If you want to kick a habit make sure you get a full spectrum of nutrition, always starting with basic vitamins and minerals (see previous blogs). Nicotine, caffeine, work, alcohol, sugar, junk food, over-eating, medicine, shopping, sex, uppers, downers, cannabis, TV-series – what ever the addiction is, it’s much easier to get rid of it when eating healthy food and taking extra supplements. Whether it is compulsive shopping, sugar or tobacco addiction, surprisingly it is basically the same brain biochemistry that kicks in, and we can help ourselves so much by just making sure we have the right nutrition in our bodies.
There is a lot of support in medical literature saying that if you can get your biochemistry working correctly (eating right), changing an unwanted habit will be relatively painless compared to if you would try to deal with it while eating crap food. Makes sense? Of course! Diet is key. Healthy living is key. If you only do that, the rest will come to you. How healthy and how fast you can do it is up to you. Study, make a plan and set a date. Some need to focus on one particular part of the healthy living and get a good habit there before they take the next step, others need to change everything at the same time. Some need to do it with help!
Always beware of sugars of all forms (alcohol, fructose, sacrose, etc) and simple starch, i.e. refined grains like wheat bread and pasta. Not only because it is extremely unhealthy, robbing you of nutrients that we really need, but also because they are involved in the addiction chemistry. Eat whole grains and rices with the hugely important fibers. The fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is essential for a healthy gut flora to be able to digest nutrients; vitamins, minerals, etc. This is important for everyone but even more important if you suffer from digestive disorders. And if you want to stop a bad habit or get healthy, even more so. This is another reason to eat vegan food with loads of fibers (sorry all Paleolithic eaters).
Another important area concerning nutrition, in recovery from addiction and relapse prevention, is the addition of appropriate amino acids that serve as the building blocks for powerful chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters, including epinephrine and norepinephrine, GABA, serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones), are closely tied to addiction behavior of all kinds. With the use of various amino acids, brain chemistry can be changed to help normalize and restore deficiencies in the neurotransmitters that spur cravings that can lead to addiction and relapse.
As a last step in my detox I want to get rid of coffee! Yes, I love it! And yes, there are some goodies in coffee such as the antioxidants, but for me the costs are higher than the benefits, so I wanted to kick that habit as part of this years detox. I only drank 1-2 cups a day but still so, I got withdrawal symptoms sometimes and that is enough for me to realize that I’m hooked. It’s great to be hooked on things that are healthy but coffee is not one of those for me, as it gives me a strong reaction of raised stress hormones and I don’t want that; more on coffee’s to be or not to be next week.
Besides eating and living Olive style as always, I make sure to get extra help. These are the amino acids I’m taking for 2 weeks to kick my habit: D-Phenylalanine (or DL-Phenylalanine), L-Tyrosine, L-Tryptophan (or 5 hydroxytryptophan). Two weeks is all that is needed to change the biochemistry in a healthy person and if you don’t take any medication, including pain killers, and other synthetic pills, (if you do you should consult your doctor before). The rest and the hardest part is to kick the social habit and here is where the planning comes in. If you want to know more there are excellent books on the market, so let me know.
Have a lovely weekend and see you on Monday with the latest about coffee!