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Cristina Sutter will tell you how to eat to get the results you want. Cristina makes eating right a simple, fun and rewarding journey.

Need Answers?

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• Vancouver Canucks, 11 years
• Strength And Conditioning Coach
• University of Waterloo

-Roger Takahashi

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"She was instrumental in setting up our nutrition information for our off-season manual. Great results. An expert in her field."

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• Paralympic Athlete
• Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame
• Registered Dietitian

-Jennifer Krempien

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"Cristina was creative in modifying performance nutrition strategies (for our athletes') daily training environment and competition."

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• Program Director
• Regional Technical Coach
• Interim Provincial Coach

-Mike Flegel

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"Cristina does an exceptional job of providing information on how to fuel the body to enhance recovery and maximize performance."

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• Simon Fraser Aquatics AAA BC Swimmer

-Patty and Miranda Andersen

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“You have a wonderful demeanor with kids - a true teacher. Miranda was very pleased with the consultation (as was Mom)."

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• National Heavyweight Rower
• Varsity Rowing at UBC
• Varsity Rowing at Queens University

-Nathalie Maurer

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“I just weighed myself this morning and I am down 15lbs... it has been an amazing transformation for me."

SportMed InTraining: New Regulations on Food Labels

Week 12 New Food Labels in Canada.

From now on, reading food labels will be easier. Read my SportMedBC article that explains Canada's new regulations to nutrition labels. We can look forward to improvements in the list of ingredients, the Nutrition Facts table and serving sizes. Serving sizes have been standardized and reflect amounts that we actually eat. 

 

The changes have targeted sugar, making it easy to quickly find added sugars and to see how much sugar is in a food. Until now, manufacturers could mislead us by using small amounts of a few different types of sugar, so that each one is listed separately on the list of ingredients, which hides the fact that sugar is the first and predominant ingredient. Now all the types of sugars must be grouped together in the list of ingredients.  The example below shows how the new way of grouping sugars together makes it easy to quickly find the sugars and to see how much sugar is in a food, compared to other ingredients.


You can read the full article here.

SportMed InTraining: When Should We Eat Protein?

Week 10 Sun Run InTraining: Protein Timing

ProteinThe timing of our protein intake throughout the day is just as important as how much protein we eat.  Although most of us actually do get enough protein in a day, studies have consistently found that we tend to eat most of our protein at dinner and have very little at lunch and almost none at breakfast.  In doing so, we miss out on the opportunity to build muscle throughout the day by carb loading our daytime meals.

Several studies agree that consuming 25-30g protein at every meal maximizes muscle building in both young and older adults.  We can get this much protein in:

-       2 eggs + 1 cup milk
-       ¾ cup greek yogurt and whole grain cereal
-       Sprouted grain bread ham sandwich
-       1 can tuna
-       1 small chicken breast

When it comes to timing protein around resistance workouts, we get the greatest muscle recovery benefits from taking a small amount of protein with carbohydrate within 30minutes after exercise.  Want to continue to build muscle while you sleep? Some early research supports also eating a serving of protein immediately before sleep to stimulate overnight muscle building after exercise.

For the full article, click here for the SportMedBC news.

SportMed Training: How Much Protein Do We Need?

Week 8 Sun Run In Training: Nutrition Tips

Protein-rich FoodsScientists have some new answers to the popular question of how much protein we need to build muscle. Researchers are now using a new method of estimating protein requirement known as IAAO (Indicator amino acid oxidation), which estimates our protein needs at 1.2g protein per kg of body weight.  This amount is 40-50% higher than the current Canadian protein requirement advised by the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).  The RDA was calculated using an imperfect method called nitrogen balance, which is known to underestimate our protein needs.  Further, the RDA level was designed to avoid overt deficiencies and new research is demonstrating that this underestimates the optimal amount of protein needed for sustaining and building muscle mass.  We now know that our Canadian protein recommendations fall short of promoting optimal muscle mass.

Both young and older women tend to consume less protein than their male counterparts.  For an average 50 year old woman who weighs 154lbs, she needs 1.2g protein X 70kg = 84g protein per day to maintain and build muscle.  She can get this much protein in one day from:

-       2 eggs (16g protein)
-       1 cup milk (8 g protein)
-       1 can tuna (30g protein)
-       100g chicken or 2/3 of a chicken breast (27g protein)
-       ½ cup yogurt (4g protein)

Unfortunately, we lose muscle mass and function as we age, which can limit our mobility in our golden years.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that we can prevent and reverse this aging process with ... Read the full article at SportMedBC here.

SportMed InTraining: The Healthy Plate

Sun Run Training Week 7: What is a Healthy Meal?

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Following strict diets might help us lose weight in the short term, but they tend to leave us feeling hungry and deprived. This can boost our cravings and sets us up to overeat later and inevitably, regain all that weight afterwards. For long term weight management, we can use the “Plate Method” to enjoy all of our favorite foods in balanced proportions, without having to follow a restrictive diet.

