Rotary Diets

If you’re allergic to a food that you eat several times a week, your body is never free of that food and you’ll never feel completely well. Taking it from there, Herbert J. Rinkel, M.D., a pioneer in allergy treatment, proposed that some people can build up their tolerance to foods – and prevent new food allergies from developing – by following a four day ”Rotary Diet.”

First, you avoid the problem food or foods completely for up six months, to give your body an allergy rest period. Then you reintroduce the food to your diet – but no more often than once every four days. This four day rotation allows antibody levels to subside before you once again encounter the food in question.

If you eat beef on Monday, for instance, you don’t eat beef in any form until Friday or later. Instead, you eat chicken, then fish, then lamb (or other meats from those food families, in whatever order you prefer). Eventually, rotation increases your tolerance to beef – or any other rotated food – simply by exposing you to it less often.

Best of all, perhaps, a Rotary Diet allows you to eat at least some of the foods you really love without suffering for it. ”The key to overcoming food allergy is rotation,” emphasized Dr. Boxer, on of the small but growing numbers of allergists in this country who now prescribe the Rotary Diet.

In fact, following a Rotary Diet is all some people need to do to control their food allergies, Dr. Boxer told us. ”If you took all the people who are allergic to foods and did nothing more than rotate their foods, you would probably diminish their symptoms by 80 percent,” He said.

”That because the average allergic person is eating something ha or she is allergic to every day, day in and day out.” ”But you can often increase your ability to tolerate that food just by eating it less often,” he continued. ”Let’s say I’m very allergic to eggs but I’ve been eating them every day, because I didn’t know it.

I’ve been having all kinds of symptoms and all of a sudden somebody tells me to eat them only every fourth day, and I do that. Over four, five or six months, or one or two years, I will probably gradually get better and have less trouble.

I might be a little sick every fourth day, than less and less unless I have a ”fixed” food allergy (in which case avoidance will not alter subsequent response), which is considerably less common than cyclic food allergy which does tend to respond to rotation.

And I’ll still be better on the other days. So you really will find that the patient will improve. It’s a very effective technique. ”Some people come in here and I don’t even test them,” he added. ”They say, ’I can’t afford testing’ or ’I don’t have the time’ or I’ hate needles. Is there something you could suggest?” I put them on a Rotary Diet.

”And it’s something people could try on their own, even before they go to a doctor. You may feel so well on a Rotary Diet that you really don’t need any professional help.” if you’re severely allergic, you will need more help, Dr. Boxer added. But he said it still couldn’t hurt to rotate foods.

All you need to start your own Rotary Diet is a list of foods to which you are not allergic, plus others to which you are only mildly allergic. ”Completely avoid all those foods to which you have immediate, severe reactions,” says Dr. Randolph, a leading advocate of the Rotary Diet. ”Then allow yourself foods to which you have no allergy or only mild allergies, once every four days.”

A sample Rotary Diet is shown here. But your diet may be completely different. No two people are allergic to the same identical list of foods. Nor do they have the same likes and dislikes. Plan your diet to manage individual allergies. To help you, Table bellow list commonly eaten members of each major food family.

On your day for melon, for example (assuming you can tolerate melon), you can choose from any provided you don’t eat any food in that family again for the next three days. And so on. Dr. Boxer emphasizes that some people may need to rotate food every 7 or 14 days. Four days is the minimum interval recommended.

The immediate advantage of a Rotary Diet is that it prevents the gradual buildup of troublemaking antibodies, thus enabling you to continue to enjoy food to which you were moderately allergic.

Mashall Mandell, M.D., author of and contributor to two books on allergy, says that a Rotary Diet will, in time, enable an allergic person to eat 50 to 70 percent of the foods he or she was previously allergic to – that is, all but those foods that cause severe symptoms every time they're eaten.

The long term advantage of a Rotary Diet is that it prevent you from developing allergies to yet more foods. And it’s worth repeating that Rotary Diets also increase your tolerance of airborne allergy offenders – pollens, dust, mold, animal dander and chemicals.

