A Natural Alternative to Bleach for just 2 Cents

I don’t know anyone who actually likes cleaning with chlorine bleach. It stinks. It hurts your throat and your eyes when you breathe it in. And it’s the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings. Yet people still buy toilet cleaners, sprays, disinfectants and wipes that contain bleach.

There’s no doubting that chlorine bleach works and maybe that’s why some people don’t want to try anything else.  But consider this: when chlorine bleach mixes with ammonia, it creates a deadly gas. Urine contains ammonia so when you use bleach products in the toilet it increases the risk of creating a toxic gas that can actually stop lung function. Do you really need another image?

There are several great bleach alternatives out there today.

If you don’t want to make your own, I recommend Shaklee Basic G Concentrate. brooke shaklee basic g

It is a great disinfectant and you don’t have to worry that it will cause respiratory problems. It is an EPA registered germicide. Plus, it’s gentle on the earth. Can you imagine what the corrosive properties of bleach do to the environment when you flush it down the toilet in other cleaners? Here’s the best part, it costs less than 2 cents per bottle. One quart of Basic G Concentrate makes over 500 12 ounce bottles of antibacterial cleaner like Lysol and Clorox.

Now if you want to make your own here are two formulas


1/3 cup juice of one lemon                                                                   

½ cup baking soda

2 ½ cups water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Add straight to your wash, presoak, or pretreat stains. 



1 ½ cup hydrogen peroxide                                                                                        

½ cup white vinegar

Distilled water

Juice of one lemon or 10 drops of lemon essential oil

Pour hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and essential oils in a 1 gallon jug. Add water to fill.  Seal tightly and turn upside down once to mix.

My Healthy Lifestyle Guide has all kinds of DIY recipes like air freshener and dishwashing detergent along with other information you need to make the healthiest choices for your home.

 brooke health lifestyle guide cover


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How your Home may be Giving you Asthma, or Worse, Cancer!

Ever been minding your own business and out of nowhere you bump your funny bone? Hard to forget right? It totally startles you. The numbing feeling overtakes you for a second. That’s what it was like when I was told “You have cancer.” I thought, “5 seconds ago I was fine and now, what?” If you’ve never heard those words, count your blessings. One thing my cancer diagnosis has taught me is that it’s crazy to take chances with our health. Of course, we can’t control everything but there are smarter choices we can make to reduce any risk.

Take your home, for example. Lift your eyes from this blog for just a minute and look around. It’s what you won’t see that could be harming you and your family. From cleaning products, to damp basements, and even the furniture, our homes can be a serious threat to our respiratory health. According to the EPA, indoor air can be more seriously polluted than outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.

Some of the biggest offenders with the greatest danger are formaldehyde, mold, second hand smoke and radon. At first glance those may sound like remote threats until you learn where you find them.

Take Formaldehyde. It’s such a common chemical I don’t know where to start. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that is known to cause cancer with prolonged exposure. Formaldehyde irritates the airways. People with asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing conditions are especially sensitive to it.

Formaldehyde can be found in pressed wood products and building supplies, hair care products like smoothing agents, plastic grocery bags, nail polish, cigarette smoke, and cleaning products and glues.  See what I mean? Higher formaldehyde levels are usually found in newer homes or homes with new construction. The levels decrease over time.  WHAT CAN YOU DO? One thing you can do is buy real wood furniture when possible.  Choosing natural cleaners is another way to limit your exposure. It also helps to open up the windows of your home from time to time and let in some fresh air. Keep the indoor temperature low in your house.  Formaldehyde emissions increase as temperature and humidity increase.

Mold is one of the most serious threats to respiratory health. Indoor air quality can cause infections, provoke allergic symptoms or trigger asthma attacks. Asthma is now the sixth ranking chronic condition in our nation and the leading serious chronic illness of children in the U.S. In addition, there are an estimated 40 million people in the United States who are affected by allergies like pet dander and pollen.    

WHAT CAN YOU DO? It is critical to control moisture that promotes mold growth. You might want to consider a dehumidifier. Fix water leaks right away to help keep mold from forming. Uncut grass and piles of damp leaves are prime places for mold. If you need to mow the lawn, or work in the garden, wear a dust mask. Take a shower when you come back in to wash away any mold spores that hitched a ride back into the house on your skin and hair.

