Eating and drinking can bring pleasure, especially during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. When living with a bowel stoma, and whether you’re fasting or not, each meal should be filling, energising, and hydrating, but not too tough to digest. Keep aiming to include a balance of the different food groups which will help you to feel as well as possible throughout your day.
To help write the following advice, we’ve spoken to people who partake in Ramadan and celebrate Eid al-Fitr from different cultures. If you feel we haven’t gotten something quite right, please let us know.
Disclaimer: There can be side effects to fasting so we suggest you ask your healthcare professional if it’s safe for you. The following advice does not replace any you’ve received from your specialist.
Our top tips:
Chew your food very well and choose more:
Foods you find your gut can manage
Soft rather than tough meats, fish or similar
Easy to digest vegetables
Well-cooked legumes and pulses, e.g. lentils, beans and similar foods (if you eat these)
Fresh fruit rather than dried
Low-sugar and non-fizzy drinks
You may find you can enjoy your favourite dishes as they are but in smaller portions. There’s no need to miss out or make recipe changes unless you need to.
Suggested food swaps:
Dates and other dried fruits
As a sweet alternative, you could have fresh fruit, e.g. melon or mango.
Borek, Samosas, Pakoras, Spring Rolls and similar
They often contain onions, spinach, and other vegetables that may be tougher to digest. If you make these foods yourself, try blending the ingredients for the filling, until they’re smooth, before you cook them.
Foods containing legumes and pulses, e.g. Harira, Ful madammas, Yayla Çorbasi, Kitchari, Moi Moi [subheading]
You can blend the legumes/pulses; the dish will have a creamier and thicker texture which you might prefer. You could swap some of the legumes/pulses for protein-rich foods like tofu, and easier to digest vegetables, such as cauliflower florets (stalks removed), peeled chunks or slices of courgette, or aubergine.
Salads, e.g. Fattoush and Tabbouleh
If you’d like to eat these but are unsure if your gut can manage salad, try just a little and adjust the ingredients, e.g. peel the cucumber, and roast any tomatoes. Remove onions and standard oil dressings and use some garlic-infused olive oil. This can cause less bag ballooning and smells.
Baklava, Oum Ali, Ma’amoul, and similar
If making these yourself, you could blend the nuts and fruit until they’re smooth before adding to the rest of the ingredients and cooking. Or, you can try using ground nuts, nut butter, or other soft fruits, e.g. berries.
For some other options, you may like to try our Ostomates Kitchen recipes, e.g:
Tray Baked Sea Bass
Chicken Curry and Pilaf Rice
Almond and Apple Scones
Black Forest Smoothie
For more advice about eating well for stoma-health, please see the ideas shared in our nutrition, hydration, and recipe guides.
About the advice and opinions of our bloggers
We hope you enjoyed this article from our guest blogger. They are expressing their views or knowledge on a topic because of their experience & background. Some of the opinions expressed may not reflect the views of Fittleworth or your NHS professional.
It goes without saying, but this is not clinical advice. Each person will have an individual set of medical factors to consider. So please do not to make significant changes to your diet, exercise or treatments before consulting with a NHS professional.
Laura Coster is a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about helping people feel confident in managing their health and find joy through what they eat. She has worked in the NHS advising people at various stages of their stoma journey. She has collaborated with Fittleworth on different projects, including creating resources for Ostomates Kitchen: https://www.fittleworth.com/ostomates-kitchen/