Nutrition is something we take very seriously at Dedicato Treatment Center. Understanding that every substance you put into your body can have undesirable consequences for your health, we work with clients individually to monitor their diets in a way that fosters a connection to the body.
When clients first arrive at our facility, we do a thorough assessment to understand if there are any existing allergies or medical requirements for their diet. We also like to know what types of foods they prefer and what things they have an aversion to. Equally important are religious requirements or cultural comfort foods that will help to make our clients feel that their nutritional needs are met, respected, and exceeded.
Food is central to everyone’s life, and the kitchen is certainly the heartbeat of our home while in recovery. We encourage clients to take an inventory of how their body is responding to what they consume—being mindful of how their unique ecosystem responds to food as stimulants. Do you feel tired? Do you get a burst of energy then crash? Do you feel a sustained energy that lasts for hours? Are you having cravings?
Our chef Teresa Hernandez has spent many years creating nutrition programs in healthcare environments, including elder and sub-acute care hospitals. Teresa employs a “food as medicine” mentality to our kitchen. She is dedicated to helping every client create healthy eating habits that they can sustain on their own once they get back to their everyday lives. Building a sustainable eating routine is a core competency we teach and encourage in the Dedicato kitchen.
Teresa is also a phenomenal chef. Her meals bring joy, comfort, and strength to our patients. We know that going into treatment can make clients feel extremely vulnerable and that helping them to reconnect to a healthy appetite is an accomplishment following substance abuse. Our dining table is often where we see our clients first smile. Tasting food again after detox can be an overwhelming, emotional connection. One that we celebrate and honor here. Food is medicine. Food is love.