My 16 year old daughter, Raquel, was always the most high energy, happiest, and self-confident among of all of her friends.

But, then, all of a sudden, things started changing. Her school nurse sent me a letter saying that my daughter needs special one on one attention. Yes, I couldn’t believe my ears that Raquel was being labeled as having ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. The school nurse immediately put my daughter on medications. As, as you can imagine my life went upside down. It was devastating news to my husband and me, as well as to Raquel. Her classmates and kids at school started to label her as “special needs”. It was sad watching my daughter deal with all this at such a young age.

More hurtful was watching Raquel take the meds and have the most horrible side effects from them. As time went by, the medications’ side effects were showing up in her behavior as sadness, sleepiness, loneliness and moodiness. For 7 years Raquel was medicated until one day when I met a wonderful Functional Medicine doctor who had Raquel’s blood tested. The blood tests showed that she was having a disequilibrium of her hormones that could affect her forever. So, one day a friend who is a certified Eat to Thrive Health Educator and now is an “Holistic Nutrition Coach, advised me to introduce my daughter to plant-based supplements and a gluten-free diet, as well as fresh organic foods. These not only corrected her mineral deficiencies, but also her mental acuity. I took that advice with all my heart, because I did not want Raquel to suffer anymore.

After a year on an organic plant-based diet, Raquel no longer needed the medications and stopped taking them.

Shortly after that, Raquel’s teacher sent me a letter requesting that I attend a meeting with her at the school. My heart was pumping with anxiety. A thousand thoughts came to my mind. What could it be this time? Was Raquel needing to take meds again? To my surprise, it was the most wonderful news that I had since her birth. The teacher wanted to know what I was doing differently with my daughter. The teacher told me that for the first time, Raquel scored 100 on her tests! And from that day she has always scored 100. She is now is a happy teenager. I am thankful to have good people in this world that opened my eyes regarding my daughter’s health. Thanks to healthy food, Raquel is now off all medications and has a beautiful future ahead!

Julianna Burke's Testimonial

Every week was exciting for me; I thoroughly enjoyed reading Betsy’s Eat to Thrive book, learning new concepts, tasting new recipes, and listening to amazing guest speakers that were educational, insightful and fascinating.I plan to teach my own class as a health educator in the future and I feel as though I have the education and skills to do this now. I really enjoyed meeting new people that I feel so close to, and I feel as though doors have opened up for me because of this amazing opportunity. I am committed to nourishing my body, mind and spirit and to help others do the same.

– Julianna Burke

Nancy Rice's Testimonial

Exercising, meditating, and mind balancing is a way I’ve come to realize our potential in healing ourselves. Since adopting this new lifestyle, I have overcome a long battle with Eczema. Coming to Betsy’s lovely home is a welcoming oasis for all her students. You are greeted with her captivating smile, tea and fresh alkaline water. Soon you become entranced in her kitchen for making delicious entries, desserts, and appetizers.

Sitting down to a beautiful array of fresh vegetables, fruit, salads, flaxseed crackers, kale chips is heartwarming good nutrition that feeds the soul. Eat to Thrive is a fantastic environment for like minded people to meet on their healing journey together.”

Nancy Rice

Paulo Vicentini's Testimonial

“The liver gallbladder flush changed my life, ridding me of terrible parasites and gallstones. As a result of the cleanse, my energy, brain functions, mood, and everything in my body feels great! Growing sprouts and wheatgrass, fermenting vegetables, and juicing greens are now highlights of my new lifestyle. Take Eat to Thrive to be your own doctor and experience the great life that Mother Nature has given you”.


-Paulo Vicentini


Sadie DiSimone with some of the delicious food served at every Eat to Thrive class.

