrition through a positive outlook. We’re often bombarded with “Don’t eat this”, “Never eat these foods…”, “Stay the hell away from XYZ”- but that is definitely not the case with Marni’s approach.
Given that food and eating are a big part of most people’s day I wanted to introduce the Lookin Good Girl readers to Marni and her encouraging, positive outlook on nutrition.
So Marni, explain how you became interested in nutrition and food?
One thing that I encourage people to do is to take pictures of their food. Even if it starts with a bowl of cereal or an apple, it is really neat to see whatever “Creation” you put together and to be proud of your masterpiece. You don’t have to share these creations with others but I feel that rather than lecturing others about food, we should feel inspired by food in a happy and healthy way
I want my athletes and fitness enthusiasts to use the habits they have developed throughout the year during the holiday season and to remember that with 365 days in a year, all is not ruined or lost in one day. I do not promote radical or extreme eating so I would never encourage anyone to detox, fast, cleanse or diet around the holidays, January 1st or any day in between. Instead, I want people to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food and the body so that when it comes to the holidays, people are not stressed or worried about the overabundance of food and occasional treats but instead, know how to eat in a way that they can jump right back to “normal” eating to support individual needs but to also indulge in a way that still leaves them feeling great after the meal. It’s not something that is learned overnight but the ultimate goal for any individual is to be able to maintain a balanced life and to let food enhance your life, not control your life.
The holidays are actually a great time to be inspired with all the real food options and desire for cooking in a kitchen (two things that people often lack in their lifestyle when it comes to “healthy” eating). Here’s a blog I did on stopping the off-limit food lists:
For me, I’d rather people start with their relationship with food around the holidays as oppose to trying to be extreme with eating or stressing about the holiday eats. The same tips that apply to balanced eating for fuel and for health on a daily basis should also apply toward holiday eating: do not save calories or go into a meal starving, monitor your portions by focusing on a plant strong meal, feel better after you eat than before, be accountable for what you put into your body – invest your food choices wisely so that you feel great about your choices, don’t eat with guilt, thank your body, exercise consistently (walking is great!) and eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed (scope out the scene before eating and ask yourself what are the best options that will be enjoyed the most).
I have a saying that “if you eat well most of the time you don’t have to worry about the rest of the time”. So when it comes to the holiday’s I love creating my own creations but I also love traditional family recipes.
A few of my favorites include:
-The Czech Xmas cookies that are homemade and delivered to us from Karel’s (Marni’s husband) mom in Znjomo Czech Republic, where is where Karel was born and lived until he came to the US in 2000.
-Mashed sweet potatoes – although a sweet potato is included in my staple pre-race meal, I love my mom’s mashed sweet potatoes. She doesn’t load them with butter or sugar but somehow she makes them so smooth and delicious and I love the added touch of roasted marshmallows on top.
-Czech potato salad – Because Karel can not celebrate the holidays with his family in Czech, we enjoy bringing some of his traditional holiday recipes to our home and we can share them together. This is one of my favorites!
But in terms of whole dishes, think about different types of dips (ex. make your own hummus), colorful veggies and fruits and a whole grain salad (ex. quinoa, almonds and figs with goat cheese). Also, put larger plates next to the salads so that it is easy to make a plant strong meal (the dessert plates don’t work so well for holding more than a few lettuce leaves J ) One of the best ways to enjoy whole foods is to encourage others to bring a dish and to be inspired by what other people bring to your party. Not every party needs to include pretzels, chex-mix and store-bought cookies. I think for most people, homemade food is really enjoyed because there was some time, love and thought put into the prep
I’m really looking forward to growing my business with the help of my husband. I absolutely love helping athletes and fitness enthusiasts learn how to eat for fuel and for health and to discover a healthy relationship with food and the body.
We are very excited about our athletes reaching their athletic/fitness goals and sharing the journey with them.
I love public speaking and writing so I look forward to seeing where I can take my skills in the next year for there is a lot of research out there and I enjoy learning new things and helping others through my words.
My husband and I love to travel so we decided on 3 destination races so that we could race to travel (or travel to race) – St Croix 70.3, IM Austria and IMWI. My husband will be racing Raleigh 70.3 but I will be cheering him on, along with my other athletes.
For anyone who is considering racing for a finish line, here is a blog I did on picking the perfect race:
If a reader was interested in learning more about your approach to food and nutrition what services do you offer in food counseling?
All of my services are on my website, but my main services involve lifestyle log reviews, sport nutrition log reviews as well as my 2-month lifestyle program. My focus is not on telling people what to do but instead treating everyone like an individual with specific goals and needs.
I do not give meal plans or believe in off limit food lists so I enjoy addressing the diet as part of a lifestyle in order to eat for fuel and for health and to improve quality of life. For anyone who is local in our area, I provide one-on-one consulting and I also speak at universities, corporations and tri/run groups on various topics. All of my speaking events are listed on my website as well as a few local TV segments. I welcome all emails so feel free to email Trimarnicoaching @gmail.com and to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for education, inspiration and motivation in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and life.
Thank you for this interview! These were great questions. The last thing I’d like to say is , don’t forget to thank your body every day!
In case you would like a little extra info on who Marni is….. Marni is the owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC and provides consulting and coaching services in the areas of sport nutrition, body composition, triathlons/running, health and fitness. Marni is a Registered Dietitian and works as a Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Medical Center Beaches. She holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is an endurance triathlete, she is also a Level-1 USAT Coach. Marni is a 7x Ironman finisher and recently completed her third Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii with a PR of 10:37.Marni is a 110% play harder, Hammer Nutrition, Brooks Running ID and Oakley Women brand ambassador. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Health Magazine, Men’s Journal Magazine, Runners World Magazine, Women’s Running Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, The Florida Times-Union Shorelines, Lava Magazine, Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to IronGirl.com, USAT multisport zone and Ironman.com.