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Magnesium

By Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

Magnesium is one of the most critical minerals in the body, and up to half of
Americans are deficient without knowing it. In fact, The Journal of Intensive Care
Medicine published a study finding those deficient in magnesium were twice as
likely to die an earlier death compared to those who had sufficient magnesium
levels.
The root of magnesium deficiency is the poor diet of processed and refined foods
most Americans consume.  These foods have been stripped of nutrients and
contain high amounts of salt. Unfortunately, it is possible to have magnesium
deficiency even with a healthy diet. Soil depletion plays a large role in this issue,
as minerals are removed, stripped away or no longer available in the soil, the
percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased. Additionally, coffee,
sodas and excess alcohol further deplete the body’s stores of magnesium (and
other minerals).  Lifestyle factors, including high levels of stress, chronic
diarrhea, the use of high blood pressure medications, antibiotics, diuretics and
other drugs, can also contribute to low magnesium levels. Not to mention as we
age our mineral absorption capability tends to decrease so the probability of
having a magnesium deficiency increases.

Magnesium is not a drug, but can actually be more powerful than drugs when it
comes to resolving many conditions.  Not only does magnesium help regulate
calcium, potassium and sodium, but it’s essential for cellular health and a critical
component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body. It is especially
beneficial for a healthy cardiovascular system and is helpful for lowering high
blood pressure and reducing risk of stroke.  Magnesium also helps support
learning and memory performance in aging adults.
Recently in the journal, Medical Hypothesis, a scientific review of magnesium
concluded, “It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such an inexpensive,
low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and
expense throughout the world.”

Some of the symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency include:

Leg cramps
High blood pressure
Heart palpitations
Angina
Muscle cramps, muscle twitches and muscle pain
Anxiety
ADD
Insomnia
Migraines
Fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue
PMS
Constipation
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Reflux
Trouble swallowing
Kidney stones
Obesity

The minimum daily recommended amount of magnesium is 300 mg, although
studies show most people do better with anywhere from 400mg up to 1000mg a
day. If you get too much magnesium, you will often experience diarrhea. The
best way to get magnesium is through your diet, since many of the other
nutrients necessary for absorption will be found in the same foods. Foods high in
magnesium, listed in order from highest magnesium content, include spinach,
swiss chard, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, almonds and almond milk, black
beans, avocado, figs (dried), yogurt or kefir unflavored, garlic, shrimp and
bananas.
If you take magnesium supplements you should avoid those containing
magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. These are the most
common forms found since they are the cheapest to produce, but they are poorly
absorbed. The best-absorbed forms are magnesium lactate, citrate, glycinate or
aspartate.
You can also use magnesium oil topically in a spray or lotion. Magnesium
chloride oil can pass through the skin and into the body. If you suffer from
digestive issues like malabsorption, this may be the best form of magnesium to
take. To use, spraying magnesium oil directly on the skin, rub it in and leave to
absorb for about 30 minutes. Wintergreen essential oil can be added to the
magnesium to further help relieve muscle pain. Magnesium spray may result in
some tingling on the skin the first few times it is applied.
Another way to increase your cellular magnesium is by soaking in Epsom salts or
magnesium chloride. Adding 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a bath and soaking for
20 minutes is a great alternative to taking a supplement. You can also soak feet
in warm water with magnesium chloride or Epsom salts in order to provide relief
to the specific area.

By focusing on just this one mineral, you can experience many benefits to your
overall health.
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food
allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and

wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake
Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Healthy Gut

By Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
Over 2,000 years ago Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said “All disease
begins in the gut.” And, as it turns out, he was right. Seventy to 80 percent of our entire
immune system is in the digestive tract. What’s more, the gut is responsible for creating
95 percent of serotonin and may have significant impact on brain function and mood.
This is why our digestive system is often referred to as the “second brain.” If we want to
stay healthy for a lifetime, it is important to pay attention to our gut health.
There are about 100 trillion bugs, better known as bacteria, that live in our digestive
tract. Some of these bacteria are “good” and some are “bad.” The good bacteria support
immune function and enhance nutrient absorption. To stay healthy, our bodies need to
have more “good” bacteria than “bad.”
But how can we determine if we have the right ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria?
Our bodies let us know by the symptoms we experience.
When our gut flora becomes imbalanced, the result can be constipation, diarrhea,
heartburn, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Other symptoms include chronic
fatigue, premature aging, joint and muscle pain, weight gain, insomnia, eczema, acne,
asthma and even autism.
An increase in bad flora can occur when we are stressed, eating packaged and
processed foods, eating fast foods, consuming sugar, overdrinking, and overindulging.
That’s because the “bad” bacteria feed on the sugars and fats found in these foods.
Another cause of imbalanced gut flora is eating mostly cooked foods. Cooking can
destroy essential nutrients and enzymes important for good digestive health. Antibiotics
can also disrupt the overall gut flora balance.
Doctors and researchers are also beginning to realize that a “leaky gut” can be the
cause of a host of health issues. Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is caused when
the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged (typically by diet or medication).
Once this lining is damaged, undigested food particles, toxic waste products and
bacteria “leak” through the intestines and into the blood stream. These substances
entering the blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body, including bloating,
food sensitivities and allergies, irritable bowel, rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue, digestive
issues, and skin problems.
The good news is by making a few lifestyle and dietary changes, we can alter the
diversity and number of microbes in our guts for the better and heal the gut. We need to
begin with eating “real” food. Vegetables and high-fiber foods, such as green leafy
vegetables, garlic, onions, and artichokes feed the “good” bacteria. We should also eat
at least 50 percent of our food in a raw state. Eating a daily salad with lots of colorful
vegetables is a great strategy. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, yogurt,

miso, tempeh, olives, pickles, and kefir can also help improve gut health. (Although it is
best to make sure the yogurt and kefir and unflavored, since “bad” bacteria breed on the
added sugars.)
Another way to improve your digestive system is to improve your stomach acid. When
we have proper acidity in the stomach, germs and foreign invaders such as parasites
and bad bacteria are destroyed before they can get to the gut. Many people assume
they have too much stomach acid due to chronic heartburn or acid reflux. Often,
however, these symptoms are caused by low stomach acid.
Both probiotics and prebiotics can help increase healthy gut bacteria. A high-quality
probiotic is typically consumed in capsule form. Prebiotics, on the other hand, can only
be found in food. Prebiotics feed on non-digestible carbohydrates, which encourages
beneficial bacteria to multiply in the gut. Prebiotic-rich foods to add to the diet include
asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, onions, and whole grains.*
And, finally, do your best to avoid taking antibiotics, which destroy the beneficial
bacteria and disrupt the overall balance of good and bad bacteria.
When you focus on improving your digestive health, your immune system will reap the
benefits. You will discover you require fewer medications and, more importantly, find
yourself further down the path toward optimal health.
*Always talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet. For some people, such as
those with irritable bowel syndrome or other medical conditions, probiotics and fiber-rich diets may not be
helpful.
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting.
Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The
office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

(No title)

By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

Inflammation has been associated with just about every health condition. Inflammation is not
always bad. It can be the body’s natural attempt to heal itself and eliminate damaged cells,
viruses, and bacteria. Acute inflammation starts quickly and disappears in a few days. Chronic
inflammation, however, can last months or even years. A sedentary lifestyle, stress, minor food
allergies, and poor diet are just a few of the most common contributors to chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation will not typically produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs
somewhere. Chronic inflammation tends to be low-grade and systemic, silently damaging your
tissues over an extended period. This process can go on for years without you noticing until
disease suddenly sets in.

Since chronic inflammation tends to be “silent,” how can you determine if inflammation is
brewing in your body? Clinical tests used in allopathic medicine include:

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test: Measures a protein found in your body that signals
responses to any forms of inflammation

ESR (Sedimentation Rate) test: Checks for non-specific indicators of inflammation
Fasting blood insulin test: Although usually used to screen for diabetes, it is also marker
for inflammation. Typically, the higher fasting insulin levels are, the higher your levels of
inflammation tend to be.

Thermography: Also known as Medical Thermal Imaging, is an alternative test used to
measure heat patterns in the body. Abnormal heat spots on the body are an indication of
inflammation.

