Culinary arts are a way to bring new and positive energy to rehab. In the treatment setting, women often feel emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and are in need of a holistic approach to care. In rehab, women experience detox, individual and group therapy, and often laborious emotional work. One way to lighten what can be a difficult load to carry and offer a different therapeutic approach is to provide space for women in recovery is to learn cooking skills. Not only is it a practical skill, but one which supports new pathways of healing.
Why Nutrition Matters
Addiction is hard on the mind and body; not only does it rob a person of connection to themselves and others and it may also rob them of their health. Long term addiction can have a greater impact on women’s bodies than they realize. While it depends on the nature of an individual’s addiction, oftentimes those who have been relying on substances for a significant period of time are often not maintaining their physical well being in other ways. Even if they do work to make it a priority, their bodies cannot absorb the nutrients if they are also consuming an excess of alcohol and drugs, which often damages physical health. They will feel depleted and the body will not absorb what it needs to stay in balance. Certain substances impact appetite, and nutritional deficiencies can lead to health risks and complications. Once the body is free of these substances it becomes a priority to nourish and care for the body to create optimal recovery conditions. Learning to cook can help aid in the process of caring for the body by encouraging healthy eating.
Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating habits can be learned or relearned in rehab. It takes time and effort to re-prioritize health after years of neglect to the mind and body. Food prep and cooking are not easy to grasp at first; it might even feel quite foreign but it is the healthiest thing a person can do. Cooking therapy and nutrition management are skills that help people move towards a more normal lifestyle, so they can be healthier in recovery but also feel better overall. Some extra benefits of cooking and eating healthy can bring:
- Fellowship with others who like eating healthy
- Stress relief which keeps hormones in check and balances the brain and body
- Better focus
- Enhanced confidence and self-esteem that comes from looking and feeling better
- Improved health that comes from eating good quality foods with the right kind of nutrients for overall better mind and body connection
Nutrition courses help benefit people who have struggled with co-occurring disorders, including mental health issues like anxiety and depression. A balanced diet offer healing and support for a body that needs healing. There is also greater community that develops with others who are able to support healthy eating habits. Food is communal, so the more a person can find ‘their people’ who like to eat the way they do and supports their lifestyle, the better off they will be when it comes to diet and nutrition.
Cooking Skills for Life
Spending time in the kitchen might be the last thing women in recovery think about for their health, however, connecting cooking to real life is important for emotional and physical health. It helps create building blocks that form a successful foundation for life in recovery after treatment. Nutritional therapy helps women build on:
- Gardening and organic approaches to learning how to grow and prepare healthy food
- Food prep and knife skills that provide opportunities to learn new methods of creating foods they can eat on a budget
- Cooking, sauteing, and basics for creating healthy meals
- What foods are healthiest to eat and how to shop for these on a budget if needed
- Which foods to eat less of or try to avoid (sugar, carbs)
In recovery, there are specific skills that can help women build and rebuild a normal daily life. Healthy living starts with healthy eating, which positively impacts mood and spiritual well-being. Tending to a woman’s spirit, mind and body are all parts of a holistic approach to care. Food preparation is only part of the journey of learning to eat healthy. It is also about finding ways to make it interesting and exciting to eat as healthy as possible.
Cooking does not have to feel like a chore or a lot of work, it can also be fun. There are community gardens to learn and share skills that support a healthy lifestyle, gardening and being in the dirt have amazing health benefits and can be a sort of therapy. The earth is a great place to feel more grounded and away from distractions such as technology, it also helps the brain meditate and focus on simple and attainable goals. Past trauma and other issues can make recovery challenging for women, and a variety of tools are needed to help women heal. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD can be difficult to deal with but culinary arts help take the focus off some of the challenging parts and find new ways to practice self-care. This unique approach gives practical tools while also helping women build a group of skills that provide new ways to care for themselves in recovery.
In order to create the best environment for lasting recovery possible, a holistic approach helps women take their focus from simply being in the rehab space to a place that is ready to build support and self-care for the long haul. Building lifetime skills can be a great tool for women who want to journey forward into recovery and prioritize themselves and their health. It is one of many valuables skills that help women find hope and build confidence in the midst of the challenges in rebuilding life after treatment. During and after treatment culinary arts are one of many helpful and essentials tools in the healing process.
Casa Capri is designed for women who are struggling with addiction to find hope and a purpose. A holistic approach is one where women can focus on their recovery in mind, body, and spirit. We help women find new approaches to their personal care. Culinary arts is only one way we help you do this. Call us if you need support for addiction: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.