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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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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Natural Beauty Products for Girls

Sparklehearts Co-Founder, Darcy McMahon with Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

Sparklehearts Co-Founder, Darcy McMahon with Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

I only want my girls to use the cleanest, most natural beauty products, and they are not always easy to find.  This year at the Natural Products Expo, I met Darcy McMahon, co-founder of Sparklehearts, an all natural make up, bath and beauty products company.  I LOVE Sparkleheart’s safe, non-chemical, and non-toxic deodorants, bath bubbles, shampoos/conditioners, detanglers, body lotions, and gift sets for young girls! [Read more...]

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Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons

Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons CEO and Macaroon Maven, Sequoia Cheney and Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons CEO and Macaroon Maven, Sequoia Cheney and Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

I get so excited when I hear about companies that are founded by passionate people with a desire to create products that not only taste incredible, but are helping to build health in our bodies.  While at the Natural Products Expo East in September 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Sequoia Cheney, CEO and Macaroon Maven, of Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons.  This women is amazing!   She has given so much of herself to others through the arts and through holistic healing. Always passionate about food (and maybe not always the healthiest food), Sequoia found herself in a health crisis when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  She knew she had to make some serious changes to heal herself. [Read more...]

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Healthy Grab-N-Go Snacks for my Girls

Brooke with Back to Nature's Anthony Raucci, SVP of Sales and Mike McVey, Director of Sales - East

Brooke with Back to Nature’s Anthony Raucci, SVP of Sales and Mike McVey, Director of Sales – East

I’ve been a fan of Back to Nature snacks for a while now.  My girls loves their whole grain cookies, crackers and trail mixes.  I like that I can pour Back to Nature snacks in a bowls, and my daughter’s friends never know that they are eating healthy snacks.

I was able to meet Anthony Raucci, SVP of Sales and Mike McVey, Director of Sales – East from Back to Nature, and we had a very thorough conversation about their products, packaging and upcoming product offerings.  I suggested they try to make more nut-free seed mixes for children with nut allergies. [Read more...]

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Happy Family Organic Superfoods

Happy Familys SE Regional Sales Manager, Sunny Hunt with Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

Happy Family’s SE Regional Sales Manager, Sunny Hunt with Brooke at the Natural Products Expo East

Moms everywhere can get excited about Happy Family Organic Superfoods for children!  I met with Sunny Hunt, SE Regional Sales Manager at Happy Family Organic Superfoods when I went to the Natural Products Expo East in September 2013.  I asked Sunny detailed questions about their products, and I also found out their story. [Read more...]

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Gluten and Dairy Free Fruit and Nut Butters

Kolat and BrookeSeveral of my recipes on 360YourLife include almond butter, and I even love eating it plain.  I recently found an incredible company that makes the most delicious almond butter infusions!  Kolat Superfood Fusions makes almond butter with a kick.  They infuse flavors like cherry and vanilla, blueberry and cinnamon, dark chocolate and coconut, and espresso and hazelnut to make some of the most delicious nut butters I have ever tasted!  I was pleased to meet the Founder and CEO of Kolat, Jess Goldstein, at the Natural Products Expo East in September 2013. [Read more...]

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“Neat” Vegan Meat Replacement

Sometimes I think I’ve seen it all, and then a product like Neat comes along and I am blown away!  At the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, I met an insanely smart young couple, who out of a need to find other vegan food options for their family, experimented and came up with an all natural, gluten free vegetarian meat replacement made out of pecans, beans and organic cornmeal.  It is the first shelf-stable meat replacement on the market. [Read more...]

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Diet POP! Gourmet Flavored Popcorn

Brooke with Tony Little with Diet Pop! Popcorn

Wow!  I was fortunate enough to meet America’s Personal Trainer, Tony Little at the Natural Products Expo East in September 2013! Tony is such a nice person, and guys, he STILL HAS IT!!!

Tony is still very focused on healthy living, and he’s teamed up with David Israel, the founder of POP! Gourmet Popcorn, to create a new popcorn called Diet Pop! This popcorn is NON-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher and air popped with zero trans fats or cholesterol.  It comes in two flavors:  White Truffle (Yum!) and Sunflower Oil and Sea Salt.  Perfect for a light, healthy snack. Oprah loves POP! Gourmet Popcorn, and she listed the White Truffle Bliss as her favorite in O, The Oprah Magazine in Feb. 2012. [Read more...]

