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4 Ways To Support Those In Recovery | Meghan TV



Have you ever broken a habit before?

I’d assume so. Most of us have, whether it was the first habit of thumb sucking or that later habit of smoking, coffee, gummy bears or gluten. But with some things that we ingest, it goes beyond just breaking a habit, but breaking a chemical dependent addiction.

In my book UnDiet, I offer loads of guidance on how to break those habits and overcome addictions, at least to food. But what if the addiction is more harmful? More life threatening? And traumatic not just to the sufferer, but to those around her?

And that is what we’re talking about today. It’s not a super fun or funny topic, but it is an important one. How can you be the best support to the person or people you love who are working on breaking away from their addictions so they can be the most awesome version of themselves?

Today is a very special episode. With me to share her journey to getting and staying sober is my friend Jen McNeely. Jen is the creator behind the amazingly awesome and hilarious website She Does The City. Jen and I first met about five years ago when she joined a series of my plant-based cooking classes. She famously declared that pulled pork would be her death row meal, and then proceeded to mock me, in the best way, for declaring dried mango my worst vice.

Jen offers four helpful ways that you can be the best support for the person you know in recovery, plus:

  • Jen shares her story of coming out in the open with her addiction.
  • What you should be asking.
  • How you can help in a positive way.
  • What you should not do!
  • The most kind thing you can do in support of their healing.

Jen wrote an amazing review for my book UnDiet. I was happy to be able to share some health inspiration with her gaggle of awesome women, and I knew Jen had loads of wisdom to share with mine.

Thank you so much to Jen for being so open. And as life marches on, things do change. We filmed this video in September, 2013. Jen and her partner Jamie of the Good Food Revolution are expecting a baby this spring! I LOVED what she had to say about being preggers.

It’s truly amazing what unfolds in our lives when we hop on the path towards health, with the right support around us.

Have you overcome an addiction or helped someone get through it? What did you learn from the experience?

9 responses to “4 Ways To Support Those In Recovery | Meghan TV”

  1. Ann says:

    Thanks for this……it is great to know that it is okay to open up this kind of dialogue with friends in recovery…..I have wanted to ask questions o how they are doing, but have always left it up to the person. Go Jen, you are inspiring!

  2. debbie adrig says:

    Thank you for this! I am a recovering alcoholic; my sobriety date is May 27, 2012. I appreciated the information very much. I think that has been the hardest thing for me in my recovery, is that I had, and still do, make the patterns different. At times I pull out my little violin and play my ‘woe is me’ song, but I have to snap out of it because this is my path, and my life. I say the serenity prayer MANY times each day. It has gotten easier in some ways, but there are still days I get resentful that I can’t be a normal drinker. However, I do LOVE never waking up with a hangover any longer!! Thank you again for addressing this issue, I will go and take a look at Jen’s website!! Keep up the great, inspiring work!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Debbie- and know we have your back! The world really does need the happiest, healthiest version of you! So thank you for offering that!

  3. Lilyfair says:

    I’m in recovery from prescription medicine, 15 years. I took the total abstinence route and it has worked well for me. Trying to cut our sugar and gluten has some very interesting parallels to my experience.

    Great topic.

  4. Melissa Ramos says:


    This is probably one of my favourite interviews yet. So candid, so real and inspiring.

    Kudos to Jen for really putting herself out there, revealing her past struggles and perseverance.

    Great video Meg!

  5. Irma Romano says:

    That was a very inspirational video. I have been up and down with this for 16 years and I see it as an emotional battle of trying to numb past trauma but all addictions are ingrained in this. High doses of vitamin c and other nutritional foods help cravings and just knowing that you do not need to drink to have fun in life but that when you deal with your shadow you will stop turning to the bottle. Love Irma and thank you Jen for your courage.

  6. Real Talk: It’s true, I’m a high-functioning alcoholic | Fat Girl Food Squad says:

    […] more women are binge drinking and self-medicating with alcohol. Other fearless and powerful women (Jen McNeeely of Toronto’s She Does the City recently spoke to how to support a recovering alco…) are going through this each and everyday and you don’t have self-medicate with alcohol. […]

  7. Kelly says:

    I grew up thinking I was addicted to food because I thought about it all the time. Now, 15 years after ‘eating’ has become a non issue I realize it was because I was always eating small, low fat portions, so I was always hungry. And when you’re hungry… you think about food. It’s how our bodies keep us alive!

    Jen’s point about looking for patterns is such important advice for anyone trying to make a change in their life. You need to first recognize patterns and then break them, so that you have room to make new, healthy patterns.

    Sometimes you need somebody else to help you see the patterns in your life. It wasn’t until I saw a doctor and he pointed out the cycle I whirled around that I recognized it and that was my turning point.

    And finally, I just love Jen for sharing her story. I was ashamed to share mine for so long. I think Dr. Seuss sums it up best when he says:

    “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

    It’s such a strength to put yourself out there, share your hurdles and help others in the process. We all have things to overcome. This makes us human and is part of discovering who we really are.

    And finally… is an awesome website! Congratulations!

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