Month: December 2015

Fun fact: That latte you drank at Starbucks last week was likely loaded with processed sugar and toxic chemicals. That’s right. It was probably made with an artificially flavored syrup and non-organic whole milk. Even if you ordered it with soy or coconut milk instead, it’s not likely that they used a natural brand, as many store-bought nut milks these days contain unnecessary preservatives.

I’m sorry to say that your favorite neighborhood coffee shop isn’t crafting beverages with your personal health in mind…

It’s the final day of our 12 Days of Christmas Celebration. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been challenging our patients, friends, and family members at Queen City Health Center to commit to one thoughtful health change per day for 12 days. For this final challenge, we wanted to leave you with something sweet that won’t do damage to your internal organs.

We all love a good gingerbread latte around the holidays. But instead of spending money on an unhealthy coffee beverage that’s loaded with artificial flavors, sugar, and chemicals, why not make your own healthy gingerbread latte at home? We are confident that you’ll be satisfied with the taste (it’s SUPER yummy), as well as how you’re going to feel after drinking it! (Not to mention all the money you’ll save long-term.)

Day 12 Challenge: Homemade Gingerbread Latte Recipe


1 can full-fat organic coconut milk

1 tbsp kerigold grass-fed butter

1/4 c grade b maple syrup

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

dash of nutmeg

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

freshly brewed organic espresso


Mix all ingredients except vanilla and espresso, and pour into saucepan. Over medium heat, slowly whisk until all spices combine. Turn heat off and stir in vanilla extract. Allow mixture to cool. Whip creamer to a frothy consistency, and pour over 1-2 shots of freshly brewed organic espresso. Use within 7 days.

P.S.: If you missed the Day 11 challenge, be sure and grab it right here.

Be a good friend this holiday season! Click the buttons below to share this homemade gingerbread latte recipe with your fellow coffee-lovers on social media.

Day 11: Keep Breathing!

It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on the body. Our busy lifestyles can contribute to the build-up of stress over time—even for the most laid-back personalities. We are constantly on the go, adding more activities to our daily routine in an effort to provide for ourselves and our families.

This is especially true during the holiday season when we begin to be consumed with gift-giving, Christmas parties, and planning for the in-laws’ arrival.

Very rarely do we take time out for ourselves to relax and let go, which is why I’m encouraging everyone to do exactly that during Day 11 of our 12 Days of Christmas celebration!

Day 11 Challenge: Keep breathing…

To calm yourself in a stressful holiday moment or to help yourself fall asleep, follow this breathing technique. You’re sure to feel refreshed, relaxed, and calm.

Breathing Technique to Relieve Stress

  1. Sit comfortably in an upright position. Both feet should be flat on the floor.
  2. 2. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen. (When you take a deep breath in, the hand on your abdomen should raise higher than the hand on your chest. This allows for deep abdominal breathing and oxygen saturation to be delivered from head to toe.)
  3. After exhaling fully through the mouth take a 5-count deep breath in through your nose. Hold this breath for 5 more counts, and then slowly exhale fully through the nose for 5 counts.
  4. After you’ve completely exhaled, contract your abdomen to expel any reserves. Relax for a few moments, and repeat the cycle 5-10 times through
  5. To allow for a deeper relaxation, close your eyes and turn off any lights, noises or electronics!

This exercise has never failed to help me fall asleep and sleep more deeply through the night. It’s a great way to unwind after a long, hard day’s work! Go ahead and try it before you go to bed tonight, and let us know in the comments how well it works out for you… (tomorrow, after you wake up, of course.)

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your followers on social media.

It’s Day 10 of our 12 Days of Christmas celebration, which means there are only 2 days left… (I know, so sad). But the good news is, it’s never too late to make a change!

If you are a Queen City Health Center Charlotte chiropractic patient, we’d like to invite you to join us (if you haven’t already) to commit to one thoughtful health change per day for 12 days! You can start over from Day 1 if you’d like, or you can finish out the next 2 days with us, then simply rinse and repeat.

Learn more about our 12 Days of Christmas celebration here.

Day 10 Challenge: Try this Christmas Tree Workout!

Did you eat too much at your holiday party this weekend, or just want to burn some calories before you leave the house for work tomorrow? Do this workout at least three times through for maximum results.

(Oh, and it’s shaped like a Christmas tree—hence why it’s called the “Christmas Tree Workout”. That makes you want to do it even more, right?)

