OurPlate: Optimal Eating Made Easy

Learn how to quickly rate meals via the OurPlate Meal Rating Scale

Welcome to HumanaNatura’s OurPlate Healthy Eating Guide!

OurPlate is a simple but powerful model for optimal and natural daily eating amidst contemporary life. Integrating the science of our original human eating patterns in nature with modern nutritional and agricultural research findings, OurPlate produces meals that are easy to prepare, naturally delicious, extra-healthy, and ecologically friendly.

The OurPlate healthy eating model is derived directly from the crucial HumanaNatura health technique of Natural Eating, the first of four science-based natural health techniques that span and form the comprehensive HumanaNatura natural health system.

The model’s name, OurPlate, was chosen to contrast it with the U.S. government’s recently introduced MyPlate nutritional model. The names may seem similar, but the two sets of dietary recommendations are quite different – in underlying principles, emphasized eating practices, and expected personal and environmental health impact.

Notably, the governmental MyPlate model suggests only minor adjustments in the way people typically eat today – and thus in the way that food is typically produced and marketed – and its adoption can be expected to produce only incremental changes in our health levels, except in cases of people with very poor diets. By contrast, HumanaNatura’s OurPlate model proposes a substantially different, far simpler, more natural, and generally health-transforming approach to modern eating – even for people who have average and above average diets today.

As you can quickly see in practice, the OurPlate model is much more natural and beneficial for us, and quickly leads to superior and enduring personal health and fitness improvements. At the same time, OurPlate is better for the planet too, reducing stress on the earth’s varying ecosystems, preserving essential soils, and directly enabling sustainable and renaturalized agriculture around the world.

USDA MyPlate: New Model With Old Problems

If you don’t closely follow governmental food regulations, you may not know that MyPlate was introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011 to replace its earlier food pyramid nutritional model – an approach that was used for a generation to summarize (and also significantly misconstrue) how modern people ideally should eat.

Choose MyPlate Graphic

The U.S. MyPlate Model – Leftovers Mostly

The new look of the MyPlate model is more inviting and easier to remember than the old food pyramid. Unfortunately, its underlying guidance provides an only partial improvement, and only limited expected health improvements, compared with the outgoing pyramid model. MyPlate correctly eliminates sweets from a healthy diet, but still insufficiently re-greens our diets and continues to encourage excessive carbohydrate levels overall. It also fails to adequately differentiate between higher and lower quality proteins and fats. And MyPlate continues to allow patently unhealthy processed meats to forms a significant part of our daily diets.

As importantly, the USDA’s MyPlate model continues to advocate the practice of significant grain and bean or legume consumption, even as this is demonstrably less healthy for people and the environment. These negative health effects owe to the significant and historically unnatural carbohydrates and allergens in these foods, and their tandem harm to native soils and ecosystems when grown at scale. Overall, the USDA MyPlate model continues an unnatural outlook on human life and the foods we eat, and results in a less natural, health-impacting, science-leveraging, and optimal general set of dietary recommendations than is now possible.

HumanaNatura OurPlate…A Better Approach

To correct and highlight these crucial flaws in the USDA’s MyPlate approach, and in many other modern dietary models, HumanaNatura created OurPlate. As summarized above, Our Plate is a 100% science-based, renaturalized, and health-centered modern eating model. OurPlate is designed to make healthy natural eating a simple and enjoyable part of modern daily life. And OurPlate produces superior personal and environmental health outcomes, compared with MyPlate and many other contemporary nutritional programs.

OurPlate Summary

Click for a full-size copy of the OurPlate Healthy Eating Graphic

With OurPlate, a broader range of available health and agricultural science is employed than is evident in the USDA’s MyPlate approach, and other popular diet programs today, leading to a superior, simpler, healthier, more natural, and more ecologically sound daily eating model.

> Green foundation – as you can see in the OurPlate icon (click here to enlarge), HumanaNatura’s model for optimal modern eating begins with a green foundation, both to optimize our long-evolved human diet in nature and reflect our best available science for healthy nutrition today. Because this vitamin, mineral, and fiber-rich green foundation is so important to our natural health, we recommend that at least half of our food volume each day be in the form of vegetables – including leafy greens, edible shoots and flowering plants, colorful vegetable-fruits, and root plants.

We also recommend: 1) prioritizing vegetables that can be eaten raw (a simple but powerful indicator the food likely has had a long natural place in our human diet), 2) avoiding unnatural (for humans) and ecologically damaging grains and beans, and 3) moderating our intake of starches. Overall, the HumanaNatura OurPlate model recommends a doubling of our daily vegetable intake relative to the USDA MyPlate model and, along with prioritizing the types of vegetables we eat, produces a diet that is far greener, more health-impacting, and more ecologically sound. And owing to its high fiber and reduced carbohydrate levels, OurPlate can even to allow us to consume fewer calories, with equal or greater enjoyment and satisfaction with our meals, helping both us and our planet.

