Making Things Harder on Ourselves
When we were out on the streets in our active addictions, eating a healthy, balanced meal was probably one of the last things on our minds. Most of the time we were either too wasted or too sick to keep any food down anyway. However, if the kitchens and pantries of local sober living homes are any indication, a lot of us don’t eat very well sober, either. Substitute mood chemicals like caffeine and sugar are the order of the day and the recycling bins are full of empty energy drinks cans. We often crave foods high in fat and sugar in an effort to subconsciously self-medicate. Unfortunately, diets high in refined sugar and fat impair brain function. They also promote inflammation in the gut along with oxidative stress. When we eat like this, especially in early recovery, we’re just making things harder for ourselves.
Building a New Relationship
From our perspective as mental health professionals, we’ve found that many clients simply haven’t been taught how to prepare a healthy, balanced meal plan for the week. We also find that many of them have nutritional deficiencies when they first come in as a result of their lifestyle. Our registered dieticians and nutritional counselors work together to address these deficiencies and to help our clients build a new relationship with food. They learn how to plan out meals for the week and how to shop accordingly. This nutritional counseling is part of our holistic approach to substance use disorder treatment. We treat the whole person and attacking the problem from all angles.
Maximizing Your Chances for Success
If you’re in early recovery and interested in maximizing your chances for success through a proper diet, here are a few tips:
- Go easy on the heavy stuff. While we may crave those fats, sugars, and caffeine, they aren’t doing us any favors nutritionally. They can also be pretty rough on the stomach in early recovery. Stick to easily digestible foods like oatmeal, rice, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
- Find a balance. Addiction leaves us nutritionally deficient. Eating from a wide variety of whole food ensures we get the micro-nutrients we need.
- Make it a habit. Early recovery is a great time for structure and routine in general. However, studies show that a person is more likely to achieve a balanced diet if they eat at the same time every day. It also promotes healthy sleep.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
With facilities in Newport Beach, California, Ocean Recovery has been successfully treating substance use and eating disorders since 2002. In addition to nutritional counseling, our clients can expect individual and group sessions, cognitive and dialectic behavioral therapies, yoga, and more. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or eating disorders, please consider giving us a call today. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.