Foods And Lifestyles To Avoid During Recovery

During recovery, there are a variety of foods best avoided to return the body to state of optimum health. Education regarding a healthy diet and food preparation may also provide addicts with an activity to keep their minds occupied on something other than using. In addition, a well-planned diet can also cater to specific health issues, commonly exacerbated by addiction.


Alcoholics generally receive ½ + of their daily calorie intake from drinking. Due to the fact that many alcoholics often find themselves with lacking judgment in situations filled with salty, greasy and fatty food items, many do not receive enough nutrition to maintain proper health. As such, one of the initial steps of recovery is the restoration of dietary balance. This means choosing healthy food items whilst removing alcohol and sugary beverages from the diet. For individuals lacking any serious health issues, following the basic guidelines outlined in the Food Pyramid is a wonderful place to start.


Many recovering alcoholics lack in physical health by the time they finally seek help. Perhaps the most common health issue seen in newly recovering alcoholics is obesity, due to the steady intake of empty calories consumed when drinking. For those alcoholics struggling with obesity, sweets and junk foods should be avoided at all costs. In addition, recovering alcoholics should attempt to burn more calories than consumed on a daily basis to help shed excess pounds.

Obesity-Related Conditions

Conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol often go hand-in-hand with obesity. Recovering alcoholics who are struggling with these conditions may also want to seek out foods with lowered sodium, fat, cholesterol and salt levels. The help


After a period of consuming low-quality foods, many alcoholics find themselves lacking the nutrients necessary to maintain proper health. Over a long enough period, these individuals may become malnourished and starved of essential minerals and vitamins. Lacking these nutrients, alcoholics incur a heightened risk of conditions like anemia, osteoporosis or worse. As such, it is vital that recovering alcoholics seek out foods high in minerals and vitamins, including veggies, fruits and low-fat dairy items. Daily multivitamins may also help promote a proper nutritional balance during early recovery.

Peptic Ulcers

When an alcoholic continues to drink over an elongated period, the body may begin to develop peptic ulcers. Alcoholics with these ulcers must pay special mind to portion control, or eating too much in one sitting. Instead, recovering alcoholics are encouraged to enjoy a series of smaller nutritional meals throughout the day to help the body regain balance.

Looking for an addiction nutrition program? Contact Above it All today!

Important Diet Recommendations For The Recovering Alcoholic

Important-Diet-Recommendations-For-The-Recovering-AlcoholicAlcoholism is the only known disease to affect each and every system and cell within the body. From the cardiovascular and digestive systems to a variety of organs including the liver and brain, no area is left untouched. Because alcohol does not expel toxins while robbing cells of nutrition, alcoholics are often malnourished. Proper diet is essential to the recovery process by way of repairing the damage done to the body through excess abuse. When combined with routine exercise, healthy eating habits can do wonders to ensure a safe, comfortable and happy transition into sobriety.


  • Choose foods high in healthy carbohydrates and proteins to help reduce those pesky cravings.
  • Include daily multivitamin supplements that include folic acid and B-vitamins, while avoiding food and beverage items that include sugar and caffeine during the initial recovery period.
  • Seek out foods that contain tyrosine, tryptophan and amino acids. These items will work to aid a positive emotional state and promote alertness. Good examples include tofu, seafood, poultry, meat, milk, bananas, sunflower seeds and turkey.


Remember the old food pyramid from grade school? It still applies!

Base your meal choices around these six pyramid groups for adequate nutrition:

1 – Fruits – Apples, grapes, berries, pears, melons, oranges, grapefruit and avocados.

2 – Vegetables – Broccoli, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, beans, spinach, lettuce.

3 – Oils and fats – Corn, safflower, canola and olive oil. Olives, peanuts and almonds are also wonderful options. Opt for a margarine or mayonnaise without trans fat.

4 – Healthy whole grains – Bulgur, tortillas, brown rice, cereals, whole grain breads and oatmeal.

5 – Meat, poultry and fish – Add fish such as albacore tuna, mackerel, herring and salmon to your diet whenever possible. Eat chicken and turkey without the skin.

6 – Dairy products – Switch to low fat or skim milk, nonfat cottage cheese, and fat free yogurt. Swap your cheddar and Swiss cheeses for mozzarella.


When the cravings hit, it’s best to be prepared. Stock up on air popped popcorn without the butter, pretzels, fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt. Chop up a few raw vegetables and dip them in a low-fat dressing or salsa. The better you eat, the better you’ll feel. When it comes to recovery, you need all the help you can get!

Learn More

If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Above it All is the place to call! Pick up the phone today and let our team of addiction and recovery specialists help you back on track towards the healthy, happy and productive lifestyle you’ve been missing.

10 Nutrition Tips to Keep Addicts in Tip-Top Shape

When addicts seek help for substance abuse in residential recovery programs, their treatment includes a number of elements. Along with the counseling sessions and attending 12-step meetings, clients learn life skills to help them undo some of the damage caused by poor diet and irregular eating.

Nutrition Tips to Help Addicts Continue to Improve Their Health Once They Leave the Addiction Nutrition Program:

  1. Set up a regular schedule for mealtimes. Having a routine is important for people in recovery, and eating at the same time every day provides much-needed structure.
  2. Be sure to stay well hydrated. It’s important to get enough fluids throughout the day. Use a refillable water bottle and make a point of drinking water regularly to avoid dehydration.
  3. Eat a balanced diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
  4. Plan to eat three meals and two healthy snacks each day. Some addicts don’t recognize the normal feeling of being hungry when their appetite returns in recovery. Going too long between meals may be interpreted as a drug craving, which can trigger the urge to start using again.
  5. Avoid high-calorie foods packed with sugar and which have little nutritional value. People who were taking stimulants may be drawn to these types of foods, but they will only cause blood sugar levels to spike and then drop off quickly.
  6. Taking a multivitamin supplement helps to ensure all necessary elements for good health are present. No one eats a perfectly balanced diet all the time, and the addiction nutrition program instructor will explain there will be times when clients make better choices about nutrition than others. Rather than deciding some foods are “good” or “bad,” a better option is to make good choices most of the time and take vitamins every day.
  7. Choose high-fiber foods more often. They create a fuller feeling that will carry a person through to his or her next scheduled meal or snack and make it easier to resist sugary treats in between meals.
  8. Reduce caffeine intake. It can interfere with normal sleep patterns when ingested later in the day. Be aware that it is found in soft drinks and coffee, as well as chocolate.
  9. Consider taking a fish oil supplement to increase the body’s magnesium levels. It contains the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, which can improve mood.
  10. Consult with a nutrition counselor to work up a diet plan. Individual and group sessions may be helpful to stay on track with a healthy eating plan.

Following these nutrition tips and the strategies learned at the substance abuse recovery program will help clients stay on the right track to long-term sobriety and better health.