Got a Fever? Stop Fighting Your Body

Posted January 16, 2014 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

Sometimes the best medicine is rest

Maybe it was the change in the weather, or that guy’s hand you didn’t want to shake, the recirculated airplane air or that someone just coughed in your face. Either way you got sick. You are now one if not all these characters from Snow White – Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy… and Cough-y and Fever-y. Your first instinct may be to grab the Anti-tussive to get rid of the cough, anti-histamine to reduce the mucus and antipyretic to get rid of the fever. There is, of course, one problem with this: you are now fighting your body from making you healthy rather than fighting the bug that’s invaded your body.

Humans have been fighting invading bugs ever since the beginning. Your body is trying to fight whatever bug you have managed to acquire, and it does it by creating inflammation, causing you to sneeze the bugs out, blow the mucus from your nose or raise the temperature in your body to burn up the bug.

Mucus surrounds the bug and attempts to render it ineffective. It also holds the bug until the body can send some immune soldiers to kill it. Then, the body ramps up mucus production and snot starts flowing. You end up blowing and sneezing everything out of your body, including the bugs. A fever is a wonderful tool the body uses to make bacteria and other bugs very uncomfortable. These bugs thrive at human body temperature. When your body raises the thermostat, it knows that most bugs can’t survive at these higher temperatures.

“Many parents have a misconception that fevers are a bad thing and a sign that there is some serious underlying illness. This simply is not true,” according to “Low-grade fevers are helpful in fighting off infection. You should only treat a fever when it is making your child miserable. Treat your child, not the fever.”

When should you take your child to the doctor? According to Dr. Sears:

  • Children seven weeks and younger should go to the doctor right away if they have a fever of 101 or more

  • Children who are lethargic, irritable and have a temperature of 104

  • If you have a gut feeling that your child is seriously ill

So, now you’re sick and you reluctantly decide to take my advice. Besides nothing, what else should you do?

  • To eat or not to eat. Listen to your body on this one. Generally, it is better to eat less and drink more. Whiskey? No, but warm liquids such as teas and soup stocks are wonderful. Alcohol and sugary drinks will lower immunity and extend the sniffles. Listen to your body, and, if you are hungry, by all means eat. If not, relax and stay hydrated.

  • Stay warm: Even if you‘re  feeling feverish, you don’t want to strip down and run around in the cold. Again, they body has a temperature it wants to be at so stay warm, the quicker and easier your body gets to the desired temperature, the better. That means the body can focus less on raising your body temperature and more time on killing the bad guys. If you sweat, put on dry clothes. A wet washcloth on the forehead can be very comforting which is fine, but keep the rest of the body covered up and dry. Wait for the fever to break and the healing to begin.

  • Sleep. For many, getting a cold is the body’s way of saying, “Take a break!”. If you are on the go, working out, going to work, your body has no choice but to focus on the demands you are placing on your body and less on healing. It’s better for everyone that you don’t bring your bug-filled snot to the office and pass it around like a secret Santa. Take a day or two off, try to pair it with a weekend and allow the body time to do what it does best.

  • Stay out of the pharmacy. Don’t fight your body. Get out of the way and allow your body to do what it does best – heal.

  • Finally, don’t get sick. Eating healthy proteins, healthy fruits and veggies and limited grains especially processed grains, sleep eight hours, drink six-10 glasses of water per day, have a minimum of one bowel movement per day, employ stress reduction techniques (yoga, exercise, meditation) and invest in healthy, productive relationships. Sounds too easy but there is great research for all of these.

Also, here’s an excellent Naturopathic Tea recipe for what ails you:

  1. Chop 4-8 cloves of garlic and place it in a large tea cup.

  2. Boil clean water and pour it into the tea cup and allow it to steep for 20 minutes.

  3. Add freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice from 1-2 lemons or limes.

  4. Add organic honey to taste, not too much though.

  5. Drink tea slowly while resting. Repeat if necessary.

  6. If you are feeling brave, eat the garlic at the end.






Celery and Parsley Cancer Fighters?

