Eating a raw food diet has many health benefits. If you eat cooked food, you need to compensate by taking digestive enzymes.

A raw foodist consumes about 75%  of their food uncooked, unprocessed and plant-based, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds – nothing heated above 115 degrees F. – to preserve the integrity of the enzymes associated with digestion and absorption. Dehydration is permissible but only if kept under 115 degrees F.

Life Enthusiast podcast 117 – Enzymes to Digest Food

Scott: Welcome back everybody you are listening to Life Enthusiast co-op online radio network restoring vitality to you, the planet and cellular terrain of your body. I am your co-host Scott Paton along with Martin Pytela. Hey Martin how are you doing this fine day?

Martin: My day is fine thank you very much. I got up early and I enjoyed a quiet two hours to myself and I am feeling refreshed and restored and ready to take on the world.

Scott: Awesome I was reading the paper today in the natural news they had an article on raw food diets and they claim that it is a healthy and nutritious natural way of eating. What could be more nutritious and natural then eating food that is in its uncooked state but finally followers of raw food diets have some support of the health benefits from some mainstream studies. So typically followers of a raw food diet in I guess the average raw food fanatic consumes about seventy five percent of their food as uncooked, unprocessed plant based. It is included but not limited to fruits, vegetables, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and nothing heated above 115 degrees in order to preserve the integrity of the enzymes associated with digestion and absorption. so dehydration is permissible as long as the process is kept below 115 degrees. So there was a study done in the journal of nutrition where they followed a raw food diet long term which helps reduce the risk of cardio vascular disease and helps lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides and then there was another study conducted by Dr Luigi Fontanna and his team found that followers of a raw food diet had lower body mass index BMI and high vitamin D level and I was just reading the other day that we are so deficient in vitamin D, low levels of C reactive protein and lower levels of IGF-1. So vitamin D is important because it is closely related to bone strength. C reactive protein is a inflammatory molecule link with the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases and IGF-1 is a growth factor related to the risk of breast and prostate cancer so that all sounds very good and so this diet study followed these people for over a period of two years and they showed some interesting results in women especially they showed an improvement in menstrual cycles and a marked improvement in overall stress levels and a decreased amount of sleep needed to feel well rested. So less stress and better sleep and so basically they concluded from basic mainstream scientific studies raw food diet can lower the risk of cardio vascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases while aiding and maintaining a healthy weight, cholesterol levels at a healthy level, triglyceride levels at a healthy level and strong healthy bones and it is interesting because before you and I went on the air we looked at a site of a friend of yours and he had pictures of before and after of all these people who went on raw food diets and some people were losing like a hundred pounds.

Martin: sure of course you will remember we were talking on one of our podcasts about weight and weight management and I am sure we will come back to it and the fatness in a body is largely caused by toxins which is largely caused by retention of acid by-products like cooked proteins like when you coagulate proteins in meat like steaks by barbecuing or in case of wheat you take the gluten and you bake it and that is how you destroy the protein in wheat or in the case of milk by pasteurizing it or eggs are usually eaten cooked and all of that right.

Scott: It was really funny this web site that we were on there would be a picture of a person when they were obese and it would be like Joe cooked and then there would be a picture of them thin and it would be Joe raw.

Martin: A massive difference right.

Scott: A massive difference and it was just amazing to see so I think we should talk a little bit about lifestyle because to go from our typical North American diet or typical European diet or even our typical Chinese diet to a raw food centric type of diet is really a major lifestyle change.

Martin: I agree in fact my friend who is a thirty year veteran of living foods and raw foods and she has counselled people by the hundreds she says the addiction to cooked foods is the hardest addiction to break, she says it’s worse than heroin.

Scott: Well I can believe it because often times at eight o’clock at night I am opening the cupboards looking for something you know taco chips or chocolate, something to eat right and I never look in the fridge for a carrot.

Martin: And she actually told me the exact method by which this can be broken. She tells me that it takes about three weeks you actually need to make a commitment and go about three weeks on the living foods, healthy foods diet. You just need to make that commitment after that it becomes easy. We were talking about the cellular terrain how either a tolerance for certain foods has developed and I think it has a Corollary which how a craving for certain foods are lost as well. I guess to translate it into normal human speak I would put it this way you were telling me when I first introduced you to the Exsula product line you were quite happy with the Excela 50 which is the simplest and the one we recommend to people who are just finding out raw foods or super foods and smoothies and that sort of thing.

