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When entering recovery we embark upon a journey with many new perspectives from different sources that can help us heal from a seemingly hopeless state of existence. Lots of options and information. However, as women we are often the main caretakers in our environments and have many roles we need to attend to. Our own self-care takes a backseat. We begin to suffer from the lack of attention to the fine details of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. The merry go round of distractions can continue to the end of our lives – or we can stop and ask ourselves is this really enough for me? Our Nutrition plays a huge role in the health and function of all these areas.

apple-15687_1280Overall health for our feminine state and slowing down the premature aging process can be done by learning simple, effective self-care steps beginning with the food we eat. Understanding beyond the palate and emotion of feeding our hunger, is the key to our success in reversing internal damage done by self-neglect. It is amazing that our body replenishes and builds new cells all the time, healing itself beyond what we can understand. A little shift can bring incredible positive changes in a relatively short period of time, some noticeable within days! Feeding the body what it lacks, is literally a whole body makeover, from the inside out.

Our mental health and wellbeing can be a huge struggle to maintain, particularly in recovery. When we eat foods like cookies cakes and lots of dairy products throughout our day we are just increasing the symptoms we feel. From brain fog, fatigue, anxiety and stress, we become much more vulnerable to this cycle. To support your brain health you can add foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, organic lean meats, and lots of leafy green veggies. Don’t forget that a brain that is dehydrated causes these negative symptoms as well. Water is essential to the function of our brain so hydrate regularly.

The outer appearance of our skin hair and nails can be poor from years of addiction and abuse. Again Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet daily will help to improve the appearance and quality of your skin, hair and nails. As women we need these fats in abundance for the function of our bodies. A good supplement is always recommended.

Beauty definitely starts from the inside out, but we can also use the nutrients in food as topical beauty products. These are especially beneficial for those of us who don’t like to use products full of chemicals and it’s also fun and fulfilling to make our own. Here is a face cream to try;


2-4 tablespoons of Shea Butter.

1-2 tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil (Glass Jars Not plastic)

3-5 Drops of Tee Tree oil or Avocado Oil




Place the raw Shea Butter in a bowl.

Mix the coconut and add Tea Tree Oil.

Mix with until blended and smooth.

Add to a glass storage jar for later use.

You can also try using 3-5 drops of avocado oil for extra topical Omega 3 as another blend.

Keeping our immune system running efficiently is of course, the best way to avoid illness and damage to our bodies. Removing things like simple sugar carbohydrates and adding complex carbohydrates with a main focus on lots of veggies and fruit is a great place to start. I can’t stress enough the damage sugar does to our bodies. As little as 1 teaspoon of simple sugar can lower the Immune System by as much as 50% for up to five hours. If you have a compromised immune system it is imperative that you search for healthy alternatives.

Yeast infection can be an issue for many women. Vaginal yeast infections are common, which is a sign of an overgrowth of yeast in the entire body. Pro biotics taken orally can help prevent these issues. The high sugar content in alcohol definitely adds to this problem and continuing to eat high sugar foods early in recovery prolongs the issue. Sugar feeds the yeast in our body causing it to multiply and get out of control. When we have an excess amount of yeast it makes us ill and increases the craving for sugar.

Difficult times emotionally and physically can be a huge issue for many women during our menstrual period. Foods that help balance our hormones and prevent symptoms like irritability, headaches and bloating are abundant. Many women find great relief from these symptoms through adding fish oils, evening primrose oil and starflower oil daily. They can all be found in health food shops and supermarkets. Avoiding excessive caffeine and sugar will also help greatly. If you crave chocolate at this time, choose a good quality dark chocolate instead of the high sugar and dairy versions. And of course, following a healthy diet on a daily basis will help when our period comes.

Drug and alcohol abuse can cause damage to our reproductive system and make getting pregnant difficult. The hormonal balance in our bodies and damage to our eggs during addiction can leave lifelong damage. However, by getting healthy as soon as we can after addiction, we increase our chances of reversing the damage done. It’s advisable to let your body heal and rebalance fully before getting pregnant. Again cutting out sugar, increasing good fats, hydration to cleanse our systems and an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables, is the best way to heal and re-energise your reproductive system. Folic acid is also an essential nutrient in our diets for the future developing foetus and is found in lentils, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. You can also boost your intake of folic acid with a good supplement. And of course continuing with a diet full of nutrients during pregnancy and after the birth ensures and healthy mother and baby.

Menopause is often a time women dread, but if we start to really care for ourselves holistically, we can breeze through it without the increased anxiety, fatigue, hot flashes and irritability. Again, addiction will increase the hormonal imbalance even after we are in recovery for some time. Diet is so important and essential to minimize the overload on our adrenal glands, and the dreaded fat storing at this time in our lives. It’s really not necessary to seek an array of doctors to fix these symptoms. We think we need to take a pill to treat the symptoms yet never stop to look at our eating and lifestyle habits. A lot of time, money and discomfort can be avoided by just taking better care of ourselves.  By following the low intake of simple sugars and increasing the lean meats, fruits, vegetables and the Omega 3’s, symptoms that are complicated by an unhealthy diet, will be drastically reduced.

walk-1031039_1280The natural ways to protect the body are to supplement during menopause. Absorbable calcium, magnesium with vitamin D to support the bone health is vital, as our bone density starts to decrease. A good vitamin E helps reduce hot flashes. It is important to understand that while the estrogen and progesterone hormones are lowering we can use natural plant based estrogens to compensate. Foods such as soya milk and soya flour, linseeds, tofu, tempeh and miso, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb and green beans are all excellent sources of natural plant estrogens. Women living in countries where these foods are a natural part of their diet, such as Asia, do not experience menopausal symptoms like we do in the western world.

Last but by no means least: exercise! It strengthens our whole body, produces happy hormones to keep our moods stable. Combats depression and anxiety and of course, helps with unwanted weight gain. Find what you like and set up a routine that fits into your life. Why not check out our article this month on yoga for womens health. Maybe it’s something that can help you.

Once you start a holistic self-care plan it very soon becomes a new lifestyle choice that you love. The benefits and results are remarkable, and remember you deserve to be recovered in all areas of your life at all stages of your life.

I invite you to fill out the free consultation form at my website.

I am preparing for an upcoming workshop called “Put the Spring Back In Your Step”. Please if you’re interested, contact me through my website. I am happy to send you further details!

Here’s to your health,

Disclaimer: The information above is meant to be suggestive only. It is recommended to consult with your primary care doctor before making any changes to your diet.



  1. Barbara Dunlap Reply

    I think you may have found your niche.
    I shared this article with my FB friends. I hope you do not mind.

    • Kathleen Russell Reply

      Hi Barbara,
      I absolutely do not mind. My hope is that others do as well~~ My passion truly is helping others achieve there best and highest self through Nutrition and accountability. Thank You for all your encouragement and support.

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