The Green Smoothie Challenge

The Green Smoothie Challenge
Lose Weight and Feel Great!

The Green Smoothie Challenge

Kick start your heatlhy lifestyle with The Green Smoothie Challenge! I have created this cleanse as a way for you to refresh and rejuvenate. Many people find that they lose a lot of weight, increase their energy levels and improve their health. So, come join the fun at my new Web site
Get your friends to do it with you. This makes it so much easier!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Choosing to Dance

One crisp fall morning, admittedly it was only last fall, my husband said something to me that I allowed to affect me in the depths of my soul. I didn't want the kids to see me cry...again, so I disappeared into my bedroom, stood by the bed and buried my face in the unmade mess of covers that lay there. I sobbed like a baby, an occurrence that had become commonplace for me. It was my convenient, habitual way of dealing with all the seeming hurts life brought me. Actually, the sobbing normally happened in the corner of my dark closet where I could cry in solitude, lamenting the fact that I had not been born a princess.

I felt that familiar feeling of helpless despair that I had so desperately been attempting to part with. This feeling was not a welcome visitor, but it seemed unwilling to leave me alone. I had even read about the negative health affects of this unwanted guest. In my learning, I had found that this particular 'friend of mine' was the most disease-causing feeling in existence. That knowledge alone made me want to flee from it's presence, but how? I really didn't know how to live life without its companionship. I knew I wanted to part with it, I knew it was devastating to me (and those around me) in so many ways, but I didn't quite get how to escape its company.

It was at this moment, in the deep longing for something different, for a joy-filled, abundant life, that I lifted my head and realized that the words spoken to me by the man I said "I do" to seventeen years prior, did not have to have this sort of power over me. Words, in and of themselves, do not have this sort of power, and yet, at the same time, they do have great power. They might illicit strong feelings, but it is my choice to do with those feelings as I see fit. There was no need to allow mere words to bring my face to this buried state amongst the mess of blankets on my bed. I had chosen to react this way and I could un-choose this reaction at any moment.

The next moment was when the magic occurred. In a split second, my life was changed forever. Say it was the Holy Spirit. I cannot say for sure what it was, but I closed my eyes, and saw Jesus standing there asking me into His arms for a dance. It was the most peaceful feeling I had yet experienced in my short 41 years on this planet. As I stepped into His arms, we began to dance the most joyful dance, He holding me so close and secure in His arms. It was at this moment that I realized that this journey of life is a dance.

He has already written my story. What is, is. I can fight what is, or I can dance. I had lived the first 41 years making an enemy of His story for my life. I wanted to be a princess after all. I wanted it all and I wanted it to be easy and He showed me in that moment that easy is dancing with Him, allowing Him to play out the unique, amazing, special story He had written for my life and that joy comes in the knowing how to dance. He's leading me and I am a princess in His amazing Kingdom that is nothing like the 'happily ever after' fairy tales that were ingrained into my young mind as a tot. No, it is much more exciting than that.

Soon after this first dance, I met a beautifully jolly man who loves to dance. He and his partner dance competitively and he told me the most beautiful truth - that a man's job when dancing is to make his partner queen of the dance floor and that the only way he can do that is if she fully surrenders to his every move. If she is willing, she will be queen.

God revealed to me in that moment of dancing, that He is my perfect partner, my perfect husband, my perfect friend. I have gone through life expecting my husband to be my god. Can you imagine the burden of being expected to be God, and yet, I had spent 17 years wanting him, expecting him, burdening him with the responsibility of saving me from this terrible beast called life. I wanted him to be my perfect knight in glimmering, shiny armour, saving me from that nasty old beast, making my life perfect, on my terms. But Jesus showed me otherwise. He had given me this husband so that I might learn to love my 'imperfect' neighbor as myself. In all His Almighty wisdom, He had lovingly given me this man so that I might learn the most sacred lessons of all, to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.

I had gotten it all wrong. I had chosen to love God on this one condition, that my neighbor serve me, and serve me on my terms, in all my princessly glory. I wanted it my way and if it weren't that way, boy, I was gonna fight. Well, I can assure you that fighting what is, is no way to joy. Dancing is so much more fun!

It has now been a short year since that desperate morning, and I can gladly say that I have never once found myself buried in hopelessness and despair again. He gave me new lenses to see on that cold, fall morning. I'm not saying that I have not cried. No, sadness is part of this human existence and it is normal and important because it too is a gift. It is all a gift. It is all promised, promised to be for our good, every single moment of it. It is all a gift. It is all here to teach us and stretch us and give us new lenses with which to see, and... to teach us to dance through this glorious ugly, beautiful mess called life. It all happens 'for' us and not to us. All of it. And the best part about dancing is that we can only dance right now in this present moment which is exactly where we always need to be, right here and right now. The past is gone and the future is yet to come. The secret mystery is found in staying right here in this very moment... and choosing to dance, fully believing that every part of my story is exactly as it is supposed to be, all for good!

copyright 2011, Be Wellthy, Inc.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Secret of Healthy Communication

My husband and I have received counseling from our very wise and patient Pastor over the last year. I share this not to shock you but because I feel that through sharing my experiences, my real life experiences, the victories and the trials, that I am better able to help another that may be having similar experiences. It is so easy and so common to feel that we are the only ones with "issues" and I am here to tell you that this is just not true.