10 Squats
50 High Knees
40 Jumping Jacks
30 Bicycle Crunches
2 Sets 30-sec. Wall Sits
10 Push-ups (Toes or Knees)
20 Side Leg Lifts (On Each Side)
10 Burpees
10 Squats

If you’re not sure how to do some of these exercises, check out this post and this post for instructions and pictures. (You may even want to try those workouts too!)

And while you’re at it…

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your followers on social media.

One of our patients asked me to send her a healthy version of eggnog this week, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make this our Day 9 Challenge!

In case you haven’t been keeping up, we’re celebrating 12 days of Christmas at Queen City Health Center, and we’re challenging all of our patients, family, and friends to join us by committing to one thoughtful health change every day for 12 days! (Read more about this effort here.)

Day 9 Challenge: Replace your Eggnog with this Healthy Paleo Version!

This gluten-free, dairy-free eggnog is a perfect fit for the paleo diet. It also lines up with our philosophies here at QCHC, since it contains no processed sugar (only pure maple syrup). If you’re looking for a quick and easy, no-cook, dairy-free eggnog, this creamy Christmas beverage is sure to hit the spot!


  • 1 cup ice cold filtered water
  • ½ cup ice cubes (or enough to make it super cold!)
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons organic full fat coconut milk, placed in freezer for at least 5 hours (see notes below)
  • 6 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (*note: make sure you use coconut butter not coconut oil!)
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅓ cup Dwersteg amaretto liqueur (optional, can use other brands as well)
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) in the order listed above and process until smooth and creamy. Chill and serve with cinnamon sticks as a garnish. Can also be served hot by heating mixture on stovetop; just make sure to prevent it from boiling, which will cause curdling!


Remove the coconut milk from the freezer without tipping or shaking. Carefully remove the lid, and then scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the watery liquid behind. You can reserve the liquid for use in smoothies. You will want to use the thickened cream only for the eggnog recipe.

That’s it! We hope you enjoy this healthy eggnog.

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your followers on social media.

It’s day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas challenge, and we have a delicious treat for you! If you missed the first 7 days, it’s not too late to join us in committing to one thoughtful health change per day for the next 5 days. We’re sure you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel just by implementing these simple changes.

Day 8 Challenge: Try this Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipe!

Quinoa in a cookie? Who knew?

(We did, which is why we’re sharing this recipe with you!)

Did we mention this quinoa gingersnap cookie recipe is vegan and gluten-free? You’re welcome. 🙂

Quinoa Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

(Serves 30-32)


  • 2 cups quinoa flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup crystalized ginger, chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, in a liquid state
  • ¼ cup grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup packed coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup cane sugar (for rolling)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Whisk flaxseed with water in a small bowl to make flaxseed egg. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (quinoa flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and sea salt). Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend coconut sugar, butter and coconut oil until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in molasses and flaxseed egg until combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. Add in crystalized ginger pieces and give it one last mix.
  6. Using hands, roll dough into ¾-1 inch balls. Place sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each ball of dough in the sugar to coat.
  7. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until dark golden brown and puffy, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Remove from oven and use the back of a fork to press gently in the center of each cookie to make more of a flattened cookie shape.
  9. Let them cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

If you missed yesterday’s challenge, you can grab it here.

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this quinoa gingersnap cookie recipe with your followers on social media.

Day 7: Holiday Hit Training Workout

It’s day 7 of our 12 Days of Christmas celebration at Queen City Health Center, and we hope you’re feeling fit! But just in case you could use a little pick-me-up, we’ve got another workout challenge for you… but first…

RECAP: If you haven’t been keeping up with us for the past 6 days, we’re challenging all of our friends, family and patients to implement one new healthful change per day for 12 days, toward a healthier new year.

Day 7 Challenge: Holiday HIT Training Workout

Follow the routine below to melt your fat away, sleep better, have more energy and create an overall healthy internal environment!

Refer to the images to get proper positioning and form for each exercise. Repeat by adding the subsequent exercise to each round.

(Ex. Round 1: 1 burpee + 2 pushups; Round 2: 1burpee + 2 pushups + 3 tricep dips… and so on.)


Exercise #1: Burpees

How to do burpees


Exercise #2: Pushups

How to do a pushup

Exercise #3: Tricep Dips

How to do a tricep dip

Exercise #4: Tuck Jumps

How to do tuck jumps

Exercise #5: Star Jumps

how to do star jumps

Exercise #6: Side-Side Ski Jumps

How to do side-side ski jumps


Exercise #7: Crunches

How to do crunches

Exercise #8: Alternating Lunges

How to do alternating lunges

Exercise #9: Jumping Jacks

How to do jumping jacks


Exercise #10: Mountain Climbers

How to do mountain climbers


Exercise #11: Supermans

How to do alternating superman exercise

Exercise #12: Squats

How to do squats



1 – Workout with a friend. Studies show that working out in pairs or in groups provides the extra motivation to keep you going. Friends add inspiration and accountability to your workout routine!