Radon is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that escapes from various water sources. It is especially possible if you get your water from a well. It can also get in your home through cracks in the foundation floor and pipes. At normal levels it’s not a problem. At high levels it is a serious health hazard. The problem is you won’t know you are inhaling it because it produces no immediate symptoms. Inhalation of radon is linked to lung cancer, and the CPSC estimates that it causes between 7,000 and 30,000 lung cancer deaths every year. It is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States!

WHAT CAN YOU DO? The only way to be sure the levels in your home are ok are to test for it. You can either buy a test kit to check your home yourself or hire a certified radon testing professional.

Secondhand Smoke contains some 200 known poisons, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and at least 60 chemicals known to cause cancer. It causes an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths in non smokers every year and up to 50,000 heart disease deaths. In children, especially infants, it is responsible for pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections and ear infections. It causes asthma to develop, causes asthma attacks, and makes attacks worse.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? There is only one way to control this one. Do not allow smoking in your house!

Having a healthy home is one of the four components to true health along with nutrition, beauty and stress. There is more you can do! From the dangers in dishwashing detergent to how to freshen the air in your home without traditional air fresheners to natural alternatives to bleach, my Healthy Lifestyle Guide  offers practical ways to safeguard your home. You do everything you can to protect your family outside of the home. Doesn’t it make sense to do what you can to protect them where they should feel the safest?



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The One Thing to Take OUT of Your Child’s Backpack

And so it begins… a new year full of anticipation, nerves, friends and teachers. School has started!

My girls couldn’t wait to get back this year.      brooke girls first day of school

Of course we joined thousands of other families in the annual tradition of  back to school shopping. There is something so magical about opening a brand new notebook! It’s the anticipation of all the possibility that will fill those pages.  A new folder is hope that maybe this year your child will stay organized. And then there is the quest for the perfect backpack. It has to have function and personality.

Unfortunately, there is more to consider than just color and style. Some back to school items actually contain toxic chemicals. Now I don’t want to freak you out or make you panic but I do want to make sure I am giving you all the information you need so you can weigh the risk yourself and make informed decisions for your own family.

I am always looking at ways to make better choices for my kids and the back to school process is no exception.

[Read more…]

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Is your Kitchen Making you Sick? 5 Places Toxins Could be Hiding

There was a time the thought of spending time in the kitchen was almost laughable to me. I had no idea how to cook. In fact, the thought of even trying it terrified me. Then I had kids. And like everything else in my life, that changed everything.

brooke and girls b&w

These days I love spending time in my kitchen. I still remember the accomplishment I felt when I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I actually cried. That was the day I came up with my 3 ingredient whipped cream/Icing .  Then there was the time I felt brave enough to try making game hens in honor of my Grandmother who had recently died. That was one of her go-to meals when she wanted something special. I feel connected to her every time I make them

brooke grammy

I talk so much about the importance of the food we eat, how it can heal and how it can build health in our bodies, but my purpose today has nothing to do with the food. 

What if the very room in which so much of our daily life revolves, the room where we  gather with our family, was making you sick?  Years ago, when I began I focus on what total health really meant, I realized food isn’t the only important thing in our kitchen.

Here are 5 ways to create a toxin-free kitchen.

Avoid non-stick coatings on cookware and bakeware:

I know. Non-stick cookware sounds like a good idea. As easy as it may be to clean though, it comes at a cost to your health.  Some non-stick cookware can expose you to PFC’s which can lead to thyroid disease, reproductive problems and kidney damage. PFC stands for perfluorinated compounds. Basically it is a family of fluorine-containing chemicals that are found in stain- and stick-resistant products. Stainless steel, porcelain coated and cast iron are a better option. Switch to eco-friendly baking products like parchment paper.

Get rid of plastic bowls, containers, utensils, measuring cups:

By now you have probably heard of Bisephonal A or BPA. It is a component of many plastic products that has been linked to prostate cancer, miscarriage, diabetes, heart disease and early onset of puberty. Here’s what you may not know. BPA leaches out of products whether or not the product has been altered.  Hot water, the microwave, and sun exposure all cause BPA to leach 55 times faster. Ever used a plastic spoon and noticed it had actually melted when you were cooking? Imagine the toxins you just added to your otherwise healthy dinner. Stainless steel and bamboo are better options for utensils, bowls and measuring cups. Both materials are durable, easy to clean and toxin free. For your leftovers or other food storage I recommend glass containers. 


