How we eat affects so many key parts of our physical, mental and emotional health. In early recovery it is crucial to develop healthy eating habits. Eating healthy gives your body an extra boost to eliminate the negative effects substances have on your health. During active addiction, substances can suppress your appetite and you may find that when you stop using you are hungry all the time. You may also find yourself craving sugar and caffeine.
Even if you have a healthy eating regimen during active addiction, some substances - specifically alcohol - stops your body from absorbing healthy nutrients from those foods. The tips below will help you build a healthy foundation for long-term recovery.
1. Set yourself up for success by creating a meal plan of healthy foods you actually enjoy eating.
One way to sabotage healthy eating is to add foods you do not enjoy. In early recovery the last thing you want to worry about is what you are going to eat next. Having a simple plan in place will help you to better stay on track so you can focus on your recovery.
2. Eat a balanced diet.
During active addiction your body has been depleted of important nutrients and vitamins. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor will help you to establish what your specific nutritional needs are.
3. Reduce the amount of sugar and caffeine in your diet.
You may find when you are no longer using substances that you start craving sugar and caffeine. Science reveals that alcohol and other substances stimulate the brain's dopamine receptors as does sugar and caffeine. When you are consuming large amounts of caffeine and sugar your body experiences spikes and crashes this pattern wreaks havoc on your emotional health during early recovery.
4. Drink water.
Water makes up 60% of our body. Making sure you stay hydrated will help flush out toxic substances from your body. Water also impacts how your bodies absorb nutrients and vitamins. Dehydration can happen quickly and can be deadly, check with your health care professional about how much water you should be consuming daily.
5. Consider meeting with a dietitian or nutritionist.
It is important to understand the role nutrition plays in the recovery process. Enlisting a professional to help you determine your specific dietary needs will help you to find an achievable balanced lifestyle.
Implementing these guidelines into your early recovery will help you begin putting in place a foundation of optimal nutrition and long-term success in your recovery journey. It is important to meet with your healthcare provider because some vitamins can interact with medications you may be taking.
Anytime you are trying to make changes to your diet or lifestyle, having medical advice to make sure you are on the right track is preferred. Your recovery is important and having a team of people to inspire accountability will help you in achieving your goals.
If you or a loved one are struggling or need help for an addiction or alcohol problem, call us at: (630) 402-0144.