What do I eat when I am sober?
You did not work hard to get sober to feel bad! If you or a loved one has taken the opportunity to get sober, we congratulate you. You are well on your way to living a full and rewarding life, free of drugs or alcohol! But, what now? After years of using and/or drinking, our bodies might be left fragile and unable to fend for themselves based on our battle with the disease of substance use disorder. In the coming months and years, it will be important to fill our bodies with nutrients to further aid in the recovery, boost our immune system, reset rhythms, increase sleep and decrease anxiety and stress in an effort to produce our very best selves. Here are some great foods to eat in recovery, with links to recipes, that can help your body physically recover, while you work on your mind and spirit.
What Foods to Eat in Recovery?
Of course eating in general is going to be a great improvement from using, but whole foods are particularly important in early recovery as the physiological effects can be very helpful aiding in mental clarity, reducing symptoms of detox and withdrawal, and give your body the nutrition it needs to help begin to heal any other health problems that may arise as a result of substance use disorder. Food is not a cure-all in this situation, but a healthy addition to your recovery toolbox. Even learning to cook can be a big preventative measure for some.
Drink your food
Sometimes in early recovery it can be really hard to eat. After years of putting alcohol and other substances in to your body, your digestive system might need some time to heal itself. A great way to get enough nutrients and be gentle on your stomach and gut, is to drink your food!
Soups and smoothies are a great way not only to deliver nutrition that is very easy to digest, it adds an element of hydration as these items are mostly liquid. Try this immune boosting soup or this tummy calming smoothie and see what you like!
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are really high in vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, folate, and vitamin A, all right for healthy immune function. Dark leafy greens reduce inflammation, and have several antioxidants to help your body detoxify while getting rid of alcohol and drugs.
Dark leafy greens aren’t everyones favorite, but there are a lot of wonderful recipes that can help get that daily dose of a power-packed nutrient dense food. Lots of flavor and colors will help dark leafy greens recipes like this recipe for Thai satay, or add it to a smoothie! Hiding dark leafy greens, which can sometimes be sour, will help with the taste while you still get the nutrients!
These little guys are very important for our gut health and fending off free radicals. Free radicals are basically just molecules in your body with no home, they cause natural aging and potentially disease but can be paired with antioxidants to do good in the body!
Antioxidants can be found in blueberries, pomegranates, pepitas, spinach, legumes and so much more. Antioxidant rich recipes like a summer salad, broccoli and tomato pizza, or a vegetable lasagna are easy ways to get the packed nutrition your body is craving!
We have all been hearing our caretakers tell us about eating a proper amount of whole grains every day, since we were kids. However many adults don’t know that whole grains don’t have to be boring, they can be beautiful and fun too!
We found some recipes you might find interesting, and with 33 on the list, we know you’ll find one you love!
Whole Fruits and Vegetables
Whole foods, or foods left in the most natural state possible have been found to be the best way to deliver information to your cells in the form of nutrition. Food tells our body what we are doing, chips make us slow because our body is fighting to process the oils and fats, however colorful fruits and vegetables are easily recognizable to the body as they are unprocessed and easier for your body to break down.
Always have fruit and vegetables ready to grab as a snack when you’re bored, hungry, or just need something to keep you occupied. Try something new, a new fruit or vegetable every time you go to the grocery store. It might surprise you to find there are a lot of options and variations of foods to eat in recovery.
Water, Water, Water
Water is the best way to help your body recover. The human body is predominantly water and needs a lot to help function during the day. Water can flush bad toxins, clean out nodes and glands that may have been working too hard while using, and regulate the body’s gut health. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 15 cups (almost 4 liters) a day for men and 11 cups (almost 3 liters) a day for women.
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Nutrition can and will play a vital role in recovery, and overall health and wellness. First Steps Recovery always recommends consulting with your personal physician before beginning any nutritional changes to discuss what will work best for your body.