An individual who is in active drug or alcohol addiction is very likely to neglect their diet. Alcoholics will feel full from the liquor they consume, giving them no motivation to eat and winding up seriously malnourished as a result. Addicts may choose drugs over food for financial reasons, or the drug itself, like methamphetamine, may lead to long periods of consuming little or no food. Often alcoholics and addicts experience gastrointestinal disorders, suffering from diarrhea, constipation, and digestive disorders that don’t allow nutrients to be absorbed properly.
One of the more promising trends in addiction recovery is the importance now being placed on nutrition. Healthy food choices actually enhance the recovery process, during which the body and brain are healing from the heavy toll of substance abuse. Not only is good nutrition important to help correct the deficiencies so common in addicts and alcoholics, but it also contributes to improved mood and brain functioning. While many addiction treatment programs may not provide stellar diets to their clients, someone new in recovery will benefit immensely by eating healthy in sober living.
Eating Healthy in Sober Living
A healthy diet may not be the most important thing on the list to an individual fresh out of rehab—comfort foods may sound far more appealing during this difficult phase of recovery. But as research continues to confirm the significant role nutrition plays in healing the brain and body of a recovering addict, more sober living residences are incorporating healthy menus into their programs. It is a perfect opportunity for the residents to develop new, healthy habits into their daily lives before transitioning back to their regular lives.
Eating healthy in sober living nets many benefits, for both the residents and the operator of the sober home. For the residents, good nutrition can actually help reduce cravings while restoring overall brain health and neurotransmitter functions. This leads to improved mood, emotional stability, and a more positive state of being. For the operator of the sober living establishment, costs for healthy foods are generally lower than for high-fat junk foods. In addition, residents benefiting from more emotional stability as a result of healthy eating in sober living leads to less turmoil in the house.
Examples of Healthy Diets in Recovery
A sound eating strategy that helps maintain consistent blood sugar levels—helping to stabilize mood—is to eat every two to four hours. A good plan is three regular meals per day with a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. The snacks should include proteins and fresh fruit.
One of the most important nutrients needed in recovery is protein. Lean proteins such as fish, turkey, and chicken provide the amino acids that build the neurotransmitters back up. Some sources for protein should include:
- Lean meats (such as salmon, chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef)
- Greek yogurt
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Mozzarella (or any low fat) cheese
- Nuts and seeds
In addition to protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (such as brown rice and whole grain breads and pasta), and drinking lots of water are key to good nutrition in recovery. Restricting sugar and caffeine helps with mood stability and sleep quality.
Healthy Eating at Riviera Recovery Sober Living
Restoring health and wellness in recovery is a key focus at Riviera Recovery, located in the picturesque hills of Malibu, California. Riviera Recovery is devoted to providing a sober living environment that is centered on rejuvenating, healthful living, providing a diet rich in organic, nutritious foods and an abundance of physical activities that promote overall health and fitness. For more information about our program, please call us today at (866) 478-8799.