The four-day rotation diet by food families
R. Michael Cessna
Please keep in mind that this paper is not a dissertation on allergic mechanisms, nor is it a detailed, in-depth discussion on the diagnosis and management of the patient with allergic disease, but rather, it presents a dietary approach that has proven to be highly beneficial to patients with food allergies and food addictions, in addition to providing assistance to patients with other health problems not typically associated with food allergy. However, before introducing the diversified four-day rotation diet, a few remarks should be shared on allergy and allergic mechanisms.
A host of symptoms and various health problems are multiplying in doctor’s offices as a result of patients with unidentified food reactions. Each day more and more clinicians are beginning to realize that food allergy and food addiction are continually increasing within their patient population. Indeed, the term “allergy” is used with different connotations by different authorities. Not infrequently it has been defined as an altered reaction involving immunological mechanisms. Some have narrowed the meaning to include only those abnormal reactions of the immune system which involve proteins. No matter how the reader chooses to define these abnormal reactions, the clinician seeing patients should certainly be interested in those reactions which can cause damage to the living organism, whatever the mechanism of action. I have espoused for years that if one has examined a patient thoroughly, performed the necessary blood tests and other studies, and still has not identified the cause of the patient’s affliction, then think allergy! The one thing we all do each and every day is eat and drink. Perhaps something we are eating or drinking on a daily basis is causing our health problem.
Allergic and Non-Allergic Foods
Interestingly, the outstanding fact which emerges from a study of food allergy is there is no such thing as a universally safe food. Just as the tissues of each individual differ from those of others, so the reactions to common foods must be regarded as forming a highly individualistic pattern as well. Singling out certain foods as “health foods,” categorizing “organic foods” as healthful and “non-organic foods” as noxious, recommending unrefined foods as curative and refined foods as debilitating — all of these are quite simplistic concepts that indeed can be very misleading. To a given individual, any food in any of these categories may be severely damaging to their health. Certainly, the lethal characteristics of milk products in galacto-semia are well known. Honey is widely regarded as a safe sweetening agent. This view ignores the fact that honey contains bee allergens, allergens from specific plant nectars, and allergenic polymers derived from sugars. Whole grains, such as wheat and oats, are generally regarded a better food than when these grains are refined, however, neither forms are good for the person who is allergic to them.
There are numerous methods available to the practicing physician that assess the etiologic reactors in patients with allergic disease. Currently popular are the RAST IgE, 1gM, IgA, IgG, IgG4 tests, SAGE testing, ELISA ACT, elimination diets, and sub-dermal skin testing, among others.
Although the diversified four-day rotation diet has been in existence for over half a century, it is a diet that is not well known to the majority of doctors currently in practice. Born out of a need to find a compatible, healthy diet for patients who were pan-allergic and burdened by numerous food allergies, it was soon evident that it had a much broader application for patients with other health problems as well. This author has personally employed the diet since 1975. Although now retired from active practice, this author has often suggested the diet for patients of doctors whom he has been privileged to consult. Further, this diversified four-day rotation diet is presented and its application is emphasized in the live lectures and CD distance learning Chiropractic Family Practice, Nutrition, and Diagnostic Preventive Medicine Course that leads to diplomate in the Council of Diagnosis and Internal Disorders of the American Chiropractic Association.
Understanding the basis of the diet demonstrates why it has the potential to provide a symptomatic and biological benefit to such a broad range of patients. For half a century clinical ecologists have maintained that the frequent eating of foods to which a person is allergic often creates a food addiction, and there is a direct relationship between the frequency with which a food is consumed and the development of allergic-addiction reactions. In addition, maladaptive food reactions are also dependent to some degree on nutritional deficiency, metabolic error, the use of specific food fractions, inherited predisposition to allergic reactions, and systemic and focal infections.
Addiction to a food to which a person is allergic will not typically develop unless the food or members of its taxonomic family are used with a frequency greater than once in four days. This is a major cause of the acquired “delayed type II food allergy” that can be identified by SAGE testing, RAST, IgM, IgA, IgG, and ELISA ACT. Maladaptive (allergic and allergic-like) food reactions in most cases bear a direct relationship to a nutritionally deficient state. Frequent consumption of some foods will promote a nutritional deficiency for two reasons. Firstly, the frequent consumption of the allergic food depletes the specific enzymes required for its metabolism. Secondly, the use of only a few foods frequently eaten fails to provide the necessary broad spectrum of nutrients demanded by metabolism. Other sources of malnourishment include inherited chemical individuality, inherent or developed metabolic errors, harbored chronic infections, chronic consumption of substances that make an increased demand on the body (e.g., tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and drugs), chronic contact with pollutants (e.g., gas fumes, air pollution, insecticide residues, and food coloring), and to some degree chronic emotional stress. This is the reason why most patients gain some, and often a great deal of, symptomatic relief from the broad use of vitamin, mineral, and enzyme therapy (orthomolecular or supernutrition). This nutrient therapy restores many of the nutrients lost with the maladaptive state. Just as with the foods selected, be careful of prescribing nutrients that may also result in a delayed allergic reaction.