Sadie DiSimone’s Testimonial

The Eat to Thrive 10 week course has been interesting, thought provoking, and insightful on many levels. Eating a whole foods, plant-based, unprocessed diet and living with gratitude and mindfulness are key to gaining optimal health. Your class demonstrated that very thoroughly through the many personal testimonials and videos. Betsy has been an utter joy, an ideal role model for turning one’s life around, and a patient teacher.
– Sadie DiSimone

Marcia Passos’s Testimonial

Participating in the “Eat to Thrive” course helped me in my journey to becoming healthier. I developed good habits such as: skin brushing; oil pulling; green juicing; and drinking lemon water. I am consuming more raw vegetables and sprouts than I did before. I also learned new raw food recipes. When I started the course, I was eating animal protein everyday with meals; however, I have now changed my diet to almost entirely vegetable proteins. I became more conscious about how unhealthy animal foods are. There are many things I liked about the course, but what I liked most was the knowledge I gained about detoxification, especially the liver and gallbladder cleanse. I will be able to do it on myself when necessary. With the knowledge I gained I will be able to help people to improve their health, including my husband and daughter. I feel blessed to have had this learning experience.
— Marcia Passos

Betsy Bragg (l) with Eat to Thrive graduate Marcia Passos (r).

Rich McDonough took a step-by-step approach to healthy eating and is well on his way to his lifetime goal of better health.

Richard McDonough’s Testimonial

I’m a 10%ter. As long as I’m improving 10% at a time, that’s progress. I don’t do “Cold Turkey!” So far, the main benefit has been the education aspect of the class. Change begins with awareness. I’ve cut salt out of my diet, made it a habit to eat one green item per day, and incorporated better health as one of my lifetime goals.

–Rich McDonough

Theresa Drum’s Testimonial

My main objective for taking this class a second time has been to commit to a deeper sense of mindfulness around my wellbeing, so I may share this with others. I have noticed how I eat, when I am taking too much on in my life. When I choose to move through life at a calm vibration, I notice I am eating mostly raw vegetables. I have tried some new recipes as well. I also committed to listening to the videos repeatedly. I have done this. I have made new habits: daily green juice, lemon water, dehydrating crackers, daily yoga at the gym, oil pulling & meditating. Some of these habits I created in the last class and over time stopped doing them. I also am very aware of the pace at which I’m moving through space. It’s slower and more deliberate. It feels calmer. The biggest shift has been in my breath & choosing nose breathing, even in yoga.

I liked all of the great information Betsy shares with us on her laptop. I love the diverse group of speakers that join us; the topics are all interesting. I especially enjoyed the one on essential oils. – Theresa Drum

Theresa Drum (r) is using her Eat to Thrive education to better herself physically and spiritually.

Eat to Thrive graduate, Louise Kulig, took the class a second time because she enjoys being part of the like-minded community.

Louise Kulig’s Testimonial

Taking your class for the second time was great, as there were many things that I just didn’t absorb the first time! I think the class really appreciated having a real chef doing the food demos! That was a wonderful treat. I loved watching the videos, as they were both informative and inspiring. The best part was meeting more like-minded people who want a healthier body, community and world! Your course provides the foundation, framework and information to make it happen!

– Louise Kulig

Tracey Stearns’ Testimonial

Jacyntha Kamor Taylor’s Testimonial

I signed up for this class at the last minute and even hesitated since I only recently moved back to the area, wasn’t settled yet, and other nutrition studies and work on my plate. Betsy encouraged me to dive in and I’m only so glad she did. I have been interested in raw foods for several years, been reading about it, doing some internal cleansing, and trying my hand at a few new raw dishes.

Even though I am an experienced cook, I felt intimidated by the new methods and chemistry of raw food preparation. Even with all my books and online resources, I’m a kinesthetic learner and really did need hands-on experience to learn. Betsy provided this through live demos, her teachings in the class, and in her internship (which I did). She is very generous and shares so many resources and much information. She also made it all seem easy and approachable.

She is a library of nutritional knowledge and knows the best of the best. If there is anything she doesn’t know Betsy is always willing to learn or find out. Her energy and enthusiasm are boundless.As a class, we got to share each other’s new experiments and recipes which allowed me to learn raw food preparation exponentially through the variety of dishes shared. It was delightful to taste so many new, delicious raw food samples, to hear what worked methods best for people (and ones that didn’t), and to get new, creative ideas. This was a very inspiring part of the course. As a class, we also had discussions that were interesting and provocative. Food and eating can be a loaded topic and we shared our experiences with passion and vulnerability.

