Ostomy Lifestyle Question (July 2015)


I have developed bowel adhesions after surgery for colorectal cancer.  For last six to eight months I have been hospitalized with numerous bowel obstructions.  I am on a low fibre diet and have adjusted my diet to puréed meals.  I need some suggestions as to nutritious meal prep.  Can anybody help me.  I walk a lot.


Congratulations, walking provides us with a host of health benefits. Some of the benefits include, reduced risk for high blood pressure, reduce level of current high blood pressure, build healthy and strong bones, muscles and joints, improves blood flow throughout the body, and more.

Eating well as part of a healthy lifestyle can help strengthen your body and increase your over all well-being. For some of us, a low-residue diet that is puréed can sound pretty bland, but it certainly does not have to be.

To start with, what is a low-residue diet? It’s a diet that limits high-fibre foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, raw or dried fruits, and vegetables.

“Residue” refers to undigested food, including fibre, that make up stool. The goal of the diet is to have fewer, smaller bowel movements each day, in order to ease symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach cramping.

A puréed diet is made up of foods that require no chewing, such as mashed potatoes and pudding. Other foods may be blended or strained to make them the right consistency, the key here is right consistency, and so, one does not have to compromise on creativity and taste. A little trick is to add liquids, such as broth, milk (if lactose intolerant – use lactose free milk), juice, or water will make a dish the right consistency. These liquids are compliments and can also add to the flavour of your dish.

No matter what your diet requirements are, always eat foods that have all the nutrients your body needs to keep you healthy. This includes:

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Fibre (low)
  • Vitamins and minerals

It is also recommended that you drink plenty of liquids. However, speak to your doctor or dietician to find out the amount of liquid that would be best for you.

Fruits and vegetables – the skin and seeds of any fruits and vegetables are loaded with fibre, so peeling skin and avoiding seeds is part of a low-residue diet. You will want to ensure your fresh vegetables are well cooked. Remember, no seeds and so if you are cooking squash, ensure all seeds have been removed, for example. Other vegetables that you can enjoy are asparagus tips, beets, green beans, carrots, spinach. You can enjoy cooked potatoes without skin and tomato sauce (no seeds). It’s amazing how many vegetables and fruits you can enjoy, and cook in innovative ways that will be a joy to your pallet.

Fruits you can also enjoy are: ripe bananas, soft cantaloup, honeydew, canned or cooked fruits without seeds or skin, such as applesauce or canned pears that you can purée. Avocados are a good source of healthy fat that are low in residue and can be puréed. You can purée an avocado and then drizzle some soy sauce over them. I’ve also learned some people eat avocados for desert with chocolate syrup on top. I haven’t tried this myself, but it sure sounds interesting. And, interesting is the key to turning a simple low-residue/puréed meal into a gastric delight.

Food ideas and recommendations when considering your puréed diet:

Type of Food: Milk and Dairy Products
Recommended: Milk, yogurt plain or well- puréed with a soft fruit,  puréed cottage cheese, processed cheeses melted into a sauce. Ice cream, frozen yogurt. Liquid nutritional supplements such as Ensure, Boost, or Carnation Breakfast Essentials, for example.

Type of Food: Vegetables
Recommended: Vegetable juices,  puréed cooked vegetables. Don’t forget to make your vegetables interesting, by adding a broth to the mixture, for example.

Type of Food: Fruits
Recommended: Fruit juices and nectars. Smooth applesauce, puréed fruits.

Type of Food: Starches
Recommended:  Puréed Cream of Rice, whipped or smooth mashed potatoes, puréed pasta, rice.

Type of Food: Meat or Mean Substitutes
Recommended: Strained or puréed meat, fish and poultry.  Puréed hummus.

Type of Food: Fats
Recommended: Butter, margarine, sour cream, coconut oil. Whipped toppings.

Type of Food: Soups
Recommended: Broth, bouillon. Soups with puréed vegetables.  Puréed cream soups, chicken noodle or chicken and rice soup.

Type of Food: Sweets and Desserts
Recommended: Plain custards or puddings, sherbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt, flavoured gelatine (Jell-O®). Flavoured fruit ices, popsicles, fruit whips. Clear jelly, honey. Chocolate syrup, maple syrup.

Type of Food: Miscellaneous
Recommended: Salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise. Herbs and spices.


The following is a low-residue/puréed soup to make for yourself, that you will also enjoy serving to your family and friends:


Butternut/Winter Squash Soup
(Recipe – 4 servings)


2 ¼ lbs butternut squash

1  Cup chopped onions

1  Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1  Tablespoon butter

4  Cups vegetable broth or chicken broth

Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 450.

  • Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place flat sides down on a baking sheet.
  • Roast the squash for 40-45 minutes or until it is very tender.
  • Allow squash to cool.
  • While the squash is roasting, sauté the onion and ginger in the butter over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft.
  • Add the broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop the cooled squash from the skin.
  • Place half the squash and half the broth in a blender, purée until smooth.
  • Repeat with the other half of the squash and broth.
  • If needed, add water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Return the soup to the sauce pan and reheat.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • If desired, garnish each serving with a spoonful of sour cream.


Bon Appétit