Welcome to The Suppers Programs For Sobriety
This section provides information specific to those interested in sobriety related topics.
To determine if the Suppers For Sobriety program is right for you, complete the
Putting the Body Back into the Equation
Suppers for Sobriety is a table-based recovery community that supports people in recovery and their loved ones. The
only requirement for membership is the desire to lead a healthier life in body, mind, and spirit. Our program focuses
on lifestyle changes that make life more physically and emotionally comfortable. These simple changes can help with:
With the support of other people who are earnest about making lifestyle changes members will:
- Fuzzy thinking
- Emotional ups and downs
- Cook health-and sobriety-promoting foods and develop a personal recipe for a vibrant life
- Learn stress management
- Learn about the biological individuality of alcoholism
- Work on habits of the mind and body
- Share the stories and wisdom in a supportive community
We observe the tradition of anonymity by using first names only and refraining from all mention of what was said and
who was at meetings. Your attendance at a Suppers meeting is a contract. It means you will honor the anonymity of all
you hear and see here.
To Alcoholics in Recovery
At least at the biological level, alcoholism is several different disease processes that share the common symptom of
problem drinking. Having a better idea of which brain and body type of alcoholic you are will carry you a long way
toward making the diet and lifestyle changes that bring greater comfort for you personally. Learning which foods
stabilize you and which ones agitate you is part of the solution.
Have you ever wondered why some but not all drinkers get sick and have terrible hangovers while others can take in a
huge amount of drink for years and never get a hangover? How come some but not all start out and end up depressed? Or
Anxious? Why do some people drink to drown their sorrows while some drink to get high, others just to feel normal? If
alcoholism is just one disease, why is the variation so great? The answer includes differences in how bodies react
with alcohol. And the differences go with alcoholics into sobriety.
To Others - The Health Relatives of Alcoholics
Alcoholism is just one problem in a cluster of health issues that have shared roots. Obesity, diabetes, ADD, and some
mental health problems like anxiety and depression are close cousins and often occur in the same families. Since
Suppers for Sobriety is about “putting the body back into the equation”, our forum may be beneficial to people with
these biologically related concerns. Loved ones are welcome as long as you too have the desire to lead a healthier life.
Do You Think You’re Ready to Lead a Healthier Life in Body, Mind, and Spirit?
If you answered “yes”, you’re almost there. You must have the wherewithal to prepare food and do some reading, and you
must desire to embrace lifestyle change as a path to better health even though you may still be struggling with food
addictions, cigarettes, junk food, coffee, and prescriptions.
There is no pressure to quit coffee, cigarettes, sugar, or specific foods. However, you will learn how these things are
like drugs and can actually make cravings for alcohol and other drugs worse. The meetings function as models for behaviors
that can make sobriety comfortable and life more enjoyable; and each member is free to adopt diet and lifestyle changes at
his or her own pace. Coffee, sugars, and other refined foods are not included on our meeting menus.
Why the Focus is on “Suppers”
For a disease that is widely acknowledged to embrace the body, mind, and spirit of the sufferer, the body has long taken a
back seat to the mind and spirit in treatment and recovery groups. Treatment of the body, or biological aspect of addiction,
has largely been characterized by medical intervention for detox and pharmaceuticals for depression, anxiety, and symptom
management. But addiction in its biological roots is also a diet-related problem that manifests in different ways in different
bodies. For example, considerable research in nutrition shows that much of the discomfort of sobriety relates to malnutrition
and blood sugar problems that develop with years of drinking spirits. Research on neurotransmitters indicates an important
relationship between what you eat and brain chemistry. The rationale for creating a group based on “suppers” centers on
nourishing cells that have been starved by alcoholism or other addictions and poor nutrition.
Keeping the focus on suppers also helps us recreate one of the most powerful settings for teaching and healing: the family
table. Suppers for Sobriety gives people in recovery a chance to experiment in a friendly environment, to care and be cared
about, to share the journey. Making these changes, especially for people who didn’t grow up sitting down to regular meals,
will take a lot of support.
Our Understanding of Experts - Our Response: Therapeutic Friends
Experts have an undisputed value. We are grateful for their help and intentions, but they lose value when they disagree with
one another. Also, many of us don’t have access to these experts. Some are too hard to understand. Many are too expensive.
Members use whatever means the community offers to lead healthier lives, and we encourage each Supper to become his or her
own case manager. That way Suppers can draw on the wisdom and experience of therapeutic friends in the group as well as on
the work of experts. By therapeutic friendships, we mean friendships set up to accomplish specific goals in the program. Your
therapeutic friends are not experts either. They are simply the people you look to to accompany you through your chosen processes.
