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!

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!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maria's Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups almond or nut meal (left over from making nut milk)
1 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS organic butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 organic free range egg
4 dates, pitted
10 scoops stevia
1/4 cup agave nectar
natural chocolate chips

Place first 10 ingredients in food processor and mix. Add choc. chips. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake on 375 for about 10 minutes.

The next day, these truly taste just like the real thing!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why are Christians Depressed?

Oh, how often to do we feel down in the dumps, like we've failed again and there is no hope? Well, I have been there many times too and I hope that some of what God has graciously taught me and continually teaches me will be an encouragement to you.

First, nothing surprises God! There is no sin you can commit that will WOW God. He has seen it all and He is a God of compassion and mercy and nothing is too terrible for you to talk to Him about. He is ready and willing to forgive you immeasurably and over and over again. Sometimes we go through life feeling that we are the only ones that yell and scream at the kids or feel hate towards our spouse or would rather be 6 feet under. Maybe our sin is much worse than that. Don't worry, God is not surprised or befuddled. He is willing and faithful to forgive us of all unrighteousness. All we must do is TELL Him and ask for His forgiveness and it is ours. Satan would LOVE for us to wallow and feel that we are unforgivable and if you are believing that then you are NORMAL. We all do it. It is the enemy's favorite lie to tell us. He loves that we feel we are the ONLY ones to commit a certain sin. He loves us to be down in the dumps. Well, don't stay there, my friend. It is completely unecessary. Whether it is something you did in the past, something you are afraid of in the future or simply that you are just not happy with the cards God has dealt you, just remember that you are not alone, you are totally normal and we all struggle in these areas. So, when you wonder why Christians are depressed, know that is mostly because we are believing a lie and not trusting that God REALLY does love and forgive us and has a plan all worked out for us. He wrote the story of our lives a long time ago and we can fully trust HIM!!!

Sometimes I freak out at my kids and feel like such a BIG loser of a mom. I feel unforgiveable. Then I remember that being faithful means regularly seeking forgiveness, it does not mean being perfect. That is just a silly lie we tend to beleive, all of us!

I also can easily find myself feeling sorry that I don't have more. I really have to work on realizing how much God has blessed me. I like to be grateful first thing EVERY day because I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, especially green smoothie food:) and a heater to keep my family warm! I have a husband who LOVES his wife and children and works hard, I have a supportive group of friends and family. Yes, maybe I can't even shop at Nordstrom Rack anymore, but really, God must laugh about that one. It is soooooooooooooo SILLY to feel I have to be perfectly in style or have new clothes all the time. It's my princess mentality that makes me feel I am so deserving of new things.

God is so kind b/c I am actually finding joy in looking for things on Craig's List, but mostly, life is much more simple when spending money is not really an option at all. Less decisions to make for sure! So, now I work on planning my garden, encouraging a friend or reading to my kids. It's really when life is simple that true joy can be saught. All that STUFF is just distracting. I love that God has brought me to the point where reading His Word and teaching it through circumstances to my kids has become a much higher priority than the latest pair of jeans!! He's so kind to teach us patiently. And what is so beautiful is that if He has given you the ability to shop, that is the gift He has for you right now and you do not have to feel a bit bad about it! He has us all exactly where He wants each of us so we can each learn the lessons we need to learn. I used to wonder why others had it "better" than me. Well, God's version of "better" is different than mine. He just has different lessons to teach each of us, so He has different gifts for each of us. I tell this to my kids all the time when they feel less smart or less fast or...? I tell them how boring life would be if we were all good at the same one thing. God has a different job for each of us and so He has given different gifts to each of us. One gift is never better than the other, it is just different and serves a different purpose.

I'll have to share my amazing list of all the free things God has provided us with. The latest being a laptop which I have prayed for for a year!