Unfortunately, many individuals with substance use or mental health disorders lack basic life skills. Further, the disordered life that comes from active addictions makes it difficult for people to maintain or learn new life skills. This can include learning to cook and prepare nutritious and wholesome meals. The reality is that when a person is so focused on obtaining the object of their addiction, things like nutrition fall to the sidelines.
Proper nutrition helps the mind, body, and spirit recover from the effects of substance use disorder (SUD). Clients who learn to cook healthy foods will increase their confidence and independence and improve their mental and physical well-being. Let’s dive into the role of nutrition in recovery; specifically, let’s consider how learning to cook can become a part of your healing journey.
Nutrition and Addiction Recovery
Many of us have heard the importance of clean eating from doctors, nutritionists, or even social media influencers. Diet and exercise are integral to our overall health and well-being, but one workout routine or eating plan doesn’t work for everyone. People must discover workouts or eating plans that suit their needs and lifestyles, especially if someone’s in recovery.
When a person struggles with SUD, there’s a greater risk that they are or can become malnourished. This malnourishment and substance-seeking behavior can delay or even prevent a person from maintaining sobriety. The entire treatment process is taxing on the body. Many go through detox and experience withdrawal symptoms so intense they experience a sickness like never before.
Urges and cravings will continue as your journey progresses, but a critical way to counteract them is by properly nourishing your body. That’s because there are many health benefits associated with nutrition that will aid your overall well-being.
Why Nutritional Eating Is Important for Overall Well-Being
Most of us know that nutrition has several positive effects on physical health. However, it can also improve emotional and mental well-being. Let’s look at all the benefits to illustrate why we should prioritize nutrition throughout recovery.
As a whole, nutrition is about cultivating a healthier lifestyle. It should be about focusing on how your body feels, not how it looks. One way to eat more nutritiously is by following a nutritious eating plan. Some potential health benefits of doing this include:
- Healthier bodily functions
- Decreased risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart disease
- Prevention or delay of further chronic conditions or health complications
Another thing to consider is how substances can affect the body and how nutrition can counteract those effects. Some of these side effects on nutritional health include:
- Gastrointestinal issues caused by opioid use can impact the body’s nutrients and electrolytes
- Vitam B deficiencies caused by excessive alcohol use
- Increased appetite and potentially disordered eating patterns due to marijuana use
- Severe weight loss and nutritional deficiencies caused by using stimulants
You can utilize your time in treatment at West Coast Recovery Centers to assess and manage your nutrition in a way conducive to recovery. Avoiding unhealthy eating habits during recovery also helps you heal from the consequences of excessive substance use.
What Does Learning to Cook Have to Do With Addiction Recovery?
Now, many may not see what cooking has to do with recovery. However, learning to cook can benefit all areas of your life. Some of these benefits include:
- Providing daily structure and stability to your life
- Helping you avoid harmful eating habits or substance use
- Offering an opportunity to spend time with loved ones by cooking and sharing a meal
- Making your body feel better, which can ultimately improve your physical and mental well-being
- Improving your financial situation by avoiding the added cost of takeout or eating out
Remember, recovery isn’t solely about abstaining from substance use. It’s about making lifestyle changes that contribute to your overall sense of wellness. Learning to cook can do that. It offers a fun way to improve your health, be mindful about what you put in your body, and recover from addiction.
Unfortunately, making healthier lifestyle changes isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Thanks to the internet, you have endless recipes at your fingertips. Additionally, there are several ways you can start learning to cook today.
Consider These Tips When Learning to Cook Today
Whether your goal is to cook for yourself, your friends, or your whole family, these tips may help you start today:
- Start with the basics of cooking before moving on to more complex dishes, and keep things simple
- Establish a routine that allows you to carve out time for learning and practicing new recipes
- Invest in pans, knives, and other cookware that can help your learning process
- Plan ahead so that your entire cooking process can go smoothly
- Follow recipes exactly when starting; over time, you’ll gain more confidence and be able to put your own spin on almost any recipe.
Another tip is to be patient with yourself. You’ll experience a learning curve, especially if you’ve never cooked before.
To learn more about how cooking can impact your recovery journey or learning to cook, contact West Coast Recovery Centers today!
Believe it or not, learning to cook can become a huge part of healing from addiction. For starters, cooking has a number of benefits for your physical and mental health. Improving your overall well-being like this is critical to your overall wellness. In order to maintain wellness and achieve recovery, people must make healthier life changes, and learning to cook is simply one crucial choice you can make. It can also provide you with structure and routine and offers the chance to connect with friends, family, and other peers in recovery. To learn more about the benefits of cooking and how learning to cook can help you with your addiction recovery journey, call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509.