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

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Best Heart Healthy Foods

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. “ –Helen Keller

 brooke riley

There are a million different sayings involving our heart. Quotes that speak of love, sadness, strength. Hearts full of determination, courage, and spirit.  Yet, the statistics show we don’t treat our heart with the respect it deserves. Heart disease is STILL the leading cause of death today. In fact, 1,100 women die of heart disease EVERY day. It’s almost hard to wrap my head around that. What’s even worse is that 80 percent of those deaths are preventable.

Heart disease isn’t just a problem for people over 50 years old. In fact, the plaque that causes heart disease starts building up in your twenties.  It’s largely a lifestyle problem. So this blog is my plea to you! Hoping everyone reading this will help me spread the word about what can be done. Share it with your friends, with your family, with anyone who may not be treating their heart the way they should.  

One of the first ways you can reduce your risk for heart disease is to make sure you are eating a heart healthy diet. That means limit sugar, saturated fats and trans-fats.  It’s also important to minimize your sodium intake. Taste your food before you salt it and don’t leave the salt shaker on the table. You’ll be more likely to use it without thinking if it’s just sitting there.

 It’s not just what you should avoid that can reduce your risk for heart disease. There are key nutrients  IN our food that can absolutely protect your heart. I have created a full day’s worth of heart healthy meals to not only educate you about what to eat, but I’m happy to share the recipes with you to make it as easy as possible for you to incorporate these foods into your diet.

[Read more…]

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5 Ways Food Manufacturers Fool You

Warning: Reading this may make you mad! And really, it should. After all, we are talking about the health of our families here. I am so frustrated by food manufacturers who continue to take advantage of good intentions with deceptive labeling. Many people trying to make healthy choices often gravitate toward words like ‘Organic’, ‘Natural’, ‘Whole Grain’, and ‘Gluten Free’. But according to researchers, those words ‘create a false sense of health’ that can override other warnings on the label that aren’t so obvious. Well, knowledge is power people! So today I’m going to arm you with the power to make healthier decisions at the grocery store by sharing 5 ways food manufacturers fool you. 

label-allison [Read more…]

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Eat Your Way out of the Winter Blahs

This Florida girl needs a little sunshine! The shorter days are getting to me. And it seems like I’m not the only one. Status updates on facebook are full of words like ‘tired’, ‘worn out’, ‘sick’.

The truth is our bodies feel it when the sun doesn’t shine. Without the help of UVA and UVB rays we can’t produce enough Vitamin D3. In fact, our vitamin D levels can actually drop by 50% in the winter.

So what’s the problem with that? Well, for starters, your immune system may not be up to its full potential, leaving you more susceptible to certain health concerns.  Here’s why. [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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3 Steps to Lower Cholesterol without Drugs

My friend’s husband has it. Another friend’s father. In fact, one in every six adults has high cholesterol. That’s 17% of the adult population. A recent Gallup survey found drugs for high cholesterol were the second most prescribed medications in this country! All those people at risk and yet high cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease.

Scientifically speaking, your chances of having high cholesterol are greater if you are a male, are older, are a woman experiencing post-menopause, or have a family history of high cholesterol.  You are also at risk if your diet is high in saturated fat and cholesterol like bacon, hot dogs, and pizza. Now, you can’t help your genes or your age but you can help what you eat!

It adds up fast!

According to the American Heart Association, eating one egg for breakfast, drinking two cups of coffee with 1 tablespoon of half-and-half each, lunching on 4 ounces of lean skinless turkey breast with one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and eating a 6-ounce serving of broiled short loin porterhouse steak for dinner yields 510 mg of dietary cholesterol. That’s nearly twice the recommended daily amount!

The good news is you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease without expensive medication by focusing on 3 key lifestyle changes.

[Read more…]

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Nutty for Nut Butters? Try This!

 I am a huge fan of nut butters but let’s face it, they can be expensive! Not only that,  but some nut butter brands have added salt, sugars and preservatives.  But if you buy your own raw nuts and spend a little time and love, you can make your own nut butters for your family! Believe it or not, nut butters are very easy to make. And in an era when more kids are restricted from taking peanut butter to school due to allergies, nut butters are a great option.

