Raw Foods

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JOHN PETROZZI: Hi and welcome to Living is Easy with John and Josh. I’m John Petrozzi.

JOSH HARPER: And I’m Josh Harper.

JOHN PETROZZI: And today we’re going to talk about raw foods. Josh?

JOSH HARPER: Okay. What about raw foods, John?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, I just want to talk about just the importance of eating raw food or eating whole food—and we’ll talk a bit more about that later—and what happens to food when you cook it, and how we can get healthier.

JOSH HARPER: In terms of cooked food and raw food.

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly. Right. Yeah. So my background’s chiropractic and being a chiropractor, we look at the whole general health of a person down to how they use their body, what they feed themselves, and also these sorts of emotions that they have. Because if you combine all these three categories and try and improve them all the time, you’ll be more likely to live a healthier life.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. And you’ll feel better.

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly. Right.

JOSH HARPER: Exercise and-

JOHN PETROZZI: And be a happy person. So with raw foods, when I talk about raw foods, I mean vegetables, fruit, nuts, and also meat, and fish, milk, anything that’s basically unprocessed. So anything you can pick from trees, dig out from the ground, and get from live produce, and those sorts of things.

JOSH HARPER: I guess raw meat is a bit of a scare, John. And we will be talking about that, too?

JOHN PETROZZI: We will. Yeah.


JOHN PETROZZI: Actually, I’ve got a patient who only eats raw food.


JOHN PETROZZI: And only eats raw meat as well.


JOHN PETROZZI: Raw eggs, raw milk. And he’s in his sixties. I saw him get on to that diet maybe about a year and a half ago. And he, compared to before, is just amazing.

JOSH HARPER: Really? Healthier?

JOHN PETROZZI: His eyes are blue, you can almost just see through his eyes. His skin looks healthy. He had quite a bad accident only about three weeks ago. And this sort of accident would’ve put someone in bed for quite a while, and he was back on his feet in four days.

JOSH HARPER: What was the accident? Can I ask?

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. He was preparing a machine and the cylinder in the machine fell on him, and he had a really, really bad back.


JOHN PETROZZI: Really, really bad.

JOSH HARPER: And he just recovered?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, the guy, he’s just amazing! So we’ll talk about—we’re going to use this as a case example—but we’ll talk about raw foods and why they’re so good for us.


JOHN PETROZZI: You know, when you go to the supermarket and you buy some fruit and veg from the supermarket floor, and sometimes you bring, like I like tomatoes, so I bring tomatoes home. I often find that these tomatoes last a long time, like unusually long time, like I can have a tomato, you know, sitting on the counter or in the fridge for like two weeks.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah? And is that because of the chemicals they put on there?

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Well, it’s a process. I also grow some veggies in the backyard, some tomatoes, and if I pick those tomatoes, within two or three days, they’re really going.


JOHN PETROZZI: Well, it starts to ripen and go off.


JOHN PETROZZI: So what actually happens with the fruits and veggies that go to the supermarket store is the supermarket obviously wants to try and keep the fruit on the floor for as long as possible without having to rot and go off.


JOHN PETROZZI: So that it gets to the consumer as unripened as possible or as unrotted as possible-


JOHN PETROZZI: -because it’s the same thing. So what they do is they pick the fruit early and they tend to use certain varieties of fruits and vegetables that have less enzymes in them.

JOSH HARPER: And if they pick the fruits earlier-


JOSH HARPER: Does that mean there’s not as much goodies in the fruit?

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Well, the process of maturation hasn’t happened.


JOHN PETROZZI: And it’s still got chemicals in there—natural chemicals—which are basically natural insect repellants and pesticides to try and keep the bugs off of the fruit.


JOHN PETROZZI: And that’s the natural component of any fruit. But as soon as the fruit starts to ripen- the reason why fruit ripens in the first place is because it’s got seeds inside, and nature wants those seeds to be distributed to the local environment so that it can grow some more of that plant.


JOHN PETROZZI: That’s just how nature works.


