Annalise Young, a local dietician in the Sea to Sky, shared her healthy meal perspectives and passion for eating well in both the backcountry and day to day life.

Food is a central part of life, no matter what activities you enjoy. Proper nutrition is hugely important and without a doubt benefits the athletic community in Whistler, be it recreational or elite athletes. Building a strong base diet to support our bodies through long days on the slopes, grinding gears up a mountain or refuelling after a strenuous backcountry trek is essential. However, food and nutrition can be complicated, consuming, and above all, costly.

This is where Annalise’s expertise becomes invaluable and she has been fundamental to the Whistler Adventure School’s backcountry meal preparations. She met with students last week to explain her philosophies and point out some of her favourite affordable in-store choices. When it comes to planning for the backcountry, she explains, “it differs from your everyday grocery shop in that our bodies need more quick energy to refuel our bodies to keep going, and to reduce the risk of fatigue halfway through your trek”. Her coaching is a new addition to the school’s guiding programs, but will be helpful for everyday meal planning as well.


“During your everyday, your focus should be on including more whole grains, think “the browner the better” in terms of breads, rice, pasta, quinoa. The more fresh vegetables and fruits on your plate the better”. In the backcountry, the focus is shifted away from whole grains which take longer to digest and replaced with “fast fuels” to feed our muscles. “Proteins, simple starches, and carbs in the backcountry, but once you’re back to your everyday, the focus should be shifted back to including more fresh fruits and vegetables to get all the micronutrients that feed different parts of our bodies”.


Whether students are focused on ski guiding, rock guiding, or exploring in their spare time, Annalise has helpful tips and tricks for all: “Plan backcountry meals with the following template Carbs + Proteins + Healthy Fats. And then for snacks focus on Carbs + Protein” – Annalise Young


“No one likes hearing the dreaded words ‘meal planning’ but, if you set a few minutes to plan proper meals, be it for the backcountry or for your busy week, you are going to have success and reap the rewards”.

Annalise has always loved cooking and sharing meals with friends and family. “I strongly believe our culture has steered away from the importance around sharing time and savouring food together, and this has led to many nutrition imbalanced we are seeing today”. She is constantly looking to scientific research and studying a diverse range of cultures for inspiration. There is the added bonus conversation to be had around food choices and their environmental impacts that she enjoys, like how eating more plant based meals and proper meal planning reduce food waste in your refrigerator at the end of every week.

“I am in this role to not only encourage a healthier and more balanced plate, but with the ultimate goal to encourage a more positive relationship with food, one that brings us back together around the dinner table. Food can reconnect us to our family’s culture, make social connections between colleagues and strangers, and ultimately build a stronger and healthier community.” – Annalise Young

Annalise is currently working at the Independent Grocery store in Whistler, Squamish and Sechelt. Her role as a dietitian involves hosting nutrition workshops and teaching in-store teaching practical skills alongside nutrition knowledge. She also hosts community outreach events and for those looking for more individual guidance and support she does one-on-one counselling. Annalise specializes in sports nutrition as a personal passion. If you’re looking to learn more about nutrition in your sport, she would love to work with you! Check out her Facebook Page Annalise Your In-Store Dietitian for recipe ideas, workshop dates, healthy tricks and cooking tips. Or feel free to visit her in-store at Whistler’s Independent Grocer! Her calendar is posted at the Dietitian booth in the produce section.

If you have any further questions feel free to drop her a line at:


Photo credit: Annalise Young