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Use Lotus 1-2-3 to Rotate Foods in Your Allergy Treatment Program

By Tom Gibson and Paul Merrill

Some people must "rotate" certain types of foods in their diet due to food allergies or other medical considerations. This means they can eat a particular food no more than every other day, every third day, once a week, etc. Because of this, they keep careful track of what foods they eat each day.

ON THE PALMTOP You can set up a Lotus 1-2-3 template, ALLERGY.ZIP (ON DISK icon) to automatically tell you which foods you can or can't eat on a given day, based on the period of the food's rotation (i.e.. every other day, every third day, once a week, etc.).

ALLERGY.WK1 Lotus template showing foods and current rotational status.

To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. 1. Create a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet we will name ALLERGY.WK1.
  • In the "A" column (starting with row 3) enter names of the foods you will need to rotate.
  • Make row 1 the "date" row starting with today's date and running out at least one month in advance.
  • Make row 2 the "day" row (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.). For more information on setting up these columns and rows, see the Lotus 1-2-3 section of your HP 100/200LX User's Guide.
  1. 2. Next, enter the formula in the correct cells. For this example, we'll use a formula for rotating foods every third day -- this means the formula will look back to see if there are any entries in the previous two cells (this is explained below). If you can eat a food every second day, you will want to change the formula to look back only one cell, or if you can eat a food once a week, you will have the formula look back six cells, etc. To enter the formula, in cell C3 write:

Press (ENTER). This formula means: if cells A3 or B3 has a "1" in it, write "no," otherwise write "yes."

Whenever you eat a food on your list, you will enter a "1" in the appropriate cell as explained later.

3. Copy this formula to all the cells for all the foods in the time frame you have set up (e.g. four weeks). To do this, at cell C3 press (MENU) Copy (ENTER). Anchor the cursor by pressing (.), then (DownArrow) to the bottom of your food list, (RightArrow) to the end of your time frame, then press (ENTER). Now copy the formula to column B. To do this, at cell C3 press (MENU) Copy (ENTER), move your cursor to cell B3, press (.) to anchor the cursor, (DownArrow) to the end of your food list, then press (ENTER).

4. Lastly, we want to anchor the "list of foods" column and the "day" and "date" rows so that when we scroll down or scroll right, our guides will remain on the screen. To do this, at cell B3, press (MENU) Worksheet Titles Both.

Every time you eat one of the foods on your list, enter a "1" in the appropriate cell (at the junction of the correct food row and date column). If there is a "1" in either of the previous two cells in the row, 1-2-3 will enter a "no" (you should not eat that food today) and if there are not, it will enter a "yes" (you may eat the food today).

Other uses for this technique This rotational template can be used whenever you need to take medicines, exercise or perform any action on a rotational basis.

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