I remember the specific day when I decided to get serious about sobriety. It certainly didn’t happen overnight. I am originally from Colombia, a place where we love enjoying life and celebrating. It was this very characteristic of Colombian culture that introduced me to alcohol at a very young age. Our family gatherings would typically involve drinking, and at the age of 9, I took my first sip of hard liquor. The intoxicating feelings I experienced on that day, unfortunately, stuck with me. My pursuit of altered states only escalated from here.
By the age of 13, I was smoking Marijuana. By age 19 I was on Meth. I ended up spending some time in prison, bounced in and out of recovery programs, and even attempted to take my own life. I had just been let go from my first job after prison and was living with my parents. It was an extremely hard time for me. I knew that they had prescription pills locked up in their room. I anxiously awaited the chance for them to leave so that I could put an end to all of my pain and suffering.
Luckily, my mother had sensed something was wrong as they were leaving. She came back just as I had the pills in my hand and prevented me from hurting myself. That was the day I decided to make a change. I needed to stop damaging myself and the people I love. All of my life experiences helped shape the man that I am today and ultimately led me to sobriety. Sometimes you have to experience the darker things in life before you can head towards the light.
I’m happy to share with you today that I have been clean and sober for 9 years and am living a healthy and fulfilling life. I exercise, work on my business, and practice gratitude daily to keep myself on the right path. If you have decided to choose sobriety, I commend you! It’s not an easy decision to make, and I certainly struggled during my own journey to sobriety. The first few days and weeks are undoubtedly some of the toughest. You will be battling your demons and constantly fight temptation. Sobriety and healthy living are definitely a lot easier if you provide yourself with the knowledge and tools to succeed. That’s why I have prepared a list below of the 4 Essential Foods to Eat during Your Drug or Alcohol Detox. These are foods that I personally have found extremely helpful during my experience getting sober and I know they will make the burden of detoxing a little less painful if you try them out.
Fruit & Vegetables
I have learned during my journey to sobriety that any addiction will lead to deficiencies in calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium in the sufferer. Restoring your body’s necessary levels of these minerals is a priority during detox. It certainly was for me. That means supplementing your food intake with those minerals, as well as vitamins A, D, E, K, and B, and folic acid.
A good and wholesome source of the vitamins and minerals you need to eat can be found in fruits and vegetables (as well as whole grain foods and nuts), and are also rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber. Don’t forget, those detoxing crave sugar. Oh, hello fruit…
I’ve found that going through a detox requires a great deal of energy, ie. protein, and whole grains like wild or brown rice, beans, lentils, and oats, provide the perfect source for it. The body also needs protein to assist in the repair of damaged tissue, particularly in the vital organs of your heart, brain, liver, and kidneys. I believe it is absolutely essential to fuel your body with these types of whole grains. One of my personal favorites during my initial recovery was having a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Starting off your day with some delicious oatmeal and a side of fruit will be enjoyable and provide your body with the energy it needs to flush out toxins and get you feeling right.
Whole grains can also help stabilize your blood sugar levels (usually, pretty haywire after years of abuse), and thus reduce cravings. Another source of energy, complex carbohydrates, can also be found within fiber-rich whole grains.
I absolutely love this phrase – healthy fats. Traditionally, I’ve always thought that the word fat has a very bad connotation. Now I realize that healthy fats (and oils) are essential for your body to absorb all of this great recovery inducing nutrients and deliver them in the form of fatty acids. I am a huge fan of incorporating nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts) into my diet and highly suggest you try to eat them during your recovery. It’s a minimal effort snack that packs some serious nutritional value. Some of the most delicious and healthiest sources of fatty acids are nuts, coconut oil, avocado, seeds, and good ol’ olive oil.
Have you ever considered algae as a substitute for your everyday salad? I thought it sounded strange at first, but I’ve discovered that it’s a brilliant alternative to salads that increases your energy levels and cleanses your body of post-addiction toxins. Popular types include chlorella and spirulina. I was interested in trying to add Algae to my diet and decided that seaweed was the best way to go. I started with basic Nori seaweed sheets, which soon became a personal favorite for a quick and easy snack. Here in Colombia, it’s not the easiest food to find, but after some determined searching, I finally found it at! Go on, give algae ago, detox or not.
During my experiences detoxing from drugs and alcohol in the past, I would not have been able to make it without a healthy diet and the foods I’ve listed above. It is absolutely essential to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to power through a detox. I truly believe that feeling healthier is an integral part of recovering from addiction, and these foods, while helping your body cope with the detox process, will contribute greatly to your sense of well-being. They are, simply, the best medicine you can take.