The “Recovery Diet”

Nutritional studies recommended that people in recovery eat on “cruise control” throughout the day. This means eating small, frequent mini-meals–to maintain energy levels and moods more even.

Suggestions for a Diet that Promotes Recovery:

  1. Use the USDA’s  Food Guide Pyramid (PDF) as a guide to prepare well-balanced meals
  2. Eat 3 snacks and 3 meals per day   (see Smart Snacking)
  3. Drink decaffeinated coffee and herbal teas to decrease caffeine
  4. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  5. Eat foods made of whole grains
  6. Eat more beans and grain products, limit the amount of red meat eaten. Red meats are harder to digest.
  7. Eliminate or keep to a minimum foods that contain sugar and caffeine
  8. Be aware of hidden sugar in cocoa, condiments, and over the counter medications
  9. Be aware of caffeine in over the counter and prescribed medications


Composition of the Recovery-friendly  Diet:

  • Protein – 25%
  • Carbohydrate – 45%
  • Fat – 30%
  • Total calories – 2,000

Sample  Meal  Suggestions:

  • Breakfast – oatmeal muffins, pancakes, quiche, omelet, yogurt
  • Lunch – Sandwiches, salads, soups
  • Dinner – Soups, chowders, rice & beans, chicken and vegetables, tortillas, lasagna with vegetable
  • Dessert – Yogurt, fruit, oatmeal cookies, custard


A Note on  Vitamins

Because drugs and alcohol deplete the body of vitamins and minerals, multi-vitamin/mineral plus B supplements can be especially helpful.

Vitamins and dietary suppliments should be taken with meals for optimum absorption.


Rescue Magazine, December 1998



Nutrition In Recovery  by Margaret Soussloff, M.S. & Cara Zechello, R.D., Massachusetts Food Banks and Maria F. Bettencourt, MPH, Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Learn more about  Nutrition & Recovery

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