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High Desert Healing
How to plan a 4-day food rotation diet
rockin' a non-toxic lifestyle in the mountains of northeastern Arizona

4-day food rotation dietI know I should’ve done this YEARS ago…enough people have raved how a rotation diet has helped them overcome food intolerances and allergies. Over time, they were able to expand a very limited diet to include many foods they previously were unable to eat. It’s been used successfully by those with food allergies, autism, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other chronic conditions that share digestive upset, allergies, or hyper-reactivity to environmental factors as a symptom – even when food does not seem to be the culprit, this diet can uncover hidden food allergies that could be the source of many of one’s symptoms.

Given that I was burdened with extensive and severe food allergies almost overnight back in 1998 one month after exposure to toxic fumes in a fire, this should have been the first thing I did to recover my health. Unfortunately, it was years before I even heard of the diet, and even more years before I had the strength of mind and gut to put one together. I was too busy trying to manage the severe symptoms I was experiencing, finding foods I could eat safely, and completely overhauling my diet to a blend of Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions philosophy, raw living foods and Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).

The basic premise behind a 4-day rotation diet is that it takes that long for food to pass through your system and so you want to avoid eating any one food more than once every four days, otherwise you will most likely sensitize to it. Foods are grouped into “food families” and you can eat from the same food family every other day. You can eat two foods from the same food family on a single day (within an hour) but you must not eat any other food from that family for another 4 days. If you can’t manage to do a 4-day rotation diet, you could try a 3-day rotation and once you acclimate to it, add in one more day of new foods.

The hardest part about a food rotation diet is planning it out. Once you know what foods you will eat each day, there is no thinking required! A few years back, I purchased the Rotational Bon Appetit Cookbook from William J. Rea, M.D.’s Environmental Health Center-Dallas (EHC-D), created by a team of nutritionists. It’s taken me this long to finally sit down and plan out my menu. I wanted to share the process with you, to help demystify it and get people on a healing regime sooner than later so you don’t suffer as long as I did.

The cookbook is a very barebones spiral-bound collection of recipes and tips for creating your own rotation diet. You can order it by calling (214) 368-4132 – it’s not available through the Center’s online store. It costs $25 plus shipping. Don’t expect fancy full color photos of recipes, but instead what you will find is invaluable information about common food sensitivities (corn, soy, wheat, egg, cow’s milk, calcium, and mold and yeast), food substitutions, food preparation, meal ideas, food storage, sources of nutrients, and more. The book also supplies a numerical coding system for the food families which makes planning so much easier! Each food family is assigned a number. So when you plan out your menu, if the number appears more than twice in a day, or two days in a row, you know you’ve made a mistake and need to modify your plan.

The first thing I did to plan my own menu is made a list of all the foods I know I can tolerate. I grouped them into food categories such as proteins, vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds, etc. Then I went through the chart in the book and assigned food family numbers to them all. You might find it easier to just circle the foods you tolerate in the book’s chart of foods grouped by food families.

My Food Families Chart

Once I did that, I created meals and arranged them on a calendar, moving things around until the same food family was used no more than once every other day (the only exception is salt, which can be used daily):

4-Day Rotation Diet Menu

Because I do not tolerate enough foods, I only came up with two meals per day for my calendar. If I get hungry or want to change things up from one week to the next, I have some “filler” or alternate foods that I can choose from. The next step was to plan my shopping list, making sure I could buy those items reliably as often as I needed them. Now I don’t have to think much about what I’m eating, as my calendar tells me what to do.

It’s important to be aware that by following a strict rotation diet, you may “unmask” hidden food allergies. Keeping a food diary can help you track symptoms that may develop after eating a food. Once you’ve identified an allergenic food, you should avoid it for 30 days. Then you can try to reintroduce it back into your rotation diet. By avoiding the food for 30 days and then sticking to the 4-day rotation, often people can then tolerate the food again.

I’m excited to finally start my food rotation diet and see how it helps reduce my gut inflammation, calm my facial rashes, and help me eventually tolerate more foods. I will report back over time in the comments section below!

