Spring Cleaning with Whole Foods – Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND

Does the idea of a detox sound extreme or a little bit daunting?  Do you think “Rehab” and not just a trip to the whole foods section of your grocery store?

What if you don’t drink alcohol in excess and you mostly eat well? Do you still need to detox?

Maybe you do.

Toxins may enter your system through the air you breathe, chemicals in food, drugs, they may come from allergic reactions. It doesn’t matter how they get in, it matters just that they get out again.


But why the need to detox?  Doesn’t the body know what it is supposed to be doing?

Yes indeed, toxins move in the body through blood and get filtered through the liver for processing out of the body to prevent damage. But with chronic exposure in daily life, the liver can get congested and sluggish. This result in the liver not performing at its best and we can experience problems.


Ask yourself some questions.

Do I feel sluggish? Do I suffer from skin rashes or eczema? Do I eat fried food and junk food? Do I crave bread or swedetox badets?  Is my stomach bloated? Do I suffer with PMS ? Are either my moods or my bowels irritable? Do I have less energy than I used to have?





A lot people reach the conclusion that there is some level of toxin build up for them and this time of year proves to be a good time to do a little Spring cleaning.  We’re good at this at home. We open the windows and let in fresh air, we clean under the beds, clear the dust bunnies.  I encourage my clients to do the very same for their bodies and their minds. open window


What does a detox look like?

For some it is more extreme with fasting, colonics, there may be necessary liver supporting supplements. For others it can be a simpler matter of eating whole foods, ie foods that don’t come packaged, drinking more water and perhaps using herbs to improve the process of removing toxins from the body.

Why is a whole food detox is a great place to start?

vegetablesA food detox helps improve the digestive system, reduces the toxic load and helps improve elimination through the liver and kidneys.  Diet and herbal programs are designed to stimulate toxin breakdown as well as proper digestion of foods and nutrients to enable you to move toxins from your cells and ensure that you are eliminating them and not reabsorbing. The goal is to feel better energy, have better digestion and better moods.  


Speak with your ND or other health practitioner for specially designed programs for you and to find out if it is safe for you to detox.  There are some people such as those who are ill, pregnant, taking certain medications that should not detox.


While on a whole foods cleanse you will be giving your liver a break and you can support this by improving other ways we detox:


We detdry brushox through our skin and this can result in rashes, little bumps, eczema. To clear this, use a loofa sponge daily to gently brush off any dead skin cells just before showering. Use circular movements, beginning in the extremities and working towards the trunk.







We detox through our lungsGet outside daily for 20 minutes of fresh air. Open your windows and let stale air out and fresh air in.

Take a big deep breath in and slowly let it out while saying in your mind.

“Breathing in I Cleanse My spirit. Breathing out I smile.” * Try it now!  How did that make you feel?


We detox through our kidneys. We need to drink enough water for them to get carried out and flushed away. A goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day.


We detox through our lymphatic system.  Massage therapy, dry brush massage, contrast shower will help with lymphatic circulation and improve detox. Visit my blog for the how to’s.


We detox through our bowels. If we get constipated we can reabsorb waste into our blood stream. We might get headaches, get tired or grumpy. We become susceptible to diseases like cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

To change this, increase fibre to at least 25g a day.  I recommend clients track their diet for a number of days and then calculate the fibre content in each day. Many are unpleasantly surprised by how little fibre there is in their normal diet.   Why don’t you track a few days of food intake and then calculate out how much fibre you are getting?


meditate We detox through our mind and remove negative thoughts and emotions which may be clouding our day. Stress, tension, anger, resentment create an unpleasant state in the body.  Our digestion is affected, our hormones are out of balance and when you aren’t thinking well, you are less able to take good care of your health. It’s easier to slip into bad habits, choose quick unhealthy snacks.

Spend at least 10 minutes a day with relaxation therapies, journaling, in meditation. Learn about EFT or NLP and see if those therapies might work for you.


You may not be suffering with a disease; you may take good care of yourself most of the time.  But if you aren’t feeling the absolute best that you could be feeling it is worth taking a few days and improving how your body is clearing chemicals, waste and inflammation.

The end result will be a rejuvenated, clearer, refreshed, Spring cleaned you!!

apple woman

For further advice and recommendations to help you make the healthiest and safest detoxing choice for you, feel free to give me a call.