Check your dinnerware:

Some glazed dishware can contain lead. That’s not a side dish you want to ingest! Antique dishware made before 1970 or terra cotta pottery are most likely to contain trace amounts. While you are checking your dinnerware take a good look at your crockpot. Some older models may contain lead. Here are few newer models I recommend.

Find better cleaning solutions:

Many kitchen cleaners have warnings like ‘fatal if inhaled’ or ‘fatal if swallowed’ on the label. That should be a giant red flag to ditch it!  Some of the worst offenders are products that contain chlorine or ammonia. Don’t even think about mixing the two. Chlorine and ammonia together create chloramine, a toxic gas that was used as a weapon during World War I. Do you want that in your house? 

Here is something else to consider. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that chlorine byproducts (known as dioxins) are 300,000 more times as carcinogenic as the chemical pesticide DDT. How scary is that?

I highly recommend Shaklee Basic H Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate. One 28oz bottle of concentrate  makes 214, 28oz bottles of ready-to-use all-purpose cleaner  and equates to $.05 per bottle.

brooke shaklee cleanerAccording to the Environmental Working Group, some 53 percent of cleaning products contain ingredients known to harm the lungs.  About 22 percent contain chemicals reported to cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy individuals. Check out their site for a list of ingredients you should be avoiding. 

If you want to make your own there are a lot of options. I use a recipe from my Healthy Lifestyle Guide.

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of one lemon

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle.  Please note that vinegar is not safe on granite.

Stop using Air Freshener

The kitchen can have just as many bad smells as good ones! But don’t get rid of that garlic smell or mask the dinner you burned by using air freshener. Many air fresheners contain Formaldehyde, one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution. It causes all sorts of problems from asthma to cancer. Instead, burn a soy candle. If you use a paraffin candle you are actually breathing in petroleum by-products. Natural beeswax or soy candles come in lots of scents to choose from.

brooke soy candle

You can also boil a little water with cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger and your kitchen will smell better fast! Even better, open the windows! Did you know, the air inside our homes is often more polluted than the air outside?

The old saying is true.  The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to talk about their day. It’s where kids often do homework. It’s where I make dinner that I hope fuels my families health.

You give so much thought to the ingredients you use in your food that you deserve to look around the rest of your kitchen and make sure it’s as healthy as it can be so you don’t sabotage all the good you are doing.

I encourage you to start today.

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12 Brands for Healthy Living  


Making changes is hard. Even when you know it’s the right thing, it can be scary to veer from what you know. A friend of mine recently got offered a new job. She had been unhappy in her current position so it seemed to make sense she would jump at this new chance. But the fear of change made it difficult for her. Old habits die hard, as they say. The same is true whether you are trying to end a bad relationship or change your eating habits.

Since this isn’t a relationship blog I’m going to leave that one for someone else. But I do understand that changing how you eat can be just as difficult for some people.

 The good news is that eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to make everything from scratch. Pre-packaged food is often associated with bad fats, sugars and all those additives and preservatives. The good news is that there are companies that take your health seriously and offer solid options with the convenience of pre-packaged food. 

One of the biggest obstacles I’ve found in talking to people is that they don’t know what to buy. Most people tend to buy what they know. They buy the brands they grew up with. Maybe they are afraid to spend money trying a new item in case they don’t like it. I totally get it!

Whatever the reason, I get asked a lot about brands that I trust. Consider me your own personal researcher. I’ve tried dozens of brands over the years as I searched for the right balance between health, convenience, cost and taste.

Here are a few brands I am proud to tell others about. They really want people to taste how good healthy can be and have generously donated 100’s of samples for me to share with others in my corporate presentations.  I am happy to say I never accept donations that I haven’t tried and that I wouldn’t fully endorse.

