Chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson explains how he stayed healthy during the pandemic and how he maintains his healthy relationship to eating and nutrition.
CEO, Schulson Collective
When everyone is on lockdown because of a global pandemic, what’s a chef and restaurateur like Michael Schulson to do? Take the opportunity to improve his nutrition and eating habits, of course. Schulson, who is the CEO of Philadelphia-based restaurant group Schulson Collective, tells Mediaplanet in an exclusive interview that rather than letting his health slide during the pandemic, staying home was a blessing in disguise.
“It was actually easy since I had more time to exercise and cook my own food,” Schulson explains. “I wasn’t in the restaurants all the time and being forced to taste an endless amount of food on a daily basis. I was able to make my own simple and healthy food.” Basically, rather than eating for work, Schulson was able to eat for pleasure.
“I didn’t have any challenges, as it was a joy to be able to only eat when I wanted to and needed to. At work, I need to eat and taste all the time, which sounds fun, but trust me, it isn’t.”
Everything in moderation
Schulson has opened a variety of restaurants with a variety of cuisines on their menus, from modern Japanese to classic Italian pasta dishes.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship to food, Schulson says he’s all about moderation and doesn’t adhere to fads or restrictions. “I’m more about moderation,” he explains. “I find all these diets don’t work long-term, so try eating the right amount and making sure to eat fruits and vegetables as well. If you want to eat ice cream or something, do it, but just a small amount.”
This kind of lifestyle if often referred to as “intuitive eating.” People who follow this model don’t restrict their diets or try to stick to any one plan. It’s more about listening to your body and what it needs. This means eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, and paying attention to what tastes good and, more importantly, what makes your body feel good when you’re eating it. This lifestyle encourages people to reject the idea that there are “good” and “bad” foods.
When asked what advice he would give to people who have a hard time maintaining a healthy relationship with food, Schulson says, “Stop looking at it as the enemy and stop trying all these diets.”
Another important factor to maintaining one’s health is, you guessed it, staying active. “I try to do 30 minutes of cardio a day, which is usually an incline of 10-15 for about 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of a single body past and some core work,” Schulson says. Everyone’s body is different, so every person should find the exercise routine that works best for them. “The best motivation is always seeing the results,” Schulson says. “When you can see the transformation of your body, it really keeps you going.”