Dr.Vivienne, ND

*From Peace is Every Step by Thich Nat Han

Health Inside and Out

Naturopathic Medicine and Organic Skin & Body Care

green stethescope and leaf

We are excited to offer complete health programs at the clinic. We are combining Naturopathic medical philosophy of treating the cause, and of preventative medicine, with safe, effective and luxurious skin and body treatments.
While awaiting our new website, we thought to post some information about the services on the blog. Not the usual venue for such things, but we’re working with what we have 🙂


Erika Morrison, Medical Aesthetician with over 10 years experience in the skin care industry, will provide you with in-depth skin analysis and customized treatments targeted to your personal goals and concerns. Using Eminence Organics, she provides treatments which offer you a luxurious experience, the highest quality in natural products and the radiant results you are looking for.
Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND can help you assess internal body wellness, and determine if there are any underlying issues for you and help you create a treatment plan that supports you and your body’s ability to heal.

Our intention with our packages that combine the services of Dr.Guy and Ms.Morrison is that you have the opportunity to receive expert care, diagnostics and analysis and the most luxurious and relaxing skin and body treatments. You will leave glowing and inspired with a health plan to meet your needs.


Based on your needs, your plan may include recommendations on any of the following:

Naturopathic Consultations: Nutritional Guidelines, Lifestyle Counselling, Acupuncture, Supervised Weight Loss Programs
Diagnostic Testing: For example: Liver Function Tests, Salivary Hormone Testing, Stress Tests
Skin and Body Treatments:  Slimming & Detoxifying Body Wraps, Skin Peels, Customized Facial Treatments, Cellulite Treatment

All services are always available as stand alone items from each of the professionals


A taste of our menu items from the different categories in the spa


Customized Organic Facial:  This decadent facial brings together the finest fruits, vegetables and herbs to deliver the most potent and active treatment around.Derived from Hungary’s Organic Farms means the freshest ingredients are combined with hot thermal spring water in handmade batches every two weeks, ensuring the best is offered in each treatment. It will be customized to the specific needs of your skin. as well as a hand, arm & scalp massage are included to round out this wonderful facial. Allow 75 min


Delightful treatments that can be added on to your facial service. We also have lip and hand treatment add ons

Target all eye concerns: dark circles, fatigue, puffiness and lack of elasticity with this results-oriented treatment. Active organic ingredients such as Gota Kola, Eye Bright, iron-rich Wild Plum and Vitamin K, give you the latest in eye brightening technology to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Includes gentle exfoliation, an eye mask and appropriate treatment cream. Add to any skin treatment.



Blueberry Soy Slimming Wrap: This organic body treatment slims and firms by improving circulation and the texture of the skin. A formula of blueberries, soy, herbs and seaweed increases your body’s metabolic rate and activates the lymphatic system. A dry brush exfoliation starts the process, stimulating blood flow and absorption of the nutrient rich products. allow 75 min ( a series of these treatements are recommended. Erika can discuss timing with you)



Hand & Foot Treatments:

Foot-soakAu Naturel foot treatment: A facial for your feet! Experience amazing relaxation with a luxurious antioxidant tea soak, followed by a delicious sugar scrub with scents of your choice, then experience soothing massage of the feet and legs, afterwards you will receive a mask suited to your tender toots needs as well as deep hydration. Nail care will follow and finish with buffing with a chamoise buffer to reveal your nails natural shine that replaces the use of polish and will last for days. Your feet will look and feel brand new!

Thyroid 101 – part 0ne – Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND

Helping you understand this little and powerful gland.


Perhaps you have heard of the thyroid gland. It’s a common body part to hear of when the conversation turns to weight issues, energy or dry skin for example.

This gland is our energy engine. It helps us with our pep, with our get-up-and-go. And when we can’t get up and go anywhere, it’s often the first place we look in medicine to see what’s up with that?


Where is it and where does it work?

This little engine sits at the lower front part of our neck . The effects aren’t just there however. This engine produces tiny things (hormones) that then travel to other organs in the body and that is where the effects take place. These hormones are the key to body energy function.

Why we think to look to the thyroid?

