Growing in Love, Growing in Health and Mothers Day pancakes!


Mother and Daughter, Maria and Marianna, singer/songwriters of “Growing in Love”

Mothers grow in love with their children. Sometimes it’s a bumpy ride, a Carnival ride that has you going around and around but always thrilling. My daughter is in her mid-twenties now but sometimes she can give me a look that reminds me of when she was four years old. That is when my heart melts in love.

When I reminded her that Mothers Day was coming up soon, her come-back was, “Since I made you a mother, then I should be celebrated too!” LOL! Gotta love her sense of humor!

Growing in Love

Here are some sentimental ideas to do as a family that will make Mothers Day special. Children can give mom a photo album, a collage of your favorite pictures or a blog. Moms you can give your children some inspired quotes or their own personal bible verse. My daughter’s birthday is 4/8. This is her bible verse:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

When my daughter, Marianna was in her late teens, we wrote a song about unconditional love and recorded it. Our song is called, “Growing in Love” and it would make a sweet background track for your video photo album. You may catch a TV clip of my daughter and I singing “Growing in Love” on my past post, Preparing for Mothers Day, with the story of my mom and what she taught me about healthy living and glamour.

Growing In Love (Mother & Daughter song!)

*Click on to the CD picture for song sample and the link below for song lyrics


A beautifully prepared breakfast will get your Mothers Day celebration to a good start. Here’s a delicious gluten-free, oil-free Banana Pancake recipe. Dark chocolate covered raisins and goji berries are added to the recipe. Yummy!


Mothers Day Banana Pancake Recipe

(Makes 6 small pancakes one to two servings)

1 overripe banana, peeled

1/2 cup of any pancake mix (I use Pamela’s non-gluten pancake mix)

1 egg

1/4 cup milk (I use almond, soy or coconut milk)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla flavor

Blend ingredients. Pour batter on griddle. Add dark chocolate raisins and/or goji berries on top when the pancakes begin to bubble and flip over.

The extras make this an extraordinary breakfast. Besides a drizzle of natural maple syrup on top of the pancakes, I like to shake a generous portion of cinnamon over some walnuts. Then, pour a little honey and/or agave syrup over the walnuts. Sliced strawberries and/or berries with a scoop of non-fat Greek yogurt can be added to the dish. The nuts and the yogurt adds some protein to the plate and the berries are healthy and delicious. Extra virgin coconut oil spread over the pancakes instead of butter makes me think of Hawaii. Pick a beautiful rose or flower from your garden to go along with your Mothers Day breakfast and serve with a smile. 🙂

* To help keep your blood sugar stable, you can use a sugar-free syrup. Also suggested is serving a side dish of raw almonds; the protein in almonds can help regulate your blood sugar when consuming carbohydrates and sugars.

Growing in Health

At Kaiser Permanente, I work as a Lifestyle Educator encouraging our patients to exercise and eat healthfully which includes vegetables, fruits and nuts. Nuts can strengthen bones, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and prevent cancer. Nuts have a lot of fat but it’s “good” fat. There is minimal saturated fat (bad fat) in either almonds or walnuts. Health nuts eat nuts!

  • Almonds have more vitamin E and calcium than most nuts, are high in fiber. Almonds can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Walnuts support immune system and fight cancer.

Do you know what this cute monkey is trying to tell you? Eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day! Eating a rainbow of colorful foods will give you a rainbow of natural vitamins!


My sister, June Kuz, a certified Dietician in West Chester, Pennsylvania, made this Monkey Fruit Tree with her children.

  • Mix sliced fruit or frozen berries with yogurt or cereal. .
  • Make fruit smoothies by blending together fresh or frozen fruit, fruit juice and yogurt.
  • Add lots of colorful vegetables, such as red cabbage, carrots, and corn, to green salads.
  • Add extra vegetables, such as grated zucchini or carrots, spinach, kale, and bell peppers, to pasta sauces and soups.
  • Add lots of vegetables to sandwiches. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado slices are flavorful choices.

