Alcohol & drug use

Optimize your lifestyle

Water: The Classic is Back!

Every animal on the planet drinks water; it works well for hydration. Seventy percent of your body is made of water. It’s all you need to drink, and as you get unhooked from sugar and artificial sweeteners, you’ll come to enjoy it. If you want to go crazy, get some sparkling water. Although you might feel like you might die at first, you really and truly won’t perish if you don’t have some kind of sweet beverage to drink. Water—it’s good. Drink it!

What about bone broth, alcohol, and coffee? Bone broth is fine. It contains some good stuff and can help to satisfy your urge to drink something hot or flavored. However, drinking bone broth isn’t crucial to the success of the carnivore diet. You don’t need to drink it unless you want to. You can get all the nutrients you need without it, but if you enjoy or benefit from it, feel free to indulge.

Alcohol is not a health food. It won’t make you live longer, and it won’t make you any hardier. When you’re deciding whether to indulge in alcohol or skip it, understand that ethanol is toxic. Once in a while, I have a glass of red wine or two. I generally can expect my sleep to be less restful, and my athletic performance often is a little impaired the next day. Neither issue is the end of the world; the important thing is that I understand what the negative consequences of having the wine are and account for them when I make my decision. Most people who do a carnivore diet for a long period report their desire to drink alcohol drastically diminishes. Beer and certainly sugary mixed drinks are a bigger negative than a dry wine or a distilled spirit. Some people even have problems with the grains that are distilled to make the liquor.

Coffee is something I have little experience with. I’ve tried a few cups here and there over the decades, but I’ve never enjoyed it. Perhaps, if you’re a coffee lover, my inexperience is reason enough for you to stop listening to me. Many people find coffee incredibly satisfying and often turn drinking it into a ritualistic experience.

The science on whether coffee is good or bad for us continually changes. Caffeine has some effects on our physiology and acts as a central nervous system stimulant. It also affects the sympathetic nervous system and has been shown to aid in sports performance. However, research has found that it leads to sleep disturbance and can negatively affect gastrointestinal motility and gastric acid secretion. Some people find that caffeine acts to dysregulate appetite, often suppressing it. It may interfere with nutrient and mineral absorption. In all likelihood, though, for most people caffeine probably has a minimal impact in the grand scheme of things.

My suggestion is that you not try to quit coffee or caffeine during the initial phases of the diet. Once you’ve adapted to your new eating habits, give it a go if it’s something you want to take on.

Excerpted from The Carnivore Diet, By Dr. Shawn Baker.

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5 reasons carnivore diet can aid in drug and alcohol recovery by coach Emily R

  1. It’s sugar free- Sweet food triggers the same dopamine (pleasure) receptors that are triggered by substance abuse. Many people find they gain weight when they become sober from drugs and alcohol, because they have replaced their addiction to drugs or alcohol with an addiction to food. A carnivore diet doesn’t include any sweet foods and therefore isn’t likely to develop into an unhealthy addiction to food.
  1. It’s nutrient rich- Over the long term many addicts can develop nutrition deficiencies. This can be due to under-eating, poor overall diet, and the fact that drugs and alcohol can impair the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients properly. It’s extremely difficult to treat any disease without proper nutrition and healthy body function. Addiction is no different.
  1. It’s easy- Becoming or staying sober can be hard! A carnivore diet simplifies many things. Dishes are cut dramatically down as cooking meat is so simple. Grocery shopping is a breeze, you don’t even have to see 90% of the store! And meal planning? Never again will you sit and think for hours about what to have for dinner this week. Oftentimes during early recovery, especially detox, simple is better. It gives you more time to focus on health and sobriety.
  1. It supports your mental health- Many addicts also have other mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and so much more. Thousands of people cure or manage mental health disorders with the help of a carnivore diet. Since the symptoms of things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, or bipolar disorder can be serious triggers for anyone with a substance abuse problem, managing these symptoms is essential to recovery.
  1. It provides support for the rest of your journey- You can’t go forward without a healthy body to carry you. Nutrition and recovery are intertwined. A healthy carnivore diet supports the whole body. It can make it easier to exercise and become stronger. Exercise is also a great stress reliever! Many carnivores report huge improvements in their sleep, another driving factor in a person’s mental and physical health. Lastly, many recovering addicts have stated that carnivore helps to cut their drug and alcohol cravings dramatically. I don’t need to explain why this is so important and so crucial to staying sober.

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