What Is a Rotation Diet? {Part 1}

Eat a wider variety of natural, unprocessed foods while allowing your body to heal.

You have seen meal plans and heard the words ‘rotation diet’ thrown around here at Healing Redefined for quite awhile now. Are you still a bit unclear on what it is or the benefits to them? Let us help!

The basic premise of a rotation diet is to rotate foods in such a way that you do not eat the same food more than once within a 4 day period. A “day” is a 24 hour period and not just Monday to Tuesday, because you need at least 96 hours before consuming that food again. If you eat an apple on Saturday afternoon at 1:00, you would wait until at least Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 to have any other food that contains apple.

An allergy rotation diet takes it a step further and groups foods into plant families. Foods that are botanically related should not be eaten within that 4 day period, because our bodies often react to them in similar ways. Did your brain just shut down? Don’t worry. I promise it gets easier through practice. Here’s an example: Cashews and mangoes are closely related, so you wouldn’t eat a mango for breakfast on Monday and then have a handful of cashews on Wednesday. In part 2 of this series, I will share some of the common food families and some resources on how to find more.

Ultimately, there are quite a few variations on the rotation diet. They often depend on the state of the person’s immune system and sensitivity to a particular food and/or a practitioner’s recommendations. My family has latent allergies (sensitivity/intolerance) as opposed to classic allergies and affects the type of rotation we follow, but a rotation diet will have the same results regardless. It will help reduce inflammation and give the immune system a chance to rest and the body to heal.

We may eat something a couple of times in a 24 hour period instead of only once if we do not react to it. If there is a slight reaction, we will eat one small to medium portion and then wait a week before eating that food again (gorging will cause a more significant reaction). We eat foods that we are not sensitive to twice a week, foods that cause a low reaction only once a week, and avoid the foods that we are moderately or highly allergic to. See my allergy test results or Katie’s for a reference on what food we react to.

A rotation diet menu plan is key to making this work. It also keeps me from going insane. Seriously. Even though I have been doing this for months, it still takes me a few hours a week to write the entire thing out.

I am working on a program to offer weekly food rotation menu plans for those on a grain-free Primal/Paleo/GAPS style diet. It will include all meals and snacks, simple allergy-friendly recipes (that will not have you spending all your time trying to mimic foods that you can’t eat), and tips on how to minimize your time cooking while feeding your family a REAL FOOD healing diet.

Part 2 will explain the benefits of an allergy rotation diet and some common food families with their corresponding foods. Read {Part 2} here.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesdays


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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