Substance abuse is a debilitating disease that affects the physical and mental well-being of a person. Substance use disorder can lead to a number of other unhealthy habits and negative lifestyle changes, including irregular eating and poor diet. However, as the body begins to heal during the recovery process, some of these habits may stick around. It is important during the process of becoming sober to make other lifestyle changes that will work to facilitate and promote recovery and avoid relapse.
Proper nutrition can help during the healing process and increase physical and mental health. Getting the proper nutrients and vitamins will work to provide the body with energy and help to build and maintain healthy organs to fight off infections. Along with creating a healthy and balanced diet, exercise is one way that those in recovery can stay active and healthy as they continue on their path towards sober living.
A Healthy, Balanced Diet
Eating right is important for everyone, not just those in recovery. However, for newly sober individuals, and people who have been on the road to recovery for a long time, getting a proper nutritious diet will help to enhance their sobriety.
When people think of eating healthy they focus on things that they can’t have rather than things that they can.
- Fruit: Everyone love fruit. While many people will think primarily about apples or bananas, there are a number of other off-the-wall options. For example, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, and more are all tropical fruits that you can find at most local grocery stores.
- Vegetables: If you are someone who thinks that they don’t like vegetables, maybe you haven’t tried the right ones or didn’t prepare them the proper way, try something new. Grilling, steaming, and sauteing vegetables are all popular ways to make vegetables. Add spices, salt, and sauces for more flavor.
- Calcium-rich foods: Milk isn’t your only option for calcium. Foods like low-fat or fat-free yogurt without sugar come in a number of flavors and can be a substitute for something when you are feeling a sweet tooth coming on. You can also supplement with dicalcium phosphate in order to get a your daily fill of calcium easier.
- Vitamin-rich foods: There are many vitamins that can all contribute to a healthy diet but many foods are rich in multiple vitamins. Some popular foods that can provide your daily needs for vitamins include broccoli, egge, avocado, bell pepper, carrot, pork, sunflower seeds, fish, spinach, and more.
Just because you want to choose a healthy lifestyle and maintain a proper diet doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in unhealthy foods that you love every once in a while. Healthy eating is about balance, just balance out foods that may be high in fat, calories, or sugar is healthier foods and more physical activity. Similarly, eating them less often or at smaller amounts can help stay health.
Along with eating healthy, exercise can make a big difference for your physical and mental health. In fact, there is even evidence that exercise can help with problems like depression and anxiety and can ease depressive symptoms. Overall, exercise, whether it be jogging, sports, yoga, weight lifting, or some other activity, can all go a long way toward promoting healthy living and encourage sobriety.
About the Author
Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Recovery, a chain of drug and alcohol rehab facilities. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years with a new emphasis on recovery. Before his ventures into healthcare, Matthew graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After Duke Matthew went on to work for the Boston Consulting Group before he realized his true passion lies within Recovery. His vision is to save a million lives in 100 years with a unique approach to recovery that creates a supportive environment through trust, treatment, and intervention.