Although we tend to separate the mind and the body, the two are intimately related. Try this experiment for yourself: imagine yourself sucking on a lemon. Do this in such a way so that it’s like you’re really sucking on a lemon. Are you noticing your mouth fill with saliva? Can you practically feel the bitterness of the lemon? This is how powerful the relationship is between the body and the mind.
Just as the mind can influence the body, so too the body can influence the mind. You can imagine that when you eat foods that are pure, unprocessed, and sugar-free, there’s a good chance that you’re mind will have more clarity. In many cases, men and women who go on a healthy diet or who choose to cut out certain unhealthy foods from their diet, there is a considerable difference in the quality of their thoughts. The mind-body relationship is so strong that many addiction treatment centers are beginning to notice it too. They are beginning to realize that it’s necessary to not only discuss the patterns of addiction, but to also offer nutritional counseling as a means of supporting their residents.
If you’re in recovery, regardless of what stage you’re in, it’s never too late to change your diet. It’s never too late to make healthier food choices. If you have the opportunity to work with or hire a nutritionist, that might be a good start. If you are living at a residential treatment center or a sober living home in which there is a nutritionist, don’t hesitate to take advantage of that service.
If for some reason you do not have access to a nutritionist, you might want to do some research on what you think your body might need. You can ask yourself:
- -What foods are going to help restore your health?
- -What fruits, vegetables, and supplements are going to feed your organs and brain with the energy it needs to come back to health?
To answer these questions, you may want to begin a food journal and discover which foods work well for you and which ones create symptoms. You might also investigate your answers online. There are many health sites that can point you in the right direction. You might also subscribe to a health magazine and stay up to date on various research studies regarding food and nutrition.
The following food suggestions are those based on what’s generally healthy for most people. And if you were to follow the food tips below, they certainly wouldn’t cause any harm. However, for the optimal suggestions specific to your health concerns, take your time in discovering what’s right for you. Nonetheless, here are some general food tips to consider:
Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains: This should make up ¾ of every meal. These foods provide carbohydrates, which is primary fuel for working hard at practice. You only have a limited supply of this food source in your body so being sure to replenish this food type is essential.
Protein Foods: This food group should make up the other ¼ of your meal. These are foods like meats, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, beans, and tofu. They provide amino acids, which are the building blocks for making other types of protein, and help you build muscle tissue. This food group is also a good source of iron. This is an important mineral you need to maintain your energy level.
Dairy Foods: The best recommendation for this food group is to have 3-4 servings per day. This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and ice scream. Remember to choose lower fat options as best you can. These foods provide high quality protein, carbs, calcium, and Vitamin D as well.
Fat: This is the primary muscle fuel you use during low intensity activities. Be sure to steer clear of the unhealthy versions and instead choose the healthy fats such as those found in fish, like salmon; and a variety of plant sources, such as nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils.
If you want to boost your recovery, create a clear mind by eating healthy foods.
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