• If you don’t want to buy Rotational Bon Appetit Cookbook mentioned above, you can make your own food families coding chart. Here’s a great website for figuring out food families:
• Another great resource is which has links to their Food Family Charts by food and by food family.
• This book was recommended highly by a reader of this article: Allergy and Candida Cooking: Understanding and Implementing Plans for Healing by Sondra Kay Lewis. The reader shared “Sondra Lewis (an MCSer too) also has THE MOST EXCELLENT book out on this as well…There is SO MUCH information in this book! I forever use it for VARIOUS planning in the kitchen! So helpful in identifying the food families to start too ..and the diet setup, she’s really got it together (for like everything!!), plus unthought of by normal people substitutions for us. Definitely from one who knows!..because she’s been through it.”
Allergy Free Menu Planner Found this great service and immediately joined their affiliate program. You can try out a FREE sample of their Allergen-Free Menu Planner (Meat/Seafood Menu) by clicking on the link. They provide menu planning services for a wide array of needs including allergen-free diets ranging from dairy-free, gluten-free, casein-free, etc. to very limited diets such as GAPS and SCD.
Special Foods Their website doesn’t seem to be active but you can call (703) 644-0991 or email to request a catalog of their unusual, mold-free, chemical-free foods made for people with food allergies and/or intolerances, chemical sensitivities, mold allergies, and for people following rotation diets. Buyer beware: very pricey!!
Delicious Alternatives Canadian company (based in Ottawa, Ontario) that offers rotational diet menu planning services and customized recipes for celiac disease, multiple food allergies, food intolerance or any other illness or health condition. They also provide shopping lists, health food store tours, introductions to new food alternatives, specialized cooking and catering. Check their website for more info on their book Finally…Food I Can Eat!, a dietary guide and cookbook with over 140 tasty and easy recipes for people with food allergies and food intolerances. contact info: (613) 715-1310 /
• Kathryn’s blog posts about Dr. Rea’s version of the rotation diet: Rotation Diet Part 1 | Rotation Diet Part 2

photo: © Mishoo |

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  • Susi

    December 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    following the rotation diet was the first thing in 20 years that ever stabilized my gut. it has been a mainstay of my healing program, and on difficult days, I still go back to a strict program for a day or two to calm everything down. I also do it more mindfully if I have something big coming up…traveling, dentist, etc., as it simplifies what my body has to deal with, and is calming to my system. I have definitely been able to expand my foods over time and it has contributed toward healing my gut, improving my sleep, and having more energy. Good luck, Julie with this important next step for yourself!

  • earthwalker

    December 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience here Susi, and for your good wishes. I love hearing testimonials like this – it so helps to stay committed and on track with a difficult path when other’s have had success with the same protocol. I am very excited for the results. It’s actually quite easy to follow once you do the hard work of planning the menu. There is really no thought at all and you just need to plan your shopping list and make sure you have what you need on hand. On my rotation menu I also noted what I had to do each night to prepare for the next day’s meals, for instance: “hardboil egg for tomorrow” (I like cold hard boiled eggs better than warm…); “prepare nettle infusion” (boil water and add to dried nettle and let sit overnight in mason jar); defrost beef; soak almonds (to make fresh almond milk), etc. Then all you need to do is look at the day you are on, and really no thought needed at all – just follow the menu and instructions! ;-)

  • E. Quail Kinzly

    December 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for this article. It has occurred to me before that food is the substrate for a lot of environmental as well as other ailments.

    Whenever I’ve had a migraine no matter how “big” or “small” I noticed that smells affected me more. Nasty vehicle exhaust smells, for instance make me feel more sick. When I’m not “migrainoid” although I don’t like those and other smells, it’s not as disgusting and doesn’t make me feel sick.

    I have a serious problem with migraines (over 35 years) and the last 10 years I’ve been working with rotation diets with very little information. I tried two and three day rotations with very little success. Things really improved a lot with a 5 day rotation. However, there are a lot of nuances involved mostly involving quantity and frequency. Some things I cannot eat frequently (fish, garlic, onions, etc.). I save those for special occasions. Some things I do every ten days. I also started out with two meals a day with a few snacks. I’m still on it but things are not improving. I will try avoiding related foods such as melon and cucumber on the same day. I already avoid ruminant meat other than once every 5 days. I look at plant families and animal relationships (i.e. fish includes several families and includes sharks – problem started with percomorphi such as tuna, salmon, perch, etc. then spread to flatfish, etc. and then shark).

    I also think that other things are involved such as living alone, stress, industrially produced food, chemicals especially petroleum products and who knows what else.

    I’m glad you have gotten a handle on your sensitivities. Life is so much better when they don’t get in the way. I hope everyone else with these problems can get relief.


  • earthwalker

    December 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks Quail. Well I haven’t gotten a handle on my sensitivities yet. Just have learned what to eat to avoid the severe reactions I used to get, if that’s what you mean. I am looking forward to getting real relief for my inflamed intestines in the coming weeks. I am actually really loving the rotation diet and have been spending time fine tuning the menu I published above. There is not enough food on it – some days there are only 2 meals and one of those meals is quite skimpy. So I’ve gone through and am beefing up the menus slightly. Will republish it below when it’s finalized.

    Sounds like you have worked hard – and in the dark – figuring out your own rotation diet over the years. Glad you have had some success so far and wish you continued relief from your migraines. You wrote “I also think that other things are involved such as living alone, stress, industrially produced food, chemicals especially petroleum products and who knows what else.” and I agree with you 100% there. People should look at not just rotating food but the source of their food (organic, wild, grass-fed) as well as household and personal care products, clothing, bedding, EMFs, etc. when cleaning up their lifestyle. We have a lot of tips for all those areas on this site. Thanks for writing!