Posted May 19, 2012 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy, Nutrition

Little by little we continue to see research that says real food, the food our ancestors ate for millions of years, is quite good for us. In  this case, Apigenin, found in celery and parsley, has been discovered to possibly be a cancer fighter, specifically breast cancer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should isolate this chemical, synthesize it and make a drug or supplement that people take. Obviously anything that fights cancer is fine by me but the idea is that if we consume Real Food, not processed, not fortified with synthetic vitamins, we should be able to avoid / prevent most major diseases (there are some exceptions). So lets just assume that fruits and vegetables are generally good for us, despite the lack of research to prove it.

Understanding the Benefits of Paleo Nutrition

Posted May 2, 2012 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

Tags: , , ,

– Dr. Chris Ogilvie

In today’s world of infomercials, celebrity magazines and internet pop-up ads, there are an overwhelming number of diets from which to choose. Some diets promote high protein, low carbs, while others advocate eating low fat and high carbs, while still others rely on powders and processed foods and then those who promise everything you need in a magic pill. It is very difficult for educated consumers to decide which diet is going to be best for them. The Paleolithic diet is one focused on foods eaten by our hunter-gatherer ancestors such as meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Paleolithic diet is not what is eaten but what is not eaten, namely grains and dairy products. Proponents of the Paleolithic diet contend that farming is a recent phenomena in human evolution and one that has made humans less healthy. This article will highlight the historical and scientific merits of the Paleolithic diet.

The Paleolithic era, also known as the Stone Age, lasted from approximately 2 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago.  Nutritionally, our Paleolithic ancestors scavenged wild fruits, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds while also consuming meat, fish, shellfish and insects. Consumption of grains and dairy was minimal, if at all, and may have not began until the very end of the Paleolithic period (10,000 BC) through the Mesolithic (10,000BC – 5,500BC) until we see the full emergence of agricultural societies in the Neolithic period (5,500BC – 2500BC). As far as the their lifestyle the Paleolithic humans generally hunted and gathered for about 4 hours per day and considered the rest of the day as leisure time. In considering this diet, it is reasonable to assume that both paleo nutrition and the paleo ethic of work hard play harder may have contributed to any observed health benefits coming out of this time period.

So why did man decide to farm 12,000 years ago? From a societal perspective, the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer was beneficial, allowing our Neolithic ancestors to establish local governance, build communities, and control their food source. Nutritionally however, it had a destructive effect.  Farmers in the Neolithic period were scourged with more famine, disease, and malnutrition than their Paleo ancestors. Like modern day farmers, farmers in the Neolithic and Mesolithic time period were highly dependent upon a small number of crops for the majority of their diet and as a result, were less versatile and resourceful when those crops failed. The lack of nutritional diversity resulted in lower intake of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant-based nutrients known as phytochemicals, which made our farming ancestors more susceptible to disease. In 1984, anthropologist J. Lawrence Angel analyzed the bones of our ancestors both from the Paleolithic time period as well as bones from our ancestors during the farming Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. He found two very interesting findings; first, he tested nutrition levels based on a test he called, the pelvic inlet test, and second he tested the average stature. According to Angel, not only were Paleolithic ancestors taller and had high nutritional levels than our farming ancestors, they were also taller and had higher nutritional levels than modern humans.
Although the average Paleolithic man and woman lived about half as long as current men and women, we are clearly less healthy. Emergency medicine, vaccines, and antibiotics are largely credited with extending our lives, but our day-to-day nutrition is extremely poor. Incidences of most major illnesses and cancers continue to rise. Essentially, more people are getting sick but they are living longer. It is critical to note that these health conditions were rarely seen in hunter-gatherer tribes, including modern day tribes like those found in Southeast Asia and Africa. In a 2007 study in the journal Diabetologia, (Diabetologia. 2007 Sep;50(9):1795-807. Epub 2007 Jun 22.) authors Lindeberg and Jonsson determined that the Paleo diet was effective at reducing the factors leading to diabetes. The obvious reason for this is that eliminating grains or sugars, makes it easier for the body to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. In another small study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009 (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;63(8):947-55. Epub 2009 Feb 11), the authors were able to demonstrate significant improvements in glucose tolerance, decreased insulin secretion, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved lipid (cholesterol) profiles in the test group following the Paleo diet. In other words, the Paleo diet not only supports better physical health but also actually reverses the processes the lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Eating a Paleo diet appears to wake up our ancestral DNA; it feeds our bodies the high quality fuel that it craves by offering a healthy antidote to the standard American diet that focuses on processed grains and sugars. Additionally, the Paleo diet offers the immune boosting benefits only achieved with a diet containing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This, coupled with the importance of physical acitivity and generous leisure time make the paleo diet an impressive option. Based on the research and historical evidence, a person employing the Paleo diet should expect to see a number of health improvements including weight loss, stabilization of blood sugars, decrease in inflammation, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers as well as an improvement in energy and quality of life.

