Archetype of a Balanced Meal

The threefold structure of a plant with all its parts in balanced proportions can be used as an archetype for creating the new ‘being of the meal’. Such plants don't exist in nature, because we are taking parts of various plants and combining them in an unique fashion. These creations can be either very one-sided and unbalanced, or they can be balanced in such a way to become harmonious dishes that support us in all possible ways in our striving for well-being.

For complementary perspectives see:



This archetype helps us to combine various dishes together into a balanced meal. This is not the only possibility, but this approach has an advantage that one doesn't need a calculator with the aim to see if the meal consists of all necessary amounts of nutrients. What one needs is to become familiar with the basic groups of foods of plant origin with the aim to become capable to combine them in a harmonious manner. We need this because we take the plant as a model to create a new ‘plant’ – we could even say to create a new ‘being of the meal’. With this model we can see if this new ‘plant’ has all the necessary parts or if something is missing. [1]

However, this doesn’t mean that we need to start with creating completely new dishes. Although cookbooks are available (mainly in German) which are based on such an approach to nutrition as is presented in this website, this is not the only way to learn to create balanced meals. Numerous recipes for the dishes in existence already have some elements of a balanced meal. All we need to do is to add or remove specific ingredients to get a truly balanced meal.

Among dishes from various traditional food cultures we can even find such which have all the elements of a balanced meal. Nevertheless, we can always adapt them, if necessary, to changing circumstances in which we live and to personal preferences of the people for whom we cook, with the help of the approach presented in these nutritional guidelines.

Another way is to make more balanced versions of the popular dishes (such as pizza, pasta, etc). The advantage of this approach is that people are already familiar with the dishes. The biggest challenges are in the cases where potato is the main ingredient, or where they like to eat dishes made with the white flour. Here we need to use the method of gradual substitution of white flour with whole flour, or potato with grain [2] in combination with some persuasion. [3] In this manner we might be capable of overcoming the resistance and able to create more balanced dishes.

The Composition of a Meal

You can see in the main picture the threefold division in the overall meal structure:

The Grain dish is the base of the meal. The reason why whole grains are taken as the base of the meal is – as you can see in the ARCHETYPE OF A GRAIN – the fact that they are the most balanced food in their inner structure. This characteristic enabled them to become the staple food of humanity. You can choose whichever grain you like, although it is better if you use a variety of grains to avoid one-sidedness. If you wish you can eat them according to the WEEKLY RHYTHM OF SEVEN GRAIN.

The Vegetable dish(es) is/are the body of a meal. As a part of a balanced meal we can prepare:

With the aim to create balanced dishes we use the PRINCIPLE OF THREEFOLD PLANT as the main help and guidance.

The Dessert is the 'fruit of a meal', made from fruits and nuts (as the key ingredients) growing mainly on trees and bushes, such as apples, pears, blackberries, hazelnuts, and so on. The dessert is satisfying our need for sweetness. [4] For this purpose we use fresh or naturally preserved fruits (including natural sweeteners), and other wholesome ingredients presented in HOLISTIC FOOD 'PYRAMID'.

For help on how to create a balanced meal see EXAMPLES OF BALANCED MEALS

Use of Other Food Groups

The three surrounding layers in the picture represent the following foods which can be used in the preparation of any dish: [5]

These foods add flavour and enrich taste and for that reason they are an integral part of a balanced meal.

For complementary perspectives see:




  1. The archetype of the balanced meal will work only if we use good quality naturally grown grains, vegetables, fruit, and/or products made from them. This is evident from the mineralising effect of artificial fertilisers explained in ORGANIC vs CONVENTIONAL FOOD that has contributed in great measure to the fact that many people today are no longer capable of consuming grains.
  2. We can start with and persist in this endeavour only if we know that the overconsumption of refined foods contributes a great deal to the development of obesity, diabetes and other modern illnesses and that potato is one of the major causes behind the LOSS OF HEALTHY EATING INSTINCTS.
  3. Persuasion should not include any attempts of forcing anybody to eat something just because it is healthier. On the other hand this doesn’t mean that there is no possibility to use health as an argument – it all depends on the manner in which we do it! In this we can be greatly helped by humour and inclusion of all for whom we cook in the creation of menus.
  4. The need for sweetness is referring to our need to taste sweetness as a part of eating experiences. There is more than enough evidence that we have very strong need for sweetness which can very quickly turn into cravings for and over-consumption of sugar. The underlying reason for this strong need is evident from the content of GOOD vs BAD SWEETENERS.
  5. If you wonder where in this archetype is the place for meat, you need to look at the protein-rich group in Pulses–Eggs–Meat, where you can find gradual transition from legumes to tofu, cheese, eggs, fish, white meat (chicken, etc), and red meat. From this you can see that meat needs to replace any other protein-rich food from this group if we want to have a balanced meal – of course, in a suitable amount!