Hi All,

I am almost 1 month post op and have been on the GI soft diet per my doctors orders. I have a loop ileostomy and my J Pouch has already been constructed. Pre-surgery I loved fresh fruits and vegetables. Salads with grilled chicken were one of my favorite dinners. I am missing my veggies. I know that raw veggies wouldn’t be a smart move for me right now but does anyone have any suggestions for which vegetables to introduce first and how to prepare them? My surgeon said I will be able to eat vegetables again and told me to introduce new foods one at a time but I am so afraid of potential blockages! Also, I’m not sure how soon to start introducing even cooked vegetables. Any J Pouch chefs feel free to come forward! 


Thanks ☺️


Original Post

Hello, JMitch, and happy holidays.

I introduced vegetables into my diet very slowly, around my 2nd month after reversal. I started with spinach that was steam-wilted to very soft. Remove the stems and use only the leaves. I added big bunches of spinach to simmering soup at the last few minutes while the pot was still simmering on the stove, lid put back on, and the spinach allowed to wilt in the hot liquid. You might need to push down and stir the spinach. This takes around 2 minutes so that why it's added at the last few minutes of cooking. Spinach wilts down to very little so you can add huge amounts. Spinach doesn't need to be boiled to grey mush, just wilted, keeping it green coloured. It has lots of vitamins and minerals, is low calorie and one of the best greens.

I also ate zucchini. Make sure you peel the zucchini because the skin might be too hard for your new pouch to process right now. The zucchini flesh was sliced or chopped. Drizzled with olive oil and salt (you need the salt now) and put under the broiler until slightly browned.  I made big pans of zucchini so I'd have lots. Steamed broccoli is a vegetable I was able to eat from the start, I don't know why, since it is a firm vegetable. Broccoli is mostly insoluable fiber so I steamed it well before eating.

Sweet potatoes are good and have more nutrition than white potato. Leave the peel in, and poke lots of holes all over the sweet potato with a fork to allow steam to escape, put into the microwave for 5 minutes or more, until it feels soft. Slice open and scoop with a spoon! 

I couldn't eat salads (lettuces) for at least a year or longer. It caused minor problems for me, but if you miss your salad and chicken meals try it in very small, well-chewed amounts and see how it goes.

Google and choose vegetables that are soluable fiber (turns to mush in the digestive system and comes out soft). Introduce the in-soluable vegetables later on (these don't break down in the digestive system -- like skins and peels -- and pretty much comes out the way it went in!)

At my 2nd month my surgeon told me to start re-introducing foods and vegetables slowly, one item at a time so you know next day how it's going. Just remember to chew, chew, chew very thoroughly so your pouch receives food that is already pulverized. I hope you can eat and enjoy many foods over this holiday season. Best wishes and happy new year!

Hi Jess, this isn't really advice, this is just what I did.  I'm now 12 months out


for the 2 months I stuck religiously to the diet sheet, this was no problem for me because I didn't fancy food anyways, so I considered it more a list of stuff I must consume than a list of stuff I may consume.  Then I started to introduce really slight variety.  I went straight to corn/popcorn and mushrooms in moderation which chewed thoroughly, because I test the problem foods... but mostly I stuck to the diet sheet for a full 3 months.


When I was happy that well chewed food wasnt going to cause me a blockage, I went straight the making hot veggie smoothies (soups, which typically have kale, spinach, carrot, broccoli and sweet potato boiled up for 15 mins and blended).  This went through me pretty fast, but I felt the body needed it (and I was used to veggies pre op too) so I persevered.  I personally think the healing sludge is great for my insides.  It took 6 to 8 weeks before I started to get used to the soups (I had the soup 4 days a week with 3 days 'rest')


I still get a bit of gas and volume with soup, but it's a slurpy and dense food, so that's not unexpected.  I tend to have it when I get home from work.


From that point I was eating everything and anything (5 months post op) with confidence.  I shall re-iterate food does still affect me.  I won't eat a big bowl of veggies of I have a long flight to catch, I will eat relatively small and safe food closer to the original food list (which if you think about it is the same as an in flight meal!).  But I can go out for a meal and eat what I like, or go around family for Xmas and it won't break me.  If I stick to diet sheet and eat in smaller volumes I go perhaps 4 to 5 times a day, or I can eat greasy danger foods and a big bowl of veg soup and be 7 or 8 times (most bathroom visits are in a steady 4 hot stretch of the evening)


I also take probiotics, 1x loperomide 2 x daily but no benefiber etc.




My j pouch was created  during June  2014 at St Marks Hospital London.

Just after surgery I completely lost my appetite for two weeks; maybe 3 weeks if including time spent in the High Dependancy Unit.

Once back on a General Ward I was encouraged to eat immediately and meals consisted mostly of mashed potatoes.

 My hospital food was rather bland, I can remember being served fish, potatoes and green beans, in fact no matter what I chose from the Low Residue menu, it was always accompanied with green beans and a variation of potatoes and nothing else or sometimes gravy.

I was also encouraged to eat bananas and apple pies too

On leaving hospital I was told to avoid eating lettuce, cucumber sweetcorn, sprouts, broccoli.

For 5 or 6 months since the creation of the J pouch my appetite had not completely returned, in fact, kinda without  realising, my appetite only returned to what I consider normal  6 or 7 months after takedown, now I eat absolutely anything.

Last edited by strange

Avoid lettuce and mushrooms and chew your food very well until you have a better idea what will and won't cause problems.

So you have an ostomy right now, correct? There are a ton of resources online. My ostomy nurse told me to avoid mushrooms because they expand in the stomach and can cause issues. Avoid celery and lettuce. I think I tried lettuce (like a bit on my sandwich every now and then. I think trying things in small portions is key. I know what you mean about missing things though - I really wanted an apple when I had my ostomy. I didn't want to risk it. 

Thank you everyone for the responses! BUBBA yes I have a loop ileostomy right now. I accidentally ate a clementine today. I started work today for the first time since surgery and I totally forgot I even had an ostomy which I guess is sort of a good thing! Anyway, I know clementines have that membrane around the fruit. So far I have been feeling ok and still have output so I know there isn’t a blockage but it definitely caused me some anxiety. Ugh

Could someone let me know where to get a copy of a diet sheet. When I had my operation back in 1988, there was no advice.  Am having some trouble with pouchitis and want to put myself on a diet so might like to see what is on that diet sheet so I can play around with it. Thanks


Many good points are made on this blog





Before surgery and during my recovery, I found lot of information about food and j pouch concerns on the University of California San Francisco site. It has information not just for our type of surgery, but all kinds of surgeries and health information.  Just key in "j pouch" when you're on the site and it should give you lots of links and subjects. The site is


I hope it helps you with food.

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