How to live your best life at any age

It’s been a roller-coaster of a week. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just how the week felt to me. Life is like that sometimes. One minute we are up. The next minute we are down. In between there are a few curves, some screams and belly busting laughs. That was my week.

It all led me to a greater revelation about aging and living. Let me tell you how I got there.

If you want to know what’s going on in my life, just look to my prayers. Whatever is on my heart, you can bet I’m praying about it.

This week my heart was heavy for two friends struggling with cancer. I felt frustrated for them. Sad. I know first-hand how a cancer diagnosis changes your life. It’s a startling reminder of how short life can be.

I was reminded again when I realized it was the 2-year anniversary of my Grammy’s death. Monica Nathanson was a special and strong woman.

brooke grammy

I still miss her daily and love her so much. I think of her often and always when I make her favorite recipe for my own family.

But as fast as the tears came, so came the laughs as we celebrated my husband Brett’s mom’s 80th birthday later in the day along with a special guest.

                                 brooke mil birthday3                                          brooke mil birthday2                                    brooke mil birthday

She looks amazing at 80, don’t you think? And get this, her husband is 90! She has always been a big Elvis fan so we surprised her with this little performance!

How wonderful to still want to, and, more importantly, be able to dance at 80 years old!  

Here’s my big revelation. Drumroll please…. It doesn’t matter how old you are, life is about living.  Living in every moment, at every age. I have met so many women lately who are in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, even 90’s who are still living their best life. They follow their purpose. They take care of their body. They embrace the process of getting older with confidence and grace.


Brooke Shaklee ages

As we drove home from the birthday party I kept thinking: God is SO good and life is SO short on this earth. Then I wrote a list of what I believe to be true about living your best life at any age.

Here it is 

  • Live and LOVE with purpose and passion as much as possible!
  • Stand strong for what you believe in. –Surround yourself with those that you can love fully and really be YOU without apologizing.
  • Be silly and laugh as much as possible (especially at yourself)
  • You can always find beauty in a situation if you put yourself in the way of it
  • Always be grateful
  • Always encourage others, never discourage
  • Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea that you used to have for yourself that you can’t “be” anymore
  • Have intention and Be fully “awake” to your life
  • Don’t NOT do things just because they scare you.
  • Jump, take flight and soar… Jump high with hard work intention and heart!
  • AND don’t waste another moment.
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Get rid of negative self-talk once and for all!

We all have THAT THING. THAT THING we think we are NOT.

We’re not a good mom. We’re not a good athlete. We’re not a good whatever. Maybe someone told us we weren’t ‘THAT THING’ at first. But somewhere along the way we started to believe it.

It’s the kind of talk we tell ourselves that slowly eats away at the ‘you’, you could be. It’s negative talk that eats away at who you really are and who you were created to be. It can shatter your confidence and hold you back. We all have insecurities, doubts, and fears. It is what you choose to do with it, that will decide your circumstance.   

For many years, I said I wasn’t a cook. In fact, the kitchen terrified me. It was like a foreign country to me. I didn’t know what to do in there. I didn’t speak its language. I liked the idea of eating healthy but at that time, I really didn’t even know what that meant. I dine out at really great restaurants. I survived on the convenience of prepackaged foods disguised as a healthy choice. But cooking for me meant buying a rotisserie chicken and throwing it on top of a pre-packaged salad or throwing frozen broccoli in a microwave for a side.

I’ve shared my story before but what I haven’t shared is how I began to change my mindset.  Mindset is everything.

See, it’s one thing to know you need to make a change. It’s another to take the steps necessary to make it happen and believe me, it can be overwhelming. When I set my mind on becoming a more authentic me, I quickly realized it would mean establishing some new behaviors.

Make the morning, a good morning:  When you wake up, try telling yourself how the day is going to be different from yesterday. Play it out in your head. It sounds a little cheesy but give yourself a pep talk. I find reading something inspirational, like a book or my bible, gets me in the right frame of mind to face the challenges of the day. The living breathing word of God is my best pep talk. Truthfully, my biggest weapon is prayer. Prayer for me is power. It connects my heart and my head and gets them on the same page about what I should do.  Prayer helps me focus on what I know to be true. It empowers me.


