An ostomate’s summer

12 June 2023
An ostomate’s summer
An ostomate’s summer - Adobe Stock / Iuliia Sokolovska

Luciana Podschun introduces the StomaTips summer issue, discussing how ostomates can follow safe healthy eating habits

Summer is finally here, and for the first time, we have a Summer issue! It is great to finally have some good weather after months and months of rain and cold. I have noticed that people seem to be happier when they are out and about enjoying the sun. I personally feel that I have more energy and my mood definitely changes for the better. It is amazing how sunlight plays an important role in our lives. The benefits of sunlight include the production of vitamin D, supporting healthy bones, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease and promoting good mental health.

While summer is a great opportunity to relax outdoors, we can’t forget about our health and wellbeing. There’s one thing that we always have to make sure of is staying hydrated, especially for us ostomates. Some blockages are sometimes caused by the lack of enough water in our bodies, since they are made of approximately 75% of water.

It is sad to say that I only changed my eating habits after becoming an ostomate nearly 7 years ago. I have always enjoyed eating good food from different cultures all over the globe. After three major operations in less than 20 days and spending weeks in the hospital with total parenteral nutrition, I suppose it is natural to be scared of eating. It takes some time to get used to the new ‘pipeline system’. That was what happened to me. I basically had to relearn what to eat. It was a slow process of food reintroduction, but only after what happened did I start eating mindfully. It was a process of learning and finding out what works well for my body.

I have changed my lifestyle and diet to a Mediterranean-style diet. I eat mostly vegetables, fruits, protein, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and carbs in moderation. I try to avoid processed foods, but I indulge in ice cream, fish and chips, or shandies in moderation. I also go to the gym regularly to stay active. I believe that eating healthy and staying active are key to aging healthily.
In general, it was only after becoming an ostomate that I started to make more of an effort to eat healthier and take better care of my body. I wish I had known before the importance of how eating mindfully can help prevent diseases.

Enjoy the summer!