Nutrition in recovery is often over looked. The reasons why make sense. Here you have a person uprooting all behavioral and coping patterns they’ve ever used to survive for “X” amount of years and suddenly asking them to also adjust, minimize or omit the basic comfort of ice cream, chocolate cake, or (insert the dom dom sound from SVU) Coffee and Nicotine. It can be too much for some. The silver lining with this is that eating well to support your bodies healing process doesn’t have to feel like a second cross to bear. It actually really shouldn’t, it should complement and support it. The way to do this is to make foods that support the bodies needs but that also meet the “comfort food” list.
Here’s how it breaks down. During active addiction the body becomes depleted of specific building blocks (amino acids) like tryptophan and tyrosine. The neurotransmitters that these amino acids support is dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. By increasing the intake of nuts, yogurt, legumes, turkey, cheese, and leafy vegetables you are meeting all these requirements. And the great news is that a hearty, comforting bowl of black bean chili hits this out of the park. You add a piece of corn bread and a slice of watermelon and you’ve moved it into that “I’m satisfied” zone. It really depends on how much fun you have with it and asking yourself what can I create as opposed to “look at what I can’t”. It’s a shift of perception. Recovery is hard enough so make choices that feel good and enjoy every bite of it.