Our Inspirations:  Phoenix Multisport and Scott Strode

I read a great article in the October 12, 2016 edition of the Philly Voice entitled Recovering Addicts Using Cross Fit to Exercise their Demons and wanted to share it with you.   The article tells the story of Scott Strode who has been sober from alcohol and cocaine for nineteen years.  About eight years ago he founded Phoenix Multisport in Boulder, Colorado.

Scott Strode, founder and operator of Phoenix Multisport, a nonprofit gym that offers free services for people with 48 hours of contiguous sobriety B64813904Z.1 in Newport Beach. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: cu.1119.phoenixsport - 11/13/15 - BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - Phoenix Multisport, a nonprofit gym that offers free services for people with 48 hours of contiguous sobriety. Taking portrait of Scott Strode (founder) and the NB gym operator. Picture made at Phoenix Multisport in Newport Beach, California on Friday, November 13, 2015.

Scott integrated hiking, weight training and other forms of exercise into his own recovery.  Following what worked for him, Scott founded Phoenix Multisport to integrate exercise into on overall twelve-step program.   At Phoenix Multisport people recovering from substance abuse along with anyone else who chooses to live sober, come to train in a gym setting and enhance their twelve-step program.   The types of physical activity at Phoenix include: climbing, hiking, running, strength training, yoga, and road/mountain biking.  Beyond the numerous physical pursuits, Multisport also offers social events which help build a sense of community among participants.

 

Phoenix Multisport has expanded beyond Boulder and presently offers programs in numerous cities in Colorado; Orange County, California; Boston, Massachusetts and  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The organization’s goal is simple: “To expand people’s sober community while creating a safe environment.”   The organization acknowledges: “people choosing to live a sober lifestyle often find it necessary to make changes to many aspects of their lives, including their social circles, in order to maintain sobriety.  Abrupt changes in lifestyle can lead to loss of support networks, and often cause people to become isolated.”   Phoenix Multisport fills a void for someone in recovery by providing  positive social and physical activities that support a healthy lifestyle.   The program helps people in recovery build “a new identity as a sober athlete in place of a

drug addict or alcoholic.”

The inspirational work accomplished by Scott and everyone at Phoenix Multisport has helped save lives and improve the quality of life for so many already in recovery.   At Spiritual Adrenaline we hope to see Scott’s brainchild spread across all fifty states.

If you are interested in reading the Philly Voice article, go to www.phillyvoice.com/recovering-addicts-using-crossfit-to-exercise-their-demons. Also, check out the Phoenix Multisport website at www.phoenixmultisport.org.

If you know of any individual or organization that is using exercise and/or nutrition as part of an overall twelve-step program and would like to share their story, let us know. Send us an email at blog@spiritualadrenaline.me.

Holiday Dessert Guide

Holiday Dessert Guide

Be Smarter About The Sweets You Eat

INTRODUCTION


People eating a pie and drinking cranberry compote

A gentleman I used to know described the holidays as “hurricane season” for people in recovery. First it’s Thanksgiving, then Christmas or Hanukkah, then New Year’s Eve. Society often defines these celebrations by eating and drinking to excess, rather than true nature of the holiday, gratitude, and giving thanks for all of our blessings. All the reveling can be really challenging for someone new to recovery or even those with substantial time. When you add family to the mix, it can be overwhelming, exhausting, and put many at the risk of relapse. It’s important to stay close to the program during the holidays and find time for meetings, your sponsor, and positive relationships. It’s even more important to remain in a state of gratitude, which is after all what the holidays are all about.

What we eat during the stress of the holidays can have a major impact on our attitude, mood, and energy levels. Food is comprised of substances, some of which enhance our recovery while others undercut it. Foods high in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other cheap fillers and caffeine and fats (the bad kind); can make you feel awful and put your sobriety at risk. It is important for alcoholics, addicts and anyone who is looking to break free of dependence on any substance to understand that alcohol metabolizes in the body as glucose, and is very similar, on a chemical level, to carbs and sugar from candy, ice cream, and other high-carb foods. Drugs similarly have a negative impact on the body and both alcoholics and addicts tend to use caffeine and/or sugar for energy depleted by the cycle of abuse. This is a major concern as it can lead to cravings and increased risk of relapse.

