A “rotation diet” is a highly beneficial method that can be implemented in any type of eating plan. Rotation dieting is as clean cut as its name, meaning to simply rotate your food in a slightly systematic way.
Why Use Rotation Dieting?
The major benefit and purpose of rotating your foods is to identify and correct food intolerances, which are a major source of health problems today. And because we live in a world where one could decide to consume a diet composed of strawberry pop-tarts and only pop-tarts, we can use rotation dieting to help us relearn variety. It is this type of isolated eating pattern that contributes to a lot of our food intolerances. When we start adding a variety of healthy foods into our diet and eat less of the same one or two foods we correct food intolerances and also the issues that are associated with them:
- Digestive Issues
- Unnatural Weight Gain
- Skin Problems
- Fatigue and Lethargy
- Depression, Anxiety, Brain Fog, and Stress
- Overall Weakened Immune Function
Examples of Food Intolerances
Most of us are familiar with the common food intolerances: dairy, eggs, nuts, shellfish, soy, corn, and wheat. Wheat and gluten intolerance is a popular example of what goes wrong when the body becomes intolerant to a food. The list of health concerns connected to wheat intolerance is large: depression, anxiety, skin problems, weight gain, toxicity, and more.
What Causes Food Intolerances
Of course there are many factors that contribute to a food intolerance, including stress, poor eating habits, poor quality food, metabolic dysfunction, digestive disorders, adrenal fatigue, and others. However, one of the major components of this issue is overexposure to the proteins found in particular foods. Using wheat as an example, the proteins gluten and gliadin are typically what people are reacting negatively to. The reason we’re being overexposed here in America is we have wheat in nearly every food today; even a lot of our skin care and hair care products are using wheat fillers. The reason is of course a matter of financial gain. Wheat, like corn and soy, has been produced to be incredibly cost affective and versatile for thousands of uses. Though a genius business model, mass production of certain foods has not worked the same type of wonders for our health.
The way excessive exposure to particular foods creates intolerance is rather simple. First and foremost, an individual becomes stressed emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. When the body is stressed from toxic relationships, negative emotions, drugs, lack of sleep, or living an unfulfilling life, the digestive system becomes weakened. Once a food is consumed and left undigested, the immune system has to create antibodies to bind to the antigen created by the undigested protein, working to protect the body from what it thinks is possibly a pathogen or some foreign invader. Mix this with an overexposure to a particular protein such as gluten, and the body becomes so familiarized with that protein that it begins to create antigens on a regular basis to “keep the body healthy.” The problem is that over time the body becomes fatigued and exhausted from the overstimulated immune response. Your immune system begins to recognize this protein as a danger!
Food Rotation to the Rescue!
The obvious solution to fantastic health and to healing food intolerances is of course a holistic approach. Reducing all types of stress is crucial to every health program; when the body is relaxed and open it will work better in every area. Considering you are working to reduce stress in other areas of your life, using a rotation diet will begin to reduce the physical stress load on your immune system. Not only will you lose weight, but you will gain more energy by freeing up the body of the physical burden of constantly “fighting” your food and instead digesting it for your health.
The way rotation dieting works to reduce this stress-load of food exposure is nomenclature. Meaning that because there are so many foods that are closely related (broccoli, cabbage, canola, asparagus all belong to the same family) we can easily become over-exposed to the same proteins. When we begin to understand and classify food groups, we can better incorporate more variety into our diets and minimalizing consistent exposure to the same food.
4 Day Training Rotation Diet
This is a protocol coined by Paul Chek HHP, a leader in the field of holistic health. He recommends adapting a four day rotation diet to simplify what could be an overwhelming process. The way to follow the four day diet is a simpler approach to rotation dieting. Instead of dividing your food groups up by taxonomy (food class), you will be splitting your food up by the specific foods you ate. This will start the implementation of more food variety, providing more nutrients and excitement to your diet. It’s amazing how a variety of colors and tastes can add a new found energy to our being!
1. Split your diet up into four days by writing down everything you ate that day. The next 3 days do not consume any of those foods again.
2. Each day eat foods only from the “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4” charts.
3. On Day 1, eat only “Day 1” foods all day. If you start on Monday then for the next three days (tues, wed, thurs) you will not eat any Day 1 foods. You will start over with Day 1 foods again on Friday.
Once you become comfortable with finding variety in food each day you can start educating yourself more on food-classes by genetic grouping. If you are picky when it comes to vegetables and fruits then you may want to start by just rotating your protein sources. Getting a variety of proteins is very important because these are usually the foods people have most of their problems with. This would include plant proteins: grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, quinoa, millet, rice, etc.), legumes, nuts, and seeds.
A good example would be to invest in two different types of protein powders. I personally use both Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend, which is a blend of cranberry, hemp, and pea protein, as well as their Classic Protein, which is bio-fermented brown rice. This gives me two unique options of easy to digest and great tasting protein sources that I can nourish myself with on a holistic level.
We all know a higher plant-based diet is ideal, so investing in a variety of plant-based protein powders gives you expanded creativity, taste, and nutrition. In my experience it’s easy to become bored with slow cooking different grains and legumes and making a stir-fry out of every meal. Having versatility in cooking techniques makes food fun again. Experiment with different shakes, smoothies, juices, and don’t be afraid to pick up a cooking course or book! The take home message here is to rotate your foods, not only for the sake of your immune system and mental and physical health but to nourish your soul with variety that is found in the abundance of nature’s food.