In addition to its substantial green foundation, HumanaNatura’s OurPlate model then adds two (and just two) other food categories to provide a complete, natural, enjoyable, and sustainable modern nutritional model:

> Protein foods – long-evolved human foods providing health-essential proteins, oils and fats, vitamins, and minerals. Included in this category, in rough order of priority, are tree nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, lean meats, and eggs and dairy (while dairy is a newer human food, we view it as an acceptable meat substitute for people who tolerate it well, and emphasize unsweetened yogurts rather than naturally sugar-rich milks and high-fat cheeses). Importantly, in all cases, Our Plate and HumanaNatura recommend that our daily protein intake should not exceed recommended levels, and preference should be given to sustainably harvested foods whenever possible (such as sustainably grown tree nuts, sustainably harvested fish, and 100% grass-fed meats).

> Raw fruits – sufficient to meet our remaining daily calorie needs (judged by our maintenance of a healthy body weight). When selecting fruits, preference should be given to low-sugar fruits, such as berries, and to fruits that are grown sustainably. And dried fruits should be avoided, due to their high sugar content and thus tendency – as with all sugary foods – to alter our natural blood chemistry and overall physiology, unnaturally stimulate our appetites and promote overeating, and lessen the appeal of less sweet but often far healthier foods – all reducing our long-term health and fitness.

For beverages, HumanaNatura encourages drinking pure water, including warm or cool teas and infusions without added sugars.

Explore the Natural Power of OurPlate Today!

In practice, the easiest and most enjoyable way to use HumanaNatura’s OurPlate model, and to quickly adopt and optimize this naturally complete and healthy way of eating, is to turn all our meals into Salad Meals or Steam Meals, examples of which are the subject of many of our NaturaLife posts.

For most of us, eating naturally the HumanaNatura way and using the OurPlate model will mean two or three salad-based or steamed meals a day, one or two of them with an animal protein, along with periodic snacking on raw veggies, fruits, and tree nuts and seeds.

Learn more about preparing delicious OurPlate meals and HumanaNatura’s overall food guidelines via the many example meal posts on NaturaLife, and explore HumanaNatura’s detailed nutritional guidelines via the Natural Eating section of our Personal Health Program.

As you will quickly see, the OurPlate healthy eating model and HumanaNatura’s larger technique of Natural Eating form a powerful and even revolutionary approach for modern eating today. Using the OurPlate model, even for just a few weeks, you will soon find that HumanaNatura and OurPlate offer a simple, natural, and often profoundly health-transforming approach to our daily meals.

And as you achieve new personal health, fitness, and well-being from the HumanaNatura approach to eating, perhaps you will become interested in HumanaNatura’s other natural health techniques – Natural Exercise, Natural Living, and Natural Communities – which you can learn about at The Four HumanaNatura Techniques.

Tell others about HumanaNatura…give the gift of modern natural life!

  1. #1 by amandalalove on January 16, 2012 - 20:39

    Thanks HumanaNatura, I look forward to activating the principals of evolutionary living to my daily practice. Would love to know more about food combining and alkaline/acid ph levels in the body, and how fruit and protein combos affect one another. I have heard to keep the two separate, have you discovered any science uncovering more information regarding food combining and balancing internal pH for optimal human health?

  2. #2 by mlundegren on January 16, 2012 - 20:52

    Thanks Amandalalove. HN does not advocate strict food combining or ph targeting practices. As long as you do not have discomfort from specific food combinations, you are free to eat as you wish, within our overall Natural Eating guidelines of course. Though ph targeting is a relatively new idea, food combining is not. In any case, our best science supports focusing on natural food quality and optimal proportioning per OurPlate. Hope this helps, Mark

  3. #3 by mlundegren on January 17, 2012 - 09:21

    Criticism of MyPlate by Harvard researchers (though they still include grains): http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/harvard-to-usda-check-out-the-healthy-eating-plate-201109143344

  4. #4 by mlundegren on June 27, 2012 - 21:44

  5. #5 by Lisa on June 18, 2015 - 07:45

    I see a lot of good things about your program, but I am not a believer in evolution, and I don’t believe that grains are bad for us. Maybe for certain people, but not for the majority of us.

    • #6 by mlundegren on June 18, 2015 - 08:47

      The HN system is science rather than belief-based, and counterintuitive to many of us at first, Lisa. You might try the OurPlate approach for a few weeks, and see what you will see. In addition to potential personal benefits, it is more natural and far better for the environment as well.

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