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“Simple Squares” of Goodness

I love the simple, uncomplicated, grab-and-go, whole food snacks made by Simple Squares.  Nuts.  Honey. Vanilla.  Sea Salt.  Herbs.  Just 5 ingredients – that’s it!  Simple!

Brooke with Simple Squares founder Kimberly Crupi Dobbins

Brooke with Simple Squares founder Kimberly Crupi Dobbins

Kimberly Crupi Dobbins, founder and “chief square” of Simple Squares, created flavorful organic snack bars that are savory and sweet and infused with herbs and honey for a uniquely satisfying treat.  I was able to meet and talk with Kimberly at the Natural Products Expo East in September 2013, and she is not only adorable, but she is passionate about changing grab-and-go snacking from processed with preservatives to whole foods. [Read more...]

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Caveman Cookies

Caveman Cookies

“Just like your great, great, great, great, great….grandmother used to make!”

Brooke with Caveman Cookies President and Founder, Stephanie Lester

Brooke with Caveman Cookies President and Founder, Stephanie Lester

There is so much to love about Caveman Cookies!  I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Caveman Cookies, Stephanie Lester, at the Natural Products Expo East in Sept. 2013.  Stephanie used to be an attorney in NY, but she grew tired of working in an office environment.  She had also decided to eat a Paleo diet, and after feeling so much better, she left her job to start a business that focused on healthy living and wholesome eating.  That’s my kind of girl!  Stephanie believes that we should eat foods that early humans were able to eat – nuts, honey and berries.  She tied all of these ingredients together into simple and fabulously healthy cookies, and she offers them in five delicious flavors: [Read more...]

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Food for Life, my favorite breads and tortillas

Ezekiel Bread image Genesis Bread image I love Ezekiel 4:9 and Genesis 1:29 sprouted grain breads because the products are developed based on Bible verses that remind us that we were made to eat bread that was whole and pure, not processed.  I can trust the ingredients in these products because Food for Life, the baking company that makes Genesis and Ezekiel breads, won’t use any GMOs (genetically modified organisms), preservatives, shortenings or refined sugars. [Read more...]

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Grab-N-Go Quinoa Energy Bites

eat Keenwa Krunch pic

What an incredible idea to take quinoa and turn it into a healthy, satisfying energy bite! I got to meet the founders of eat Keenwa Krunch, Paul and Blake Niemann at the Natural Products Expo East in Sept. 2013.  These brothers were always very active in outdoor sports.  They loved how quinoa made them feel during their workouts and everyday activities, and they wanted to take their quinoa with them wherever they went.  So, they created a portable, easy-to-eat snack for people with busy lifestyles who also want to eat healthy.  Their products are designed to give you great energy and power your spirit without eating preservatives or “junk”.  The brothers also have their own social mission called The Keenwa Cause where they donate resources to fight against world hunger and to support the development of quinoa as a sustainable crop.  Love these guys! [Read more...]

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Raw, Organic Foods from Around the World!

Earth Circle Organics - Brooke and Seth Dresser2

Brooke with Seth Dressel from Earth Circle Organics

I am in LOVE with this company!  When I went to the Natural Products Expo East, I had the pleasure of meeting the awesome people at Earth Circle Organics, a raw and organic food company that sources its products from all over the world.  I especially loved their chocolate that comes from Bali! [Read more...]

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Bean Chips for Healthy Snacking

Creamy Cado Dip with Beanitos Black Bean Chips

Creamy Cado Dip with Beanitos Black Bean Chips

During my Charlotte Today segment called “Healthy Halloween Treats”, I displayed Beanitos black bean chips along with my Creamy Cado Dip inside of an orange bell pepper. These chips are SO delicious, and they were the perfect compliment to my dip!!!  The crew at Charlotte Today fell in love with Beanitos Black Bean Chips. [Read more...]

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Awesome Non-GMO All Natural Hummus!

You’ve got to try Cedar’s Hommus!  It tastes incredible and more importantly, it is certified NON-GMO with all natural ingredients!