2 – Eat right. In addition to regular exercise, be sure you’re getting optimal nutrition by following our Maximized Living diet. Cutting down on sugars is very important to ensuring success, especially if you’re trying to burn fat and lose weight. If you need help coming up with healthy recipes to cook, our blog’s recipe section is loaded with delicious Dr. Holly-approved snacks, meals and drinks.

3 – Have fun! Dr. Holly designed this workout to be challenging, but still enjoyable, and we sincerely hope you enjoy it. If you need more variety in your exercise routine, be sure to check out our Day 4 Workout Challenge as well! And of course, if you missed yesterday’s challenge, you can grab it here.

Be a good friend this holiday season! Give the gift of health by clicking the buttons below to share this post with your followers on social media.

Join us in celebrating 12 Days of Christmas, QCHC-Style!

We are challenging our patients, friends and family members to commit to one thoughtful health change each day for 12 days. Our goal is to help you feel better and start the new year off right!

Missed the last 5 days? It’s never too late to start taking action toward better health! Our Day 6 Challenge is sure to spice up your life… 🙂

Day 6: Eat Cinnamon.

Get creative and festive this holiday season (and beyond.) Add this flavorful spice to one of your meals or drinks today!

Here are some of the tremendous health benefits of cinnamon:

1. It’s a high source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Cellular damage leads to a variety of diseases and speeds up the aging process. No bueno.

2. It contains anti-inflammatory properties. Many autoimmune conditions can be attributed to inflammation in the body. Eating more cinnamon can help prevent inflammation and even reverse chronic illness.

3. It’s good for the heart. A healthy heart is necessary for a healthy life!

4. It fights diabetes. This is a condition that more and more Americans are facing due to unhealthy dietary habits. Add cinnamon to your diet and avoid the dreaded diagnosis.

5. It helps defend against cognitive decline and protects brain function. Yep. Eating cinnamon helps you stay smarter, longer. Bye-bye brain fog. You’re welcome.

6. It may help lower cancer risk. Remember what we said about free radicals? (See #1 for more details.)

7. It fights infections and viruses. Which happen to be more prevalent during cold-weather seasons. No wonder people add cinnamon to their holiday dishes.

8. It protects dental health and freshens breath naturally. Eat more cinnamon, and enjoy more kisses!

9. It can help prevent or cure candida. Candida is basically a yeast infection in your gut. It leads to a host of unbearable symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, fungal infections, leaky gut, and even psoriasis. It’s a pesky parasite that you don’t want in your body—trust me.

10. It benefits skin health. Don’t let the winter blues drag you down (or your skin). Cinnamon helps you retain that radiant glow, so why not eat more of it?

11. It helps fight allergies. Why swallow toxic allergy pills when you can sprinkle some of this savory spice on your food and enjoy your day, sneeze-free.

12. It acts as a natural sweetener. Which means you won’t need to add sugar to your recipes. Sugar feeds cancer and candida, so you’re much better off using cinnamon.

13. It can be used as a natural food preservative. Toxic preservatives are in so many packaged foods these days and should be avoided. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your meals, and be amazed at how much longer your leftovers last in your fridge.

Clearly the health benefits of cinnamon are undeniable. We’ve listed 13 here, but there are many more. I know, I know—13 is an “unlucky” number. But we stopped there to make a point: your health should not be left up to luck. You can begin taking charge of it today, simply by committing to one thoughtful action step for the next 12 days and into 2016!

If you missed our Day 5 challenge, you can grab it here.

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your friends on social media.

Day 5: Stay Hydrated

Thanks for joining us in our 12 Days of Christmas celebration! We are excited for the Day 5 challenge, because it’s one of the easiest action steps you can take to start getting healthier, and one of the fastest ways to notice a difference in your body.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with our announcements last week, we are celebrating 12 Days of Christmas, QCHC-style and inviting all of our patients, friends and family members to celebrate with us by taking one action step each day toward a healthier New Year. Here’s the breakdown of the first 4 days of challenges, which began last week:

Day 1: Try this healthy holiday recipe.

Day 2: Drink alkalizing lemon water before bed.

Day 3: Take a few minutes to forgive someone who has wronged you.

