What is the best course of nutrition for addiction recovery? How should we eat in recovery so as to live a healthy life? I am still exploring these questions myself but I have also done a number of experiments and trials with food in recovery to try and determine the best path for myself. I will say this much: it is hard to eat healthy. It really is.
From what I can tell at this point, caffeine is optional. If you abuse it and drink, say, more than 4 cups of coffee each day, or if you are drinking those ridiculous energy drinks quite often, then you should probably cut down. Caffeine is being studied a lot lately and the research is pointing to the idea that the health benefits of it probably outweigh the negatives, but this is if you can use some moderation. So they are usually recommending about 2 cups of coffee each day, or the equivalent thereof. When I use caffeine, I tend to drink a bit more than that each day, but not by much. So I have gone back and forth a bit with the idea that I should be drinking caffeine or not. Right now I am back off of it again, but that could easily change.
Now as for the diet, I have struggled lately with eliminating processed foods. I am eating a very small amount of processed foods each day in the form of about 2 slices of bread and 1 piece of cheese. I also each fresh meat at 2 meals throughout the day and the rest is fruit and vegetables. To be honest I think I feel a bit better when I am eating complete junk such as TV dinners and processed junk and snacking on ramen noodles, but that might be because my body is still readjusting to the change. At any rate, I think I will make a big effort to keep most processed food out of my life from now on, because I do have higher energy levels when I eliminate it and eat fruit throughout the morning, and I basically have to cut down on sodium anyway due to high blood pressure.
If you are not exercising in recovery, then I would urge you to start doing so immediately. Even if you are just walking a short distance each day, I think it is important that you commit to that and then build on it. This will do wonders for your physical health and your recovery.
There are many different diet options in recovery. You might tend to lean towards a vegan diet and eat lots of beans, fruits and veggies. Or you might do more of a low carb or slow carb diet in order to lose weight so that you can be at a much healthier weight for yourself. Everyone’s approach will be different depending on their life goals.
The key is to define those life goals and then design a diet that will help you to reach them. Simply ignoring the idea of nutrition in recovery is the biggest mistake. Make positive and healthy changes today!