Healing from an addiction takes more than mental clarity and an emotional outlet. It also takes the strength and willpower to make some serious physical changes in your life, and one of these can be what you’re putting into your body on a regular basis. If you think about the way that you eat and how it affects your thought patterns, it’s easy to see why it can be so important to back up that positive thought process and motivate yourself with good healthy, hearty foods that will not only fight hunger, but also fulfill the needs of your body without causing more stress in your life. It can be so easy to fall back into old habits, or start to create new bad habits based on comfort foods and how it makes you feel to enjoy those rich, fatty, or sweet treats, but sometimes cutting back and filling your body with clean, wholesome nutrition, as boring as it sounds, can be much better for your recovery process.
Types Of Foods To Avoid
As mentioned above, it can be quite easy during this time to forgo your local hangouts as suggested by your therapist or sponsor and dig into juicy, greasy burger and fries from a drive through window instead. The problem here is that similar to the way that using again will justify an immediate need but not fully repair your main problem, eating this food to fill the void that drugs or alcohol left will only work for a short time, and once it’s gone you’re going to go looking for something else to replace it. It’s a good idea to steer clear of fast foods, as far as the convenience stores and drive through chains are considered. Processed foods, greasy foods loaded with saturated or trans fats, and refined sugary desserts should all be left alone when you’re trying to heal. This doesn’t mean that you can never have cake and ice cream or a slice of takeout pizza again, it just means that for the first portion of your at home recovery period you should stick to ingredients that you know are benefiting your body and mind and that will help keep you feeling good about yourself.
Eating Clean To Heal
When you load your body down with the toxins and chemicals that many drugs incorporate, or think about the way that you treated your physical self during the many highs or drunken scenarios that you found yourself in, it’s easy to realize that it isn’t just your psyche that needs adjusting. Your body needs tending to as well, and this means starting from the inside by controlling what you eat to build a clean lifestyle all around. Medline Plus explains:
Recovery from substance abuse also affects the body in other ways, including metabolism (processing energy), organ function, and mental well-being. Proper nutrition may help the healing process.
To eat clean you have to choose non-processed, homemade, or fresh foods that are created by you or by somebody who lists fresh ingredients, all of which you can understand at first glance. The main rule to eating clean is that you shouldn’t be putting anything into your mouth if you can’t pronounce it or are unsure of what it is. This often means choosing meals and snacks that have a limited number of ingredients, or making sure that the ingredients in a large recipe all fall under the category of fruit, vegetable, natural protein, or complex carbohydrate such as brown rice, whole wheat, or seeds.
Adding Fuel To The Fire
Eating clean during your rehabilitation period isn’t all about repairing the damage done to your body, it’s also about fueling your body so that it has the necessary energy to continue on the right path, keep your mind free and clear of bad influences, and help you restructure your new life outside of your addiction. Ralph E. Carson, PhD, of Expert Beacon says:
Though psychotherapy stimulates growth and repair, healing will be compromised and slowed without the addition of critical nutrients and sound dietary practices.
Think about how when you were younger your parent or guardian urged you to eat breakfast as the most important meal of the day. This was to give you the nutrients and calories required to get you through until lunch and keep your mind focused and clear so that you could be successful in whatever the day required of you. Eating clean is much the same, it can catapult you to successful recovery by keeping you motivated, energized, and focused on what you want to accomplish with your new lot in life.
As mentioned above, eating clean can really help you restructure your life, and one of the most basic foundational steps in recovery is letting go of the past and starting new. Reinvent your body with an active lifestyle and healthy meal plan that can turn past routines into brand new ones. People who eat fresh, clean food find it easier to feel good about themselves and what is going into their mouths, and when you’re in a fragile state like that of the first few months of recovery, this is something you could greatly benefit from; peak-health-now.com advises:
In people recovering from alcoholism and drug abuse, frequent small meals that include high quality protein will benefit the adrenal glands.
Try restructuring your meals so that you’re eating six small ones instead of the average three big ones that most people include in their daily schedule. If you find that six meals is too much food, even in small portions then turn three of those “meals” into either protein shakes or energy bars to give you the same number of calories and nutritional value without the added bulk of food sitting in your stomach.
It’s important that whatever nutritional plan you decide to go with during your recovery period that you speak to your doctor or therapist about what this means for you and whether or not you’re covering all of the major bases that your body requires during this time in your life.