Month: May 2016

Just like there’s an “app” for everything, there’s a natural remedy for just about any health issue you can think of. Activated charcoal is one of those remedies. It’s a great substance for removing toxins from the body, and its uses are countless.

Stomach bug? Activated charcoal.

Kid accidentally swallowed a bottle of poison from your cabinet? Activated charcoal.

Got a big pimple on your forehead the day before your wedding? Activated charcoal.

Teeth yellow? Activated charcoal.

It sounds like a strange way to detox, but it works. I’ve seen it take a child sick with norovirus from throwing up every 15 minutes to sleeping for 6 hours straight and feeling completely normal again the next day. I recommend it to any of my patients who are looking for a natural detox solution. You can buy this stuff at any health food store or online, in capsule or powder form. And it can be used for a variety of ailments.

How does activated charcoal detox your body?

Activated charcoal has a porous surface with a negative electric charge. Most unwanted toxins and gas are positively charged, so if you’re familiar with the phrase, “opposites attract,” then you already know how this works. Very simply, the charcoal binds to unwanted toxins and gas to rid them from your body. Taking it regularly can help you detox your body from the toxins we take in every day from our air, food, water, and personal care products.

Here are a few unique uses for activated charcoal as a natural detoxifier:

Digestive problems. Whether you have indigestion from something you ate, or you caught a contagious stomach bug, this amazing substance can relieve the symptoms you’re experiencing within minutes.

Acne. Mix the powder form of activated charcoal with just enough water to make a paste and spread it on your face like a mask. Do this face mask treatment once or twice a week for 30 minutes each time, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how infrequent your breakouts will become.

Odor eliminator and teeth whitener. Brush your teeth with activated charcoal to relieve bad breath and whiten the enamel. I know it seems weird that you can use a black substance to whiten your teeth, but it’s true!

General detoxification. Even if you don’t have an ailment, you can still use activated charcoal to detox from eating processed foods or to prevent illness when you come in contact with someone who’s been sick. Because it binds to toxins that we take in every day, and which often lead to sickness, fatigue, and a host of other problems, you’re sure to notice a difference when you use it. Be sure to take it between meals and a few hours after taking vitamins and other supplements, as it may interfere with their absorption by your body.

Do you have a positive experience with activated charcoal as a natural detoxifier? Share it with us in the comments below!

In a previous post, we outlined the process for achieving a bikini body in just 6 minutes a day! If you haven’t yet, make sure you read that post before doing the exercises outlined below, as it provides the timing and spacing for each exercise.

What’s great about this workout is you can do it anywhere! No need to buy expensive equipment or spend money on a gym membership (unless you really want to.) This can be done in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a timer to keep track of how long you’re doing each exercise. And when you go on your summer vacation, you don’t have to haul any weights, bars, or bands to your destination. All of these exercises can be done without additional equipment.

Here’s your 6-minute, 6-exercise workout recipe for a total bikini body!

Exercise 1: Burpees

Begin standing straight up with your feet hips-width apart and your hands down by your side. Squat down and plant your hands on the floor on either side of your feet. Jump your feet back to land in a pushup position, jump forward again to return to the squat, and jump straight up into the air to land in the original position with your feet planted.

Exercise 2: Lunges

Stand straight up with your feet together, planted flat on the floor, and your hands down by your side. Lunge forward with one leg until your thigh and calf form a 90-degree angle in front of you. Return to the original position and repeat with your other leg.

Exercise 3: Mountain Climbers

Begin in a pushup position, supporting your weight with your hands and toes. Flexing the hip and bending the knee, bring one leg forward until the knee is under the hip. Explosively reverse the position of your legs so that the bent knee is now straight behind you and the first leg is now bent. Repeat.

Exercise 4: Calf Jumps

Begin standing straight up with your feet planted hips-width apart and your hands down by your sides. Flexing your calves, come up on to the balls of your feet, and jump straight up into the air. Keeping your knees straight, land on the balls of your feet and repeat this motion.

Exercise 5: Crunches

Begin lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head for support. Engage your core muscles to lift your head, neck, and shoulders up off the floor, keeping your elbows wide and taking care not to pull on your head with your hands as you come up.

Exercise 6: Knee Tucks

Begin standing with your knees slightly bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your hands in front of you so your arms are parallel to the floor, about chest height. Engaging your core muscles, jump straight up and bring your knees into your chest. Land with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact, and repeat.