JOHN PETROZZI: But we’re consuming them for our nourishment, and enzymes that are in the fruit that causes that fruit to ripen are actually very important for our digestive process. So if we continually ingest fruit and vegetables that have got less enzymes, that means that our body has to overproduce enzymes to try and break that fruit down which puts quite a massive stress on our body.

JOSH HARPER: Okay. And what can we do about this?

JOHN PETROZZI: I’ll go more into that later in the show because there’s a few things you can do. But I just want to talk about the enzymes that we’ve got in our body. We’ve got amylase and carbohydrate-breaking-down enzymes in our mouth. So, you know, when you see food and your mouth starts to salivate because you’re hungry, inside that saliva we’ve got a lot of amylase in there which is a carbohydrate-breaking-down enzyme; it breaks down carbohydrates down to simple sugars. The food’s in the mouth only for a short period of time. How many times do you chew your food, Josh?


JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Five, six times. So that food gets sort of mashed up, mixed up with some amylase, you swallow it, goes in to your stomach.

JOSH HARPER: So your body’s already breaking it up while it’s in your mouth-

JOHN PETROZZI: Your mouth.

JOSH HARPER: -with saliva.

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly right. It’s only there for a short period of time.


JOHN PETROZZI: So your body’s probably overproducing amylase and saliva enzymes, so it’s wasting a lot of enzyme just for a small proportion of digestion. Then it goes into your stomach, the stomach has got acid in there which actually neutralizes the amylase, so it doesn’t work anymore, so it’s kind of counterproductive.

JOSH HARPER: So what does an amylase do?

JOHN PETROZZI: Amylase is basically an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates.


JOHN PETROZZI: So, an enzyme, I suppose, is a chemical compound in your body that helps to break down a large molecule into smaller useable molecules.


JOHN PETROZZI: Because ultimately those large molecules have to get broken down so your body can start to use the nutrients of the food into energy, so you can use it. So worst case scenario: if you can’t break down your food, you can’t actually digest it and you can’t absorb it into your bloodstream, and your body can’t use it as energy. So you’re eating, eating, eating, you can’t convert energy, you’re dead tired, and you still want more and more food.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. And you’re wasting energy eating it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly right. Yeah. And that’s quite a common scenario. I’ve got lots of patients, and I know myself, and I know there’ll be lots of people out there that feel tired all the time and they try to work out why they feel tired despite the fact that they eat lots and they feel they’re putting weight on.

So I think we need to go for a break. And when we come back from the break, we’ll talk more about enzymes, and we’ll talk more about raw food, and what we can do to stay healthy.

JOSH HARPER: So stay tuned.


JOSH HARPER: Hi and welcome back to Living Is Easy with John and Josh. And today we’re talking all about raw foods.

John, before the break, we were talking about enzymes.


JOSH HARPER: Let’s go on about that.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Like I said before, enzymes are those compounds in our body that helps us to break down large molecules into smaller useable molecules.

JOSH HARPER: For our body?

JOHN PETROZZI: For our body.


JOHN PETROZZI: So that we can use it up for our energy throughout the day. And that’s part of the reason why people feel tired and lethargic all the time, because they can’t convert their food into energy.


JOHN PETROZZI: And so another example of an enzyme is, we’ve got a door in the studio, and you’ve got a door at home, you’ve got a door in your car. To get into the car or the house or the studio, you need a key to open the door. And the key in our bodies is the enzyme. So you want to get from A into the studio, and to convert the energy, you need the enzyme to convert the energy from your food. So our body basically overproduces enzymes because we’re overheating our food.

JOSH HARPER: So heating our food is a bad thing?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, heating-

JOSH HARPER: Sometimes.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah, sometimes it can be, because whenever you heat any food, whether it’s, you know, veggies, meat, whatever you’re heating, it actually kills off the enzymes inside the food so the food doesn’t rot, doesn’t become ripe, and it doesn’t digest in your body anymore.

I want to give you an example just to show you how an enzyme in the food is really important.