[Read more…]

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Grow Your Own Pharmacy

I am not a fancy cook. I like to keep it simple and easy. But there’s something about adding a few fresh herbs to a dish that makes me feel like a real chef! Toss in a little basil here. Sprinkle on some rosemary there. Throw some mint into a smoothie or chop up thyme for a soup. See, just like that, I feel fancy!

Herbs are the perfect solution for anyone trying to reduce the consumption of sugar and salt in their diet. No one wants to eat bland food. While dried herbs work fine, fresh is best!

Herbs start to lose their nutrient value the minute they are harvested. That means the herbs you buy at the store, well, they aren’t nearly as good for you as the ones you grow in your backyard. Weeks can pass between the time herbs are harvested then packed, shipped, distributed and put on display. Think of what that does to the flavor and the nutrients.

You don’t have to have a big backyard or even a green thumb to grow your own herbs. All you need is a little sun and a few pots and Bam! You are a gardener! Herbs you grow yourself taste better, are better for you and there’s no chance they are covered with chemicals that can be used on herbs grown commercially.

 What’s that old saying? Variety is the spice of life! And herbs help make it a healthier life. So this spring/summer why not grow your own pharmacy?

 brooke parsley

  [Read more…]

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Healthy Ways to Show your Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner everyone has love on the brain.  I love making holidays fun so I was trying to think of special ways to show my family I love them.  

 The truth is, us moms show our love in special ways all the time. Maybe not in ways that will end up on Pinterest or in a Facebook status but in the daily routine of a regular life.

Love doesn’t always look like the fairy tale we imagine.  It’s not always shiny and sparkly like the Valentine’s cards at the store but it’s every bit as beautiful.

I am often reminded of love in times that catch me off guard, like while my 7-year old is home sick with the flu. Even though the lack of sleep has been tough on me and I feel like a less-than-average waitress covered in snot … I am so grateful to have a daughter to take care of.

I was also reminded of deep love a couple of weeks ago when our 12 year old dog, Diesel died. The pain in my family’s heart was so strong, it could only be real love.

Love comes in the little moments when I choose to listen to my 10-year old talk about things only important to a 10 year old. In my patience, I find those things become important to me too. Or when I choose not to complain when my husband has to leave town for business. In my support, I find I am proud of his hard work.

Still, when you can shout out the love in a big, bold way.. I say go for it!

 I came up with a list of fun Valentine surprises for the whole day and thought I would share it with you. Maybe you’ll find an idea or two, even a recipe you’d like to use on your own family. (And if you are needing a little extra love, I’ve included 25 passages that will lift your spirit!)

[Read more…]

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Go Back to Basics to Move Forward in Health

There was a time when dinner was whatever you got out of the garden that day. Takeout wasn’t an option. While most of us wouldn’t want to go back to washing our clothes and hanging them out to dry… there is something to be said about going back to the basics. New isn’t always better. The newest diet trend, the newest break-through beauty treatment to keep us looking young, the newest workout plan… if any of it worked, everyone would be at the weight they wanted and wrinkle free. Instead people are tired, overweight and still hoping for something new to fix it all.

Well, don’t hold your breath. There is no ‘New’ thing thats going to be the solution. If you want to feel better and be thinner, if you want less stress and a healthy glow, then go back to the basics.

This year, make that your theme in four areas of your life: nutrition, home, beauty and stress.

From what you should stop eating today to natural beauty solutions and a safe way to clean… watch this video for a few practical ways you can go Back to Basics for a healthier you!





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Crock Pot Convert

I feel a little like Benjamin Franklin. I’ve made a discovery I want to share with the world! OK it may not be as life changing as electricity, but for this busy working mom it’s nearly as good.  I have discovered a new weapon in the fight to eat healthy… the time-saving power of the crock pot!

Maybe you aren’t new to cooking with a crock pot but I grew up in South Florida and we didn’t even own one! I have friends who had them but it seemed to be the type of kitchen appliance you used to make things like bacon double cheese dip, or creamy chicken casserole. Whatever it was, it wasn’t healthy.

