The following chart is a representation of dietary proportions roughly based on the well-known mathematical model called “The Golden Rectangle.”


This fascinating geometric model has been called by many other names in different parts of the world and different historical epochs. The spiral has often been termed the “universal master form,” and has long been revered as a sacred symbol of life, death, and transformation. Found abundantly throughout nature in both the plant and animal realms, manifestations of the spiral with its logarithmic progressions have been represented in the arts and sciences of every culture, from the most primitive to the most advanced. It is in the logarithmic spiral that we find a consistent thread of knowledge linking the beliefs and lifestyles of the great ancient civilizations through art, architecture, astronomy, engineering—and even agriculture, pastoralism, and food production.

Whether in India, China, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, North or South America, the study of traditional foods reveals a dietary pattern based on a remarkably consistent wisdom of sensibility, practicality, and proportion. On the surface, these traditions are characterized by obvious cultural diversity: thus, one part of the world may include cereals of a particular species, while elsewhere another species takes precedence. The same holds true for vegetables, animal products, beans, seeds and nuts, dairy products, etc. Yet there is an underlying consistency—one is tempted to say uniformity—in the basic proportions of foods and food groups each culture has used to feed its people.

There are, of course, broad differences based on climate and terrain. Coastal peoples naturally consumed more fish and seafood than inland peoples, who consumed more fowl and mammal products. Yet as fundamentally agricultural peoples, both groups consumed animal products overall in a roughly equivalent proportion to all other foods. While ruling classes often exercised the exclusive rights of the wealthy to adjust these proportions for their personal use, the general proportions were maintained among traditional peoples just as they are today. Some non-agricultural peoples represent exceptions to these principles due to environmental factors or simply because of the fact that they do not practice agriculture. However, even among many hunter-gatherers these proportions of higher quantities of plant foods with smaller portions of animal products are the norm.

Golden Ratio, Golden Age

It is my experience that a diet of traditionally grown foods, eaten in accordance with the principles of the golden spiral, holds the keys to health where so many other approaches fail. The culture bearers of antiquity were able to create a golden age, a state that is possible only when all aspects of life are in harmony. I believe we can achieve optimal health, a clean environment, and new levels of cultural expression by consciously implementing these principles once again.

Careful investigation of the spirallic nature of the traditional dietary pattern leads to a startlingly profound truth at its center: Light is the source of inspiration. This is simply a poetic way of stating that the source of all is the powerful force of creation itself—what some refer to as “God” or by many other names.

This omnipresent, omniscient force charges and generates the process and flow of energy through each stage of this spiral, supplying the raw materials for human sustenance and nourishment. These materials are comprised of macronutrients, vitamins, phytonutrients, carotenoids, and all other known and unknown ingredients inherent in our daily foods.

More than these ingredients, every food also carries specific energetic properties exclusive to its makeup and origin. These “energetics” have the ability to alter our health in profound ways.


Section 1: Air

When we are born, the first breath, a simple inhalation of air, is the beginning of an incredible journey in self-discovery that is individually unique.

Throughout our lives, air will serve as our most abundant resource for nourishment. Oxygen from the air will spark the fires of metabolism, helping to regulate all micro- and macro-cellular functions in the physical body. Although we experience variations in our respiratory quotients, the air we breathe will supply the greatest proportion of nourishment as energy to support life.

The constant exchange of oxygen with carbon dioxide through the respiratory system plays an integral role in the body’s ability to process all other forms of nutrients. Air is the one form of nourishment that is consumed while you are both asleep and awake. Other forms of nutrition listed in the chart have a proportionally equal influence on oxygen’s effectiveness—right down to the cellular level.

Section 2: Water

Water comprises more of our daily diet than we realize. Fruits and vegetables are mostly water. Grains, beans, soups, and boiled or steamed foods are prepared with water. About 75 percent of the human body is water. If we were to weigh all that we consume at the end of a day, water would weigh in as the second largest quantity, after air.

We require large amounts water daily for cooling the body and cleansing the blood, cells, and organs of toxins and wastes. Water is also essential in maintaining and regulating healthy bowel function and peristalsis.

