When new residents enter rehab at Hawaiian Island Recovery (HIR), they often have questions about what life will look like during their stay and how their habits will change throughout the program. One common question we hear residents ask is, “What will I eat while I’m at HIR?”

You may not know this, but what you eat during your recovery can have a huge impact on your success.

That’s why our chef, Danni, is committed to cooking meals for our residents that are every bit as healthy as they are delicious (and trust us—they’re definitely delicious).

How does drug use affect my nutrition?

You may already be painfully aware that drug use is negatively impacting your life and relationships, but it’s also wreaking havoc on your health. MedlinePlus explains how different drugs can affect your nutrition in various ways. For example, opiates (whether heroin or prescription painkillers) can cause constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and nutrient deficiencies. Alcohol abuse can also be a major cause of nutritional deficiency, especially in B vitamins. That deficiency can lead to anemia or problems with your nervous system. Alcohol also damages your liver and pancreas, which play key roles in how your body metabilizes food. Alcoholics may be diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, liver damage, seizures, malnutrition, and more. Stimulants (such as crack or methamphetamines) reduce appetite, often leading to dangerous weight loss and gaps in your nutrition. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and memory problems can all happen as a result. Marijuana, on the other hand, can make you hungrier—ever heard of the munchies? Overeating can lead to becoming overweight or obese, which introduces a whole host of medical risks and problems.

Whatever drug(s) you’ve been abusing, your nutrition has undoubtedly suffered. To recover from various deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, and more, you’ll need to follow a healthy diet as part of your drug rehab.

Does it really matter what I eat, as long as I quit doing drugs?

Your top priority will be discovering freedom from your drug addiction, but you may be surprised to find how much a healthy diet can help you meet that goal. When you eat well, your physical, mental, and emotional health will benefit. Once you begin making healthy decisions in some areas of your life, it becomes easier to continue making healthy decisions in other areas. In other words, a healthy diet can help empower you to say no to unhealthy lifestyle choices, including drug use.

Our chef cooks delicious meals for our residents that provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat—everything your body needs to fuel your recovery (and all of the incredible things you’ll be doing while you’re here).

Plus, when you enter rehab, it’s because you’re ready to discover total freedom, not replace your drug dependency with a food or sugar dependency.
We’d never want to see you healed from one addiction only to develop another chemical or behavioral addiction to food. We provide you with healthy food to ensure your healing is holistic and lasting.

Changing my diet while going through rehab sounds really overwhelming. I don’t think I can do it.

Have you ever attempted a diet, only to give up because you didn’t have time to prepare your meals, didn’t know how to cook healthy food, or couldn’t afford fresh produce? Those barriers can make a diet change seem really overwhelming, but at HIR, all those barriers will be removed. Our chef will do all of the shopping and food prep for you—all you have to do is show up and eat! All of our residents and staff love Danni’s meals, and you’ll be amazed at how delicious healthy foods can be. Remember, at Hawaii Island Recovery, you’re not in this alone.

The staff will walk before you and your fellow residents will walk beside you as you learn how to live a healthier lifestyle – from quitting harmful drugs to enjoying healthy foods to being active in the great outdoors.