Nutrition in Recovery Group Curriculum is now Available!
In 2012, I ran my first weekly nutrition group at a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Los Angeles where I taught people about the link between nutrition and behavioral health. We did not have a TV, so I put together various handouts as reading material for group discussions, based on information that I learned through my own treatment in 2005 & 2006. I’ll never forget the excitement of my first year running Nutrition in Recovery groups and building out the curriculum, and becoming a specialist working with this unique population. The experience was magical – I’ve enjoyed being contacted over the years and people sharing memories of that first nutrition group; someone recently told me that my trip with them to the grocery store while they were in treatment changed their life, and they are now sober working as a chef. This is in part due to the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum.
Nutrition in Recovery took off quickly and by 2013, I was running groups at several different treatment centers, conducting individual counseling and occasionally leading hands-on nutrition workshops. I took on dietetic interns and built out a legendary team of dietitians. We have run groups both locally in Southern California as well as internationally and have hosted various forms of staff training. To date we have contracted with over 30 treatment centers, including facilities that treat eating disorders as well as general mental health. During these years, I have refined the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum based on feedback from attendees as well as the facilitators, and of course the rapidly changing nutrition landscape.
I have always tried to be available to help, but have never shared any curriculum, until now. The legendary Nutrition in Recovery curriculum is available to you. The content is designed to be delivered by a registered dietitian but can be done by someone who has a proficient background in nutrition and is attuned to recovery culture. Many of the slides have notes under them to help guide you through it all. If you or anyone you know is interested in conducting research using the curriculum, let’s talk.
The Nutrition in Recovery curriculum consists of 26 weeks (that’s 6 months!) of educational presentations, handouts, videos, games, activities, and discussion topics, all of which build upon the previous weeks, but can also be used in any order. Some groups include homework, recipes to keep, and are all designed to stimulate excellent discussion. There is no nutritional agenda embedded into the curriculum, it is flexible to a wide range of approaches. It is also eating disorder informed and friendly, and the best part about it is that you will get the actual PowerPoint and Word docs whenever available, so you can customize the curriculum as you see fit! This will make working at a treatment center manageable, and fun!
- Week 1: The Basics
- Week 2: The Nutrition in Recovery Method
- Week 3: Fiber the Missing Nutrient
- Week 4: Incorporating More Fiber
- Week 5: Budgeting Food During Recovery
- Week 6: Smoothie Workshop
- Week 7: Sugar, Salt, Fat
- Week 8: Let’s Talk Breakfast
- Week 9: Substance Substitution
- Week 10: Oats Workshop
- Week 11: Conversations About Sugar
- Week 12: Emotional Eating
- Week 13: Exercise in Recovery
- Week 14: Whole Grains and the Mediterranean Diet
- Week 15: Artificial Sweeteners
- Week 16: Salad Dressing Workshop
- Week 17: Fads and Myths
- Week 18: Guess that Plant
- Week 19: Binge Eating Solutions
- Week 20: Body Image and Disordered Eating
- Week 21: Chocolate Bites Workshop
- Week 22: So Many Different Approaches
- Week 23: Mindful Eating
- Week 24: Food Safety
- Week 25: Stress and Inflammation
- Week 26: Cooking in Recovery
The cost of the curriculum is $695 and as a limited-time bonus includes a 30-minute consulting session with David Wiss MS RDN within 3 months of purchase. David will also send you his range of academic publications related to nutrition, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. You can use the 30-minute session either to seek clarification on the curriculum, to dive deeper into the research and learn more about the link between nutrition and mental health, or to pick David’s brain about anything. Lastly, those who purchase the curriculum will be added to a special mailing list where we will eventually form a group of nutritionists who work in addiction treatment centers sharing ideas, challenges, and victories. The goal is to one day have a recognized certification, and those who get in now will likely end up as the original leaders. Let’s join forces!
Questions? Email email@example.com
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Please make sure to include the proper email address for correspondence. You will be asked to sign a non-disclosure before receiving the Nutrition in Recovery curriculum.
Four years ago we had a BIG idea. What if we could throw a nutrition conference in Los Angeles and talk about the important issues that are not being addressed at the state and national conferences?
What if we could lead the discussion that would pave the way for future nutrition professionals? What if there was WAY more to it than most people think? And thus the conversation was BORN. Each year we have been sold out, and this year will be the most epic yet!
