Diet & Nutrition

Dietary Modifications

Some people are able to eat normally during withdrawal as they do not experience gastric disturbances. Others with these problems find that a simple diet helps.  A minority are mega sensitive to just about everything including food, additives, sweeteners, etc. and have to study labels and google every ingredient. They eventually end up being ‘human wikipedias’. Hopefully, this is not you.

Caffeine is a stimulant which, if you are already hyper-excitable and are experiencing sleep difficulty, you may want to avoid or consume only early in the day. Those who are having a difficult withdrawal are advised to completely omit caffeine. If you are accustomed to having several cups of coffee or tea daily, it is best to gradually reduce your intake rather than suddenly abstain. Remember too, that decaffeinated beverages also contain a small but notable amount of caffeine.

Fluctuations in blood sugar affects some users and sugary food (which excite the nervous system) can cause an exacerbation of symptoms. Many find that once they cut out or reduce their sugar intake, the symptoms lessen in intensity. If you have a sweet tooth, stevia and yacon syrup are good and safe sugar substitutes. Yacon syrup is a natural, raw, low-calorie sweetener made from the root of the yacon plant. Stevia is another natural sweetener made from the leaf of the stevia plant. They both have negligible effects on blood glucose.

Other reported culprits during withdrawal are mono sodium glutamate (MSG), chocolates, which contain both caffeine and sugar, spirit vinegar, aspartame and very strong spices. Eliminating wheat is recommended if you are having to cope with bloat, constipation or benzo belly and watch out for processed ready meals which contain chemicals. It is not necessary to drink gallons of water, but drinking adequate amounts is advisable.

Consuming small, frequent meals that contain foods with low glycaemic levels is believed to be of value to those with blood sugar fluctuations. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycaemic levels. Highly glycaemic foods like donuts, muffins, white bread, sugary cereals, etc. cause the nervous system to become even more excitable (which we don’t need).  Vegetables, berries, legumes, fish and lean meats which are all low on the glycaemic index are better options.

There is no need to become obsessive or paranoid, our bodies often find ways of communicating with us. You’ll get through this and eventually be able to eat whatever you want. Hang in there!!

 

Green Smoothies

I fell in love with green smoothies way into my recovery. But when I shared it with those in the throes of it all, there were some very positive reports hence this post. Green smoothies are made by blending fruit with green leafy vegetables. It is not endorsed here as a withdrawal cure but because fruit and vegetables are  usually well tolerated, having a glass or two of a smoothie is a good way of ensuring that you’re not missing out on a lot of vital nutrients. They are easy on the digestive system (when drunk slowly), are a great source of nutrients and take literally a few minutes to make.

When we cook vegetables we lose a lot of their nutritional value and this is why smoothies are proving to be so powerful nutritionally. Kale is very high in vitamins C and K and beta carotene and it is also one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and phytochemicals. Spinach is a rich source of vitamins A, K, C, E, B2 and B6, copper, protein, phosphorous and zinc. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.

1-2 bananas

1 pear

2 handsful of baby spinach or kale

(With oranges no water is necessary.)

1 -2 oranges

1-2 bananas

4-5 strawberries

½ head romaine lettuce

Notes:

Raw kale, cabbage and spinach should be used with caution by anyone with an under-active thyroid as they are what is termed ‘goitrogenous’ and interfere with iodine uptake. Also, because kale has a very high concentration of vitamin K, people on anti-coagulants (blood thinners) should consider this property as the drug attempts to lower vitamin K. Even organic fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly so be sure to give them a thorough wash. In order to get your nutrients, the most important thing is to add at least two large portions of fresh, green leafy vegetables to whatever fruit you choose to use.

 

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