Education is the most powerful weaponwhich you can use to change the world.

Pay attention: Sometimes we don’t even realize how we talk about ourselves. It’s like breathing. It’s just a part of what we do. The quicker you realize when you are talking negatively to yourself, the easier it is to correct it. Consider writing down your ‘truth’ on a piece of paper and keeping it with you. Then, when someone else tries to fill your head with negative thoughts, look at it and remember.

Take Action. All you have to do is take a small step a day toward your goal EVERY DAY and before you know it, you will be where you wanted to go!  For me, change required education first.  For others, it might mean creating a new routine. 

Don’t ignore the positive: I’ll be honest with you, there will be times you will feel anxious, unsure, even defeated but focus on the positive. Life doesn’t have to be perfect so cut yourself a break.  Take a deep breath and have fun! Get silly sometimes. That’s a great way to find the positive. Seriously, you should see the dance parties and silliness that erupt in my kitchen-it’s hysterical and always reminds me what’s really important.

Finally, surround yourself with people who support you! If you are hanging out with people who complain all the time, make you feel bad or stress you out, you are hanging out with the wrong people! Researchers have proven that bad moods are contagious! You need people around you who are able to lift you up, help you out and catch you if you fall.

How we talk to ourselves makes all the difference in getting us where we need and WANT to be. Instead of thinking “I can’t”, I started thinking “Why not?”.  That’s why I love it when I get pictures or emails from people saying how they changed up one of my recipes! How fantastic to feel so brave! It took me years to feel like I could experiment with a recipe. Kudo’s to you Carina Gaynier.

brooke carina









Thank you, Brooke Thomas, for this simple and delicious recipe for dinner. Chicken Burrito Bowl, prepared in the crockpot while I was at work today. Add two additional ingredients and the toppings of your choice. We chose to serve it over organic brown rice. Teenager approved! #healthyeating 


And you Sarah Zieg

brooke sarah zieg     Thank you, Brooke Thomas, for this amazing recipe! House smells yum! I swapped the vegetable broth with chicken broth (that’s what I had in the freezer) and white navy instead of black beans (can’t be too bad right?) These recipes are fantastic! 

And you Lisa Caldanaro Smith

brooke lisa caldanaro smith Love it that I can put a quick healthy soup in the crock pot today!!! It’s yummy! Gluten free, dairy free!! Thank you, Brooke Thomas, for your amazing simple easy 30 crock pot recipe books! Love it!! I hardly ever cook because my husband does all the cooking so I surprised him with dinner in the crock pot!!! I added rice because to the No chicken noodle soup and it’s yummy!!!

 Keep telling yourself you CAN and soon you WILL. I believe it. Do you?


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A Blueprint for Balance

I was rushing from one meeting into another, feeling a little crazed, when I was reminded of a book I’m reading. I decided if the thought was good enough to get me to slow down for 5 minutes..  I needed to stop and take a few minutes to share it with you.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can feel a little off balance at times. I try to make working out and yoga a regular part of my week. I also eat foods that keep me feeling energized. All of those things are great for helping me keep my balance. Still, there are moments in life that can be overwhelming. That is why I find time every morning to read.  It is my time to regroup.

I am usually inspired by books that grow me spiritually. It is in the growth of my relationship to God that most often leads me to success in business and in community.  For me, reading gives me a chance to quiet my mind. It opens up my mind. It sets me on a new direction. It steers my decisions.

Even on vacation, I find time to read. It is a practice I am instilling in my girls.brooke read blog2                             Brooke read blog

This time I’m reading a business book and I am surprised to be just as inspired. It is called ‘Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success’ , by Adam Grant.

