Nowadays, it seems that everywhere I look, someone is throwing in their two cents on how to get fit. I see titles like “abdominal destroyer workout,” or “three ways to zap belly fat fast” left right and center. Some of these do offer valuable information. Others are nonsense that doesn’t actually work.
The thing is, our fitness models are ripped celebrities with 0% body fat. They create unrealistic expectations for us, and when we don’t reach our goals, our self-esteem suffers a major blow. Yet, the world of holistic living has an interesting approach on the topic. We’re supposed to see exercise as part of our lives, and not something we are forced to do.
The same applies to your diet. You can’t start a diet with a negative attitude, you’re bound to fail. A better outlook would be to accept it as part of your life. A diet doesn’t mean you can enjoy yourself. It’s not about using all of your will power to get through your next meal.
In my case, accepting a better diet as part of my life was an absolute necessity. I had no other choice. You see, I used to be a drug addict and alcoholic. My life revolved around getting high. I was addicted to meth and alcohol until the age of 23, when I was sent to prison on drug-related charges. Upon my release I checked into a rehab clinic and started my recovery.
I learned a lot from the treatment center. I learned I needed to reverse all the damage I had done to my body from over a decade of drug use. Exercise was part of the strategy, but so was a healthy diet.
When addicts do drugs and drink in excess, they are hurting their bodies. Sometimes in ways that can’t be reversed. Simply giving up the addiction usually isn’t enough. They have to make huge changes in their lives to become healthy again.
It can be overwhelming to see all the different diets out there, all aimed at a specific lifestyle. Here are four different foods that recovering addicts should include in their diets. Here they are:
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are not some new, hip movement. People have been eating them for a long time because of their many benefits. For one, they are rich in antioxidants, which are your go-to for cancer prevention. They are low in sodium and cholesterol, which is also an advantage.
Leafy green vegetables are great for maintaining body weight. They are also known for having vitamins A, E and C. Some examples are spinach, bok choy, kale, and broccoli. The best part is that you can combine these with any meal as a side dish. That way you get your nutrients with every plate.
The high levels of protein in chicken is one of its primary benefits. If you’re exercising after your recovery and you want your muscles to grow, then you need to eat protein. A more interesting benefit, however, is how chicken is rich in tryptophan. If you didn’t know, this amino acid works as a natural anti-depressant. It reduces your stress and makes you feel happier.
Negative emotions are among the top reasons why recovering addicts end up relapsing. By eating more chicken you don’t get as many negative emotions. This is essential to a successful recovery.
Drugs and alcohol will deplete your body of its essential vitamins and minerals. Having said that, as you work on replenishing the nutrients in your body, you also need to focus on your mind. Fish plays a major role in maintaining good mental health because of its main nutrient.
The primary healthy fat in fish is Omega-3. These fatty acids have increased in popularity all over the world. This is because of the way they help you maintain good health. They are known anti-inflammatories. They also help with combating depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Aside from that, Omega-3 fatty acids have also been proven to aid heart health and eye health.
Alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes, among other drugs are known to affect the heart. Having a healthy heart should be one of your top priorities. Research suggests that nuts are great for the heart. They have unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids.
There is one thing I should mention. Nuts have a high calorie count, so it’s a good idea to keep portions to a minimum. The best way to incorporate them into your new diet is to have them as a quick snack between meals. Don’t sit down with a massive bowl and start chomping, thinking that you’re getting fit!
These are some of the most vital foods I learned about during my recovery. The good news is that they are easy to combine with recipes, and they have plenty of benefits. Overcoming addiction is a difficult time full of tragedy and regret. Accepting your situation is a great start. If you want to rebuild relationships with friends and family this is essential. You have your whole life ahead of you!
What other foods are great for recovering addicts? Comment below!