Fixed Food Allergies
A minority of subjects have, and a minority of foods cause, fixed food allergies. These are usually easy to identify since each time the individual eats the food, symptoms develop, although this is not invariably true. Of course, these are the familiar IgE-mediated food allergies. These foods must be avoided at all times.
How to Use the Diet
Essentially the diet should be prescribed to patients experiencing any signs or symptoms of any functional or pathological disease process associated with food allergy or maladaptive food reaction.
Multiple Food Allergies: Indeed, whenever a patient has received a thorough allergy workup, and the reacting foods identified so numerous that it appears nothing can be eaten, the only solution is the four-day rotation diet. “Four-day rotation” refers to four full days of foods for rotation which provides a five-day spacing of foods. Foods that give major reactions or have a high reaction on the lab test should be strictly avoided for a minimum of six weeks before placing these foods in the four-day rotation. If reactions then occur, these foods again should be eliminated for another two or three months. Sometimes these reacting foods must be avoided for as long as 13 weeks. Again, if the high reactors are IgE-mediated, the patient should never eat them, and they must be totally eliminated for the rest of his/her life.
Bizarre Symptomatology: For those patients with multiple, unrelated, complex, difficult to treat conditions, a poor response to standard therapy, who hurt everywhere, and for whom generally nothing works and you don’t know what to do, try the diversified four-day rotation diet. Don’t misunderstand, the diet is NOT a cure-all; however, it can eliminate many symptoms whereby the patient, and the doctor, will be quite gratified. This allows for the opportunity to focus on the remaining major complaints when the multiple minor complaints are eliminated or reduced in intensity.
Obesity: Nearly half the people in the United States are obese, and one in every four children is estimated to be obese. This author has personally never seen a diet formulated to reduce weight as easy and effective as the four-day rotation diet. By just diet and nutritional therapy (vitamins and minerals), patients can lose as much as 35 pounds in six weeks, and if their food addiction is minimal, they will not suffer any hunger.
Here is where clinicians can score “big time” with their significantly overweight patients. Obesity characteristically involves addiction to several foods. These foods need to be sorted out by testing and initially avoided, and then returned to the diet on a four-day rotation basis. Although the diet may be commenced without food allergy testing, for better results and fewer complications it is best to first order a SAGE test or IgA, IgM, IgG RAST panels. Not infrequently the clinician will observe that a part of the allergic reaction to the foods is that of a generalized edema. The symptom of an insatiable hunger often emerges as a withdrawal symptom in a food addict. Once these incriminated foods are avoided and/or spaced out, there is a marked reduction in the hunger urges and a less intense residual obsessive-compulsive learned response to overeat and binge follows. This management of the food allergy-addiction makes it possible to reduce calorie intake successfully, resulting in a substantial loss of wei ght.
As stated above, the patient can be placed on the diet without ordering allergy tests. Granted, the patient must be disciplined to the rotation but little concerned with quantity. The reason is that they can only have a food and its “family” once in four days. This is important since there may be cross-allergic reaction between family members. Day 1 allows for the citrus family. Unless the patient is allergic to a citrus fruit, they can eat all the oranges or other citrus fruits they desire, however, even if they only ate oranges, they cannot consume citrus of any kind, such as lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerine, or kumquats until the fifth day (Day 1).
The food meals are simple; mixed recipes, sauces and casseroles cannot be consumed as the ingredients required are usually on another day. The patient learns to shop and keep on hand the necessary foods on the diet and often eats the same or similar breakfast, lunch, and dinner on each of the four days. Yes, it can be boring, but they can have all they want to eat. The only failures are seen in those patients who fail to discipline themselves to diversify the selection of the foods on each day. They never quit because they are hungry. To the contrary, often the boredom of the revolving foods dampens their appetite. Now they eat to live rather than live to eat!
Of course, a doctor trained in nutrition will advise the patient to eat foods on the diet as close to nature as possible — for example, fresh or frozen peas as opposed to the canned variety, and whole grains rather than refined. However, it should be pointed out that some patients will find they can consume a refined food where the consumption of the same food in its natural state will cause a symptomatic reaction. This occurs because much of the protein which initiates a reaction has been removed during the refining process. For example, they may find that white rice is okay but brown rice results in a reaction, or similarly for white flour versus whole wheat flour. Again, it should be emphasized that any food that produces a reaction should be totally eliminated from the program for six weeks or more.
Vegetarians: Patients who are vegetarians should increase the quantities of nuts, beans, lentils, peas, garbanzos (chickpeas), pumpkin seeds, cheese, dairy, eggs, sprouts, and spinach, on the days these foods are allowed.