  • Sarah

    December 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you sooo much for posting this! I just began a 4 day rotation diet 1 month ago and have been sort of following it. I did not know about avoiding the food families so I will definitely add that aspect in to what I am already doing. Also, this post has given me ideas about how to plan my meals so I am not losing my mind with this diet!!
    One question: do you avoid foods that you have a mild intolerance to (as found on the ALCAT test) as well? I have been eating them but on a rotation so I still get symptoms but not as severe as if I ate foods I react to moderately or severely. By eating these foods, I have a more balanced diet. Without them, I can eat very little. Any input would be appreciated! Now off to make my chart of food families!

  • e.i. luminous

    December 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I am so happy for your courage and dedication to your own 4-day rotation. I cannot cook or touch food yet, so you gave me ideas of how my man can simplify my 4 day rotation. With better pre-planning. I know his angst comes from the planning this lifestyle requires. I am passing this article on to him.

    I was put on Dr. Rogers 4-day rotation strict macrobiotic plan in September 2009 as my body had stopped taking food or water. It was either the 4 day rotation plan or be medvac’ed to Dr. Rea in Dallas and have a feeding tube stuck in my gut. I chose the 4 day rotation macrobiotic diet. With fast Phase I detox and molasses for Phase II I was detoxing too fast with raw food, fruits, nuts, greens and citrus. The detox was so fast with 4-day rotation with raw food in it that toxins just went live from that 4 day rotation and were re-toxifiying the blood. It was a double dose of toxins every time I ate.

    If anyone has this occur, where you feel sicker after eating the 4 day rotation diet that is not macrobiotically prepared, you can try Dr. Roger’s macro 4 day rotation diet in her two books she wrote for E.I.’s. At the time I started the lifestyle I could only tolerate 5 foods. I had to get 32 supplements titrated into my system as fast as possible to save my life. This required 5 – 7 meals per day for the body to use the supplements correctly. It was a nightmare.

    One year later I can now tolerate 9 foods on a 4 day rotation and up to 11 more foods once every 8th day. I am 70% macro, 20% meat, 10% raw.

  • e.i. luminous

    December 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Oh. I guess I should point out that for 16 years I was 100% organic food and ON a 4 day rotation diet when I got full blown e.i. My body stopped taking food and water while on the 4 day rotation diet I had been on for 16 years. The ability to heal my situation with gut and food came when I switched to a macrobiotic 4 day rotation diet. Macro requires a macro kitchen, macro dishes, macro high heat source only produced on gas stoves. So my partner must go cook at a kitchen he rents that has a gas stove in it.

    Macro food in Dr. Rogers books did not enable me to eat anything macro. I projectile vomit traditional macro recipes. We got our recipes and cooking methods from Joanne who is the macrobiotic chef at the Natural Cooking School in Boulder Colorado. She has an online video class schedule and cooking workbook to turn anyone into a tasty macrobiotic chef. If you tell her your constitution (I am East Indian) she will be able to teach you how to modify your cooking method. It is from her we learned why I was vomiting regular macro recipes: Macrobiotic cookbooks are not set up for East Indian/Mediterranean, light coffee colored skinned people’s guts to tolerate.

  • earthwalker

    December 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Sarah, I don’t know the definitive answer to your question, but it’s a good one and I hope others can help us answer that. I would say, yeah, if you can, avoid the foods you tested allergic to. If that’s too difficult or even dangerous to your daily nutritional intake, maybe you can rotate avoiding them – avoiding them one at a time for the 30 days and then reintroducing them. Then do the next. So slowly, you can work on being able to tolerate them all. That’s the most logical compromise I can think up. Let us know how it goes!

  • earthwalker

    December 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    EI Luminous, thanks for sharing your special macro diet with us here – I know it will help save someone else from serious malnutrition. There are varying levels of reactivity with this illness and yours seems to be very severe. People who are most severe are the ones that always seem to be leading the way for others, because they were forced by harsh circumstances to find their own answers. I am just thankful you were able to come up with a solution and have somebody devoted to your care. Someone must be watching out for you from above! I know a lot of EIs do not tolerate food cooked on a gas stove so you are very fortunate to do well with it. Much peace on your journey. x

  • G8trGirl

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I don’t post here often but this topic is one I’m particularly interested in. I’m checking in today to see how Julie’s rotation diet is going. Is it helping??? I am very curious to read what you’ve found and learned. I’ve been sending you good vibes and positive healing thoughts!!!

    Quail, I too, suffered from migraines and for years could not identify a link between my diet and headaches. I kept food journals. I followed a “migraine diet” for 12 months, which eliminated all of the common dietary “triggers” for migraine. I was already on preventive (Topamax) and rescue (triptans and others) meds. Ultimately, I wound up at the Diamond Headache Center in Chicago and was an outpatient there for a few years (flying there twice a year; I lived in another state). At Diamond, they said only 20% of migraines are food related. Of course, I believed them, they were the experts!

    I’ll try to keep a long story short, and skip to today. Now, I absolutely believe that diet is related to migraines. It can be very difficult to identify your specific triggers. They might not be the “common” migraine triggers. It sounds like you are figuring yours out. I just want to encourage you to keep trying, and keep experimenting, you might just find the right food combination for you. I now know for sure what triggers migraine for me.

