What is a Rotation Diet? Is it hard to do?
The main goal with eating healthfully today that many may not even realize is reducing inflammation in the body. We know that inflammation causes everything from autoimmune issues and allergies to cancer. One of the best ways to lower our inflammation levels is to eat a diet low in sugar and grain, high in vegetables along with some pastured proteins and organic fruits – the foundation of the Paleo diet. Less known perhaps is the concept of rotation.
A rotational diet is a systematic way to lower inflammation in the body. Rotating food families enables the digestive system to optimally operate and be taxed a little less, reducing inflammation. Some people find rotating just their grains really makes a big difference in their health. Others who have a more compromised autoimmune system or behavior issues find their bodies need a more involved rotation to see progress. So, for some, making small changes can be very easy and you will see big improvements. Those who need to rotate more than just grains, can be reassured that it may not be forever. Just committing five weeks to our Challenge*35, will likely give you the start you need to also see big health improvements.
Daka Mama really wants to help everyone feel their best. Maybe that’s just finding a few healthy recipes on this site or maybe it’s trying to implement food rotation into your lifestyle. Hopefully you can find the tools on our site to enable you to find the right plan for you and your body to see lifelong health improvements.
What if I just want fun healthy recipes?
Rotation isn’t for everyone. The goal of this site is mainly to provide innovative, healthy and helpful recipes to families as well as busy professionals. What does set Daka Mama apart from other food blogs is that the recipes follow the principles of rotation – that’s our deal – but many of our site visitors just LOVE our recipes! Click here to receive the weekly recipe share.
If you want to learn how rotating foods each day can help your digestion and health, read on. If you want to delve deeper into following a Paleo style diet, Daka Mama can help with that too since our recipes and meal plans are gluten and dairy-free and many grain-free. There are also plenty of recipes for followers of vegan and vegetarian diets too.
More In-depth Information about the Benefits of Rotation
Rotating food families enables individuals to identify food sensitivities (inflammatory responses) and eliminate them from occurring on a weekly or even daily basis. Rotational diets have been prescribed since the 1930’s to assess what foods trigger adverse digestive reactions. Not everyone needs to follow a strict rotational diet, but EVERYONE can benefit from rotating their foods to:
- Decrease inflammation
- Have optimal digestion
- Identify and eliminate mild to severe food intolerances
- Prevent developing food sensitivities and allergies
- Have more energy and mental clarity
- Feel connected with your body
The ingredients for recipes at DakaMama are all unprocessed whole foods, preservative-free, gluten and dairy-free and often follow the principles of Paleo and the Weston A. Price foundation. The recipes also follow a 7-day food family rotation. This is something you can benefit from and easily incorporate into your weekly menu since I’ve done the work for you – or you can just benefit from all the delicious and healthy recipes to try any day of the week you want!
Why Rotate Foods?
Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies and the number is growing. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom – and I know in both my sons’ classrooms this number seems to be more like 3-4 children. Our national economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year. It is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from gluten intolerance which has grown exponentially in the past two decades. What many don’t realize is that if you are sensitive to gluten and consume wheat on a daily or even weekly basis you can develop celiac disease – not everyone is born with it. Approximately 3 million Americans have celiac disease and must vigilantly follow a gluten-free diet or suffer serious health complications. Perhaps more alarming than allergies are the 11% of children ages 4-17 with ADHD whose symptoms are exacerbated by food dyes, additives and undetected food sensitivities. The economic cost for children with ADHD is $38-72 billion per year in the US. And the long term set backs children face without diet and therapy interventions is even more costly for them and our society. Children with other issues such as Sensory Processing Disorder, dyslexia, Asperger Syndrome or autism also often have food sensitivity issues or absorption issues and can benefit greatly from rotating foods, increasing omega-3 fatty acids, and eliminating preservatives, sugar, dairy, corn, soy and gluten.
One of the most effective ways to improve health and prevent allergies for everyone is to eat a diverse, rotated whole foods diet. If you are unknowingly susceptible to developing a food sensitivity or allergy, eating the same ingredients in processed foods every day (especially preservatives) can weaken your digestive and immune systems and eventually trigger a sensitivity or an allergic reaction. In our culture, it can be difficult to avoid the typical American “fast food” eating style but with a conscious effort and plan, it can be done – and be done while still enjoying food.
How do I Rotate Foods?
The basic principles of rotation are to eat the same food no more than every 4-5 days and foods within the same family every other day. Let’s take some vegetables from the Cruciferous/Mustard family: kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. If you eat a kale salad Monday, then you couldn’t eat kale again until Saturday 5 days later. If you wanted to eat your riced cauliflower you could do so on Wednesday and you also choose to eat roasted Brussels sprouts on Friday so then you’d have to wait until Sunday for the kale again. The recipes and rotational plans at DakaMama are based on a 7-day rotation to avoid confusion and keep everything as simple as possible. You can use the resources on this site to invent your own rotation or simply follow several of the set DakaMama rotations.
The recipes and meal plans shared at DakaMama are all focused on helping you explore rotating your foods for optimal nutrition, better gut flora and strengthened immunity. DakaMama hopes to help you identify and address health challenges, improve: your immunity, energy, sleep, mental clarity and prevent: food allergies, gluten intolerance, hypoglycemia/diabetes and other food related illnesses. It’s A LOT! Changing your food choices can really benefit you and your family exponentially.
The Food Family Tree
One quick way to get to know your food better and understand rotation is learning about how foods are related and grouped in food group families. With so many new food products like cassava flour and waterchestnut flour entering the market in the last five years, this food family chart is much more comprehensive than some outdated versions available – it’s VERY thorough! You can download Daka Mama’s Food Family PDF as a helpful tool to gain insight or even invent your own rotation!