Diabetes: Both diabetes mellitus and reactive hypoglycemia are seen to be maladaptive reactions to foods. These foods are specific for each person and should not be thought of as simply carbohydrate intolerance. The stress of the allergic-addictive load of an assortment of reactions to foods and chemicals plays a vital part in either condition. Total treatment of all incriminated substances is necessary for successful management and food allergy testing is a must.
As with any treatment protocol, the closer the patient adheres to the discipline, the more successful the results. As the pain or other symptoms improve, often the patient will find they can “cheat” to some degree and still make progress and enjoy better health. Likewise, they soon learn that if they deviate too far from the program, they will “pay the price” of failure! Remember, the patient on the diversified rotation diet should be assessed for vitamin and mineral support and the clinician should be watchful for reactions that may arise from the ingesting of the supplements.
Hopefully, the reader will consider implementing this very beneficial but unusual dietary approach when the need arises. The patient handout of the diversified four-day rotation diet follows.
HE FOUR-DAY ROTATION DIET
FOOD FAMILIES FOODS
CITRUS LEMON, ORANGE GRAPEFRUIT, LIME,
TANGERINE, KUMQUAT, CITRON
BANANA BANANA, PLANTAIN, ARROWROOT (MUSA)
PALM COCONUT, DATE, SAGE
PARSLEY CARROTS, PARSNIPS, CELERY SEED,
CELERIAC, ANISE, DILL, FENNEL,
CUMIN, PARSLEY, CORIANDER, CARRAWAY
PEPPER BLACK & WHITE PEPPER, PEPPERCORN
HERBS NUTMEG, MACE
SUBUCAYA BRAZIL NUTS
BIRD ALL FOWL & GAME BIRDS, INCLUDING CHICKEN, TURKEY,
DUCK, GOOSE, GUINEA, SQUAB, PIEGON, QUAIL,
PHEASANT, ALL EGGS
TEA COMFREY TEA (BORAGE FAMILY), FENNEL TEA
OIL COCONUT OIL, FATS FROM ANY BIRD LISTED ABOVE
SWEETENER ORANGE HONEY IF HONEY NOT USED ON ANOTHER DAY
JUICES UNSWEETENED FROM ANY FRUIT OR
VEGETABLE LISTED ABOVE
SCRAMBLED EGGS (WITHOUT MILK)
LEMONADE WITH ORANGE SWEETENER
COCONUT WITH MANDARIN ORANGES
BRAZIL NUTS BANANA
CHICKEN, BAKED WITHOUT FLOUR
CARROTS WITH PARSLEY
BROWNED PARSNIP ROUNDS
STUFFED DATES WITH COCONUT
10:00 AM – TANGERINE
2:30 PM – BRAZIL NUTS
8:30 PM – DATES
THE FOUR-DAY ROTATION DIET
FOOD FAMILIES FOODS
GRAPE ALL VARIETIES OF GRAPES & RAISINS, CREAM OF TARTAR
PINEAPPLE FRESH, WATER OR JUICE PACKED (NOT PACKED IN SYRUP)
ROSE STRAWBERRY, RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRY, DEWBERRY, LOGANBERRY,
YOUNG BERRY, ROSE HIPS, BOYSENBERRY
GOURD WATERMELON, CUCUMBER, CANTALOUPE, PUMPKIN, SQUASH,
ZUCCHINI, ACORN, MUSK MELON, HONEY DEW, PERSIAN
MALLOW OKRA, COTTONSEED
GOOSEFOOT BEET, SPINACH, CHARD, LAMB’S QUARTERS (GREENS),
LEGUME PEA, BLACK-EYED PEA, NAVY BEANS, GREEN BEANS, CAROB, SOY
BEANS, LENTILS, LICORICE, PEANUT, ALFALFA, KIDNEY BEANS,
LIMA BEANS, PINTO BEANS, ACACIA, SENNA
CASHEW CASHEW, PISTACHIO, MANGO
BIRCH FILBERTS, HAZELNUTS, OIL OF WINTERGREEN (OIL OF BIRCH)
SWINE ALL PORK PRODUCTS
MOLLUSKS ABALONE, SNAIL, SQUID, CLAM, MUSSEL, OYSTER, SCALLOP
CRUSTACEANS CRAB, CRAYFISH, LOBSTER, PRAWN, SHRIMP
TEA ALFALFA TEA, FENUGREEK TEA
