Whether you’re in the midst of starting PHP (partial hospitalization program) or already down the road of recovery, it’s important to be mindful of how nutrition can potentially enhance your treatment. Whether it helps alleviate symptoms or gives an extra boost in motivation and energy, improving your diet is beneficial for both body and mind—and sometimes, these reasons are unexpected! In this blog, we’ll explore some surprising ways that proper nutrition can influence your journey into recovery during your Atlanta PHP. By the end, we hope you have a better understanding of which dietary choices could best support you on your path to wellness.
What Eating Well Is and Isn’t
Good nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all formula. People are built differently, and some foods that are healthy for one person may not always be good for you. What’s more, it’s important to remember that diet and nutrition don’t just refer to cutting out things like sugar, fat, or carbs (in fact, these are even essential parts of a healthy diet). Instead, eating well can be thought of as optimizing the types and amounts of food we consume to support our bodies in every way possible.
At its core, this means making sure you’re getting enough key nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals to fuel your body with the energy it needs while also consuming foods that are enjoyable to eat and make you feel good after consuming them. During your Atlanta PHP, this balance is especially important because it helps restore equilibrium between physical health and mental well-being—especially if poor nutrition was part of the cause for seeking help in the first place.
When it comes to recovery during your Atlanta PHP, there are several surprising benefits associated with proper nutrition that may not necessarily be obvious.
Eating for Your Body
When it comes to eating for your body, particularly during the course of your Atlanta PHP, it’s important to consider both the immediate and long-term effects of what you eat. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet can help ensure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed to support physical health while in recovery.
For example, incorporating more lean proteins into your meals will help keep you full longer. In addition to providing sustained energy throughout the day, proteins are also essential for building muscle mass, which is important for overall physical fitness.
Fruits and vegetables are other great sources of key vitamins and minerals like vitamin A or potassium that can help with cell repair or provide essential energy for your body. Consuming enough water will also help you stay hydrated and keep your organs functioning optimally. This is especially helpful if organ damage has been a result of old destructive habits like alcohol or substance abuse.
Eating for Your Mind
It’s no surprise that certain foods can have an effect on our mood, and this is especially true during recovery from an illness or addiction. What we eat can play a key role in helping us to manage stress and other emotions, which can be a major challenge during the course of PHP.
Integrating more complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains) into your diet helps the body produce serotonin, one of the main neurotransmitters involved in maintaining our sense of well-being and happiness. Foods like salmon, eggs, yogurt, and dark chocolate contain essential fatty acids and omega-3s, which help reduce inflammation within the body and improve brain functioning. These fats can also be used as additional fuel for exercise or other rehab activities that involve endurance.
Eating for Yourself
The psychological benefits of eating well are just as important as the physical. Eating nutritious meals can help you feel more energetic and confident in yourself, which is essential for taking on the challenges that come with recovery from an illness or addiction.
Preparing your own food can also be immensely satisfying, especially if it has been a long time since you have cooked for yourself. Taking the time to make something healthy and delicious can remind you of what’s possible when we put effort into taking care of ourselves. Not only will this give you a sense of personal accomplishment, but it will also help to foster good eating habits that could help support you during future difficult times.
Connecting Your Mind With Your Body
The mind and body are inextricably connected, meaning that what we do to one affects the other. Eating well during your Atlanta PHP can help to maintain this connection, allowing for better communication between the two systems. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking time for yourself can all contribute to this process as well.
For individuals in recovery, this connection can be especially powerful, as it will help to build and strengthen the body-mind resilience necessary for maintaining positive mental health and managing withdrawals or cravings. Recovery, in its essence, starts by taking care of ourselves. By taking small but sure steps toward better eating habits, you can achieve emotional stability, better self-esteem, and improved overall physical health.
Foods to Avoid During Recovery
Surely, no one is perfect, and the occasional cheat meal or junk food snack every now and then is perfectly normal. However, during the course of recovery, when you are trying to build a healthier lifestyle, it is important to avoid certain foods or beverages that could be detrimental to your progress.
Processed snacks, fried and greasy foods, sugary drinks, excessive caffeine, and artificial sweeteners may provide a temporary distraction from reality, but they can have negative long-term effects. Some of these foods and drinks can contribute to feelings of lethargy or reduced focus and even heart disease. Making an effort to limit these types of items will help you stay on track with your eating goals and create new healthy habits for the future.
Get a Nutrition Plan With Your Atlanta PHP
Hope Harbor Wellness is a holistic Atlanta PHP provider that considers nutrition education as part of our treatment program. Through our addiction recovery programs, we offer helpful resources on how your eating habits play an important role in recovery from mental health issues or addiction. For more details on how food can help support your journey toward recovery, speak to a professional today or visit our website.