Protein, especially post-op, is an important element to healing. Not getting enough HIGH QUALITY protein could delay your wound healing and/or create complications for you after your surgery.
I’ve been using plant-based proteins to help with my recovery (specifically soy), but there are many other non-soy options available to vegans. It’s been unfortunate for us, but the meat industry has made protein synonymous with meat (just as calcium has been marketed as the only source of bone-healthy calcium). We know through decades of research that plant-proteins can be as good as animal-proteins, and you get the benefits without the extras like saturated fat, cholesterol or dietary hormones.
Of course, depending on WHY you ended up with an ostomy, your ability to eat certain foods or the right quantity of foods may be a challenge. The post-op ileostomy diet can be restrictive when it comes to being able to eat healthy, fiber-containing, protein-rich foods like legumes, but protein powders are an excellent resource to use. If you add it to a non-dairy milk, you’ll get even more benefits as they are often fortified with essential nutrients. Tofu, is a “safe” post-op food, which can be eaten whole or even blended into a smoothie if you like. To be honest, I enjoy tofu right out of the package, but marinating and cooking it takes it to a whole new level!
Soy isn’t the devil it’s been made out to be. John Robbins wrote a very lengthy piece on it if you feel like reading more about anti-soy propaganda: What about soy? But what if you still want to avoid soy? Look for non-soy proteins like pea or rice. Some examples include:
There are others, LOTS of others, but these are a few that are easy to find. If you have any doubts, try to find a dietitian who’s familiar with plant-based diets and have them make additional recommendations or suggest other ways to incorporate protein into your healing phase. I’ve written a guide on how to find an experienced Registered Dietitian HERE.
If you’ve been using a protein product, which one did you settle on?
Updated: Feb 19, 2015