Ways To Keep Your Children Toxin-Free

Posted May 2, 2012 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

By Dr. Christopher Ogilvie, N.D.

In the 1960’s Americans were surrounded by 400 million pounds of pesticides. Today we are surrounded by over 4.5 billion pounds of pesticides. Toxic chemicals are invading our collective and personal environments and are having a deleterious affect on our health. Cancer causing toxic chemicals are directly responsible for 4% of all cancer deaths and numerous other diseases affecting Americans. In a small study spearheaded by The Environmental Working Group, “researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 [out of 413] industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals” in chord blood of newborns. Of those, “180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause developmental problems.” Here are some guidelines to protect your children from these harmful chemicals.

Keep a sacred house: Air pollution inside American houses is generally much worse than outside the house. So be careful what you allow in the house.

  1. Take your shoes off when you enter the house. No need to bring in a days worth of toxins and trash from the bottom of your shoe, up to your bedroom. Speaking of which…..
  2. Don’t replace the carpet, rip it out. Carpets are basically filters that never get fully cleaned, trapping any and everything they come in contact with. Consider bamboo, recycled wood floors, hardwood, or tile, just stay away from the fake woods.
  3. Avoid the scented (fill in the blanks). The best way to get a mountain pine or fresh air is to go outside. Get rid of the candles, detergents, soaps, dryer sheets, and “fresheners” that come scented. These products contain chemicals that can be toxic to your house and family.
  4. Ask the smoker to stay outside, permanently. We are all aware of 1st hand smoke and 2nd hand smoke but 3rd hand smoke is a problem as well. 3rd hand smoke is the smoke that comes off of clothes and objects that were exposed to 1st or 2nd hand smoke. This smoke is harmful to the little lungs running around your house and is polluting your environment.
  5. Keep the dry cleaned clothes outside for 48 hours to avoid the toxic chemicals become part of your indoor air.
  6. Consider using non-toxic cleaning supplies. Vinegar, baking soda, and steam kill bacteria too. No need to turn your house into a sterile hospital room.

Keep a sacred body: In the medical field, we know that the skin is the largest organ and that the blood vessels in the skin can carry chemicals from the surface of the skin to the blood stream and the rest of the body. This is why we prescribe some medications like hormones in the form of lotions to be rubbed on the skin. As parents, it is important to be mindful of the toxins going into the body from the skin. Marketers and manufacturers are trying to sell you their product, not keep you healthy. Be very careful what goes on your family’s skin.

  1. Keep toxins off your children’s skin. The most obvious are sunscreen, and lotions but don’t forget about dryer sheets, soaps, shampoo, and detergents. All of these are known to contain toxins and buying them toxin-free is imperative. To find out which lotions and sunscreens are toxic, please visit
  2. Is your make-up toxic? Probably. Consider toxin free make-up.
  3. If its non-stick it should not be in your house. Use cast-iron or stainless steel to cook your foods on.
  4. Avoid processed foods. Many of these have food colorings or flavorings that can add to your child’s toxicity. “Natural Flavors Added” does not mean healthy. Fruit juices should not have multiple ingredients. To find out which fruits and veggies contain the most pesticides, please visit
  5. Fish don’t grow on farms. Farm-raised fish often contain a petroleum based food coloring that has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
  6. Switch your plastic Tupperware for Glassware. Plastics are constantly adding chemicals to any food that touches it. Even worse if the food is hot or put in the microwave. Which leads us to…
  7. Consider using a toaster oven or heat your food on a stove. No need to radiate your food with a microwave.
  8. Your body should be a river not a pond. It is crucial to drink plenty of water per day, exercise and sweat, have a bowel movement and urinate DAILY. This helps your body detoxify and cleanse.

