Recovery and Eating Healthy

Recovery means much more than quitting drugs, drinking, or smoking.  Recovery means healing mentally, emotionally, and physically from the damage of substance abuse.  Healing is a process that takes much more than just abstinence from a substance. The stoppage of using leaves a void that needs to be filled with positivity and health.  A great replacement to substance abuse is eating healthy. Where you once drank a fruity cocktail (or five) at the end of the day, replace that with a fruity smoothie. Where you once smoked a pack of cigarette, replace that with a pack of carrots.  Using consumed time, money, social interactions, and a physical aspect of grabbing something and putting it to your mouth, nose, vein. When you stop using, there is all of a sudden time, money, social interactions, and habits that are sitting around needing to be checked.

Filling the Void

Depending on your usage, the amount of time you spent using varies.  The issue of time can be significantly apparent for smokers who were allotted a smoke break.  Many workplaces will grant that same break for something else. You can use that break to eat a healthy snack that is quick and can satisfy the oral fixation.  For others, using provided social interaction such as friends at the bar, instead you can try and make new friends at juice bars, smoothie stores, health food stores, or spend quality time with friends and family members who might have been neglected.  Filling the void that substance abuse created is important, as many who used drugs, alcohol, and smoked are now dealing with the physical consequences of the substance abuse.


It is no surprise that many health issues arise from substance abuse.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, liver damage, significant weight loss and gain, memory damage, cancer, and many more health issues arise from substance abuse.  Although some damage is permanent, eating healthy can help heal a lot of the damaged caused by substance abuse. It is important to reduce sugar, and eat wholesome meals regularly to help counter the damage done.  Although it sounds simple to start eating healthy, this is a challenge that might be greater than it appears. When using, you probably did not eat as much (unless with marijuana use) and made poor meal choices based on convenience such as fast food, take out, and processed foods.  Eating healthy takes effort, planning, and skill.

Get Help

Eating healthy is difficult for people who are not in recovery.  You are not alone. Depending on the substance you are recovering from, it might affect your diet and what foods you need to eat or should avoid.  Talking to a professional dietician, nutritionist, and working with a substance abuse counselor could help in identifying an appropriate and healthy diet that will strengthen your recovery.            

If you’re in the Southern California region, please contact Crownview Medical Group to get in touch with a trained medical professional who can provide guidance.