OIL SOYBEAN OIL, PEANUT OIL, COTTONSEED OIL
SWEETENER CLOVER HONEY IF IT IS NOT USED ON ANOTHER DAY
JUICES UNSWEETENED FROM ANY OF THE ABOVE
LISTED FRUITS OR VEGETABLES
BAKED SQUASH OR BEETS
CUCUMBERS & RAW SPINACH SALAD
HAM OR SHRIMP
BEANS, SPINACH, FRIED OKRA, OR BAKED
CUCUMBER SLICES ON RAW SPINACH BED
10:00 AM – GRAPES
2:30 PM – RAISINS
8:30 PM – PEANUTS
THE FOUR-DAY ROTATION DIET
FOOD FAMILIES FOODS
APPLE APPLE, PEAR, QUINCE, CIDER
GOOSEBERRY CURRANT, GOOSEBERRY
ASTER HEAD LETTUCE, ENDIVE, ESCAROLE, ARTICHOKE, DANDELION,
SUNFLOWER SEEDS, OYSTER PLANT, TARRAGON, CHICORY, LEAF
POTATO POTATO, TOMATO, EGGPLANT, PEPPERS (RED & GREEN), PAPRIKA,
LILY ONION, GARLIC, ASPARAGUS, CHIVES, LEEKS, ALOES
HERB BASIL, SAVORY, SAGE, OREGANO, HOREHOUND, CATNIP,
SPEARMINT, PEPPERMINT, THYME, MARJORAM, LEMON, BALM, MINT
WALNUT ENGLISH WALNUT, BLACK WALNUT, PECAN, HICKORY NUT, BUTTER
PEDALIUM SESAME SEEDS, SESAME OIL
FISH STURGEON (CAVIAR), ANCHOVY, SARDINE, HERRING, SHAD,
SMELT, TROUT, CHUB, SALMON, WHITEFISH, EEL, CARP, BASS,
MULBERRY MULBERRY, FIGS, BREADFRUIT, HOP
OLIVE BLACK OR GREEN OLIVES, OLIVE OIL
BUCKWHEAT BUCKWHEAT, RHUBARB
OIL SAFFLOWER OIL, OLIVE OIL, SESAME OIL
TEA KAFFIR TEA
HONEY BUCKWHEAT, SAFFLOWER OR SAGE HONEY IF NOT USED ON ANOTHER
JUICES UNSWEETENED FROM ANY FRUIT, VEGETABLE OR HERB LISTED
BUCKWHEAT GRITS OR PANCAKES
BAKED POTATO, SUNFLOWER SEEDS
EGG PLANT, TOMATO & OLIVES
BOILED ONIONS & STEWED TOMATOES
TOMATO SLICES ON LETTUCE AND OLIVES
10:00 AM – WALNUTS
2:30 PM – PECANS, APPLE
8:30 PM – PEAR, WALNUTS
THE FOUR-DAY ROTATION DIET
FOOD FAMILIES FOODS
PLUM PLUM, CHERRY, PEACH, APRICOT, NECTARINE, ALMOND, WILD
HEATH BLUEBERRY, HUCKLEBERRY, CRANBERRY
PAPAL PAWPAW, PAPAYA, PAPAIN
MUSTARD MUSTARD, TURNIP, RADISH, HORSERADISH, WATERCRESS,
CABBAGE, KRAUT, CHINESE CABBAGE, BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER,
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, COLLARDS, KALE, KOHLRABI, RUTABAGA
LAUREL AVOCADO, CINNAMON, BAY LEAF, SASSAFRAS, CASSIA BUDS OR
MORNING GLORY YAM, SWEET POTATO
GRAINS WHEAT (FLOUR, PATENT FLOUR, GLUTEN FLOUR, BRAN, WHEAT
GERM), RYE, BARLEY (MALT), CORN (CORN STARCH, CORN OIL,
CORN SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, CELLULOSE, DEXTROSE, GLUCOSE),
OATS, RICE, WILD RICE, SORGHUM, CANE (CANE SUGAR,
CONIFER PINE NUT
MAMMALS BEAR, BEEF (VEAL, COW’S MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE, GELATIN),
BUFFALO, ELK, HORSE, GOAT, GOAT’S MILK, GOAT CHEESE,
MUTTON (LAMB), MOOSE, RACCOON, REINDEER, SQUIRREL,
FUNGUS MUSHROOMS AND YEAST
PROTEA MACADAMIA NUT
OIL CORN OIL, BUTTER
TEA SASSAFRAS TEA, PAPAYA LEAF TEA, MATE TEA, LEMON VERBANA
HONEY AVOCADO HONEY IF NOT USED ON ANOTHER DAY
JUICES UNSWEETENED FROM ANY FRUIT OR VEGETABLE LISTED ABOVE
GRANOLA OR OATMEAL (PURE GRAINS
BUTTERED BROCCOLI, FRESH CORN
BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH BUTTER
RAW RADISHES & WATERCRESS, LAMB
UNSWEETENED CRANBERRY JUICE
COTTAGE CHEESE AND AVOCADO SALAD
10:00 AM – ALMONDS
2:30 PM – DRIED APRUCOTS
8:30 PM – YOGURT
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