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Summer is fast approaching – is healthy eating possible with a stoma?

The season of ‘what on earth have I consumed’ is almost over and will soon be a distant memory. I am still amazed at how many different variations of foods I have consumed and even more surprised by how much I have been stuffing my face the last six weeks. I am feeling rather bloated and uncomfortable.

‘Is eating healthily with a stoma difficult? I can’t eat that! Can I adapt recipes? How do I stoma-proof that plate?’

What is healthy eating?

‘To eat more wholesome foods, so things such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.’

Healthy eating

Things to avoid are:

‘Processed foods such as, snack foods, sweets, and other packaged foods.’

How do I start eating healthily?

I adopted healthy eating just over a year ago. I struggled during the first year of my second stoma formation and was too frightened to risk eating the foods that might have caused me problems. After a fair amount of research and asking other ostomates for advice, I kept a list of what I could and couldn’t eat. I am rather well-versed in foods that cause my insides grief due to my Crohn’s disease, so I am fairly knowledgeable with my own body’s needs and what I am able to tolerate.

My best advice to anyone reading this would be to keep a food diary, so you can track what upsets your stoma and track what doesn’t, as you know your own body better than anyone else.

Healthy eating

I still keep a food diary and I plan my meals for the week ahead. I grab my cookbooks and write down a shopping list for what I need to cook the menu I have in front of me.

What do I eat?

I eat a pretty varied diet, stoma permitting. I avoid trouble foods, as listed previously in other blog posts, just purely because I have narrowing of the bowel leading up to my ileostomy and I would rather not intentionally cause myself a self-inflicted stoma blockage. I have a fair few cookbooks purchased and I have memorised a few recipes, which I use as regular favourites. Getting back into the gym has also helped me and I eat high protein, no carbohydrates on rest days and then eat carbohydrates and high protein on the days I do go to the gym. I have found that this works for me, but you will have to research and check what works for you.

A list of the cookbooks I use:

  • The Fat Loss Plan – Joe Wicks
  • ITSU – The Cookbook
  • Ways with Noodles – Wagamama
  • The Wagamama Cookbook- Hugh Arnold
  • Lean in 15 – Joe Wicks
  • Cooking with Family & Friends – Joe Wicks

cookbooks

Looking at the recipes can be daunting and on a few occasions the start-up process of having to buy the key ingredients may cause you to ask yourself, ‘how much did that cost?’ In the long run, your health could benefit and I find that eating this way is more enjoyable and fulfilling because I am a feeder and love to cook with my headphones in.

I typically adapt any recipe I use to my stoma needs and make the odd variation when it says to ‘add onions,’ so I use onion paste or granules to add that sort of flavour when I feel it’s needed.

That’s it for me about eating healthily into summer.

Many thanks for reading,

Louise X

If you want to know more about nutrition with a stoma, please read our Exercise and Nutrition booklet.

*Disclaimer*

This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine.

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