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Better health through diet

Posted on July 19, 2018

Hi…my name is Jaki Ryan, the Health & Weight Loss Coach at Dr. Webb’s office, Scottsdale Center for Women’s Health & Vitality Hormones for Men. I will be filling in here for Dr. Webb while he is at the Gender Spectrum Conference in California! We offer two weight loss programs. One is an updated, modernized HCG program and the other is a Lifestyle Weight Loss program. We offer complimentary consultations!

I’m excited to share healthy recipes and tips with you. My objective is to make eating healthier simple and easy. It’s a hobby for me, or maybe even a challenge, to convert old favorite recipes into ones that use healthier ingredients and less starchy carbs. Let’s face it, we are all watching our waist lines. I hang out on Pinterest a lot, perusing recipes. So, if you have a recipe that you’d like me to transform into a healthier version, please post it in the comments below!

Tip: Healthy fat is your heart-loving, fat burning friend!

Try to incorporate healthy fats into every meal. Some delicious options include anything in the coconut family including coconut oil, avocados, nuts, olives, olive oil, nut butter and seeds, and grass-fed butter.

In the following recipe, I replaced heavy cream for full-fat coconut cream. When spices are added, it becomes a savory delight and will provide a thick and creamy texture.  A simple way to reduce carbs and calories is replacing pasta or rice with a healthy vegetable, such as zucchini “noodles”, spaghetti squash “noodles” or cauliflower “rice”. These items provide more nutrients and fiber to keep you satisfied.

One can purchase a bag of raw cauliflower that has been through a food processor at Costco or many other grocers. Steam it, sauté it or toss a sauce over it or transform into a fried rice with a few additional ingredients. So simple. Similarly, poke a few holes in the side of a spaghetti squash and place it in the microwave for 10 minutes or you can roast in the oven. Allow to cool enough to cut in half.  Scoop out and discard the seeds. Then scrape a fork over the flesh and instant spaghetti-like noodles. Voila!

Beef Stroganoff 

  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold grass-fed butter (Costco)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 oz. white or baby portabella mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef (Sprouts, Trader Joe’s) or steak, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons no added sugar tomato paste (Costco)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (healthy thickener)
  • 5 cup beef stock
  • 2/3 cup canned Trader Joe’s extra thick Coconut Cream concentrate (or the thick cream that floats to the top of a can of refrigerated coconut milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a skillet, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add the mushrooms and onions, and sauté until slightly softened and browned around the edges. Remove to a plate. Brown ground beef in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until no longer pink. Return onions and mushrooms to pan. Add tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Sauté’ for about 3 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle arrowroot powder over meat mixture and stir to combine until arrowroot is completely mixed in. Add beef stock and stir to mix in.

The sauce will begin to thicken as it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes. Stir in the thick coconut cream. Serve over cauliflower rice, sliced zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles.

Basil Pesto Chicken with Mushrooms and Bell Peppers over Zucchini Noodles

Yields 4 servings

Quick and so flavorful. This Basil Pesto is jarred…what could be easier! And you will have plenty of pesto for several future meals. I used my favorite kitchen tool for this meal, the Spiralizer that I purchased on Amazon (link below). Several zucchinis are easily transformed into noodles. This recipe is low carb and full of healthy fat from the olive oil. Remember, healthy fats are your fat burning friend!

  • 1 lb. organic chicken breast, cubed
  • ¼ cup Costco’s jarred Kirkland’s Signature Basil Pesto (freeze remaining in 1/4 cup servings in baggies for another day)
  • 1 each red and green bell pepper, cut into 1” chunks
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

In a small bowl, add chicken and basil pesto. Stir well to coat chicken. Place in refrigerator 30-60 minutes to marinade. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, sauté zucchini noodles 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Remove noodles from the pan and set on a platter. Discard the zucchini liquid from the pan. In the same pan, heat to medium to medium high heat. Add chicken to pan in a single layer. The chicken should sizzle! Watch closely as they will cook quickly, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Flip each piece to brown the other side to ensure even cooking. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Lower heat to medium and melt the coconut oil. Sauté peppers and mushrooms until tender. Stir in basil pesto chicken to combine and serve over zucchini noodles.

Italian Sausage Sweet Potato Bake

A healthy grain and gluten- free meal or side dish!  Packed with flavor, this hearty dish features sweet Italian sausage, sweet potato, onion and kale and is topped with parmesan cheese.

  • 16 oz. Sweet Chicken Italian Sausage links (nitrate-free, precooked), sliced in ½” round slices
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh kale, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil. Add sausage, sweet potato, and onion stirring frequently to brown on all sides. Meanwhile, add broth and 1/4 cup of coconut milk to a small saucepan. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer. In a small bowl, add coconut flour and remaining ¼ cup coconut milk. Stir together to create a paste. Whisk paste into simmering broth. Once blended, stir in ¼ cup of cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sausage mixture into a small, square baking dish. Pour cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

The many benefits of consuming organic coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut flour:

  • Supports healthy metabolism
  • Supports thyroid function
  • Supports heart health
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Assists in fat loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves skin appearance and elasticity
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Assists in killing off viruses
  • Helps kill bacteria
  • Relieves symptoms of diabetes

Turkey Sweet Potato & Spinach Skillet

  • 2 tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. organic ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, sage, thyme, rosemary
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: your favorite shredded cheese

In a cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add bell pepper, poblano pepper, onion, sweet potato, garlic, and seasonings. Cook until tender. Toss spinach into wilt. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add shredded cheese and place in the oven for just a couple minutes to melt the cheese.