Eating a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods on a regular basis can go a long way toward
calming inflammation and preventing chronic health issues. The following foods deserve special
mention for their ability to put a stop to inflammatory responses in your body:
Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids: The body converts omega-3s into powerful anti-
inflammatory chemicals. These fats can be found in fish like wild Alaskan sockeye salmon and
krill oil. Studies have shown fish oil can relieve joint tenderness, reduce morning stiffness
duration.

Blueberries: Blueberries are high in antioxidants. They are in season right now and available at
local farmer’s markets. They are lower in sugar then most fruits, and can easily be added to a
salad, yogurt or even frozen and added to a smoothie.

Shiitake mushrooms: These nutritional powerhouses contain ergothioneine, which inhibits
oxidative stress and discourages inflammation. These mushrooms also contain a variety of
other nutrients that most people do not get enough of in their diets, such as copper. The body
cannot produce copper and depends on outside sources for supply. Copper deficiency has been
found to be a factor in developing coronary heart disease.

Garlic: Garlic has been heavily studied and shown to help with hundreds of different
conditions. It has antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Garlic also has
sulfur-containing compounds, which can help support inflamed joints.

High-quality herbs and spices: These are among the most potent anti-inflammatory
ingredients available, ounce for ounce. Spicing up your meals is not enough, but it is a great
place to start.

Fermented foods: Optimizing your gut flora is important for a high-functioning immune system
and helps ward off chronic inflammation. In fact, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in
the gut, as the result of an imbalanced microbiome. Fermented foods help “reseed” your gut
with beneficial bacteria and also help the body rid itself of harmful toxins such as heavy metals
and pesticides, which can promote inflammation. Some fermented food options are kimchee,
pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and olives.

Vitamin D: This vitamin has been shown to inhibit inflammation. Sun exposure of 5-30 minutes
at least twice a week on the arms, legs and face is a beneficial, natural source of this fat-soluble
vitamin. Food sources include wild-caught salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil, tuna, sardines and
mushrooms.

Dark leafy greens: Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens contain powerful
antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage. Choose organically grown veggies that
are in season and from a local source. Try eating a fair amount of these greens raw.
While acute inflammation is a necessary part of the body's healing process, chronic
inflammation poses significant health risks. Recognizing the signs of chronic
inflammation and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and proactive measures can
help mitigate its effects and promote long-term wellness. By taking proactive steps to
manage inflammation, you can protect your health and well-being.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting.
Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The
office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Fire up the Grill

By Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

With warmer temperatures just around the corner, many of us will be opting to beat the heat
and keep the kitchen cool by grilling outdoors.
Yet while barbeques and summer go hand in hand, it’s worth taking a moment to polish those
grill skills before donning that apron and “firing up the Barbie.” When it comes to grilling, there
is a correct way and an incorrect way to do it.
Research has shown that meats cooked at high, dry heat (like barbecuing, pan-frying and
broiling as opposed to stewing, roasting or baking at lower temperatures) form heterocyclic
amine (HCA). Researchers say HCAs are “reasonably anticipated to be a human carginogen” and
eating them may increase your risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, stomach, lung,
pancreas, breast and prostate cancer.
HCAs aren’t found in the charred bits on the outside of your food, but develop inside the meat.
The charred parts you see on the outside – burned by flames from your grill – contain polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another carcinogen that should be avoided. (Always discard or
scrape off charred parts.)
So, does all this bad news mean you need to forego the grill this summer?
Not at all.
By making a few small changes to your strategy, you can enjoy grilled meals all summer long.
Here are a few simple ways to reduce the formation of HCAs and PAHs, and lessen their impact
on your health:
Reach for lower fat options – Flare-ups happen when fat drips onto the heat source and
catches fire. This causes carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form and
accumulate on your food. To avoid this, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove
poultry skin. Also, resist the urge to press down on the meat as you grill. Pressing down causes
the fat to drip onto the open flame, causing higher temperatures and additional smoke –
exactly what you DON’T want to do.
Cook “low and slow” – Turn down the heat. It may take longer, but low heat is always the best
way to cook animal foods – no matter the method – as it reduces the formation of HCAs and
PAHs. Ideally, you should aim to keep the grill at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
Avoid well-done meat – The more well done, the more HCAs the meat is likely to contain. In
fact, one major study found well-done meat to contain up to 3.5 times the levels of HCAs as
meats cooked to medium-rare.
Flip frequently – Flipping frequently helps avoid charring and reduces HCA production.