    I have not tried Dr. Rea’s rotation that Julie is describing, with the food “families”. I am very curious how that works out. I do know one other person who did that particular rotation plan, and that was the first time I’d heard of such “food families”. My other friend had success with that plan. I am curious whether Dr. Rea’s rotation plan could help me as well.

    I’ve followed other elimination and rotation diets, including ALCAT, as Sarah mentioned. (I can try to write more about my experience with ALCAT if anyone is interested).

    At some point in my food allergy journey, I came across this book. I read a LOT of books (and saw a lot of doctors, a registered dietician, a gastroenterologist, and a naturopath), but found this book to be the most helpful in explaining and outlining an elimination diet. An elimination diet, as readers here probably know, is slightly different than a rotation diet. An elimination diet is meant to be TEMPORARY; the goal is to identify the ingredients that you react to- by eliminating EVERYTHING (supplements and medications included) and adding back one ingredient at a time. It takes a long time to do it, because you have to space out ingredients, and allow time for delayed reactions, but it can be very helpful, depending on your circumstances. It can also be dangerous, depending on your circumstances, so I would advise consulting with your health care practitioner and reading a lot and making sure you understand what you are getting into before trying something like that.

    (One can also try a pared-down version of an elimination diet that eliminates the Big 8).

    Food allergies and sensitivities are something I’ve been learning to manage over the past few years, and I’m very interested to hear what others have tried, and what has been helpful.

    I’ve tried (and continue to use) fasting, juicing, raw foods, superfoods, ALCAT testing, immunotherapy testing and injections, probiotics, digestive enzymes, rotation diets, elimination diet, and of course, avoidance of problem ingredients. I’ve found each to be helpful in different ways, but am still seeking the optimum solution that will truly -and permanently- HEAL my various symptoms.

    Anyway, I’m happy to share my experiences with any of the above if anyone is interested-

    Anyway, back to my original thought- how are you doing Julie- or is it too soon to tell?

  • earthwalker

    December 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Hi G8trGirl, Thanks for sharing your experience here. It’s been less than 2 weeks since I posted about my food rotation diet and so it is really too early to comment on improvements. I am still working out my diet menu. The one I posted above turned out to be too skimpy. With only two meals a day, I needed those meals to be hefty enough to hold me all day long. So I have actually been working hard at fine-tuning my diet so I can survive on it! I also had to order some special foods – flours and bread – to try to bulk up some meals. Just got a delivery yesterday so I need to see how that goes. Once I finalize my diet menu, I will repost my chart in the comments section here. But it might take a while longer, as I am also needing to see what I am reacting to and need to pull from the diet, etc.

    I will say this, my face looks clearer, generally, and I have noticed some small improvements in my bowel movements but not consistently. I have suffered from bowel inflammation (Crohn’s disease) for over thirty years – it will take more than a few weeks to heal the damage from that. But I feel hopeful and I am really loving my rotation diet. I was able to create meals I love and look forward to, which is important. I will update here when I have news to share! Thanks for writing. xx

  • earthwalker

    December 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve tweaked my rotation diet a bit to try to beef up some of the meals. Here is the current version I am working with, although it will be a work in progress for a bit longer until I figure out what feels good for my body and mind.

    It might appear that I am doubling up on food families in one day, but for those days where a food family is listed twice, I know that means if I eat one food for breakfast, I will not have the same food family later that day. I list them out on the menu, though, to remind myself I have choices. For example on Day 1, if I use carob (food family #41) in my morning shake, I won’t have string beans with the chicken meatballs for lunch/dinner.

  • Libby

    December 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

    wow! this menu is awesome! I confess I’m feeling a bit envious of the variety/number of foods you can eat… but at the same time I am REALLY happy that you have so many!
    the only thing I have no reaction at all to is brown rice so I just eat a lot of it and try to manage the reactions to the other foods I do eat. I tried just eating rice for a while and it didn’t seem to heal anything and I was getting malnourished so I began eating other things again. Still can’t eat any meat, most legumes/beans, vegetables, gluten and grains except for rice but I try to use smaller amounts of the veggies that don’t cause as bad reactions. I think a rotation diet would be really great and I hope my gut heals enough that I can eventually have enough foods to do it. right now rice is present at pretty much all 3 meals a day.
    I do find that there are some foods that, when I avoid them for long enough, I can add in *small* amounts on an occasional basis and be less reactive to them.
    just rambling here :)
    I’m really appreciating you sharing your journey with this and your menus!

  • David

    December 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Hey there, I feel your pain. I went from normal, as in eat what I want to pain for a year. I went to a smoky, very smoky concert and boom pain that I never felt before. Not typical reflux symptoms. I was diagnosed with reflux and given reflux pills. I knew this was not the answer. I started seeing a naturopath (sp?) doctor and he had me first do the elimination diet. It helped but not 100%. Then I had a blood sample drawn and sent to ALCAT in FL. I can’t believe what it showed. I was sent a report that indicated which foods I should avoid for six months. I started to really try and stick to the diet in the last month and I finally feel better, it is amazing. I am working on the 4 day rotation diet plan now and having a hard time. But I had to share! ALCAT may be worth looking into for you, it takes a sample of blood and puts a concentrated ‘piece’ of food with it. They then monitor the blood cells to see how much they expand. The amount of expansion tells them how much of an intolerance you have. I had them do the 150 food test and it cost me $400. I was not a believer but I am now. I just have to iron out a menu and stick to it. If you send me an email I will send you some of the report so you can see what it looks like. Good Luck!!

