Food addicts new to recovery (and veterans, too!) often need a food plan to help clear sugar, flour, and other addictive foods from their bodies. We also use food plans to help us manage our disease. By eliminating foods that make us crave and keep us firmly in the binge cycle, we can begin the road to recovery.

It is important to remember that food plans are not diets in the sense of weight management. Instead, they are tools to aid us in healing our bodies and minds from food addiction.

It is also important to understand that you need to find a food plan that works for you. It is recommended that food addicts keep a food journal that will help them determine which foods are triggers. The food addicts daily journal might include how foods make us feel mentally and physically, how we felt after eating too much or too little, and so on. It is a judgement-free place to sort out food issues.

Here are some of the tried and true food plans and their sources:

The OA HOW Food Plan

Menu outline used for the first 30 days.


1 protein
1 fruit
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil


1 protein
1 vegetable
3 pieces of raw vegetables or 1 cup of salad/vegetable
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil


1 protein
1 vegetable
2 cups salad
2 Tablespoons of salad dressing
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil
Menu outline for continued weight loss after first 30 days.

1 protein
1 grain (optional)
1 fruit
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil


1 protein
1 vegetable
1 cup of salad/vegetable
1 grain (only if not eaten at breakfast)
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil


1 protein
2 cups salad or 1 cup salad and
1 cup cooked vegetable
2 Tablespoons of salad dressing
1 grain
1 tsp. butter, margarine or oil

4 oz. tempeh, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, fish, veal, hot dogs, cold cuts, ricotta cheese,
2 eggs, 4 slices bacon, 16 oz. skim milk, 16 oz. buttermilk, 8 oz. yogurt, 8 oz. tofu,
2 oz. cheese, 4 oz. cottage cheese, 1 c. legumes


1 tsp. butter, 1 T. cream, 1 T. sour cream, 1 T. mayonnaise, 1 T. oil, 2 T. salad dressing

1 Cup Veggies

alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, bamboo shoots,
brussel sprouts, cabbage,carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumbers, eggplant, greens,
dill pickle, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama,leeks, lettuce, kohlrabi, mushrooms, okra,onions, pea pods, parsley, peppers, pumpkin,parsnips,radishes,
red or green chilies,rutabaga, sauerkraut, spinach, string beans, summer, crook neck or spaghetti
squash, tomatoes, turnips,water chestnuts, winter squash, zucchini


1 apple, 3 apricots, 1/2 c. black & blueberries,banana, 1 c. boysenberries, 1/2 cantaloupe,
1 c. casaba, cranshaw or honeydew melons, 2 figs, 3/4 c. cherries, 1 c. gooseberries,
1/2 grapefruit,grapes – 1 cup, 1 guava, 2 kiwi, 2 lemons or limes, 1/2 mango, 1 nectarine, 1 orange,
1 c. papaya, 1 peach, 1 pear, 1/2 c. canned or 1/8 whole pineapple, 2 plums,
1/2 c. raspberries, 1 c. rhubarb, 1 c. strawberries, 2 tangerines, 1/2 c. unsweetened juice,
1 c. watermelon

Whole Grains

1 oz. bread, 1 oz. dry cereal, 2 rye crackers ( 3 1/2 x 2), 1/2 c. cooked cereal, cooked pasta,
brown rice, kasha, millet, barley, bulgar

(Unbleached flour, wheat flour or enriched flour means it is not whole grain. All grain choices must have sugar, honey, etc. and white or enriched flour listed 5th or lower on the ingredient list. Rye bread is a good choice.)


all spices, onion soup mix, 1/2 c. tomatoe sauce, 1/2 c. sugar free jello, soy & worcestershire sauce, salsa, 1/2 c. defatted broth.

Links to helpful sites:
The Home Recovery Group – H.O.W.–Click here for home page.

Suggestions for Implementing H.O.W.
See your doctor. Have him completely review this program of eating. Follow all of his suggestions concerning this plan. Take a multivitamin every day.

All food must be weighed and measured. Use a postal or kitchen scale, a measuring cup and measuring spoons.

Meats may be baked, boiled, roasted, pan-broiled, grilled or oven-broiled. Use a non-stick pan for frying eggs. Salad dressing is only alloted in the evening and must have sugar listed 5th or less on the label.

Food should be written down and committed on a daily basis for at least a month. Successful members continue to write their food down even after they have stopped committing it to a sponsor.

Do not skip meals, and do not combine two meals for example breakfast and lunch (brunch).

Do not weigh yourself (except once a month).

If something listed in this food plan becomes a problem, avoid it. Avoid all individual binge foods.

Sit down for meals. Eat slowly. Never have a second helping.

Food we absolutely avoid are: alcohol, sweets of any kind, nuts, fried foods, sugared soft drinks, cream cheeses, specialty cheeses, honey, anything containing sugar or white flour.

When in doubt, leave it out.

At the end of the first thirty days, continue to call your sponsor while adjusting to grains.
Guidelines for H.O.W. abstainers:
Proteins may be mixed. For example: 8 oz. milk + 1 oz. cheese

In the first 30 days, wheat germ may be used at lunch or dinner, but not a breakfast.

Sugar must be listed 5th or lower on salad dressings and should not be in seasonings or soft drinks. Dextrose, fructose, lactose and sucrose are, in fact, sugar.

Soy flour or sugar should be listed fifth or lower in soy products.

If fresh fruit is not available, used canned or frozen fruit that is packed in water or its own juice. When mixing fruits, be mindful that if the mixture contains a 1/2 cup fruit, then the total mixture must equal 1/2 cup.

Use mayonnaise rather than whipped dressings; diet, sugar-free catsup and regular mustard are acceptable; use tomato sauce for cooking or up to 3 tsp. of lemon juice for food preparation.

Some artificial sweeteners contain large amounts of sugar…beware.

If you want milk in your coffee, subtract 1/2 protein from your morning meal. This will give you 1 cup of milk all day for coffee.

Onion soup mix may be used as a seasoning but not as a soup.

When a 1/2 cup vegetable selection is mixed with a 1 cup vegetable selection, it can be counted as a 1 cup vegetable.

Salad should be measured at all times. A salad can be a combination of any listed vegetables.

Two pieces of chicken or 4 oz. (i.e. thigh & leg) is a portion.

No deep fried or breaded foods.

Up to 3 Tbsp. of bran per day may be used if needed.

Check any recipe with a Sponsor before you eat it. All recipes may not be within food plan quidelines.

No alcoholic beverages.

8 glasses of water are suggested daily.

To create a complete protein when using legumes, combine with grain or animal protein. (example–1/2 cup beans with 1 oz. cheese.)

Abstinence is a commitment to recovery: Of course, to the new person this appears as another diet. But we who have walked this path before you know that this program of eating is unique.

First, you may not modify to suit yourself. Any additions or subractions you make must be with a physicains’ advice.

Commit yourself to a black and white abstinence so you may deal with the grey areas of living.