Drug addiction and substance abuse take a massive toll on the body, eroding many of your own natural immune system functions and overall health.
After a successful detox, the next important step on the road to recovery is to repair all the damage done to the body during the addiction. This means a new health regimen that includes exercise, plenty of sleep, and a balanced and healthy diet.
Healthy food choices are not always easy or convenient to make and America’s obesity epidemic speaks to this challenge on a large scale. But with a few basic concepts can help you get a great diet planned out that will help you recover your health and well-being throughout treatment and recovery.
Fill half your plate with non-starch veggies.
There’s nothing better for your body as a long term nutrition strategy than good old fashioned vegetables in your recovery meal. They provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients which help release the energy you get from proteins and fats. They are big contributors to the immune system and endocrine systems. The non-starchy kind are of great benefit because they are high in fiber and so keep you full longer without taking as long to break down and process in the system. Clean fuel is what you need to keep flowing through your body during recovery.
Quality Proteins in Moderation
We are an exceptionally meat-loving culture with all the beef, poultry, pork, and fish we consume on a regular basis. These protein sources are good for us, helping to build muscle fibers and sustain long term cell replenishment. However, the body can only break down so much protein at once and it’s much better to choose high quality meat than to eat a lot of low quality meat. You want to have a regular diet of white meats like poultry and fish, with red beef scattered in sporadically. All meat should be free of antibiotics and hormones (so buy organic, free range) and avoid fast food meats which are full of extra chemicals and hacked up on massive dirty feed lots.
Fats are Healthy when Consumed Correctly
The proper use of fats is as a condiment or side to a healthy meal of lean protein and veggies. Fats help to build necessary enzymes and hormones throughout the body, particularly testosterone in men. However, you want the right kinds of fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and whole milk. Processed trans fats that you find in fried food and packaged snacks are the ones to avoid, as they serve only to clog up the digestive pathways and get stored away as body fat for a rainy day.
Carbs are Not the Enemy
Fad diets often advise you to cut carbohydrates out of your diet completely to cut body fat and lose weight. This works as a short term fix for weight loss diets but it’s not a sustainable health strategy. You want to have a healthy source of carbs each day from things like starchy vegetables, whole grains, and oats. These complex carbs will give you long term energy and help to keep the metabolism running. Simple carbs are the ones that get more easily stored as body fat and make you feel more lethargic as they are broken down in the stomach, including bread, cereal, and sugar (America’s #1 Drug!).
If you concentrate on putting only clean-burning, healthy fuel into your body in the form of a balanced diet, it will help you stay focused on your body’s needs and a positive recovery, rather than dwelling on simple adrenaline fixes like drugs and alcohol.
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.