Even though some of our speakers had to cancel, it was wonderful to meet the speakers who were able to attend. They all had a wealth of information and shared their own, unique experience and opinions. Food for thought! The course is very rich, dense, and thorough. I understand why many people attend two and three times over because one time through is not nearly enough to absorb all of the information on the dvd’s, in the book, in the class, and from the speakers. This course holds a wealth of resources for all those in the Boston area (and beyond).

I had first heard about the Hippocrates Institute while living in Hawaii. Many friends would often refer to the Hippocrates perspective and teachings, and to Ann Wigmore. Even with all of the wonderful “offspring,” the new raw teachers and chefs with their own take on this lifestyle, it seems like the Hippocrates approach is foundational and extremely important to learn more about this lifestyle. It’s important to learn from the source even if one decides to vary some elements to suit individual preferences. All artists learn fundamentals before they develop their own style. The raw food lifestyle in an art de vie, the art of life. This course should be a required fundamental for conscious, healthy living.

Susan Baxter’s Testimonial

In one of the Hippocrates Health Institute’s publications, I read Betsy Bragg’s story and learned she was teaching a certified class in New England. Betsy offers love and encouragement to everyone who wants to explore eating for optimal health and also encourages people to grow holistically, including the emotional and spiritual sides of “healthy living.”

Betsy has food demonstrations with every class and invites guest speakers to share their particular experiences with embracing a living-foods lifestyle. Along with weekly videos and readings from Betsy’s comprehensive, one can get an excellent overview of the HHI approach to a holistically healthy lifestyle, enjoy great living food with the weekly potlucks, and enjoy support and camaraderie with fellow classmates.

The personal highlight of the class for me was doing an eleven-day green-juice fast. First of all, I didn’t think I could do it! But the days just flowed and it fell at a point in the course (week seven) that I totally understood what and why I was doing it. I never felt hungry (as I had feared!) and classmates who participated were totally supportive of each other. I am thankful for the experience of taking the course, Betsy’s shared wisdom, and being more grounded in living a Hippocrates-influenced lifestyle.

Susan Baxter

“Twenty-five percent of what we eat nourishes us; the other seventy-five percent nourishes the medical community.”
William Osler, founding professor at Johns Hopkins (paraphrased)

Terry Myers Coney’s Testimonial

Coming from a macrobiotic background in which foods are prepared according to season, the idea of raw foods in the winter seemed counter intuitive. We all crave warmth and comfort in the cold winter months in New England. Yet after hemming and hawing about signing up for the class long enough, I knew it was time to delve in. I had had so many people for so long talk about the benefits of raw foods and I could see and feel the aliveness in them. I kept meeting more and more vibrant positive people who said they followed a raw foods life style. It was time I learned more.

Betsy was the perfect teacher; Kind, sincere, enthusiastic, and welcoming. I was glad I was encouraged by a fellow class mate at the intro to sign up. My goal simply was to learn more about raw foods. And that I did.

The class was a whirlwind of new experiences and information. It covered everything from growing our own wheat grass, to juicing, to preparing new and delicious foods, to the environmental and spiritual relationships to food choices, and more. It was more than worth the investment of time and money.

As far as eating raw in the winter? I never felt better, was never cold, had tons of energy and a more positive outlook than ever before. From the moment I walked in to Betsy’s kitchen and she offered me a glass of fresh pressed wheat grass juice and her daily morning juice of sprouts, greens, and lemon, I was hooked. I immediately felt the “life force”. A feeling of wellbeing, aliveness, and connectedness that we all crave, but usually look for in all the wrong places.

I only hope that more and more people will become open to this new experience.