The Plate Method was first introduced to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. We now know that everyone can really benefit from the Plate Method to maintain a healthy weight and optimal nutrition and health. The Plate Method suggests that we fill half of our plate with vegetables, a quarter of our plate with whole grains, and a quarter of our plate with lean proteins. Aim to have 3 fruits a day and 2-3 servings of dairy products for snacks or with meals as well. 

When we serve our meals this way, the fibre from the fruits and vegetables and the protein from lean meats, fish, legumes, dairy products and alternatives keeps us full longer. We don’t have to cut out the carbs, we can choose whole grains more often and keep the portions relatively small. Having a small portion of whole grain on our plates gives us energy, without carb loading our plates with heaps of bread, pasta or rice. 

Next time you serve yourself dinner or make your lunch, try to load up on vegetables and lean protein and include a small portion of whole grains. Your plate will be full with a meal that keeps you full for longer, without weighing you down.

SportMed InTraining: What to Eat Before and After a Run?

Sun Run Training Week 6: Sample Meal Plan

bananasFueling yourself well is key to training for a 10K race. Eating the right foods at the right times makes all the difference. Four to six small meals a day is great for optimal energy and to avoid getting too hungry and overeating later in the day. When we forget to eat and skip meals, our muscles are broken down for energy and our metabolic rate slows. Eating a small meal every 3-4 hours helps you build muscle and fuels your training and recovery. 

Plan a snack 1-2 hours before a run - good examples include fruit and yogurt, crackers and hummus, fruit smoothie, toast with nut butter, banana with nut butter or oatmeal and milk. At this stage of your training, fresh fruit is a great recovery snack after your runs. When your training sessions become longer and faster, a fruit smoothie, yogurt parfait, or half a sandwich are great options for your recovery snack. Chocolate milk is a popular recovery snack because it’s convenient, but you can make your own recovery smoothie with plain milk, frozen berries and yogurt. Make sure to have your next meal within 1-2 hours after your run to promote muscle recovery and maintain your stamina at your next training run. 

Here is a general sample meal plan that would work for most moderately active middle-aged women. If you are younger, very active or male, you will need to boost the portions of these meals and snacks. 

Sample Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast: Whole grain toast, egg, milk
  • Snack: Greek yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch: Whole grain chicken vegetable wrap, raw veggies
  • Pre-run snack: Crackers, hummus, fruit
  • Post-run snack: Fruit
  • Dinner: Vegetable fish stir-fry with brown rice and salad

SportMed InTraining: The Meal Habit

SunRun Training Week 5: The Meal Habit

Are your mealtimes pleasant and enjoyable? Do you have regular meals or do you sometimes miss meals? Do you sit down at the table to eat or do you eat on the go? Do you eat with your family or companion or is the TV your dinner date? Believe it or not, these aspects of mealtime structure are strong predictors of good nutrition and a healthy weight. 

Admittedly, preparing regular meals is a lot of work: Buying groceries, stocking the fridge, planning meals, cooking food that you and your family enjoy, and to orchestrate our meals around our schedules.  It’s a labour of love. I think we have to love ourselves and the food to go through all the effort!

Sometimes nutrition messages create too many rules about what we should and should not eat - Must be organic, must be cooked from scratch, must not have fat, must have omega 3, must be low in salt, must not have sugar or gluten, must not have preservatives, etc. We can become overwhelmed by the “food police” rules, so we give up on making meals altogether. The truth is that all foods can fit in your diet in a way that nourishes you. 

If you do not sit down to regular meals, start there. Creating regular meals that happen around the same time every day and including foods that you enjoy is the first step towards healthy eating. If we make our meals a priority, our nutrition will improve as a result. Don’t let a busy schedule prevent you from sitting down to nourishing meals.

  • Have breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times each day.
  • Plan at least 2 snacks each day.
  • Eat at a table with your family or companion.
  • Unplug the TV, cell phones and computers.
  • Connect with your family or companion.
  • Enjoy your food.

Free Online Webinar: Food as Your Fuel

SportMed InTraining Webinar: Food as Your Fuel for Training

Sun Run In Training WebinarListen to my free online webinar on how to fuel yourself for training. Tips on what to eat before runs and how to eat if you want to shed a few pounds. Lots of tips and tricks to get the most from the food you eat: 
- What makes a meal balanced? 
- How to choose the best foods to fuel your body? 
- Secrets of meal and snack timing for training. 
- Tips to avoid discomforts of running.