Scott: Well I remember at that time because you were talking to me and we were talking about the different levels and you recommended the Excela 50 and you said I don’t think you should take the higher level one because it might be too much of a shock to my system I don’t think you used those words but that is how I remember it and you were right.

Martin: And you probably didn’t appreciate those comments because it sort makes you feel like I am some sort of a wimp and I can’t take the high strength stuff but it’s not that it doesn’t taste good right.

Scott: That’s right that is exactly what happened because after a couple of months on the Excela 50 I said I want to try the Iridesca and I took it and it was repulsive and I don’t mean it as a negative tasting it was like I am positively charged and it was negatively charged and we just weren’t coming together and six or eight months later I went on it again and I just love it.

Martin: Yeah because now your energetics has risen to the level where you can take it.

Scott: Yeah it’s just great.

Martin: I guess this is what happens with people who make the transition they try to go cold turkey, they just try and jump into it.

Scott: It reminds me of the story and I don’t know why they wanted to boil a frog but they did and they had this water boiling and they threw this frog in and the frog jump out because it was hot so they put the frog into cool water and they gently raised the temperature and the frog is like this is cool and the next thing you know the water is boiling and they have cooked the frog and I think you are right often times there is this boiling vat of water and we just jump in and our body gets this massive shock and we jump out as fast as we can and we say I am not doing that no more whereas if we take small incremental steps it is surprising how fast six months goes by and how good we are at making those changes in our lives.

Martin: Yes I am changing directions I was just thinking even driving on a freeway all you have to do is just pull on the steering wheel just a wee bit, just one degree and pretty soon you are somewhere else a different lane. You might be fully turned around heading south instead of north.

Scott: That’s right that wouldn’t be unusual for me. So first of all let’s talk about this raw food diet and how someone could make those changes on a gradual basis and then I think we need to talk about someone who says I understand I need more raw foods and all of that but I am not going to give up my BBQ and steak and I am not going to give up my cooked chicken maybe a little less fries and that sort of stuff but right now it is not possible either because of the traveling that they do or their family situations or whatever so there is kind of two people there that I want to cover if we can.

Martin: Yeah in this world we call it transitional sort of half way between the SAD standard American diet and raw actually there is another level beyond raw which is called living foods and one of these days we will get to talk about that but for now transitional between cooked and raw you need to have at least two thirds of your foods eaten uncooked so that must mean salads, fruit, minimally cooked stir fry is pretty good because that doesn’t really wreck vegetables too much, smoothies work really well.

Scott: Okay so give me an example you have mentioned smoothies before so give me an example of a smoothie because to me a smoothie is some milk a couple scoops of ice-cream and kool-aid or something you know so I just don’t think that is what you are talking about.

Martin: Well okay there is a wonderful woman out there promoting green smoothies and her name is Victoria Boutenko I don’t know maybe one of our listeners have heard of her before and Victoria promotes a fruit smoothie and she starts with a banana and pear or a banana and apple or banana and mango and makes about half of that smoothie green which is something like kale or Swiss chard or dandelion tops or stinging nettle or anything you want that is green. Now green we mean like there should be another class of food like we have vegetables and we don’t separate greens from it but you know vegetables to us are things like carrots, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower that sort of thing those are starchy things and they do not mix well with fruit at all like it is a wrong idea to try and have a broccoli apple smoothie. It just doesn’t work but what would work are green tops you know like for instance you can do carrot tops I mean your grocer will love you right.

Scott: Green tops?

Martin: Yeah the green stuff.

Scott: You can put that in?

Martin: Yeah you can put that in you can drink it with the banana amazing stuff totally amazing.

Scott: Okay so why would I want to eat carrot tops?

Martin: Because they are rich in chlorophyll, they are rich in nutrients; they are rich in minerals and everything else.

Scott: Okay how do they taste?

