We’ve updated this popular article with a links to resources on the rotation diet (see end of article). John Boyles, MD, an allergist and environmental physician, often recommends a rotation diet for his patients. He shared this article, which he gives to patients to help them understand the process.
We do not expect that a continuous rotary diet is pleasant for most people. However, as your allergy is brought under control and you begin to feel better, it is possible to reinsert offending foods back into the diet, one by one, provided that you do not eat them too often or in large amounts.
It is possible that you are not allergic to any foods. Following the diet will force you to think about what you eat and the possible consequences. Keep in mind that almost all foods purchased in the grocery store have added sweetening agents, chemical preservatives, coloring agents, and other substances that may affect you. An occasional lapse is not apt to be harmful, but repetitive ingestion of an allergic food will complicate your allergy and prolong your symptoms indefinitely.
- Any food, in any amount or form, must not be eaten more than once in four days.
- Foods in the same family may be eaten at the same meal (orange and grapefruit together for breakfast) and rotated four days later; or different food from the same family may be eaten on a rotating basis and separated by two to three days (orange on Monday, grapefruit on Wednesday).
- Food family members should not be eaten at various times during a specific day (orange at breakfast, then grapefruit at dinner on the same day).
- When a food in a specific family has passed testing, you do not automatically pass other foods in that family. All foods must be tested.
- The specific time of day that the food is eaten is not essential (strawberries at lunch on Wednesday may be eaten four days later at breakfast on Sunday).
- All foods are to be eaten only once during a specific day; they are not to be eaten throughout the day, even in small amounts.
- Foods passed by testing in one form may be automatically eaten in other forms at the same meal, and then rotated four days later. (If corn is allowed, you may also include items such as corn sugar, corn oil, and corn meal, at the same meal).
- All ingredients used in cooking must be regarded as separate foods, including oils, spices, flavorings, etc., and may be tested and then rotated.
- Be innovative! If you only have one food per meal, be creative in how it is served — frozen, blended, fresh, baked, etc., depending on the food.
Suggestions for the rotation diet from food-allergy.org
The rotary diversified diet from Environmental Health Center
Book on the rotation diet on Amazon