When transitioning from residential addiction treatment to a transitional living space that includes attending an intensive outpatient program, it is important to focus on health—which starts with eating the right foods to nourish your recovery.
In a residential program, meals are often provided for the residents. As a result, nutrition is one less thing that the client needs to think about on a daily basis; they can focus solely on recovery, and on getting to the next step.
When attending an intensive outpatient program, independence is gradually re-introduced into your daily, more structured routine. Buying groceries and preparing meals becomes a task that you are responsible for, and between searching for employment and attending IOP group sessions, an emphasis healthy eating can often fall to the wayside.
Our bodies need the right nourishment in order to facilitate the ongoing healing processes of recovery. Our foundation begins with food, and when we pay attention to the foods we are eating, we are able to pinpoint those which serve us healthfully and those which do not.
Find below a series of tips to encourage a healthy diet and lifestyle in recovery.
Tips for Healthy Eating
- Make a Grocery List
They say that there is nothing worse than shopping on an empty stomach. When you make a list and plan meals in advance, you are much more likely to stick to the groceries you actually need. Scout websites like Pinterest to find healthy recipes that require few ingredients, and only buy what you need for the week. Stocking up on healthy staples like brown rice and frozen vegetables can also make it easy to cook a meal in a pinch.
- Take Note of Nutritional Needs
As the body recovers from addiction, it experiences a whole range of physical effects. Food is one of the most powerful resources we have to fuel our bodies appropriately. Swapping habitual comfort foods for smarter snacks creates long-term habits that are synonymous with your recovery and the progress that you are making in your health and well-being.
- Establish a Routine
Whether you enjoy cooking or are a less-adventurous eater, establishing a routine is key. When you have firm times set up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you create the path to better sleep, better digestion, and overall better moods. Establish a routine that corresponds with your schedule, and make it a point to stick to it.
Above all, be patient with yourself, and remember the healthy patterns you are making on a daily basis in your recovery, and all the progress yet to come.