Listen to the full webinar here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8uBD6wZZG8

 

 

 

SportMed InTraining: Overcoming Emotional Eating

Sun Run Training Week 4: Overcoming Emotional Eating

van sun tomato picDo you enjoy food and eating in a balanced way? Or do you have strong cravings for certain foods when you are upset, stressed or depressed? We may comfort ourselves with emotional eating when we don’t want to face uncomfortable feelings like anger, anxiety or sadness. This is a common pattern that many of us learned in our youth when we didn’t know how to handle these tough emotions. 

Emotional eating does bring comfort and relief to our difficult feelings, so it actually does make us feel better temporarily. However, the relief is short lived and soon we feel guilty for overeating and often beat ourselves up for having lost our self-control. We pledge to start a new diet tomorrow and restrict “forbidden” foods. This strict diet makes us feel deprived and this inevitably results in cravings and overeating at our next vulnerable moment of stress. 

To overcome emotional eating, try these strategies to stop this vicious cycle:

  • Identify your triggers: Are you feeling tired, bored, sad, stress, anxiety or anger?
  • Soothe your emotions without food: Talk to a friend, go for a run/walk, play an instrument, do something creative like art or sewing, do a puzzle, coloring, do a chore or take a bath, read a book, meditate or listen to music. Engage your senses. Keep your hands busy. 
  • If you have a craving for a “forbidden food,” make a decision to enjoy it without guilt. You will feel satisfied and will be less likely to binge.
  • If you do binge, it is important to give yourself compassion and acknowledge that you are stressed. Life is difficult and you need more self-care. Do not beat yourself up.
  • Do not start a diet by restricting foods. Instead, try to create regular meals and snacks. Choose foods that you enjoy and nourish you. 

Vancouver Sun Article: How do you eat?

Week 3 SunRun InTraining: Mindful Eating

In this week's Vancouver Sun, I explain why it matters more how we eat, than what we eat.  Read on to learn how to change our mindless eating habits into mindful eating.  

Many of us have developed “distracted” eating habits.  We eat on the go, in the car, at our desk and in front of the television. We are often surrounded by food and can make up to 200 food decisions every day.


This type of mindless eating distracts our attention from tasting the food, making us unaware of how much we eat and usually makes us eat more.

Mindful eating is a completely different approach to eating that can improve destructive eating habits, assist with keeping a healthy weight and help with a nourishing relationship with food. It teaches us to eat using all of our senses and to savour our food. It directs our attention to our physical hunger and satiety and pleasure cues so we can use our body signals to guide our food choices without rules or guilt.

We can use mindful eating to choose foods that we enjoy and are both nourishing and physically satisfying.

What does this mean? Yes, you can enjoy your cake without guilt. Chew slowly and pause between bites. Taste the flavours and put your fork down. How are you feeling? Notice when you feel comfortably full, stopping before you become stuffed.

Try these tips to practice mindful eating at home:

• Be fully present: Sit down. Turn off the TV and computer. Put your phone away.

• Pay attention to how your body feels: Are you hungry? Are you tired or fatigued?

• Notice your thoughts and feelings: Are you feeling sad or stressed?

• Taste the food with all your senses: Savour the texture, aroma and flavour of the food.

• What does this food make me feel? Pleasure? Bloated? Disappointment?

• Gratitude: Appreciate and enjoy your food.

Vancouver Sun Article: How Much Should We Eat?

Sun Run Training Week 2: Intuitive Eating

In today's Vancouver Sun article, I write about not letting a diet tell you how much to eat. Intuitive eaters know how to eat the right amount every day and everyone can practice Intuitive Eating. Here is an excerpt:

"Babies intuitively know exactly how much to eat. When given unlimited access to food, babies and young children will eat exactly the right amount for their bodies.

As we grow up, many of us learn somewhere along the way to eat for reasons that ignore our appetite and physical cues.

We have learned that food can comfort hurt feelings: “Here, eat some and you will feel better.” A well-meaning mother showed her love through food and we stuffed our bellies with food and love simultaneously.

Parents who grew up in tough times, taught us to feel shame about wasting food with three simple words, “finish your plate.” Others rewarded our accomplishments with food, “here, have some cake, you earned it!”

Now, we are so far removed from our hunger cues that we may turn to a diet to tell us how much to eat. We were not taught to check in with our bodies or to listen to our physical cues. We once knew to eat when we were hungry and to stop when we were full.

We can relearn how to eat intuitively as we once did. Ask yourself what is your tummy telling you? Are you hungry or full? Listen to your appetite, respond to your hunger and trust your body...."

Read the full article here:

http://vancouversun.com/uncategorized/sun-run/sun-run-nutrition-how-much-should-we-eat

Vancouver Sun Article: Why Diets Don't Work

SunRun Training Week 1: Why Diets Don't Work

‘Tis the season for fad diets and cleanses.  Most of us have learned the hard way that diets don’t work.  A recent study published in the journal of Obesity by Kevin Hall, explains the physiology behind this frustrating experience.  So, before you “jumpstart” your New Year with the latest fad diet, you may want to understand why your body will always try to make you regain weight after a diet.   

