If you've been diagnosed with several food allergies, you might be wondering how on earth you're going to eat. Unfortunately it is possible to have many mild food allergies that make menu planning seem impossible. But sometimes there is a way to get around this restriction. If the allergies are very mild and seem to get worse as you expose yourself more and more to the foods, you may be able to rotate the foods and keep them in your diet. Rotation diets involve eating the suspect foods only every four days (so Monday, Friday, Tuesday, Saturday, and so on), but they do take a lot of planning. Here's a guide to setting up a rotation diet that you can handle.
Talk to Your Doctor
Cliched but true. Verify that the foods in question are causing mild allergies that have the lowest risk possible of setting off an anaphylactic reaction, which can be deadly. In other words, you're not going to use a rotation diet to get around a mild peanut allergy because peanuts are known for suddenly causing severe reactions. Your allergist will pinpoint the foods that would be best-suited for a rotation diet.
Lump Foods Together
Some foods tend to have allergens in common, such as poultry (yes, you can be allergic to poultry) and eggs, or coconut and tree nuts. Keep these foods on the same days. In other words, if you are actually allergic to turkey, don't eat turkey on one day and eggs on the next.
Don't Rely on Your Memory
Set up a calendar listing the foods you can have each day. Add each food one at a time so that you definitely have that four-day gap for each. If you have to, put each food and its related foods on index cards and sort them, and then go card by card, pile by pile. If you can remember to do so, check off each food on each day as you have it.
If you end up skipping a certain food on a certain day, don't assume you can have the food the next day. You could, but you'd have to redo your calendar to adjust the four-day gap.
Don't Make It Too Hard
Don't fill out an entire year's worth of menus. Illness and emergencies can screw that up. Plus, if you develop a more severe allergy to a food or a new allergy, you'd have to redo the calendar. Set up a template on your computer and print out a schedule for a few weeks. Continually update the template and print new weeks as needed. Keep a couple of paper backups in your home in case something happens to the file.
Monitor Your Reactions
Go back to your allergist if you start feeling ill again after eating. Get retested to see if the allergy is starting to grow worse.
If you want more help in setting up a successful rotation diet, contact an allergy clinic like Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center. Rotation diets are doable, though they benefit more from caring professional guidance from someone who understands what you're going through.Share