Photo courtesy of Kami Stafford

Meal Planning Guidelines

This page gives some general guidelines for planning a nutritionally balanced meal, as well balancing the gunas within a dish or meal. I also focus the balance to use these energies with your dominant energy type to produce the desired results.

Nutritional Balance

To start with on healthy eating, one has to have all of the required food groups, and a minimal amount of the foods already eaten in excess, or those which one has a limited need for. The basic way is with a food pyramid. There is the USDA Updated Food Pyramid, which has the advantage over the "old" food pyramid in that it can and should be individualized for a given person's needs and activity levels.

There is another way, as shown in the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Healing Foods Pyramid This was conceived by Monica Myklebust, MD, and Jenna Wunder, MPH, RD. It's significantly different than the typical food pyramid used, in that it bases the diet on fruits and vegetables rather than grains, and encourages a small use of animal products.

Which of these a person would use would probably be based on what sorts of energies one wants to add to their diet. The University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Healing Foods Pyramid appears to be excellent if one needs lighter, satvic or rajavic foods in their diet, as it's based on fruits and vegetables and has "seasonings" as a seperate food group. The USDA Updated Food Pyramid is a lot more balanced than the original 1992 Food Pyramid. It takes into account that there are high-calorie, starchy vegetables and green, leafy vegetables, and it makes no sense to lump them together, as it makes no sense to lump beans, lean fish, and red meats together. Also, there are different pyramids for different lifestyles, such as special ones for Asian diets, Latin-American diets, Mediterranian diets, vegetarian diets, and so forth. It has special considerations for children as well.

All of these provide a pretty generic basis from which to start figuring how to create the balanced meal which you need. Of course, as in all things, if you have any special dietary concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare team, such as your doctor, nurse, or dietician.


Balance of Gunas

Ideally, the goal would be to have a 3-way balance amont Satvic, Rajavic, and Tamasic gunas, with a little more of the weight leaning toward Satvic.

In short, with my ideas here, there are no foods which are intrinsically bad. There are foods which are weightier and more energetic than others, as well as some which are light and produce a peaceful feeling of well-being. It's just a matter of quantity of each of those, as well as your own needs and wants.


Putting Your Energy into the Balance

Next is to factor in the prevailing energy you have, as an individual, at THIS point in time. How do you feel? Do you feel nervous, jittery, and anxious? Do you feel sad and sluggish? Do you feel happy and peaceful? Note too, that irritability can go with either being nervous and jittery or with being sad and sluggish.


Factoring in Energy You want and Need


Now, to Put It All Together


And, a Specific Plan for A Meal or Day


Website design and Hosting by Web-lectric
Copyright 2006 by Elizabeth Harper
All Rights Reserved
No part of this page may be copied as a whole or in part, except in brief citations under the "Fair Use" provision of US and International Copyright Law without written permission of the author.