After a binge, it's going to take a few days to set yourself straight.
My last binge involved four nips of Jameson's, three glasses of red wine and a large pizza. By my third day sober, my body was still begging for good digestion.
But did I sip ginger tea, lemon water and eat cucumbers? No (although that would have been a very good idea.) I ate more bad carbs, drank coffee and ! smoked cigarettes. Now, I can only tolerate 3 cigarettes at the most without feeling like I've been hit by a truck in the morning but I am revealing my less than wise choices in the first few days of releasing myself from alcohol because I want to make a point.
AA rooms are often set with coffee and cookies and smokers outside. Common recommendations are often to allow yourself sweets and any sort of substitute of something, anything!, to put in your mouth instead of alcohol. So, okay. If you have to go with it, do whatever it takes to not let alcohol pass your lips. For just a little while.
On my third day sober, I ate a huge chocolate chip cookie. It took me all day to work my way through it because my stomach (which was still digesting pizza) was like, uh-uh. Don't do it. But I did. And I suffered a bit.
If you have to stuff something in your mouth instead of alcohol for the first few days, go for it. But do it with awareness.
Become aware of how easy it is to substitute one habit for another. Do you want to substitute over-eating for over-drinking? Probably not. You do not have to.
If you are newly sober, you may crave sugar and highly processed "foods". Just be aware that drinking alcohol causes your blood sugar levels to drop and when your body is adjusting to being alive without alcohol, it'll probably take a little while for your blood sugar levels to adjust. That's an educated guess. I'm not a doctor.
And there's probably no question about developing an addiction to nicotine just because you've quit drinking. Right?
In your first few days, your first week or so, your body is like, whoa! What is happening? The body is a magnificent instrument. It will learn to readjust and heal itself. With your common sense.
While this is happening, what your mind can do is notice your knee jerk reactions to the process of your body trying to right itself.
Give yourself a break. Do not beat yourself up. If you feel ugghish, sluggish, if your tummy is distressed and you want to stuff your pie hole with anything that fits, well, just become aware of what you are doing and how it makes you feel.
Awareness is half the battle. You became aware that alcohol was a problem for you. Now, you're going to expand that awareness. Get into how your body feels.
And, by the way, give yourself a happy pat on the back for not putting any alcohol into your mouth. And a huge round of applause.
You are righting your mighty ship! That is the ship of your soul.
“Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food. Stay away from these.”– Michael Pollan
Eat. Real. Food.
Why? Because you are a real human being.
What do I mean by real food? Vegetables and fruit and nuts and, if you eat animals, ones that enjoyed a good life and a good death as far as you can tell. Animals that spent their days outside with plenty of fresh air and sunshine, eating real food like grass (for cows) and all of the other stuff (for chickens).
Shop around the perimeter of your grocery store. Eat loads of vegetables. It's true. They're good for you. If you've been eating plastic colored and flavored with chemicals and highly processed sugar, vegetables will be an acquired taste. But give them a go. You'll adjust.
Vary your protein and remember the nuts, the beans. If you're eating meat, eat small quantities and not at every meal.
Eat organic whenever possible.
Why? Two good reasons. You will feel better because you'll receive higher nutritional value and fewer toxic chemicals and you will be helping to support people who work hard to preserve the natural ecosystems of the earth that you (and your children and their children, etcetera) need to live and feel good.
Do drink water. I, personally, have been drinking filtered water for decades because I don't exactly know what is happening at the source or in the pipes. I do not drink bottled water because most of it is packaged in plastic which leaks into the water and because the source of the water could easily be (and often is) some city water supply. Also because packaged fluids need to be transported which costs large amounts of oil and gas and rubber and road. The closer to you that your food is grown and your water is sourced, the better.
I'm going into detail on the water thing because I want you to think about your food, the source and the quality of your food. It is a step on the road to regaining consciousness.
That being said, don't become neurotic. If you rummage through a bag of Cheetos once in a while, it is not the end of the world. Still... garbage in, garbage out.
You can worry about specific nutrition, calories and carbs later. Just start eating real food now.
You are healing. Your body is designed to integrate with our home, Mother Earth. Our Mother provides us here with all of the yummy nourishment and taste delights we need. Take advantage of it. Eat an organic apple and relish the experience.
Oh, and one more word on the subject: Chew. Masticate, munch, chomp, crunch, savor. Chewing thoroughly is what your teeth and jaws and saliva are designed to do. The rest of your digestive system will thank you.
"If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy. -Thich Nhat Hanh
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