Graduate Athena Lerch Shares Her Thoughts About Her Life Force Experience

In this intensive 10 week class, which I had the opportunity to assist Betsy, our facilitator and inspiration in the preparation for each class, I learned about the concepts of living a raw foods life style and the value of consistently eating a diet of raw foods. By helping prepare for the class, I gained a deep appreciation of Betsy’s devotion and all the hard work and preparation that it takes to sustain and teach the class. This was far more work than I had imagined. My goals for the class were to gain a foundation of the reasons for a raw food diet and the theories of the Hippocrates healthy lifestyle. During the class I learned new ideas and skills for making raw food each session. I also started growing wheat grass and sprouts, which I plan to continue.

I invested in a wheat grass juicer, so that I can experience the benefits of drinking wheat grass juice and share it with family and friends. When I did the fast and the enema with wheat grass juice, I felt somewhat weakened, but at the same time I felt so much more clarity and sensitivity.

By wheat grass and vegetable juicing, I got so much more energy and happiness! I felt more free and in the flow of life and not so entrapped by my usual emotional blocks. After the fast, I clearly felt an increase in my health and well being. By assisting in the preparation of the class I learned it was important to integrate the class with lecture, class discussions and preparing and sampling the various types of raw food for each class. I understood that it was necessary to keep the class schedule, so that we could get through all of the material for each session. I hope to teach a 10 week class at some point and also integrate the information into any curriculum that I am using when I teach the disabled and/or blind. I will share it with all and any family of friends that are at all interested. For myself I have increased my raw food up to about 75% and feel more energy and my digestion is improved. . In addition, I have less anxiety and I feel more calmness, serenity and order in my life. Eating raw food and living the raw food lifestyle is the best prevention against degenerative disease and aging. I still have some health issues to work on. In the near future I intend to invest in a series of colonics to cleanse and rejuvenate my colon. Colonics are highly recommended by Hippocrates Institute to heal the colon. One of the most valuable benefits that I gained from the class was forming lasting friendships with my people that I shared the journey to a raw food lifestyle. These are very special friendships because we have the common experience of transforming our lives with the raw foods. We developed an intimacy and closeness by sharing our successes and struggles. In addition, I found that it was very supportive having my own personal coach that I could share with and receive encouragement from. Although preparing raw foods often takes more time and energy, but it is an investment in our health and well being.

Here’s what a Certified Health Education Specialist/ Corporate Wellness Health Coach, Lina Russo, says about taking the course
What I have gained from taking the Life Force Energy course this session is support, motivation, and passion for living the raw and living foods lifestyle. I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people and heard such amazing stories about how living foods have helped heal and change peoples’ lives. As a result, I am more inspired than ever to continue on the path. Also, I have incorporated what I have learned into my work as a health coach in the corporate wellness world and health educator teaching nutrition to seniors – I am now constantly promoting the healthfulness of a plant-based diet over an animal-based one with a focus on raw salads and the importance of greens.

Vicki Lemkin enthusiastically Exclaims
This has been the most unexpected best 10 weeks of my life. I came to this class to support my daughter, Pam, and in turn I got the support I needed to lead me to a more nutritious and vivacious life. I have never felt more proud of myself than I do at this time of my almost 65 years! Wow!!! What an accomplishment! Thanks.