If You Can Make a Pot of Coffee, You Can Make a Pot of Soup
“If I had a magic wand and could change one thing, I’d have them do whatever it takes to sit down regularly to home cooked
meals.” That quote came from a veteran alcohol and drug counselor. Family meals are good prevention and good treatment. Turning
around years of damage to the body, spirit, relationships, and life has to include greeting the problem at all its levels. If
you are no longer satisfied with mere survival, Suppers for Sobriety can teach you the skills and lend you the support you need
to make critical changes in your body and your life. It starts one meal at a time. And it’s easy to begin it because a pot of
soup is as easy to make as a pot of coffee.
Meetings require an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your group’s preferences. The standard format includes preparation
of a simple, stability-promoting meal, a brief meditation or stress management exercise, time to share, and the Suppers Forum,
which involves readings of materials other than program literature that may help people in recovery find the specific help they
need. Commercial messages are not tolerated. Variations may include walking meetings, where most of the meeting is spent outdoors,
cooking lessons, women’s or men’s meetings, and topic meetings.
How Suppers for Sobriety is Different from Other Groups or Therapy
There are two important differences between the Suppers approach to recovery and other pathways:
- The inclusion of caring for the body. Suppers for Sobriety seeks to correct an oversight that permeates the culture, not just
the recovery culture. We do this by including the role of the body in all that we do, operating under the assumption that the
physical body mediates other experience because it is the terrain on which all other experience plays out. We seek to make good
matches between problems and solutions, and we encourage striking a balance among matters of the body, mind, and spirit.
- Openness to other sources of wisdom, spiritual traditions, program literature, and so forth. Suppers for Sobriety provides a
forum for people to share their excitement and experiences but not to promote or sell an idea, product, or service. You can tell
the difference between sharing and selling by asking the simple question, “What’s my motivation?” If it has a salesy feeling,
it’s not OK. If it is simply sharing a personal experience with no intention of promoting an idea, person, product, or
service, it’s OK.
Pilot Programs are running now in the Princeton area and will form the basis of our growing body of literature. For information, contact
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We are currently assembling suggested readings. Here are our current favorite books by researchers and clinicians who put the body back
into the alcoholism equation.
Seven Weeks to Sobriety by Joan Mathews Larson (1997) offers self-tests that help alcoholics determine which underlying biotype
of alcoholism they suffer from. Larson's Health Recovery Center documents 74% clean and sober rates three years after treatment. She
combines individual nutritional protocols with rational emotive behavior therapy. Her book provides sufficient information for some
motivated and supported alcoholics to restore themselves to well being without a residential program.
Staying Clean and Sober by Miller & Miller (2005) is directed primarily at alcoholics. It describes how amino acids -- safe,
over-the-counter preparations -- rebuild neurotransmission and with it calm, stability, and sense of well being. The Millers' book
is an easy read and offers chapters on a wide array of natural methods of supporting sobriety from foot reflexology and aromatherapy
to brain wave training.
In The Mood Cure, Julia Ross (2002) offers a self-test to determine your "mood type", which indicates which of the main
neurotransmitters you are most likely to need to bolster for nutritional rehab. Your drugs of choice are clear indicators of your
nutritional deficiencies. This book includes contact information for labs that do the kind of testing that may be necessary to
individualize nutritional protocols. Click here for an in-depth member review.
Michael Schachter, MD, is an orthomolecular psychiatrist and author of
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression (2006). This book deals with depression at the level at which it exists in each
individual, not with single pill solutions. Dr. Schachter addresses depression first with a biochemical profile for each sufferer and
creates a personalized approach using diet, supplements, detoxification, and hormone treatments as well as energy medicine.
End Your Addiction Now by Charles Gant & Greg Lewis (2002) addresses addictions to many substances and helps sufferers design
recovery plans using over-the-counter nutritional supplements that provide the building blocks of good mood neurotransmission and digestive repair.
Food for Recovery: The Complete Nutritional Companion for Recovering from Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Eating Disorders by Joseph Beasley
(1994) describes how eating nourishing foods and dealing with underlying allergies can make recovery much easier. See also How to Defeat Alcoholism.
Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism by James Milam and Katherine Ketcham (1983).
Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism by Katherine Ketcham and W. Asbury (2000).
Alcohol and the Addictive Brain by Kenneth Blum (1991).
Lights out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T. S. Wiley (2000).
Alcoholism: The Nutritional Approach by Roger Williams (1978).
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Including The Body In The Treatment Of Alcoholism
Counseling Alcoholics: A Brain-Based Body, Mind, Spirit Approach
Biotypes Of Alcoholism by Bonnie Camo, MD
Biochemical Individuality in Alcoholism
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