This study monitored contestants from “The Biggest Loser” reality TV show, for six years after the show ended.  The 14 participants had each lost about 130lbs on the show and six years later, most of them had regained almost all the weight back.  They all endured hours of gruelling daily workouts to ensure they maintained their muscle mass.  Yet, their bodies responded to the strict diet by lowering their metabolisms by 600 Calories per day.  The researchers were shocked to discover that the participants’ metabolisms continued to remain suppressed six years later, despite keeping the same exercise regime. 

This study demonstrates one important fact: weight loss diets lower your metabolism, sometimes permanently.  A slower metabolism means that you burn fewer Calories and will gain weight easily when you return to your usual eating habits.  Dieting also triggers powerful food cravings and binge eating. 

So, if you are thinking about starting a diet and you are not prepared to follow it for the rest of your life, the temporary weight loss will soon return.  Rather than turning to diets that restrict certain foods, we should be thinking of eating and exercise as a lifestyle change that we can live with long term.  Try moderate changes that fit with your life.  Eat regular meals, enjoy a variety of foods and listen to your appetite.

Train Like a Canuck, Eat Like a Canuck

Cristina Sutter talks about Recovery Nutrition at Canucks Development Camp

Here is a behind the scenes sneak peak of the Vancouver Canucks development camp where I talk to players about what to eat after training.

City's Breakfast Television: What Do Olympic Athletes Eat?

Cristina Sutter is on City's Breakfast Television: Eat Like an Olympian!

What and how much does an Olympian eat?  In this morning's City Breakfast Television show, I show what a plate for an Olympian would look like, explain why it is different for each sport and what we can apply to our own eating habits.  Click here to watch the video.

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Vancouver Sun Article: What to Eat Before the Big Race

SUN RUN TRAINING WEEK 13: What to Eat and What Not to Eat, Before the Sun Run

In today's Vancouver Sun article, I talk about what to eat and what not to eat the day and morning before the Sun Run. With just 6 days left before the big race, check these eating tips and best food choices to help you feel and run your best on the big day.  Here is an excerpt:

"...You may recall from week 9 to stay away from anything loaded with fat or fibre on the day before a run. That means no fettuccine alfredo, muffins, big salads or fries on Saturday. Keep hydrated by sipping on two to three litres of water throughout the day and stay away from alcohol on both Friday and Saturday.

Here is a sample meal plan for a middle-aged female for the day before the race. If you are young, active or male, you will need to add an extra chicken wrap and fruit smoothie to this meal plan.

Saturday sample meal plan:

7 am:   2 eggs, whole wheat tortilla, salsa
10 am: 1 fruit, 10 almonds
12 pm: Tuna sandwich with baby carrots
3 pm:   1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup fruit
6 pm:   1 cup brown rice, 1 chicken breast, steamed vegetables
9 pm:   Sprouted grain toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

On Sunday morning,..." Click here to read the full article...



 

Vancouver Sun Article: Overcoming Emotional Eating

SUN RUN TRAINING WEEK 12: Reviewing our Relationship with Food

emotional eatingtOvercoming emotional eating is the topic of my article in today's Vancouver Sun paper Here is an excerpt:

"As I watched my children enjoy their Easter chocolates with delight and guilt-free bliss, I reflected that we are all born knowing when we are hungry, when we are full and we ate until we were satisfied. As we grew up, we were told to eat our vegetables because they help us grow and not to eat cookies because they are bad for us. We may have been offered ice cream to cheer us up on a sad day. Our parents may have asked us to finish our plate, so as not to waste food. If we felt pressure to be thinner, we may have felt guilty eating our favorite treats.

All of these things distort our relationship with food and cloud our innate ability to eat until satisfied. Eventually, we may eat because we are supposed to, or we may overeat to please someone or to cope with loneliness or stress. We start to think of food as ‘good for you’ and ‘bad for you’ and we may feel guilty about enjoying our favorite foods. If we deprive ourselves of our favorite treats, we may feel overwhelmed with guilt when our willpower cracks.

Ask yourself a few questions before deciding whether to eat: 
- Am I Hungry?
- Do I want that? 
- Am I sad or upset and do I really just need to talk and de-stress? How will I feel after I eat it?

The answers are simple: 
- Eat if you are hungry, stop if you are full. 
- If you are craving a specific treat, check your emotions first. 
- Look after your stress and emotions without food.

If your craving persists, allow yourself to enjoy a treat, and don’t feel guilty. You are better off eating the treat or you may end up overeating a pile of other foods that just don’t satisfy the craving."

Book an Appointment with Cristina today

Want to book an appointment with Cristina immediately? Click here, or call 604-558-1250 during business hours. 8AM - 6PM, Monday - Friday (Closed for lunch from 12-1)
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