On behalf of LAD – Los Angeles District of California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I am THRILLED to announce our line-up this year for “More than Meets the Eye: How Unseen Factors Impact Nutrition and Health” on Sunday April 5, 2020 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
If you have an interest in nutrition, join us for a full day of cutting edge information plus networking with like-minded individuals. We are offering 6 CPEs for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. If you’re a student, intern, aspiring nutritionist, or just have a general interest in learning more about where the future of our field is headed, this event is for you!Read more
Certain subjects can simply be taught due to their objective nature, while other subjects need to be contextualized and explored. Since nutrition science can become convoluted due to special interest, cultural norms, early childhood experiences etc., it must be uniquely explored before it can be understood. In Hands-on Nutrition in Recovery groups, Shelby takes the opportunity to utilize the far-reaching (and less predictable) aspects of nutrition to make groups interactive, fun, and thought-provoking, breeding a different level of interest and engagement.
Shelby’s love for science, nature, traveling, culture, and food are the perfect ingredients for creating curriculum that breaks free from the limited ways we commonly discuss nutrition.
Our group on Entomophagy (the practice of eating insects), starts with the exploration of what staple foods look like in different cultures, and how the “ick factor” is often due to cultural norms. We investigate how our delicacies are often established because of supply and demand, and how living in a culture of abundance is transforming this.
Our Hands-on Nutrition groups redefine what is actually needed in order to cook for ourselves. An electric skillet and pan are the only tools utilized to make seemingly complicated dishes such as Shakshouka (eggs poached in sauce), and curries made from scratch. Or a portable blender to make homemade Açaí bowls. Once we take the pressure off ourselves, we can start to have fun in the kitchen. So many individuals in recovery have barriers here, and our aim is to break those barriers down with direct experience using the hands-on nutrition approach.
Shelby’s focus on self-care, de-stressing, and the importance of personal rituals are taught through the lens of gardening. Gardening basics are taught including the importance of soil, fertilizer, watering, and trimming, as we plant herbs together. In subsequent classes these herbs are made into a tea to be enjoyed by the group.
The idea of food being “good” or “bad” is often challenged, especially during our group on marketing. We discuss how the words healthy or low calorie can lead some people to prefer a particular item while others will avoid it, assuming it will not be delicious. We discuss the marketing potential this gives to food manufacturers, as we are not afraid to discuss food politics. To bring the point home, blind taste tests are conducted to determine our actual preferences (free from marketing bias). We sometimes make desserts out of whole ingredients to determine if they will be as satisfying as our traditional “sweets.”
Shelby’s ultimate goal is to start a conversation about topics that are frequently overlooked by popular culture, which can help us to better understand our own eating behavior. When fundamental topics such as how sight impacts taste are discussed, we understand this first-hand by group experiments and we begin to have a new understanding which Shelby finds to be a central aim of learning. These hands-on nutrition in recovery groups are all the rage in treatment centers in Los Angeles!Read more
David Wiss MS RDN has written a book which contains 365 entries, one meditation for each day of the year. The content covers all things nutrition, recovery, mental health, gut health, exercise, body image, and more! The messages are scientific yet contain spiritual underpinnings. They can be considered as part of a daily practice, or can be used to run groups in treatment settings. The book is not released yet, but we have decided to share daily snippets from the daily reflections with you over the course of the year on instagram.
If you do not already follow @davidawiss on Instagram, now is the time!
And if you’re not instagram, follow David on Twitter where you can also access the daily reflections.
Would love to hear your feedback on the content. So much exciting stuff coming this year! Don’t miss these Daily Reflections from Nutrition in Recovery!Read more
David Wiss MS RDN founder of Nutrition in Recovery walks you through some of the latest research on circadian rhythms linked to mental health. Key take-away points:
- Both sleep and nutrition are part of circadian rhythms
- Circadian rhythms are easily disrupted by binge eating and substance use
- Associations between circadian rhythms and health are mediated by hormones and more recently the gut microbiome
- Novel treatments for behavioral health disorders have begun looking into the circadian clock
- Changing health behaviors can reverse circadian disruption over time
- “When” you eat is often just as important as “what” you eat
Nutrition in Recovery is a group practice of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and other health professionals who specialize in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, body image, mental health, as well as general wellness.
We send out a monthly Newsletter summarizing the latest research linking nutrition and mental health. Each newsletter will include a short video with some helpful hints and actions you can implement to improve mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing for yourself and for your clients. You will be among the first to hear the findings and insights from cutting-edge data, and we are providing references so you can do your own research if interested.
