As a health and nutrition coach I spend a lot of time analysing my client’s food diaries to see where they may be derailing their health goals. Probably one of the most common red flags I see when reading these diaries is the regularity that people eat certain foods. It may be that they eat a handful of almonds twice a day or that they love to have eggs for breakfast or even the cup of milk that they have with their Nespresso coffee. Unfortunately, eating these things day in, day out can have significant health consequences including weight gain, digestive disorders, skin problems, hormonal imbalances and much more.
The simple and effective solution to this problem is a rotation diet. A rotation diet is basically based on taxonomy and places foods that are closely related together. These foods share similar protein structures so combining them allows for easier digestion. As a CHEK trained practitioner, we generally practice a four day rotation meaning that you choose foods from a specified list and only those foods for each particular day over a four day period. For example, if you start day one on Monday you will not eat any of the foods from that list until Friday (which will be day 1 again).
There are a few important reasons why rotating our foods is so important. Firstly, due to many many factors including poor nutritional choices, alcohol consumption, stress, toxins and more we are all suffering from some gastrointestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut). This means that undigested food particles are escaping from our small intestine and ending up in our blood stream only to become targets for our immune system. If you eat the same food day in, day out there is a strong likelihood that eventually you will build up an immune reaction to this food and you may become intolerant. One of the most common examples of this is eggs. Because eggs are such a great grain free breakfast option, many people eat them daily even twice daily. Unfortunately eggs are also highly allergenic and this commonly leads to an intolerance that could manifest as something as simple as weight gain or fatigue.
Secondly, despite the vast availability of foods in today’s world, we have become creatures of habit meaning we are much more likely to eat the same things over and over. Rotating all of our foods regularly means we are allowing our bodies to be exposed to a more broad spectrum of micro nutrients. The more diversity of nutrients we can incorporate in to our diets, the better our health will be. It’s no coincidence that most health experts advocate variety in the diet, it’s essential for optimal health.
Thirdly and finally, it makes eating food so much more fun. I have been rotating my proteins for about three years but really only started rotating vegetables a year ago. Rotation of foods has made me a lot more adventurous, since starting to rotate I have experimented with different game animals such as venison, goat and quail as well as many many new and delicious plant foods and I’m a better cook for it!
To find out more about food rotation through coaching sessions click here