When you are restoring your brain and body from the damage of intense abuse from alcohol, food and drugs, you want to understand how to eat to best support your recovery. What you eat in recovery can make the process towards thriving again in your body a lot easier. If you want to cure the underlying imbalance, it is essential to understand the dynamics that make for addiction - whether that be food, drugs, alcohol or disordered eating behaviors. What is interesting to me, is that these self-abusive behaviors all have that in common, that the energetics are out of whack in a similar fashion. For those of you who prefer neuroscientific terms - the brain chemistry component; particular serotonin and dopamine. This means that we will benefit from adhering to a strategy that helps to re-align that imbalanced energy in our body, that literally makes our skin crawl and go after self-destruction, self-distraction and acting out. Different foods have different signature energetics. Often we are so focused on what science has proven regarding nutrient and antioxidant value that we are blind to the fact, that foods have a lot more value than simply antioxidant value and glycemic index. What is food energetics you ask? Click to read on.Read More
After stress, drugs or alcohol your brain and central nervous system suffers greatly. Many in recovery feel like their nerves are raw. When you talk to them, you can almost feel how exposed they are. They have no filter. They have no tolerance for anymore stressors. They are naked. This is not a great feeling - pretty stressful in itself actually. This explains why many go back to drugs, foods, alcohol to try to numb out again. A key remedy to help restore strength, stamina and satisfaction, including being a memory and intelligence enhancer, is black sesame paste.Read More
I talk a lot about brain chemistry when dealing with health issues. The thing is, a major part of our neurotransmitters are found in our gut. So if something is up with our digestion, our mental health + emotional stability will be affected to some degree. What does this have to do with nutrition in recovery? Well, I've never met an addict who didn't have leaky gut. Drugs - whether street or prescription matters not - is the no. 1 major culprit involved in the epidemic of digestive disorders we are seeing today. What other factors trigger leaky gut?Read More
You might know that 8 - 9 hrs sleep is recommended for general health. However, what you might not know is that WHEN you sleep is absolutely vital during recovery. We know that physical recovery and healing takes place from 10 PM - 2 AM. What is the science behind this time you might ask? Well, approximately 3 hrs after dark the output of ACTH of the pituitary decrease, allowing the cortisol to come down. Elevated cortisol is an inhibitor of Human Growth Hormone (early adrenal stage insufficiency where cortisol is chronically elevated). This puts your body naturally in the perfect biochemical state for cellular repair mode. Only if you are sleeping, though.Read More
Did you know that carrot juice is almost identical to healthy blood? This is critical information to apply to any recovery program. Drugs and alcohol severely affect blood chemistry for the worse, thereby also increasing cravings and decreasing nutrient absorption. Healthy blood chemistry is the flow of life through your body. When your blood chemistry is compromised, every organ is too. Carrot juice acts therapeutically to restore and replenish healthy blood.Read More
The pull of addiction is beyond human control. Neuroscientist Nora Volkow is a pioneer in addiction medicine and director of National Institute of Drug Abuse at NIH. In this talk which was taped at TEDMED 2014, she applies the lens of addiction to eating disorders and obesity; describing the brain chemical issues at play. TEDMED features the brightest minds in health + medicine at their yearly conference.Read More
It is well-known in addiction research that exercise can increase endorphins, which help take the edge off withdrawal symptoms and elevate mood. In other words, movement is a core component of every human beings health. When we were kids, we would spill over with energy and zest for life - like we were in a room without ceiling. We needed not be told what was good for us, we were so connected to our body, mind and soul, that we instinctively did what felt good. Addiction is a hunger for happiness, for wholeness, for meaning.... for something more. However, exercise can both REDUCE or INCREASE stress and the risk of relapse - in this article I go through 5 exercise styles that will help you thrive in recovery and actually achieve your body and mind goals faster. And no, the key is not harder, longer, faster.Read More
Addictions - whether food, drug or alcohol - overlap in that they are all based in the brain. Addiction is not a willpower issue - it is a brain disorder. Addicts typically suffer from ragged nerves, anxiety and lack of impulse control. These are all issues tied to a weak brain. Mind you - NOT a stupid brain, or low IQ. Just a brain that doesn't have enough fat to protect the nerves from stress, trauma, toxins and high-sugar diets. Our brain mainly consists of FAT. The types of fats we eat directly impacts our brain health and ability to deal with stress, breaking addictions and minimizing withdrawal symptoms.Read More
The debate of whether raw, vegan, paleo, high fat-low carb, low fat-high carb, Atkin’s, fruititarian, macrobiotic etc. is better, is a complete waste of time at best. Our body is constantly evolving and changing depending on our phase in life, environmental triggers, toxic exposure, stress levels, age – and obviously also our gender.Read More
Did you know that violent behavior whether leading to destruction against others or one-self, such as in addictions, is tied to specific nutrient imbalances that can be traced already in kids? We used to think that violent behavior, addictions, eating disorders and general social dysfunctional behaviors were a result of lack of supportive parental guidance and a good upbringing. Well, it has long been known in nutritional psychiatry, that terrible childhood actually has little to do with where people end up later in life. We are not our trauma, and we can transcend pain of the past, when we are resilient on a biological level.
Show me someone who has struggled with an addiction or eating disorder, and I will show you someone who is severely dehydrated. Dehydration is a major issue that we need to focus on immediately during early phase recovery. No healing can take place on a biochemical level, if we are not properly hydrated. Our cravings intensify, our mood becomes depressed and we just can't function. Our neurotransmitters and hormones require a stable level of hydration to function and communicate messages across the body correctly. Now one would think, well, I'll just gallon up then. No - actually drinking excess amounts of plain water is detrimental to your health. Your urine does not need to be clear for you to be properly hydrated - that is a complete myth.Read More
Now you may be thinking what on earth does walking barefoot on the earth have to do with any type of recovery from drugs, alcohol or food. Well, any type of self-destructive behavior is a disconnect from our soul and the most basic things in life that help us to thrive. It is about tapping into our basic instincts. Walking barefoot helps to re-connect us with body-mind-soul in a way that any talk-therapy will not be able to copy. When we connect with nature, a profound level of healing takes place. For every ailment there is already invented a cure in nature - we just need to utilize it.
One of the most frequent drug prescriptions today, are anti-anxiety drugs. There are many reasons for that, aside from that every addiction or eating disordered is always related to some sort of anxiety. And this regardless of whether one is aware of it or not. There is always an element of anxiety when we use food, starvation, overexercise or drugs to suppress this inner sense of "unsettleness". When we have an overexcited nervous system, always feel wired, work with technology all day, drink too much black coffee, get too little deep sleep before midnight in order to repair brain cells, and perhaps also struggle with a digestion not functioning due to painkillers and antibiotic popped like candy these day, we will feel anxious - or unable to be calm. Thus we look for an external fixRead More
As you probably know, Robin Williams died this week due to addiction issues. Very, very sad. Not long before that, we lost Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And a couple months prior that, we lost L'wren Scott, Mick Jagger's latest wife. And a couple months before that tragedy, Peaches Geldof, Bob Geldof's 25-year-old gorgeous daughter kissed the dust. Every single one struggled with drug addiction. And died from that. It is not uncommon for those, who struggle with drugs, that they also suffer from different disordered eating behaviors as well, often overlooked and ignored due to drug use. Together they form a fatal combination, heart attack waiting to happen. A heart can only take so much stress before it gives up.Read More