While pure water is the ideal beverage and the one that hydrates our body cells most efficiently, our ancestors also consumed other liquids, including herbal teas, wine, beer, and water-based herbal remedies.

Section 3: Carbohydrates

The ideal carbohydrates are those consumed by traditional peoples: whole grains, whole grain products (breads, pastas, etc.), pseudo-cereals (quinoa, amaranth, teff), and starchy vegetables (roots and tubers: sweet potato, potato, yam, yucca, squashes, and others). These foods, partly because of their versatility, should make up the largest portion of the diet.

This section also includes supplementary carbohydrates (all fruits and sweeteners). Some typical sweeteners are grain malts, honey, maple syrup, sugar cane, etc. Supplementary carbohydrates were consumed in smaller quantities in traditional diets.

Among the carbohydrates, revered above all other foods, appear the “sacred gifts of the gods”: the grains and pseudo-cereals. Ancient peoples believed these staples held the genetic memory of human origin and the spiritual essence of man and woman.

Section 4: Vegetables

Vegetables include all edible land and water plants. Roots, seeds, leaves, stalks, buds, and marine- and fresh-water algae are but some of the plant forms consumed around the world. Although many vegetables can be considered additional sources of carbohydrates, I have placed them in a separate section because of their dietary importance in the lives of our ancestors.

Vegetables contain a wide spectrum of nutrients and act as neutralizing agents when eaten in proper combination with other foods. For most people, vegetables are sorely lacking, exceptions being those instances where people practice certain ethnic traditions or dietary programs specifically based on ample quantities of a variety of fresh vegetables.

Section 5: Protein

Progressing from greatest quantity to smallest, protein sources follow wild and domesticated plants as the next category in the spiral. This includes a broad range of traditional foods: eggs, wild game, fowl, waterfowl, cattle, lamb, goat, pig, organ meats, dairy products, shellfish, fish, beans, seeds and nuts are some of the many types of protein consumed historically throughout the world.

Section 6: Fats and Oils

Fats and oils have a long history in dietary traditions, consumed either as a part of other foods or as a base used to prepare particular foods. Olives, avocadoes, and nuts are whole-plant sources of fat; salmon, eggs, and beef are examples of animal sources. Some traditional, standalone fats include animal-derived butter, ghee, and lard; and the plant oils from olives, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, palm kernels and coconuts.

Section 7: Essential and Supportive Supplements

This section of the dietary spiral includes herbs, spices, salt, minerals, and natural medicinal foods such as bee pollen, specialized fungi and micro algae. It can also include high quality sources of non-synthetic whole food supplements.

Supplements have several functions. They can enhance digestion, aid assimilation, improve flavor, raise or lower blood pressure, increase kidney or liver efficiency, and strengthen the immune system. Peppercorns and certain other spices possess anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

Additional Considerations

The area of each section represents roughly the proportion that type of food amounted to in our agricultural ancestors’ daily diets. These proportions hold true for many generations back into perpetuity.

Each section of the chart is proportionally dependent on every other section for proper metabolic balance and health maintenance.

While the chart divides different foods into sections or categories, bear in mind that in the context of nature and tradition, this represents a single continuum: you will find most foods and food groups overlapping with the preceding and/or following categories. For example, “beans and nuts” embraces nutritional combinations of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in varying amounts.

The sections are also designed for easy recognition of the food sources most commonly accepted as fitting in that section. For example, beans (legumes) are only about 25 percent protein, yet they are most commonly thought of as a protein source and have therefore been placed in the protein category. As another example, many cheeses are high in both protein and fat and could logically be ascribed to either category. Yet, like beans, cheese is more commonly thought of as a protein food, so it is grouped in that section. Leafy green plants, which also provide some protein, are grouped in their own section, as explained above.
Plant protein has an incomplete amino acid profile, while animal proteins contain all essential amino acids necessary for the body’s growth and cell repair.

Plant oils have a different effect in the body than animal fats, and each type of oil or fat has its own unique effect as well. In fact, the body responds uniquely and distinctly to each different food.

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