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!