Month: November 2016

20 Surprising Sources of Gluten

Whether you suffer from celiac disease, or you’re trying to cut down on sugar, gluten is one ingredient you should definitely avoid. You may be surprised to learn that it’s in many of the foods we eat and the personal care items we use every day. Here are 20 surprising sources of gluten to be aware of. We always recommend reading your ingredient labels before making a purchase, especially if there are ingredients (i.e. gluten) that you’re trying to stay away from.

1. Beauty products. Sadly this may include some of your favorite shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, and makeup items such as lipstick or lip balm. Though not directly ingested through the mouth, they may easily seep into your body through your pores and still be able to cause damage. If you have a gluten allergy, you may want to replace your beauty products with ones that are certified gluten-free. Check your labels!

2. Chewing gum. Some manufacturers rub flour on the surface of the sticks to prevent them from sticking to the wrappers.

3. Sauces, condiments & dressings. This includes some prepared mustards, soy sauce (yes, it’s true!),  salad dressings, as well as frozen veggies in sauce.

4. Oats. Though technically gluten-free, some brands may be contaminated with gluten, so it’s important to be careful here. Make sure any oats you buy are certified gluten-free.

5. Pie filling & pudding. These items often contain gluten as an emulsifier or thickening agent. We recommend that you make your own from scratch (without gluten) in order to be safe. You can use plain fruit sweetened with honey or stevia. Or, if you’d like a thickening agent, arrowroot flour is a great gluten-free option!

6. Processed meats. Be extra careful with hot dogs, store-bought meatballs, and deli meats, which may (surprisingly) contain bread crumbs. It’s best to stick with local, grass-fed, organic meats that have not been processed anyway.

7. Spices. Some pre-packaged, mixed spices, may be contaminated with gluten. It’s often used to prevent caking, which is why we recommend mixing your own from whole, pure spices instead.

8. Instant coffee, hot chocolate & other powdered drink mixes. Powdered milk contains wheat, and again, manufacturers of powdered mixes often use gluten as a bulking agent. You can get gluten-free alternatives though. Check your local health food store or search online.

9. Canned soup. Try to buy organic soups in cartons or make your own with fresh vegetables and bone broth. Many canned soup brands contain gluten or wheat as a thickening agent, so it’s important to read the ingredients.

10. Licorice. Wheat flour is often used as a binding agent.

11. Caramel color. We recommend staying away from this artificial coloring agent altogether. It may contain gluten, depending on how its manufactured, but either way, it’s just not good for you.

12. Alcohols. Though the distillation process often rids this grain-based substance of gluten, not all alcohol manufacturers will utilize a thorough distillation process, resulting in some traces of gluten being left behind. You may need to check the company website to determine if their alcohol is gluten-free. Or stay away from alcohol entirely. It weakens your immune system anyway.

13. Rotisserie chicken. Seems strange for meat to contain gluten, right? However, some rotisserie chicken makers use flour or wheat in the spice rub. Double check before you purchase.

14. Sushi. As mentioned above, soy sauce often contains gluten, along with the imitation crab meat used in California rolls, as well as some prepared wasabi. Try making your own sushi at home! It’s a fun date-night activity.

15. Pickles. Not all pickle jars contain gluten. You have to check the label to be sure. If it contains malt vinegar, which comes from barley, then it’s a no-go.

16. Chocolate. Again, not all chocolate contains gluten, but it may be used as a thickening agent. We prefer pure, organic dark chocolate sweetened with stevia instead. (Lily’s is great brand!)

17. Medicines & supplements. It may be used as a binder in some medications and vitamins. You’ll be safe with Maximized Living nutritional supplements.

18. Bleu cheese. It may sound surprising, but some bleu cheeses are actually made with bread mold. Though it’s a minuscule amount and likely won’t affect you, it’s better to be safe than sorry (especially if you’re particularly sensitive.)

19. French fries. Though usually made with potatoes, oil, and salt, if they are fried in oil that’s also used to fry onion rings and other breaded foods that contain gluten, you could risk cross-contamination. Be especially careful if you order french fries at a restaurant.

20. “Wheat-free” items. Wheat-free doesn’t always mean gluten-free. In addition to wheat, gluten may also come from other grains, including rye, spelt and barley. Again, check your labels!

Embracing a gluten-free diet isn’t as hard as it sounds, especially with more and more food manufacturers coming on board to label their products “gluten-free.” Yes, it may mean you’ll have to eat out less and prepare more foods from scratch with fresh, unprocessed ingredients, but it’s worth it, because you’ll see a drastic improvement in your health as a result!