But here’s what I’ve discovered. The crockpot CAN be used to make nourishing delicious meals! In the last year I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen to find ways to translate healthy dishes into crockpot worthy recipes. I’ve put 30 of the recipes together in my new cookbook The Thankful 30 Crockpot Edition.

thankful crockpot

I’ve also come to realize not all crock pots are created equal. If you are going to become a crock pot convert you need to make sure you have the right equipment. Here are a few crock pots that really get the job done and make the whole process easier (now if I could just find one that cuts up veggies for me!)

[Read more…]

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10 Gift Ideas that Inspire Healthy Living


 healthy for gift blog

Tis the season to be jolly.. fa la la la la.. well, you know the rest! Let’s just say I love Christmas! I especially love finding just the right gift to make others feel loved and appreciated. And nothing says that more than giving someone a gift to help them live healthy and love life!  I’ve put together a list to make it easy for you.



thankful crockpotThe Thankful 30 Crock Pot Edition

Dinner time shouldn’t be stressful! My newest cookbook can help even the busiest modern woman feed her family nourishing meals without having to spend hours in the kitchen. You may not think crock pot cooking can be healthy but these recipes are! The book covers everything from breakfast, soups, and main dishes to yes, even treats! Just try this crowd pleasing breakfast crock-tata!  It’s one of 30 delicious recipes. $14.99. You can get it at my online store.


3 in 16-Quart Cuisinart MSC-600 Cook Central 3-in-1

Why not add this to the cookbook?! It is fully programmable and even switches to a warming setting after its done cooking. Plus here’s the best part! You can brown or saute meat or vegetable right in the unit itself then just flip to the slow cook setting! That’s one less pan to clean for those recipes that require browning first! $159


herbsReady to Grow Herb Kit

Fresh herbs make all the difference in healthy cooking! There is something empowering about growing your own herbs and this kit shows you don’t need a lot of space to do it! All the soil and seeds to grow sweet basi, coriander/cilantro, oregano, parsley and thyme are included in the 5 chamber pot. $34.95


kombuchaFlavored Kombucha Brooklyn Kit

One of my favorite drinks is Kombucha! I’m hooked on the ancient fermented tea. If you know someone like me, this Kombucha starter kit can help them make their own! It includes enough for three batches of mango flavored. $70


Having a high powered mixing appliance in the kitchen is a must for anyone trying to eat healthy! The easier the preparation, the more likely a person is to whip up a smoothie, or soup instead of eating out. The NutriBullet can open seeds, break down tough stems and shred and grind. $89.99 

bbc logo newBurn Boot Camp

It is my go to way to stay in shape! If you know someone who is struggling to find the support they need to get fit, this membership could make a big difference for them! The workouts are fun and a great way to relieve stress! 


yoga cookiesYogi cookie cutters from Yummi Yogi

The collection includes 5 cutters: one of each yoga pose. Cutters are approximately 5″x 5″and are stainless steel. To really make the gift standout, give them with some homemade gingerbread cookies. $40.00 / Collection


prepara misterPrepara Tabletop Oil Mister  

If you aren’t careful, its easy to go overboard with fattening cooking oils. The oil mister sprays a thin, even coating. Make your own flavored oils to jazz up salads and veggies just by adding some dried herbs. $20 

milk nut bag Milk Nut Bag 

Sometimes making healthy choices is as simple as having the right equipment. Whether you are a smoothie maker or dairy intolerant this bag makes the whole process easier with less mess. Click this video to see just how easy it is.  $3 


tenota Tea Notes

It’s tea with a message! What a lovely way to reach out to someone even when you aren’t there with special message from you! Go to Tenota, pick a tea (there are tons to choose from!) and write out messages for each bag. 


And there you have it! 10 fun gifts that inspire healthy living!

Happy Holidays!


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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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How to Conquer Hydration

Staying hydrated is so important.  Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you can get dehydrated.  It can effect anyone from an infant to the elderly. 

When I had cancer 10 years ago, I had to take a hard look at the alkalinity in my body.  Since cancer thrives in an acidic body, I had to make sure that I was keeping my body as alkaline as possible.  When I was diagnosed, my body was very acidic. Cancer and sickness thrives in an acidic body, so I started to quickly change my diet and drink choices to make sure they were helping my body’s pH to stay in balance and to help by body stay slightly more alkaline than acidic. 