  • G8trGirl

    January 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for posting your new version Julie! I think it is very helpful to see what you are doing. I wish you the best in health and healing, and please do keep us posted.

    p.s. is there a way I can bookmark this post so I can find it again? I tried to find it a few days ago and couldn’t, but was happy to accidentally stumble across it again today.

  • earthwalker

    January 31, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Hey G8trGirl, Sure you can bookmark this page, but you need to do it on your browser. Most browsers (e.g., Safari, Firefox, etc.) have a bookmark feature. It has nothing to do with the site so I can’t help you with it but I hope you can figure it out! Thanks for writing! Julie

  • earthwalker

    January 31, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Hey everybody, Just a quick update. I went off the diet for a few meals because I didn’t have enough food…and I felt like crap! I felt so much better when I got back on track with it. I didn’t even realize it was making me feel good until I went off a few meals…! So in that sense, I’m glad I messed up so I could really feel the difference. My gut is definitely better ON the rotation diet. Recently I have experienced some slight improvements in my gut/digestion that have me excited and hopeful. I’m sure the diet is partly the cause, but also since I started the Buteyko breathing method I feel it has helped boost my healing. Yay!

  • earthwalker

    January 31, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Wow, that’s great that the ALCAT worked for you David. I’ve always wondered about those tests. I don’t have access to a doctor to order it or the funds to do it now, but I’ll keep plugging away on my rotation diet which seems to be working well. Hope you are on track with yours by now, although it seems to be a work in progress with me, I am constantly tweaking it…

  • Laurie Tumer

    March 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I read this thread today with much interest. Thanks for this information Julie and all! I have been having a terrible time with food these last 4 weeks. I can only tolerate a few things, though even those are starting to give me troubles. Trouble=going into anaphylic shock or =increased pain in my lower body. I suspect I’m becoming sensitized to those few foods. My doctor asked me to start taking Thera-yme DGST (digestive eynzme) which has been helping quite a bit from the shock reaction. However, I’m still having spikes in the pain from food. Definitely a gut situation here. Last night I started reading about the GAPS diet for the first time and made some chicken broth with carrots this am. and that was okay. You’re supposed to drink this meat juice everyday for weeks and I’m afraid of sensitizing to it so I think I’ll try to adapt this somehow to the rotation diet. Any thoughts about the GAPS diet or any kind of advice or experience to share would be much appreciated. Thanks! Laurie

  • denise garcia

    March 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Wondering if a have a book on rotation diet I can read to learn how to deal with my Foo d allergies

  • denise garcia

    March 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I have Celia disease and dud not find out til later in life. Grew up with major asthma attacks and no doctors ever tested me for allergies. Over the years I developed sensitive to dairy,corn,nuts,beans and now proteins. I would slowly like to reintroduce all foods but not Celia. I am on a juice cleanse for thirty days to clean my system so I can reintroduce the foods. If there is a reaction to the food do we still keep adding it in little by little? Need help. Due to reactions I get constipated so I am addicted to senna tea which I know it’s bad but the food takes forever to break down so I juice slot. Help!!!!!! I’m ready to fix this.

  • earthwalker

    March 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Denise,
    You can try the following resources for help with your diet:

    Rotational Bon Appetit Cookbook from William J. Rea, M.D.’s Environmental Health Center-Dallas (EHC-D), created by a team of nutritionists. The cookbook is a very barebones spiral-bound collection of recipes and tips for creating your own rotation diet. You can order it by calling (214) 368-4132 – it’s not available through the Center’s online store. It costs $25 plus shipping. You can also do a consultation with his nutritionist if you want help devising your rotation menu.

    Delicious Alternatives – Canadian company (based in Ottawa, Ontario) that offers rotational diet menu planning services and customized recipes for celiac disease, multiple food allergies, food intolerance or any other illness or health condition. They also provide shopping lists, health food store tours, introductions to new food alternatives, specialized cooking and catering. Check their website for more info on their book Finally…Food I Can Eat!, a dietary guide and cookbook with over 140 tasty and easy recipes for people with food allergies and food intolerances. contact info: (613) 715-1310 /

    Hope this helps!! Best, Julie

  • Susan

    May 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Food has become poison to my system – I’ve sat with this solid realization for over a year. I tried the GAPS diet for two months but stopped because I became so reactive to a number of the main staples in that diet (banana, avocado, honey, egg).

    Your well written article with the FANTASTIC easy-access links and references was just the break through in understanding this muddled mind needed – I’ve ordered the Bon Appetit cookbook, downloaded food family charts and am beginning to comprehend some key points.

