Rethinking Recovery: Holistic Approaches to Healing Addictions

This article was written by Lisa Marshall and cites Registered Dietitian Nutritionist David Wiss MS RDN, founder of Nutrition in Recovery, and expert in the nutritional treatment of addictions and eating disorders. Read the full length article HERE
Lisa Marshall quotes David Wiss on several excerpts below:
 
“Enter a group meeting for recovering addicts or alcoholics and chances are there will be a pot of black coffee, plus donuts or cookies. ‘Having poor eating habits is a primary contributing factor to relapse,’ says Registered Dietitian David Wiss, founder of NutritionInRecovery.com, which provides nutrition consulting for recovery programs in Los Angeles. Because substance abuse can deaden appetite and many of the same neurological circuits that drugs and alcohol stimulate are also activated by salty or sugar-laden foods, newly recovering addicts tend to be ravenous and drawn to junk food. ‘After 30 days in treatment, people can gain 10 to 30 pounds. They often turn back to addictive substances they’ve abused to get their appetite back under control,’ says Wiss. (Because smoking deadens taste buds, drawing people to seek out more intense salty or sugary flavors, it exacerbates the problem.)”
 
“Wiss says he generally recommends food over supplements, yet asking newly recovering addicts to also revamp their diets can be tough. ‘I wouldn’t expect anyone to make a big nutritional change in their first week of sobriety,’ he says. After that, he encourages small steps: Drink eight glasses of water per day. Eat three meals and three snacks to keep blood sugar stable. Load up on fiber, which can help heal the gut and replenish it with healthy bacteria. Eat plenty of lean protein to promote production of feel-good brain chemicals. Load up on nuts, seeds, fatty fish and other omega-3 fatty acids that suppress inflammation in the brain and have been shown in some studies to quell depression. Daily exercise is also key as Wiss notes that it ‘circulates our blood and gets all those healthy nutrients into our brain.'”
 
It is time to start Rethinking Recovery!
Rethinking Recovery

Dr. David Wiss became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in 2013 and founded Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice of RDNs specializing in treating eating and substance use disorders. In 2017, David received the “Excellence in Practice” award at the National Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded him the “Emerging Dietetic Leader Award” in 2020. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in the Community Health Sciences department (with a minor in Health Psychology) by investigating the links between adverse childhood experiences and various mental health outcomes among socially disadvantaged men. His treatment philosophy is based on a biopsychosocial model which incorporates an understanding of biological mechanisms, psychological underpinnings, and contextual factors that integrate the social determinants of health. Wise Mind Nutrition is an app-based interactive treatment program available for download now - https://wisemindnutrition.com/download.

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