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The Rotation Diet: Find the Root Cause of Your “Mystery” Symptoms & Start Your Road to Recovery Today

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In my previous article, I highlighted five primary benefits of following a rotation diet:

  1. Helps you identify foods that may cause adverse reactions
  2. Gives your immune system time to recover
  3. Reduces development of new allergies and food intolerances
  4. Encourages dietary diversity so you get a broad spectrum of micronutrients
  5. Consistent variety limits the tendency to overindulge

Today, I’ll show you some of the key conditions that can be caused by food intolerances and allergies, how a rotation diet can help, and the easy way you can get started.


Allergies & Intolerances: A Key Cause of Pain & “Mystery” Symptoms

Food intolerance and allergies are on the rise, affecting roughly four percent of U.S. adults and more than eight percent of children.[i] [ii]

Eating the same foods over and over again – combined with an unhealthy gut and over-taxed immune system – creates the perfect storm for food intolerances and allergies to develop.

This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including:[iii]

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, gas
  • Anxiety, depression and mood swings
  • Asthma
  • Chronic sinus and ear infections
  • Dark circles or puffiness under the eyes
  • Dermatitis
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention
  • Headaches, brain fog and memory problems
  • Indigestion
  • Joint inflammation and pain

And because food intolerances cause a delayed reaction, it can take up to 72 hours for symptoms to manifest.[iv] This makes it quite difficult to pinpoint the offending foods.  But a rotation diet can help you identify trigger foods while giving your immune system a much-needed break.

Getting Started with the Rotation Diet

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The rotation diet is based on cycling food families every four days.  Because many people who can benefit from a rotation diet need to avoid common allergens and immune stimulants, this sample rotation diet below is based on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

Here is a chart of the foods you can eat on each of the days:

VEGETABLES Asparagus, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Okra, Sweet Potato, Yam Arugula, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Daikon, Heart of Palm, Kale, Radish, Sauerkraut (Lacto-fermented only), Watercress Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Fennel, Olives, Parsley, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Winter Squash Artichoke, Avocado, Beets, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Lettuce, Plantain, Spinach
MEAT, POULTRY & FISH Beef, Bison, Duck, Elk, Goat, Goose, Rabbit, Squab, Venison Anchovy, Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Salmon, Sardine, Snapper Chicken, Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Turkey Clams, Scallops, Sole, Trout, Pork
FRUIT Apricot, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Nectarine, Peach, Persimmon, Plum Grapefruit, Grapes, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pineapple, Tangerine Cantaloupe, Coconut, Elderberry, Honeydew, Mango, Papaya, Pomegranate Apple, Banana, Blackberry, Fig, Mulberry, Raspberry, Strawberry
SPICES Black Pepper, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Shallot, Vanilla Allspice, Carob, Cloves, Horseradish, Mustard, Wasabi Anise, Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Chervil, Cilantro, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Ginger, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Turmeric Bay Leaf, Capers, Cinnamon, Saffron, Tarragon
SWEETENERS Honey, Prunes Dates Maple Syrup Stevia (not for strict AIP)
FATS & OILS Beef Tallow, duck fat, Goose Fat Coconut Oil Chicken Fat, Olive Oil Avocado Oil, Pork Lard

Below is a 4-day rotation diet sample meal. Note that no food or drink (with the exception if water) is duplicated in any of the meals presented.

BREAKFAST Sweet Potato Hash with Grass-Fed Ground Beef and Mushrooms Cooked in Duck Fat Wild Sardines & Broiled Grapefruit Ground Turkey Skillet with Thyme, Diced Celery, Parsnips & Carrots Ground Pork Hash with Lard-Fried Plantains & Apples
LUNCH Lamb Burger with Cranberries, Red Onion & Sorrel Baked Halibut with Brussels Sprouts & Roasted Grapes Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel, Olives & Cucumber Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon & Spinach
DINNER Bison Meatballs with Asparagus, Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes Wild Salmon with Lemon, Dill & Roasted Cauliflower Wild Shrimp with Mango & Pomegranate Wild Petrale Sole with Artichokes, Capers & Tarragon

By cycling food families with a rotation diet, you can boost dietary diversity, reduce exposure to potentially problematic foods and provide space and time to help identify triggers that can be the culprit of your symptoms.

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[1] Acker WW1, Plasek JM2, Blumenthal KG3, Lai KH4, Topaz M5, Seger DL6, Goss FR7, Slight SP8, Bates DW5, Zhou L9.Prevalence of food allergies and intolerances documented in electronic health records.J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 May 23. pii: S0091-6749(17)30672-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.04.006. [Epub ahead of print]

[2] Food Allergy Research & Education: Food Allergy Facts & Statistics for the U.S.

[3] Cleveland Clinic. What is Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy.

[4] Emsley, J. and Fell, P., Was It Something You Ate? Food Intolerance, What Causes It and How To Avoid It, Getty Center for Education in the Arts, CA, 2000.