JOHN PETROZZI: So here we go. They did some research on whales to figure out what was going on with their digestive processes, because whales have got three stomachs. And their first stomach doesn’t have any enzymes in there at all, neither does their mouth; there are no enzymes in there to break food down.


JOHN PETROZZI: Their second stomach and third stomach do have enzymes to break down food. So whenever a whale eats a seal, or many seals (and they found this whale, he had 26 seals piled up inside its first stomach)-


JOHN PETROZZI: And you wonder, “How does it convert those whole foods, those whole organic foods? It’s a sealed unit. How do they convert that into a mushy, mushy liquid that goes into their second stomach, and then into the third stomach, later to be sort of distributed through their circulatory system and blood to be converted to energy?


JOHN PETROZZI: And this is how it works: Basically, the seal has its own enzymes in there. It’s got pancreatic enzymes that break down, you know, everything—proteins, carbohydrates, fats—and the whale is actually using the seal as its own digestive process to break itself down, to be shunted off into the second stomach.

JOSH HARPER: So how long would it stay in there for?

JOHN PETROZZI: It would stay in there for maybe weeks to break down.

JOSH HARPER: That’s so amazing.

JOHN PETROZZI: Isn’t it amazing? Same as a lion. When they go out and hunt, and they eat, you know, they’ve just caught some prey and they’ve loaded up their stomach with sometimes four, five, six kilos of meat in their stomach.


JOHN PETROZZI: They have to go and rest and lie down because they don’t have the digestive enzymes in their mouth and stomach to the extent that humans do. So they have to lie down for that meat to digest itself.


JOHN PETROZZI: And it can digest itself because that meat is probably full of enzymes.

JOSH HARPER: So the enzymes inside the animal that they ate is-

JOHN PETROZZI: Is breaking it down.


JOHN PETROZZI: So this is a classic example and a really beautiful example of how you can use nature to your advantage to save your own body processes, and so you’re not wasting energy on producing an overproduction of enzymes, for instance.


JOHN PETROZZI: How do we apply it? Because can become raw food eaters, and that’s it. But, you know, like I said before, I’ve got a patient who eats only raw food, including raw meat and raw eggs, raw milk. And he’s sort of pushed it to the extreme where he wakes up in the morning and he has six to eight eggs.


JOHN PETROZZI: Just drink some raw milk, loves it with raw honey, and he loves to have it shaken and keeps him going for quite a while.


JOHN PETROZZI: And then lunchtime he will have, you know, like steak tartare and carpaccio, which is the classic Italian or European dishes where they’re combining raw meat with spices and oil, lemon juice. But it’s quite extreme, like could you do that?

JOSH HARPER: I couldn’t.

JOHN PETROZZI: I think I’d find it difficult to do.

JOSH HARPER: So the health benefits are quite amazing?

JOHN PETROZZI: But the health benefits are awesome.


JOHN PETROZZI: Here’s another example. Our pancreas, which is an organ that’s in our abdomen area, it produces enzymes to break down a whole lot of things, but mainly our body needs to break down, proteins, fats, and sugars, and carbohydrates into useable material. And our pancreas is larger than a cow’s pancreas in proportion.


JOHN PETROZZI: So because the cow doesn’t have digestive enzymes in its mouth, nor does it have it in its first stomach—it’s got bacteria in other stomachs to try and break down the things that it’s eaten—but most of its breakdown process is happening by just eating the grass because the grass has got its own enzymes to break itself down.


JOHN PETROZZI: So for us, we just need to start looking at eating more raw foods.


JOHN PETROZZI: So whether it’s having two meals a day that combines raw vegetables, you’ve got things that you don’t cook that you can eat—I’m not a vegan; I eat lots of different foods—but talk to someone who has experience in eating vegan food for instance, or vegetarian food. If you don’t like only eating vegetables, then you’ve got your cooked food as well which you can supplement your diet with.


