What to eat if you need natural and organic clear liquid diet colonoscopy test options. Includes products that can be found at your local retailer!
Turning thirty was really rough for me. It felt like this milestone was my first big one and I cried for about two weeks. However, I eased into my thirties and I found that they were actually pretty liberating. Watching my family grow and mature, taking on bigger career changes in my professional life and feeling like we are moving forward in life while feeling like it is just flying by is fun and challenging. My body seems to endure more--longer runs, more challenging workouts and steadier paces than it used to. Weekends can finally be spent relaxing!! Parties end earlier than they used to since most of us have kids waking us up by 7 or 8 the next morning. I love being the age that I am.
It has it's challenges too. Like many of us, certain milestones bring certain...inconvienences. In my thirties it was all the blood work and other fun tests. 40? Mammogram. 50? Colonoscopy.
Most colonoscopy instructions will look something like this, "If you are having a colonoscopy please be sure you’re on CLEAR Liquids the ENTIRE day before your procedure not 24 hours prior. If you have any solid foods the ENTIRE day before you WILL need to be rescheduled. It is imperative to drink a large amount of clear liquids throughout the day to stay well hydrated. DO NOT eat or drink any solid foods, liquids with red dyes, pulp, or dairy products. Liquids you may have: Water, apple juice, white cranberry juice, white grape juice, PowerAde, Gatorade, tea, bouillon, broth, plain jello- (no red), coffee without creamer and any soda pop."
**Note that some colonoscopy instructions will have you avoid red, blue and purple dye prior to your procedure.
Your list might look a little different and your instructions might differ a little bit too but the general rule of thumb is it may not look like there are a whole lot of options for you if you eat organic or natural and have to get a colonoscopy.
what can you have?
For me, I generally don't consume fruit juice. When I had my colonoscopy, juice was something that just made my stomach hurt. To have to drink juice all day was not appealing at all! And Jello often isn't readily seen in the health food aisle. The list goes on and on. So what CAN you have if you need to be on a clear liquid diet but don't want to change...or CAN'T change your eating habits for dietary reasons?
Thankfully there are some fabulous products on the market. All of the products mentioned here were found at major retailers like Target and Walmart. If you don't have one of those stores close to you, I have provided links as well.
Some of the colonoscopy instructions I've read include a "light breakfast" the day before the procedure with clear liquids beginning 24 hours prior to the procedure. If you are able to enjoy a light breakfast and need it to be more liquid in content, try a protein drink option. I was also looking at some other forums that had doctors allowing their patients to drink non milk based protein drinks on a clear liquid diet prior to their cleanse.
I often for a protein drink as my "light breakfast" the day before my procedure:
Bolthouse Protein Plus Drinks: One of the things that a clear liquid diet doesn't include is a whole lot of protein--the food that gets you through the day. Protein keeps you satisfied and less hungry. These drinks from Bolthouse include about 30 grams of protein and 400 calories in a 16oz drink along with three servings of fruits (if you go for the fruity tasting drink) and soy and whey protein. They come in great flavors like vanila bean, chocolate and mango. I really enjoyed the smooth flavor and the lack of seeds and pulp.
other protein for clear liquid diet
There are some other ways to get protein on a clear liquid diet if you are worried about feeling tired or weak prior to the procedure. Broth is mentioned below, however we found a great Chicken Bouillon Protein Soup from BariLife that contains 15 grams of protein per serving. That's 10-12 grams more than typical chicken broth.
I also found that Isopure sells some natural clear liquid flavored protein water. Each drink has 20 grams of protein! You can make this same drink for way less money and much easier. If you bought some juice for your procedure you can add some protein powder like Isopure to make your own inexpensive drinks. Or some Walmarts sell single protein shots you can take. We also loved these natural collagen protein sticks we found at our local health food store that we could just pour into our water bottle on the go. It was under $2 a stick so much more affordable to buy than a whole bottle of protein powder, especially if you're only on a clear liquid diet for a day. You can also mix these into jello, broth, or popsicles.