Martin: Well they taste like the banana because you put them into the banana apple smoothie the greens don’t have much of a taste they just hide inside of the fruit smoothie.

Scott: You are very sneaky Martin.

Martin: Well this was Victoria’s invention it was pretty clever.

Scott: That is really clever.

Martin: But here is the thing though to do this right you need to have a high powered blender you cannot do that with a twenty dollar kitchen grade thing that you bought at Wal-Mart I mean there are blenders that are sold that are between twenty and fifty dollars that are good enough to make these chocolate milk shakes but they are not capable of dealing with these high end smoothies that we are talking about. You wouldn’t like it because they do not break the cell walls of the greens so you end up with the stuff that still has these green bits in it and indeed that wouldn’t taste all that good to you it would feel something like a cow.

Scott: So a real good high end blender, like your vitamix blender.

Martin: Yeah we need to get a Vitamix or a Blendtec or a Waring those are the three that we have available. I don’t think there is another one out there that stands up to it and you see them in commercial establishments so like Starbucks is fully furnished by Blendtec those are the square plastic containers that you see there and you see these thing in juice boxes these are the high end blenders.

Scott: Yeah and for good reason.

Martin: Yeah they stand up to the job but you know there is an important function which is that they are capable of breaking the cell walls not just chopping it up but actually exploding the cells themselves and what that does is it exposes the inside, the content of the cell to your digestive system and you know digestion in your gut happens only in the surface layer meaning that your digestive system only interacts with the top layer of the molecules on any particle that is in your digestive system.

Scott: So it is not very thin and small.

Martin: The finer it is chewed the greater the ability your digestive system has to extract the nutrients so of course the blender is an extension of your teeth it does a marvelous job of it so that is the big secret of the smoothie. It allows you to extract a lot of the nutrients in fact this is the secret of the Exsula superfoods you know a teaspoon of the Excela 50 goes farther than a tablespoon of some store bought stuff mainly because the size of the particle.

Scott: Right it makes a huge difference.

Martin: Yes it does it really does like you think you are paying a lot for the Exsula product but it goes so much farther … you may feel that you are paying twice as much or you can buy this competing product for half the price but you get four times as much out of the Exsula so now who has got good value right. So anyway I am getting into so many side bars here.

Scott: Well there is certainly a lot to it and a lot more complicated and interesting than I thought when we first started.

Martin: Okay so we are going over the territory, raw foods two thirds of daily intake uncooked that must mean you will start with some fruits like melons and then graduate to apples and pears and then graduate to bananas maybe and then at lunch you will have a salad or something and then you will snack on some carrot sticks or celery sticks or whatever and then you graduate to a dinner which is going to be either a stir fry or a huge pile of vegetables with whatever you like that is how you will manage two thirds of your intake in raw foods in fact I tell people you can eat any and I mean any quantity of raw food and the only thing about your meal is that the cooked food in a meal should not exceed the size of your hand. So if it is a steak it shouldn’t be any bigger than your hand and if it is something like rice you know if you make a fist that is about the clump of rice that you should be able to eat and not over eat. So that is the raw food, so you were telling me about your friend who has recently had this conversion or what do we call it an epiphany.

Scott: Well he grew up putting protein shakes in his body and eating protein bars and steak and all that sort of stuff as a body builder and a high end athlete and last summer he was water skiing and fell I think we have talked about him and going about four miles an hour fell into the lake and broke a major bone in his leg his femur and I suspect that his muscles were so strong and over-developed that he was putting stress on his bones and his bones were getting the calcium leached out of it because of how acidic he was and it just couldn’t handle that stress anymore and it just snapped. I mean we are talking of a major snap it was practically at a forty five degree angle out of his leg it was just a terrible experience for him and then he started dating this gal who was total raw foods and he was like no way I am not going total raw foods and then she started making stuff and he couldn’t tell that it wasn’t cooked you know cake and stuff.

Martin: Yeah cakes based on fruit seeds and nuts.

