Nutrition in Recovery

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

When we’re talking about substance abuse, nutrition is rarely the focus of the conversation. A few simple drinks after work hours can easily translate into several more drinks at home every evening. Similarly, occasional drug use with friends can eventually turn into nightly intoxication sessions. At the time that it’s all happening, it could feel completely harmless. However, when you’re not paying attention is often when bad habits can develop. These bad habits can, eventually, take over your life. 

If you’re in recovery for addiction, you can probably recognize that it’s been harder for you to focus on your health and nutrition because substances have taken up so much time and energy. It might be difficult to go shopping for healthy, nutritious foods and to schedule time each week to exercise when our brain has become wired to crave substances, even if we’d rather work against it. If you feel like you’ve got a long way to go, don’t feel discouraged. Just as your brain and body became trained to crave substances, you can retrain them back towards healthy living by working hard in treatment.

What You Need to Know 

Nutrition literally fuels our body to perform the same way that gasoline propels a vehicle to move forward. When substance abuse is involved, it’s like pouring apple juice into the vehicle’s engine and expecting it to run optimally. As you may imagine, it doesn’t work well. Along with substance abuse, the mind and body likely have little energy to remain functioning in the best ways possible. Over time, this continued pattern can aid in the development of mental illness and can make it much more difficult to maintain healthy relationships, positive self-image and more.

Previous sources note that nutrition is crucial for the body to move and respond in the best ways possible. Substances like stimulants can suppress appetite and lead to malnourishment for those battling addiction, and recovery is about restoring some of what was lost. At Avalon Malibu, clients can receive individualized nutrition counseling and education so that they can enhance their sobriety rates. There are so many other benefits that can be found in this specialized treatment as well, such as:   

  •             A more calm sense of mood and reduced stress
  •             The body is able to heal from substance abuse damages more effectively
  •             Fewer cravings for drugs and alcohol
  •             Encouragement of self-care and a healthy lifestyle
  •             Medical conditions can more readily be addressed
  •             And much more

There are many types of nutrients that can benefit a person’s recovery, such as vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, zinc and calcium and more. These types of nutrients are most often found in foods you can find at your local grocery store, like leafy greens, seeds, soybeans, yogurt, cheese, legumes, citrus fruits, meat, lentils, berries, broccoli, and others. At Avalon Malibu, you can work with a nutrition expert to plan out meals that will be healthy for your mind, body and soul.


You don’t have to become a seasoned athlete in order to really benefit from the effects of exercise. In fact, even going for a light walk each day can reduce blood pressure and aid in overall cardiovascular health. When addiction is involved, it can take some time for the body to become used to this type of movement again since it’s drained the energy from the body and heightened stress responses. Exercise has shown promise for those in addiction recovery in case after case. For those who experience frequent cravings for substance abuse, exercise can greatly help a person distract themselves from those thoughts and feelings that may otherwise pull them into relapse. Exercise can also help add structure to each day, and can be a wonderful relief for those who battle with mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.  

On a more social scale, exercise can help people develop new friendships and build a sense of teamwork, especially as they work alongside others to accomplish their goals.

Creating a Plan 

Upon entering your personalized treatment program at Avalon Malibu, you’ll be able to consult with a nutrition and exercise advisor to explore what options would benefit your mental, physical and spiritual health the most. It’s important to create your own action plan when it comes to all of these aspects of living. As you work on this plan, it’s most important that you see how and why it can help you so that you’ll feel confident and motivated to carry out these plans after treatment as well.

It may feel intimidating to embark on better living through nutrition and exercise, but that’s what guidance from Avalon Malibu is for. Don’t wait any longer to begin focusing on the most important aspect of your recovery: your health. Call Avalon Malibu today.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late to begin taking steps towards a happier, healthier life and there are people here ready to help you. 

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