Keep a Sacred Mind: As parents, we can shape our children’s experiences. Excessive negativity, guilt, shame, and unreasonable expectations can toxify your children’s body through the release of stress hormones that slowly break down body systems. Emotional toxicity leads to physiologic toxicity. So…

  1. Be positive and supportive to your children.
  2. Encourage exercise and physical activity.
  3. Encourage prayer or meditation.
  4. Create and environment where children are free to express curiosities and creativities.

Detoxing our lives is not quick or easy. It takes time and research. Fortunately, there are many experts who can help you “go green”. Start slow. Go through the list and figure out which things are easy to change and which are going to take some time. Then get help from a professional. Remember; our children do what we do, not what we say. If we are not making changes in our lives, our children won’t either.

“You Look Ridiculous!” The Benefits of Running in Gorilla Feet.

Posted July 23, 2011 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy, Nutrition

By Dr. Christopher Ogilvie

If you walk into a sports store today, the number of running shoes available to choose from is overwhelming. Since its inception, the running shoe has evolved and the technology has improved to the point where many running stores are now able to video analyze how you run and recommend the perfect running shoe, based on gait, pronation, and width of your foot. It hasn’t always been this way though. As a matter of fact, before 1970, and the previous 2 million years or so, humans did not have the benefit of the heel-cushioned running shoe, the creation of which has caused us to completely change how we run. The question is; which is better?

The majority of shod runners, or runners wearing shoes, strike the ground with their heel (heel-strike) and the mid-foot (middle of the foot) and forefoot (front of the foot) landing a split second later.  Heel-strike running is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to the invention of thick, heel-cushioned running shoe, humans ran very differently. To see how, all you have to do is take your running shoes off. Heel-striking barefoot is quite painful. As a result the body will naturally adjust to a mid-foot strike or forefoot strike.

The reason the body naturally uses a mid-foot or forefoot strike can be found in the bio-mechanics of the foot. The human foot is shaped like an “L”. On the back of the “L” we have our Achilles tendon and calf muscles, and on the front we have the muscles of the foot. Additionally, we have vertical rotation of the foot around the ankle. To see this, point your toes down, then, bring your toes up towards your shin. Total range of motion is anywhere from 30 to 80 degrees. Essentially we have springs in our feet that allow our “L” shaped base to absorb the impact of our bodies landing on the ground and pushing back off again. The heel-strike negates the spring-like bio-mechanics of the foot and transfers the impact of landing to the thick cushion of the shoe, and the joints of the body. The reason running shoes have such thick soles is to accomplish what the bare foot does naturally; take the impact away from the ankles, knees, and hips.

Researchers from Harvard have been investigating this very topic. Harvard researcher Daniel Lieberman and his research team have published an article in the journal Nature (Nature 463: 531-5.) and found that “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.” Impact collision is the initial force of the body landing transferred up through the body. Lieberman goes on to say that “it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.” The article illustrates that when a barefoot runner strikes the ground, the impact collision is not absorbed by the heel and transferred to the ankle, knee, and hips, but is changed to rotational energy of the pointed foot touching the ground and with the help of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, slowing the impact and easing our landing. The assumption here is that muscles and tendons can absorb impact better than bones and joints.  Lieberman suggests that “evidence that barefoot and minimally shod runners avoid [heel-strike] with high-impact collisions may have public health implications. The average runner strikes the ground 600 times per kilometer, making runners prone to repetitive stress injuries. The incidence of such injuries has remained considerable for 30 years despite technological advancements that provide more cushioning and motion control in shoes designed for heel-toe running.” Lieberman admits that evidence of “reduced injuries in barefoot populations” is merely “anecdotal” and that more research is needed.

Similarly, at the June 2nd, 2011 American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver, Colorado, associate professor and director of research in the Department of Physical Therapy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Stuart Warden, explained in his symposium “Barefoot Running; So Easy, a Caveman Did it!” that “the heel cushions and arch supports within modern shoes have made our feet weaker”.  This is true of any biological process in the body, if you don’t let the body do it, it will atrophy. This is understood to be an adaptive process that eliminates unnecessary or overly redundant biological functions. If you’ve ever worn a cast, you remember that when you took the cast off, the muscle underneath had atrophied.

