There are all kinds of terms that are thrown around to describe healthy eating, but what does a healthy diet actually look like? What should you look for in your diet and how much should you eat from each food group?

A healthy diet plays a very important role in your health. It helps your body heal if you have struggled with addiction and experienced treatment, and it also improves your overall mental and physical health. Each person’s diet will vary because of health and medical conditions, but this post will go over some tips to help you start eating healthier during recovery.

Establish a Healthy Routine

Having a routine is important for establishing a healthy eating schedule. It’s recommended to eat three meals a day with small snacks incorporated between meals. It’s important to eat every three to four hours so that your blood levels remain stable and give your digestive system enough time to break down each meal or snack you eat.

Inconsistency in your eating habits like skipping meals or waiting long periods for meals can cause highs and lows in your blood sugar level. These ups and downs can impact your mood. To learn more about how food affects your mood, read our blog here.

For those in recovery and those who’ve struggled with eating disorders, it can seem overwhelming to establish a routine. However, you can still find success by creating a plan each day.

how to eat healthy in recovery

Make a List and Plan Ahead

It’s a fact that planning out the ingredients and supplies you need makes it easier to eat healthier.

Make a list of the dinners you want to make for the week, a few options for lunch, and a couple of options for breakfast. You can pick the day you want these options the day of or the day before.

Have some fun when you pick out your meals. You could come up with theme names for each meal (like Taco Tuesdays) to add a little fun to the process.

Here are some effective meal planning tips:

  1. Keep a list of meals you enjoy on your refrigerator or on your phone. Each week pick a few from the list to prepare.
  2. Create a grocery list and get all the ingredients you need for your meals. Having a list will prevent you from buying things you don’t need
  3. Include a variety of meals in your meal plan so you do not get bored. Maybe try a new recipe each week.

Foods You Should Should Add

Whole foods are important for your diet. These include fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

It’s recommended that everyone has at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eat fruits and vegetables of different colors so that your body gets the most nutrients. For example, red tomatoes are good for the heart and green broccoli is a good detoxifier.

No matter what you choose, you’ll still get a proper supply of phytonutrients and antioxidants. These nourish our bodies and allow recovery.

It’s also critical that we eat whole grains because they give us phytonutrients, high levels of dietary fiber, and protein so that we maintain energy levels and release serotonin into the body. Oatmeal, barley, and quinoa are great whole grain foods that you can add to your meals.

Protein can come in many forms. You can get plant-based proteins from spinach, beans, and other plants, but many people enjoy chicken and fish. You want to shoot for leaner options for protein. Red meat is high in protein, but you should eat it sparingly as it’s tied to cardiovascular issues, weight gain, and different cancers.

how to eat healthy in recovery

Remember Your Diet is a Process

Your cooking might not be perfect and don’t feel bad about having a little treat every now and then. Just remember your diet is a process just like your recovery process. If you stay true to the rules and adjust your dietary needs accordingly, your overall health can improve and your body will recover faster.