Brooke give and take book

The premise is that real success takes more than passion, hard work, talent and luck. It is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Using his own research as Wharton’s youngest tenured professor, Grant highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common.

I was originally drawn to this book because of the title. I guess you could say it was a label buy! But it comes highly recommended as one of the best books of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal. It was also named one of Oprah’s riveting reads, Fortune’s must-read business books, and the Washington Post’s books every leader should read.

One of the many reasons I have chosen to do what I do in business is because I get to help others on a daily basis succeed in life with their health and finances.  Sure, that also helps me. Obviously, the more people I help become healthy and well, the more they buy Shaklee products or my recipe books or hire me to speak to their organization. However, honestly, the success for me is so much deeper. When I can actually see someone transform into the person they always wanted to be or the person they were created to be, it makes me a better and stronger person. I truly believe we were all created for a purpose, but sometimes life knocks us off that path or maybe even people that surround us knock us off that path.

Becoming healthy physically, mentally and financially is one of the most important things we can do so that we can thrive and not just survive. Its a journey I believe in because I’ve lived it.  I struggled for years to feel good enough. I fought health issues. I searched for real meaning. I know firsthand that we need to thrive and truly feel our best so that we can make that impact we were meant to make. WE can become a person of purpose and leave a legacy to our children and this planet. 

There were two quotes in this book that I LOVE and I truly try to live by:  The first one is from Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor.

“ some people, when they do someone a favor,


What a different world we would live in if everyone believed in that idea! I think of myself as a giver. I LOVE more than anything to gift gifts to the ones around me. Gifts of service, love and even tangible gifts. However, when I learned that the way to truly be an authentic gift giver is to give without ever expecting anything in return my life got richer and more blessed on so many levels. If you truly give from your heart, free of expectations, you will never get sidelined by feelings of resentment, anger or disappointment. It is a blessing given and a blessing returned just by that one small act. Grudges hold no place in a productive life. Sometimes it us we who have to learn from the giving.

The other quote from the book which has helped give my life real balance is from a German writer named Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

“When we treat man as he is, we make him

I believe you are only as successful in business as the people that you surround yourself with and the way you treat people. By treating others in a way that recognizes their full potential you allow for them to see themselves in a new light. Often, people don’t believe in themselves. They just need someone else to believe in them to help them get to the next level of success. I can think of those people throughout my life who’s sheer belief in me carried me over an obstacle or helped me through a time of doubt. Think about how a teachers belief in a child can change that students life. We can do that for each other on so many levels.

That belief. That simple recognition of potential often creates a change, a shift in them that allows for a success they may not have otherwise experienced. You’ve heard the ‘kill them with kindness’ philosophy. Even when you are kind and loving to a grumpy person or someone that is not that nice.. most of the time, that kindness will shift something in their heart.

So if you are feeling a little out of balance, my friends, read something that will inspire or enlighten you. Find a quiet spot. Relax. Let the shift begin in your own heart today.

If you have been inspired by this blog or feel the same, contact me about partnering on my team. I am always looking for ‘like minded’ positive people that are wanting to add purpose to their life.  You can find me at [email protected]


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The Why that Makes you Cry: Finding your Purpose

brooke and matt2The other day I was giving a presentation and I started to cry. That wasn’t in the script. It just happened. I was talking about my brother Dr. Matthew McAlees and the difference he made in my life when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma ten years ago. His guidance set me on a path to where I am today… working to empower others to making healthy, healing changes in their lives. All these years later, that diagnosis is still the ‘why that makes me cry.’ I talk about the ‘why’ a lot when I speak to groups. I think it is critical to being able to make the changes in your life you really want but also to maintain them. We all have a ‘why’ that goes deeper than we sometimes want to look. Let me explain what I mean. If you want to eat better so that you can fit in a dress for your school reunion, chances are you will eventually gain that weight back. If you are dreading buying a swimsuit so you think now is a good time to act, chances are you will go back to your old habits summer is over. Dig a little deeper. The ‘why that makes you cry’ is what will sustain you when things get hard. It will keep you going, making an old boyfriend jealous won’t. And trust me, changing old habits is hard.