Scott: That’s right and he was like oh this is good and they broke up recently unfortunately but she had left enough of an impression on him that he was trying to learn about enzymes and raw foods and all of that sort of stuff and he is right into it now and doing really well getting his health back. It is not impossible to I just think you need to learn like how do you prepare the food so it is interesting and not because raw food to me is some lettuce and a beet and broccoli and green peppers and it is just not appetizing but the stuff that she made was absolutely delicious so it is a matter of learning those skills I think.

Martin: Yeah there is a whole world out there that eats raw I mean it’s a movement right a lifestyle.

Scott: And you think of how much energy goes into raising a cow versus how much goes into making broccoli.

Martin: Well that we know it take sixteen times more water to grow a pound of beef versus growing a pound of grain. So that is quite interesting as the planet resources are going to start getting strained because there is so many of us on it. I don’t know I think that we will have to switch to vegetarianism anyway just for energetic reasons.

Scott: So Martin we have talked about someone who wants to go two thirds or seventy five percent raw foods okay I got the recipe book and I am into it but what about the person who says I am a fan I need to get more raw stuff into my diet but I can’t change my lifestyle dramatically.

Martin: Yeah like a traveling person on the airport and bus stations and who knows what else right.

Scott: Yeah you don’t really have access to a high speed blender or an organic grocery store either.

Martin: Well you know I have actually tried this because we travel too and I have gone to McDonald’s and Wendy’s and what not and you know what you can put together a decent meal at Wendy’s there are salads at Wendy’s and a baked potato you know and if you like meat take the patty and just throw away the bun and have it with the salad and if you are feeling adventurous you can eat that patty raw just ask them to hand it to you before they cook it.

Scott: Oh no, I can’t.

Martin: Have you ever tried steak tar-tar?

Scott: No I haven’t but I know people who have.

Martin: I have a number of times.

Scott: I have had tuna which wasn’t but it just I don’t know brain washing thing or cultural thing I just can’t.

Martin: Well how about sushi have you had any sashimi straight?

Scott: Not really no when I go for sushi I get the California roll and I know people who like all that raw fish and stuff and I am just like oh no.

Martin: Well anyway you don’t need to eat meat anyway.

Scott: Yeah I am quite happy to eat vegetables and fruit raw.

Martin: So the message is this in raw food there all these enzymes and the enzymes are that which makes the difference between cooked and raw. Cooked, the enzymes are coagulated they have been inactivated and they have been killed, so the only option you have if you are going to eat cooked food is to supplement digestive enzymes if you don’t supplement you are bound to run into a deficit so travel with a bottle of digestive enzymes that is the next best choice after eating raw.

Scott: And if somebody is like I am at home I am living at home and I will make some small changes so you know maybe I will stir-fry and I won’t cook it as much as I did normally or maybe I will have more salads or that sort of thing but I know that I am probably not getting as much as I know I should be getting or as much as my body needs so what sort of thing can we take in that case.

Martin: Enzymes, digestive enzymes and supper foods I guess you are a witness to it yourself a teaspoon or two of these high density high nutrient density foods like chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa juice, things like that they make a huge difference.

Scott: They do absolutely so start off with something like the Exsula or the Strata Flora.

Martin: Absolutely well the strata flora is great at building people back from the ground up you start from the colon and set the intestinal flora into the right direction you know everyone has three or four pounds of stuff of creatures in their gut these are bacteria and protozoa it is the flora and fauna of creatures that are living inside of us and you know the weight of it is about the weight of your arm from your elbow down.

Scott: Oh wow I was just looking at my arm from that’s a lot.

Martin: So that is how much of these creatures live inside of you and the big question is the balance are these the good creatures or the bad creatures you know the bad creatures make poisons and the good creatures help you extract the healthy things like vitamin K or vitamin B12 or vitamin D those are all naturally assembled in your body by the creatures so if you don’t have a healthy balance you are in trouble and people with an irritated bowel or chromes disease or you know those type of intestinal problems they are the ones that most likely to have a damaged ecology in the gut and so you know how this comes about is very easy all you have to do is take a dose of antibiotics and you kill off the good guys.

Scott: Right so the way to get that back is to start putting good bacteria back into your body.

Martin: Right you need to repopulate it to feed it back in, is sort of like well think of it like your lawn you know if you have a decent culture in it a dry spell will kill off the top but as soon as you start watering it, it comes back but if you die it off to far or if you wear it off by too much traffic what comes back is not a nice turf what comes back is thistles and dandelions and all the resilient stuff that you really didn’t care for.

