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Brooke Burke-Charvet beats thyroid cancer with Mediterranean diet and exercise

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Brooke Burke Charvet is doing well after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer in 2012, and credits a Mediterranean diet and rigorous workouts for her excellent health.

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"[I work out] three to five times a week for an hour," Burke-Charvet told Health March 12.

"I mix it up, but I always work past the burn. I believe if you're not sweating, you're not working out hard enough. My ab workouts are 20 minutes. I like to try new yoga or barre classes, and I do Pilates Plus faithfully, too."

Brooke said eating well is important for looking and feeling her best. "I believe in portion control," she said. "I eat a Mediterranean diet. I have meat, fish. Lots of vegetables. We never skip breakfast. I don't buy a lot of packaged foods."

Burke Charvet, who was recently fired as the host of "Dancing With the Stars," is a longtime fitness fanatic who credits her active lifestyle for helping her navigate her hectic life as a working mom of four.

While she has always been a positive, upbeat person, Brooke said her unexpected cancer diagnosis shook her to the core.

I was at a regular physical, and my doctor felt a lump that could have been nothing. I followed up with ultrasounds and biopsies, and unfortunately my tests came back 75 percent positive for cancer. It was a really scary time for my family.

Last year was an extremely difficult year for me. Two people who were very close to me passed away, tragically and young. I felt like a piñata. Sometimes s—t happens in your life, and it's not about what's happening. It's about how you deal with it, how you survive it, how you overcome it."

Brooke underwent thyroid surgery to remove a benign tumor in her throat in December 2012, and has since recovered fully. She said exercise is her antidepressant. Over the years, Brooke has released a line of highly rated fitness videos. She revealed her diet, workout and weight-loss secrets in her best-selling DVD, Brooke Burke Body: 30-Day Slim Down.

She also teaches a workout class several days a week in Malibu, where she lives. As she has gotten older, Burke-Charvet has learned to exercise smarter, not longer. Her workouts never exceed an hour, but she gets great results by pumping up the intensity.

Ironically, Brooke said she has gotten in better shape over the years by exercising less and eating more dietary fat. "I was very strict and ate hardly any fat and very little carbs [when I was younger], whereas now I cook with oils and eat nuts and avocados," she said. "I'm 42 and I'm in better shape than I was in my 20s or my 30s."

Brooke revealed how she juggles fitness, marriage, motherhood and a busy career in her memoir, The Naked Mom.

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