Grill smaller pieces – Smaller pieces take less time to cook, ideally giving HCAs less time to
form.
Marinate – Not only does marinating infuse your meat with flavor, it has also been shown to
inhibit the formation HCAs. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research,
marinating can reduce HCA formation by as much as 92 to 99 percent.
Try incorporating one of the following marinades into your summer meal plans:
Antioxidant Marinade
This basic marinade recipe is suitable for all types of meat and fish, and easy to switch up by
incorporating different vinegars, spices, and seasonings such as miso, paprika, and chili peppers.
1⁄2 cup avocado oil
4 Tbsp vinegar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3 medium garlic cloves
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and coat meat or fish from all sides. Marinate for 10 to 30
minutes (or longer to intensify flavors), but 10 minutes is enough to protect from HCAs.
Easy Steak Marinade
1/3 cup gluten-free soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
1 Tbsp. honey (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder (or 2 cloves fresh garlic)
Combine ingredients in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Add steaks, seal bag and refrigerate. For less
tender cuts of beef, marinate for at least 6 hours but no more than 24 hours. Tender cuts of
beef, like tenderloin, only need to marinated for 15 minutes to 1 hour for flavor.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting. In
addition, the practice is committed to being a valuable source of information so that people can
learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent future illness. Pathways to Healing is located at
1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-

Calculating THR

 

Regular exercise offers major health benefits. To get the most from your workout while staying
at a level that is safe, it is recommended to monitor how hard your heart is working. Your target
heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you
exercise. Knowing your heart rate can help you track your health and fitness levels and achieve
your training goals.
To begin, let’s go over some basics regarding your heart rate. Resting heart rate is the number
of times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest. An ideal time to check your resting
heart rate is in the morning before you get out of bed, ideally after a restful sleep. Normal is
between 60 and 100 beats per minute. As far as resting heart rate goes, lower is better. If you
have a low resting heart rate it usually means your heart muscle is in great condition and does
not have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. An elite athlete may have a resting heart
rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-
old person, 170 is the maximum heart rate. Your target heart rate is a percentage of your
maximum heart rate and is dependent on your level of exercise.
Beginners should exercise at 60% of their maximum heart rate, intermediate at 70% and
advanced at 85%. During moderate intensity activity, you should be about 50-70% of your
maximum heart rate. So, continuing our example above, if our 50-year-old person is exercising
at moderate intensity, he would calculate his target heart rate zone by taking his maximum
heart rate (170) and multiplying it by .5 and .7. This would give him a target heart rate zone
between 85 and 119.
(Keep in mind some drugs and medications affect heart rate, resulting in a lower maximum
heart rate and target zone. If you have a heart condition or take medication it is always best to
check with your primary healthcare provider.)
Some machines at the gym make it easy for you to monitor your heart rate while exercising. For
example, most treadmills have a spot where you place your hands and it will calculate your
heart rate for you. Some people enjoy wearing a fitness tracking device that will also calculate
and track your heart rate for you, making it super easy. If you do not have a fitness tracking
device, you can calculate your heart rate manually by taking your pulse.
The most accurate way to take your pulse is by using your first two fingers (pointer and middle
finger), placing them on the inside of your wrist or the side of your neck just below the
jawbone. Use just the tip of your first two fingers and press lightly over the artery until you feel
a steady pulse. Count your pulse for 30 seconds (you will need to set a timer or use the second
hand on a clock) and then multiply it by 2 to find your beats per minute. You want to count your
pulse immediately upon stopping exercise.

So, what exactly does our heart rate tell us? If your heart rate is too high while you are working
out, it means your body is having to strain, and it’s a strong clue to slow down. If your heart
rate is too low, you may want to consider pushing yourself a little harder during exercise. If you
are just starting to get active, aim for the lower range of your target heart rate zone, for
example 50% of your maximum, and gradually build up to 75%. Over time your body adapts to
the increased demand and you can comfortably exercise up to 85% of your maximum heart
rate.
Workouts should consist of a 5- to 10-minute warm up, followed by 20 to 30 minutes of
consistent exercise where your heart rate is in your target zone, followed by a 5- to 10-minute
cool down. The purpose of a warmup is to gradually increase your heart rate and prepare your
muscles and circulatory system for training. This helps prevent injuries to the ligaments,
muscles and joints. Your cool down period will gradually lower your heart rate to normal before
stopping, preventing unwanted side effects like nausea and dizziness. Monitoring your heart
rate is a simple way to determine if you are training safe and effectively.
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting.
Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The
office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Heel Pain

