5 Diet Trends Sober People Jump On
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5 Diet Trends Sober People Jump On


If there’s one thing sober people love, it’s self-improvement. Sure, wanting (or needing) to save our asses is generally what drags us into recovery to begin with, but a sudden and surprising byproduct of sobriety is suddenly caring, most of the time, about our overall bodily health and well-being. It’s hard to sit through a meeting without hearing at least a few stray references to juicing, cleanses, or the evils of sugar and caffeine. Here are a few of the dietary trends that recovering addicts seem to get especially psyched about.

1) No Sugar, No Flour 

Over the years, I can’t even count the number of soberistas I’ve heard espousing the trillions of benefits involved in cutting out sugar and white flour. Weight loss, satiety, and a sense of perfect emotional balance are all supposed side effects we lucky bastards will observe once adopting this annoyingly restrictive lifestyle. Sounds great in theory, but really, what’s the point of living if you can’t have gummy candy and frozen yogurt? You think I’m kidding—I am totally not. In my opinion, taking sugar away from recovering addicts is like taking away a baby’s snuggly security blanket and tossing it in the trash—i.e., it’s cruel, unusual, in short: NOT OK.

2) Caffeine: Clearly the Devil

On a similar tip, I’ve seen many sober folks decide, after a couple of years of drug/drink abstinence, that caffeine is, like, sooooooo getting them high, too, and they just don’t feel good about its upper-ish effects. I get that, I guess, kind of, maybe a little, but I also just…don’t. Sure, caffeine may be one form of a naturally delicious and addictive drug, but it’s not, like, a BAD DRUG. It’s natural! And it doesn’t really affect your system in any BAD WAY. Uh, does it? I dunno, but I do know that I don’t want to tear myself away from my trusty morning coffee and afternoon soy latte anytime soon.

3) Green Juices 

One dietary trend I’ve never gotten on board with, or even vaguely considered, is juicing. Specifically the green juice thing. Soberites like to wax poetic about how energized and healthy they feel after drinking that crap, and okay, the concoctions might help you get your daily dose of vegetables, but they also often taste like butt and smell like it, too. I admit I might have a particularly intense aversion because I hate vegetables —always have, probably always will, though I force myself to eat them occasionally. Still, I don’t think I’ll be able to convince myself to drink them in pukey green-liquid form anytime soon.

4) Gluten-Free, Naturally 

The number of people jumping on the recent gluten-free-bonanza trend just seems to keep rising, and that population seems to include a great many sober folks who have suddenly declared themselves Celiac or gluten-sensitive. If there’s one thing we love, it’s diagnosing ourselves, so I guess it’s not that weird that so many of us jump on the wheat-free bandwagon. Whatever makes you feel good, man.

5) Food Addicts Anonymous/Overeaters Anonymous 

Don’t get mad at me for calling these 12-step programs a trend. I know some people battle serious food issues — anorexia, binge-eating, purging, food-hoarding, sugar obsession, etc. I’ve also heard that lots of people find major relief via Food Addicts Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. But I can’t help but notice that the longer a person stays sober in AA, the more likely they are to eventually proclaim that they have at least one other terrible horrible no-good very bad addiction, and often that addiction is food. Like I said, no judgment here; we’ve all got our demons. (Sugar is actually one of my worst ones.)

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.