Seamus Mullen’s Five Basic Rules of Meal Planning

Chef and restauranteur Seamus Mullen keeps these basic tenants in mind when he preps his meals. Plus, he shares the 5 high-quality supplements he won't do without.

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When I help people look at how they eat and how they might make some positive changes with their relationship with food, I try to stay away from hard and fast rules per se and rather just help set up some structure, after all we’re all very different and what works for one person may not work for the next. That said, there are some basic tenants that I like to follow and they break down nicely into 5 little packages. Whenever I’m planning and prepping my meals, I always have these things in mind…

1. Make It Delicious

When eating becomes a task no less utilitarian than putting on a raincoat when it’s raining, you’re in trouble. Food is meant to be pleasurable- along with sex it’s one of the most indulgent, pleasurable things we can experience. Take a few extra minutes to put some extra love into your cooking and the result will pay dividends in your health!

2. Is This Harming Me or Helping Me?

I ask myself that question every time I put something in my mouth. It’s fine if every once in a while the answer isn’t “it’s helping me” but just remember to keep a good balance. Don’t underestimate the health values of having the occasional pint of good ice cream with great friends!

3. Sugar Is Your Enemy

A. I know this is a bit of a dead horse, but if you eat too much of it, you too will be a dead horse! It’s important to recognize sugar in all it’s shapes and sizes and that most refined white sugar is a GMO product. One place that sugar tends to eek its way into our bellies is through juices, particularly fruit-based juices. Because they lack the pulp and fiber of eating the whole fruit, our body absorbs the sugars much more quickly. Just like with rule number B. it’s important to be mindful….the sugar police aren’t going to throw you in jail for the occasional sweet indulgence!

4. Consider The Origin of Your Food

It’s very easy in today’s world to effortlessly and mindlessly consume calories. I know that on more than one occasion I’ve been guilty of taking down a whole bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips (in the distant past, that is!) Most convenience “food” is designed to be crave-able, and we tend to eat it far faster than we should, before our brain gets the message that we’ve eaten enough, our belly keeps demanding more food.

5. If You Can’t Pronounce It, You Probably Don’t Want To Eat It

I know this sounds pretty basic, but when you’re looking at a label, think about what the ingredients are and if you have never heard of them before or they don’t sound like food, it’s a safe bet to stay away!

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