By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

Have you ever experienced excruciating pain in the bottom of the foot or heel? Does
your first step out of bed in the morning feel like you stepped on a knife? Sharp pain
in the heel or stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot can be debilitating. Plantar
fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss) is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the
heel, and it affects nearly 2 million people a year.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the
front of the foot. This tissue helps create the arch shape to support your feet, aid in
stability, and absorb shock when your feet strike the ground. Sometimes, however,
too much pressure damages or causes tears in the tissue, and the plantar fascia gets
inflamed, which leads to pain and discomfort. Tightness can start in the calf muscle
that connects to the heel via the Achilles tendon. When the calf muscles are tight, the
tendon pulls on the bone, which strains the fascia and connective tissue causing
pain.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by multiple factors, but the most common triggers
include:
Long periods of standing on hard surfaces
Excessive walking that causes unwarranted tension on the muscles of the
feet and surrounding structures.
Faulty biomechanics of the foot, such as high arches or flat feet, which puts
added stress on the plantar fascia due to abnormal weight distribution
Inadequate support from shoes, such as high heels or flip flops.

Another cause of plantar fasciitis is inactivity. This is particularly common when
recovering from an injury that requires sedentariness in order to heal. During the
inactive healing process, the small muscles of the feet atrophy and become weak.
Once you use that foot again, it can trigger plantar fasciitis. Additionally, after an
injury, the muscles in the foot can become adhered to the plantar fascia causing an
inability of the tissues to glide over one another, resulting in sharp pain.

An effective at-home treatment is rolling out the bottom of the foot to help release
the adhesions. Use a golf ball, baseball, lacrosse ball, rolling pin (or even an empty
wine bottle) to roll back and forth on the bottom of the foot for a deep tissue
massage. This will allow you to break up the adhered fascia and connective tissue in
order to gain mobility in the tight muscles. You can do this while seated, two
minutes at a time, multiple times per day.

In addition, stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon by placing the ball of your
foot on the edge of a stair and dropping your heel down. Slowly lean forward,
keeping your leg straight until you feel the stretch at the top of the calf. This stretch
can be repeated with your knee bent in order to feel a deeper stretch down the calf

and into the Achilles tendon. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat several
times in each position.

Before getting out of bed in the morning, stretch the arches of your feet by using a
towel or belt around the ball of your foot, pulling the toes toward your head. Hold
the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times before getting out of bed.

To help decrease pain and inflammation, freeze a plastic water bottle and roll it over
the site of discomfort using long slow strokes with deep pressure for five minutes on
with two minutes off. Another option is freezing water in a small dixie cup and
peeling the top of the cup back for a more specific ice massage on the foot, using
your hands to create the pressure needed in particular areas. Epsom salt can also
help relieve pain and inflammation. Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub or three
tablespoons in a small tub of warm water. Soak for 10-15 minutes daily, and follow
by massaging the bottom and arch of the foot.

Magnesium can help relax tendons. Add 500 mg of magnesium before bed or
increase your daily intake of magnesium by incorporating avocado, spinach, Swiss
chard, banana, black beans, pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas,
pinto beans, and dried figs into your diet. Vitamin B5 is responsible for helping with
nerve function, relaxing muscles, accelerate healing and decreasing joint pain and
fatigue. Foods naturally high in B5 include shiitake mushrooms, sunflower seeds,
salmon, sweet potatoes and lentils, and are worth adding to your diet.

In order to prevent plantar fasciitis, choose shoes with good arch support and shock
absorbency. Replace your old athletic shoes before they stop supporting your foot,
after about 500 miles of use.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food
allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and
wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake
Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Kale is King

Kale: King of the Cruciferous Vegetables

By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

 

When it comes to nutrient-dense vegetables, kale is king. This cruciferous powerhouse is in the same vegetable family as broccoli, arugula, radish, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, radish, turnip and bok choy. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. And, the good news is, it’s easy to find. Even during this time of grocery store shortages, most of us are still able to find fresh or pre-chopped kale in the produce section.

