Eating Healthy in Addiction Recovery
Addiction is a vicious, relentless brute. If you want to beat it, you’ll have to whip yourself into tip-top shape. That means lots of fruits, veggies, leans meats, water, and exercise. Knowing what to eat, how much, and how often can feel strenuous, even overly dramatic, but sobriety is all about building new habits—positive ones like these.
Researchers have found that hyperpalatable foods – foods loaded with fat, salt, or sugar – can be as addictive as cocaine. Switching to a healthy diet – one composed primarily of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and as few processed foods as possible – can improve problems you hadn’t even noticed.
Tips for Eating Healthy in Addiction Recovery
Consistency – Try your best to eat your meals at the same time every day. To keep blood-sugar levels stable, try eating several light meals per day instead of three big ones. When your body can rely on a steady nutrition influx – sugars in the morning, protein in the evening, etc – that’s when it functions at its best. Routine is also important for building self-discipline.
Processed foods – Healthy snacks help stabilize blood sugar – a critical component in mood. Be wary, however, because those “healthy snacks” you see on shelves – yogurts, low-fat chips, etc – rarely fit the bill. They’re never healthy, they’re just less unhealthy, and only if you eat the smallest amount imaginable—which you won’t.
Instead, just stick with the natural stuff. Clean, organic snacks like eggs, nuts, carrot sticks, and similar real foods so you decrease stress and level you out the natural, drug-free way. It’s not necessarily more expensive, it’s just a matter of planning ahead.
Caffeine – A cup of coffee in the morning probably won’t hurt you, but be conservative and avoid energy drinks. Excessive caffeine intake causes mood fluctuations. The goal of recovery is to achieve stability.
Most formal recovery programs include some form of nutritional education. With this guidance, you’ll learn your way around a balanced meal. For details on the nutrition we encourage here at Blueprints, give us a call.