My favorite is almond butter. It contains a higher amount of essential fatty acids. Uh oh, does the word ‘fat’ freak you out a bit? Don’t worry, it’s unsaturated fat which is heart healthy. Almond butter also has the most fiber and 8 times the amount of calcium as peanut butter.

All you need is a little sense of adventure and a high powered blender. Here’s how I do it. [Read more…]

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3 Fall Recipes Every Busy Mom Should Have

clockYou know that moment you look at the clock and think ‘Where did the day go?’ Well, it happened to me again. In fact, it’s been happening a lot lately. I  don’t know why, but this time of year everything seems to speed up. Maybe it’s because the kids are busier at school or because my-to-do list gets longer the closer I get to the end of the year or because the stores are already decked out for Christmas and it’s not even Halloween! Deep breath. Release. I would love for time to slow down. It’s so easy to slack on the healthy eating when you are always on the go. Trust me, I know it can be tough to feed your family healthy when are trying to pack it all in. That’s why I want to share 3 Fall recipes every busy mom should have (along with a little advice on the side).  [Read more…]

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Healthy Tailgate Recipes Even The Pickiest Eaters Will Love!

     tailgate feature

     My husband and I just recently moved our family from the suburbs back to the city. In the past few years, we’ve thrown football parties at our home. But now, instead of the living room, we find ourselves gathering with hundreds of other football fans in a parking lot full of food, cornhole and music! Something about it reminds me of college! There aren’t many opportunities in the adult world to blow off a whole afternoon and just hang out with friends. This past weekend we tailgated family style, with friends and kids of all ages. I love the rare chance for a day off from housework and responsibilities.

     Let’s be honest, that’s what a tailgate is really about. That, and the food. Lots of food. But football season doesn’t have to be the off-season for your healthy diet. There are lots ways you can put a healthy spin on the traditional tailgate foods of chips and dips and yes, even chicken wings!

     I’ve created some go-to recipes that won’t leave you feeling bad after you indulge. You’ll still be able to chat and crunch and munch and fill up before the game but you’ll be filling your body with a healthier fuel that will last longer.

     First, a few tips to help you live healthy and love life at your next tailgate. [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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Top 3 Foods That Flunk Your Age


When it comes to aging, you really are what you eat!  It’s summertime and many of us are using sunscreen to protect ourselves from UVA and UVB rays that not only damage our skin, but can also age our skin.  But, did you know that there are foods that can age your body just as much as too much sun exposure?

 Take my 30 Day Anti-Aging Challenge below after you read about aging foods vs. anti-aging foods.

The Top 3 Foods that Flunk Your Age and get an F- grade are: Fast Foods, Fake Foods and Fried Foods.

Whopper hamburger1.  Fast foods: ex. Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries, Icy Coke, Thick Shakes, Sundaes, and Apple Pie.  Most all fast food contains excess t rans fats that make skin look stiff and inflexible, and ultimately, wrinkled.  Trans fats also age you on the inside.  They increase your risk of heart disease and stroke and are linked to higher risks of developing Type 2 diabetes.  The Institute of Medicine determined that there is NO safe consumption of trans fatty acids.


Hot Dogs in packages2.  Fake foods: ex. Hot Dogs and Deli Cold Cuts….”Don’t make it your way!” at Subway:  Sulfites that preserve processed and fake meats are pro-inflammatory and can cause rosacea and make skin look pasty and jaundiced colored.  Processed meats are usually high in saturated fats and have nitrates in them.  Both of those can lead to inflammation.  *Remember, we always want to nourish our bodies with ANTI-inflammatory foods, not pro-inflammatory foods.

MarshmallowsOther Fake foods that age our bodies:  Bottled lemonade and sugary beverages like soda, processed foods in boxes, cans and freezer bags, corn dogs, cotton candy, candy apples, cheese puffs, and marshmallows for smores.  Many of these items contain high amounts of sugar or sugar substitutes.  Sugar, which is linked to inflammation, aids in wrinkle production, but it also affects your overall health because it is tied to heart disease and diabetes.

Fried chicken3.  Fried foods: ex. Fried Chicken, Potato Chips and French Fries.  These foods contain trans fats that clog and stiffen the arteries and small blood vessels and make skin look old.  Anything that’s deep-fried in oil can add to inflammation throughout your body.  Trans fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower HDL “good” cholesterol.  When reading food labels, avoid products that include “partially hydrogenated oils” and “vegetable shortening.”