This is a tough one because you will probably need to make your own jello. Most of the health food stores carry plain grass fed gelatin either in bottles or in bulk. If you don't have the time to make an extra trip to the store, I suggest just grabbing plain gelatin from the shelf (in the jello aisle). Grab one of your favorite juices and use it to make some jello.
There is NOW storebought natural jello available on the market!! CLICK HERE!
Natural Jello Recipe
- 2 cups juice
- 2 ½ tsp gelatin
- 2-3 tbsp honey or sugar
- To make jello at home: In an 8x8 inch pan, pour ½ cup of juice. Sprinkle 2 ½ teaspoons of gelatin over the top. Allow it to sit. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups of juice with around 3 tablespoons of honey or 2 tablespoons sugar. Heat just to boiling, stirring several times. Remove from heat and pour the hot water slowly into the gelatin and juice mixture. Use a whisk, stir until gelatin is dissolved. Refrigerate several hours to set.Note: Try to avoid pineapple juice. It doesn't set up properly.
It is important to drink light colored juices the day before your procedure. This includes apple juice, white grape juice, and white cranberry juice.
The great news is most natural and organic juices include varieties of that. The bad news is they actually use a lot of the pulp and there is quite a bit of sediment at the bottom if you hold the bottle up. Natural varieties from Target contain no corn syrup and no added sugar.
electrolyte and vitamin juices
It's important to stay hydrated. During the course of the day eating a diet of jello and broth will cause you to feel really drained and tired really quick. To keep your body hydrated and give it some vitamins to help combat that feeling a little more choosing nutrient rich clear liquids is important.
- COCONUT WATER: This is a great option for staying hydrated. Natural varieties like Vita Coco, O.N.E. and Zico are good options and contain more potassium in one serving than a banana.
- KOMBUCHA: Kombucha is another great option for getting some healthy -biotics into your body prior to your colonoscopy. Just be mindful that if you have stomach issues like IBS or colitis, Kombucha may not be recommended. (Got a great visit to the doctor for that one one year and learned it has the opposite effect on my stomach). But prior to that root beer was my favorite flavor! Kombucha is also one that you might want to check with your doctor if you have any questions.
There are a lot of great organic and natural broths on the market. Pacific and Imagine are easily found at major retailers and don't cost much more than the non organic varieties. Look for lower sodium options if you can since you don't want the excess sodium to take away nutrients your body needs (that colon prep drink is just around the corner and it does a great job of that).
BONE MARROW BROTH has become really popular in the past year. Those who use it talk a lot about the health benefits including immune support. Bone marrow broth for colonoscopy preps can be very beneficial to helping your immune system. You will want to try to make this a day or two ahead of when you need it as it will take time. We loved this guide from Plan To Eat which tells you how to make the bone marrow broth. (Just admit the part when you add the vegetables). This guide from Primally Inspired tells you which animal bones to use and how to freeze and store your bone broth. Also, if your are planning to enjoy food with your loved ones do check the USA Buffet Prices.
Ice pops? Yum. Not really. But when I walked through the store I was a little disappointed to find that the only true popsicles that would qualify for a clear liquid diet contained dyes. Or were fruit pops that contained real fruit. Bummer. Those are my favorite.
If you are enjoying a summer time colonoscopy some popsicles might help fill you up while keeping you cool. Try pouring some white cranberry, apple juice or white grape juice into popsicle molds and freezing.
Zevia, Hansens and Oogave are some of the more well known natural and organic sodas on the market and are great options. Depending on the store you may or may not be able to find them. Look in the soda aisle or the natural food aisle. Hint: We loved mixing up some of these sodas and making sparkling jello with them.
coffee and tea
There are a number of great coffee and tea products on the market. Celestial Seasonings and Tazo are two teas that you can find pretty easily in any store. Seattle's Best, Fair Trade and even Target's store brand Archer Farms sell organic coffee.