Nutrition Education for Addiction Recovery

Nutrition Education and Support in Recovery

During substance abuse recovery, the emphasis is typically on what people are no longer putting into their bodies. While abstaining from substance abuse is the priority, what people are putting into their bodies also matters. Many people in substance abuse recovery have poor eating habits and serious nutritional deficiencies, which can severely impact their overall health. Since nutrition and addiction recovery are so closely related, nutrition education and support are key components of our addiction treatment at Silver Pines.

As part of our nutritional therapy, we help clients connect the dots between disease, addiction, and malnourishment. Addiction is a disease of the brain that has physiological and psychological manifestations, so healing involves making conscious changes in the way you feed your body. Moreover, supplying healthy nutrients prevents physical problems; however, the benefits go even further.

Correcting Nutritional Deficiencies Caused By Substance Abuse

Individuals struggling with addiction for an extended period often don’t have a balanced and nutritious diet and have poor eating habits. Additionally, certain substances can leach vitamins and minerals from the body. All of this means that most people with substance use disorder entering recovery are lacking essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

To put our clients on the path to nutritional wellness, we serve delicious meals rich in essential nutrients meals every day, paying special attention to the dietary needs and preferences of each client. Our executive chef specifically designs the menu to ensure each client gets the proper nutrition they need to be healthy. Food can be one of the best ways to improve health, and an anti-inflammatory diet can even speed up the recovery process.

Because nutrition and addiction recovery are so closely related, during treatment, clients are educated on which foods are key to their overall health. We help each client develop healthy eating habits. And our executive chef prepares foods for them that meets all their nutritional needs. Further into recovery, clients start to participate and learn how they can maintain proper nutrition and healthy eating habits beyond treatment.

Meet Our Executive Chef: Andreana Ferrari, BC, Certified Nutrition Coach

Andreana was raised in the family restaurant business, learning the joy and importance of good food and hospitality at a young age. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science at Pennsylvania State University in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management. Dre found her home at Silver Pines in 2017 as a place where she could combine her passions for culinary creation and helping others. In her role as Executive Chef, she focuses on holistic wellness by serving a variety of fare that addresses nutritional needs and comforts the soul. As a Nutrition Coach, Dre works to educate clients about the benefits of a balanced diet and to facilitate the inclusion of healthy eating behaviors as a part of sustainable recovery and wellbeing. She’s current working on becoming a Certified Health and Wellness Coach.

Goals for Nutrition While In Recovery

It’s normal for weight to fluctuate during addiction recovery. Many people arrive at treatment malnourished and underfed, often because food isn’t a priority when they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For these individuals, gaining weight by eating balanced meals is normal and expected.

While some individuals gain weight during recovery, others may lose weight. For example, an individual with an alcohol addiction might suddenly have more energy to be active since alcohol is a depressant, which can lead to weight loss. Focusing on nutrition for recovering alcoholics and recovering addicts is vital. And whether individuals need to gain or lose weight for optimal health, proper nutrition and eating balanced meals certainly plays a vital role.

What Is Nutrition Education?

In treatment at Silver Pines , having access to nutritious food is a definite benefit, however, clients won’t have this ongoing, 24/7 nutritional support for their entire lives. That’s why food preparation education is a vital component of our nutrition programming.

The nutrition education component of treatment at Silver Pines focuses on fostering food security and skill building that includes food preparation, interactive cooking groups, and individual coaching. We have “Around the World Wednesdays” where we highlight international comfort food for our clients. We also have a “Guest Chef Series” during which clients work with our kitchen staff to cook a meal or a snack for the entire facility.

What Our Alumni Are Saying

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The Connection Between Hunger and Relapse

There are many things that can lead to a relapse, including being hungry. When the body is hungry, thirsty, or lacking in essential vitamins, it can worsen drug or alcohol cravings. By teaching our clients the importance of eating a proper diet and keeping their blood sugar at normal levels, we help them stave off future cravings and temptations. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to continue preventing relapse.

Benefits of Nutritional Therapy During Addiction Treatment

Nutritional therapy is beneficial because the nutrition-related skills that clients learn help them as they complete treatment and live independently. From grocery shopping to learning to prepare nutritious meals to kitchen hygiene, these skills can become lifelong assets in the fight for ongoing sobriety and holistic health.

Supplementing Nutrition Education at Silver Pines

Nutrition education is a key component of our addiction treatment programs, but we also offer a wide range of other therapies. Some of the other substance abuse treatment options we offer include: Nutritional therapy is an aspect of recovery that people often overlook, but it can greatly improve overall health beyond treatment. At Silver Pines in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, an individualized addiction treatment plan that includes nutrition contributes to lasting recovery for each of our clients. If you’re struggling with substance abuse , call 267.209.7313 to learn more about how we can help you improve your health and ensure lasting sobriety.
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