 

Kale is rich in vitamin C, which is important for a well-functioning immune system. Clinical trials have found that vitamin C shortens the frequency, duration and severity of the common cold and the incidence of pneumonia. Vitamin C is also necessary to make collagen, which is an abundant structural protein in the body. While most experts recommend daily doses ranging from 500 mg to 3,000 mg, it is possible to get vitamin C from real food sources, as well. Kale is much higher in vitamin C then most vegetables, and one cup of raw kale actually contains more vitamin C than a whole orange.

 

Kale is also one of the best sources of vitamin K1, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in blood clotting. Kale also contains zeaxanthin and lutein, two important antioxidants that give kale its dark green color. These nutrients have been shown to help improve eyesight, and also help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

 

You can capitalize on these health benefits by adding some kale to your meal plan this week. Below are a couple simple and tasty recipes to get you started.

 

Lemon and Garlic Sautéed Kale

Ingredients:

2 large bunches of kale, any variety
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of one small lemon
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional for added flavor and spice)

Directions:
Pull the kale leaves from their stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse the leaves, but do not dry them. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant (usually about 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown). Add the kale, a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each handful you add so it starts to wilt. Add in the salt and pepper, cover and continue to cook about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally until the kale is tender. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and serve. Leftovers can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This is excellent added to an egg scramble the next morning!

 

Easy Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
Courtesy of www.spendwithpennies.com

For salad:
5 cups kale, chopped
1-2 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups broccoli, chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup cheese, optional (cheddar or feta work well)
¼ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries

For dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a lidded mason jar and shake well. Dip a kale leaf in the dressing and adjust honey, salt and pepper to taste.

Massage chopped kale with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rub with your fingers until leaves begin to darken and tenderize. (This makes it taste great and gives the kale a silky texture.) In a large bowl, combine massaged kale, broccoli, almonds, cheese, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds and cranberries. Shake your dressing once more and pour about 1/3 of dressing over salad. Toss to coat and add extra dressing to taste.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

 

EWG Dirty Dozen

By Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
Earlier this month, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan
organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, released its annual
report, “A Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.” The report lists the Dirty Dozen, fruits and
vegetables with the most pesticide residue, and the Clean Fifteen, for which few, if any,
residues were detected.
Drawing from tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug
Administration, the 2024 report determined that 75 percent of all conventional fresh produce
sampled had residues of potentially harmful pesticides. But for items on the Dirty Dozen list, a
whopping 95 percent of samples contained pesticide. The USDA peels or scrubs and washes
produce samples before they’re tested, whereas the FDA removes only dirt first. Even after
these steps, the agencies’ tests still found traces of 254 pesticides in all fruits and vegetables
analyzed — and 209 of these were on Dirty Dozen produce.
While most pesticide residues the USDA finds fall within government-mandated restrictions, it’s
important to point out that legal limits aren’t necessarily safe. Pesticides are designed to kill
living organisms, such as insects, invasive plants and fungi. Given their designed purpose, it
should come as no surprise that pesticides could have a negative effect on human health, as
well. There have been many health risks linked directly to pesticides — including infertility,
brain and nervous system issues, cancer and hormone disruption — so it makes sense to keep
your exposure as low as possible.
In a perfect world, we would all buy and eat 100% organic. However, organic options aren’t
always available, and they often come with a heftier price tag. If fully organic isn’t in your
budget, you can eliminate many of the pesticides from your food by prioritizing certain organic
foods. The EWG’s annual lists provide a great place to start.

EWG’s 2024 Dirty Dozen List

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Kale/Collard/Mustard greens
4. Grapes
5. Peaches
6. Pears
7. Nectarines
8. Apples
9. Bell & hot peppers
10. Cherries
11. Blueberries
12. Green beans

