Addiction recovery center patients benefit by sticking to a healthy diet once they're back at home and focused on recovering. Keeping up a healthy diet requires a little pre-planning, but it doesn't have to be hard. Try these tips to plan healthy meals and snacks throughout the day.
Stick to Whole Foods
Processed foods, those normally found in packages and prepackaged are often stuffed with unhealthy ingredients, such as saturated and trans fats, excess salt, and sugar. When making healthy meal choices, opt for whole foods as often as possible. Whole foods are best in their natural state, such as produce, eggs, and meats.
Eat Plant Foods
You know fruits and vegetables are good for you. They're packed with the vitamins, nutrients, and fiber your body needs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, adults need three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit per day. Try to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal, and add some in as snacks during the day. Many people prefer raw veggies rather than cooked. As a snack or side dish, eat raw veggies such as celery, bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers dipped in hummus or low-fat salad dressing. Eat fruit in a tasty fruit salad, mixed into yogurt, or added to cereal. You can even make creative salads by mixing fruits and veggies. Combinations such as spinach, kale, blueberries, and raspberries are interesting and fun. You can eat fruits and veggies fresh, or opt for frozen varieties when your favorites aren't in season. Some sober living homes provide some meals and you can customize them overtime. Aim to eat as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as possible. The more colors, the more vitamins, and minerals.
The American Heart Association recommend six to eleven servings of grains per day. Refined grains such as white flour and white rice are milled to increase shelf life, which can decrease vitamins and fiber. Whole grains include the entire grain. Make at least half of the grains you eat each day whole grains. Use whole wheat bread for sandwiches and toast, brown rice for stir fries, and whole grain versions of pasta for pasta salad. If you normally eat sugary cereal for breakfast, try oatmeal or a whole grain bagel with cream cheese instead.
Protein helps your body build muscle and give you energy. Aim to eat two to three cups of protein per day. Choose proteins that are low in saturated fats. Some good proteins to try include fish, beans, nuts, lean meat, eggs, and dairy products.
You may think fats can't be part of a healthy diet, but your body needs some types of fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your heart, and they can help lower cholesterol. Foods that contain good fats include avocados, nuts, nut butter, salmon, and olives. Make a healthy trail mix with nuts, seeds, and raisins for easy snacking. Eat avocados on salads or on toasted whole grain bread. When cooking, choose healthy oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil.
Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy diet. Keep a water bottle with you to drink whenever you feel thirsty. The Institute of Medicine recommends women drink nine cups of water and other beverages per day. Men need an average of 13 cups of beverages. If you don't like drinking plain water, try infusing with fruit. Add lemon, lime, strawberries, or orange slices to your water bottle for refreshing hydration.
To eat a healthy diet, you need to plan ahead. Write out a weekly meal plan and purchase the amount of food you need for the week. When you choose to eat healthy foods, you will notice the difference in your overall health and well-being.
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. Casa Nuevo Vida, a recovery home has more information here about eating healthy during recovery.