What people miss most an a Rotary Diet is not so much their favorite foods but the spontaneity of eating what they want, whenever they want. A therapeutic diet of any kind takes at least some organization and planning. If you are in the habit of not deciding what to serve for dinner until you’re driving home work at 5:15, a Rotary Diet will require some self discipline.

But the minor inconveniences are better than feeling miserable all the time. Feeling better, in fact, will reinforce your determination to stick with it and enjoy what you can eat all the more. Doctors who treat food allergies with the Rotary Diet say people will have better luck if they follow a few basic rules.

1. For the first few weeks, try your best to avoid all foods to which you know you are even moderately allergic – giving yourself an allergic ”rest period.” If you wish, you can start a Rotary Diet without that initial rest period. However, you’ll probably experience some symptoms for the first few cycles.

2. Learn about food families. Nature is full of surprises, and learning about relationships between foods can be fun. White potatoes and sweet potatoes are not related, for instance. Neither are tuna and shrimp. Or raisins and prunes. Peanuts are not really nuts, but legumes. Ginger, clove and cinnamon are three totally different plants. So there is no such thing as an allergy to all spices. Or all nuts, for that matter. Or all fish. Chances are you can find suitable and appetizing alternatives to your favorite foods by choosing members of unrelated families.

Surprises work to other way, too. Asparagus is related to onions and garlic. Cucumbers are related to melons. Carrots are related to celery. Working out a Rotary Diet teaches you to think about foods in a new way.

3. Diversify your foods. By working in members of food families that are new and different for you, you make your menus more interesting and find it easier to stick to the diet. Within familiar food families, eat a variety of foods. Diversification also helps to prevent future allergies.

4. Stick to primary foods – fish, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables – as close to their natural state as possible. Avoid secondary or combination foods – mixes, sauces, blends or packaged foods.

5. Similarly, rotate only wholesome, nutrition packed food, not cupcakes, soda and the like. ”I tell my patients to rotate and stay off junk food,” said Dr. Boxer. And stay away from alcohol, coffee and tobacco.

6. Select a minimum number of foods for each meal and fill up on them, rather than choosing a potpourri of multiple foods. For instance, an eight ounce of broiled fish, half a plateful of steamed broccoli and a large potato would comprise a typical Rotary Diet meal.

7. Whenever possible, avoid eating the same food more than once a day.

8. Grow as much organic, additive free food as you can. Or buy organic food when you’re absolutely sure it's the real thing and not a fake labeled, high cost rip off.

9. Don’t forget to rotate spices, cooking oils and beverages. Soybean, safflower and sun flower oils, for instance, are derived from different families. Among herb teas, lemongrass, mint, sassafras, verbena, hibiscus and rosehips are unrelated to each other.

10. Write down everything you eat. Otherwise, it's practically impossible to keep food straight.

Sample Rotary Diet

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Breakfast Fresh melon
Poached eggs
Cooked oatmeal
Sugar free applesauce
Grapes or grape juice
Grapefruit or grapefruit juice
Cooked buckwheat with honey

Sassafras tea Spearmint tea Orange juice Pineapple juice Chamomile tea Peppermint tea Spring water with lemon or lime twist
Lunch Endive with wine vinegar*, oil and basil
Pears with ginger
Eggplant with garlic, onions and sesame seeds
Cooked lima beans
Tuna 100% rye bread Peaches
Strained squash with pineapple and allspice Crab Avocado Strawberries Tomato with brown rice and sunflower seeds Baked powder
String beans with almonds
Dinner Boiled shrimp
Broiled steak
Steamed broccoli
Baked chicken
Sweet potato
Pork chops
Cooked tapioca with vanilla
Salmon steaks with tarragon
Lamb chops
Sweet potato
Snack Raspberries Currants Chestnuts Walnuts Brazil nuts Dates Peanuts

* Contain yeast, related to cheese - see Thursday breakfast