All across the globe, people bond over the experience of sharing meals. Families sit down together for holiday dinners, couples go on dates at restaurants, friends host cookouts to bring people together, and charitable organizations host dinners to raise money for their cause.
Cooking and eating have been ways human beings throughout all of history have spent time together. Certain foods and cuisine may be a source of pride for groups of people. We build a routine based on meal times, and we often look forward to these breaks in our day.
While we are in a recovery program, we might share meals with our peers. Shared meals can help us to build a sense of community and open up a dialogue for thoughtful conversation. Sharing healthy meals also helps our physical well-being, which then helps us develop a healthy frame of mind.
Preparing Meals Together: Learning to Share and Compromise
While attending long-term recovery programs, like sober living homes, we might be supplied with food to prepare meals with our peers. We may be asked by our recovery support staff to help plan menus and prepare meals. When planning menus with our peers, we may have to compromise depending on each person’s tastes and dietary needs.
Our favorite meal might not be the preferred choice of our peers. Some of our peers might also have dietary restrictions preventing them from eating some of the things that we enjoy. When preparing meals, we also share our culinary skills with the group.
Some of us may bring a different skill to the table, like being able to mince onions or beings able to make sauces without a recipe. Some of us may have unique recipes that we would like to share with our peers. When we plan and prepare meals, we reach toward the common goal of enjoying a healthy and nutritious meal together.
For some of us, sharing a meal could be akin to sharing a part of our history and our culture. We may have a family recipe that is passed down from generation to generation, or have a favorite meal that brings up pleasant memories. When people travel to new places, finding unique and local cuisine helps them learn about the cultural settings of new environments.
We can learn a lot from one another based on our preferred meals. One of your peers may be a vegan due to their passion for animal rights. Another may love pizza because their baseball coach took them out for pizza following victories. Our meals can spark new topics of conversation and help us get to know our peers.
Trying New Things and Being Open-Minded
We might be exposed to different experiences that we have never tried before while in a recovery treatment program. Nutritious and healthy meals might be a new experience for us. Trying new things can help us learn to be open-minded and accept new challenges.
Eating different types of foods can help us cultivate an openness to trying novel activities. Thinking of eating unfamiliar foods as an exercise in open-mindedness can help us in our recovery. When trying new foods, we might have to suspend our preconceived notions about what we expect.
We may need to challenge our thoughts on what is and what is not a satisfying meal. We might not understand the impact of eating nutritious meals. We may need to learn how to develop healthy eating habits to replace some unhealthy behaviors and ideas about food.
Just like new challenges and activities in recovery treatment, we might be surprised by what we enjoy when sharing new meals with others. We might discover a new favorite meal during our stay in a sober living environment that we never would have been exposed to prior to our participation in treatment.
Building Community: A Pillar of Recovery
Fostering a sense of community is one of the pillars of many recovery programs. Prepping and sharing meals can teach us how to compromise with our peers, how to work with our peers, and can provide us with a comfortable environment for intriguing conversations. Sharing meals with others can help us feel a sense of belonging in a new environment and help us to feel at ease within our recovery program.
When we build a sense of community, we begin to build healthy relationships and create a supportive recovery environment for all the people within our program. Meal-sharing is one of many ways that we can cultivate a sense of community and get to know our peers.
Some recovery programs and sober living homes recognize the importance of providing healthy meals for peers in recovery. Sharing meals is a great way to learn about healthy eating habits, to come together as a peer group, to learn new things about each other, and to foster a sense of community within a treatment program. Food is often a source of comfort for most of us and learning how to make nutritious meals can have a profound impact on our overall health and well-being. Learning to eat unfamiliar dishes also teaches us to be open-minded in other areas of life as well. Camelback Recovery recognizes the value of sharing meals among peers in our sober living environments. Our staff help to prepare community dinners to share with all of our participants. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to begin your recovery treatment in our home.