On Lieberman’s website:, he discusses barefoot running in an evolutionary context. Lieberman theorizes that around 2 million years ago the human foot changed from a flatter arch to a higher, springier arch allowing humans to improve long distance or endurance running. The possible explanation for this evolutionary change Lieberman elaborates in another article also published in Nature (Nature. 432: 345-352.) that I will attempt to summarize in the following: Lieberman suggests that as the African landscape changed around 2 million years ago, endurance running may have given humans an edge over other animals in the search for food. Whereas quadrupeds or 4-legged animals are much better sprinters, giving them an apparent evolutionary advantage, a bipedal or two-legged animal that could not necessarily sprint but could sustain a decent pace and ultimately tire the quadrupeds out and kill their prey. One important fact that Lieberman points out is that four legged animals cannot pant while sprinting. This makes it very difficult for them to cool their body and makes them susceptible to overheating.

In my opinion, combining the bio-mechanics of the foot with historical evidence and evolutionary context provides a solid case for the potential health benefits of barefoot running. I, however, do not run barefoot. I wear five finger shoes or Gorilla Feet, as I like to call them. Currently, the only company I am aware of that sells them is Vibram. I have no financial interests in this company. These Five Finger shoes preserve the biomechanics of the foot while providing protection from glass and rocks that one may encounter on the road or sidewalk.

Ultimately the choice is yours whether to run in heel-cushioned shoes or gorilla feet. If you enjoy running in heel-cushioned shoes and are not experiencing any discomfort I would recommend you continue to do so. If you are experiencing discomfort while running and would like to try something new, please be careful. I know from personal experience that if you push your workout too far in Five Finger shoes, you can pull or tear the weaker, less used muscles needed for barefoot running and cause delays in your training. On the Vibram website, you can find a practical guide to transition from traditional running shoes to Five Finger shoes and as always, check with your doctor before making and major changes in your exercise routine.

Important Disclaimer: (The idea that running shoes may be making our foot and leg muscles weaker also explains why it can be so difficult to transition to barefoot running. Both Warden and Lieberman caution you the reader to be very careful when or if you decide to take the running shoes off. Transitioning from running shoes to bare feet can take weeks to months to years. When transitioning, consider running one-tenth of your current distances with 1-3 days of rest in between.)

Why Gluten May Be Hurting You

Posted July 23, 2011 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy, Nutrition

By Dr. Christopher Ogilvie

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Humans have been eating gluten for upwards of 10,000 years in agrarian societies and even longer in hunter-gatherer tribes that wild-harvested their grains. About 50 years ago gluten was identified as the culprit in celiac’s disease, a disease associated with severe intestinal disturbances.  Although Celiac’s disease is much better understood, gluten sensitivity is not a concept that has been well understood, until now. A recent study in the journal BMC Medicine sheds some light on a condition that Naturopaths and other nutritional experts have been treating for a long time, gluten sensitivity.

First, lets go back and understand Celiac’s disease.  When a person with this condition consumes gluten, the body’s immune system creates specific antibodies that ultimately destroy the finger-like villi in the small intestines. These villi are used to absorb nutrients but are flattened in celiac’s patients. The result is a lack of absorption of nutrients and intestinal discomfort. Cramping, bloating and diarrhea are common due to unabsorbed food putrefying in the small intestines. Children with this condition often suffer from failure-to-thrive. Celiac’s disease is a serious condition but one that is well-controlled through diet.

Gluten sensitivity though, according to the study in the BMC Medicine Journal, appears to be more of a general inflammatory reaction. Celiac’s again, was specific antibodies against gluten. People with gluten sensitivities may experience a more general immune reaction like itching, hives, and swelling in the acute phase and indigestion, bloating and brain fog as more of a chronic and delayed reaction.

This is good news for people suffering from any condition that is based in inflammation like arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. If these patients do have a gluten sensitivity, their condition may well be improved from the elimination of gluten in the diet. Also, people with fatigue and brain fog could potentially see improvement after eliminating wheat from their nutritional program.

It is important to remember that even the 10,000 years we have been eating wheat is a drop in the bucket when compared to how long our DNA has been on this planet. Processed wheat and grains tend to cause a lot of health problems due to their over-representation in the American diet. The high-octane fuel that our body needs rarely comes from grains but rather from food in its natural form that comes from the earth. They are: vegetables, fruits, legumes, meats, nuts, and seeds.