Reading labels, buying different things, learning what is toxic to your body… it’s a lot to take in. If you don’t know your ‘why’, stop for a minute and think about it. Really think about it. Beyond the dress size, what do you want from this life? Why do you want to make healthier changes? Here is what I know for sure. We all have a purpose. We are all capable of making an impact in this life. Sometimes our purpose screams out to us in a moment of darkness, amidst turmoil or chaos.. like it did for me. Other times it sits quietly waiting for you to be ready to hear it in the silence of your heart. But it is always there. You just have to be open to following it. When you are living your life with a purpose, it is much easier to shut out the negative noise that can cause you to stop making an impact that you were potentially created for. If you can step out of your comfort zone, face your fears and allow your purpose to become your guide, you can stand boldly and confidentially in all your decisions. Imagine how much less stress you would have if you filtered every decision through the lens of your purpose!

[Read more…]

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giftWouldn’t it be nice if Christmas arrived, ready to go, in pretty package all tied with a bow?
Instead, it shows up, bursting at the seams, leaving us to make sense, of what it all means.
There’s shopping, and cooking, pick up the kids too! You’re bound to forget something then what will you do?



You walk into a store and walk out forgetting three things you meant to grab because you got sidetracked by your child asking 15 questions that just had to be answered RIGHT NOW! You need to pick out what you’ll be making for your family holiday dinner but you can’t focus on the recipes in front of you cause your brain chooses that exact moment to remind you that you never sent off the stack of Christmas cards.


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A No Stress Holiday Season? Yes, Please!

And so it begins…. Halloween kicks off the mad dash to the end of the year. Think it’s all in your head? Nope. According to the American Psychological Association 38 percent of people say their stress increases this time of year, and more than 50 percent say they experience irritability and fatigue as well. So let’s get a grip on the craziness this year. Here are four ways to keep stress to a minimum this holiday season. [Read more…]

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Restore Your Mind and Body

After the holidays, we all get on a kick to get healthy, but many of us fall off the wagon. 92% of all New Years Resolutions fail, but that may be because we are not setting intentions for our health goals.  We all want to be healthy, but are you truly defining the real reason(s) that you want to get healthy?

Here are some tips that I want you to think about when setting your health goals:

1.) Know your purpose.  Why do you want to get healthy?  Do you have kids, or are you trying to have kids?  Do you want to see them walk the stairs at graduation and to see their children grow?  Or, do you just want to walk around the grocery store without your joints hurting?  Have a reason for why you want to get healthy.  I always say have a “Why That Makes You Cry.” [Read more…]

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10 Stress Busting Foods


It’s really tempting to turn to typical comfort foods during times of stress, but those comfort foods will do just the opposite of helping you fight stress. Heavy, fatty foods will drag you down and leave you feeling tired. The foods below are my top 10 foods to  keep you on a healthy journey and will help you beat stress! Remember that during stressful times, real whole foods and exercise are always a quick way to reduce stress. [Read more…]

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Stress & Inflammation

We all get stressed out, right? Stress is natural. It’s our body’s reaction to any change in your environment, your body, or your thoughts that requires an adjustment or response. Our body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional response. Believe it or not, stress CAN be positive when it keeps us alert. However, when a person continues to face challenges without any relief or relaxation, the stress becomes negative. Did you know that stress can actually cause inflammation in our body? I often talk about foods that cause inflammation and trying to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, but stressful circumstances could be a cause as well. Negative stress and inflammation can lead to a number of symptoms including chronic diseases, weight gain, headaches, increased blood pressure, chest pain, upset stomach, and sleeping disorders.

A study out of Ohio University found that dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body. During the study, participants were asked to meditate on a stressful event and while doing so, their levels of C-reactive protein rose. C-reactive protein is a marker of tissue inflammation and primarily produced by the liver as part of the immune system’s initial inflammatory response. It is commonly used as a clinical marker to determine if a patient has an infection because it rises in response to traumas, injuries or infections in the body.

