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?