    I truly appreciate what you are doing here on this site and the energy of healing you are putting out into the world.

  • Cindy

    June 8, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Wow — after reading some of the above posts, my issues don’t seem as bad after all! I also have celiac disease as another poster does; after four years of eating gluten-free substitutes for wheat-based bread, pasta, cereals, etc. I developed an intolerence to rice (most GF foods are heavily rice-based) I also suspected other food intolerences, in addition to the food allergies I already had (wheat, soy, dairy, peanuts, almonds). My sister had taken the ALCAT test a few years ago, so I decided to do it as well, but couldn’t find a doctor in my insurance network who would do it. Knowing I’d have to pay for it out of pocket, I searched the Internet for the most cost-effective (and credible) source, finally landing on the Nutritionally Yours site. No doctor needed — just order the test online. The kit is shipped to you; you get the blood draw done at any lab, and send it postage-paid to the ALCAT lab. I had the 200 food panel done, and I turned out to have intolerences to exactly half, to one degree or another! ALCAT includes a four day rotation diet with your results – it looks like some attempt has been made to keep the foods in their families too. I’ve been on it one month now, with about an 80% improvement in symptoms. Still have some issues so will have a colonoscopy on Monday, but I’m encouraged. If anyone else has trouble getting their doctor to do an ALCAT test, try Best wishes to all on this journey we’re on!

  • earthwalker

    June 8, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Cindy, thank you for this very helpful information. The site is actually (not .com) but when I click on the section for food and chemical sensitivity testing, I am brought to a new site: I would love to hear from others about their results with the ALCAT test and food rotation diet that they provide to you.

  • earthwalker

    June 8, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Susan, WOW! So happy to hear you were helped by my article. (Btw, I know some of the resources/links I provided are now defunct but I decided to leave them up just in case those sites ever decide to repost that information.) Please check back in here and let us know how you are doing with the diet! xx Julie

  • earthwalker

    June 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Laurie Tumer, it looks like I completely missed your post last year. So sorry! I hope you have figured something out and have experienced some improvement by now. Please let us know how things are going for you. I myself am struggling right now. Although my reactivity to foods has improved drastically, my gut is still in bad shape. I have had Crohn’s disease for 30+ years so that could be it. There are so many twists and turns on this journey. I look forward to the day when I can enjoy all my food in peace!!

  • Susan

    July 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Hello Julie,

    Thank you so much for your website. I am just compiling my own rotation diet and am still struggling with two schools of thought. I’ve heard from some that you can eat as much as you want of one food in a 24 hr period and from Dr. Lieberman that you can eat two food from the same food family on a single day (within an hour) but no other food from that family for another four days. I haven’t determined which advice to follow yet. Does anyone have any experience or any other information sources I can review? I’d love to hear from you!

    I also have found a couple of alternative therapies that are really helping with my condition. One is something called allergy elimination treatment and I’ve heard of two methods to accomplish this. One is the Nambudiprad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques or It has a really good success rate but my practitioner is using another technique which is faster and is called NMT or neuromuscular treatment. For me, this treatment is amazing! because it not only addresses the specific food allergies I have, but also addresses food groups such as proteins or sugars that I am having trouble with and also chemical sensitivities such as chlorine and flouride in water and fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives. But one of the biggest things this method addresses is the infectious processes behind the cause of the allergies. I have mycoplasma fermentes, candida albicans, strep throat (causes red raw blistered throat after eating or drinking), multiple resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and epstein barr virus (EBV – causes mono). I also had mercury, arsenic, and tin poisoning and my food sensitivities were increasing at a rate of two or three per week.

    Since I started NMT, the mercury and tin are within normal levels, the EBV appears in remission again, the strep throat is gone, and the yeast is getting better as is the mycoplasma fermentes. The food allergies are diminishing at a rapid rate and some are treated in one session and I am able to eat it again with no to very very little reaction. I have also been treated for supplements to which I was reacting before and am now able to get the magnesium and Vit C and tri-salts I need to clear any reactions I have faster, and the Vit D I get from the sun to give me energy and also help my immune system to calm down and stop recognizing foods as foreign. Since the infectious processes are eliminating, the FM and CFS are also improving significantly. I no longer have muscle pain and the joint pain is minimal if I exercise. My energy is improving a lot too.

    Another resource that is helping me is one that is advertised on this website: It is the Dynamic Neural Retraining System which approaches multiple allergies and chemical sensitivities from the neuroimmune system where the lymbic system of the brain is stressed and puts the body into the fight/flight response where not enough blood goes to the digestive organs, thereby reducing the number of digestive enzymes released….leading to allergies and leaky gut syndrome. If you read the two books that are required reading before attending a seiminar (The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge and Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley) they show you that it is possible to retrain your brain to stop reacting to substances in your environment and that you ingest/absorb with a flight/fright response, thereby reversing your allergies/sensitivities. The Dynamic Neural Retraining System then teaches you how to re-wire your brain.