We are bound to be exposed to stress, but we are able to try different ways to manage it. Personally, I constantly stay in a very busy pace that often leads to stress. I try not to allow that stress to creep up and take over, but when it does, I can feel it all over my body.  Below are some tips to help you manage stress.

*Exercise regularly. Your body is able to fight stress (and everything else) when it is in good shape. Yoga is my favorite exercise to beat stress. One hour of yoga allows me to use my body to focus.

*Go outside. Take a walk, go for a hike, go fishing, or take your kids to the park. Nature is calming and fresh air will help you clear your mind.

*Read a book that allows you to grow and find peace.

*Accept that there are events and situations that you cannot control.

*Manage your time. Being in a rush will stress anyone out, so set your watch a few minutes ahead of time. Use a calendar or planner to plan out your days.

*Get enough sleep.  Make sure your sleep environment is working for you and turn off the tv, computer, and telephone to avoid distractions.

*Eat healthy and nutritious meals. Avoid heavy, fatty, and fried foods that weigh you down.

*Learn to say “No!” when you’ve already got enough on your plate at work or home.

*Take a break and do something that you enjoy.

*Talk to your friends and family about what is bothering you. Just get it out! They’re there to support you.

*Limit your alcohol use.



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Kids Who Move…Make Better Grades!

It’s a disappointing reality in America that the next generation is suffering from lack of movement and processed foods. The CDC gives the following statistics regarding children and obesity.

• Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

• The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period. [Read more…]

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Avoid Anxiety in 2012

What are your resolutions this year? Is it to lose weight, to get fit, to be healthy, to live life to your fullest? For some of us it’s to live a less anxious lifestyle. Anxiety can cause havoc on your immune system, nervous system, and even your digestive system. We each handle stress differently, but anxiety attacks are a common occurrence in our country’s way of life.


An anxiety “attack” is an indication that we’re depleting the essential fatty acids and other resources needed for brain hormone production, often because of immediate need for other hormone production in some system of the body — such as during excessive stress, during a woman’s monthly cycle, during pregnancy and childbirth, through adrenal exhaustion, etc.

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all made out of protein, cholesterol, and essential fatty acids. The brain hormones that give you a sense of happiness and well-being are also made of protein, cholesterol, and essential fatty acids.  So, if you deplete your essential fatty acids making higher levels of reproductive hormones leading up to your period, for instance, you don’t have enough left over to also produce the brain hormones — resulting in feelings of anxiety, mood swings, and general brain fog.

It is important to have an abundant supply of these raw materials in order to produce both the reproductive hormones and the brain hormones. Most people make enough cholesterol, but getting complete protein and the essential fatty acids from what you eat is vital.


Here is a suggested program that will increase hormones through raw materials

First, plenty of Protein (I prefer either Energizing Soy or Cinch)
Second, plenty essential fatty acids. Specifically, the following regimen:

  • 3 Lecithin,(derived from soybeans, supports brain, liver, cardiovascular, and reproductive health)
  • 2 OmegaGuard (omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 1 GLA (omega-6 fatty acids)
  • three times a day
Follow this program for at least one to two complete monthly cycles to build up depleted resources. After that, it may only be necessary to do the 3-2-1 regimen once per day. If anxiety “attacks” only occur during certain times of the month or certain times of stress, think ahead and increase the number of times you do the regimen right before you anticipate the need for increased resources.

When choosing your supplements, look for only whole food supplements that have been processed as purely as possible. Personally, we choose Shaklee, linked above.

Other Recommendations for Handling Anxiety:


Anxiety attacks may also be triggered by exposure to toxins in various household or commercial cleaning products, including something as simple as the laundry detergent you use!

Think of the toxins in your home. From the kitchen, to the bathrooms, to the laundry room, and the garage; we can be surrounded by toxins.  This is why my family only cleans with Get Clean products. They cover every area of your home. I know they are safe for me and good for our environment. And they WORK!!