Do You Know What’s In Your Salmon?

Posted February 8, 2011 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

By Dr. Christopher Ogilvie

It seems as though every time we Americans find something that is supposed to be good for us, some study comes out and tells us that it’s going to kill us. The good news is that salmon is still really good for you……. if it’s wild. Granted, there is a small amount of naturally occurring mercury in the ocean that is picked up by the fish, but as long as you don’t overdo it, there shouldn’t be a problem. So let’s move on to salmon’s farm raised brethren, the Franken-Salmon.

Whether it’s cattle, chicken, pigs, or salmon, American companies have created a formula for raising them and they are sticking to it. First, crowd as many of the species in one place as possible to maximize space. Second, feed them corn and soy along with other ingredients. Third, pump the species up with antibiotics to combat the junk diet and crowded conditions. Finally, pretend that this product is the same as if the species had been raised in natural conditions.

There are many problems with this approach as it relates to salmon but only two will be highlighted here; Petrochemical additives and PCB’s. When a salmon, swimming around the ocean, eats its normal diet of crustaceans, algae, and other sea nutrients it absorbs the naturally occurring carotenoids and omega oils from them. Carotenoids are pigments that second as potent anti-oxidants which are beneficial for the fish and anything that eats the fish. Just like in carrots and other orange and red foods, carotenoids change the color of the salmon’s muscle, making it a nice pinkish color. Farm raised salmon do not eat algae and crustaceans and do not get the carotenoids in their corn soy fish pellets which give them a greyish hue to their meat.  Regardless of the price, if the average consumer saw two salmon, one that was salmon pink, and one that was jailhouse gray, the pink one will win out most of the time. Not only are the farm raised salmon gray, but all of those omega 3’s we thought we were getting, just don’t occur in similar quantities as they do in wild salmon.

The industry’s solution to this problem was to add a color additive to the salmon to give them a pinker look. As with most food additives, the two that are principally used in salmon are derived from petroleum. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin are the petrochemicals used to color our fish so it looks pretty and we buy it. This is nothing new, similar color additives are used on many of the fruits, vegetables, and food that we buy everyday. To be fair, the FDA says these petroleum based color additives are fine for human consumption. This author recommends the wild salmon.

Let’s move on to the bad news. It has to do with the corn and soy fish pellets that farm raised salmon are eating, but to truly understand what is going on we need to go back to the year 1929, the year that PCB’s were first produced. Polychlorinated Biphenyl or PCB’s were created by man and don’t occur naturally. They were originally used in products such as motor oil, oil based paints, electrical cables etc. and are known toxins that have been proven to lead to cancer. This fact most likely led to them being banned by the EPA in 1977. Unfortunately, these chemicals won’t go away. They are non-flammable, have a high boiling point, are fat soluble and persist in our environment, especially in the fish pellets that are fed to the salmon.

In 2003 the Environmental Working Group ( studied farm-raised salmon and found that farm raised salmon are the most PCB contaminated source of protein in the United States. Farmed salmon have 16 X the PCB’s that wild salmon do, 4 X the PCB’s that beef does, and 3.5 X the PCB’s that other seafood does.

Once again, we need to eat real food. The farther a food gets from its natural source, the worse it is for us. We can’t assume that a government agency is going to protect us. We have to be vigilant about the foods we eat and stick to the basic principle of Nature First. If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact Dr. Ogilvie at or 703-226-9291.

What Food Makes You Sad, Dumb, & Overweight?

Posted February 8, 2011 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

By Dr. Christopher Ogilvie

The Center for Disease Control predicts that 1 in 3 Americans will have Type II Diabetes by 2050. The World Health Organization places the U.S. right after the Somoa and Kiribati Pacific Islanders on the list of overweight countries. We already know from previous blogs that processed food leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Thanks to two studies out of Britain we also know that processed (junk) food leads to depression and lower IQ’s in children.

The first study was published by the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2009 (The British Journal of Psychiatry (2009) 195: 408-413. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.058925
© 2009 The Royal College of Psychiatrists).  With a pool of 3486 participants, the study found that those participants who at more processed foods, on average, had a higher rate of reported depression. Conversely, the participants that tended toward a whole food diet, reported less incidence of depression.

