Monday, August 17, 2009

Healing Food Pyramid

We are actually with friends all this week. So, no meal planning for me...although I will continue to work on my Trader Joe's meal plans for the fall. And, I will say, I'm so excited to share the plans and recipes I am coming up with - I'll be focusing it fully on the info below in this post.

I've loved the Healing Food Pyramid for awhile now, but recently realized that I haven't posted about it on here. It comes from the University of Michigan and creates a new food pyramid that focuses solely on foods that are healing. The website gives the reasons why they are on the food pyramid as well as serving sizes and how many servings you should have in a day. It is always a good reminder to me when I look back on it.

In A Month of Meals I refer quite a bit to the Healing Food Pyramid as I think it is a great way to adjust eating - to eat foods that are better for us and for the environment.

I recently looked at it again and thought I'd share some of the basics of it on here.

Here is a brief look at each "level" of the pyramid, starting with the lowest (largest) level and moving up. I encourage you to check out the links for more's really helpful.

The foundation of the pyramid is water - drinking 64-96 ounces each day.

Next is fruits and vegetables. Servings for fruits are 2-4 and vegetables are unlimited. This includes raspberries, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, bananas, etc. The link to University of Michigan's site gives more information about buying organic and how to increase your intake.

Next up are grains. 4-11 servings each day and whole grains are highly recommended. This includes all types of whole grains - bread, brown rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.

Legumes are the 4th category. This includes both soy and legumes (like beans and lentils). You are supposed to have 1-3 servings/day of legumes and 1-2 servings of soy (in all forms - soymilk, tofu, soy nuts, etc.).

Healthy fats are next and include real butter, oils (like olive oil), nuts, seeds and avocado. You are to have 3-9 servings/day. Make sure to check out the link for serving sizes.

Last on the list of encouraged items are seasonings and you are to have a variety within your diet. They include spices, herbs, peppers and alliums (garlic, onion, etc.).

The pyramid continues to go up. It covers dairy, eggs, fish & seafood, and lean meats. These categories are not discouraged, but they are optional. The authors do encourage looking into the nutrients that each provides and eating the low-fat versions and share serving sizes that are much smaller than the normal size on most plates.

Last on the list is accompaniments (including alcohol, dark chocolate, and tea) and personal space (your own personal healing treat).

I am encouraged to eat better each time I take a look at this pyramid and think it's a great tool for all of us!


  1. Thanks for the reminder of the healing food pyramid... not exactly like the food pyramid I grew up on. I'd like to make this my eating goal for the next month. We'll see how that goes in Europe... not sure if it will be easier or harder.

    Going to miss you guys :(.

  2. Well I know for sure I do not get the correct serving amount for veggies or fruits or any of the foods. I should definitely try to do better.

  3. thanks for sharing. ps, can't wait to see you when you get back and here about your summer :)

  4. So I was just talking with a friend about your Trader Joes initiative. Are you going to make Trader Joes meal plans on $50 a week?? Because we both agreed that would be pretty amazing and easy for everyone to get on board with. :)

  5. Josh - Yeah, that's the goal. I've got some meal plans started and it looks like it would be do-able. It would definitely be using the guidelines from this post with little meat and mostly fruits, veggies, and whole grains. And making stuff from scratch and not buying snacks :).

    The only sad thing is that they don't have dried beans. So, those would have to come from somewhere else. I'm going to look into the bulk prices at whole foods or just run to my normal grocery store.

    Once September comes (and depending on when TJ's opens :)), I will know for sure!