Reach up, Hang on, Let go!


Maria Lauren – Your Powerful LIFE blog

This is the time to reach up into the future so I reach up to the Lord for renewal. Life can zap my energy so I hang on. A winter cold invades my body so I let go and let God. Time to remember my New Year resolution to live in love and that starts with me. It is also a time to remember my A, B, C’s: Act, Believe, Commit.  

This is my cue to go to my room, draw the blinds, put on the humidifier and that face mask I’ve been meaning to try, turn on my favorite mood music, lie down with a heating pad on my back, shut my eyes, breathe deeply and rest. Ahhhh…!

“Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11: 28

During this time of letting go, I listen to Relax-n-Renew. The soothing music, beautiful visualizations and positive affirmations help my body, mind and spirit begin to heal.  Each visualization starts with a little bible verse to begin my  meditation journey as I contemplate on my A B C’s: Accepting Blissful Connection.

“Heal me, Oh Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved: for you are the one I praise.” ~ Jeremiah 17: 14

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~ Henry Ellis


Resolutions for a Healthy Lifestyle

Resolutions for the New Year, usually consist of letting go of bad habits and holding on to good habits. Of course, I also join everyone in their resolution to lose a few pounds but that’s another subject that my daughter Marianna Riccio addresses here:


Marianna Riccio

“So suffice to say, everyone’s New Year resolution, or at least one of them predominantly always includes changes for a “healthier lifestyle” and “slimmer, more toned physique” or simply (you guessed it) “Losing Weight!!” Come on, you know you’ve said it.  However, March comes along and usually people have forgotten this inevitable New Year’s resolution. Therefore, make a simple choice in your life. “Be strong to live long.”

Start with a new type of class. Don’t do the same sort of exercise or strength training for your body everyday. This is a big no, no!!! It is important to shock the body! Try something new. For example, I have a new-found love for Pole Fitness taught by actress, Arloa Reston. Even my mom tried a class! Pole dancing sometimes can have a negative connotation, but it is actually quite beautiful, graceful, and you have to be strong! Lots of core work is involved in this training and muscles that you never thought you had are given a good workout.

Pole Fitness is being considered to be a respectable Olympic Sport!


Marianna Riccio – Pole Fitness Dance

More Health and Fitness tips: Remember, don’t forget to hydrate. Water flushes out toxins. I start every morning with hot water and lemon or a detox tea. Think about it, you’ve been sleeping for about eight hours and you have deprived yourself of water! So drink up and flush out! It makes your complexion radiant too.

Eat Breakfast! Please! I can’t stress this enough. Breakfast will make you lose weight. Period! No, don’t have a sausage and egg breakfast with a side of pancakes every day. That is a nice treat once in a while, (maybe) but rather, you should have other healthier options. They will make you less likely to crave “junkie munchies”  later in the day and keep you satisfied. Some of these options are, but are not limited to: whole grains, such as cereal or oatmeal that are high in fiber and low in sugar;  a protein shake with a frozen banana blended for instant energy, an egg (or two) over easy or poached with avocado and salsa. Don’t be afraid of the yolk. It has iron. 🙂 Another option is Greek Yogurt with low-fat granola, raw almonds, and blueberries. For healthy fats, spread extra virgin coconut oil on your toast, Ghee grass-fed butter or almond butter with an apple. I usually eat three break breakfasts, especially if I take a workout class. Before a workout, I will have either a protein shake, fresh juice, Greek yogurt, or my favorite: bulletproof coffee! It’s amazing! Then I will have Ezekiel bread with extra virgin coconut oil and this amazing fig and prune spread (Mother’s recipe) that is fiber heavy.

Get creative for a happy healthy new year!” ~ Marianna Riccio


Thank you Marianna for these healthy living tips, some new and some passed on by me to you! We learn from each other. Nice. If you would like more ideas about healthy living from Marianna check out: How to get a Thin Waist but Keep Your Curves.

Below are the recipes for my Figgy Prune Spread and Cold Remedy Recipe:

Raw Figgy Prune Spread

  • Cup of dried prunes, pitless and unsulphured
  • Cup of dried figs, unsulphured 
  • 1/2 of  organic lemon skin, organic orange skin is optional
  • Teaspoon of honey or agave syrup
  • Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, clove, pumpkin pie spices as desired
  • Flavor extracts: 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla

Prepare at least 24 to 48 hours before serving. Clip the tips off the figs. Soak the prunes and figs in pure water to barely cover the fruit. At this time, chop the lemon skin in tiny pieces and soak in the honey and/or agave syrup in an other bowl. Refrigerate.

After a day or two, the fruit should be tender. Put the fruit with its juice, honey/syrup, vanilla, spices in to a mini-cuisinart. The juice should only fill half of the mixture. Pulse until it is a creamy spread with tiny chunks. It’s delicious on your morning toast!


Cold Remedy Recipe

(Hope you can handle garlic and your not a Vampire!) 🙂

  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic * Garlic is proven to be helpful to the immune system and it is a powerful antibiotic.
  • 1 tablespoon of honey * Honey is an anti-bacterial that relieves irritations of the throat and it soothes coughs.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil * Olive Oil contains anti-inflammatory benefits and is soothing to the throat and mouth.
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper and ginger as desired * Cayenne Pepper is a circulatory stimulant, it breaks-up mucus congestion and has anti-irritant properties. * Studies show that Ginger relieves nausea, muscle pain, migraines and asthma symptoms.

Using a garlic press, squeeze garlic into a cup for dipping. Add other ingredients and stir with a spoon. Spread this tasty and medicinal mixture on some healthy toast and eat it through out the day. I like it with a hot steamy soup made with an onion base.

In between meals, make yourself some hot herbal tea with honey and lemon. Stay warm. Stay home. Feel better.


