Wednesday, October 18, 2017

5 Fall Foods to Add to Your Recovery Diet

Fall is perhaps the perfect season to head to your local farmer’s market and load up on some of the season’s nutrient-packed produce. And it’s not just about pumpkin (which does pack a host of health benefits) – but a variety of fruits and vegetables that can help reenergize and rejuvenate your body to do the hard work of recovery. Plus, they taste great! 

Here are a few fall favorites to add to your recovery diet:

  1. Apples: One crunchy, yummy apple packs roughly 20 percent of your daily fiber – if you eat the skin, that is – so it’s the perfect food to keep your regular and fend off any food cravings throughout the day. Plus, an apple is bursting with immune-boosting vitamin C.
  2. Beets: Sweet and earthy beets boast vitamin C and fiber as well as essential minerals like potassium (for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (good for your bones, liver and kidneys). 
  3. Artichokes: From the leaves to the heart, the humble artichoke is a nutrient powerhouse full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K (for brain and bone health), folic acid and potassium (for blood pressure).
  4. Brussels sprouts: Each mini cabbage is full of antioxidants, vitamin K and C, folate and filling fiber. Plus, they deliver lutein and zeazanthin, known for their age-fighting properties.
  5. Pomegranates: These powerful little bulbs have a short season but a long list of health benefits, including protection against certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Plus, pomegranates have more antioxidants than green tea.

Let Us Fuel Your Recovery
Rising Roads offers weekly nutrition classes, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. The camaraderie of cooking together, gaining new skills, learning new recipes and enjoying the process is a positive move forward. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held each October in an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening and early detection, and available treatment options. More than 249,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year, and nearly 41,000 die from the disease.

Numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7 percent to 10 percent for each one drink of alcohol consumed per day on average, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Women who have two to three alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers. 

If you have an alcohol abuse problem, getting help is perhaps the best thing you can do to safeguard your breast health. 

Tips to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
While there’s no one sure way to prevent breast cancer, making healthy choices, like eating right and staying active, can help lower your risk. Here are some tips from the ACS
  • Get screened. Regular screening will make it more likely that, if you do have breast cancer, it’s diagnosed early. The ACS guidelines state that women of average risk (ask your healthcare provider about your personal risk factors) should have yearly mammograms and clinical breast examination starting at age 40. Women in their 20s and 30s, need a clinical breast exam done every three years.
  • Quit smoking. Limited but accumulating research indicates that smoking may slightly increase breast cancer risk, notes the ACS. This has been particularly found among long-term, heavy smokers and women who start smoking before their first pregnancy.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, says the ACS. And risk is about 1.5 times higher in overweight women and about 2 times higher in obese women than in lean women.
  • Make exercise a priority. Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10 percent to 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive, notes the ACS.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Do You Know the Warning Signs of Mental Illness?

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, which was created by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and takes place each year during the first week of October. The goal: to educate, raise awareness, and stop stigma surrounding mental illness. 

According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million people in the U.S. experience both a mental disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. Either disorder — substance use or mental illness — can develop first. 

Due to a mix of hormones, cultural pressures, and a higher risk for physical and emotional abuse, women are particularly susceptible to depression, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder, note experts. And yet you might not always be aware of the warning signs. 

While each illness has its own symptoms, the NAMI recommends watching for the following red flags:
  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits, such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance 
Take Back Your Mental Health
Perhaps the best way you can celebrate MIAW is to seek help if you or someone you love is struggling with a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. At Rising Roads, our staff is here to help you take your physical and mental health back. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations, call us today: 866-746-1558.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What You Need to Know About Orthorexia

Gluten free, vegan, clean eating – we’re living in a society where it’s almost trendy to fixate on the foods that we eat. And while proper nutrition is a crucial part of your recovery and overall wellness, it’s also important to understand the dangers of making eating healthy a new and unhealthy obsession.  

Perhaps the biggest danger is putting yourself at risk of orthorexia, defined as a “pathological obsession with proper nutrition,” including strict avoidance of food believed to be unhealthy or impure. While not currently recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, orthorexia can lead to severely restrictive food choices – both in variety and calories – that can result in physical and mental health consequences, explain experts from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). 

Recognizing the Signs of Orthorexia
People with orthorexia typically have underlying motivations for eating healthy, including safety from poor health, compulsion for complete control, escape from fears, wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, searching for spirituality through food, and using food to create an identity, notes the NEDA. Answering "yes" to the following questions can signal the need to get help: 
  • Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
  • Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
  • Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else – one single meal – and not try to control what is served?
  • Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
  • Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
  • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel in control when you stick to the “correct” diet?
  • Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat? 
Nutritional Guidance at Rising Roads
As part of our holistic approach to addiction rehab, we offer weekly nutrition courses, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. At Rising Roads Recovery, we aim to fix old patterns and replace them with a healthy relationship with food. If the client feels she needs additional help from our Registered Dietician, additional support will be arranged. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Yoga and Your Mental Health

Yoga is a great addition to recovery treatment. It teaches meditation, calmness and inner strength and it’s also been linked to improved sleep, stronger immune systems and increased energy. Mounting research is also showing the healing power of yoga when it comes to your mental health. 