I used to think that counseling was only for people who had major problems and I used to think I didn't have major problems. What I have come to realize is that it is only by admitting to myself that I have areas of my life that are less than pretty, that I can work to heal and move forward in my life. The reason I knew we needed counseling was that a friend that I have a lot of respect for, related to me how she and her husband had been through a lot of counseling and that it had saved their marriage. When she admitted that to me, it freed me up to admit that we needed to do the same.

Boy has this changed things for us. It's been a longer road than I actually thought necessary, but we are now having our one year anniversary of being counseled. I have learned that neither of us learned to communicate in a healthy way growing up. We tend to want to be understood and we do not tend to seek to understand.

Well, magic happened in the Rippo home today after having been told about a month or two ago that our biggest issue is that we need to learn to seek to understand the other before seeking to be understood by the other. WHEW, I really just want to be heard:) So today we were in the kitchen, the place we seem to argue a lot:) and we started arguing. I've continually thought about what our Pastor told us. I have focused a lot on being able to see my husband with love and through the eyes of Christ and to understand him, but I have not been able to actually do this when we are arguing. I haven't given up though:)

Today my hubby told me that I really interupt all the time. I could have gotten offended easily by that. I decided to listen and actually believe that he is probably right. So... I just shut up and let him talk and then I remembered that effective communication involves seeking to understand before being understood. I have focused on this a lot even though I have not done it successfully, it turns out that simply having focused on it made a world of difference! I really, truly saught to HEAR him. He's never talked so much. I feel like our relationship had a MAJOR breakthrough today:)!! It is so simple, but not always easy to just shut up and listen. I'm Italian afterall. We like to talk...A LOT, and on top of that, I'm female and well...we like to talk...a LOT!!

It turns out that counseling is not for those that have major problems, but for those seeking to have a different and hopefully better way of living this life! I now can hear, when my hubby says I am interupting that he really is saying, "You're not hearing me." No need to be offended:)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Freedom for Organic Farming


Dear Friends,

I am writing to tell you about an opportunity to turn the tide in the battle to secure authentic freedom for organic farming and non-Generically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods.

For some time now, we have been aware of an impending threat to the foundations of our health. Having stopped a mandated swine flu vaccine, and having addressed, to the best of our ability, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010, it is time for us to nip Bill S 510, or the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, in the proverbial bud. Bill S 510 is currently stalled in Congress. If we act now, we can ameliorate its potentially deadly implications, or even end it altogether.

Bill S 510 amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and expands the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to regulate food. It also authorizes the Secretary to suspend the registration of a food facility. Given the fact that Bill S 510 “considers” harmonization with Codex Alimentarius, this appears to be a strategic maneuver, in a long line of attacks, on our health and rights. While its alleged intention is to protect the consumer, this legislature sets up the preconditions that will eventually grant the CAC (Codex Alimentarius Committee) power to shut down organic farming operations and eliminate food facilities not “in line” with the Codex agenda. It could also grant monopolization of the food market by large agri-business corporations seeking to spread GMO foods and eliminate industrial and private organic farming. Codex supporters have already tried this once in Canada and in the U.S.; this is their second attempt, and we must defeat their efforts! Bill S 510 gives one man, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, complete power over inspection and recalls, potentially enabling market manipulation in favor of pesticide, herbicide, and GMO producing agri-businesses. Keep in mind that this Secretary is appointed by the President – he is not elected by popular vote. Who is appointed could be largely determined by campaign contributions, or worse, by ideological agenda.

Bill S 510 requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to enhance foodborne illness surveillance systems. It authorizes the Secretary to order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall of food. This is another potential manipulation point. The Secretary has the power to halt food shipments, deemed a “health risk” to anywhere in the United States. This is perhaps the most disturbing provision in the bill. Given the fact that food production has been largely segregated to the west coast, over the last fifty years, and the scarcity of local farms producing organic crops, it would be precariously easy for the federal government to starve any given locality across the country. Organic foods, again, could be arbitrarily targeted here.

Bill S 510 allows the Secretary greater power to regulate importation of food, which could include superfoods and herbs from outside of the United States. Cacao beans, goji berries, Incan berries, coconut products, and exotic fruit would all be subject to further government regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under this provision the government would have the power to ban importation of these foods into the United States to the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry.