    I also found out about Dr. Teitlebaum’s website: He is a physician who, during medical school, developed FM or CFS and found his own cure for it. He then went on to graduate and specialize in the area of CFS/FM and has developed a treatment protocol and has a number of clinics throughout the US. However, he or his assistant are able to consult with your own family doctor to help treat you and they send your doctor a complimentary copy of his books if your doctor’s office sends them an email.

    Ok, last one. This website helped me figure out that my allergens were in things like toothpaste (corn) and table salt (corn again). I have swollen joints from all of the allergies/sensitivities I have developed (to almost everything I put in my mouth) and this is where I started my journey…..with Barbara Allen’s book, Conquering Arthritis. It is very detailed where it even talks about which foods slow down your liver’s ability to detoxify from food allergies and which digestive enzymes you might need, right down to how to meditate to reduce stress.

    Sorry this post was so long. I wish you all well on your journey to health.

  • Kathryn Treat

    July 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I found that doing a 4-day rotation diet helped me tremendously when I had so few foods to eat. I rotated my foods faithly for five to six years. I no longer rotate but try to aware of how often I am eating foods in the same food families.

  • earthwalker

    July 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I wanted to share with all those suffering from severe food intolerances…A friend just told me yesterday about the quercitin product Maxiflav by Science Botanicals that was prescribed by her environmental medicine physician and has helped to heal her food intolerances. You take 250 mg (1/8 teaspoon) 15-20 minutes before each meal/snack. You can start with less and work your way up. You mix it in about 1/4 cup warm water when you take it. Supposedly it blocks the process that causes intestinal inflammation and allows the gut to heal after 4-6 months. Here are the instructions:

    “Stir 1/8 tsp. In 4 oz. warm water. Sip promptly 1/4 to 1/2 hour before every snack or meal. Start with less if needed and work your way up to 1/8 tsp. It may take a week to a month to see improvement. Continue taking for 4-6 months until you have total control of your food intolerances.”

    Here is some info from the website:

    MAXIFLAV (QUERCETIN 98%)… the ultimate bioflavonoid  

    Allergies are an over-reaction to the environment…immunity gone wrong! Allergies are not only uncomfortable but also can destroy healthy tissue and lead to more serious conditions! QUERCETIN , a naturally obtained plant product, helps to reduce allergic reactions by inhibiting the production of chemical mediators responsible for allergy symptoms. QUERCETIN also stabilizes (strengthens) the mast cell membrane so that the chemical mediators are not released too easily.

    QUERCETIN can desuade allergic reactions from occurring whereas antihistamine drugs attempt to reduce the symptoms after an attack! Orally administered QUERCETIN is distributed primarily to the tissues of the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tracts. QUERCETIN deters allergic reactions by “stabilizing mast cells”. Rutin and citrus-bioflavonoids lack such stabilizing ability.

    QUERCETIN has been shown to reduce mast cell degranulation and histamine release more effectively than the often prescribed anti-allergy drug, CROMOGLYCATE. Both dietary and inhalant types of allergic conditions have responded well with the use of mast cell stabilizing agents. QUERCETIN also lessens the production of the smooth muscle contracting and pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. Excessive leukotriene synthesis is being associated with an increasing number of conditions. Besides leukotrienes, mast cells release histamine and PMN’s release lysosomal enzymes. By reducing leukotriene levels, QUERCETIN decreases degranulation of both mast cells and PMN’s. Hence the need for anti-histamines or anti-inflammatory medication may be lessened or eliminated.

  • Roberta Gregory

    December 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Looking up info on food rotation on web. Our Dr. in Seattle has recommended this for years, the four day one with the food families. My partner recently had eye surgery and healed so quickly with this diet. He has had diabetes for 50 years and has been on food rotation off and on, and on rotation feels better than he has, ever, and the eye doctor said he was in the health of someone much younger. I am just sort of dabbling with it but it seems to make so much sense, I got sensitized to gluten years ago on a vegetarian diet and this helped me be able to eat it again. Just want to say we are sold on the idea.

  • lanell

    January 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    This is the closest I can find to what I am looking for. I really want the complete list of all foods etc under their number.

    Like all the grasses listed under eg number 6.

    then all the bovine listed under number 8.

    this way I can see all the foods under their number ( number being for convenience.)

    Are you able to help or direct me to where I can get this please.? I had this list years ago but I have lost it unfortunately. thank you.

  • Julie

    January 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Lanell,
    As noted in the post above, I got the list from the Rotational Bon Appetit Cookbook from William J. Rea, M.D.’s Environmental Health Center-Dallas (EHC-D). You can order it by calling (214) 368-4132 – it’s not available through the Center’s online store. It costs $25 plus shipping. I also provided other resources for food family lists but some of the links are no longer working. You can try Googling as well. Best, Julie

  • Alexis

    February 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Hi, I just discovered your web page! Glad to know there’s support out there!

    My doctor tested me yesterday and found I have internal inflammation of the arteries (no external symptoms).