EWG’s 2024 Clean 15 List

1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn*
3. Pineapples
4. Onions
5. Papayas*
6. Frozen sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Honeydew melon
9. Kiwi
10. Cabbage
11. Watermelon
12. Mushrooms
13. Mangoes
14. Sweet potatoes
15. Carrots
*Although shown to have the among the lowest amounts of pesticide residue, sweet corn and
papayas sold in the United States are genetically-modified crops (GMOs). You should still choose
organic versions of these crops in order to avoid the GMO varieties.
There are a couple important things to keep in mind when using these lists:
1. Fruits and veggies are the foundation to a healthy diet. If you can’t buy organic, you are
still better off eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables rather than not eating
them at all. Always eat lots of vegetables, but choose organic when possible, especially
when it comes to The Dirty Dozen.
2. If you are unable to purchase organic, consider peeling your produce. For example,
remove and discard the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage. Peel your potatoes
and apples.
3. For produce that you cannot peel, wash thoroughly — organic or not. To clean your
vegetables at home, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water and
soak your desired fruit or vegetable. Stir periodically for five minutes before draining,
rinsing and using. Alternately, you can make a solution of one part vinegar and three
parts water and keep in a spray bottle near the sink. Simply spray your produce, then
rinse under cold water.
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting.
Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The
office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Springtime Allergies

By Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

 

It’s that time of year again. As the temperatures begin to climb, trees, shrubs, and flowers begin to awaken from their long winter’s nap. Here in the Lake Country, just within the last week, it feels as though someone has flipped a switch causing dense clouds of pine pollen — along with a myriad of other unseen pollens — to hang in the air. Despite its beauty, springtime in Georgia can make many an allergy sufferer want to hide indoors until the season passes. So, what are allergies and is there anything we can do to prevent them and enjoy this time of year?

An allergy is an abnormally high sensitivity to a substance that is not typically harmful. Allergies are an indication that something is out of balance, causing the body to overreact with an immune response, such as itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, eczema, abdominal pain or bloating.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in allergies and asthma, especially in children. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people now suffer from allergies. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates the annual cost of allergies to the health care system and businesses in the U.S. to be $7.9 BILLION.

Why are we experiencing this dramatic increase? The simple answer is most allergy sufferers’ immune systems are not as strong or efficient as they once were. Over 70 percent of your immune system is in your intestinal tract, and it is common to find an imbalance in gut bacteria resulting from the use of medications, especially antibiotics.

Another cause of increased allergies is inflammation, especially in the gut. Many of the foods we commonly consume are filled with chemicals and trans fats.  In addition, the antibiotics and hormones found in many of the meats we consume also cause the body to become inflamed. Chronic inflammation can cause the body to become over-reactive and hypersensitive, while also causing a decrease in healthy gut flora.

The good news is there are things you can do to help reduce allergies naturally. As we head in to spring, consider taking some of these simple steps:

  • Use a neti pot. A neti pot cleanses and refreshes the nasal passages, thereby improving allergy symptoms. The pot is filled with purified water and a salt-based mixture. (Using water alone in the nasal passages can irritate the inside of your nostrils.)
  • Strengthen your immune system. Eat good quality food, lots of vegetables, some fruit, and some lean meats.
  • Eat garlic.  Garlic is a natural antibiotic and helps to fight off viruses, infections and allergies. Using real cloves of garlic in your foods is more effective than taking it in supplement form and can offer a powerful boost to the immune system.
  • Increase Vitamin D. The optimal range for Vitamin D levels in our blood is between 50 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D is a modulator for the immune system and decreased levels of Vitamin D have been linked to autoimmune conditions.
  • When possible, reach for natural antihistamines and decongestants. There are several whole food supplements available that can help eliminate histamines, support liver function and loosen mucus without the side effects of most allergy medications.  Supplements that we use in our office with great success include Allerplex and Antronex.
  • Reach for lemons and limes. Both fruits have high levels of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps reduce allergies.  Drinking lemon/lime water also helps your body get rid of toxins.
  • Drink turmeric ginger tea. Together, turmeric and ginger have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and act as a natural painkiller to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Avoid chamomile tea if you are allergic to ragweed.
  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. Dehydration makes allergy symptoms even worse.
  • Change your air conditioner filters frequently during the pollen season.
  • When in your car, keep the ventilation system on re-circulate.
  • Experiment with essential oils. Peppermint oil can often unclog sinuses, discharge phlegm and offer relief to scratchy throats. Basil oil reduces the inflammatory response to allergens and helps detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses. Eucalyptus oil can open up the lungs and sinuses, thereby improving circulation and reducing allergy symptoms. Lemon oil supports the lymphatic system drainage and helps overcome respiratory conditions by boosting the immune system. Tea tree oil can destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies.

