“You need to be on a rotation diet.” It’s a phrase I’ve heard numerous times from various allergists and nutritionists. I’ve tried, rather unsuccessfully, to get my 3-year-old to go along with such a program, but I’ve not been able to convince her that she needs to eat a particular food because it’s day 3 of her rotation diet. At this stage of the game, she knows what she likes, and she’s leery of trying anything new.
I tend to be a creature of habit like her. I enjoy eating the same foods everyday and drinking my soy latte every morning. Even the experts, like Dr. Mike Roizen, well-known author and regular on Oprah, encourage people to eat the same breakfast and lunch everyday (as long as it’s healthy) and then vary the evening meals. This approach obviously doesn’t work for those with food allergies.
Well, my allergies kicked into high gear last week, thanks to a bit of additional stress. My eyes started to swell and my face turned a nice, bright red. It’s not the first time this has happened, but the third. The bizarre thing about these “flare-ups” is that it only happens on my face. Even the doctors can’t explain this one. In the past, I’ve had to be on steroids for several months during each episode. Every time I tried to go off the meds, my face would swell back up—a most frustrating situation. This time, I decided that steroids aren’t an option. I’ve opted to take the advice of the experts and go on the elimination/rotation diet—hard-core. For the next two months, this means no rice, soy, wheat, coffee or the additional 32 other foods that are on my list. Yes, I think my list of food intolerances is now equal to or even longer than my daughter’s.
Our doctor gave me a four day rotation diet which I could use as our guide. I must say there were a lot of foods on the list that I hadn’t even heard of. After much searching on the Internet, I found an online store, specialfoods.com, where I could order some of the more unusual tuber flours, like cassava and malanga flours, for example. They even have bagels and breads made from their specialty flours. I’m still waiting for them to arrive, so the verdict is still out on what they’ll actually taste like. I also liked the fact that they had a number of different lip balms and lotions that had minimal products in them. I ordered a couple to try on Elyse. I also found a great book, “The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide”, by Nicolette M. Dumke. It’s got everything in it that one needs for a rotation diet. I like the fact that it has a food classification system in the back.
I’m now into day 4 of the diet, and I can say that it does seem to be working. My face looks normal but with a bit of redness, and my eyes are no longer swollen. The good news is that I’ve not had to go on steroids. I’ve tried getting Elyse to go on the diet again with me, but after tasting my buckwheat cereal, she wasn’t convinced. It’s quite time consuming and somewhat pricey, but if it means I’ll be able to eat normally again one day, it will be well worth it.
Meanwhile, the count is on…56 days until my next cup of coffee.
March 31, 2008