Eating a gluten-free diet is hard and so is eating vegan. Combine the two and you’re left with cardboard and water, right?


When my brother, who is autistic, switched to a gluten-free diet 3 years ago, my mom, sister, and I decided to join for moral support. There is some scientific evidence suggesting that the of elimination gluten can greatly improve the mental abilities of children with autism. I’ve definitely noticed major differences in my brother’s personality!

Later that year, I spent 3 months in Belgium on an exchange trip and forgo my gluten free lifestyle. Fresh croissants and pastries became my priority. Coming home, I noticed how much worse my headaches, stomach pains, and “brain fog” were. So, I switched back to gluten free. At this point, I was tested for celiac disease—which was negative.

Contrary to most people who go “gluten-free” as a way to lose weight, I decided to remained on a gluten-free diet because of the way it made me feel, both physically and mentally.

My experimentation with a vegetarian and vegan diet started the summer before I began university. I started preparing my own food, since I would be 100% responsible for cooking 3 meals a day once I moved into residence. Additionally, I noticed that milk products had started bothering me. And by that I mean gas that you could smell across the room, stabbing stomach pains, and diarrhea. Yeah, not fun for anyone.

My transition to veganism was a gradual process—one that I am still in the midst of. I do not consume any meat products, eggs, or milk when doing my own cooking and shopping; if these products are in food when I go out to eat or am with family, I am more relaxed. Food is meant to be social!


berry, vegetable, strawberry, sweet, blueberry
Julia Portnoff

I used to HATE breakfast. Scrambled eggs made me gag, I didn’t like bread all that much, and cereal got old (and mushy) so fast.

Now, I love breakfast! My go-to would be a protein smoothie: coconut water, banana, spinach, vegan protein powder, chia seeds, and frozen blueberries. Living in residence, I would whip this up the night before and store in the fridge overnight in a shaker bottle. If I’m feeling über-fancy, I’ll pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with oatmeal, raspberries, coconut, and chia seeds.

Another staple would be oatmeal. Starting with ½ cup oatmeal and ½ cup vanilla almond mixed and microwaved for 2 minutes, the possibilities are endless. I love mixing in fresh fruit and cinnamon, peanut butter, raisins, almonds, chia seeds, or maybe some dark chocolate. For a protein boost, stir in a tablespoon or two of your favourite vegan protein powder.

On the weekends, I make a huge batch of these life-changing waffles. Individually package the leftovers and store in the freezer; pop ‘em in the toaster and slather on some PB for a quick and easy breakfast.


salad, cucumber, avocado, vegetable
Jillian Rogers

Like a stereotypical vegan, I eat a lot of salads. Starting with a base of rice or quinoa, I add spinach, pepper, cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, carrot, and celery for a colourful and nutrient rich meal. With a glass of chocolate soy milk to complete the meal, this will keep you full until dinner.

One of my recent obsessions is the hummus sandwich. Believe it or not, vegan and gluten-free bread does exist! I’m lucky enough to have a local bakery that is 100% gluten free and offers many vegan options. I always have a loaf or two in my freezer. Start by making a batch of homemade hummus and toasting 2 slices of bread. Spread a layer of hummus on each slice and then add spinach, red pepper, cucumber, tomato, and a sweet pickle.

On Monday, I’ll cook enough quinoa or rice blend to last the entire week. It's always good to throw in a salad, soup, stir fry, or with some beans. If I'm in a pinch, I'll mix 1/2 a cup of grains with some broccoli, soy protein, and black beans for a protein-packed meal. To add flavour, I'll add paprika, salt, and black pepper.


vegetable, broccoli, chicken, rice, stir-fry, pepper, meat
Katherine Baker

Finding time to make dinner as a university student can be nearly impossible. I like to make big batches of food on weekends and freeze the leftovers for when I just do not have the time or energy to cook. 

If I have an assortment of veggies on the verge of expiration, I whip up a large batch of stir-fry. I heat some olive oil in a large pan with a diced onion and then add whatever veggies I have lying around; my favourite combination would be broccoli, carrot, red pepper, snap peas, and baby corns. For protein, I’ll add some tofu or textured vegetable protein. Add a couple of drops of gluten free soya sauce or some teriyaki sauce for flavour.

If you thought gluten-free meant pasta-free, think again. There are the traditional rice, quinoa, and amaranth-based pasta that are indistinguishable (and possibly tastier!) than the real thing. If you’re feeling adventurous there are also black bean, chickpea, green pea, and lentil pasta. I like to do a 50:50 blend of a grain based and protein based. Protein pasta is a lifesaver for vegans looking to add more protein to their diets. I usually rely on store bought pasta sauce, but you could also make your own sauce or upgrade it. I love this vegan Alfredo sauce. Top tomato sauces with nutritional yeast—for a cheesy flavour—and serve with a side of steamed broccoli for a well-balanced meal.


I always have a package of nuts, protein bars (this is my go-to brand), and Lara bars where ever I go. You never know when #hanger will strike.

My favourite bedtime snack is coconut oil popped popcorn sprinkled with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Bananas, apples, or toast with peanut butter is also delicious.

My bedroom is always stocked with plenty of dried fruit to snack on between meals. Dates, mango, apricots, and apple are my personal favourites.

If you’re anything like me, you always have an excess of bananas on hand. If they start going mushy, slice and freeze to use in nice cream.

Yes, it can get awkward at restaurants, but I do my best. There are many reasons to adopt a vegan diet; for me, I do it for the animals and to lower my environmental impact. GF diets are controversial, but I’d definitely recommend exploring if you experience chronic headaches, stomach pain, brain fog, or a lack of energy.