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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6 Tips for a Healthy Recovery Diet

6 tips healthy recovery dietDuring recovery your body can use all of the nutritional support it can get. That’s because addiction –- especially in the form of a steady diet of alcohol and drugs –- can deplete your body of vital vitamins and nutrients. In fact, alcoholism is one of the major causes of nutritional deficiency in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

You may not be able to reverse all the damage done by your addiction. But proper nutrition can help speed the healing process, giving your body energy to repair damage to tissues, organs, and the brain’s reward centers. A solid recovery diet can help improve sleep and mental focus, too. The result: You’ll be better equipped to fight cravings, make smart decisions, and handle the hard work of recovery!

This doesn’t mean that you have to overhaul you're entire diet overnight; you just have to start being a bit more conscious about what and when you eat.

Healthy Eating During Recovery 
Get started by following these tips for a smart recovery diet:

• Don’t skip breakfast. A morning meal, especially one that includes a mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, can control blood sugar levels and keep you full and energized throughout the day.

• Stick to regular mealtimes. Years of addiction can cause you to mistake hunger cues for cravings – and that’s just a recipe for relapse. To prevent this and to train your body to tell the difference, do your best to maintain a consistent eating schedule. You may want to start with six small meals instead of two or three large ones.

• Choose the right fats. Not all fat is equal and, in fact, the so-called “good” fats (avocados, nuts, olives, flaxseed) can help with cellular pair and your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can also lead to a host of health issues, including depression.

• Load up on fiber. Alcohol and drug abuse can wreak havoc on your digestive system, leading to constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. Slowly adding fiber-rich foods – like brown rice, black beans, artichokes, peas, pears – back into your diet can help minimize these effects as your body heals.

• Skip the sugar. Cakes, pastries, ice cream, and candy were once staples in the recovery community. But these so-called “hyperpalatables” — sugary, fatty, salty food combinations – have been shown to trigger a similar rush as drugs or alcohol. The result: a new form of dependence. And, when you skip the sweets, you’ll have more room in your budget for fresh produce and quality proteins.

• Cut back on the coffee. Whether coffee, tea, or soda, caffeine-filled beverages can increase the anxiety and insomnia you may already be suffering from in early sobriety. Again, you’ll likely have a hard time ditching that diet soda cold turkey, so start slowly and try swapping one of your caffeinated beverages for a refreshing glass of water. You might also switch to decaf, which does have a little caffeine.

• Consider supplements. Talk to your healthcare professional about whether vitamin and mineral supplements will be helpful during recovery. This may include B-complex, zinc, and vitamins A and C.

Start the Healing Process

With our in-house chef, the Haven at Pismo helps you create dietary patterns that support your sobriety and correct nutritional deficiencies. Residents learn how to replace sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods with healthy fiber, quality proteins, and antioxidant-rich vegetables. Call today to speak confidentially with an intake specialist: 805.202.3440.