It was sweet of my daughter to give me the gift of fitness with an introduction to the athleticism of Pole Exercise. She tries to keep me hip! It was interesting to learn that the skin helps to grip the body to the pole. I must admit that it is a quite a workout! After about two months of training, Marianna beautifully demonstrates a few moves on the Pole. After two classes, I add a comic effect to the finale! Enjoy our YouTube.

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2015! May the ever-present strength of God be with you this new year.

“He shall set me up upon a rock.” ~ Psalms 27: 5

“Feet supported by the foundation of the past, bending into life and reaching into the future.” ~ Maria Lauren


Maria Lauren, a.k.a. Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

maria-elena-lauren-alberici-riccio-fitness-you-got-the-power-motivationThis blog is about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment.

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. This information is not meant to take the place of a physician. All content is copyrighted.

Maria’s Website        Marianna’s Website

Going With The Flow


Your Powerful LIFE blog

Seasons change. Do we need to make some changes too? What habits have we developed? It is a good habit to look at your life’s goals with each season. I have to admit the thought of change makes me feel uneasy, even stressed. Time to take a deep breath. For now, I’m living in the moment and going with the flow.

During the month of September, I always feel I have to get in my last bit of beach time to ride the waves. This is when the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean in Malibu California reaches its highest of 70 degrees. The ocean refreshes me.

This year, 8/22 -8/29, Tropical Storm Marie was active. The waves were massive and pounded down hard damaging the Malibu Pier and the coast line. I wondered how surfing was after the storm and with a sense of adventure, I headed down the Malibu coast on the P.C.H., Pacific Coast Highway.


Malibu Coast

The Malibu coastline is comparable to Maui of the Hawaiian Islands. In these waters it is not unusual to see dolphins playfully jumping the waves and sometimes even spy sea lions, seals and whales.

The Pacific Coast Highway descends down towards sea level to one of my favorite spots, Zuma Beach, a long stretch of sand for beach lovers. I enjoy the big waves that are great for body surfing or boogie boarding. Both surfing techniques vary when taking in a wave and it is always a workout to fight the strong tide to catch the waves. Usually the waves propel me for a long ride to the shore. Sometimes my sister Linda joins me.


My sister and I enjoy staying fit and boogie boarding at Zuma Beach

After the storm, I noticed that the beach shrunk considerably. The ocean looked unpredictable. However, almost every wave curved with a thrashing impact close to the shore. I ventured into the water and noticed that the storm had left its mark. The surface under the water was now uneven and small rocks swirled erratically with the ocean. The waves were too rough to use a boogie board but I was able to get the nerve to body surf. The rides were crazy, maybe I was too! Good thing I’m limber because the water had me curving this way and that way, similar to a roller coaster. I even felt acrobatic when I did a double roll-over with a wave. It was fun and scary at the same time. When I thought I had enough, I began hiking my way through the tide towards the shore. That’s when a big wave knocked me over when my back was turned to bring me to my knees.

“To everything – turn, turn, turn

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven”

– Lyrics, musical artists, The Byrds



Life brings me to my knees in prayer when I am knocked down. With all the troubles in the world, not to mention the troubles under my own roof, I can find peace knowing that God is in charge. The last Psalm sums it up. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluia.” – Psalms 150:6

Like the ocean, I yield to the power and glory that created the universe. In this consciousness, I can flow like water, I can refresh those on my path and eventually wear down the stones in my path. Every season and every day can be a time to reflect, heal, Relax-n-Renew.




Peach Supreme


Peach or Pear Supreme (seasonal), a simple, no-baking dessert recipe


  • 4 peaches/nectarines or pears
  • Heaping tablespoon of raw almond butter
  • Drop of vanilla flavor
  • 1 teaspoon of agave syrup or honey
  • 8 large graham crackers


Slice/chop fruit in large pieces. Stir fruit with the almond butter until creamy. Put a heaping tablespoon of mixture on top of a crispy graham cracker or cookie.

*This dessert is a perfect solution for fruit that is over-ripe.



Enjoying the great outdoors! Stretching and balancing with the forces of nature strengthens you for life.


Yoga in the ocean – The Wheel, backbend pose!


The Department of Health and Human Services designated the month of September as the national day for Yoga awareness and education.

The daily practicing of Yoga and deep breathing helps me immensely by expanding my mind and loosening up my body to withstand the tugs and pulls of life as I stretch and bend with the times.

Time well spent is doing Yoga and other fitness disciplines. I enjoy teaching safe and fun exercises at Kaiser Permanente.


Quote – Yoga in the ocean – The Wheel

“Stretching backwards, feet and hands sinking, holding my balance, the waves of life refresh me.” – Maria Lauren (Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio)


Do you want to keep fit while on the run? Do it with this playlist: A variety of one minute exercises to burn fat and strengthen your muscles, hosted by Marianna Riccio on YouTube.




“We share the ocean connecting us, always changing, ever constant, tossed by the storm, sometimes calm, ever flowing to shores near and far.” – Maria Lauren (Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio)

We are connected to each other, yet separate and No Man is an Island. The unrest in the world reminds me of the horrors of 9/11. The flag display at Pepperdine University located in Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway is a massive memorial – The Power of Remembering: 9-11

As I finish writing this blog post, I am in my backyard pensively thinking of the many sorrows in the world that weigh heavily on my heart. I feel helpless but I hear the birds singing in the background and that reminds me to be in the moment and appreciate the beauty of nature and life.

The seasons change and each season brings a special beauty to the world and a time to share your distinctive talents and blessing.

Connecting in love and going with the flow,

Maria Lauren, a.k.a. Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

Marianna Riccio’s Website

Maria-Lauren-Alberici-RiccioThis 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.