We commonly notice the thyroid when it is low functioning. The most common symptom is, fatigue. But as we are all individual, it may not present that way for all.  Other common symptoms that can come on slowly are severe headaches, repeated infections, skin problems, menstrual disturbances, concentration difficulties, Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, dizziness, paranoid symptoms, infertility, muscle aches, hearing disturbances, gout, arthritis, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),  poor absorption of your nutrients from your food, constipation, burning and prickly bodily sensations, and higher cholesterol with increase risk of heart disease.  (Think about that one for a minute….. You could be on cholesterol lowering drugs but it may not be that your cholesterol in high because your body is making too much. It may be that your thyroid isn’t allowing for the cholesterol to be used up properly and therefore it stockpiles. Fix the thyroid and the cholesterol may go back to normal. We can talk about that one later)

Have a look at this image to see common symptoms for HyPER and HyPO functioning thyroid


What are the thyroid hormones?

Yes…first things first.


 High up in the brain in the Hypothalamus, a hormone called TRH is released.

This goes on to another part of the brain, the pituitary, that produces TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) As it’s name says, it STIMULATES the thyroid.

It stimulates the thyroid to produce Thyroxine, we just call it T4 as it’s easier. And a little bit of T3.

But that hormone isn’t the active form, it is just the first stage. That T4, goes through the body and is changed in the liver to the T3, the worker bee, the hormone that can actually have an effect in the tissues.

That’s a good amount for 101- next post will go into explanations of common findings on lab work

Emergency visit for peanut allergy due to misread labels – Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND

Heads up to everyone. I just spent last night in the emergency room at the childrens hospital here in Ottawa. My son was given a chocolate bar as a halloween treat from a person who knew about his peanut allergy. She read the label and saw that stated. “May contain traces of tree nuts”. My son knew he wasn’t allergic to tree nuts, so it was determined that he was safe to have that treat.

halloween peanut

A few minutes later at home, he mentioned to me that his tongue felt weird. I didn’t think to look at the chocolate bar wrapper in the garbage as an adult had read it already and she knew that he was allergic to peanuts, so I didn’t have to double check…right??? WRONG.

45 minutes later he was doubled over in pain at the dinner table, again I didn’t immediately react as I thought it was just hunger pains as dinner had been a little bit late. But the pain persisted and so we called the adult and left a message, “so…I know you didn’t give him peanut, but we’re wondering what you did give him as he is pain right now” a few minutes later, the call came back and “oh my god, I am so sorry, it has peanuts in it”. And off to the ER we went.

So…..peanuts weren’t in the warning in bold after the ingredients, as this is the precautionary section for the times where in a factory the product may have come in contact with a particular food. The mistake was that the person thought that all allergens would be listed in bold, but no……the peanut was an actual ingredient in the product so was listed in the regular print in the ingredient list..

Please read all ingredient labels thoroughly. A life could be at stake.

We were lucky, we had emergency care right around the corner, and my son received many medications including an injection of epinephrine, steroids, and more. We needed to shut down the allergic reaction in many organ systems. By the time we got to the ER his skin was blotchy, his mouth was itchy, his stomach hurt, his breathing was laboured. We were lucky that his response wasn’t deadly.

One little error, one avoidable little error. And dismissing symptoms because we weren’t expecting them and our guard was down.

Again, please read all ingredient labels thoroughly. Please react to any sign from your child that they are having a reaction…itchy tongue, stomach pain. A life could be at stake.

Mental Illness Awareness – Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND


Each month our attention is drawn to particular areas for health promotion. Health Canada provides information on the monthly topics and individual days. One area of focus for October is Mental Illness.  World Mental Health Day was on October 10th. All across the world people gathered to acknowledge the impact of mental illness on their lives.

Mental illness takes so many forms, just as a physical illness can. Anxiety, depression,  psychosis, ADHD, Eating Disorders, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, post traumatic stress disorders, post partum depression.

According to Stats Canada, In 2012, approximately 2.8 million people, or 10.1% of Canadians aged 15 and older, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental or substance use disorders in the past 12 months. The six disorders measured by the survey were major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and abuse of or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.



 It used to be that no one ever talked about their mental health, and people suffered in silence. In my clinical practice there is open dialogue in this area.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. It was previously stated that there was no “official” definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how “mental health” is defined.

One cannot be healthy overall without feeling mentally well. Let’s talk.




I’m sure that you have heard the Naturopathic philosophy of treat a person, not a disease. It doesn’t matter if you have been given a label in the past, when we work together, the conversation is all about you, not the label. We chat about your eating habits, social habits, energy levels, health goals,  how are you feeling. And the protocol is based on you.