Most of us know that vomiting, fever, sweating and excessive urination are major causes of dehydration.  But, what you may not be aware of is there are certain foods and drinks that can cause severe dehydration as well.  [Read more…]

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What Cancer Taught Me: 10 years Later, 8 Rules To Live By For Total Health

Brooke on couch with tea 4-23-2014 11-58-35 PM

It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I’m talking the kind of moment that drops you to your knees.

I was 26 years old and 4 weeks pregnant and I was told I had stage 3 Melanoma. Doctors feared it could be spreading hard and fast.  

I had two choices. I could start chemo and lose the baby or undergo surgery to cut the cancer out. But because I was pregnant, anesthetic wasn’t an option.  I’ll spare you the details of having surgery using only topical lidocaine for pain.  I ended up with 50 stitches and a scar that to this day changes the way I look at life. When I took a chance on surgery vs. chemo, I had no idea if I was picking the right path for my health, but I knew I was choosing the right path for my family. [Read more…]

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Curious About Alkaline Water?

Maintaining your body’s pH balance is extremely important to your health.  When your pH is balanced at a normal healthy level, your body is slightly more alkaline instead of acidic.  Our standard American diets are packed with acidic foods (fast, fried and fake).  Plus, we are more stressed and exposed to more environmental toxins than ever, and this can make balancing our pH levels difficult. 

Are you confused by what acidity means?  The difference between acidity and alkalinity may be a bit confusing, so here is a chart to help you see the differences.  

alkaline-acidity-food-chartIf you really start to pay attention, for the most part, the unhealthy foods are the most acidic to consume.  Did you know that soda is one of the most acidic substances you can put into your body?  This acidic condition creates an ideal environment for sickness to thrive.  When we are acidic, our bodies will borrow minerals from our bones, teeth and organs to try to neutralize the acidity.  High acid levels can cause multiple problems like diarrhea, osteoporosis, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, and compromised immune systems and cell health.  [Read more…]

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Why Supplement?

America: Undernourished and Overfed

The Standard American Diet (ironically called the S.A.D. DIET) is a major contributing factor to many of the health problems that Americans are facing today.  Shockingly, America ranks 37th in longevity behind countries such as Cuba, Chile, Costa Rica, and Greece although we spend more than twice the amount of money on medical technology and pharmaceutical innovations as compared to other developed nations.  Additionally, fast food sales have increased almost 2000% over the past 30 years, which is also an indicator of the lack of nutrients in the majority of the convenience foods that Americans eat on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, our super busy lifestyles are driving us to make poor food choices that are having a dramatic negative effect on our overall health.  We also are bombarded with products that are marketed as “healthy” foods that are actually filled with sugar, fat, dyes and artificial ingredients.  I love the famous quote by Hippocrates who said “let thy food be thy medicine.”  If he lived in America today, his quote would be laughable!

Our Food is Not Our Grandparent’s Food

Fruits and vegetables are increasingly lower in certain nutrients that make them beneficial to our health. An unfortunate drop in mineral content translates that the apples of today are nowhere near as good for us as the apples our grandparents ate 50 years ago.  Our bodies thrive off of the nutrients from our food.  Our bodies were also designed to heal themselves by using those same nutrients; however, the reality is that 90% of Americans do not get essential nutrients from their diet. While this deficiency is largely due to our fast food lifestyles, even those individuals that aim to fuel their bodies with the proper food choices are still falling short because the nutritional value of our food is not what it used to be. Over the past 50 years, the nutrient content of our food has shown a markedly steady decline. The chart below shows the results of a 2004 study of 43 crops between the years 1950 and 1999. As illustrated below, the nutrient content of the crops studied decreased as much as -37%!

[Read more…]

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Why is Diamond Creek Alkaline Water Superior?

Diamond Creek water bottleWhen I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26 and pregnant with my first child, my world completely shifted.  I knew I had to make some major changes in my nutrition to help build a healthier body and to help fight the cancer from returning in my body.  So, I created my Grateful 8 Rules For Wellness, a list of things that I knew would have a positive effect on my health.   One of the main goals of my Grateful 8 list was to bring my body back into balance so that I could thrive and be healthiest I could be.  I credit drinking alkaline water and eating foods high in alkalinity to helping maintain my body’s pH balance and making my body more alkaline and healthy.   