I was able to meet some of the awesome people at Cedar’s Foods while at the Natural Products Expo East in September, and I got to sample all of their hummus flavors, their black bean wraps, Mediterranean salads, dips, and so many other healthy Cedar’s products. [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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Healthy Gluten Free/Nut Free Brownies

I love making healthy treats for my girls.  These Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies are so quick and easy to make you will love this recipe.  I love that every ingredient actually has a health benefit, so I’ve listed those for you below my recipe.  Here are three ways to enjoy this great “healthy treat” without the guilt:

1.)  On the weekends, it can be a breakfast muffin.

2.)  During the week, it can be an after school snack.

3.)  You can use it in place of cupcakes along with my Dairy and Gluten Free Frosting for birthday parties!

Also, you can also make this recipe into Brownie Pops or Brownie Cut Outs.  These are great ways to get the kids involved!

Brooke’s Gluten Free Brownies
Just 9 healthy ingredients! You can also make this recipe into Brownie Pops or Brownie Cut Outs. These are great ways to get the kids involved!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can black beans, drained
  2. 1/2 c. cocoa
  3. 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin coconut oil
  4. 1/2 c. xylitol
  5. 2 level tsp. stevia powder
  6. 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  7. 3 large free range eggs
  8. 1/2 c. Shaklee’s Instant Protein Mix
  9. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  10. 1/4 c. water
Instructions
  1. Just add the ingredients and blend. I like using my Blendtec blender.
  2. Add chocolate chips if desired for a more chewy chocolate flavor.
  3. Be sure to mix the chips in by hand after blending the other ingredients.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

 

Health Benefits of Ingredients:

Black Beans are a satisfying protein and do not contain any of the saturated fats found in other protein sources, like red meat.  They also have more antioxidants than blueberries!

Cocoa is high in magnesium which is important for heart health.

Extra-virgin Coconut Oil lowers cholesterol as well as abdominal fat, and it helps to restore normal thyroid.  Plus, it is good for our skin and hair.

Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, is safe for diabetics to use, and it helps to prevent cavities unlike white sugar.

Stevia Powder, derived from the Stevia plant, helps with high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, indigestion, weight loss, tooth decay, osteoporosis and many other conditions.

Organic Vanilla Extract alleviates anxiety and reduces free radicals.

Free Range Eggs are not only incredible sources of high quality protein and fat, but they are also very high in nutrients.

Shaklee Instant Protein Mix contains Leucine, an amino acid found in lean meats, legumes and egg whites, that helps to build lean muscle and contributes to healthy, long-term weight loss.  Shaklee Instant Protein Mix also includes 9 important amino acids.


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Easy Tips to Make Healthier Lunches for Kids

This blog was part of an NBC Charlotte Today segment. View the segment using the link below.
NBC Charlotte Today Segment

booklet-cover

My girls are starting school tomorrow, so I am back at coming up with creative ways to make their lunches healthy. As an advocate for childhood obesity, I have been heavily involved in the education on healthier lunches and even started a healthy lunch program at my kids’ school. Also, to make YOUR life easier I created 360YourLunchBox,  a month of creative and healthy lunch ideas for kids. You can purchase the book here or download your copy for a special sale price of $4.99 here. [Read more...]

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Tips for a Happy, Healthy 4th of July (and Summer)!

Ahhh…summer time! A time of relaxation, quality time with your family, traveling, enjoying the sunshine, and sharing moments with friends. This is a great opportunity for helping your family get healthy, too! The farmers markets are blooming, the vegetables are abundant! Grilling vegetables, making fruit salads and experimenting with new veggies are all ways you can encourage your community to eat real foods this summer. So, invite those neighbors over and show them that real food is the best! [Read more...]

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Healthy Pool Party Food for Kids (and Adults)!

I wanted to share with you what I did for my daughter’s end of the school pool party at my house because it was so simple, healthy and delicious! All of the kids loved the food and the adults loved picking their kids up WITHOUT a sugar high! I had prepared for at least some of the kids to ask for juice, soda, or a popsicle, but not one child asked for anything besides what was being served. It’s so important to know that healthy CAN be delicious and to fuel our kids with foods that will promote good behavior and development. [Read more...]

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