Suppers for Sobriety Q and A

Who is this group for?

Suppers for Sobriety is for anyone who feels addicted, especially to alcohol, and their loved ones. The only requirement for membership is the desire to lead a healthier life in body, mind and spirit. We include people who have stopped drinking on their own, people who have used or are using 12 step programs, and people whose lives have been touched by alcohol and have a family history of alcoholism, obesity, diabetes, and/or mental health problems like anxiety and depression. The shared objective is to become willing to use diet and lifestyle change to support long-term sobriety.

Who is this group not for?

It is not for active alcoholics. Alcoholics who are just recently through detox can decide for themselves when they are ready to make diet and lifestyle changes to support their long-term sobriety.

If I tend to relapse, how do you think this program can help me?

Relapse is the logical result of making poor matches between problems and solutions. Suppers for Sobriety provides a forum for discovering your personal, highly individual vulnerability to relapse. It provides a safe setting for learning and experimenting with possible solutions and reinforcing positive changes while practicing healthier habits of body and mind.

How will Suppers for Sobriety help with panic attacks?

By teaching you how to stabilize your body, the physical “playing field” on which the addiction game plays out. To the extent that your panic attacks originate in your physical body, it is to that extent that Suppers for Sobriety can help lead you to personal solutions.

I already take meals at tables, what’s different about yours?

At Suppers for Sobriety tables, the focus is on supporting long-term sobriety at three levels: body, mind and spirit. For the body, our tables offer meals that help stabilize blood sugar and normalize brain chemistry. For the mind, the forum includes education about holistic relapse prevention, brief meditations, and inventories that identify personal vulnerabilities. And for the spirit, the camaraderie of the shared experience. At Suppers for Sobriety, caring for the body is the primary spiritual act because the body is the temple of the soul.

Who cooks?

You do.

How will Suppers for Sobriety benefit me?

It will help you identify the missing links in your plan for sobriety, exchange relapse-promoting habits for relapse-preventing habits, and give you a safe place to try on new habits of body and mind that reduce the symptoms of the dry drunk feeling.

Is Suppers for Sobriety compatible with therapy and 12-step work?

Yes. This is not a substitute for anything that is already working or partially working for you. Suppers for Sobriety seeks simply to fill in gaps in your current approach that do not fully account for your personal requirements in sobriety.

Are there separate meetings for alcoholics in recovery and their loved ones?

No, everyone is welcome to attend the full spectrum of Suppers meetings. Suppers for Sobriety is one of many different kinds of Suppers. Anyone who identifies with a particular meeting is welcome to attend. Someone might want to attend sobriety meetings and also vegan meetings or meetings for diabetics, for example. Alcoholism is a family disease, and Suppers for Sobriety welcomes loved ones who want to lead healthier lives. Alcoholics and their loved ones all need help learning how to not sabotage the process. The family table is central to recovery, so loved ones and alcoholics have the option of getting an education together about how to prepare sobriety-promoting meals and how to incorporate new habits of body and mind that sustain long term change.

What are these processed foods mentioned in your literature?

Processed foods are anything you eat or drink that is not whole, single, fresh food. If it’s been ground into flour, refined into sugar, canned, packaged, distilled or otherwise changed from its natural form, it’s processed. If it has only one ingredient, it’s probably fine: one apple, one chicken, one sweet potato, rice, almonds, etc.

Can you give some examples of processed foods?

Sugar, flour, candy, doughnuts, cookies, bread, coffee, packaged foods in general.

How do they sabotage my sobriety?

By providing effective, short-term relief, they set you up for a bigger problem over time. The details are complicated, but in general, they rescue you from low blood sugar (which can feel like a wave of anxiety or depression or mental fatigue or spacy feelings) and they rescue you temporarily from crashes of the “feel good” brain chemicals. Processed foods sabotage sobriety if and when they make you feel unstable, set you up to need coffee or sweets, or destroy your appetite for the real food that heals.

What about coffee?

Coffee is a drug that can keep you craving and sets you up for crashes. It’s temporary first aid that leads to a bigger problem over time. Some people tolerate it fairly well, others not so much. If you get jitters or can’t start the day unless you have it, it’s driving your problem.

And cigarettes?

Also a drug, they set you up to crash. But if they help you stay sober in early sobriety, they serve a function temporarily.

No milk or wheat or sugar?

We don’t tell you that you cannot have them; we just don’t serve it at meetings. We are working hard to help people repair their digestion, and milk, wheat and sugar can rip up your gut if you’re intolerant of them. Once your digestion is repaired, you can do experiments to see if your body can handle milk and wheat. Again, these things are not on the menu at meetings, but you decide for yourself if and when you try giving them up for a while. If your digestion is perfect, you can disregard this one. If not, we have to clarify something: You are not what you eat, you are only what you absorb of what you eat. If your digestion is destroyed, good food won’t do much.

Do I have to give up all my favorite things to participate?

No, they just won’t appear at meetings. You will learn how processed foods, coffee, and cigarettes sabotage sobriety. It is up to you if and when you choose to reduce or give up these virtual drugs.

This seems like a lot to give up.  What’s the pay off?

More comfortable sobriety.

Can you be more specific?

You have a lot to lose:

Fatigue
Panic attacks
Cravings
Depression
Anxiety
Fuzzy thinking
Irritability
Dry drunk feelings
Heart Palpitations
Trembling
Nausea
Insomnia
Mood swings