Drinking alkaline water is one of the most important rules on my Grateful 8 list.  By far, my favorite alkaline water is Diamond Creek or “Nature’s Energy Drink”.  The list of health benefits is long, but the taste is what really gets people hooked on this water!  This premium, high pH, alkaline ionized water is the best tasting water we’ve ever tried due to its high mineral content.  I used to think all water tasted the same.  However, after drinking Diamond Creek, my whole family now refers to it as “Velvet Water” because it tastes so smooth.  The fact that it’s purposeful, natural and so healthy makes me love it even more.  Balancing my body’s pH and making my body more alkaline instead of acidic is one of the most important ways that I have kept my body in balance.  I am happy to report that I have been cancer-free for 10 years!   

One of the biggest things that sets Diamond Creek apart is that it comes from a natural spring at 7.8 – 8.2 pH on average.  Diamond Creek All Natural Spring Water is ionized to create a high pH of 9+ without adding any buffers or chemicals to the water.  The water also goes through three other natural processes including microfiltration, UV and ozonation to ensure healthy water without any chemical processing which allows the true pH to stay in the water.  Plus, Diamond Creek water holds the pH of 9+ for two years because it is high in minerals and solids like calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium sulfate and nitrogen.  This is a guarantee that I can get excited about! :)

[Read more…]

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Healthy Shopping 101

Do you feel overwhelmed at the grocery store?  Sometimes we go in completely armed and ready with our list to shop, and then suddenly, we feel completely confused because of the marketing and food labels.  Staring at the shelves and reading the claims that the boxes make can make anybody feel crazy!  Do you wonder what products you can really trust and what it means when they say:  “all natural”, “whole grains”, or “organic”?  

I think so many of us struggle with this especially today with the overwhelming amount of products to choose from.  One of my favorite things to do is to take friends, family and clients to the grocery store and help them realize all of the ways healthy shopping can be fun and rewarding.  Once you tackle the store a few times and you know what you need to look for, it becomes super easy to stay away from the products that are unhealthy. 

As part of my Healthy Lifestyle Series that I teach at corporations, I reward an employee with a Gift Card to my favorite local health food store where they can invite 5 co-workers. We basically go on a shopping experience and revamp their grocery list. Below is a video from last week when I took one of my winners from Belk to Healthy Home Market.  We had such a blast!!

AT BELK WITH BROOKE SHOPPING SPREE from 360yourlife on Vimeo.

One of my favorite things to share with friends is “Live foods bring Life to the body.” If there is a label on a food item, it has been processed to some extent. I’m not saying you should never buy a packaged item, that would be nearly impossible in our world. But be cautious and informed as you shop the aisles of the grocery store.  Knowledge brings power. Arm yourself with the truth!

Here is a start to understanding what manufactures say and what it ACTUALLY means. [Read more…]

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Unjunk After Sports Snacks

If you have kids that play sports, then you are probably faced with bringing snacks to the game for your little ones or taking turns for the entire group.  I want to make you aware of some harmful ingredients that you may not realize are having an adverse effect on our children instead of FUELING them pre-game or post-game.  This truly hits home for me because I have two daughters that are 6 and 9 that play sports, and we’re faced with these typical snacks on a weekly basis.  [Read more…]

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Healthy Food Replacements

Did you know that you can replace your everyday ingredients with healthier options? When I first started to cook and bake in a healthier way, I was extremely overwhelmed! However, I started having so much fun when I realized how easy it was to take a traditional recipe and replace a few ingredients, and soon my recipe was a really healthy, delicious one! :) I searched for whole foods and more “real food” ingredients to use in place of ingredients that I didn’t want to feed my family.  I wanted to use super foods and foods with more nutrients that would have a bigger impact on my family’s health. [Read more…]

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Powerful pantry swap outs for 2014

Make these simple, healthy changes to your pantry staples that will have a huge impact on your health in 2014!

It’s that time of year when we all evaluate our yearly goals and resolutions. Many of us plan to re-organize our homes, start new workout programs, or to eat healthier and lose weight. According to recent surveys, most parents resolve to give their families a healthier diet in the New Year. One of the main areas that I like to focus on when it comes to eating healthier is the kitchen pantry. Today, I want to highlight how to replace the foods in our pantries that bulk up our bodies and cause us to feel bloated: flours, sugars, pastas and oils.