Scott: Right and that we wanted to get rid of probably.

Martin: Would love to yeah so repopulating it right strata flora is the product that we recommend because it is all these different aspects of the digestive system looks after I mean you can see advertisements all over the television right now the dairy companies and yogurt companies have latched onto it with incredible vigor and they are pushing you know my activia yogurt has two strains or one strain of probiotic in it well heck we put forty nine strains into the strata flora and that is just one tenth of what we put in it because this is the best analogy that I can come up with is if you are trying to stage a symphony visualize that you want to have onstage a Beethoven ninth symphony not just the orchestra we are going to have a choir and you are going to have the soloists and you have to have the guy singing the base and the gal singing the alto and the soprano and you are going to have to have the violins and the wood winds and so on and they are going to have to be good enough to play this music they can’t just be some people off the street that you just drive in and say grab this instrument you are going to do Beethoven’s ninth.

Scott: That’s right they have to be able to do the job.

Martin: Right they have to be strong enough technically to do it and it needs to all come together so when I give you a simple probiotic which is one of two hundred different cultures that your gut usually contains, it is sort of like being the bass guitar so play rock. That is what the marketers are getting away with that they are pushing the key words or buzz words but they aren’t really delivering even though it is massively better than what you would get otherwise. I mean it is wonderful that they are adding these probiotics to the yogurt because it is much better than what we used to have. You know it is pasteurized milk but at least they inject it with these cultures.

Scott: Well I know on the website there is a testimonial on Strata-Flora and I thought it was quite interesting. It says my wife has been constipated for twenty years because of a very heavy medication load that she must take and doctors have never offered any relief. She started the strata-flora about six months ago and has been taking a teaspoon about once a day and within a few days and since the problem has been solved. A hundred and ten percent satisfactions, thank-you Martin, so it makes a huge difference and impact on the digestive tract. I guess that is one indication too whether your flora is doing a good job or not like if you have rocks coming out you need help.

Martin: Yes if that is the situation than yes and I remember a phone call a while ago, I don’t know if I quoted this or not but this woman she calls up and says Hi is this Martin and I said yes and she said I am calling to tell you that I love you.

Scott: That must have made your day.

Martin: I said who are you and what’s your name and she said well I am one of your customers and I am calling to tell you I have had a twenty year struggle with constipation and I am having satisfactory bowel movements and you have no idea how good that feels and I said how much are you taking and she said five teaspoons a day. I said that’s fairly spendy and she said you have no idea how much I don’t care about that.

Scott: Yeah because when things work good and you’re healthy boy it is worth every penny. Well Martin it has been an interesting almost thirty five minutes on raw foods and that sort of stuff and I think it has been absolutely amazing and I think the power of eating raw and supplementing with something like strata-flora which helps to regenerate like we have clear cut the mountain folks and we need to replant some really good trees and we have definitely clear cut our bowel system and digestive system and our stomach and I think we need to replant and the strata-flora is an amazing product for doing that.

Martin: That is a fantastic analogy that you came up with.

Scott: Thank-you.

Martin: You must have been to some clear cut forest mayhem not too long ago.

Scott: No it’s been a while but I remember it actually I was up near Banff Alberta last summer and we have a problem with the pine beetle which kills trees and I was totally amazed to see a mountain range that was covered in rusty covered leaves on pine needles and I thought we are going to have a massive fire because all this dead wood is just sitting there and once it gets hot enough look out. It just went on for miles and miles and I was just horrified and it was really sad.

Martin: Yeah but that’s another story but I guess we are going to have to tell people that yes you can get your gut back in order and yes you definitely need to eat enzymes especially if you are eating cooked foods and you should figure out how to eat more raw because I bet you are not eating enough and all of that you can find on www.life-enthusiast.com and you can call for a consultation at 1-866-543-3388 and then you are listening to Life Enthusiast co-op restoring vitality to you and to the planet.

Scott: That’s right, bye-bye everybody.

Martin: Thanks for listening.

Author: Martin Pytela