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In the world of sober living ‘a holistic approach to recovery’ refers to treating the whole person. Simply speaking, it means delving into their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Before you begin your process of recovery you MUST seek out the appropriate professional help. Working with health care professionals should be a priority during your early days of recovery. Seek help from licensed mental health professionals especially if you struggle with mental illness. By speaking with a medical health team they can help you make an informed decision regarding your chosen path to long term recovery.

Once you make the life-changing decision to commit to sobriety you will be inundated with many paths to recovery. Treatment centers and Alcoholics Anonymous are the traditional paths. However, I love that we live in an age of alternative therapies and the many thriving in sober lives choose to share their recovery stories.

Personally I found a holistic approach to recovery worked best for me. Through a lot of research, reading the tales of others as well as a lot of trial and error I was able to figure out what worked best for me. In all honesty, it did take me the best part of 3 years to finally become booze-free, however, 19 months later I am thriving in my new life.

Your path to recovery is a time for healing. A new chapter when you can take the time to create a life without living under the influence. Design a blueprint for your future through personal development and education. Let go of toxic friendships, heal old family relationships and create healthy connections through a positive community. Find humor in your sobriety and allow fun into your life.

As you move through life your recovery process evolves. With this knowledge in hand, a holistic approach to recovery allows you to adapt your journey as you change and grow. Pay special attention to developing your self-care routine. Begin with a solid nutrition plan. Compliment it with exercise, sleep hygiene and stress management. By taking care of your health, you will improve both your immune system and your mood.

Plant-Based Diet

In May of 2017, my vegetarian diet evolved into a completely plant-based lifestyle thanks to my training T. Collin Campbells Center of Nutrition through eCornell. As part of my road to a booze-free life, I found it one of the most powerful decisions I ever made alongside my commitment to cutting alcohol from my life.

Good nutrition should part of your foundation for creating a healthy recovery plan. Weight gain can become a side effect in your first year to recovery as you may find yourself prone to making poor decisions regarding food. Plan ahead, work with a health coach or nutritionist and create a healing meal-plan.

Small steps to take to nourishing your body include;

Removing or limiting your intake of processed foods and sugar. We crave sugar as a substitute for booze in the early days. Alcohol has a high sugar content, once removed we look for a replacement. Limiting your intake will give your liver time to heal from alcohol and chemicals from artificial ingredients. Replace processed white rice, bread, and pasta with their unrefined counterparts. Whole grains are fiber-rich.

Eat real food. Follow a seasonal, whole plant food as grown. Fill your meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, as these are foods that will help increase your nutrient intake. A plant-rich diet is a good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and brimming with anti-oxidants.

Sources of plant protein include tofu, peas, beans, nuts, seeds and lentils to name a few. We consume protein to repair our tissue. It is the building blocks of our muscle, bones, blood and skin. Plant sources of protein are also rich in fiber. You cannot get fiber from animal products. We can only consume fiber through plants. We need fiber as it is satiating and can also heal our digestive systems, in turn practicing good gut health.

Positive Mental Attitude

Recovery is a long process. This is a hard truth you have to face. You need to let go of your old life. Shut the door to unhealthy friendships. Starting a new life sober leaves you facing the reality of being broke, probably without work and having to face the damage you have caused due to a life time of poor decisions and damaged relationships. Its a hard cross to bear in your early days.

Changing my perspective to life allowed me to take control of my struggle and clear my mind so I could figure out how to quit. I began practicing gratitude for the little things in my life. In doing so I moved towards a positive mental attitude as opposed to my life long default setting of complaining and negativity. In doing so it allowed me to respond to problems instead of continuing to react to them. Without sounding completely woowoo I believe practicing PMA should become your new default setting in life.


Isolation in recovery is detrimental to our success. By surrounding yourself with others that are on a similar path to you can share support, accountability and an understanding with one another. This is in part why Alcoholics Anonymous is a popular organization for folks in sobriety.

I found She Recovers a valuable resource in my early days. Entering into a space that practices non-judgment and removes the stigma of addiction can allow you the safety to share, grow and move towards healing.

Be open to meeting new people in recovery and creating community. Especially when we live in this time of COVID-19. Reach out to friends and family. Connect online for a coffee social or chat on the phone. We need the company of others to remain in recovery, even through social distancing especially at this of isolation.

Personal Development

Eat well, move more, get a good night’s sleep, have a good stress management program in place and practice self-care. These are the basics of creating a good self-care plan. In sobriety, actually, in life, in general, there is always room for improvement. We should all take time out of our day to work on our personal development.


  • Heal financial health
  • Read
  • Journal
  • Pursue hobbies
  • Take courses and update work skills

Move More:

  • Crossfit
  • Exercise,
  • Martial arts
  • Boxing.
  • Yoga


  • Acupuncture and acupressure.
  • Energy work such as Reiki
  • Holistic doctors and herbal medicines.
  • Meditation

As you move further into your sobriety I recommend checking out SAMSHA for resources. I love their 8 Pillars of Wellness, as a foundation to design your long-term recovery plan.