Being vegetarian with IBD: Meal ideas and tips

A while ago, I blogged about the benefits and drawbacks of being plant-based with IBD and recently explained how actually a semi-vegetarian diet with IBD can be beneficial. I am often asked about being plant-based and IBD, but not being vegetarian myself, I’ve asked one of my guest writers Steph (who has Ulcerative Colitis and blogs over at to share her tips on balancing being veggie with eating fruit and veg and getting enough nutrients. Thank you HealthLabs for sponsoring this post and asking Steph to share her veggie journey!

Take it away Steph…

I am a busy working mum of two who happens to eat about a 98% vegetarian diet and have an ileostomy due to Ulcerative Colitis. I have always been very lucky in the fact that I can eat veggies and not suffer from it (well except onion!) I became ill at the age of 10 and was told dairy would be my friend and veggies were pretty much off the menu; however, it was the other way around for me!  Jenna asked me to write “A what I eat in a day” post so let’s get to it!


I don’t have a set time getting up at the moment as my daughter isn’t at school till September and I predominantly work evenings but I usually get up around 8 am and have a glass of squash followed by a coffee with oat milk. For ostomates it is imperative that we drink enough fluids that aren’t plain water plus it is on my Every Damn Day list. I actually don’t have much of an appetite but when I can force myself to eat, I will often have a breakfast wrap which consists of finely chopped bell pepper, shallots, mushrooms, feta and egg  in the frying pan topped with some hot sauce in a flour tortilla (I know Jenna blogs about gluten-free but I can eat gluten myself. This could easily be made with corn tortillas however!)

When I want to have a snack on a morning I try and refrain from chocolate  and I will have roasted red pepper hummus with either toasted pita bread or carrot sticks. I am often tagged in a lot of hummus memes from my friends. Here I will also either have a coffee or a glass of squash likewise whenever I have a meal.


At dinner time (I am Northern so dinner up here is lunch time) I will often have some chickpea salad made up and have it in a toasty. So for that, it is chickpeas mashed up with finely diced carrot, spring onion and bell pepper, mixed with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. I toast my bread then spread some more hummus (I really like hummus!) on the toast and add sliced tomatoes then the chickpea mixture. This lasts for a couple of days so I make a big batch and often take it to work for my break.

If I fancy an afternoon snack, I like to have roasted chickpeas. I simply get a tin of chickpeas, drain them and remove any loose skins. I have recently started making my own cashew parmesan (cashews, nutritional yeast and garlic powder) which I coat the chickpeas in and roast till crispy.


For my evening meal, I am definitely a creature of habit and often stick to the same two meals which are either asparagus, garlic, lemon and chill linguine with feta or courgette, parmesan and linguine. Both of which I really enjoy and actually don’t seem to tire of. But if I have been working late when I get in I often fall into the trap of buying cheesy chips from the local takeaway which my ileostomy isn’t always a fan of but it is my comfort food!

I often find I want to snack on an evening and it is often something sweet I like spreading some ricotta on top of Ryvita style crisp bread and slicing a peach or a nectarine on top, along with some pomegranate seeds then drizzling some honey or maple syrup on top. If I am honest is very rare that I eat fruit as it has always given me a hard time not to mention the foods I am allergic to are all fruit!

I pretty much live off chickpeas, lentils, sweet potato, courgette and bell peppers. Nearly every meal I eat is based around them with the carbs being the smaller portion in the way of quinoa, rice, pasta and wraps/pita. I rarely eat meat because I find that always affected my UC and my small bowel struggles to digest it so a vegetarian diet has always suited me just fine.

Going Veggie or Vegan with IBD?

If going veggie is something you are looking into, why not try one meal a week? I have a “Meatless Mondays” section on my blog which could help get you started.

 If you are looking to have more of a meatless diet and are worried about the nutrients you might miss out on (especially with IBD as we can be more susceptible) you can speak to your GP or visit Health Labs who offer nutritional testing for those on a meatless diet in particular or want to make the switch and want to know whether a meat-free diet is right for them.

This post is sponsored by Health Labs who asked Steph to share her veggie journey!

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