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You have no doubt heard that old expression: “You are what you eat.”

That seems problematic if you are, say, Cookie Monster, but the fact of the matter is that that old proverb has some application when it comes to recovery from a substance use disorder.

If you are what you eat—and what you want to be is sober—it is an excellent idea to choose food and beverages with care. 

Here are some suggestions that can support your sobriety.

Keep Proteins Lean

Whether you are a meat eater, a pescatarian, a vegetarian, or a vegan, protein is an important part of your diet. No matter the source, protein is important to your muscles and bones—and it also provides energy. 

When it comes to the protein in your diet, you want to keep things lean, but you also want to make sure you are getting good fats—which can be found in fish, eggs, nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, and more—because they help your body repair damaged tissue. 

It Is Easy to Eat Green

We know that Kermit is convinced it isn’t easy being green, but fortunately it is pretty easy to eat plenty of green, leafy (and not so leafy) vegetables. And doing so has real benefits when it comes to your sobriety. A substance use disorder can undermine your physical well-being, but eating healthy vegetables can help address that malnutrition and get you headed in a better direction. Better physical health will help you stay sober.

And green isn’t the only color that is good for you. Other vegetables as well as colorful fruit (bananas, berries, and so much more) are also good choices as you work to rebuild your health after reclaiming your sobriety.

Complexity is Good When it Comes to Carbs

If we are being honest, most of us avoid complexity when we can. We want to keep things simple because complexity can be stressful. But when it comes to the carbohydrates in your diet, complexity is the goal.

Whole grains provide complex carbs—and far more nutrition and energy than the simple carbs found in most processed foods. Many of us tend to eat a lot of heavily processed food because it is quick and easy, but again, a little complexity goes a long way when it comes to consuming carbs.

Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet in Recovery

Most everyone is familiar with the sensation known as a sugar rush—and most of us probably don’t think much of it (except when it makes the young children in our lives explode with energy that cannot be contained—as if they have suddenly been possessed by Elmo). But a person in recovery from a substance use disorder has reason to take care when it comes to sugar.

That’s because a sugar rush emulates the kind of rush provided by drugs or alcohol—and thereby increases the likelihood of a relapse. We aren’t necessarily saying you have to totally give up sugar, but we are suggesting that a mindful approach to its consumption serves you and your sobriety well.

Wet Your Whistle with Water

Drinking water is an excellent idea for everyone—including for those in recovery. Water provides hydration and refreshes the body without sugar or caffeine. We have already noted the potential issues around sugar, and caffeine can cause problems of its own.

Caffeine can make it harder to sleep at night, for example. That is a problem because restful sleep supports your physical health, your mental well-being, and your sobriety. So too much caffeine can be a danger to all three. Caffeine can also contribute to feelings of anxiety, which can put your sobriety at risk as well. However, there are reported health benefits associated with tea and coffee. As a result, we might suggest two words when it comes to caffeine: mornings and moderation.

Are Drugs and Alcohol Eating Away at Your Life?

When a person is struggling with alcohol or drugs, it can feel as though the substances are simply consuming that individual’s entire life. If that sounds familiar to you, the time to get help is right now.

At French Creek Recovery Center in Meadville, PA, we provide personalized care for every person we serve. We will see you through medically supervised detoxification; provide sobriety strategies, resources, and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders during rehabilitation; and offer ongoing support via our commitment to a continuum of care. 

If you have bitten off more than you can chew when it comes to drugs and alcohol, we are here to help.