The Program Culinary

Veggies from the B2B Garden.

From our B2B garden to table!

Our Back2Basics Culinary Program includes: Food Production Classes, Health and Sanitation, Purchasing, Restaurant Management, Pastry, Dining Room Presentation /Catering Services, Menu Planning, Kitchen Management, and Supervision.

Back2Basics residents will learn how to prepare their own healthy, nutritious, and tasty meals. In preparing daily meals, residents will practice sanitation, implement nutrition, and plan menus.In the preparation of meals, they will learn different cooking skills. Back2Basics residents will be taught knife skills, proper cooking methods, how to use ingredients to create healthy, delicious meals, and many more kitchen skills. The Back2Basics residents will work as a kitchen team and rotate purchasing, planning, and cooking for their residences.

Our Culinary Program is led by Kathy Arreola, the Director of Culinary and Menu Planning.

How Drugs & Alcohol Affect the Body

Below Back2Basics provides descriptions of the major areas of the body that alcohol and drugs impact, along with some general food recommendations (Rx:) for recovery.
Skin and Hair - Depletes body of nutrients for healthy looking hair and skin. Rx: Nutrient dense foods; particularly Vitamins A, C, protein and zinc rich foods.
Heart And Circulation - Muscle wasting (loss) due to poor protein intake. Inflammation often occurs, along with increase of fat deposits and high blood pressure. Rx: Low fat diet, adequate protein, and regular exercise.
Liver - Reduced vitamin and mineral storage; overworked liver swells preventing bile production and filtering operation, poor appetite. Rx: High calorie, nutrient dense foods, rich protein, moderate fat along with vitamin mineral supplement.
Pancreas – Irritation causes swelling which may block flow of enzymes into stomach resulting in digestive difficulties and diabetes. Rx: Nutrient rich foods, small frequent meals.
Kidneys - Inflammation, frequent infections, increased water output resulting in excess nutrient loss. Rx: Nutrient-rich foods high potassium foods and limited caffeine.
Central Nervous System & Hypothalamus – Alcohol and drugs irritate, sedate and aggravate the nervous system. Memory, the ability to think and coordination are affected. Alcohol kills brain cells that are not regenerated. The appetite control center sends confused messages about hunger, thirst. Rx: Rest, nutrient rich foods including high tryptophan & tyrosine foods, physical activity, multi-vitamin/mineral plus B complex.
Mucous Membranes - Irritates and sedates membranes, including esophagus, stomach & rectum. Balanced nutrition can help rebuild these tissues. Rx: Nutrient dense foods high in Vitamin A (orange vegetables) and Vitamin C and limited caffeine intake.
Stomach - Irritates stomach & increasing risk of ulcers, gastric distress. Rx: Small frequent meals, snacks. Limit caffeine during distress.
Intestines - Slows down or speeds up transit time; increasing risk of poor absorption and certain types of cancer. Rx: High fiber intake, plenty of water and exercise. Limit caffeine during distress.
Rectum - Poor elimination or diarrhea may result in hemorrhoids. Rx: Higher fiber foods, rutin (a mineral), water. Exercise.
Blood Measurements - Blood levels of many nutrients are affected by drugs and alcohol. Cholesterol levels may appear normal while not accurately measuring cholesterol intake. Rx: Testing is not recommended until six to twelve weeks after sobriety to ensure accurate readings.

Back2Basics Smart Snacking for People in Addiction Recovery

Good nutrition is a vital part of body repair for a person in addiction recovery. Food provides nutrients necessary to meet this need. Providing three nutritious meals may not be enough. Snacks can play an important role in helping a recovering addict meet their nutritional needs as well as limit mood swings. Snacks will be provided midday between meals and before bedtime. It is important to plan ahead so that snacks offered are nutritious as well as satisfying.

Choose more often: Choose less often:
  • Fresh fruit
  • Canned fruit packed in its own juice
  • Raw vegetables with low-fat dressing or salsa
  • Popcorn (air popped preferably)
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Low fat puddings
  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Low-fat frozen yogurt
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Potato chips
  • Corn chips
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Cake, donuts
  • Fruit drinks, punch
  • Brownies, pastries

Diet and Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

A. All addicts in active use of alcohol and drugs are malnourished.
In order to help people recover, it is important to understand the impact of nutrition. It is astounding to consider that only fat contains more calories per gram than alcohol. As a result, while drinking, people with an alcohol addiction experience a sense of fullness having eaten very little or nothing. These “empty calories” lead to poor eating habits and malnutrition. Drug addicts experience a similar affect. Alcohol and drugs actually keep the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins. This leads to a host of health problems. (see “How Drugs & Alcohol Affect the Body”).

B. Restoring addicts to physical, as well as spiritual, health:
The essence of addiction recovery is changing negative behaviors into positive ones. Good nutrition, relaxation, and exercise all play an important role in successful change. Learning to make healthy food choices is important to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Because they have neglected their diet, addicts experience gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, an inability to digest foods properly, along with a poor appetite. As a result, they have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs, and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems including the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

C. Nutrition actually impacts cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Every newly recovering addicts struggles with craving to use alcohol and drugs. Research has shown that a diet with the right types of high protein and high carbohydrate-rich foods can make a big difference.

Food affects mood. Along with amino acids, deficiency of nutrients like folic acid, and the other B-complex vitamins also have a serious and negative impact. Sugar and caffeine can contribute to mood swings, so intake of both should be reduced during the early stages of recovery.

Alcohol and drug use prevents the body from properly processing two important amino acids, tyrosine and tryptophan. They are responsible for the production of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. These compounds are neurotransmitters that are essential for emotional stability, mental clarity, and a general state of well-being. Decreased levels of these neurotransmitters negatively affect mood and behavior.

Tyrosine is a precursor to the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine–chemical messengers that promote mental acuity and alertness. It is one nonessential amino acid found in protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and tofu.

Tryptophan is integral to the production of serotonin, which has a calming effect and is important for proper sleep. It is found in foods such as bananas, milk and sunflower seeds, as well as turkey meat.

Nutritional studies recommended that people in recovery eat on “cruise control” throughout the day. This means eating small, frequent mini-meals–to maintain energy levels and moods more evenly.

Suggestions for a Diet that Promotes Recovery:

  • Use the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid as a guide to prepare well-balanced meals
  • Eat 3 snacks and 3 meals per day (see Smart Snacking)
  • Drink decaffeinated coffee and herbal teas to decrease caffeine
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eat foods made of whole grains
  • Eat more beans and grain products; limit the amount of red meat eaten. Red meats are harder to digest.
  • Eliminate, or keep to minimum, foods that contain sugar and caffeine.
  • Be aware of hidden sugar in cocoa, condiments and over the counter medications
  • Be aware of caffeine in over the counter and prescribed medications

Composition of the Recovery-friendly Diet:

  • Protein – 25%
  • Carbohydrate – 45%
  • Fat – 30%
  • Total calories – 2,000

Sample Meal Suggestions:

  • Breakfast – oatmeal muffins, pancakes, quiche, omelet, yogurt
  • Lunch – Sandwiches, salads, soups
  • Dinner – Soups, chowders, rice & beans, chicken and vegetables, tortillas, lasagna with vegetable
  • Dessert – Yogurt, fruit, oatmeal cookies, custard

A Note on Vitamins
Because drugs and alcohol deplete the body of vitamins and minerals, multi-vitamin/mineral plus B supplements can be especially helpful. Vitamins and dietary supplements should be taken with meals for optimum absorption.

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