 

Taking these steps can allow allergy sufferers to move beyond merely “surviving” this time of year and bring them to a point where they can thrive and enjoy all spring has to offer.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Level Up Your Game

By: Alyssa Musgrove
Golf is a challenging and often frustrating sport. Many golfers feel the mental
component of the game is their greatest challenge, and undervalue the
biomechanics and conditioning required to play the game well and play the game
longer. This is a mistake that can lead to poor play and injury.
An extreme amount of compressive force – up to 10 times a person’s body
weight – is exerted on the spine during the golf swing. Every joint involved in the
swing is taken through its maximum range of motion. Many golfers contort their
bodies into oddly twisted postures, generating a great deal of torque. Couple this
motion with a bent-over stance, repeat 120 times over three or four hours, add
the fatigue that comes with several miles of walking or hot summer weather, and
you've got a recipe for lower back trouble.
"Most golfers go until they get hurt, then look for help," says Dr. David Stude,
member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) Sports Council and
founding fellow of the National Golf Fitness Society. "Back pain is a warning sign
there is an underlying problem responsible for a symptom that will likely get
worse. Doctors of chiropractic look for the cause of the symptom and help reduce
the likelihood of future injury."
There’s a reason Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer
have all relied on chiropractic care throughout their careers. Tiger Woods has
said, “…lifting weights and seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis has made me
a better golfer. I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It
is as important to my training as practicing my swing is.”
Aside from regular chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Stude and the ACA suggest
these simple measures to help you avoid back pain or injury, and improve your
overall game:
• Purchase equipment that fits. Don't adapt your swing to the wrong clubs.
Someone six feet tall playing with irons designed for someone five inches
shorter is begging for back trouble.
• For women: If you have "inherited" your significant other's golf clubs,
beware. Not only are the clubs likely too long, the shaft is often not flexible
enough for a woman's grip. Women play better with clubs composed of
lighter, more flexible material, such as graphite.
• For men: While men are traditionally stronger than women, they usually
aren't as flexible. Men should spend extra time stretching before and after
play to increase trunk flexibility. Improved flexibility helps men maintain a
more even and consistent swing plane, which leads to more consistent
performance.
• For senior golfers: If you show signs of arthritis in the hands, consider a larger, more specialized grip for added safety and performance.
• Take lessons. Learning proper swing technique is critical. At the end of the
swing, you want to be standing up straight; the back should not be twisted.
• Wear orthotics. These shoe inserts support the arch, absorb shock, and
increase coordination. Studies show custom-made, flexible orthotics can
improve the entire body's balance, stability and coordination. This
translates into a smoother swing and reduced fatigue.
• Warm up before each round. Stretching before and after 18 holes is the
best way to reduce post-game stiffness and soreness. Take a brisk walk
to get blood flowing to the muscles; then do a set of stretches. To set up a
quality stretching and/or exercise routine, see a chiropractor or golf pro
who can evaluate your areas of tension and flexibility.
• Pull, don't carry, your golf bag. Carrying a heavy bag for 18 holes can
cause the spine to be compressed, leading to disc problems and nerve
irritation. If you prefer to ride in a cart, alternate riding and walking every
other hole. Bouncing in a cart can be hard on the spine.
• Keep your entire body involved. Every third hole, take a few practice
swings backwards and with the opposite hand to balance out the stress
put on the back and rest of the body. Imagine going to the gym and
working only one side of your body everyday for years, neglecting the
opposite side. Golf tends to create this same type of imbalance in your
spinal column, setting the stage for injury.
 Drink lots of water, especially in the heat. Dehydration causes early
fatigue. When fatigued, we compensate by adjusting our swing, which
increases the risk of injury. Smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages while
golfing also causes dehydration.
If you golf consistently, you will no doubt feel the stress of the game. But by
following a few simple prevention tips, it is possible to play pain-free. Chiropractic
care is an effective solution for golfers who seek to rid themselves of pain and
have a successful and enjoyable golf game!
Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove
draws on a variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food
allergy testing and lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and
wellness in one setting. Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake
Oconee Village, Greensboro. The office can be reached at 706-454-2040.