Stephanie Whiting – What I liked about the Optimum Health 10 week class

  • I liked the hands on demonstrations each week. Especially the “how to grow wheatgrass and sprouts demonstration”. I started growing both with the help of being given the all ready to plant trays. That was so helpful, and the “stand-out” of the whole ten week class.
  • I liked being “forced” to make a recipe for the class. This gave me the opportunity to push myself in looking at recipe books and getting the ingredients and putting it together.
  • I liked viewing the DVD’s each week. I learned so much from each of them, and gave me an opportunity to decide which one’s I want for my own library.
  • I got a lot of information from the textbook you gave us, and will continue to read it and copy pages for others. It is a great resource for me for the rest of my life.
  • I loved the “relaxed” atmosphere we had at your home and how open and friendly the classes were. I feel I could call anyone in my class to just talk or to ask for help with something to do with living a raw life-style.
  • I liked being informed each week about what was happening in the “raw and vegan” community, and I so enjoyed the few events I attended. I look forward to a life long association with the community and advancing my learning.
  • The “guest speakers” were also very informative and another “resource” for me and my journey being raw and vegan. I especially got a lot from Sharon and just loved when she came to our class at a participant. She gave me many tips and was so open to being helpful. I’d take a series of classes with her if she offered them.
  • The coaching was helpful, though I was/am very committed to this lifestyle. I think someone who is not “there” yet, the coaching would have been more helpful. I liked my coach very much; she is a committed raw and vegan, and is very knowledgeable and very likeable. Her web site is excellent and full of great information, one I will go to as a resource.
  • I love that the money from the course goes to help educate children about nutrition and to help fight obesity. I am a recovering compulsive eater myself, in OA, and I know the pain of being 70 pounds over weight and addicted to sugar, flour and junk food. So, that Optimum Health has set up this program, makes me so grateful to be a part of a bigger process than just educating me about how to stay healthy by eating raw, living and vegan.

I thank Betsy from the bottom of my heart for dedicating her time, education, and home to teach this class. I will do what I can to be helpful to our community and to you out of gratitude. Anyone interested is welcome to call me, Stephanie Whiting Tel: 781-829-0920 Cell: 617-744-7916 Let me start by saying why I took the course in the first place. I initially met you at a raw food event. I was very interested in the work you were doing in the school system and wanted to hear more. We met at Prana where you gave me much more detail about what you were doing and how, along with information about this course. Given my profession as an educator, and my desire to offer as much information to my students on ways to increase their health and that of their communities, and my own personal quest to increase overall health, I knew that the class would be worthwhile.

The format of the course is very comprehensive! I liked the sequencing of each of the classes; it flows well and while each class could stand on its own, there is also a good flow of one course to the other. The variety of guest speakers allowed for an array of perspectives and expanded the knowledge base for all participants and kept the class lively and interesting. The hands on food prep took the class from a concept of what engaging in a raw food lifestyle is all about to jumping right in to doing it! It was great to have the “experience” of raw with both prep and consumption. The DVD’s are very informative and truly formed the base of knowledge gained in the class. The weekly calls to my coach were key in helping to integrate raw food living into my existing lifestyle. I gained much from the information shared from the DVD’s, the speakers, the manual and the overall class format. I learned a lot from seeing and experiencing the variety of food we prepared both in class and on our own.

Diane Moody Shares …….

The three primary reasons I chose to come to this class was 1) to learn how to shop, prepare, and sustain healthier eating habits; 2) to share with family, friends, and others the knowledge I’ve gained with confidence; and 3) to learn how the body can heal itself naturally with a healthy diet. I learned all of that and so much more! This class was very informational, interactive and the pace was good. It taught me how simple and easy the raw food lifestyle is. The Manual and DVD’s are easy to follow and contain a wealth of information. I appreciated the Q & A section in each chapter to further enhance my learning experience. Having a ‘coach’ to share the raw-experience with, who has been through the class, was encouraging and beneficial to help put things in perspective. It was interesting and exciting to learn how much more nutritional and beneficial sprouting and juicing are.

I also enjoyed the raw food recipes and was pleased to discover that raw food is easy, tasty and flavorful, (and so much healthier).

The guest speakers were living; breathing examples of what a raw based diet can do for you and their fascinating stories and experiences deepened my desire to apply what I’ve learned into my new lifestyle. It’s amazing what you learn that you didn’t realize you didn’t know. The DVD’s were an eye-opener and raised an awareness in me to really think about what I’m putting in my body and the effects my choices have on a global level. This course was very inspiring and motivating and I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to share this experience with such wonderful people in the class. I feel much more confident about my ability to prepare delicious, nutritious, raw foods. I also have a better understanding of the use of various kitchen appliances and tools and I feel more competent to instruct others. Betsy is a very knowledgeable and friendly instructor and her warm personality and commitment to ‘Optimum Health’ is contagious. I look forward to reaching my own ‘Optimum Health’ and sharing this ‘Life Force Energy’ with others. I would definitely recommend her class for anyone who is looking to live and eat healthier.

