Therapeutic Nutrition Program in Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville Recovery Center proudly provides a dedicated therapeutic nutrition program, integrating meal planning, nutrition education, and cooking classes to specifically counter the physical effects of substance use and promote healing within the body.

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Complete & Healthy Recovery Through Nutrition

Our in-house Head Chef, Shannon Snyder, prepares delicious and healthy meals to help clients meet their nutritional needs during treatment, while also teaching regular educational sessions where they can learn about the physical impact of substance and discover foods that aid in the healing process.

A charcuterie board with meats, cheeses, and fruits
therapeutic nutrition plate

Nutrition impacts our entire body’s ability to function properly, and notably impacts our brain. In recent years, more and more integrative models of care have popped up, which are embracing treatment through the lens of that person’s entire life—from trauma, to lifestyle choices, to diet, exercise, chronic health conditions, and so on. By embracing the gut-brain connection, we can help clients heal their whole selves—not just treating the symptoms they are challenged with. The key goals of our therapeutic nutrition program include:

  • Supporting physical healing
  • Improving gastrointestinal health
  • Increasing mental clarity
  • Establishing healthy eating habits
  • Learning new and exciting ways to prepare healthy meals

What’s Included In Our Therapeutic Nutrition Program

All meals provided while in treatment are carefully curated to ensure sustenance, comfort, and balance. Since substance abuse frequently leads to malnourishment, all meals are designed to provide necessary vitamins and macronutrients. 

  • Individualized Meal Plans: As a way to cater to all clients, meal modifications can be made to accommodate dietary restrictions or religious customs, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan meals.
  • Nourishing, Whole Foods: We provide unprocessed, nourishing foods packed with nutrients, low additives, fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins.
  • Nutrition Classes: Clients in treatment can learn about the basics of mindful eating, meal planning, and the role of different nutrients from professional and creative culinary experts.
  • Supplements & Vitamins: As part of our medical detox and residential treatment program, we can provide clients with supplements, fluids, and vitamins to help them overcome withdrawal symptoms and bounce back from nutritional deficiencies.
  • Exercise & Physical Activity: As part of our holistic approach to addiction treatment, therapeutic nutrition goes hand in hand with our experiential therapy methods, including adventure therapy, yoga, expressive arts, an on-site fitness center, and close access to nature preserves, wildlife areas, and state parks.

Why Therapeutic Nutrition Matters

Our diets and the foods we eat can have a massive impact on our mental health, so it’s crucial to fill our plates and stomachs with nutrient-rich foods. The Standard American Diet (SAD), which is also sometimes referred to as the Western diet, is characterized by a high intake of red meat, processed foods, sweets, and fried foods. It’d high in sugar and fat, and highly processed. Studies have shown that when comparing the standard American diet to more “traditional” diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet—which is higher in fruits and vegetables and does not contain processed foods—the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower.

We develop nutritional deficiencies when we withhold vital nutrients our body needs to function properly, and these deficiencies can affect both our physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Magnesium deficiency can lead to irritability, anxiety, and sleep disorders, among other symptoms.
  • Iron deficiency, which is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, can lead to symptoms of depression, as well as extreme fatigue, apathy, and poor concentration.
  • Data suggests individuals deficient in Vitamin D may experience symptoms of depression as well.
  • Other vitamins and minerals that play important roles in cognitive function include B vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Supplements may be able to fill in nutritional gaps, but diets high in sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation and disruption throughout the mind and body that cannot be masked or treated by a handful of supplements.  A balanced diet through therapeutic nutrition is a key component of recovery from addiction and to support sustained mental wellbeing. 

Is Therapeutic Nutrition Right For You?

  • Are you struggling with maintaining a balanced diet due to your addiction?
  • Have you noticed physical health issues such as weight loss, malnutrition, or digestive problems related to your substance use?
  • Do you find it challenging to resist cravings for unhealthy foods or substances that may worsen your addiction-related symptoms?
  • Are you experiencing mood swings, fatigue, or mental fog that could be influenced by your diet?
  • Are you open to exploring new dietary strategies and habits that can help you maintain sobriety and improve your overall quality of life?
  • Do you have any specific dietary concerns or preferences that you would like addressed as part of your addiction treatment plan?

Connect With Us Now

Reach out to us now for immediate support, or let us know the best time to contact you through our confidential callback service. Your journey to healing is just a conversation away.

Therapeutic Nutrition At Knoxville Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is interested in our therapeutic nutrition program or addiction treatment, contact Knoxville Recovery Center today. Our treatment center creates individualized treatment plans for every client who walks through our doors, ensuring everyone feels cared for, considered, and accommodated. Even if you’re unsure your ready for treatment, talking to one of our admissions agents is a step in the right direction and helps you explore your options. Call, email, or fill out a form today to learn more.


Common therapeutic diets include gluten-free diet, clear liquid diets, no concentrated sweet diet, diabetic (calorie controlled) diet, low fat diet, high fibre diet, no added salts diet, etc.

The principles of ‌therapeutic nutrition are to provide the body essential nutrients to function, counter the effects of chronic substance use, and set clients up for long-term success with meal planning, nutritional education, and cooking classes.

Fast food, high-calorie processed snacks, fried foods, sugary beverages, and carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, pasta, and rice

Medically Reviewed By A Specialist In The Field

Vern Eleazer

Vernetta received her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Western Carolina University, and she also holds a MA in History and a BA in Theatre Arts. She is trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and uses ACT to help clients decrease their suffering and move in the direction of their values. She is passionate about the effectiveness of Experiential Therapy, and has witnessed clients accessing their underlying issues with the aid of creative approaches. She believes in the power and influence of the group process and its ability to propel clients into committed action through the solace of connection. Vernetta is also a HeathRhythms drumming facilitator and enjoys empowering clients to express themselves through rhythm.