Day 4: Get moving! (Exercise)

And, without further ado, here’s your Day 5 Challenge:

Day 5: Stay Hydrated!

Learn how much water you need to drink in order to stay hydrated, and commit today to begin drinking that amount every day.

Here are 10 reasons to get and keep you motivated to stay hydrated:

  1. Water composes 75% of your brain.
  2. Water regulates your body temperature.
  3. Staying hydrated keeps your skin looking young and slows the aging process.
  4. Water protects your heart.
  5. It helps you burn fat.
  6. It prevents constipation.
  7. Staying hydrated decreases fatigue.
  8. Water carries oxygen to your cells.
  9. It helps flush toxins out of your body (which in turn helps you lose weight.)
  10. Finally, it helps you control your calorie intake.

The question remains…

How much water do you really need to drink?

Many people will say “8 glasses a day,” but that’s arbitrary. How much you really need depends on your body weight. We use the following simple formula to calculate how much water is necessary for optimal hydration:

Your weight (in lbs.) ÷ 2 = Amount of water you should drink each day (in oz.)

1 glass is equal to 8 ounces. So if you weigh 130 lbs., you’d simply divide that by 2 to arrive at 65 oz. of water, or roughly 8 glasses a day.

There you have it. Commit to start drinking more water and staying hydrated each day, and we’re sure you’ll notice a difference in how you feel.

Stay tuned for our Day 6 Challenge to be posted tomorrow! And while you’re at it…

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your friends on social media.

Day 4: Pre-Holiday Workout!

It’s Day 4 of our 12 Days of Christmas Celebration, and we hope you’ve had a great time celebrating with us so far! In case you missed it, we are challenging all of our patients, friends, and family members to commit to making one thoughtful health change each day for 12 days. We’re pretty confident that by the end of these 2 weeks, you’re going to notice a difference in the way you feel just from taking a few action steps toward change!

Start the new year off right! Don’t wait until January 1 to take action on your New Year’s Resolutions! If you truly want to have a better 2016—to look better, feel better, and have better relationships—it’s important to start now.

Day 4 Challenge: Get Moving! Add this pre-holiday workout to your exercise regimen for maximum results.

Try this workout sometime today before you go to bed. During the holiday season, festivities will try their best to pull you away from your workouts and regular routines, but don’t let them win! Commit to this quick and easy workout that will deliver oxygen to your whole body, increase your immune system to fight off nasty colds and increase the release of your “happy hormones!”

Pre-Holiday Workout

This workout will get your butt in gear for the new year! Do all exercises for the number of reps indicated. Repeat the whole workout 3 times for maximum results!

Exercise #1: 30 Bicycle Crunches

Lie flat on your back with your legs out straight and your arms by your sides. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows flat and open throughout the duration of the exercise. Be sure not to pull on your neck; simply use your hands for support as you lift. Begin alternating crunches, bringing each knee to the opposite elbow and releasing down, while keeping your core tense. Do this 30 times.

bicycle crunches

Exercise #2: 5 Burpees

Stand with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides. Lower your body into a squat position until your hands are flat on the floor in front of you. Step or jump both legs backward, so that you land in a push-up position. Jump or step both legs back into a squat, raise your hands above your head and jump straight up into the air. Return to the original position and repeat this exercise 5 times.


Exercise #3: 40 High Knees

Stand up straight with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides. Perform alternating jumps from one foot to the other, lifting your knees as high as possible while doing so. Hip-height is recommended. Follow the motion with your arms, and touch the ground with the balls of your feet. Do this 40 times (landing 20 times on each foot).

high knees exercise

Exercise #4: 5 More Burpees (see description above.)

Exercise #5: 50 Squats

Stand up straight with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides. Keeping your back straight, chest lifted, and feet flat, squat down, bending your knees as though you’re sitting on a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. For balance, raise your arms straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor as well. Pause and lift back up into the starting position. Do this 50 times.


Exercise #6: 5 More Burpees

Exercise #7: 40 Tricep Dips

Position your hands shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward, on a secure chair or bench. Extend your legs straight out in front of you and slide your butt off the front of the chair or bench, keeping your heels on the floor for stability. Bend your arms and lower your butt down towards the floor. Using your triceps, hoist yourself back up and straighten your arms. Repeat this exercise 40 times.

tricep dips

Exercise #8: 5 More Burpees

Exercise #9: 30-Second Wall Sit

Stand up straight with your back flat against the wall and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Keeping your back against the wall and your feet on the ground, slowly bend your knees until your legs form a 90-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. (You can bend your knees even more for a greater challenge!) Bring your arms straight out in front of you so that they’re parallel to the floor, and hold this position for 30 seconds.

wall sit

Commit to doing this workout 3 times a week, and we promise you’ll feel amazing before January 1 even rolls around. You can modify the exercises to suit your comfort level, but don’t get too comfortable . . . remember, no pain no gain!

