The Rule of Eights
One of the strongest benefits from the StanPlan comes from what we call the "Rule of Eights." This means that no food item should be cut more than eight ways or cut up to more than 1/8th of its original size during cooking or servicing. The Rule of Eights keeps a food item most closely resembling its original state.
Here's how it works: for a large food item, such as a cabbage or a melon, you may cut the item a maximum of eight times before cooking or before serving (but not both, of course!).
For a potato, which isn't very big to begin with, you can cut it into pieces before cooking and serving such that no piece is less than 1/8 of the original potation.
It's best to prepare and serve food whole whenever possible and practical, but cutting may be essential for serving reasonably sized portions. Try to do as much of the cutting and peeling on your plate at the table .
Small foods shouldn't be cut at all before service. Strawberries, for example, one of our unlimited foods, need not be halved or quartered. They are best cut during eating. Another example is grapefruit: eat as many as you want, but please don't section them or peel them before serving.
The Rule of Eights can't be overemphasized. It's one of your primary safeguards against overprocessing food. The food's original color, quality and texture should always "show through"!