***All of these healthy replacements are gluten-free and low glycemic, and they are derived from natural sources. [Read more…]

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How to Build a Natural Medicine Cabinet


Natural Medicine Cabinet Seminar

Natural Medicine Cabinet Seminar

This week, I had the privilege of speaking to some amazing women at The Coffeehouse Lake Norman about how to revamp their medicine cabinets to create a Natural Medicine Cabinet. We had some great, very open health discussions, and I was thrilled to share that Shaklee supplements are not only pure and from the Earth, but also that they have proven results.  See The Landmark Study for vital information on why millions trust Shaklee to build health in their bodies.
[Read more…]

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Tree Hugger All Natural Bubble Gum

Tree Hugger Gum held by Riley Reagan

My girls and their Tree Hugger Bubble Gum!

My girls love to chew bubble gum, but it is hard to find a brand that I feel OK about.  When I attended the Natural Products Expo East last month, I found a great All Natural Bubble Gum that contains NO artificial colors, flavors, BHT, or preservatives.  Plus, it’s gluten free, nut free and dairy free!  Tree Hugger All Natural Bubble Gum comes in several different flavors:  tangerine, bubble gum, lemon-lime, orange, berry, pomegranate, lemonade, wildberry, and watermelon.  There are so many to choose from! [Read more…]

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Macadamia Mahi Mahi

We love Wild Mahi Mahi in our home, so I am always trying new recipes to change it up and have some variety.  My girls love helping me with this recipe, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes of prep time!  When I started having my girls (ages 5 and 8) help me with dinner, I noticed it was so much easier to get them to be excited about dinner.  They talk about how much they LOVE what “they” help to make!  Try it!  I promise you will have great success.

Costco carries Wild Caught Mahi Mahi that is:

  • Wild Pacific Mahi-Mahi
  • Boneless, skinless
  • Center cut portions, 4-8 oz each
  • Individually vacuum-packed & quick frozen
  • Kept frozen
  • 3 lb resealable bag

Macadamia Mahi Mahi
**I also wanted to share some "real" photos of what went down in my kitchen with my girls helping. I hope this will inspire you to try this with your kids, too! Let me know if you try it! :)
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 4 Wild Caught Mahi Mahi fillets
  2. 1 cup of Macadamia nuts, chopped (We used a hand held chopper that my 5 year old, Riley, loves to help with.)
  3. 1 cup of coconut milk (We use Native Forest Coconut Milk because the can is BPA free.)
  4. 1/4 tsp. of sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. of pepper
  6. Coconut oil to coat baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle the fish with the salt and pepper first.
  3. Have a 13 X 9 baking dish lightly coated with coconut oil and ready to place the fish on.
  4. Pour the macadamia nuts in one bowl and milk in another bowl.
  5. Dip one side of the fish in the milk, the dip it in the nuts and place in the dish. Complete steps for all 4 Mahi Mahi filets.
  6. Bake fish for 20 minutes.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/


Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Riley chopping nuts

My 5 year old feels so proud chopping anything!
Here, she is chopping the macadamia nuts in our hand chopper.

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan holding fish

 My 8 year old is dipping the fish in the coconut milk and then in the macadamia nuts!

Mahi Mahi Fish collage - Reagan prep fish

Dinner was accomplished!

We were all ready, and guess what?  It was so easy and quick that we never felt like we were “slaving away in the kitchen”.

This is a great Mother/Child activity that will make them feel excited about preparing dinner with you!

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Should I Go Gluten-Free?

Gluten-Free is such a hot topic these days that it can be confusing as to whether you actually NEED to go gluten-free or not. Hopefully this blog post can answer some of the questions that you may have about gluten and eating gluten-free.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.

Why eat Gluten Free?

The most common reason would be if you or someone you know is suffering from Celiac Disease. Another reason to go gluten free would be the fact that glutinous grains can cause inflammation. Inflammation can lead to disease, illness, and promotion of cancer growth. Many people experience stomach ache or bloating after eating gluten – this is often caused by the immediate inflammation. [Read more…]

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