Week 1 in review – Dr. Vivienne Guy, ND

Transitioning to Gluten-Free, Vegan Diet.

Conversations had:

Conversation with the kids and Jason at the dinner table was quite entertaining.

Me “What do you kids think about if we all go Gluten-Free-Vegan”
Both in unison “What’s vegan?”
Me “We won’t eat any meat.”
Kiera- 9 year old daughter – (already not eating milk or eggs. She still has cheese) “But I neeeeed gluten, I loooove hamburger buns…oh my goodness I love hamburgers. No mommy no!!”

Jason- husband – “Well…I can do no milk… but I’m eating cheese.  I’ll cut down on meat, but won’t go without it”.  (I haven’t yet mentioned that he was a vegetarian and that I didn’t eat vegetables when we met, have I?)  All the while that he is speaking; daughter is nearly on her knees, hands in prayer position, quietly begging her father not to agree with my crazy ideas.

Me “OK, don’t worry everyone. It’s not happening yet or even for sure for you all. Mommy’s learning about it and seeing how it goes for her”


I was told that many vegans wouldn’t appreciate it if I had honey, or used any animal by-products. The truth is that I am not planning a vegan lifestyle, I am choosing the dietary changes, that suit our family intolerances, and then cut out meat. I have leather shoes and wool clothing and likely more things that I can’t think of in this moment. I don’t eat a lot of honey, but I value it’s medicinal benefits and do use it in medicines, so I am keeping that in my world.


In conversation with a dear friend of mine who is also a naturopath, she thinks that we can’t do gluten free, soy free, and vegan healthily. She thinks that it would just be too hard to ensure enough protein in the diet. Do you have any thoughts on that? Are you a well protein balanced vegan? If so, please comment below.

Hurdles met:

I forgot to mention that my son Rowan can’t have soy or lentils. That makes for really tricky vegan mains/entrees.

Milk in tea or coffee. I love having cow milk in my tea and coffee. But in truth I shouldn’t even be having coffee if I have gluten intolerance. Have a read of this. I’ll eliminate that in a little while too.no eggs

If the kids have store bought buns, there are likely eggs in them. I have often overlooked this as I imagine that there isn’t much egg in each individual one. For Rowan, this isn’t as bad as his egg intolerance in moderate, meaning that he can have it once every 4 days. Kiera’s is higher though and it’s best if she doesn’t have any at all.

Here is a blog that I found that has egg substitution ideas

Things I have changed so far for the whole family:

Butter changed to Earth Balance Soy Free Dairy Free spreadno dairy

Mayonnaise changed to Spectrum Organics. Vegan / soy free mayonnaise

Some of the recipes I am seeing call for vegetable shortening. A lot of the vegetable shortening contains (soy and/or canola), so what to do for soy- free? Spectrum Organics has a Palm oil shortening but can’t find it yet in Ottawa. For now, will use the Earth Balance Spread.

Goal for the week:

Create 2 soy-free vegan mains/entrees that provide a good amount of protein.

Make a Gluten-Free-Vegan hamburger bun that Kiera will love.

Things to ponder:

Thinking that for myself, no meat is a good option as I feel strongly about that. For the children, focus on a more unified approach with respect to gluten-egg-dairy-soy free and perhaps that’s enough to tackle with them.

I have been managing our kitchen based on our individual intolerances. In doing so we have had times where one child will feel left out, will say that it’s unfair that he gets ice-cream or she gets the cookie.  This new unified approach for the 4 of us will be really good; it will eliminate feelings of unfairness, and sadness that are sometimes at the table.


Feel free to share your own story about changing dietary habits for yourself or your family. What hurdles have you come up against? What have you learned along the way?

Permission to Board?

baggage and plane

I’m finally setting out on this journey and it might cause some to ask the person who has been working with plant medicines and natural healing for over a decade. Shouldn’t you already know better? Why haven’t you been doing this for years? These are the questions that lay on the guilt and perhaps are questions that have kept me immobilized for years. Shouldn’t I already be doing this? Well sure….maybe…but it’s time to forget the “should” and the guilt that comes along with it. I am shaking that off and I am moving on. I’m also dropping the word “perfect” for if I strive for that I might never have the guts to take the first step. In the Blog, I will also allow for imperfections. If I focus too much on perfecting grammar and sounding poetic then the posts won’t be as frequent.

