There is nothing like someone telling you-you can’t eat something to trigger an intense desire to eat all those said things! When I received the 5-day preparation guidelines for my upcoming colonoscopy, I began to crave salads, broccoli, and all kinds of vegetables, because the Low Fiber Diet does not allow them.
Knowing myself, I realized I could do this a few different ways. I could struggle and try to eat as healthy as possible, looking at the dietary limitation of the prep, which eliminates a lot of healthy foods. I could use this as an opportunity to make myself tired of the unhealthy foods allowed during the prep by overindulging in them. I could choose to focus on what I CAN eat instead of what I can’t eat and see what creative eats I could come up with. For this blog post, I decided to focus on the third option. I hope these creative tasty ideas will help you relax and enjoy some good food during your preparations.
Note: you might have different guidelines. Always listen to your doctor and ask your physicians if you have any questions. If you have diabetes, make sure you tell your doctor and find out specific recommendations.
In the days leading up to your preparation diet, you will find it helpful to avoid overeating. There is no reason to jam up traffic on a track you plan on clearing out, unless you are a fan of discomfort. You’ll also want to avoid spicy foods. I know your doctor did not tell you that, but you’re welcome.
Low Fiber Diet For Colonoscopy Prep
The Low Fiber Diet focuses on foods that are easy to digest and are going to be broken down into a liquid that is easy to clear from the colon.
The NO List
- No fresh fruits or vegetables (come on, you’re killing me!)
- No red meat
- No whole grains or multigrain, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, wild rice, kasha, quinoa, barley …
- No coconut, dried fruits, or prune juice
- No popcorn – Can you imagine the photo your doctor would get!?!? Just no!
- No dried beans, peas, or lentils
- Nothing with seeds e.g. tomatoes, berries
- Nothing raw or undercooked
- Nothing with skins or membranes like oranges, tomatoes, peas, corn …
The YES List
- White rice
- Plain white bread and crackers
- Things made with white flour.
- White pasta
- Cream of wheat
- Cold cereal with less than 1 gram of fiber per serving (I couldn’t find any. Good luck.)
- Canned or well-cooked vegetables without skins or seeds. (Yay!!!!)
- Anything allowed on the Clear Liquid Diet
- Pork, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, and tofu
- Dairy products (milk, eggs, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, sour cream, cheese, butter and faux butter)
- Canned soups with NO corn, beans, peas or grains.
Low Fiber Diet Meal Ideas
Note: If your doctor allows some low fiber canned vegetables, you can use them as a side dish
Sour Cream Waffles
Low Fiber Diet Bagel Sandwich
Plain or Egg Bagel with Cream Cheese
Pulled Pork Sandwich and Canned Carrots
Eggs with White Bread or Sourdough Toast
Sardines in mustard
Fish Fillet with Tartar Sauce
Pasta with Buttery Clam Sauce
Pirogies and Canned Spinach
Plain Jane Burrito
Clear Liquid Diet For Colonoscopy Prep
The directions I received say to drink 8 glasses of clear liquid every hour and not to eat anything PERIOD. Clear liquid was defined as any light in color liquid that you can see through and that is not red or purple in color. I actually found this part of the instructions very helpful in easing my worries about not eating all day. I kept a glass of clear liquid with me every part of the day, sipping regularly to help keep my mind comfortable.
AVOID red, purple, or dark colored liquids, because they can give a false positive for blood in your colon.
NO gelatin, dairy, or alcohol. I know, it is not fair, tequila, gin, and vodka are all clear liquids, but you will still want to avoid ALL alcohol before your procedure. Besides drug interactions, drinking alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated, making it difficult to insert an IV and well, we don’t want to even think about any other body parts being dehydrated during the procedure.
What IS on the Clear Liquid Diet:
- Water (flavored, selzer, and carbonated water are all fine, as long as you avoid adding the red, purple, or dark colors to it. Keep it clear.)
- Clear, fat-free broths like bouillon or consommé. (You will ABSOLUTELY want to get some chicken or vegetable bouillon. It was the only thing that even seemed to help by the end of the day.)
- Sport drinks, like Gatorade (lemon, lime – keep it light in color and clear)
- Pedialyte (Unflavored)
- Popsicles or Italian Ice (No red or purple)
- Lemonade (No pulp)
- Kool-Aid (No red or purple)
- Soda (Ginger ale, sprite, 7-Up, clear Birch Beer. I was also allowed Coke, Pepsi, and Root Beer. Carbonated beverages always make me feel full and bloated. I don’t normally enjoy drinking them, but in this case, full and bloated sounds good. They are just what the doctor ordered.)
- Tea and coffee (plain sugar is okay, but do not use milk, creamers, or powdered additives)
- Iced tea, sweetened or unsweetened
- Hard candy (Jolly Ranchers, Werther’s, lemon drops – avoid reds and purples)
- Clear fruit juices with no pulp (apple, white grape, white cranberry, peach)
There is also the option of eating qi or breath. It is an ancient technique used during fasting times to energize the body and help the person to feel full. It is a wonderful technique. If you wish to use this technique to lessen the discomfort of the Clear Liquid Diet, begin practicing 5-7 days before, gradually building up the number of gulps you take.
Even with all these things you can eat on the Clear Liquid Diet, you might need some distractions. Work could be a good distraction. Alternatively, you might wish to take the day off and pamper yourself with things like a massage, haircut, mani-pedi, going to a book store to discover a great read or a couple of magazines for your loopy-time after you get home from the procedure. Create a video playlist on youtube or select something to binge watch on Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, or Hulu. The important part is, to keep yourself busy and your thoughts engrossed in having fun.