Eat wisely and don’t forget to exercise. Last month, I wrote about the benefits of walking. Have you added walking to your daily routine? While walking, your mind can work through troubling issues and clear mental clutter. Many people find it one of the best ways to reduce stress and avoid resulting headaches.

Growing as a Nation

As a nation, we feel the after-shock of compassion caused by disasters.  It was comforting to hear President Obama quote from the bible to ease the nation concerning the tragedy in Boston. “No more hurting people” was a plea from the innocent eight year old victim, Martin Richard. May his plea be forever in our hearts.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah, 40: 29-31

Remember to take care of each other and take care of our home the earth. My sister Linda and I are supporting organic and non-GMO food growers. Linda Eichberg remembers Earth Day on her blog: The Gratitude Life.

Always growing in love,

Maria Lauren, YourPowerfulLIFE, (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio


More gift suggestions for Mothers Day…

Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-bookA book can be a good gift and escape on Mothers Day. Beyond Our Wildest Dreams brings the reader into the world of entertainment during the groovy 70’s with backstage stories of legends like the Rat Pack and over 350 pictures!


Every mother needs to relieve stress at one time or another. The CD, Relax-n-Renew contains guided visualizations and soothing music to put the listener in a state of calm. Each selection starts with a bible verse.


Maria Lauren is a motivational fitness speaker and entertainer:

Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-motivation-entertainer-fitness-You-Got-The-PowerThis 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.

Preparing for Mother’s Day: Growing in Love


“Unconditional Love” Marianna Riccio and Maria Lauren

Okay, I admit it! There is still an umbilical cord that connects my daughter, to me. Is there something wrong with that? Call it a sixth sense or just call it a mother’s love, it is a strong bond that cannot be severed. We are alike but not alike, two separate individuals but an extension of each other.

Getting in the mood for Mother’s Day has me thinking of my own mom too. She is the mother of nine children, seven of us, who are women. To a certain degree, some of us have our mom’s expressions, personality, warm heart, talent, creativity, energy, sense of fairness, sense of humor, common sense, work ethics and moods. Thanks mom.


World Fitness Day

As mothers we want our children to be healthy and “Thrive.” My parents, Lillian and Albert Alberici were early advocates of all their children eating natural foods and exercising. Now, my “Comfort Foods” are “Health Foods” and exercise is a part of my lifestyle. My sisters and brothers have extended their well-being practices to their children and continue to be examples of healthy living even in their own business endeavors, some being certified fitness instructors and dietitians.

I enjoy working as a Lifestyle Educator at Kaiser Permanente, where I bring the message of fitness to our members and employees. Recently, Kaiser Permanente representatives joined Michelle Obama to promote community Health Initiatives for Healthy Living and Childhood Obesity. Mrs. Obama recognized what Kaiser Permanente is doing to promote good nutrition, prevention and active living through public health interventions, policy change, organizational practices and the community conditions that influence health. Go team!


Earth Day

Please continue to celebrate Earth Day all year-long. Kaiser Permanente is doing their part and received the Clean Air Award by a California environmental group winning the 2010 award by Breathe California. Children have interesting ideas about preserving their home, the Earth. See what they have to say on my past TV series, You Got The Power.


For Mother’s Day gift, I invite you to click on to the picture of my daughter Marianna and I to hear a song sample of our CD, Growing in Love. We wrote this song to celebrate the unconditional love between mothers and daughters, sisters, girlfriends etc…. Our YouTube song performance     

Have a Happy Mothers Day with many blessings, growing in love,

Maria Lauren (AKA) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE

* * *

Maria Lauren and her sister Linda Eichberg (Alberici Sisters) have written a book about family, friends and entertaining with the Icons of the 20th Century including the Rat Pack called, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.

The Alberici Sisters currently make personal appearances as entertainers and fitness/lifestyle coaches. Marianna Riccio is a song writer and performing artist. 


Maria’s Website        Marianna’s Website 

This is a personal Blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting 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.