Friday, December 28, 2007

Starting the Rotation Diet

Going on a rotation diet sounded too complicated when I was first diagnosed with food intolerances several years ago. I was barely listening when the naturopath told me that people with multiple food allergies need to rotate foods on a four-day schedule to avoid developing new intolerances. I was too busy mourning the loss of cinnamon rolls, ice cream and omelets, some of my favorite foods. I didn’t want to hear about this complicated plan where I would have to eat compatible foods. Well, guess what? I didn’t listen, and now I have additional foods to avoid.

My goal is to share my experiences as I learn to eat following a rotation diet. The goal of a rotation diet is to reduce your exposure to the same foods because this may increase food sensitivities. I am following a four-day rotation diet where compatible foods are divided into four days by food families. The idea is not to consume the same
food more than once every four days and no foods of the same family more than once every two days.

The theory behind the rotation plan is that all foods are either plant or animal-based, and divided into families according to their origin. With some food groups, in certain individuals, an adverse reaction to one member of a family may result in a similar reaction to other members of the same group. For instance, someone with peanut allergy is likely to be or become allergic to other legumes, such as soybeans or peas.

On my plan, I avoid dairy, eggs, gluten, onions, garlic, caffeine, asparagus, lima beans, peanuts, pineapple and bananas. I pick the foods for my four-day meal plan from a list provided my doctor. Each day there are choices for beverages, grains/flours, fruit, legumes/nuts, oils, protein, veggies and miscellaneous.

Here are the foods I selected by day for Week 1.

Beverage- Day 1: almond milk, peppermint tea Day 2: rice milk Day 3: soy milk
raspberry tea Day 4: macadamia milk

Grains/Flour- Day 1: buckwheat Day 2: quinoa Day 3: rice Day 4: amaranth

Fruit- Day 1: apple, pear, raspberry Day 2: blueberry, kiwi Day 3: peach, apricot Day 4:
mango, cranberry

Legumes/Nuts- Day 1:almond butter, walnut Day 2: tahini, sesame seed, hazelnuts, poppy seed
Day 3: carob, sunflower seed, green beans, black beans Day 4: garbanzos, peas, pine nuts

Oils- Day 1: almond, walnut Day 2: safflower Day 3: sesame Day 4: olive, sunflower

Protein- Day 1: ground turkey Day 2: sole Day 3: chicken Day 4: tuna

Vegetables- Day 1: kale, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach Day 2: zucchini, yellow squash, mushroom, chard Day 3: brussel sprouts, cabbage, mustard green Day 4: carrot, parsnip, winter squash, endive

Misc.- Day 1: Black pepper, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, stevia, turmeric Day 2: chili, cumin, parprika Day 3: yeast, ginger, saffron Day 4: basil, sage, oregano

At first, it looked like I would have to scrap all my favorite recipes. I started getting creative and here are two of my recipes I came up with for Day 1 of the first week.

Hot Apple Kasha for Breakfast
Note: I’d never had this before and discovered it was really quite good.

½ cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 ½ cup water
1 cup apple juice
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg and cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 tbs. safflower or olive oil
Nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, dairy or non-dairy milk (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add kasha and toast for several minutes.
Add water, apple juice, spices, diced apple, raisins and nuts. (Raisins and nuts can be reserved for topping.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Top with milk, brown sugar, raisins, seeds or nuts, if desired.

Indian Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Chips for Lunch or Dinner

For the potato chips:
Get the potato chips started before working on the burgers.
Peel 2 sweet potatoes and cut thinly with a Mandolin slicer. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 tbs. of allowed oil, black pepper and salt. Spread the chips on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until crispy at 450 degrees F (approximately 20-30 minutes).

For the turkey burgers:

While the potato chips are baking, mix well in a large bowl these ingredients:

1 pound of ground turkey (93 or 99 percent fat free)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. nutmeg
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped finely
1 tbs. almond or other allowed oil

Divide the meat mixture into four patties. Heat oil in a grill pan, add the burgers and grill.

Serve the turkey burgers with sautéed kale or spinach, if desired. Drizzle the burgers with cinnamon oil (mix 1 tsp. of oil with 1/8 tsp. cinnamon).

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