So you’ve detoxed off of heroin or have abstained from alcohol and are working a healing recovery program of some sort. Yet, there are some days that are better than others as far as your mood, despite having done everything you were asked to do, correctly.
Early recover can feel a lot like early childhood again. We need guidance in order to make healthy changes and responsible decisions, yet we also have impulses and a wide range of emotions that change frequently while our brains and our bodies are still healing. While we might have thought initially the detoxing off of whatever substances we were on would be enough to lead happier lives, we began to understand that there were many layers and factors that contributed to our lives becoming as unmanageable as they had become. Even a menial task like grocery shopping could lead us to a drunken night without any idea or prior intentions to drink that night. The problem is that while we were drinking or using, most of us weren’t paying attention to the foods we were eating.
One of the more interesting topics in regards to recovery is diet. When we eat high carb foods or foods that are high in sugar, our blood sugar spikes. After our bodies have broken down the sugar with insulin, our blood sugar drops to a normal range. When we consistently eat these foods, our blood sugar spikes and drops frequently, which can cause a change in mood, physical symptoms like shakiness or lightheaded-ness, or even turn into more troubling diseases such as diabetes or hypoglycemia.
By cutting out foods that are heavy with carbohydrates and sugar, we start to take control of some of the external factors that may be contributing to rapid mood swings and instability in our emotional lives. Sugar stimulates the pleasure center of our brain by releasing dopamine after we consume it. Blood sugar and dopamine are the reasons why even the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests to carry a piece of candy with us while we are early in sobriety. Overly consuming alcohol— which breaks down as a sugar— can lead to the same issues that over consumption of sugar and carbohydrates can lead to.
When we decide to eat a low carb diet with low sugar, our glucose levels reach a normal, stable level. You should talk to a nutritionist before you decide to make any drastic dietary changes on your own, as well as your doctor. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can help us to gain self-control, become physically and emotionally healthier, and have more stable patterns in thinking and mood. While these two things should never replace medications or therapy without clinical guidance, they can only serve to enhance our lives and to make treatments more successful.
The fact remains that you are what you eat. Changing your diet could be the next right thing to change to assure long term sobriety and long lasting happiness.
Iris Healing Retreat is a holistic rehab center where empathy and spirituality lead to recovery through the heal of mind, body and spirit. Give us a call at (818) 436 2646 to know more about what can we do for you or your beloved one to find the right path to recovery.