Together, these exercises make up a complete whole-body workout that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes a day (with only 6 minutes of actual hard exercise). The interval training format helps you burn fat in less time, so you’ll be well on your way to the bikini body you’ve always wanted!

For a daily, total-body, fat-burning regimen with more variety, check out the MaxT3 DVD, available in our online store!

DIY Kombucha Recipe!

If you’ve been buying Kombucha from the grocery store, you’re probably aware that it can be pretty expensive. All the more reason to make your own!

You can find recipes all over the Internet. The trick is to get creative and put your own twist on it. There are many benefits to drinking Kombucha. Dr. Axe lists 7 reasons to drink it every day, and all of those are good. But one of the primary reasons I drink it, and the reason why I’ve chosen to post this now, is because it significantly aids in digestion and gut health, and gut health is a major theme for QCHC this month.

Here’s a recipe that you can use to make your own kombucha. Drink it every day to combat any digestive problems you may be dealing with!

What you’ll need to make your own kombucha at home:

  1. Starter culture. This is essentially a gelatinous membrane formed from a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria. It is also known as a SCOBY. Though it’s not completely essential for brewing your first batch (it’s a natural product of the brewing process already), some people claim it makes your kombucha brew faster. You could just begin with starter fluid, but I recommend buying a starter culture online, as its pretty inexpensive.
  2. Brewing vessel. Avoid metal, as it reacts with acidic liquids (i.e. kombucha) and will negatively affect the taste. This recipe assumes you’re using a 2.5-gallon glass jar with a plastic spigot. To avoid mold, make sure it’s filled to at least 75% capacity when brewing.
  3. Breathable cover and rubber band. You can use a cheese cloth, paper towel or a coffee filter. Anything that keeps undesirables out of your brewing vessel. You’ll use the rubber band to secure it.
  4. One large pot. Again, avoid reactive metals like aluminum or copper. Stainless steel, glass, plastic, enamel and clay are all good choices.
  5. 2 gallons of filtered or spring water. Avoid water with a high mineral content as it may harm the SCOBY. Also avoid alkalized, structured, or pH-adjusted water.
  6. Twelve 16-oz. glass bottles. Choose bottles with a plastic cap that you can reapply, as these will be used for bottling your finished product!
  7. Organic black or green tea. Make sure they are not flavored. The extracts and herbs in flavored teas can harm your SCOBY. I’ve included a list of good tea options at the bottom of this post.
  8. Organic cane sugar. Very important: don’t use any substitutions here. Honey, agave, and stevia yield inconsistent results and can shorten your SCOBY’s life.
  9. Fresh fruit juice and/or herbs (optional). This is for the second round of fermentation, to add flavor and effervescence. Any combination of fruit and herbs will work. I love ginger because it also supports digestion (one of the many benefits of drinking kombucha.)

Kombucha Brewing Instructions:

Step 1: Find a home for your vessel. A kitchen countertop away from the stove or a dining room table are both great places to store your kombucha during the fermenting process. The best temperature is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures are okay, but it will take longer to brew.

Step 2: Boil 2 gallons of filtered or spring water.

Step 3: Turn off the stove and add your tea bags. 7-8 bags per gallon of water is pretty standard, but follow the instructions for your tea.

Step 4: Remove tea bags and add the sugar, 3/4 to 1 cup per gallon of water. Stir until completely dissolved, and let cool to room temperature.

Step 5: Once cooled, add the sweet tea and starter culture to your vessel. If using a SCOBY, pour the tea in first and place it on top. It may sink to the bottom, but don’t worry—that just means it was cooler than the liquid, and it will eventually rise to the top again. Cover the vessel with a cheese cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter, and secure it with a rubber band.

Step 6: Let the vessel sit undisturbed for 7-14 days. Taste it each day after the first week until the flavor is just right for your preferences. If it’s too sweet, it needs to ferment longer. If it’s too tart is has fermented too long and you can draw out some liquid, add fruit juice and hope the flavor improves.

Step 7: Fill each of your bottles with the kombucha, leaving a few ounces of free space for fruit juice, if desired. Leave at least 10-20% of the kombucha in your vessel and keep it as the starter fluid for your next batch.

Step 8: Add a few ounces of the fruit juice and/or herbs you desire, and enjoy!

Step 9: Make some more! Repeat this process with the starter fluid left over in your vessel.