Some people believe that “natural” or “holistic medicine” is a hoax. Perhaps you’re in that camp, and if so, we are so glad you stumbled on this post! As you’re going to discover, chiropractic is not “quackery.” If you are currently taking medications for a serious condition or considering expensive surgery to cure something that you’ve been told by your doctor is a life-threatening illness, holistic chiropractic care may be an effective treatment alternative.

We are happy to help you determine if Charlotte chiropractic care with Dr. Holly is a good fit! If you live in the queen city, here are 5 reasons to schedule a consultation at Queen City Health Center.

It’s about much more than pain relief.

You may have heard that chiropractors are only good for pain relief and pain management. Perhaps you’ve had your back cracked a few times and just don’t see what the big deal is. We totally get it. Many conventional chiropractors offer bandaid-type physical therapy, designed to mask the symptoms of your problem, rather than getting to the root of it. Prescription drugs and surgeries are designed to do the same in many cases.

The holistic Charlotte chiropractic care that we employ for our patients is about so much more than pain relief. We believe that the nervous system is at the core of your body’s overall function. Your spine is at the hub of your nervous system, and when it’s out of alignment, your nerves, which send regulatory impulse signals to rest of your body’s organs, are pinched, and those signals become weak, affecting your body’s ability to function at max. capacity. Charlotte chiropractic care offers a solution to improper spinal alignment, which can effectively treat and cure your pain, while also improving your immune system, along with your body’s other major systems, ultimately improving your health overall.

Surgery is expensive.

Deciding to go under the knife is a BIG decision, and we’re certainly not saying that you should avoid surgery at all costs. There are some cases where surgery may be legitimately necessary to overcome an illness, and we always recommend listening to your primary health care provider to determine if that is, in fact, the case for you.

Many of our patients consider Dr. Holly to be their primary family physician. More than just another conventional chiropractor in Charlotte NC, she can help you determine if your illness can be effectively treated with chiropractic care and will make the best recommendation for your long-term health. If surgery can be avoided, you’ll save a lot of money in the long-run.

We work with all insurance companies and will put together a treatment plan to help you save on medical costs both now and in the future through preventive maintenance. What that means is decreased medical bills for you and your family.

Prescription drugs are rarely effective in eradicating your condition.

That’s because they are formulated to mask the symptoms rather than eliminate the problem at its root. Not to mention the number of side effects that each medication carries with it. You often need additional medications to get rid of the side effects … and those medications come with their own list of side effects. Before you know it, your medicine cabinet is chock-full of orange bottles, and somehow, you’re still sick!

It’s a vicious cycle, and one that needs to end.

Our method of natural holistic care not only involves regular chiropractic adjustments. We provide a comprehensive treatment plan that encompasses the 5 DREAM principles of healthy living, including nutrition, fitness, detoxification, and meditation. All of these things work together to maximize your health. Many of our patients have successfully come off of their prescription medications after just a few months of implementing the lifestyle plan that Dr. Holly creates.

Achieving total health truly requires a lifestyle change. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, click here to request a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with Dr. Holly and get on the road to feeling better.


GERD, or gastroesophogeal reflux disease currently affects about 20 percent of adults. It’s a more severe form of acid reflux, which 25-40% of Americans suffer from.

Many people blame GERD on acid reflux, but doing so fails to address the problem at its root. If you suffer from symptoms of acid reflux or GERD, it’s because you have low stomach acid production and bacterial overgrowth in your gut. The root cause of these two factors can be summed up in one word: inflammation.

Therefore, to successfully prevent and treat GERD and its symptoms, you need to address inflammation—the real cause behind it. Most doctors will simply prescribe prescriptions to mask the symptoms of GERD, but this fails to eliminate the problem long-term. In this post, I’m going to outline three simple and natural ways to cure GERD for good:

  1. Change your diet.
  2. Take a good probiotic.
  3. See a chiropractor.

Eliminate GERD by treating your gut.

If inflammation is at the root of GERD and acid reflux, then it would make sense that ridding your diet of foods that cause inflammation would help you treat and even prevent GERD from reoccurring. Foods that contribute to inflammation include:

  • Sugars and refined carbs
  • Pasteurized dairy products
  • Non-organic, GMO, and processed meats
  • Trans-fats
  • Corn and soybean oils

On the contrary, foods that help fight inflammation include:

  • Bone broth
  • Leafy greens
  • Blueberries
  • Wild-caught fish (esp. salmon)
  • Beets

To stop inflammation, simply avoid foods from the first list and eat more of the foods on the second! Your gut will begin to heal itself over time, and you’ll experience less acid reflux symptoms.

