Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Hi, my name is AnnaLisa and I’d like to take you along on my journey through nutrition as a healthy lifestyle, education and into nutrition to help.
We have to start at the beginning of my journey, so if you don’t mind let’s take a few steps back so we can get to know each other along this journey. In the rooms where I’m most comfortable we introduce ourselves like this; “my name is AnnaLisa and I’m an alcoholic/addict.”
I became interested in nutrition, really and truly, as I was going through a divorce at the age of 37 and I was painfully aware that my existence as a stay-at-home mother was not going to gain me a career that would enable me to support my children. Up until the point where I decided to find sobriety and go to school, my only coping mechanism for life was drugs and alcohol.
There was a tickle in the back of my mind that the things I was learning about myself, (being an addict/alcoholic who desperately didn’t want to live like that); along with diet and exercise, were all gelling together in a way that was helping me get well and regain the sanity a divorce and addiction can take from you.
I joined the college rank and file as a non-traditional college student and quickly picked my major in nutrition and dietetics. Every opportunity there was to do research papers, I focused on helping people like me (addicts and alcoholics) gain any upper hand with recovery. Did you know that statistically people who enter rehabs for addiction only have a 10%-50% chance of getting even a year of sobriety, depending on where you get your information? (http://alcoholrehab.com/addiction-recovery/beating-the-relapse-statistics/ http://luxury.rehabs.com/drug-addiction/recovery-statistics/).
If you can educate a person in a rehabilitation setting on good eating habits, exercise, sleep and emotional stability, there’s an opportunity to increase their chance for long term recovery. There are even studies showing a 70% chance of long term recovery when proper nutrition and education are addressed in the rehab setting (Bauman, E. (n.d.) Nutrition and Substance Abuse. Silueta Bilingual Magazine).
So there you have it; all the information I needed to help myself and others like me. If we (you and me), know about your addiction and your substance of choice, we can help each other and ourselves on the road to recovery from substance abuse and towards a healthy and happy lifestyle. A one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and dietetics will never work to treat people with addictions because different drugs will leach different nutrients from the body. And as it turns out; a one-size-fits-all approach to anything doesn't really work for any of us.
Using nutrition as a tool has been incredibly helpful for me in my life and has become a rewarding means of communication for me to be of service to others. For me nutrition isn’t just about stopping the mindless way we put food into our bodies, it’s about replenishing the soul and healing the spirit.
What a magnificent journey to be on; and to think I was only looking for a way to support my family! I’m glad we have this opportunity to get to know each other. I look forward to talking to you again real soon.