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Best Low-Fiber Recipes for Pre-Colonoscopy Preparation

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    Why Low-Fiber Before A Colonoscopy

    One of the most important things you can do before your colonoscopy is properly prepare your bowels. Your physician will most likely give you an instruction sheet or pamphlet with specific directions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy. In these directions you may be given a sample diet plan for the days preceding your procedure. Many doctors prescribe a low-fiber diet before a colonoscopy to reduce the dietary fiber in the digestive tract. Eating foods low in fiber helps to make the bowel cleanse run smoother for patients and ensures that there are no residual fibers left in the colon during the visualization of the colon. 

    Many doctors prescribe a low-fiber diet before a colonoscopy to reduce the dietary fiber in the digestive tract. Eating foods low in fiber helps to make the bowel cleanse run smoother for patients and ensures that there are no residual fibers left in the colon during the visualization of the colon. 

    High-fiber foods contain fibers that pass through the bowels undigested and help to form the stool. Low-fiber foods contain less indigestible fibers, thus are easily digested and absorbed into the body. When you eat low-fiber foods your intestines are allowed to rest which is beneficial before your colonoscopy. You may also find that the bowel cleanse may not be as difficult because you are eating foods that pass easily through the intestines.

    Low-fiber foods recommended before the colonoscopy include:

    • Refined grain products
    • Juices without seeds or pulp
    • Fruit without seeds or skins
    • Well-cooked vegetables
    • Chicken, turkey, lamb, or lean pork
    • Fish and seafood
    • Eggs
    • Tofu
    • Creamy nut butters

    Foods you should AVOID 3-4 days before your colonoscopy procedure include:

    • Whole grains
    • Raw vegetables
    • Corn, tomatoes, onions
    • Cucumbers
    • Brussel sprouts and cooked cabbage
    • Lima beans
    • Dried fruit
    • Coconut and popcorn
    • Seeds
    • Nuts and crunchy nut butters
    • Dried beans or legumes
    • Granola
    • Tough meat with gristle
    Low-fiber diet recipes can be healthy and delicious before your colonoscopy

    Low-Fiber Pre-Colonoscopy Recipes

    One of the reasons people may avoid a colonoscopy is because they do not like the restricted diet they have to follow the week before the procedure. Yes, there are quite a few restrictions, but this does not mean you need to eat boring meals with no flavor. The following recipes are flavorful and delicious low-fiber food options that you can make for yourself until you need to be on the clear broth diet. Be sure to check with your physician to make sure all ingredients follow the guidelines you are provided to follow before your procedure. 

    Breakfast Recipes

    Poached Eggs on White Toast with Butter

    Ingredients

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp white vinegar
    • White bread – sliced
    • Butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce to low. Crack the eggs in a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl and then remove the liquidy whites. Transfer the eggs to a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the pot and stir, creating a vortex. Pour the eggs into the middle of the vortex. Set a timer for 3 minutes.

    2. Once the eggs are done, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg.

    3.  Serve eggs on toast with salt and pepper to taste

    Ricotta Pancakes

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1 cup white flour
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • 1 ½ tbsp. sugar
    • ¼ tsp. fine salt
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 2 large eggs (separated)
    • ½  tsp. vanilla extract
    • Butter, for cooking

    Directions

    1. Drain ricotta by setting it in a fine mesh strainer to drain off excess liquid if needed. Dry and compact ricotta does not need to be drained. 
    2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Mix the ricotta, milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate large mixing bowl.’
    3. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta mixture, and gently stir the ingredients until just combined.
    4. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Melt a small amount of butter in the pan (only enough to coat the surface).
    5. Use a ⅓-cup measure to pour batter onto the hot pan. Cook the pancakes until the undersides are golden and you see a few bubbles popping through the pancakes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden (about 2-3 minutes each side).

    Serve the pancakes immediately, with ice cream, ripe banana and maple syrup

    Lunch Recipes

    Rice Crackers with Feta and Balsamic Glaze

    Ingredients 

    • Rice crackers
    • Feta 
    • Balsamic glaze

    Directions

    Crumble feta and sprinkle over rice crackers. Drizzle balsamic glaze over cheese and crackers.

    Turkey and Balsamic Glaze Sandwiches 

    Ingredients

    • White bread 
    • Sliced turkey 
    • Balsamic glaze 

    Directions 

    Layer turkey on one slice of bread and drizzle balsamic glaze over turkey. You can also add avocado for variation. Consider grilling for a hot sandwich.