Every once in a while, you’ll want to remove part of your SCOBY from your vessel so it doesn’t get too big. It should be no more than a few inches thick for best results each time you brew. To cut it apart, make sure your hands are squeaky clean, remove it from your vessel and place it into a clean bowl. Strip away the excess and return the rest to the vessel. You can give the excess to a friend to help them get started brewing their own kombucha!

Best Teas for Brewing Kombucha:

Black teas, such as Ceylon, English Breakfast, Darjeeling, etc., make for a bold, fruity taste. They are fully oxidized and provide all of the nutrients for the SCOBY.

Oolong teas are partly oxidized for a milder, earthy flavor that is somewhat fruity as well. These are great if you reactivate a dehydrated SCOBY for recurring batches.

Green teas, like jasmine or gunpowder green, consist of withered and steamed leaves that are minimally oxidized, producing a lighter, softer flavor. You can combine with black tea or use it on it’s own, but it’s best to avoid green teas with added flavorings or oils.

White teas consist of baked and dried leaves, which are also minimally oxidized. This produces a delicate flavor with flowery notes. We don’t recommend white tea for your first few batches as it does not work as well to activate a SCOBY. You can, however, combine it with black, oolong, or green tea for a more unique taste.

Red (Rooibos) tea usually refers to an herbal tea from South Africa. It has a fresh, somewhat nutty flavor and should be combined with at least 25% black tea when used to brew kombucha. Like white tea, we don’t recommend using it to activate a SCOBY or to make your first four batches.

Yerba mate and other herbal teas should also be combined with at least 25% black tea when used to brew kombucha. These are also not recommended when brewing your first four batches or activating a SCOBY. Again, avoid teas with added flavorings or oils.

Concerned about caffeine? Don’t be. It was previously thought that most of the caffeine in tea is released within the first few minutes of steeping, but that idea has since been proven false. However, if you’re concerned, you can use decaf!

It may seem like a long, complicated process to brew your own kombucha, but it’s really pretty simple. And when you consider that a single bottle of the stuff can cost around $3 at the grocery store, the money-saving benefits are well worth it!

If you’ve ever felt sad or depressed after a day of swimsuit shopping, this post is for you.

A lot of people claim they don’t have time to exercise. “I don’t have time,” is a very common limiting belief and a widely used excuse to justify a lack of movement and activity. But I’m here to squash that belief by giving you a daily six-minute workout regimen that is guaranteed to get you in shape if implemented consistently.

Stop looking at photoshopped pictures of celebrities in magazines and wishing you could look that good. You can! And I promise it only takes six minutes of exercise a day to get you there. If you don’t believe me, then I challenge you to try it for 30 days and see what a difference it makes—not just in how you look, but also in how you feel.

How is this possible?

You might be asking yourself how it’s possible to get a rock-solid bikini body by only exercising for six minutes a day. I’ve actually had people tell me I was crazy for believing this. It does seem a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, and I know, because I practice what I preach. The secret behind this workout regimen is the natural hormone release it produces.

If you’ve been spending 45 minutes to an hour on a treadmill every day, you have my permission to QUIT! Running at a speed that accelerates your heart rate for more than 30 minutes will trigger the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that basically tells your body to hold on to fat. So contrary to popular belief, spending more time in the gym can actually do more harm than good.

For this reason, I like to embrace a “less is more” philosophy when it comes to working out. My six-minute workout regimen increases your heart rate at fixed intervals for only 20 seconds at a time. This technique, commonly known as “interval training” triggers the natural release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which aids in weight loss.

How to get in shape in just 6 minutes a day:

Now that you know the secret behind this incredible phenomenon, you’re probably wondering, “well, how do I do it?” Here’s a simple how-to to get you started:

  1. Choose an exercise. It can be any exercise you like. Squats, jumping jacks, burpees, lunges . . . pick your favorite one and go with it.
  2. Do that exercise as fast and as hard as you can for 20 seconds.
  3. Rest for 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 again.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5, five more times, choosing a different exercise each time.

That’s it! It’s actually a 12-minute workout from start to finish—15 if you add a warm-up to the routine—but you’re only really exercising for six of those minutes because of the resting intervals.

Who doesn’t have 12 minutes a day to get moving?

Check out our follow-up post, where I give you the six exact exercises I use to get a total-body fat-burning workout every time!

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