Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Restaurateur runs for health

Article published in A La Carte magazine, the official publication of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, Spring 2012

We caught up with restaurateur Lee Mccullough, co-owner of One Restaurant and Lounge in New Orleans has made healthy living more than a mission, but a marathon. With a healthy eating part of his upbringing, he runs for hours a week for exercise and to think and clear his head. He’s taken his passion for running to the marathon circuit.
Restaurateur Lee Mccullough
runs for hours each week and
participates in marathons.
ALC: Were you raised with an awareness of healthy eating?
LM: My mom was all about fruits and vegetables, low sugar cereals and we weren’t allowed to have sodas. She used to make squash chips and tell me they were cookies, and because I didn’t know any better, I used to think, “Wow! Cookies!”
ALC: Many restaurateurs struggle with maintaining balance between the business and their health. How do you manage both?
LM: Scheduling my time is key. I may work the lunch shift and dinner shift, but will run in between. With the long hours we work, running in between shifts gives me enough energy to make it through the long hours.
ALC: There’s the misperception that restaurant meals are highly caloric. Do you eat at your restaurant and do you eat what’s on the menu or prepare it differently for yourself?
LM: I eat what’s on the menu. Our chef, Scott Snodgrass, uses fresh ingredients and is also conscientious of the ingredients that add to the caloric content. There are few items that we will prepare differently is a diner requests it.
ALC: You have a history of athleticism. What other sports besides running have you participated in?
LM: I played baseball, basketball and rowed in high school. Rowing was the most demanding as far as endurance goes. As far as running goes, I love long distances rather than short and fast. I enjoy being outside and around other people.
ALC: How is exercise important to your mental well-being?
LM: It’s about decompression for me. Between work, family, friends and the people I encounter, running gives me time to think about all of it and really focus on what’s important to me.
ALC: What kind of music do you listen to when you’re running?
LM: Sometimes it’s heavy metal, sometimes it’s rap. Definitely upbeat regardless of the genre.   
Do you schedule time for yourself? Do you exercise or consider your food choices?

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