Also, I highly suggest eating smaller meals. Many people suffer from acid reflux, because they eat inflammatory foods in very large quantities. Rather than scarfing down 3 huge meals each day, try eating smaller, snack-sized portions every few hours.

Probiotics for Acid Reflux & GERD?

A good probiotic will aid in balancing your gut bacteria, a factor which can also help prevent and treat GERD and its symptoms. Make sure it has a high number of bacterial strains to maximize its effectiveness. Taking a probiotic every day is essential for your health, even more so if you’ve been taking antibiotics or prescription drugs that can negatively impact your gut health by killing off your body’s good bacteria.

Chiropractic Care for Acid Reflux & GERD?

Seeing a Charlotte chiropractor for acid reflux, GERD and other digestive problems can greatly decrease your symptoms and improve your overall health. Your nervous system tells the rest of your body’s organs and systems how to function, and your spine is the central hub of your nervous system. When it’s out of alignment, your body suffers, because the nerve signals that go out from your spine’s nerve endings become compressed and weak. Therefore, it’s imperative that you keep your spine in proper alignment to ensure that your body functions at max. capacity. For more details on how chiropractic may be useful for GERD, see our article, “Chiropractic Care for Digestive Problems.”

Do you or someone you love live in Charlotte and suffer from acid reflux symptoms or GERD? Click here to schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with Charlotte chiropractor, Dr. Holly! We’ll help you determine if a care treatment plan at Queen City Health Center might benefit you.

How to Get More Sleep

We’re all told that we should get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, but how many of us actually do that? Between work and home life, raising kids, building businesses, spending time with loved ones, etc. it can be hard to find enough hours in a day to accomplish all of our goals, much less setting aside 8 hours for rest.

But (even though I don’t always get 8 hours of sleep every night), I can attest to the health benefits of doing so. As a professional chiropractor in Charlotte NC, I’ve seen countless patients suffering from immune disorders and conditions that could benefit greatly from simply taking more time to rest and sleep. Maybe you don’t get much sleep because you have a busy lifestyle. Or maybe you suffer from insomnia and can’t sleep well no matter how hard you try. In either case, here are some proven ways to help you get more shuteye and keep your body functioning at max capacity throughout each day.

Tip #1: Stop wasting time. It may sound simple, and that’s because it is! However, as a Charlotte chiropractor, I know that a lot of people find this hard. “There just aren’t enough hours in a day…” you say. Well if you break down 24 hours and really get honest with yourself about how you spend your time, I think you’ll find that the opposite is true. If you spend 8 hours sleeping, that leaves 16 more to accomplish everything you want to accomplish. Let’s say you spend 10 hours at work. That still leaves 6 hours. The average meal takes about an hour to prepare and eat, so that leaves 3 hours. You can easily spend that time with your family and loved ones and feel good about your day. The problem is that many of us spend hours doing things that are, quite frankly, a waste of our valuable time—such as: scrolling through Facebook, watching television, or spending an extra 20 minutes in the shower because the hot water feels too good!

Tip #2: Go to bed earlier. Again, simple in theory, but seemingly difficult to implement. You may be wondering, “what difference does it make if I go to bed early or late, as long as I’m getting 8 hours of sleep.” It actually makes a huge difference. The most successful people in the world go to bed before 10 p.m. and wake up before 6 a.m., and for good reason. You’ll be surprised how much you will accomplish in the wee hours of the morning if you try this out for one week and then make it a continuous habit.

Tip #3: Turn off electronics at least 2 hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted from our phones and TV screens actually suppresses the production of melatonin—your body’s sleep-inducing hormone. If you want to fall asleep quickly and get a good night’s rest, avoid blue light from LED screens for at least a couple of hours before you lay down.

Tip #4: Get regular chiropractic adjustments. You won’t believe how many patients report better sleep after they start receiving care at our office from a Charlotte chiropractor. Regular adjustments ensure your spine is properly aligned, relieving pressure on the nerves that send signals to the organs in your body responsible for hormone production, which regulates sleep.

Tip #5: Spend more time outdoors. Have you ever passed out after spending a day in the sun? There’s a reason why! The sun is our natural source of Vitamin D3, which is instrumental in boosting your immune system and aiding sleep. As a matter of fact, the majority of sleep disorders are a result of Vitamin D deficiency. You can also order a Vitamin D supplement online or buy one from our Charlotte chiropractic office.

Are you “sleepless in Charlotte NC?” Call our office at (980) 422-2000 or fill out the form on this page to request a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with Charlotte chiropractor, Dr. Holly and learn how your sleep can improve with a holistic chiropractic treatment plan!

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