Daily Nutrition Guidelines in Early Recovery

Let’s be clear, food choices matter. Practicing a healthy daily diet promotes health, helps attain and sustain a healthy body weight, and reduces the risks of chronic disease. The ideal diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, while simultaneously limiting foods high in saturated fat, tropical oils, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction may also mean recovery from a sustained period of malnutrition. We believe the sooner you establish a healthy daily diet, the sooner your brain and body will recover.

Calories Breakdown

Most women need 2000 calories each day, while men need approximately 2500 calories each day. As we get older our metabolism slows down. To compensate you may need to eat 200 fewer calories each day, i.e. 1800 calories for women and 2300 calories for men.

Calories per day in early recovery

2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men, per day.
Carbohydrates = 45-65% Ideal = 45%
Protein = 10-35% Ideal = 30%
Fat = 20-35% Ideal = 25%

Menu Breakdown

Breakfast 500 (female) – 600 (male) calories
Snack 100 (female) – 200 (male) calories
Lunch 500 (female) – 600 (male) calories
Snack 100 (female) -200 (male) calories
Dinner 600 (female) – 700 (male) calories
Snack 200 calories

Does cooking affect protein, fat and carbohydrate content?


In general, cooking does not significantly affect the protein content in beef, pork, chicken or fish. The key to maintaining protein content is to not overcook. However if you boil your foods it may reduce a small amount of minerals and vitamins, as they tend to leach out into the water. Another exception is boiled fish, which retains more Omega-3’s as compared to pan frying or broiling.

Protein Grams Per Item

Chicken = 8.5 grams protein per ounce
Pork Loin = 7 grams protein per ounce
Beef = 7 grams protein per ounce
Fish = 6.5 grams protein per ounce (cooked)
Nuts/Seeds = 4 grams per ounce
Egg approximately 2 ounces = 6 prams protein or 3 grams per ounce
Milk = 1 gram protein per ounce

Precook Weight vs Post-cook Weight

Pork = 10 oz/pre-cook = 4+ oz./post-cook = 70 grams protein
Chicken = 10 oz/pre-cook = 5oz/post-cook = 85 grams protein
Beef = 8 oz/pre-cook beef = 4oz/post-cook = 56 grams protein
Fish = 7oz/precook fish = 5 oz/post-cook = 45+ grams protein


When it comes to fat content, cooking does reduce the amount of fat. Cooking typically reduces fat content by almost half, which is a significant benefit to you especially if you’re trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol levels.

The most dangerous types of fat are trans fats, which we now know actually raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and lower HDL, or “good” cholesterol. They’re so bad in fact that the FDA has moved to completely eliminate trans fats from all processed foods. The reason the FDA is acting so severely is because eating trans fats increases the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.


When it comes to carbohydrates, they tend to remain unchanged during the cooking process.


Basic Cooking Concepts and Terms

Mirepoix – carrots, celery, onion added to food for flavor
Au jus – “with juice” juices given off by meat during cooking