Trusted by the White House and on Oprah’s Favorite’s List!


When we put artificial flavorings, sweeteners, preservatives, chemicals, pesticides into our system, we alter the proper balance our body needs to heal and deal with life’s stressful moments. Sweeteners are on the top of that list.

It is well documented that Aspartame/NutraSweet, which is a neuro-excitotoxin, can trigger anxiety and even depression in many.  While supplying the brain with an abundance of the right amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids may greatly reduce a person’s anxiety response to environmental and dietary toxins, it would be highly beneficial to eliminate these from your diet, and see the difference!


Our kids deal with anxiety as well. The natural inclination for the general public is to run to a drug to help our kids deal with certain ailments. In 2010, it was said that over 25% of children are on some medication. I believe that number is even higher today. Having our kids addicted to drugs is not teaching them to seek out healthy options in the future or to be preventative in their mindset.

Consider this: Follow the plan to rid your home of toxins and your pantry of artificial non-foods first. Then, try the following supplement plan for your child.

  • a Protein or Meal shake every morning for breakfast.
  • a regimen of 3 Lecithin, 2 Omega, and 1 GLA per day. (This will also help ease a young girl’s passage into puberty and the beginning of her monthly cycle.)
  • a good multivitamin and Vitamin B

For the supplements listed above, we chose Shaklee. Read here why my family chooses Shaklee over other supplement companies. But as mentioned before, if you choose to get them from your health store, make sure they are a whole food product and safe and effective and you have the clinical research and testing to back it up.

If you’re interested in further education about how many drugs are prescribed each year to our children, watch this documentary GenerationRX. Share it with your friends and let’s work together to give these kids a healthy option for living and a bright future!

Contact me if you’d like a further consultation regarding this issue or your own health journey. Make 2012 a new year for you physically and emotionally!

Disclaimer: The above is NOT a prescription, and should not be treated as such.  This is simply a testimony of an individual who had a positive experience with the product(s) listed.  These are personal testimonies and are not endorsed by Shaklee Corporation.


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10 Tips to Shedding Pounds

Did you know that at least 2/3 of all American adults are now overweight or obese?

In fact, CDC statistics revealed that in the U.S. the number of obese people actually outnumber the amount of merely overweight people. And in 2011, one in three children are now overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate from 1963.  Unfortunately, US has predominantly become a nation of obese citizens.

And it seems that anytime someone voices concerns about the high sugar, highly processed, non-food trend in the US that voice is silenced by a greater one speaking lies into our society.   There are billions of dollars spent in marketing these non-foods each year. All in the name of freedom of choice. But do people really have a freedom of choice when the hidden ingredients are causing long term and detrimental health problems?

Well, instead of focusing on some things we can’t control, let’s look at some points on the issue we CAN FIX!! [Read more…]

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Best Athletes Choose Shaklee

Here at 360YourLife, we have come to the conclusion that one company outshines all others for those of us in the FITNESS world! We wanted to share with you some stories and some highlights of how so many Olympic medalists and award winning athletes have chosen SHAKLEE!

Shaklee Corporation has pioneered the practice of studying the diets of elite athletes and testing products to help make landmark expeditions and record-breaking achievements possible. This research has translated into dietary recommendations and high performance nutritional products for elite athletes and explorers as well as recreational athletes.Shaklee powered athletes have taken home31 Olympic Medals including 17 Gold Medals. [Read more…]

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BURSTClub™ What is it?

What is all the “hype” around BURST fitness training and WHAT the heck is it?

There seems to be a new “hype” around a different way of exercising. Most of us believe that a workout isn’t sufficient unless we spend at least 30-60 minutes doing cardio/weightraining at least 5 days a week. And, yet there still seems to be a huge lack of improvement on our bodies or a plateau that we hit and the frustration quickly sets in! At least that is how my husband and I felt until we found this exciting new way to work out! [Read more…]

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