Healthy alternative for Pizza lovers – “Piz-za-my-heart!”


Non-gluten, Non-dairy Vegan Pizza


“Non-gluten,” “Non-dairy” and “Vegan” have become the new buzz words! For me, it’s nothing new. I was raised on a vegetarian diet before it became “Hip.” When I was growing-up, a good meal was a plate full of meat and potatoes but not for me and my eight siblings.

It’s easy for me to embrace a cauliflower crusted pizza with dairy-less cheese but I do have high standards. It better taste good too! Of course, when it’s made with love by someone you love, that’s the best with a “Piz-za my heart!”

My daughter, Marianna, made me the delicious pizza pictured above. It is low in carbohydrates, which means low in sugar. So, if you are prone to Diabetes, this is the pizza for you! This amazing pizza is made with all plant-based ingredients.

For us, the crisper the cauliflower crust, the better. It was topped with a cashew based Alfredo sauce, fresh vegetables and Burata style buffalo mozzarella vegan cheese made mostly of coconuts.


A trip to our local Farmer’s Market


Mother and daughter selfie! Marianna Riccio and Maria Lauren

We found most of the produce for our pizza, including three kinds of basal, at our local Farmer’s Market!

Grazing through the Farmer’s Market is always a fun mother/daughter expedition for us.

It’s an adventure to explore the variety of fruits and vegetables that are on display. If the vendors offer us free samples, we are eager to reply, ‘Yes, please!’ 🙂

It’s fun to support your local farmers. Try being creative in your food preparations and enjoy healthy, delicious alternatives in eating.



NO GUILT Non-Dairy, Non-Gluten RECIPE …

~ Start with Trader Joe’s Pizza Crust (Check link for cooking instructions).

Take the Cauliflower Crust out of the oven and put your favorite ingredients on top. 

First, my daughter, Marianna used a dollop of Victoria’s Vegan Alfredo Sauce in the middle of the pizza and lightly brushed it around the pizza in a circular motion.

Then, she added sautéed portabella mushrooms and white onions on top of the sauce and placed raw sliced heirloom tomatoes with purple, green and lemon basil, a colorful display! Sparingly, she scattered bite-size pieces of Miyoka’s Mozzarella Cheese on top with just a few sprays of Spectrums Olive Oil Spray. Broil for a few minutes more until the edges of the pizza begins to turn brown. Buon Appetito!

Thanks to my daughter, Marianna for this healthy and tasty treat!

Healthfully yours,

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

Marianna Riccio’s Website


Marianna Riccio and Maria Lauren are certified fitness and health professionals

This is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.


Revealed! The Christian views on divorce, abuse in marriage and renewal


Spread your wings to understanding and renewal!

As a good Catholic girl, I grew up with the belief that it was my wifely joy and duty to build my husband up, make a good home, make a good appearance, be a good cook, be submissive, be vulnerable, be strong, pray and readily forgive because love conquers all. Family comes first and of course, God doesn’t believe in divorce.

As a mother, it is my responsibility to guide my daughter in the best way I know how.

Real love is not always a story book romance and sometimes “Prince Charming” turns into “Darth Vader.” Somewhere hiding in between those two extremes is the authentic man you love.


Marriage has its ups and downs but what about abuse in marriage?

Oh, how it can make you crumble when the one you loved and trusted turns on you. I was taught to have faith and hope because miracles happen and they do! However, I’ve learned that not holding someone accountable for their actions can entitle that person to repeat negative action. Without taking responsibility, the person lives in denial, makes excuses and lives with a warped sense of truth and reality.

Lately, I have been researching Christian views concerning abuse in marriage and divorce. I am grateful to the writers for their biblical insights and candor. I must admit, that I have a new awareness and empathy for those who have gone through the heartbreak of divorce. It is my hope that the links provided will give you a new perception about the struggles that leads to that forbidden “D” word, divorce.


What does the bible say about an emotionally abusive marriage?

Restored relationships, domestic abuse, divorce: “Typically perpetrators of abuse do not walk out of their marriages. They want to stay in the relationship because they enjoy the power, privilege, and the control they obtain therein.”


Do you have physical signs of an emotionally abusive marriage?

Words that bruise can make you sick: “Your teeth are clenched, your heart starts pounding, your stomach is churning…. Your body is telling you that something is wrong. Every time you want to have a normal conversation like normal people do to resolve a problem or a conflict, it always becomes an attack on you.”

Question:The person being abused will have to ask themselves, what am I willing to live with, and what am I unwilling to accept?… If that person is not willing to make changes, you can’t make changes for them, and you can’t make them make changes. But if you make no changes, you know what it’s going to be because you already there.”


 How do I get out of the storm?


Storms can cause damage to your home while life’s storms can wear you down but there is hope in the Lord for renewal.

Responding to Emotional Abuse in Marriage: Post by Lilly Park, Biblical Counseling Coalition 

“The Bible doesn’t use the label “emotional abuse,” but it does prohibit it. First, we are not to curse people who have been created in the image of God (James 3:9). Second, emotional abuse violates the two greatest commandments: love God and love others as yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). Third, emotional abuse violates God’s design for marriage where the husband lovingly leads and the wife lovingly submits (Ephesians 5:21-33). Fourth, it violates Christian living by denying yourself (Mark 8:34) and speaking wholesome words (Ephesians 4:29). Fifth, it displays pride and a lack of fear of God, which leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). A husband who commits emotional abuse deceives himself to be a king who deserves glory, honor, and praise. Sixth, emotional abuse is betrayal to God and people by trying to be like God and deceiving others.

Emotional abuse is more deceitful than physical abuse. The women I’ve met endured emotional abuse for years and no one knew about it. They didn’t even know until they finally talked to someone. (Of course, the same could happen with physical abuse.) Emotional abuse is unacceptable and sinful. It is slowly killing a person. It is also not the same as occasional arguments in marriage; it occurs frequently.”


Insights on Verbal Abuse: Are you Slowly being Murdered?


Crying Out for Justice

Biblical divorce explained in a nutshell: “God has called us to peace. And there can be no peace with a spouse that abuses their partner with a chronic pattern of power and control, exerted in numerous ways, often not even in physical ways…. if that person is violating their wedding vows by decidedly and repeatedly mistreating their partner, then they are in effect pushing the partner away causing separation.”

Signs that an Abuser is Not Changing

Checklist for Repentance


My Closing Thoughts…


My closing thoughts were inspired from the sermon series, “Renew, The Character of Great Relationships.”

~ Pastor Michael Yearly.

~ The Church of Rocky Peak, Simi Valley, CA.


Life today, moves fast and it is easy to keep moving forward doing business as usual. If we are not honest about the past, we can not be honest in the future.

Good character makes for good relationships. Character is created by choices.

Life and marriage is challenging with conflicts and both will test your character. A personal or professional relationship can’t survive without trust and respect. Integrity is the key to trust.

I am weak but I am strong in the Lord so my focus is on my God. God’s vision for me and for all of us is renewal. Being authentic is the first step to renewal. Through the grace of God, I am learning everyday.

The bible is about relationships and renewal

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” ~ Colossians 3:9-10

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” ~ Colossians 3:12-13

butterfly_powerful_life_maria_lauren_quoteWhen I see a butterfly, it gives me hope for renewal.

Peace be with you,

Maria Lauren, Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

Relax-n-Renew – Soothing Visualizations, Music, Scripture


“Your Powerful LIFE” is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment… It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.