That’s the problem, but what’s the solution. I am not telling you that you cannot eat sweets for the holiday; I am telling you that it’s important to be smart about what you and I eat.

I teamed up with Melanie Albert, an Intuitive Cooking Expert, founder of Experience Nutrition and the Author of the new book A New View of Healthy Eating, to come up with healthy holiday treats that aren’t just delicious, but are also good for you.

Melanie is amazing. She came up with five holiday treats made of all natural ingredients, high in healthy fats and low on the glycemic index so they will help you avoid sugar highs and then a crash. More importantly, they are delicious.

You can watch Melanie make the treats by clicking on the videos below.


Aromatic Apple Crisp with Freshly Ground Spices

 


For full recipe instructions check out Melanie’s website:

Aromatic Apple Crisp Recipe

Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie

 


For full recipe instructions check out Melanie’s website:

Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

 


For full recipe instructions check out Melanie’s website:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie (Soy)

 


For full recipe instructions check out Melanie’s website:

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

Fruit Sorbet – Holiday Treats That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

 


For full recipe instructions check out Melanie’s website:

Fruit Sorbet

These treats are delicious and will enhance, rather than undercut, your recovery by providing you with energy through healthy fats rather than sugar or caffeine. They taste delicious and won’t spike your blood sugar. The best part is you can eat more of the healthy stuff than the fattening unhealthy stuff and it tastes just as good. For more helpful information on how your diet can impact your sobriety, visit our recovery nutrition section.

For more delicious healthy recipes, visit Melanie’s website and buy her new book A New View of Healthy Eating.

Happy holidays from everyone here at Spiritual Adrenaline.

Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander – Recovery Spirituality

stinkingthinkingphotoRecovery Spirituality –  Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander

 An incredibly important part of realizing a spiritual awakening is the journey towards that point while dealing with what is often referred to as “stinking thinking”.  This refers to those thoughts and impulses that pop into our heads without forewarning, or any trigger that compels us to return to our old bad behaviors.   Scientists say that average folk have approximately 40,000 thoughts pop into their heads daily.   When I was using and in early recovery, I think the same three or four thoughts popped into my head 40,000 times a day: “Drink”; “Do a Line”; “Act Out Sexually”; or in early recovery, “Eat at the Problem”. Being bombarded 40,000 times a day with these unhealthy and unhelpful thoughts was a huge problem.

These thoughts or impulses had control for a very long time.  By the time I realized the thought or impulse popped into my head, I was already off to the races to make it happen.  There are numerous ways I have successfully dealt with this in recovery. Gratitude, mindfulness and breath are among the tools I used; Buddhists have known for thousands of years, the importance of breath, as a tool to end suffering.

In his book, Ordinary Recovery, William Alexander, an addict in long-term recovery who was ordained a Buddhist Monk, relates how truly simple the solution is to the complicated problem of addiction. I highly recommend you read Ordinary Recovery and attend the once yearly “Buddhists in Recovery” retreat co-facilitated by Bill at KTD Monastery in Woodstock, New York. If you attend, I can almost guarantee that I will have the pleasure to meet you in person, as I am a regular and huge fan of Bill, his book and KTD.

Bill has a number of mindfulness tools in his book, all of which involve “taming the dragon”. No matter what tool you chose to use, Bill’s advice on how to handle stinking thinking is as follows:

Stop.

Breath.

Look deeply.

Express gratitude.

Tell Someone.

 

It truly is that simple.   By focusing on our stopping the stinking thinking and focusing on our breath, we retake control of our mind.   We must learn how to “look deeply” and Bill’s book and other mindfulness teachings can help you with that.  Gratitude then overcomes the thought or impulse and you share about it.  Only your secrets can keep you sick.

The key to to force the mind back into the positive and to gratitude.  An alcoholic or addict that stays in gratitude will not use.  

I highly recommend you check out Ordinary Recovery by William Alexander for more helpful tools to avoid stinking thinking.

We look forward to your feedback on this and other blog posts or questions. If you have used exercise and/or nutrition as a tool in your recovery or know someone who has, shoot us an email or video at: blog@spiritualadrenaline.me.