    Creamy Chicken Pasta 

    Ingredients

    • 4 chicken breast fillets, boneless skinless
    • Salt and pepper, to season 
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided 
    • 1 tsp garlic powder 
    • 1 tsp onion powder 
    • 1/3 cup dry white wine, (or chicken stock/broth) 
    • 1 litre chicken broth, (or stock) 
    • 375 ml can evaporated milk* 
    • 1/3 cup milk 
    • Extra salt and pepper, to taste 
    • 10 ounces (300 g) uncooked penne pasta (just over 4 cups) 
    • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese 

    Directions

    1. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sear on both sides until golden brown, cooked through and no longer pink. Remove and set aside. 
    2. Add the remaining oil to the pot and fry the onion and garlic until the onion becomes transparent, stirring occasionally (about 2 minutes). Pour in the white wine and simmer until it begins to reduce down. Add the broth, milks or cream, salt and pepper, bringing to a gentle simmer. Add the pasta and simmer until pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally. 
    3. Stir in the parmesan cheese until it melts through the sauce. Remove from heat and allow to sit until the sauce thickens. Slice the chicken into strips and stir through the pasta. 
    4. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired.

    Dinner Recipes

    Tagliatelle with Lemon Courgette Ribbons in Crème Fraiche Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 3 tagliatelle nests 
    • 4 tbsp half-fat crème fraiche
    • ½ lemon (juiced)
    • 1 small bunch each basil and mint, 1 medium courgette, peeled
    • Olive Oil Crumbs Topping
    • 1 slice crustless white bread, rubbed into crumbs
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • ½ tsp garlic powder, or to taste

    Directions

    1. Tie basil and mint together with kitchen twine or place in a muslin bag
    2. Bring a pan of water to the boil with the herb bundle. Cook the tagliatelle according to packet directions.

    While the pasta is cooking:

    1. Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add breadcrumbs and garlic powder and cook until lightly coloured. Set aside.
    2. Bring another small pot of water to a boil. Peel courgette into thin ribbons and slice lengthwise into strips (3-4). Drop courgette strips into boiling water for one minute. Drain and refresh the ribbons with cold water. 
    3. Put courgette ribbons into the pan of breadcrumbs. Add crème fraiche and lemon juice and heat gently. Add pasta and toss gently, then top with bread crumbs. Serves 2

    Cream of Chicken Soup

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup butter
    • 1 medium onion (chopped)
    • 2 stalks celery with leaves (chopped)
    • 3 medium carrots (chopped)
    • ½ cup white flour
    • 7 cups chicken broth
    • 2 ¾ cups diced, cooked chicken
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • 2/12 tsp. dry sherry
    • 1 tbsp. sea salt (or to taste)
    • fresh ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Herb bundle

    Tie parsley, thyme and bay leaf with kitchen twine. 

    • 3 sprigs parsley
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf

    Directions

    1. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until soft (about 6 minutes) while stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and stir constantly for two minutes (preferably with a wooden spoon). 
    2. One cup at a time, add the broth and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. 
    3. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Scatter in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes more.
    4. Add the herb bundle to the soup. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
    5. Stir in chicken cubes and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream, sherry, and salt.
    6. Discard the herb bundle. Season with pepper to taste. 

    Miso-Glazed Maji-maji

    Ingredients

    • 2 mahi-mahi fillets (6 oz)

    Glaze

    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 ½  tbsp yellow miso paste
    • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
    • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

    Directions

    1. Mix together brown sugar, miso paste, sesame oil, ginger, and lime juice. Set aside for one hour. 
    2. Preheat grill or broiler.  Place fish in a baking dish and brush with glaze.Place the fish under broiler until the tops turn brown and glaze caramelizes. This should take about three minutes. 
    3. Remove the fish from the broiler/grill and brush with remaining glaze. 
    4. Lower oven to 375C. Cover the fish with foil and put baking dish on the bottom rack. Bake until the fish is cooked throughout and still moist (about 5 minutes).

    References

    Abdul Aziz, D. A., et. al. (2015). How many meals should you skip before undergoing a colonoscopy? Open Access Surgery, 8, 9-20. Retrieved from Academia: https://www.academia.edu/10521331/Avoidance_of_solid_food_and_cleanliness_of_bowel_during_colonoscopy

    Moore, M. (2018, March 15). Low-fiber diet for colonoscopy preparation. Retrieved from Kaiser Permanente: https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/static/pdf/public/specialties/low-fiber.pdf

    Vanhauwaert, E., Matthys, C., Verdonck, L., & De Preter, V. (2015, November). Low-residue and low-fiber diets in gastrointestinal disease management. Advances in Nutrition, 6(6), 820-827. Retrieved from ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283790366_Low-Residue_and_Low-Fiber_Diets_in_Gastrointestinal_Disease_Management

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