View previous video on Nutrition During ChildhoodRead more
While David Wiss MS RDN was presenting this year at the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders he met Aaron Huey of Fire Mountain Programs and they decided to do a podcast together on the importance of nutrition in mental health recovery. This particular episodes focuses on the role of nutrition in early addiction recovery, specifically with teens. In this episode they discuss gastrointestinal health, neurotransmitters, blood sugar, and overall problems with successfully implementing healthful eating in today’s youth. This was an epic episode of Beyond Risk and Back!Read more
Mr. Wiss has three big conferences coming up, and hopes that you will be able to join him at one of them!
We are excited to announce his speaking schedule over the next several months. Please let us know if you will be attending so we can plan a meet up! Cape Cod, London, and Philadelphia here we come!
Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders (CCSAD)
September 5-8, 2019, Hyannis MA
Saturday September 7, 10:45am-12:15pm
“Nutrition for Addiction Recovery: Exploring Links Between the Gut and Brain”
International Society of Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR)
October 20-22, 2019, London UK
Tues October 22, 11:00am-12:30pm
“Moving Toward Nutrition Standards in Substance and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment”
Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE)
October 26-29, 2019, Philadelphia, PA
Pre-FNCE workshop hosted by Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM)
Saturday October 26, 8:15am-9:30am
“More than Meets the Eye: How Unseen Factors Impact Nutrition and Health”
More information on Wiss Speaking Schedule for Winter 2019-2020 coming soon!Read more
The Dope Wisdom Podcast with Yeshaia Blakeney from Recovery Integrity – Interview with David Wiss.
David and Yeshaia discuss addiction, recovery, nutrition, gut health, microbiome, research, and intellectual spiritualism.
Yeshaia Blakeney, host of the Dope Wisdom Podcast and co-founder of Recover Integrity, a Los Angeles addiction treatment program he opened in 2015, is an addiction expert with 15 years of experience working in substance abuse and mental health.Read more
Nutrition in Recovery is a private practice founded by David Wiss MS RDN, who recounts:
The vision was born in 2006 ago when I got sober and used nutrition and exercise as part of my personal recovery. I had made attempts at getting sober previously, but never felt comfortable in my skin, mostly plagued by lethargy and anxiety, which left me pessimistic about sobriety. I had always assumed nutrition was about fitness and weight, which is how it is presented by society. But when I began to exercise and eat a wide range of plant foods, something dramatic happened to my mental health. There were dramatic changes in my body which served as positive reinforcement, but the real outcome was that I became optimistic and found some inner-peace. My thoughts cleared up and so did my skin. My bowel movements became regular, and my heartburn went away. I woke up feeling refreshed in the morning, and when I read recovery-related literature, it was actually sinking in. Previously it seemed as though my eyes were just skimming the page. At that point I knew that nutrition is important for recovery from addiction and wondered why no one ever told me so. From there I was able to quit smoking and became a non-competitive athlete. I can remember being extremely excited to go to the grocery store and buy fresh food to experiment with in the kitchen.
After working as a personal trainer for a few years, I was accepted into a master’s program in nutrition where I completed training to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I worked at UCLA Medical Center and gained experience with eating disorders. The field of nutrition for addiction recovery was unchartered and I started a private practice immediately after passing my exam. I have not had a slow week since. I have run groups at many different treatment facilities and have trained other dietitians to do the same. I fell in love with academic research and began publishing scientific articles. I taught myself the basics of neuroscience, nutrition-related hormones, and gastrointestinal health. With this information I was able to conceptualize eating behavior in order to create real change in the people I work with. Most of my referrals come from previous clients, and mental health professionals who have seen my work transform people. Currently I am working on my PhD in Public Health from UCLA.
I am not attached to any particular food philosophy. I do not try to convert people to eat the way I eat, although I do eat strategically without much effort. I am a believer in using whole foods and developing life skills to cook and prepare food when possible. Supplements can be helpful, but they are designed to support behavior change. I specialize in helping people to make gradual and stepwise changes in their food choices. I am an expert in nutrition but can serve the role of a coach. I look at the entire dimension of wellness: food, beverage, exercise, supplements, sleep, sunlight, etc. I am recovered, and love to help other people become the same. I spend the first hour collecting information about you and from there will have a better picture of the direction we are headed. Some people need structure, other people just need a safe place to talk about food and body. Some people need tips for grocery shopping, other people just need some accountability for their recovery. I try to find the intersection between giving my clients what they want and giving them what they need. Let’s take a journey together and see where it goes!