Summarily speaking, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, on a superficial level, is not explicitly antagonistic towards organic agriculture, nor is it explicitly supportive of conventional agriculture and GMO foods. However, given the government’s track record in subsidizing conventional farming, and given the conflict of interests ever present within the FDA and other government agencies, centralization of power into the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services over food facilities seems like a serious disaster for the health oriented American population. Bill S 510 is an insidious threat to our health freedoms. While improvements in the bill’s languaging have been made, Bill S 510 is still, as we say in chess, “five moves away” from agricultural tyranny.

Thank you for receiving and spreading this message.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD

Letter to Congress
You may use this template to contact your senators and voice your concern over Bill S 510:
Dear Senator;

I am writing to express my concern over Senate Bill 510 – the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. While inspection of food production facilities may be necessary to ensure cleanliness, this bill dangerously centralizes power over food production into the hands of a single appointed official. Bill S 510 also “considers” harmonization with Codex Alimentarius, which I do not believe has America’s best interest at heart. We should never even “consider” giving up our sovereignty to the recommendations of the CAC, which has already begun limiting and manipulating the European supplement market. The answer to our environmental and food safety issues lies clearly in the de-centralization of food production and the re-institution of local family farms, communal gardens, and community supported agriculture.

I urge you as my elected official to include explicit provisions in Senate Bill 510 for the protection of organic and local farms from this type of heavy-handed regulation, and for the explicit rejection of Codex Alimentarius, which stands blatantly against the organic food and health supplements I consider invaluable to my health. Without health, we cannot have life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

(Your Signature)
Action Steps:

To combat this threat, and others like it, Hippocrates Health Institute has initiated the POP (Preserve Organic Power) Campaign. The POP Campaign seeks to preserve long range organic power by keeping our voices and choices alive; keeping organic standards pure; keeping people informed and educated; and by taking action to make a difference. As part of this campaign, POP will hire a lobbyist to work on our behalf in Washington, D.C. The Tree of Life Foundation has already made a contribution to this effort. We encourage you to do the same and that you for any contribution that you can make.

To donate to the Hippocrates Codex Donation Fund please send a check or money order to:

Hippocrates Codex Donation Fund

Attn. Carol Bianco

1443 Palmdale Court

West Palm Beach, FL 33411

You may learn more about the POP Campaign by visiting:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Buyer Beware of Maltodextrin!

I was recently at a training for an awesome product called Ultima Replenisher. If you are looking for an electrolyte drink that is actually good for you, look no further. You can find Ultima at Super Supplements and most other health food stores in the US. As I was trained about this product I learned that there is an ingredient we might all want to know more about. It's maltodextrin. I love ingredient labels that do not contain these types of ingredients b/c I can't keep them all straight!! Well, if you see this one just know that 99% of it comes from GMO corn. I wish they had to reveal this to us, but the only way we would know that it is not from GMO corn is if the label actually states this. GMO foods are some that I steer clear of but I did not realize that this ingredient comes from corn. I thought I'd share this with you in case you were unaware as well. It turns out that Ultima is GMO, gluten and sugar FREE!!

It's an awesome drink to give to your kids instead of a juice box! It will give them their electrolytes and it tastes great too:)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Green Smoothies for Kids

I taught a green smoothie class for kids today. They were very skeptical at first. I made the class very interactive and fun and by the end they were begging me to "make it greener." I thought I'd share these two short videos of thier chanting! Most of them came begging for more smoothie at the end!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elana's Raw Food Pantry

Are you ready for some amazing raw food recipes? Well, look no further, this Web site is full of delicious and simple raw-food indulgences!

Check out Elana's Pantry here.

Start With a Win

I recently heard a success speaker say that the number one thing you can do ensure that you will be more successful at whatever you are attempting to accomplish is to begin each day with a win. What does this mean? It can mean many different things to many different people. For instance, if you are a person that doesn't make your bed regularly, it could simply mean that you make your bed as soon as you get out of it.

If you are trying to lose weight, it can mean that the first thing that enters your mouth in the morning is what you planned to eat for breakfast the night before. It can mean drinking your green smoothie first thing in the morning. It can mean running a mile or ten miles before doing anything else.

Just set out to start your day with a win. The thing I like to use as my win is getting up early, reading and praying and making my to-do list for the day. I also like to get my exercising done before I do much else. Speaking of that...I better go for my run before the clock strikes 9 am!

If you think about it, let's say you have a habit of saying you'll do something "tomorrow" and then not following through. Well, stop that!:) You begin each day failing this way. That will not accomplish much or serve you in any positive way, so really, just stop that. Only agree to do things you know you WILL do. So, when you go to bed, tell yourself what you will do first thing when you wake up. Make sure it's something you really will do and then wake up and do it!

I have a friend who likes to pray before her feet hit the floor. So, she does that each day. You can even find three things you are grateful for before your feet hit the floor. Then, make your bed and before you know it you are winning before your day starts! It is so simple. Go for it!