The second study came out today, February 7, 2011 from Bristol University, also in Britain. Researchers study about 4,000 children under the age of 4 and followed them for 4 years. At the end of the study, the children that ate more processed foods scored lower on IQ tests than children who ate whole foods throughout the same period.

This may or may not be surprising for readers. Recent research has shown that improper nutrition is related to the onset of cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, now research shows that improper nutrition leads to depression and lower IQ’s. The reason for this is quite simple. Our ancestral DNA, the genes that have been passed down from the first human to you through your parents, has a very specific nutritional requirements that have been exacted over the course of millions of years and is precisely engineered to operate on Real Food. The farther any food gets from is natural form, the worse it becomes for you. Think of the body as a high performance sports car needing high performance fuel. If it gets low quality fuel it will not perform up to optimal levels and the engine will eventually be ruined. As intelligent as we think we are at this point in history, we are not smarter than a millions of years of adaptation and micro-evolution.

So when in doubt, err on the side of nature. Research will continue to prove the benefits of whole foods in the years to come but there’s no reason to wait. Follow these simple rules:

1. Eat Real Food. 

2. Eat 3 meals per day.

3. Eat a protein (Nuts, seeds, fish, meat, beans, and many others) with each meal.

4. Eat veggies at 2 of the 3 meals per day

5. Eat fruits at 2 of the 3 meals per day

6. Eat whole grains in limited quantities

7. Exercise for 30-45 minutes per day

If you have any questions about this article please feel free to contact Dr. Ogilvie at or call at 703-226-9291.

Tired? Low Energy? This May Be Why – Dr. Chris Ogilvie

Posted January 13, 2011 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Being tired or having low energy is a common complaint. There are many components that could be affecting your energy, your umph, and your get up and go. In this article we will explore some of the major reasons why YOU may be tired.   Remember, before you make any changes to your diet, consult with your primary care physician.

Sleep: Let’s start out with the obvious. When you sleep you restore, you rejuvenate, you slow down the aging process. You will literally age quicker if you sleep less. Generally, we need the 8 hours that you’ve always heard about. In a small percentage of people, less sleep is sufficient. That is not you. You need the full 8 hours. Even if you have been getting 6 hours of sleep per night for the last couple years, that just means that your body has adapted to your lifestyle. This is not healthy. My recommendation: Get 8 hours of sleep per night. The hours you sleep before midnight are more effective than the hours after midnight, so get to bed early. P.S don’t say you’ll “catch-up” on the weekends, the body doesn’t work like that.

Nutrition: Do you subscribe to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)? If you do, you are going to have low energy. Think about it like this: You are driving a high performance car and running it on low quality gas. Highly processed foods (pastas, breads, crackers, cereal), bad fats, sugar, soft drinks, and many other products that come out of a factory are BRINGING YOU DOWN. These foods lower immune function and cause inflammation. Both of these factors zap your energy and leave you with the after-meal-lull, and the 3pm crash. My recommendations: Instead, why don’t you try eating real food. This includes grass fed, wild meats, nuts & seeds, organic veggies, organic fruits, legumes, and limited whole grains. That should put and extra pep in your step.

Lifestyle: For millions of years our ancestors ran and hunted and searched for food. Now you sit behind a computer for 8 hours, go home and get on the internet, watch some TV, and do it all over. The body wants to move, so move it. My recommendations: Move or exercise 30-45 minutes per day, no less than 4 hours per week. Very easy!

Adrenal Fatigue: Adrenal means; “on top of kidney” which is exactly where the adrenal glands are located. Think of your adrenal glands not only as your morning pick-me-up and source of adrenaline, but as your reserve tank. When you are burning the candle at both ends, not sleeping enough, working overtime and not giving your body a change to rejuvenate, your adrenal glands will suffer. This can be tested with a 24 hr salivary cortisol test and then the adrenal glands can be fortified with adrenal herbs. First there are a few things you can do for free. My recommendations: 1. Remember to get your sleep. 2. Get your body into a rhythm; go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time 3. Make sure you are exercising (don’t overdo it). 4. Consider some hydrotherapy. This could be as simple as doing 30 seconds of freezing cold water at the end of you shower every day or as complicated as getting a constitutional hydrotherapy treatment from a professional.

