The three most common mistakes that mess up the most important part of an elimination diet - Aspire Natural Health

The three most common mistakes that mess up the most important part of an elimination diet

In this Episode Dr. Gerstmar discusses:
-The three biggest mistakes people make when they’ve done an elimination diet and now they’re ready to challenge and identify the foods that are really the problem


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2 Minute Quiz – Are We the Right Fit to Help You?

Hey Folks,

It’s Dr. Gerstmar from Aspire Natural Health, and in this quick video, I want to talk to you about three common mistakes that you should avoid when doing an elimination diet challenge.

Are you ready?

Before we dive in, let’s take just a moment to make sure everyone is up to speed on what an elimination diet is.

Now if you’re new to holistic medicine the idea that what you’re eating could be causing or worsening what’s going on for you can be a brand new idea.

Whether it’s digestive issues like IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, or Heartburn, or autoimmunity like Inflammatory Bowel Disease – such as UC or Crohn’s disease, or other autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, or many others, what you’re eating can have a profound influence on what’s going on.

But how do we know what foods we’re eating are the problem?

The simplest way is to do an elimination and challenge diet.

The first part, the elimination is removing those foods completely from your diet and keeping an eye on what happens.

For some people – about 20% of the people we work with – that step alone can bring about total remission of their issues. For most of the rest, they see noticeable improvement in what’s going on.


Or text the word elimination to 425-651-6851
2 Minute Quiz – Are We the Right Fit to Help You?


Okay, now that we’ve got that background out of the way, let’s talk about the three mistakes that people make after they’ve done the elimination and found that it’s been helpful for them.

The first is never doing a challenge in the first place!

A challenge is where we methodically begin to add foods back into our diet, so we can identify if we have any problems with that particular food.

And it’s very common in the people we work with, who’ve finally gotten relief after suffering for quite a while to not want to rock the boat. They’re finally feeling better so why mess with it?

And I totally get that. If you’ve only eliminated one or a few foods, and you’re settled into a stable pattern without those foods, don’t miss them, and feel your life is perfectly fine without them, then maybe there’s no need to bother with the challenge.

But for a lot of people dealing with serious issues like autoimmunity, if they’ve done something quite restrictive like the Autoimmune Paleo Diet, or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or the GAPS diet, or something similar, there’s a lot of restriction involved.

It’s not uncommon for people to say they feel restricted and are having to exert some significant willpower to stay on the diet, and that it’s having an effect on their social life and relationships.

We need to acknowledge that.

So it’s for those reasons that we strongly recommend that people do the challenge. Worst case they find out that they need to maintain a very strict diet and can decide if that works for them, and most of the time they find that at least some of the foods they’re avoiding they no longer need to avoid, and that opens things up and makes sticking with the diet easier and more sustainable.

So that’s mistake number one, never challenging the diet.

The second mistake is being sloppy with the challenge. A challenge needs to be done methodically. Taking one food at a time and challenging it to be sure that it’s either a safe food that doesn’t cause a reaction, or a problematic food that does.

After having been on an elimination for a while people can feel desperate to add foods back, or without proper guidance and support, they can end up flubbing the challenge and then not knowing what foods are a problem for them and causing flares of symptoms.

So that’s mistake number two, being hasty or sloppy with the challenge.

The third mistake is waiting to be symptom-free when sometimes the best we’re going to get is symptom stable.

The goal of course is to be symptom-free. To have all the troublesome issues that are going on for us go away completely. And the reality is that sometimes that’s not going to happen.

Sometimes the pain or other symptoms will be significantly better but still present, and so people keep waiting and waiting for the diet to do it’s magic and the symptoms to disappear completely. And so they stay on the elimination diet for 6 months, a year, or even several years. Or they keep eliminating more and more foods.

And this is where context matters, because there are some people who do need long, strict eliminations, or they really may need to eliminate more foods, and this is where having a good practitioner on your side is so necessary.

And to acknowledge that it’s not always possible to be symptom-free, but we at least need to be symptom-stable. What that means is that if the pain in your joints has gone down 80% and has become predictable for you, it may be the right time to begin the challenge.

The picture of your issues is clear and stable enough that as you are adding foods back into your diet, you can see changes that happen. If that 80% reduction in pain suddenly becomes a 20% reduction in pain after trying a new food we have to be suspicious of that food.

So the third mistake is waiting until a person is symptom free when the best the diet may be able to accomplish is to help a person become symptom stable.

Alright, so there you have it…


Or text the word elimination to 425-651-6851
2 Minute Quiz – Are We the Right Fit to Help You?

There are three common mistakes that people make in the challenge phase of an elimination-challenge diet.

The first mistake is never doing the challenge in the first place. If you’re severely restricting a variety of foods, we recommend most people do the challenge to find out if that severe restriction is really necessary. Our experience is that, after a good six to twelve months of holistic care most people find that they no longer need to severely restrict foods and many foods that initially were a problem either stop being a problem or become less significant.

The second mistake is doing a sloppy or rushed challenge. Remember the point of a challenge is to provide clarity. By doing it properly you can see whether a food is really a problem for you or safe to add back to your diet without causing you issues.

The third mistake is waiting and waiting to become symptom free when that might not be possible. As long as a person is symptom stable, it’s possible to challenge the diet.

So there you go, now you know the three mistakes that you need to avoid.

Now if you didn’t know, I’ve created a number of FREE reports with some of our best information inside to help with a number of digestive and autoimmune issues. They’re all available for FREE on our website.

We know how hard doing an elimination challenge diet can be, so we’ve put together a quick guide on how to do one correctly. So you don’t waste your time, money, or energy and spin your wheels instead of becoming healthier.

There are two easy ways you can get it. The first is simply to click the button below and fill out the very short form and we’ll happily send that to you for FREE. The second if you happen to be watching or listening with your cell phone, or it’s nearby, all you have to do is text the word ELIMINATION to 425-651-6851. I feel like a Dalek there. Shout out to any Dr. Who fans watching! Alright, that’s the word ELIMINATION to 425-651-6851 and we will happily send that to you for FREE.


Or text the word elimination to 425-651-6851
2 Minute Quiz – Are We the Right Fit to Help You?

So please either click down below or text us and we’ll get that expert report over to you right away.

At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at treating digestive issues and autoimmune diseases. If that’s you or a loved one, we’d love to connect.

We offer a no-obligation, no-pressure chat to see if we can help you, and if we’re the right fit to work together.

If we are, we’ll move forward, and if we’re not, we’ll do our best to connect you with the person who can best help you.

The only thing you have to lose, is being unsure what the best next step for you is, so call us now at 425-202-7849 or email us at

Until next time folks…Take care!


At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at helping people suffering with digestive issues and autoimmunity.

Are you or a loved one looking for help?

Email us at or call us at 425-202-7849.

The first step of our process is to see if we’re a good fit for one another. If we are, we’ll talk about next steps. If not, that’s okay, and we’ll do our best to help you find the right person.

Everything is no-obligation and no-pressure, so you don’t have to worry. The only thing you have to lose, is the frustration of not knowing what to do next!

Call us at 425-202-7849 or email us now!

Another interesting post:

What is the difference between chronic inflammation and autoimmunity?


Or text the word elimination to 425-651-6851


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