So then..it’s Jan 2013 and I have permission to board!

This all began a few days ago. With a holiday gift card, I headed to Chapters to buy a fun, easy read. My heart though, took me over to the cooking and health section and I came home with this.

 vegan planner

The Daily Vegan Planner.12 Weeks to a Complete Vegan Diet Transition.  I picked this because I’m a planner, I’m a list maker and I like to take notes, I like to check things off. This is great for all of that. The problem for me with this book is that it isn’t gluten-free. For those of you who don’t know, I have to eat a gluten-free diet. Idiscovered that years ago through an IgG allergy test that I did, and I feel amazing as a result. I do have  gluten-free vegan cookbooks already as this allows me to create the base of our family meals (then of course we throw in the meat), so was it the best choice? Did I get sucked in by the planning aspect of it? A quick flip through reveals to me that that’s what likely happened and I need to bring it back. It has many recipes, areas for writing your thoughts, tracking what you ate and it would be great for someone starting to compile their resources. It is just not the right start for me as I have many recipe books already. I have beautiful, colourful, allergen free recipe books. A quick glance, and my fabulous math skills lets me know that these books offer over 1000 recipes. I need to focus on the recipes that I have on hand and as Air Jordan taught us, JUST DO IT !

In the next post I will share the names and a review of the cook books that I already have. For today, just because…the first book I will read and then chat about is “The complete Idiot’s guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking”.  I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.    

– Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND

idiots guide to gluten free vegan

I’ve decided to transition to a gluten free vegan diet – Dr.Vivienne Guy

Gluten- Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free and Meat-Free, OH MY !

Why? I can hear many of you ask.

Are you crazy? Perhaps.

What will you eat? I’ll let you know.

I have wanted to do this for years. When I did my IgG allergy test a number of years ago it showed that I was gluten intolerant and also egg intolerant, I made big changes in how I ate. I experienced amazing changes in my health as a result. You can read more about that in this previous blog.

My family members had their IgG allergy tests also and it turns out that my daughter is intolerant to dairy and eggs, my son to gluten and eggs and my hubby (who took about 2 years to follow suit and actually do the test) is intolerant to eggs and dairy.

So…it would seem that in our house we shouldhave already  completely eliminated all dairy and eggs. That should be the case in a Naturopaths house ! Shouldn’t she know that already ? Well yes, but it hasn’t happened 100% yet. I’d say we are each doing well on our own categories, but there is no need for some of us to be eating dairy or gluten when the others can’t. The meals are great, it’s the snacks and perhaps ad ons that are trickier sometimes. It causes a little bit of strife with the kids, with: How come he / she gets to have that treat / milk / cupcake? I’ll confess too that I haven’t yet given up cows milk in my nice cuppa.

“Convenience shouldn’t be a reason to miss out on optimum health.”

Bottom line for this new diet plan is that I don’t believe that gluten and dairy are valuable components of a healthy diet. I think that they are convenient and that’s about it. Convenience shouldn’t be a reason to miss out on optimum health. With respect to the meat part, the brand new challenge. I have wanted to do this for years and hadn’t quite hit the Go button. Again, out of convenience.

“For my new dietary adventure, I am being a little sneaky”

I am blessed that my husband loves to cook. He is in fact an amazing cook. So good, that we rarely go out to eat as we are quite often let down by what gets served to us. Even the kids say, “Daddy could have done this better”. He has stepped up to the challenge of creating delicious family meals that are gluten, dairy and egg free. But what to do if your fabulous chef loves to cook with meat? First of all, you really appreciate all the time and effort that he puts in…and then….you work around him. I do my best right now to have some meatless dinners in the week. For my new dietary adventure, I am being a little sneaky. He is leaving for Thailand for a months holiday in February. I am going to read and learn and prepare for the next couple of weeks and then I am going to use his time away as a meatless month. Let’s see what happens!