    Tests show I have severe reactions to white rice, grapes, coffee, green tea, wheat, gluten, corn, spinach, garlic, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, peanuts, and black beans! Yeah, just about everything. I never knew!

    My Dr. wants me to go on a 4-day rotation diet, but with so many things I have to avoid, I can’t come up with a viable plan. I’m already 10 lbs underweight as I have a thin body type, and it looks like I will be losing too much weight avoiding everything. I’m really worried I will waste away.

    What can I do?
    Thanks for your support.

  • earthwalker

    February 14, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Alexis,
    Figuring out a rotation diet when you are very limited in foods is difficult. I highly recommend you contact Dr. Ron Overberg at Several of our members have consulted with him with great success, even some people with severely limited foods. I haven’t used him personally, but I know he works with Dr. William Rea in Dallas, Texas, of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas. Dr. Rea treats many thousands of patients with severe food allergies and I believe Dr. Ron is his nutritionist. Best wishes, Julie

  • Alexis

    February 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks for the referral, Julie. Thanks for giving me hope.

  • ann lauderdale

    February 20, 2013 at 3:53 am

    HI Julie
    I”m exploring options for myself, and in looking through your site, I don’t see a recent update on your health progress with the rotational diet or other elements. Is the diet sample you gave above the approach you are still working with? What is your current protocol? Is there anything now, after several years, that you are sticking with as absolutely an essential in maintaining or improving your health? thanks! ann

  • Renee

    March 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Julie – I echo Ann’s question. Found your page searching for info on food families.

    I’d love to see an update stating how you’re doing, whether the rotation diet, etc. has had long-term success for you.


  • Julie

    March 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Ann and Renee,
    I only stayed on the rotation diet for a couple months. Through the rotation diet, brain retraining, and EFT, I was able to add a lot more foods in my diet. I did not have the energy to redo the whole menu based on my new foods, so I have been off the rotation diet for a long time! That’s my update. xx Julie

  • Laura

    October 18, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I also want to thank you for this post and information. I love the idea of using EFT to help with this! I was told to go on a rotation & low glycemic diet; I have been a vegan for a number of years and it seems I’m not sure I can do this that way. It helps to know it may be a short term scenario! I appreciate all of the resources.

  • Georgene

    March 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve been on a low carb diet similar to the Paleo diet for over a year and a half. I was wondering if the cookbook you suggested with menus would fit with my diet plan? Is there a simple plan to use that is free online?

    I have a lot of joint pain. I’ve given up dairy, wheat and tree nuts but I still have pain. I can’t figure out which other foods are causing the pain.

    Thank you!

  • earthwalker

    April 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Hi Georgene,
    You might try cutting out refined sugars and ALL grains and see if that helps. I don’t know of a free, simple plan to find online, sorry.

  • Caroline Kline

    August 29, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Julie, this was really helpful – thank you. After 8 years I’m doing yet ANOTHER rotation diet. Sondra Lewis (an MCSer too) also has THE MOST EXCELLENT book out on this as well (could you add it to your list?). It’s called “Allergy & Candida Cooking: Understanding & Implementing Plans for Healing”. Comes in a great spiral binder-so ez to use. There is SO MUCH information in this book! I forever use it for VARIOUS planning in the kitchen! So helpful in identifying the food families to start too ..and the diet setup, she’s really got it together (for like everything!!), plus unthought of by normal people substitutions for us. Definitely from one who knows!..b/c she’s been thru it. Thought I’d mention it, I will always keep this great Reference Book, even once I heal. Hope this helps and that it gets used by yet one more MCSer. Worth every penny! :-) C

  • Kristy

    October 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Has anyone had to do this 4 day elimination along with AutoImmune Protocol and Low Fodmap? I have so many food allergies plus SIBO and I don’t know if I have enough foods I can eat to have 4 different days worth. Also, does anyone know if it’s possible to develop a sensitivity to coconut oil if it’s eaten daily?

  • Kristy

    October 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I meant 4 day rotation diet…

  • Sara

    April 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for sharing your journey and resources on your website. I ordered the book, Allergy and Candida Cooking:Understanding and Implementing Plans for Healing by Sondra Kay Lewis. I found had the best prices, super inexpensive.
    Has anyone tried the probiotic, Therabiotic Complete or the enzyme, Perfect Flora?

  • Linda Newman

    May 1, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I have a question I am having trouble finding an answer for:
    If you can tolerate eggs should they be eaten on the same day as chicken or are they separate from chicken as a food group?

  • Linda Newman

    May 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t know if Georgene will see this message, but from what I was reading elsewhere nightshades might be something to consider removing from your diet to see if this helps with your pain levels. My first step is removing all grass grains and all dairy from my diet for 4-5 weeks and then re-evaluate how I am doing to see if there is more I need to remove.

  • Julie

    May 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Linda,
    If you look at the menu I shared above in my post, I was able to eat chicken egg and chicken meatballs in the same meal.

  • Skyblue

    May 5, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    My naturopath told me that 3-day rotation is as good as four. I always thought that four days was needed. Im not sure whether she is misinformed or if I am trying to be too strict.

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