Hypothyroid: The thyroid gland is located in the neck and is responsible for helping you maintain your energy. If you have low thyroid function you will definitely feel tired. Other signs of hypothyroid: Dry skin, constipation, hair-loss. The good news is that a simple blood test and proper medication or supplementation can knock this one out of the park. My recommendation: Ask your doctor for a blood test and medicate / supplement as necessary. If this is your problem, you will notice a huge difference once your thyroid is managed properly.

Iron Deficiency Anemia: Most people think anemia is synonymous with iron deficiency. Although iron-deficiency is a very common type of anemia, there are other forms. Iron deficiency anemia is more common in women due to menstrual cycles. In men, iron deficiency anemia is seen in gastro-intestinal bleeding. Iron is also the most deficient nutrient in children, oftentimes a result of excessive cow milk consumption. Iron is crucial in the electron transport chain, which is the final stage of energy production in the human body. No iron = no energy production. So what can you do? You can supplement but let’s try to get the iron naturally, through food. My recommendations: Red meat is probably the number one source of iron in your diet, so get it grass fed and don’t eat it every day. The other meats (chicken & fish) are next, followed by eggs. If you are a vegetarian don’t worry, dark green leafy veggies like collard greens, kale, spinach and broccoli. Remember: vitamin C liberates iron from it’s food so sprinkle some lemon or lime on your salad to increase absorption of Iron. Dried fruit and beans are also a good source of iron. Finally, use a cast iron skillet to cook with.

If you have any questions about any of the topics discussed in this article, feel free to call Dr. Ogilvie at 703-226-9291 or visit our website:


The Nutrition Solution to America’s Woes by Dr. Christopher Ogilvie

Posted December 19, 2010 by Dr Christopher Ogilvie
Categories: Naturopathy

If you are a typical American you live on a diet of processed foods and inactivity. Unfortunately, this lifestyle is 100% antithetical to the optimal functioning of our bodies. The genes we carry in our DNA are the result of millions of years of adaptation and procreation. As our needs change we experience micro-evolution and alter our genes slightly from one generation to the next. The result has been a genetic structure that is highly evolved, extremely resilient, and has the potential for extraordinary health and fitness. However, between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago (an evolutionary drop in the bucket) we discovered farming and with that came twinkies. Currently, we collectively possess an arrogance that despite the millions of years of adaptation and micro-evolution, we believe that we can produce a healthier human fuel in a factory using the cheapest inputs, than what the earth provides. We get our health advice from certified and licensed USDA advocates who promote upside down pyramids and antiquated Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA). We have allowed the dairy industry to convince us that as adults we should drink another mammal’s milk, meant for a calf, as our premier and, ostensibly, only source of calcium. We may even have been convinced that a processed wheat product is the breakfast of champions or that consuming a highly inflammatory combination of wheat and corn will reduce cholesterol because it is “Heart Healthy”.  Can someone please tell me what a nut cluster is?

“Well, all this nutritional technology must have been good for something?”. I beg to differ. As the poster child for nutritional technology the United States is an embarrassing case study. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer incidences are rising. Whereas many developing countries are suffering from diseases of inadequate nutrition, we are suffering from diseases excess improper nutrition. We eat a lot of junk, and some of it even says “Healthy” right on the box. When native or traditional cultures adapt a Western food culture, they begin to see a rise in Western diseases as well.

“So smarty pants, how do we fix the problem?” A quick study of human anthropology shows us that hunter-gatherers were healthier than their farming ancestors. This can be studied through bones recovered from each of the 2 groups. When we ate food provided by the earth, that our DNA had millions of years to adapt to, we were healthiest. Would you advocate a processed cereal for Koala bears called, “Eucalyptus Bites” or should we just allow them to continue eating the leaves they have been eating since the beginning of their existence.

In conclusion, we live in a modern world with ice cream, and cup cakes, and granola bars. We can’t eat 100% like hunter-gatherers; I understand that. We can, however, base the majority of our diet on the foods that the earth has created specifically for us that are lock and key with our nutritional requirements and therefore, produce optimal health. They are: Vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, seeds, and plants, not to mention other complex celled organisms like seaweed and mushrooms. Some people call it the Paleo diet, I call it Real Food. Start small, do what you have to do, just get there. Let’s keep it simple.