New cookbook focuses on balanced living, whole foods

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Lisa Consiglio Ryan by Suni Photography webLisa Consiglio Ryan, photo by Suni PhotographyLisa Consiglio Ryan eats what makes her feel good and listens to her body. And the Annapolis resident wants to help others do the same, which is why she wrote her cookbook, "Go Clean, Sexy You," available Nov. 17, 2015.

Consiglio Ryan clearly remembers the exact moment she first got the message – loud and clear – that to be "good enough" she needed to be skinny. And she wasn't "good enough."

She was 8 years old and ready to dance in a recital in her yellow cowgirl costume. A thoughtless comment about her weight from someone she loved crushed her confidence. That moment kicked off an almost 30-year battle with food, exercise and body image. Consiglio Ryan waged a mini war with herself and her body until her daughter, at age 3, asked why her mom didn't eat with her.

At the time, Consiglio Ryan didn't eat in front of her kids, or only pretended to, she says. She negotiated with herself for every bite, trading calories for promises of more exercise time. But she didn't lose weight, despite trying all types of diets and exercising up to two hours a day.

"I didn't want my daughter to see this," the 46-year-old Annapolis resident wrote in the introduction of her cookbook about healthy eating and balanced living, "Go Clean, Sexy You." "I didn't want anyone to feel the pain I knew, especially my own child. I knew I had to get help."

Go Clean Sexy You Cover webIn "Go Clean, Sexy You," Consiglio Ryan stresses "clean eating," which includes eating whole foods such as plants, greens, gluten-free grains and organic produce; using natural ingredients when cooking; and being eco-conscious. She helps others get started with whole-food recipes and menus that support her seasonal detox plan, which she says gives your body a break from processing toxins in our food.

"What you will find in this book is not just a bunch of recipes, but a whole philosophy on how to live your life healthy, happy and overall free of numbers, like calories and grams," says Consiglio Ryan, a certified nutrition and health couch and founder of Whole Health Designs.

While her approach is holistic, those who may not want to follow the detox regime can still appreciate the balanced living advice and the 100-plus whole-food, yummy recipes based on the season.

For example, in the fall, start the day with a Pumpkin Treat, which uses quinoa and pumpkin puree. Whip up a quick spinach salad or enjoy a warm soup for a fall lunch or dinner. Check out sample recipes on the next page.

Find out more about "Go Clean, Sexy You" and Consiglio Ryan's approach to healthy living and eating at a book release and signing Nov. 18, 6:30-8 p.m., at Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge, 169 West St., Annapolis.

"Go Clean, Sexy You" is available pre-sale on for $13.75 until the Nov. 17 release date, when it will retail for $24 paperback, $12.99 eBook.

For more information, visit Whole Health Designs at

Click Next below for sample recipes from the cookbook.

Make the most of seasonal foods even in the fall or winter. In "Go Clean, Sexy You," Lisa Consiglio Ryan includes easy recipes that incorporate seasonal items. Roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes feature in the following recipes, along with spinach. All recipes serve 1-2 people.

Spinach salad by Suni PhotographyOh So Good Spinach Salad

Spiced Pecans
½ cup pecans
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced onion
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 bunch spinach (1 cup)
1 pear, cored, quartered and sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries

Make pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss until well coated. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Let cool.

Make vinaigrette: Whisk together all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Make salad: Place spinach, pear and cranberries in a bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss. Transfer to serving bowl and top with pecans. Serve.

Click Next below for soup recipes.

Woman with soupFall soup recipes

Warm up with these fall soups. Recipes used with permission from "Go Clean, Sexy You," by Lisa Consiglio Ryan.

Autumn Soup

7 ½ ounces sweet potato puree (half of a 15-ounce can)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch spinach, chopped (1 cup leaves)
1 apple, cored and chopped

In a pot over medium heat, cook puree in broth for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add spinach, remove pot from heat and stir soup until spinach wilts.

Garnish with apple chunks and serve.

Sweater Season Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup diced onion
1/4-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 14.5-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups vegetable broth

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for about 5 minutes, until softened.
Stir in ginger and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin, sweet potato and broth and stir together. Cover and bring to a slow simmer.
Cook for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
Return puree to soup pot. Serve.

Click Next below for a roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots recipe.

Roasted vegetable recipe

Roast Brussels sprouts with carrots for an easy, healthy vegetable side dish or lunch. Recipe used with permission from "Go Clean, Sexy You" by Lisa Consiglio Ryan.

Brussel sprouts carrots by Suni PhotographyBrussel sprouts with carrots; photo by Suni PhotographyRoasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
Serves 1-2

½ cup Brussels sprouts, washed and stems removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss Brussels sprouts with oil in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and carrots.

Bake for 25 minutes until sprouts and carrots are tender. Serve.

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