What is a rotation diet? Perhaps a better source than I can be found at http://www.food-allergy.org/rotation.html. Nocolette M. Dumke, author of The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide, does a wonderful job of explaining the intricacies of a rotation diet, listing common and uncommon food families, and giving recipes using the varied suggested ingredients. After my multiple food sensitivities were discovered, I was placed on a rotation diet with only foods that were tested and found “safe” for my system. The purpose of such a diet is to prevent future sensitivities in those suffering from food allergies or “leaky gut syndrome,” allow reintroduction of foods that once caused reactions and to give your immune system the “break” it needs from the cumulative effect of eating allergic foods.
So far, following my rotation diet has proven very difficult. The rotation diet does not allow for many of my favorite flavor profiles or building blocks for tasty food. However, I am now dedicated to making the best of it. Here is what my diet looks like. Keep in mind this diet is tailored specifically for me and my sensitivities. You should consult with your physician or nutritionist to create a rotation diet specific to your needs. Dumke gives an example of a general rotation diet in her previously mentioned book.
Rotation Diet Rules:
1. Do not eat foods more than once in a 4 day period-especially those with known intolerances. I fudge on spices because I have to have some flavor or I won't stick to it.
2. Keep food families together in a specified day. I fudge on onion since it is such a basic element of so many dishes. I split onion (white, yellow, or purple), green onion, and leek on different days to slightly vary my body's response. I also fudged with spices and safflower oil. I am just not disciplined enough to limit my options so. I do try not to overdo any one item.
3. After 3 months of eating ONLY the foods allowed, New foods may be tried. It is important that only one food is tried at a time, waiting 4 days after eating for possible delayed side effects. If no reaction occurs, you now have a new food to add into the appropriate day of the rotation diet.
4. Foods that are mildly intolerated and were eaten often (4 or more times per week) can be reintroduced (one food at a time) after 3 months. Foods that are on the moderately intolerated list can be reintroduced after 6 months. Foods on the highly intolerated list need to be off your diet for 1 year before attempting to reintroduce.
Starch: Sweet Potato*, Sweet Potato Flour
Vegetables: Acorn Squash, Asparagus, Cucumber, Green Pea, Green Onion, Palm, Summer Squash, Zucchini
Fruit: Cantaloupe, Coconut*, Date, Honeydew, Lemon, Mango, Watermelon
Protein: Codfish, Clam*, Crab, Lamb, Lobster, Mussel, Oyster*, Salmon, Scallop, Shrimp, Snapper, Trout*, Veal
Misc: Cadamom, Cashew, Date Sugar, Ginger, Honey or Maple Syrup, Palm Sugar, Pistachio, Turmeric
Starch: Buckwheat, Millet*, Tapioca*,
Vegetable: Artichoke*, Bok Choy*, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Endive, Kale, Radish, Romaine*, Rhubarb*, Turnip*, Watercress
Fruit: Apple*, Pear
Protein: Catfish, Chicken, Egg, Mackeral, Pheasant*, Tilapia, Tuna
Misc: Apple Cider Vinegar*, Baker's and Brewer's Yeast, Chamomile, Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds/Oil
Starch: Chickpea Flour, Gluten-Free Oats or Oat Flour, Fava Flour, Gar-Fava Flour
Vegetable: Carrot, Celery, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnip, Onion, Lima
Fruit: Apricot, Cherry*, Grape, Nectarine, Plum*, Peach
Protein: Black-Eyed Pea, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpea), Duck*, Halibut, Kidney Bean*, Lentil, Navy Bean, Pinto Bean, Pork, Sole
Misc: Grape Seed Oil, Honey or Maple Syrup (depending what I used Day 1), Macadamia, Mint, Pecan*, Plum Vinegar, Walnut, Whine (organic w/no added sulfites), Wine Vinegar
Starch: White Potato, Quinoa
Vegetables: Beet, Eggplant, Peppers, Jalapeño, Swiss Chard, Spinach*, Leek*
Protein: Herring*, Elk, Beef*, Haddock, Swordfish, Turkey*, Venison
Misc: Beet Sugar, Coffee, Goat Cheese*, Hazelnut, Safflower Oil*
Extras: Can be used on any day but not more than once in 4 days
Banana, Basil*, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Caraway, Carob, Cayenne, Chile Pepper, Cranberry*, Cumin, Dill*, Fig*, Ghee, Hops, Kelp*, Kiwi, Nutmeg*, Oregano, Okra, Paprika, Papya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Rosemary*, Saffron, Sage, Sesame, Tarragon, Thyme, Vanilla
*indicates a mild intolerance-since I don't eat these items regularly (4 or more times per week), I am able to include them in my diet
Welcome Friends! I am so grateful for all who have shared their stories of food-related hurts and healings. It is an ever-evolving journey for me, and I have relied upon others who have held similar experiences for comfort, empathy, knowledge and support. In this blog, I share some of my personal experiences as well as some of my favorite foods. I am currently on a grain-free diet, very similar to the Paleo diet. Having multiple food sensitivities as well as hypoglycemia, I have taken liberties with the diet, such as using agave nectar instead of honey. I'm aware of the great agave debate, but keeping my blood sugar low takes priority. I use such small quantities, that it is a non-issue for me. In addition, I still use cream in my coffee as well as a few other dairy products sparingly. I have given up so many beloved foods, that I am stubborn when it comes to dairy. Also, when I am really craving a starch, I will eat quinoa, buckwheat, lentils or beans. Again, it isn't very often, and these foods have some very healthful benefits as well. However, I find I feel my best when following most closely to the Paleo diet, eating large quantities of vegetables and animal protein. It isn't a philisophical choice for me, but rather a choice to feed my body what it seems to need for optimum performance-pain free, clear-headed, energetic and balanced. I hope you find something here that looks delicious even though your diet may look quite different than mine. Good food transends across the boundries of "diet." Enjoy!