Health And Diet

Looking after yourself

As an ostomate, there are a few things to consider when planning your diet and daily routine.

  • Eating little and often will allow you to regulate your output. A stoma works best if you eat 4 meals or so a day.
  • Don’t rush your meals. Take time to sit down, chew your food slowly and take care to avoid trapped air and indigestion.
  • After surgery your appetite should return quite quickly. Start introducing new foods carefully, therefore if you do experience any problems you will be aware of what could have caused them.
  • Initially you need to take care with foods that are difficult to digest, such as corn, nuts and fruit and vegetable skins, which could cause you to experience a blockage.
  • Finally, make sure that you drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day to avoid dehydration and as more fluid can be lost in the output of your stoma.

  • Overall, there are very few restrictions for ostomates and their diet. Every person’s experience is individual, and you will soon learn what foods suit your stoma best.

    Staying Hydrated
    It is important for all ostomates to stay hydrated, particularly those with an ileostomy, as it is easier to lose water through a Stoma than without. Dehydration can be indicated by increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin and decreased urine output. If you experience any of these issues make sure you monitor your fluid intake, you should aim for at least 8 glasses / mugs of fluid a day. Isotonic sports drinks can be drank to replace valuable salts and sugars that can be lost when exercising for example. As long as you replenish any lost fluids you should avoid dehydration.

    Bloating and Wind
    One of the things an ostomate can worry about, sometimes unnecessarily, is producing excess wind. There is no hard and fast rule to avoid excess wind, general common sense rules apply. For example, avoiding wind producing vegetables e.g sprouts and cabbage, fizzy drinks and making sure you take the time to chew each meal thoroughly. If problems do occur some patients recommend peppermint cordial or probiotic yoghurt to ease any bloating.


    Mouth watering but simple-to-make delights

    Chicken Curry


    1 lb. chicken, quartered
    1 onion, chopped
    10 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tbsp cumin powder
    1 oz fresh ginger, minced
    1⁄4 tsp salt
    1⁄4 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp garam masala
    1⁄2 tsp turmeric
    1⁄2 cinnamon stick
    2 cups water
    3-4 Tbsp olive oil

    Heat olive oil in large skillet to medium heat. Brown onions, garlic, ginger, and 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin powder.
    Add 1⁄2 cup water. Stir in all the rest of the spices. Add 1 1⁄2 cups water. Add chicken and stir.
    Cover and simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
    Serve hot.

    Vegetable Pasta

    4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and julienned
    1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
    1⁄2 onion, thinly sliced
    1⁄2 lb. of pasta
    Salt and black pepper to taste

    Sauté garlic, peppers, squash and onion in oil in skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
    Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain
    Toss cooked pasta with sautéed vegetables.
    Serve topped with torn basil and season to taste.

    Vegetable Soup

    1 small white onion, sliced thinly
    3 medium sized carrots, sliced
    1 small head of cauliflower, florets separated
    1 can of chopped deseeded tomatoes, or 4 large peeled tomatoes
    6 cups of water (adjust as you feel necessary)
    Olive oil
    Salt and pepper
    Chopped parsley

    Place a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
    Sauté the onion in the olive oil until well done.
    Add the vegetables and water and season with salt.
    Let it boil until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
    Once softened, pour mixture into a blender or food processor and then blend together.
    The pulsing will ensure that the vegetables are broken down for easier digestion, thus preventing blockage even more.
    Pour into a bowl and top with chopped parsley.
    Season according to taste.
    Serve with slices of bread and butter.

    Banana Pancakes

    1 cup flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1⁄4 tsp salt
    1 egg
    1 cup plain soy milk
    2 tsp vegetable oil - divided
    1⁄2 cup banana chips

    Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
    Add egg and milk. Mix until lump-free.
    Add one tsp of vegetable oil.
    Heat non-stick skillet to medium-high heat, brush with 1 teaspoon oil.
    Ladle 1⁄4 cup batter onto hot skillet.
    Arrange dehydrated bananas evenly on top of wet batter.
    Flip when bubbles appear.
    Cook until golden on each side.
    Serve with your favourite syrup or jam!