To Fight Addiction, Feed Your Brain

I’ll admit it. When I got sober, my diet was lousy. Fast food, doughnuts, cookies, ice cream and way too much coffee. The idea of eating right meant getting a salad to go with a full slab of ribs.

Although I was doing a good job of going to meetings, I was still beating my brain up. A constant flow of sugar and caffeine kept me on an energy roller coaster. I’d often stay out late at night talking with people from the meetings at the local greasy spoon, eating apple pie a la mode and drinking coffee until midnight. When I got up for work early the next morning, I often felt as bad as I did in my drinking days.

There’s a brief article on this subject here: Drew Ramsey, M.D.: To Fight Addiction, Feed Your Brain. One of the most important things people in early recovery can do is to start

Here are my top three physical things people should do to bolster early recovery.

1   Eat three healthy meals a day. The real thing. Just like momma taught you. Watch the sugar, especially if it’s not part of a meal. Rebuild the body and brain you’ve been hammering the last few years.

2   Limit caffeine after noon. And don’t expect to get a decent night’s sleep if you drink any coffee after dinner. You don’t need to be a speed freak. Eight hours of sleep will revolutionize your life. And if you read something in bed, you’ll sleep like a baby.

3   Get some exercise every day. I don’t care how embarrassingly puny the exercise is, at first. Take a walk around the block, ride a bike, anything. If you want to give your body a treat, get a few sessions with a personal trainer at a gym to get you going. Or a yoga place. Whatever.

I’m in the best shape of my life now. I feel better, think more clearly and have more energy than I did at 30. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to follow all the directions.

-Jeff Jay

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