Scientific research has shown that sugar, caffeine, and white flour trigger drug and alcohol cravings.

Why? Because they affect the same parts of the brain as drugs and alcohol. The low-glycemic diet is especially helpful in restoring proper dopamine levels in individuals fighting addiction. The low-glycemic diet is an excellent way to naturally boost dopamine production and improve your state of well-being. The diet alone will not cure addiction, but in collaboration with a well-structured 12-step program, inpatient, and outpatient treatment from a licensed facility such Iris Healing Retreat, it can help you achieve a life free of drug abuse.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions provided by Joan Borsten, the author of the Low-Glycemic diet book.

Are there vegetarian options?

Yes — there are vegetarian recipes. Once you learn the principles of the diet, you can also apply them to any recipes you prefer, including gluten-free, vegan, or kosher diets.

Do the recipes require fancy cooking skills?

No! These are recipes adapted for home cooks, and there are plenty of options for all skill levels.

What kind of sweeteners do you recommend, if you don’t use sugar?

We recommend using agave nectar, palm sugar, or coconut sugar. These sweeteners are low-glycemic, which means they don’t give you the same sugar rush as regular sugar or corn syrup. Cooking with low-glycemic sweeteners keeps blood sugar levels stable, and keeps the brain from getting triggered.

Are you saying that 12-step meetings tend to serve the very foods I shouldn’t be eating?

Unfortunately, yes. 12-step meetings traditionally serve sweets and caffeine because those foods temporarily make people in early recovery feel better. You get a sugar high instead of a drug high. However, research shows that in the long run, those foods just make your cravings stronger.

If I have been eating a diet full of the trigger foods (caffeine, sugar and white flour), will I experience any discomfort in switching to this diet?

Honestly, yes. It is common for people in early recovery to miss caffeine and sugar, especially. However there are delicious dessert recipes in the book that help ease that transition. They were very popular at MBRC!

Does this diet cure addiction?

No. However, it is a powerful tool to support your program of recovery. We strongly recommend combining it with a 12-step or other recovery program, inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Is this something I can do to help a family member who’s struggling with addiction?

Absolutely yes! These are delicious recipes that will help your loved one feel satisfied and cared for. We do recommend that your loved one also seeks treatment to aid recovery. This book is not a cure.

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“Iris Healing was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have been to 5 other treatment centers and it just did not stick. Iris properly diagnosed me, got me on the right medication, and gave me the tools and encouragement to stay sober. They have helped me in every aspect of my life and I am extremely grateful! I can now get back to my regular life without the fear of addiction! Thank you!!”
- Michelle 

“Iris Healing was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have been to 5 other treatment centers and it just did not stick. Iris properly diagnosed me, got me on the right medication, and gave me the tools and encouragement to stay sober. They have helped me in every aspect of my life and I am extremely grateful! I can now get back to my regular life without the fear of addiction! Thank you!!”
- Michelle B.

William H.

Words simply can't fully express my gratitude and thanks for the Iris team.  The CEO and Clinical Director have built an amazing program that not only addresses the substance dependency; but in addition, treats and heals the entire person...physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  In many ways, I feel like they have set me on a journey to learn who I really am and given me my life back...which is a gift I will always treasure.  The intimate size of the facility was crucial to my experience.  I never felt overlooked, and there was always a staff member available to me if I needed assistance, a listening ear, or encouragement during my time there.  The therapists and staff provided comfort, kindness, and support...and made me feel as though I was in a safe environment where I could fully focus on my healing.  I'm so thankful I began my recovery journey at Iris, and I will be eternally grateful for this incredible program and team.  -- William H.

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