It is our brain’s job to allow us to cope with stress gracefully, but to do that, it needs to be fed optimally! How can we optimally feed our brains this holiday season so that we can fi nd and maintain joy, serenity, and sobriety success?
FEEDING THE RECOVERING BRAIN FOR HOLIDAY
It is our brain’s job to allow us to cope with stress gracefully, but to do that, it needs to be
fed optimally! How can we optimally feed our brains this holiday season so that we can fi
nd and maintain joy, serenity, and sobriety success?
The holidays can trigger us in many ways. The co-dependent people-pleaser in all of us
has a hard time saying “no”, whether it be to a piece of pie, a beer, or one more holiday
party. We don’t want to look different, and we stress ourselves out to set the “perfect
holiday table”, and appear normal. We might get obsessive, frazzled and exhausted. But
most painfully of all, we grieve the loss of loved ones. And we crave whatever works to
make that pain tolerable.
In the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition, and The Alliance for
Addiction Solutions, we offer nutritional tools which allow us to move through these
situations with grace, by effectively supporting our brains and bodies.
What are these tools?
I. Keep your blood sugar balanced by eating at least 15-20 grams of protein (2 eggs with
cheese, 1/3 lb. hamburger patty, a tofu scramble or half a cup of cottage cheese) every 4
hours. This maintains access to your recovery skills, (which are stored in your pre-frontal
cortex), helps to keep your mood stable and you calm, and has been known to prevent
suicidal ideation and action. Finally, eating protein before walking through the door of a
party allows you to wave away that sparkling glass of champagne, or that luscious piece of
German chocolate cake with equanimity.
II. Use the appropriate amino acid to offset cravings and moody bumps within 20
minutes! What are amino acids? Amino acids come from the protein we eat and can be
bought online or from any vitamin store. They create the neurotransmitters in the brain
which mediate mood and energy. They are fi red and then depleted by addictive
substances and behaviors and when depleted, dri