French Fries from McD'sThese foods do not “pass” when it comes to nourishing our bodies.  They “fail” our bodies and age us faster, and they are abundant during the summertime at cookouts, barbecues, camp outs, pool parties and at the beach.  This season, you’ll find lots of food trucks and food vendors serving many of these “F-“ foods, too.

The GOOD NEWS is that there are some incredible A+ Anti-Aging foods that are anti-inflammatory, that keep us looking younger and help to slow the aging process.

[Read more…]

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Healthy Hands Cooking Classes for Kids

This year, I became a Healthy Hands Cooking Certified Instructor because I love to see children learn how to cook in the kitchen with their families and learn how and why to choose healthy foods. These classes are not only impacting the kids, but the parents also love seeing how their children’s nutritional educations grow! [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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Dairy Sensitive?

Are you dairy sensitive, or do you suspect that you are?  Dairy sensitivities are on the rise, and it may not be lactose intolerance that is causing the problem.  Also, the price of milk is increasing up to $0.60 per gallon this month, so people are considering other non-dairy options.

According to the USDA, 87% of Americans drink at least one glass of milk per day to get calcium and Vitamin D. When it comes to dairy products and even dairy alternatives, it can be confusing when trying to make the right choice for you and your family. When choosing milk or other dairy products, along with dairy alternatives, it is always best to choose the least processed option available.  For dairy, choosing full-fat, pasteurized, non-homogenized products from grass-fed cattle are the best options because they are free of antibiotics, hormones, and artificial ingredients or sweeteners. [Read more…]

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A Deeper Look at Dairy

Let’s take a deeper look into cow’s dairy.

Regular commercial milk can be found in whole fat, low-fat and non-fat varieties, and they are either organically or conventionally made.  However, some of these milks are labeled “with no hormones” when they are actually just “reconstituted milk-flavored beverages.”  Sweeteners like sugar or artificial sweeteners like Aspartame are being used in commercial milk to flavor the milks to make them more palatable.  Plus a new concept is underway:  Bubble Gum flavored milk.  Seriously?  Did you know that one 8oz. glass of milk contains 13 grams of sugar?  That is 3 more grams than a Krispy Kreme donut!  If the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of milk is 3.5 cups per day, think of how much sugar and artificial ingredients you are consuming. [Read more…]

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Healthy Holiday Recipe Night

Brooke with Mothers at Healthy Holiday Recipe Night

Healthy Holiday Recipe Night

This week, I had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful moms at my home for a healthy holiday recipe night!  I made healthy versions of brownies, fudge, granola, cookies, icing and whip cream!

Four year ago, I started the Wellness Committee and Healthy Lunch Initiative at my kids’ school, and today this committee has grown leaps and bounds and is now called the FAN (Fitness And Nutrition) Committee!   I am so thankful for the people in this group who have pushed through and continue to have the same vision of a healthier generation and school!  I love what I get to do and the people I get to share it with!  Here are pictures of the holiday treats we made along with the links to the recipes. :)  Enjoy! [Read more…]

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Celebrate BIG! Riley’s Fall Birthday Bash!

Happy 6th Birthday Riley!

Happy 6th Birthday Riley!

Every year that my daughters have a birthday, I am reminded of how thankful I am to be their mom and also how far I have grown as a person by being their mom. There are so many things that I never thought I could or would do that get me out of my “comfort zone”, but when I do them, the feeling I get is so rewarding.  And, I always want to encourage other moms out there that may have been where I was. [Read more…]

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The Thomas’ Top 3 Favorite Fall Comfort Foods

Brooke with Reagan and Riley at the Pumpkin Patch

At the pumpkin patch with my girls after hiking Grandfather Mountain

We all love Fall, right? Or is it just me? I love the changing of the weather and the leaves. I grew up in Florida where I really didn’t get to see Fall the way the beautiful colors and leaves change here in North Carolina. This is one of the reasons I love living here so much!  When the weather starts to change and become crisp or even on rainy days when the  leaves are so full of color, all I want to do is cook comfort foods and turn on the fire. I always want my comfort foods to warm the heart and soul, and of course be healthy! [Read more…]

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