Well, my no-sugar challenge tanked. After I wrote in my last post about finding some neat looking juices, I did have a bad reaction to the one I was drinking. I was partially using the challenge to switch from diet soda (which I ramped up after quitting the vodka), to healthy juices and water only. Sounds like a dietary version of the old lady that swallowed the fly. Then I had a bad reaction to a KIND bar, which also sucked. So no juices with apple, carrot or anything with grasses (I can’t have alfalfa, for instance).
I did find one juice, from Evolution, that was JUST watermelon and lemon. Holy hell, it was SO good. But it was $4.99 for one bottle. So, um, no.
I’m allergic to things on what’s called the birch spectrum. It’s a long and weird list:
Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum.
I know, it sucks. I’m pretty allergic to carrot and apple, and hazelnut allergy is very strong and really sucks because of all the good chocolate I’m missing!
This is the ragweed list, which, with all my grass and mold allergies, I thought would be 100% fatal to me. None of these have any effect on me at all:
- chamomile tea
- hibiscus tea
- sunflower seeds
- raw zucchini
Of course, the challenge didn’t tank just because of one juice. (I’m picky, too, and I hate berries.) BUUUT I was trying to start off with a 3 day juice fast, and obviously that didn’t work. So I tried a 3 day water fast, and that tanked faster than Eddie Murphy performing for the Pope.
I’ll try again.
What does all this have to do with sobriety?
Well, not everything in this blog is going to be allll about sobriety. Diet and nutrition do have a great deal to do with recovery and our physical health after alcohol.
Most of us have done pretty solid damage to parts of our bodies we never worried about pre-booze. Our livers, pancreases (pancrei?), kidneys, hearts, fat storage, nerve cells, brain, digestive system have all taken a beating. Eating better and trying to exercise are very important for continued sobriety and recovery. It’s about way more than putting down the vino.
For myself, I’ve put on a lot of weight in recovery. I first got sober on Dec. 2, then had a 10 day whirlwind mess of a bender in March. I sobered up for good on March 19. I am on a medication routine that involves meds that can cause weight gain. Well, they’re right: Those meds help a LOT if you need to pack on some pounds. Aside from weight loss, though, most of us need to up certain vitamins and minerals in our diets, and all of us need to be careful not to replace the sugars in alcohol with other harmful sugars, like candy, cake, white flour, white rice and sweeteners.
If we could manage to stop drinking, we can get healthy. One day, one calorie, one smaller meal or bigger glass of water at a time.
Speaking of water! Say yes to the H2O! Drink more water. And then a little bit more. Throughout my many pregnancies I got in the habit of using a spaghetti sauce jar as a water glass. I still do that. And I keep a 1L bottle of water always in my bookbag for going to town.
I take vitamins, and a few extra supplements, that I figured out by taking lots of notes in the naturopathic classes they had at the IOP. But if you’re looking for concrete places to start: this is a good one, as is this. Here’s another one. And this one is the most recent.
If you’re in your FIRST THIRTY DAYS of sobriety, just eat. Please. Don’t look for a regime or a right way. You are in a precarious place, so just eat. Drink lots of water.
All of us in recovery could use a few basics in the vitamin/mineral/supplement category:
Thiamine-this is a B vitamin. Alcoholics are universally low on this one.
Vitamin D–buy a cheap supplement.
Allllll the B vitamins.
If you can afford, it buy a good B supplement. If not, try to eat high in B vitamins.
Here is a good link for B-friendly foods.
I don’t want to knock the blogosphere; it’s FULL of folks writing about sobriety and nutrition in recovery. Here is one. There are a lot of them, and I just don’t have the oomph to link to them all.
We are so fragile in our new recovery that the easier we make things on our bodies, the better. Switching from Cheerios to granola or wheaties is a good start. Or eating real oatmeal instead of pre-packaged. When we feel good about what we’re doing physically, it takes away part of the emotional and mental challenge of staying sober.
On to other topics:
I mentioned I’m having stupid cravings. I also told my AAA (atheist/agnostic AA) group this. Well, not so much a group. By the end of the meeting there were 5 of us, which is average, but the beginning of it was just 2. Me and a friend. Which, of course, is a meeting. And the advice I got was: Glad you told us. Go to more meetings.
Well, I go Friday, Sunday, and sometimes Wednesday. I only go to AAA meetings, having been to a lot of the “normal” ones and I definitely don’t fit there. As I said before, I don’t do steps and I don’t do sponsors, I go to AAA for the camaraderie and support. So instead of more meetings I’m doing this. 🙂 And I have some buddies and a recovery fairy godmother looking after me.
Aside from AAA, I use Smart Recovery, CBT, meditation, journaling, and a network of friends who know my situation. I am not trying to get and remain sober with just a few AAA meetings. I’ve linked to and explained about all this in other posts.
I do think it’s the heat and the outdoors leading to the cravings. It just screams “BBQ and beer!” But, no.
The other thing that was mentioned is naltrexone. We’re fortunate in my town to have a doc who provides the Vivitrol shot free the first time, so folks can decide if they want it; he also prescribes naltrexone. But it’s not an option for me because of some of my medications. So I’ll just keep on keeping on. I think it’s brilliant that those meds are out there.
So I’ll try to do the no-sugar challenge at my own pace. And maybe I’ll make that 3-day water fast somehow. Seems like in my 20’s I’d have done it nooo problem. Sigh. 😉
The other thing I’m working on is still meditation. I love how it fits into my life no matter what, although with so many kids, sometimes my attempts have to be aborted. Seems like as soon as I get set up in the hammock for a 10 or 20 minute meditation, it’s like a scene from the Keystone Kops, with kazoo music and a band. I’m making myself a “STOP! Mom’s Meditating!” sign to go on the little table next to my hammock.
I was at the gym today and I meditated through 3 miles on a stationary bike. I love that! Just me, my breath, and the pedals. No music or guidance because I left my earbuds at home.
Time for me to sign off and aim the stragglers towards bed. It’s heading toward 1 a.m.
Keep kicking addiction’s ass!