Maintaining a Healthy Diet For Recovery During the Holidays

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

If you have been through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you have likely experienced devastating effects in multiple areas of your life.

Dealing with an addiction not only impacts your physical health but your emotional and psychological wellness as well.

While many important actions are helpful to helping an individual recover and restore from the effects of addiction, eating a nutritious and balanced diet can serve as a strong foundation for addiction recovery.

Many individuals who struggle with addiction are often malnourished, as the substance that is being abused takes priority over healthy foods and meals. Learning how to feed yourself appropriately may seem like a daunting task, but it is necessary for healing and rebuilding nutritional stores that may have been lost due to addiction.


If you are unsure about how to address nutritional concerns in recovery with a healthy diet, be sure to reach out to healthcare professionals, such as a registered dietitian, who can best guide you through this process.

Nutrition basics include getting adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to sustain the building blocks the body requires to function properly.

These nutrients can be obtained through a wide-variety of foods, including lean meats and poultry, dairy foods, whole grain carbohydrates and legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables and countless other foods.

Five joyful friends“Play foods” or treats that may not be as nutrient dense can still fit into a healthy diet, and it is important to allow yourself to have a variety of foods that appease your palate and are nourishing.

The holiday season may seem like a difficult time to maintain a healthy diet, but it is important to continue to build good habits that help you sustain your recovery fro the long term.

Eat regular meals and snacks, do not allow yourself to go to long without putting nourishing food in your body, and aim to stay hydrated. The holiday season can be a busy time that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. E

ating healthy is an important aspect to staying well, in your recovery and in life. Make small changes with your diet that are reasonable and that you feel you can accomplish in order to feel successful in your transition to eating healthy.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What is the importance of following a healthy diet when in recovery from addiction? How has nourishing your body appropriately helped you heal from the effects of drug and/or alcohol addiction?


Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 25, 2015
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