JOHN PETROZZI: But what they say with cooking meat, for instance, is that it kills off the enzymes inside the meat, so as soon as you ingest the meat—and it can even be pasta that you’re ingesting or quiche, which is, you know, mixed up eggs and milk and veggies—the heating process kills off the enzymes, so as soon as you eat it, your body goes overboard with producing enzymes, your body gets tired to produce all the enzymes, doesn’t get digested properly, goes through into your bowel, starts to ferment, so there’s good bacteria in your bowel which actually help you to digest the food.


JOHN PETROZZI: But then part of that process is the fermentation process. If you’re unhealthy and if it sits in your bowel for too long, then you’ve got bloating and wind and upset stomach, stomach pains, constipation, classic symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.



JOSH HARPER: It’s funny that this isn’t common knowledge.

JOHN PETROZZI: Isn’t that right?


JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. And really I had to dig all these stuff out as well because all the food that we eat—the food that we’ve been eating over the last probably couple of centuries since we’ve been cooking food—has been lacking enzymes so our body has adapted to that by producing a big pancreas, producing lots of bile to break down fats in our digestive system, so our body does adapt to it.

But there are many things that you can do during your day to actually reduce the stress in your body, so you’ll live a healthier life. When we come back from the break, we’ll talk more about the things that you can do to become healthier.


JOSH HARPER: Hi and welcome back to Living is Easy with John and Josh. And today, we’re talking all about raw foods and eating healthy.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right, Josh. Before, earlier in the show, we spoke about the importance of raw foods and whole foods, and what happens to foods as you digest them, and also the importance of eating food that’s been not overcooked.

JOSH HARPER: And I think a lot of people should take more note of this, John, because it sounds like it would benefit you a lot more by eating raw foods.

JOHN PETROZZI: Totally. The food that you put into your mouth is really your energy source. You know, you’ve obviously got your other things associated with it as well. Your physical health, if your body’s physically fit, you have more energy. If your thoughts are healthy or your emotional side is healthy, you have more energy as well. So it doesn’t just come down just to the food you eat that determines your energy levels, but it’s got a big part to play.

So I just want to speak a little bit about heating food. Whenever food is heated, enzymes are killed off inside the food. So it means that your body has to produce lots of enzymes, consume a lot of energy to produce the enzymes so that it can break the food down. And sometimes that food doesn’t get right through your digestive tract properly and you start to ferment food inside your bowel which causes symptoms, like irritable bowel.


JOHN PETROZZI: Like bowel, upset tummy, stomach pains, diarrhea, constipation, those sorts of things.

JOSH HARPER: And is this where gas comes from?

JOHN PETROZZI: Yes, gas. Yup. Methane gas, carbon dioxide and nitrogen is produced with the fermentation process.

JOSH HARPER: It’s hard though, John. With some meats, you’re a bit scared to go about not cooking to kill the bacteria.

JOHN PETROZZI: Definitely. So in terms of going ahead and eating raw meat, go to a good butcher, a butcher that you really trust.


JOHN PETROZZI: And ask them, tell them what you’re going to do, because actually eating raw meat, in some restaurants even, isn’t unusual. Suzy and I went to a French restaurant not long ago, and had a steak tartare.


JOHN PETROZZI: And you know, I’m not used to eating raw meat, but I actually quite enjoyed eating it. The meat did sit in there for quite a while, I feel, but then again raw food does take longer to digest.

JOSH HARPER: I’ve got the recipe here.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Please. Go ahead. What’s in it?

JOSH HARPER: Okay. So, five to eight ounces of raw sirloin steak or New York steak, tablespoon red onions, unsalted raw butter, raw egg, raw mustard.


JOSH HARPER: So you enjoyed it?

JOHN PETROZZI: I actually quite enjoyed it. Yeah. This one, it was full of spices and things, I actually really couldn’t taste the meat anyway.


JOHN PETROZZI: I know Lebanese have a dish called, I think it’s called [0:15:40]. And that’s a really finely ground down meat. It’s more like a dip, and it’s actually quite tasty. I didn’t even know it was raw meat until they told me.

JOSH HARPER: Do you know what meat it is?

