Lisa 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."
In "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 Amazon.com 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 wholehealthdesigns.com.
Click Next below for sample recipes from the cookbook.
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