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8 Tips to Eat Clean and Vegan on a Low Fiber Diet for a Stricture

Vegetables and grains make a per bowl
Eating clean seems impossible on a low fiber diet, but it isn’t. I have 8 tips to help you.

I started transitioning to a vegan diet before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. By the time I had a diagnosis for all of my weird symptoms and had a specialist, the damage had been done. I had a stricture and was told to eat a low fiber diet to prevent a blockage.

A low fiber diet eliminates raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Telling someone who eats a plant-based diet to eat low fiber is like telling an athlete to stop conditioning during workouts. It just doesn’t make sense. “But everything I eat has fiber,” I protested to my doctor. He sent me to a nutritionist and together we made a plan. Today I’m sharing 8 tips to eat clean on a low fiber diet for a stricture.

I followed the plan for almost two years before we decided that surgery was the next option for me. Throughout those two years, I never had to go to the ER or call my doctor with any emergency problems.

*I am not a doctor, and the tips below are not a substitute for advice from a licensed medical professional. This is simply what worked for me. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your routine.*

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission from any purchases you make. Thank you for supporting Balanced Life and Travel!*

1. Smoothies

Blueberry smoothie in a glass surrounded by fresh blueberries
Smoothies pack a ton of nutrition without the risk of eating fruit whole

“But that’s raw fruit!” you might think. This is true, but I drank a smoothie every morning with no problem because I used a Vitamix to liquify everything – even the seeds in the berries. A Vitamix is pricey — and worth every penny. I began every day with a nutrition bomb from the almond milk, vegan protein powder, and fruit I drank. Sometimes I got wild in threw in some greens but not often. Didn’t want to tempt fate!

2. Roast your veggies to the edge of oblivion

I ate broccoli on my low fiber diet. Cauliflower and carrots too. I just covered them in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and roasted them in a 425 degree oven for forever. Making sure they were very thoroughly cooked and soft made it just fine for me. Then I’d make a nutritious, protein-packed dressing from avocado or tahini and put it all over white rice for a well-rounded meal that was oh so satisfying.

3. Chew your food

Seriously. Slow down, take small bites, and chew your food. When I was told to chew a bite of food 30 times, I began counting. I averaged 10 chews. That was horrifying. I could absolutely tell a difference in the comfort of my digestion based on how slowly or quickly I ate. Still can today even though I’m stricture free. Counting every single bite can take all the fun out of eating, so count for a few and notice how the food feels. As you learn what your bite should feel like before swallowing, it’ll become more automatic to chew enough.

4. Protein

“Yeah, but where do you get your protein?!” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this one. Beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts are NOT on the low fiber diet as whole foods. The trick here is to puree. Refried beans, hummus, or nut butter will give you all of the nutrition of the whole food with fewer risks. It took me a while to like tofu and soy can be hard to digest, so I limited it to 2ish servings a week. All of that along with my protein powder in my morning smoothie, and I had what I needed.

5. Hydration

Pitcher of water with lemon slices

Drink water. Start by replacing one non-water drink a day. The more water you drink, the better your digestion functions. Because your digestive system is already in distress, help it out by making sure it has the water it needs. Common wisdom says 64 oz a day. For those of you looking to level up, aim for half your body weight in fluid ounces. Get yourself a water bottle you enjoy (I love my Klean Kanteen tumbler) and keep it with you all day.

6. Choose enriched products when possible

I stay away from foods that come in packages most of the time, but there are a few processed or premade things I get. Pasta is a good example. When I choose pasta, I look for one that is enriched with vitamins and minerals. Same with almond milk or fruit juice. If there is one with added vitamin D and calcium, you know which container I’m reaching for! It’s important to look for extra doses of nutrition anywhere you can find it.

7. Supplements

When my disease is active, I make sure to take a high-quality multivitamin, vitamin D + calcium, B12, and turmeric. Check labels closely to make sure you’re choosing vegan products that come from whole food sources as much as possible. Supplements can get expensive, so shop around and make the best choice you can make for yourself. Or, check out my post on avoiding malnutrition and dehydration for the things I use personally.

8. Treat yo self!

Go ahead and get that vegan dark chocolate bar! Cacao has antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like iron, so you are nourishing your body, mind, and spirit.

3 Day Low Fiber Diet Plan Download

I put together a 3 day meal plan that uses all of these tips so you can see what a few typical days looked like for me when I was on a low fiber diet. Enter your email address below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.

So how about you? Have you been on a low fiber diet before? What did you eat? Did you find an idea here that you hadn’t thought about? Let us know in the comments and share this post with someone who could use it.

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10 thoughts on “8 Tips to Eat Clean and Vegan on a Low Fiber Diet for a Stricture”

  1. Thank you for this article. I have diverticulitis and have to be on a low residue diet a lot of the time. I also went vegan to help with my disease. I can’t imagine cauliflower and the gas. I see the dietician tomorrow and I will ask her about the veggies you mentioned and hummus. I did invest in a good juicer and I can get nutrients from veggies there and I will ask about smoothies.
    Thank you again for providing information no one else seems to offer.

    1. I’m so happy! Definitely check with your nutritionist because all of this is SO personal. What works for one person can be a road to painful gas and bloating for another. I did a lot of trial and error to find what worked for me, and I found that making sure I chew a LOT was the biggest game changer. Cheering for you!

  2. Hi Thank you, I have PMP which is a rare type 9f cancer and following major surgery I have a stoma so have to follow a low fibre diet. I’m struggling as was so healthy before eating salads and lots of fresh vegetables. You’ve given me some really helpful ideas. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Cathy! I’m so glad you found this helpful. Being put on a low fiber diet was a shock for me — I never knew doctors would recommend that! It took a while for me to adjust to life without raw fruit (especially in summer!) but it’s totally doable. Let me know if I can help in any other way. Welcome to our community!

  3. I am glad I found this page. I had my gallbladder out in August but the pain still persisted. Test after test, still no confirmed answers other than bile issues. GI dr asked what caused my pain yesterday, a salad. After the endoscope he told me to try a restricted low fiber, low fat, low dairy diet. What do you mean low fiber? NO SALADS. I’m vegetarian what am I supposed to do? Everything online says refined white flour products. Wheat is not good for me either. I wish I could get a Vitamix as well. Thanks for the diet suggestions.

    1. Hey Jen! I’m happy this was helpful for you! I’ve also had my gall bladder removed, so I feel you there. This plan isn’t low fat, so keep an eye on that. 😉 Save up for or watch Black Friday sales for the Vitamix. I cannot fully explain how that one machine changed my life. The warranty is awesome, so you can be confident in such a high-ticket item. I’ve never regretted getting one for a moment! Welcome to our community! Reach out if you need anything!

  4. Thanks for writing this post. I had colon cancer in my early 20s which restricted my fibre and fat intake, then pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago which further affected fat and fibre and added sugar to my reduced intake list. This article has given me lots of good pointers. Can I ask what protein powder you use for breakfast smoothies? I’d.consider adding it to porridge to fortify it as much as possible.

    1. Protein powder in porridge is a great idea! My personal favorite is from Orgain. I can get a huge tub of it affordably at Costco. My second favorite is anything by Vega. Orgain was developed by a doctor, and Vega was started by elite ultramarathoner Brendan Brazier. Hope you can find one or both of those to try!

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