Cultivating Healthy Habits – How San Diego’s Food Scene Nourishes Body and Soul
California has always been known for healthy living and healthy eating, and San Diego is no exception. In fact, San Diego is ranked the third healthiest city in the United States, with the second highest percentage of its residents identifying as non-smokers and the majority of its residents exercising at least once a week. With amazing weather, beautiful beaches, friendly people, and a robust economy, people who live in San Diego enjoy plenty of opportunity to be active, a diverse population and culture, and an abundance of healthy food options that nourish the mind, body and soul.
As a provider of transitional living for young adult men, we at The Grounds Recovery located our homes in San Diego by design. We believe that because of the healthful lifestyle inherent in San Diego, the region is an ideal place to build the quality habits and community that are necessary for long-term success. This is because we believe that lasting recovery is about more than just sobriety. It is about living a fulfilled life – a balanced life – where work, exercise, friendship and activity all play a role. And we believe that foundational to a healthy, fulfilled life, is the development of eating habits that support the brain and body and provide energy and substance that can contribute to clear thinking, quality decision making and improved mood.
Environment, proximity and availability of resources are influential factors that can contribute to a healthful or an unhealthful lifestyle. Without access to high quality, nutritious food, it’s harder to develop healthy eating habits, and people are more at risk for chronic disease and the development of eating patterns that can lead to food addiction, obesity and subsequent inactivity. The connection between San Diego’s abundance of quality food options and the region’s overall active lifestyle is no accident, and at The Grounds, we encourage our residents to take advantage of the benefits of living in a community that puts such a high value on health and nutrition.
Abundant Fresh Produce and Seafood
With 70 miles of shoreline, and a temperate climate perfect for agriculture, San Diego County is home to numerous seafood restaurants, farmer’s markets and health food stores. From avocados, to mushrooms, to tomatoes and citrus, San Diego has more small farms than any other county in the nation and locals benefit from year-round farm-to-table produce that is readily available at local markets, roadside stands and restaurants.
If you know what you’re doing, there is ample fishing in bays, on the shoreline and off local piers. Seafood including yellowfin tuna, California yellowtail, rockfish and halibut are plentiful off the coast of San Diego, and ocean fish like these deliver big health benefits in the form of lean protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamin D. For those who would rather leave the work of catching fish to someone else, there are numerous wave-to-table restaurants that build their menus from seafood fresh-caught, and locally-sourced.
Diversity, Community, Opportunity
As a county situated along the Mexican border, San Diego is known for its tacos and its Cali-Baja cuisine. Cali-Baja blends the California cooking style that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and creative technique with Tijuana’s Baja Med cuisine, which combines traditional Mexican and Mediterranean ingredients. Meanwhile, with nearly 20% of San Diego’s population being of Asian descent, there are numerous Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants located throughout the county. Studies indicate that a plant-based Asian diet is one of the healthiest in the world and can protect against chronic disease while increasing lifespan. These options are in addition to Italian, African, Irish, American and just about any other food type you can think of.
As home to such a diverse community, San Diego has something for just about everyone, and with this diversity comes the opportunity to expand horizons, try new things and discover previously unknown tastes and preferences. At The Grounds, we encourage our residents to build out their worldview with new experiences, new foods, new friends and new habits and hobbies. Trying new foods can provide a low barrier opportunity for a new adventure that adds novelty and excitement to life in a way that contributes to overall wellbeing.
Cooking Classes, Group Dinners & Accountability
Living in San Diego provides the backdrop for healthy eating, but at home, The Grounds Recovery also has the expectation that our residents will cultivate sustainable eating habits. We support this goal by providing ample opportunities to learn about nutrition, learn how to cook healthy meals, and learn how to be responsible for kitchen clean-up as a team and as individuals. Further, we expect our residents to participate in group dinners in order to build social bonds with roommates, mentors and alumni, which is an important aspect of our emphasis on healthy community building.
Find Out More About Our Program
Healthy eating habits are fundamental to recovery at The Grounds. If you would like to learn more about other aspects of our holistic approach, visit the program section of our website.