I sum it all up with two of my favorite passages: “A living food diet and fasting on living juices is the most expedient and effective way to change your physical, emotional, and psychological person, and will change your consciousness.” and . . . “Eating raw is the fuel of consciousness (Love, Honor, and Respect of Self), it will take away from you the negativity that comes from eating biochemically (abnormal) processed foods; and it will enhance your normal chemistry by activating the serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins (happy juices) in your brain.”

“Thank you for your contribution to my life and giving me a way to effectively contribute to the world of health and well being. I am deeply grateful.”

……. Diane Moody

Sue L’Heureux Evaluation

This course has really inspired me. Betsy is an inspiration!! Since I haven’t been able to get to Hippocrates, this has been the next best thing!! I have been doing some things that I never did before…..dehydrating, buying more organic, making actual raw food recipes (not just salads!!), alternate nostril breathing, etc. I also have been more consistent with things that I have done before but just hadn’t been doing quite as much…..rebounding, dry skin brushing, oil swishing, juicing, enemas, etc. I have a lot more motivation to eat better. I agree that there was a lot covered in 10 weeks and the class could easily go on another 2 or 3 weeks. I liked having all the guest speakers — each one had the same message, but a different aspect of it! It’s good to hear the stories of other people & how they transitioned into this lifestyle. The coaching is great — it’s good to have someone help you along the way & listen to your problems! I like the way the recipe part was incorporated into the class each week. When you see something prepared and then eat it, it’s a lot easier then trying it at home from a recipe. The DVD’s were all very informative. I liked it when there was a CD available — it was easier for me to listen to that in the car and sometimes I listened to the whole CD 3 or 4 times! The manual is a great resource and I will continue to refer to it as time goes on. You have certainly put a lot of time and effort into these classes and are to be commended for that. I’m not quite ready to start teaching this, but will do what I can to get the word out to others. Just talking about it more and bringing recipes to different places is more than I did before! Thank you for your willingness to do all that you do. I hope we are able to keep in touch as a class and all see each other periodically. It is always a challenge when you “walk to the beat of a different drummer,” but I feel much more equipped to “fight” after the preparation that this class gave me! I forgot to say that I use Tom’s expression of “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels” all the time!! Thanks so much!.

Ayca Gencoglu

I believe that there are no coincidences in life but everything happens for a reason and I am very grateful right now that I got to meet Betsy during a Tao meeting and we had a brief discussion about my intended goal to become a professional Health Coach. Right now, after the finishing of this Life Force Energy course, I feel that I became a much more educated person on health and am making every single effort to buy organic, eat more raw, drink lots of water and eliminate meat products as much as possible. It is also great to see that my family members started to buy organic and they are also inspired on having a much healthier lifestyle. In each class, we got the chance to meet some wonderful speakers and their life stories and achievements have become very inspiring on my goal to become a great health coach. The application of the health tools and the wisdom they provide will definitely benefit our health and well-being even further. I also should say that the CDs and DVDs that have been given as part of the course have been very eye-opening and it will be my goal to promote these material in my friends circle so that more people can watch these documentaries and make healthier choices for their lives. Finally, the raw food preparation part of the class was really interesting for me as I had never made recipe search for raw foods before and it was great to see the possibility of the many delicious foods that could be prepared using only raw food. I will definitely work more on this and have my loved ones experience these possibilities with raw.

……………Ayca Gencoglu

Sheryl Stone

This has been the fastest 10 weeks of my life. I found the entire course to be Life-Changing. Each week I left feeling more connected and light-filled. My journey to learn more about raw food and to fully integrate myself into this world has been and continues to be incredible! The speakers were just amazing. The information they shared offered so much support and knowledge. Betsy is an inspiration and a powerful educator with a gift for honoring each individual. I would highly recommend this program and will continue to spread the word. It was an honor and a pleasure to be part of Life Force Energy: The Hippocrates Approach to Optimum Health.