I have had cases where medical doctors have sent clients to me who either weren’t candidates for or didn’t want pharmaceuticals for their diagnosed “condition”. In many a case the situation was one that could be explained. The client was overloaded, maybe was burning the candle at both ends, was suffering with grief or loss or wasn’t eating well. They appreciated it when we looked at all of this and when they could see that it made sense that they weren’t feeling 100%. They felt listened to after our time together felt hopeful and they felt supported.


When we look for a reason why, there is most often an answer. 

While there are times when mental illness doesn’t quite fully go away, the person can always be helped. When we look for a reason why, there is often an answer. Many controllable things may contribute to mental illness. It is important to look for underlying causes.  As mentioned above, life circumstances could be at the root of why a person is suffering.

Naturopathic doctors also know that important areas to assess are nutrition and digestion.

Some questions asked are.

Are there vitamin or mineral deficiencies present? Are there food intolerances?

Here are top physiological and nutritional imbalances that we can check for when you are suffering with mental health issues. From the website of a Toronto based ND . His website is a wealth of information that details all that is in a Naturopathic Doctors treatment bag.

We can do food intolerance testing, we can also do vitamin and mineral assessments, we can determine if you are digesting properly and absorbing all of the nutrients from the food that you are actually eating. We can look for reasons why you or someone you love isn’t feeling as well as they could be mentally. Contact the clinic if you would like to work with Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND


Resources for you

If you need immediate help 24 hours a day you can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. Whether you are worried or anxious or considering harming yourself, give them a call. Caregivers can also call and get assistance in helping those in distress.

Visit the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Their physical location is close to our clinic. It is at 1355 Bank Street, Suite 301 Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8K7

E cmhaoc@magma.ca
F (613) 737-7644
P (613) 737-7791


Remember that you are not alone. Remember to keep talking about mental illness. There should be no stigma. Remember that there are many ways that mental illness may show up in life.

Anxiety, depression,  psychosis, ADHD, Eating Disorders, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, post traumatic stress disorders, post partum depression.

Remember that there is always help and support and often steps to take to get you or your loved one feeling better.

mental illness no stigma

“I Got Glutened!”

This week, we’re thrilled to feature a guest blog by Sally, a client of Sunrise Wellness. Sally, thank you so much for your excellent article – and good luck at the next holiday dinner!


I Got Glutened!

This year (2012) was my first Christmas since I went gluten free. I’ve

been gluten, dairy, and egg free since late January 2012, so I have a
pretty good handle on how to cook for my needs at home, but visiting
family and holiday traditions meant more chances for trouble. I’m
really lucky, because both my family and my in-laws are very
considerate of my food sensitivities. They’ve seen how much better I am
since cutting things out and they’ve been really supportive, so I had
input on most meals. As a result, the “glutening” of Christmas 2012 was
the product of my own oversight (and not anyone else’s fault). I have
been able to tolerate very small amounts of gluten without significant
reactions, so I wasn’t too concerned about cross-contamination. I
figured that I would be ok to eat turkey, provided it was cut from an
area of the bird that was not in direct contact with the gluten-filled
stuffing. Boy was I wrong!!
Eating turkey at Christmas dinner resulted in immediate feelings of
bloat, tiredness (way more than could be accounted for by the
tryptophan in the turkey) and some brain fog. At first I thought it
was just normal holiday tiredness. I didn’t really realize what was
going on until it happened again after lunch the next day (when I ate
some more of my non-stuffing-touching turkey). All of the bloat,
tiredness, and brain fog came back in a sudden wave, followed shortly
thereafter by nausea, intestinal cramps, and severe diarrhea (which
lasted for 12 hours or so). My body had reached its limit and was
“blowing the hatches” as it were to get rid of all traces of the
gluten insult. And I know it was the turkey, because nothing else I
ate was even remotely suspect. After some research I found celiac
websites warning against eating turkey that has been stuffed.
Apparently, as the juices flow through the turkey as it cooks, the
gluten molecule travels along with it and contaminat
es the whole turkey. If only I had done that research BEFORE Christmas!
I don’t test as celiac, though (as is now clear from this experience)
I am pretty strongly intolerant of gluten. It took me almost two weeks
to get my digestive system back on track after that incident. However,
I think the experience was worth it, because it showed me just how
worthwhile all the effort I put into avoiding gluten really is. I am
happy to give up my stuffing and cook my turkey separately if it means
a healthy digestive system and a clear mind!!

Sally Busch
Health Psychology M.A. Student and patient of Dr Guy