Whether you have personally struggled with addiction or you have watched someone close to you do so, you likely have seen the negative effects that drugs and alcohol can have on a person’s body. Beyond the physically visible signs, long-term substance abuse can also lead to internal damage.
This is why, once you are in recovery from substance abuse, it is extremely important to fuel your body properly so it can heal and you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a healthy diet is one of the best ways to do this.
Eating healthy – where to begin?
No one talks about it, but grocery shopping can be so overwhelming! In the States, there are so many options for one thing that even choosing a loaf of bread can feel daunting. But eating healthy begins with filling your diet with the right ingredients and items; taking the time to learn what these are can significantly impact your meal planning and overall health in the long run.
Learn the best recovery foods
During addiction, your body was most likely deprived of most of the vitamins, minerals and proteins it needs to function and flourish. You can supplement your body’s healing by opting for some of the best recovery superfoods when grocery shopping.
These options include:
- Proteins like tuna, chicken, beef and salmon increase iron, B6 and omega-3 fatty acids
- Colorful fruits and vegetables including carrots, oranges, blueberries, strawberries and bell peppers to boost antioxidants and vitamins
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Water, of course, but other beverages high in electrolytes (like coconut water) to aid in overcoming dehydration
- Probiotics to boost gut health, including Greek yogurt, kefir and sourdough bread
Do your best to stockpile your diet with ingredients like the above, and steer clear of anything high in sugar, sodium or oils — as tasty as junk food can be, it will only worsen digestive health in the long run.
Consult with a dietician
After prolonged substance abuse, your body is going to need specific foods and nutrients in order to function properly and heal itself. A professional dietitian will be able to help you assess your specific dietary needs, educate you on diet planning principles and keep you on track moving forward. If you feel like you need more detailed assistance in planning out a recovery diet for yourself, reaching out to a dietician will offer you a more personalized experience in healthy eating.
It can be very tempting when you’re grocery shopping to head down the snack aisle and stock up on comfort foods. However, as good as they taste, those snacks aren’t going to provide you with the nutrition you need.
Try to stick to the perimeter of your store as this is where most of the healthy produce, protein, whole grains and dairy are located. By avoiding purchasing over-processed and unhealthy foods, you won’t have the option to choose them at home and will better stick to a healthy diet. In this case, “out of sight, out of mind” is the best approach.
Whether you and a dietician come up with a plan for you, or you design one for yourself, it will be much easier to stick to your plan if you organize your meals for the week in advance. Take a day at the beginning of the week to prep any ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the following days. You should also prepare some healthy snacks so you’re not tempted to reach for junk food if you get hungry in the middle of the day.
Not only will this keep you on track in your recovery, but it will also save you money and prevent you from impulse shopping when you have nothing in the pantry and you’re hungry.
Nutrition in recovery
Nutrition plays a vital role in any good addiction recovery program by helping heal and nourish the body that may have been damaged by long-term substance abuse. Through our holistic therapy model, the team at Silvermist Recovery helps clients feel better and maintain sobriety through guided and personalized nutrition plans.
Learn more about our holistic therapy by contacting us at 724-268-4858 to get started on your recovery journey today.