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Teaching Nutrition

Healthy DietNutrition is an important component to overall health, impacting a person’s mood, behavior, and mental health. All of Vinland’s programming is centered around treating the whole-person — mind, body, and spirit — which is why Vinland offers personal health classes. The classes teach the basics of healthy nutrition, how poor nutrition can negatively impact medical conditions, and how to make healthy food choices.

“We provide a holistic approach to care, and nutrition is an important element of overall health and recovery,” said Duane Reynolds, Vinland’s associate director. “Some of our clients have concurrent medical issues that can be improved through diet, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight (too high or too low).”

All people who abuse alcohol and/or drugs experience some level of malnutrition. Alcohol is calorie-dense, but nutrient-poor. The empty calories do not provide the vitamins and minerals the body needs to function properly. Drug abusers are often so distracted by their addiction that eating and self-care are neglected.

Jeff Willert is the fitness & wellness manager at Vinland, and he created the current curriculum for the personal health classes.

“We are providing clients with the basic information they need to make healthy food choices when they leave Vinland,” Willert said. “We talk a lot about quantities, and we look at the structure of a good diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.”

Recovery from substance abuse affects the body in a variety ways, including metabolism, organ function, and mental well-being. Proper nutrition helps the healing process by supplying the body with the vitamins and minerals needed for energy and to build and maintain healthy organs.