JOHN PETROZZI: I think it was- I don’t know, actually. I think it was- I don’t know what they said it was. But it was nice. Italians have a carpaccio. Carpaccio is a, you know, you have to get a really good cut of meat to do it. This is finely sliced meat and they mix lemon juice with it and salt and olive oil, garlic, onions, those sorts of things, and it’s a delicacy.


JOHN PETROZZI: But there’s no reason why you can’t start to integrate healthy, healthy stuff like this into your everyday diet.

JOSH HARPER: Well, I think prosciutto is quite a common raw meat.

JOHN PETROZZI: It is. Yeah. Even though prosciutto, you know, is a cured meat, they do have a curing process involved there which sometimes makes it less healthy than actually just eating the raw thing in the first place, because they add sulfurs to it, salts.

So it’s really important that if you do start to integrate some raw meat and raw foods into your diet, especially meat, go to a really good butcher and ask for their guidance, because they will tell you which cut to have. Some will recommend that you actually sear the meat very lightly in a fry pan then cut off the sides of it that have been seared, because that kills off the bacteria on the edges. And they say have a really thick piece of meat that you can sort of work with, meats down, or whatever you do.

JOSH HARPER: And speaking of that, John, I was wondering if a steak cooked medium rare is better than a steak cooked burnt.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah definitely. Because the burning or overcooking a piece of meat doesn’t just kill the enzymes but it actually produces a whole lot of toxins inside the meat. And those toxins the body has to try and get rid of after you’ve ingested it. So-

JOSH HARPER: So it’s like going backwards.

JOHN PETROZZI: It is. Yeah. And that’s the attraction to a vegetarian diet that a lot of people have moved towards, because, you know, carcinogens and those sorts of things are produced by cooking meat or overcooking meat. So if you do cook and you enjoy cooking, go and talk to the butcher and people like that who have got experience with the product, and pick their brains as to how to eat that raw stuff as healthy as you possibly can.

And same goes for raw milk if you can get your hands on it. Yeah, I love that stuff. I think it’s fantastic.

JOSH HARPER: What does that involve?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, raw milk is basically, the stuff that comes straight out from the animal, whether it’s a cow, sheep, or whatever.


JOHN PETROZZI: And it’s still got all its proteins that are still alive. It will have bacteria in there, have a whole lot of goodies in there, depending on how clean the source is. It can also possibly have some stuff that you don’t want in there as well. That’s why pasteurization and homogenization of milk has become so widespread, like you can’t really buy raw milk, because it has to go through the dairy processing or the homogenizing and heating process. But that heating process also kills off lots of stuff that’s good for you.

So if you’re going to start to integrate raw food and whole foods into your diet, start to think of say three meals a night or a week that you can start to have a really fresh full salad, sushis, look at having some carpaccio or those sorts of things, but start to experiment, because there’s no reason why you cannot start to eat more raw foods and have less of the processed foods. Anything that’s come out of the factory just isn’t quite the same. Your body has to really work hard at digesting food that comes out of the factory or whatever processing plant which includes basically 80% of your fridge.

JOSH HARPER: So I’m going to have some raw meat tonight.

JOHN PETROZZI: Are you really? Cool.

JOSH HARPER: I’m going to try it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Awesome. I’m going to try that carpaccio.


JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Give that a shot.


JOHN PETROZZI: Let’s wrap it up. I’d like to talk a bit about exercise and positive attitude, those sorts of things. Being healthy involves getting out there and exercising. It involves having a healthy posture, because your spinal cord does stimulate all your cells in your body with nerve supply. You need a healthy attitude towards life in general. If your moods and emotions are healthy, your body will be healthy and you’ll make healthier choices as well. Sleep and relaxation is super important. If you’re resting your body, you’re going to be a healthier human being. And raw foods, as we’ve spoken about today, whole foods, are healthy part of living a healthy and strong life.

That’s all we’ve got time for today, Josh.

JOSH HARPER: Thanks for joining us.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. You’ve been listening to Living is Easy with John and Josh. I’m John Petrozzi.

JOSH HARPER: And I’m Josh Harper.

JOHN PETROZZI: Until next time. Stay well and stay happy.