In fact, Newsweek recently ran an article discussing the growing body of evidence that suggests how this ancient practice can play a role in anxiety and depression, eating disorders and PTSD – all mental health conditions that impact many women suffering from substance use disorder. 

Here’s a summary of some of the findings highlighted in the article: 
  • Eating disorders: Yoga can help show you how your body can work for (rather against) you. One study found that those who participated in a yoga class designed to target eating disorder symptoms experienced “a significantly lower negative effect before meals compared to the group that did not practice yoga,” noted Newsweek. The participants also felt calmer and in more control of their bodies. 
  • Anxiety and depression: A 2016 University of Pennsylvania study found a decrease in depression and anxiety among those with major depressive disorder who practiced Sudarshan Kriya yoga (a cyclical controlled breathing practice). "It teaches clients that they have control of their stress reaction, gives them a coping skill for when they are overwhelmed, gives them experience in practicing calming down which is helpful for times of distress," Erin Wiley, a clinical psychotherapist in Ohio, told Newsweek.
  • PTSD: A study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found a 12-week session of yoga improved the lives of women with PTSD, helping them to calm themselves down when distressed. "This leads to lower incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, or other self-medicating behaviors," Wiley told Newsweek.
Yoga in Addiction Recovery 
The majority of the women who come to us have a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety, in addition to their addiction diagnosis. Our yoga program can help manage these or other co-occurring mental health conditions. To learn more about our programs, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lessons From a Mom Who Was Addicted to Pills

A year ago, stay-at-home mom to two young boys Jen Simon revealed to her friends, family and the world that she was addicted to pills, including opioids (like Percocet) and benzodiazepines (like Xanax). In fact, for five years she says she “didn’t know how to function without pills; worse, I didn’t know how to parent without them.” 

Her essay, entitled “I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m an addict,” was first published in the Washington Post before it went viral and was picked up by numerous media outlets. 

For Simon, who began taking Percocet’s to dull the insurmountable pain of her periods after giving birth, the past year was filled with many lessons. 

Here’s a look at a few that might help you or someone you love, too: 
  • You’re not alone. Simon says that not a week goes by without a new message from a woman struggling with addiction. She even began a secret Facebook group comprised of moms who are struggling with or overcoming addiction. “Being a woman or a mother doesn’t preclude someone from becoming an addict,” she writes. “Addiction crosses socio-economic, race, age, sexuality and gender lines; there is no immunity from the disease.”
  • Getting help is brave. Simon feared negative reactions – especially in today’s age of “mommy wars” when we are judged for nearly every way we parent, she writes – but the opposite happened. “People applauded my ability to get help and my courage in stepping forward.” 
  • You’re stronger than you think. Recovery isn’t easy and there will be plenty of times where life without drugs or alcohol seems impossible – but it isn't. “I am strong. I am brave. I am a mom. And I am no longer addicted to pills,” she writes. 
Women and Addiction Recovery
At Rising Roads Recovery, we know that every woman who comes to us is incredibly unique and needs to be treated that way. One size does not fit all – and one future does not work for everyone. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, call 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Study: American Women Drinking More Alcohol

High-risk drinking – defined as having four or more drinks per day at least once a week, every week, for a year, and five or more for men – is on the rise in America. And ladies as well as adults over age 65 are most at risk, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry. 

Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism compared the self-reported drinking habits of two groups: more than 43,000 adults from 2001-2002, and more than 36,000 adults from 2012-2013. 

Here is a summary of the findings:
  • The number of Americans who said they drank alcohol in the last year increased 11%. 
  • Alcohol use disorders increased nearly 50%.
  • High-risk drinking increased almost 30%.
  • For women, high-risk drinking increased close to 60%, and alcohol use disorder increased nearly 84%.
  • For men, high-risk drinking increased 15% and alcohol use disorder increased close to 35%.
  • For adults 65 and older, high-risk drinking increased 65% and alcohol use disorders increased close to 107%.
Researchers are calling the drinking levels in the U.S. a "public health crisis," yet exactly what's causing these high levels remains unclear. Some theories include rising numbers of women in the workforce, stress and the fact that it has become more acceptable for women to drink in similar ways as men, the researchers note. 

Spotting the Signs of Alcoholism
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use disorder includes the following four symptoms:  
  • Craving: a strong need or urge to drink.
  • Loss of control: not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
  • Physical dependence: withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety, after stopping drinking.
  • Tolerance: the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high.”
Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.