Healthy eating plays a role in everyone’s life regardless of whether or not you are in recovery. Healthy eating gives the body the nourishment it needs to use its maximum potential but also to heal itself. And while healthy eating plays a role in every person’s life, the role of healthy eating in recovery is especially important.
I don’t know about you, but when I was trapped in my addiction I wasn’t taking care of myself. I would find myself awake at the wee hours of the morning scraping spoons full of peanut butter out of the jar if I didn’t make it on that day’s Wendy’s run for dinner. What I am saying is that when we are trapped in our addiction we tend to have a poor diet. And if our diet is semi decent usually the damage we are doing to our bodies with drinking or using drugs negates the somewhat healthy diet. All of this usually leads to a nutritional deficiency and it shows. Nutritional deficiencies show not only in your weight but also in your skin, your hair, your nails, how much energy you have, how well your body can heal itself and also in how your brain is functioning.
Luckily, once we become sober we can begin to enjoy good health again if we balance our eating with the rest of our life.
So in order to know the role healthy eating plays in recovery we must first know what healthy eating is! What is healthy eating?
Most of you probably know, including me, that it probably would be better if you ate more healthily. But do you really know what healthy eating is? For instance, some people believe that diet high in carbohydrates and low in fats is healthy; other experts claim that is carbohydrates are the problem or meats. This isn’t healthy eating. Healthy eating is defined as diet that contains all the right amounts of all the different food groups. It balances all types of healthy foods.
This means starting your day off with a healthy breakfast that has proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water (all the essentials) and doing that every for every meal. It also means eating as close to the source as possible which means fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts etc. (We all have heard the stories about synthetic and processed foods.)
So what is the role of healthy eating in recovery?
Treating your body right and eating healthily is part of what recovery is all about. We didn’t get sober just to continue on living the way we did when we were using. Part of what sobriety or recovery is: is changing the way you live, and that encompasses the way you eat. For instance I wouldn’t have a diet that consists of Wendy’s and peanut butter today. If I did I might be in more trouble than I realized.
You can really see the role healthy eating plays in recovery by seeing the dangers of what happens if you don’t. For instance here are some examples of what can happen if you don’t eat healthily:
- What people eat greatly impacts their mood and mental functioning. Eating the wrong things may mean that the individual lacks energy and experiences negative emotions. Nobody becomes sober so that they can feel bad. It therefore just makes sense that they should eat those foods that are going to make them feel good. This means eating healthy!
- Many people in recovery turn to food for comfort when they are dealing with problems. This is similar to how they once used alcohol or drugs as a means to escape. Sobriety should be all about facing these challenges and not trying to run away from them.
- A poor diet leads to ill-health. There are many types of illness and chronic disease related to poor nutrition.
- People who do not eat sensibly will be at risk of becoming overweight. There is plenty of talk in the media about the obesity epidemic that is destroying lives around the world. Those who become overweight not only increase their risk of disease but may also have to deal with self-esteem issues which can in turn affect your recovery.
Now that you are sober you deserve the best possible you that you can be. Your body deserves to have the nutrition it needs. It also will be really cool to see what you are capable of when you are in the best health of your life now that you are in recovery. So don’t sell yourself short with the way you eat. I know when I eat right it makes a huge difference. Remember the importance and the role of healthy eating in recovery. If you are already on that path of healthy eating, awesome! If not, use today as an opportunity to start changing some eating habits!
If your loved one is in need of treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.