Also, be sure to check out our events calendar for information on upcoming events, including Community Yoga every week for the first 3 weeks in December.

We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season! If you missed the Day 3 challenge, you can grab it here.

Be a good friend. Click the buttons below to share this workout with the people in your social networks!

Day 3: Forgiveness Challenge

In case you missed the previous 2 announcements, we’re celebrating 12 Days of Christmas, Queen City Health Center-style! We’d like to challenge all of our patients, friends, and family members to commit to making one thoughtful health change for the next 12 days. We are confident you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel!

Day 3: Take a few minutes to exercise forgiveness toward someone who has wronged you.

Try writing a letter, speaking it out loud, or calling the person to ask for their forgiveness.

Humans are made up of three parts: mind, body, and spirit. Often times we ignore the importance of our spiritual health. This season is the perfect time to experience freedom in your mind and spirit and share that freedom with others.

Forgiveness is not an easy thing; in fact, it’s much easier said than done. Forgiving someone who has hurt you takes strength, patience, and practice. At some point in our lives, we all come to a crossroads where we need to decide if we should forgive the person who wronged us or to let them go.

Sometimes it’s not another person that we need to forgive. Instead, it’s ourselves that we need to forgive for the mistakes we’ve made. There is never a right or wrong answer, and it is a personal decision. If you choose to forgive, it may not have been the same choice that your friend or family member has made and that’s okay, because this is your life, not theirs. The most important thing you must know is that forgiveness is a CHOICE. When you choose to forgive, you have made a decision in your heart that you desire to break free from anger against another person.

If you’re not sure how to forgive, or where to start, here are tips and points of inspiration:

1.) Know that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are validating that what hurt you is okay.

First of all, when you forgive, know that it does not mean that you are fine with what happened. Forgiveness is choosing to accept what happened and making a choice to move forward in your life. It is the first step toward self-healing.

2.) Let go of the past.

When you make a decision to forgive, you are making a commitment to let go of the past. It doesn’t mean that it will be forgotten; it means that you are cutting ties with it. No more bringing up the past to your significant other, your friend, or yourself who did you wrong. No more blaming, pointing fingers, or fighting. It is over with. Finité! What’s done is done. You can’t change the past, so why hold onto it? Self-healers choose to learn from the past and let it go.

3.) Choose love.

Start a clean slate with the person you are forgiving. If you feel bottled up resentment that is seconds away from spewing out of you, keep making steps daily toward releasing those feelings. Forgiveness can be a daily act or walk; it’s like weight training—at first you can’t lift the 50lbs, but you can lift 10lbs so start there. You may not be able to call and forgive someone on the phone, but out loud in this moment, you can say “I forgive so and so for xyz.” To forgive is to take those heavy bricks off your back and stop walking on eggshells. It requires moving forward knowing that you are being the bigger person and choosing love over hate.

4.) Find inner peace.

This step will probably be the most difficult. Even if you have chosen forgiveness and are willing to let go of the past, it is extremely hard to move forward in life as if everything is back to normal. You need to find inner peace. This can be done in many ways. My advice: Focus on yourself and bettering yourself as a person. Even though you weren’t at fault, focusing on yourself will create positive energy. Focusing your energy on yourself instead of hate is much more peaceful and gratifying.

Forgiveness is a choice. You are not a doormat for choosing to forgive. You are not an idiot for giving that person a second chance. You are strong and have a big heart, which is something to be extremely proud of. You were not at fault. You have chosen love over hate. You have the ability to experience freedom and healing today in this holiday season. Be bold and courageous!

If you missed yesterday’s challenge, you can grab it here!

Be a good friend this holiday season. Click the buttons below to share this post with your friends on social media!

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Queen City Health Center is a Charlotte Chiropractic and total wellness center for individuals and families. With locations across Charlotte, NC and Matthews, NC, we specialize in helping individuals and families find true health and ways to maximize their lives through nutrition, lifestyle classes, detoxification and spinal correction.

SouthPark Office 4421 Sharon Rd #100 Charlotte, NC 28211 980-422-2000
Matthews Office 1730 Matthews Township Pkwy Matthews, NC 28105 704-844-6368