O.K. so that’s a catchy title for excellent content here.
Did you ever wish you could sit down and ask tons of specific questions to your doctor about this raw food idea and get solid answers because They are on the path of overall health AND they look healthy? (AFTER YOU READ THIS GO TO HER WEBSITE DrRitaMarie.com TO SEE HER PICTURE) ONE OF MY CHEF BUDDIES WORKS FOR HER.
I found the transcripts for this interview tucked away and just had to share it because it really sums up a lot of what I spent hundreds of dollars also learning from other experts. I have not had the privilege of meeting Dr. Rita Marie in person but I am taking a course with her on line and she is warm, intelligent and so giving of her time. She has lots of free stuff like recipe books and on line courses that cost money as well.
The RenegadeHealth.com show is excellent and cost nothing to sign up to get constant information like this with many other experts. Kevin and Ann Marie Gianni are a young married couple living out of an RV and do daily updates on health issues by interviewing people all over the world.
Enjoy and share this wealth of knowledge…….
Renegade Health Inner Circle Interview with Dr. RitaMarie Loscalzo
Kevin: Welcome everyone. This is Kevin Gianni from RenegadeHealth.com. Today is a special installation or special presentation of our Wednesday night call series. Our Wednesday night call series, we broadcast them the third Wednesday of every month. You can listen to them for 24 hours, available for free. What we do is we basically ask your questions to the experts. Very simply done, a very pragmatic approach. I think what happens is that we don’t always have a sounding board to be able to ask our questions. What we do is we bring on questions for you to be able to do that.
Tonight’s guest is Dr. Rita Marie Loscalzo. I had a chance to meet up with Dr. Rita Marie Loscalzo down in Austin. She put on a potluck for us. I think maybe 60 people showed up. A vibrant community down there in Austin that she is a very important part of. She is a chiropractor and she’s been working with people for over two decades. Dr. Rita Marie, when did you get into raw foods, by the way?
Rita Marie: It was back in 1985.
Kevin: Okay. So she’s been at this for a long time.
Rita Marie: A long time.
Kevin: She’s got plenty of different programs that you can check out on her website, which is www.drritamarie.com. Maybe you can even formulate some questions for her while you’re over at the site and listening to us. So Dr. Rita Marie, before I give you an unfair introduction, why don’t you tell us, for those who maybe not know who you are, how you got into raw and living foods and what your background is.
Rita Marie: Great. I would love to share that. It was back in my 20s. So now you can do the math and figure out how old I am. I was sick. I wasn’t feeling well. I was eating the standard American diet, probably on overdrive. I was living the high-life and powering myself on sugar and caffeine. I started to have all kinds of symptoms that I was frustrated that nobody could really provide me with any solutions for, except, “Maybe this drug will help.” Things like sinus problems, headaches and stomach problems and things like that.
So like a little bird in my head said, “I wonder if it’s what I eat. I eat really poorly.” I ate really poorly back then. I just started to ask that question and started to do some research. I was very fortunate in this research and I found various books and things about supplements and things about food allergies. I was playing around and starting to get some results but I really wasn’t getting to where I desired to be.
I happened to run into this man in a gas station. He saw me reading some health book and asked me about it and started talking to me about fasting, about how he had changed his life by going to a fasting center and then following a raw food diet. I was intrigued. He referred me to read “Fasting Can Save Your Life” by Herbert Shelton. I started reading it and then little light bulbs went off in my brain. Wow, I was toxic. What a unique concept. I hadn’t run across it before.
So I went about and did a 28-day water fast and then started eating raw food. It completely turned my life around. All those symptoms were left in the dust. Over the years I’ve refined it and learned more. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs in doing that. I felt like after learning this that I had to share it. There was no way I was going to go back to my computer programming job and just do this stuff and have people think I was weird and not really share it. I decided that I was going to go back to school. I got my degrees in chiropractic and acupuncture and nutrition and herbal medicine and started sharing this. So that’s it, in a nutshell, where I’ve been.
Kevin: Literally, in a nut shell, right?
Rita Marie: In a nut shell. [Laughter] Right.
Kevin: Well, I wanted to get some of the questions addressed because we have a lot of questions and I think it’s most important not to ask my questions but to ask what the listeners want to hear. Let’s start very basic. I’m sure you get this all the time. The question is about protein. “Where do I get my protein in raw food?” This is from Hoka.
Rita Marie: Okay. The answer I always give people when they ask me that is I get my protein in the same place that cows and gorillas and elephants get their protein – from greens. They’re my primary source of protein. What people don’t realize is that green food has a very high percentage of protein and that when you include a lot of green foods – and I do a lot of green smoothies and green soups and salads and things like that. I make crackers in the dehydrator that are loaded with green. I get plenty of protein there. In addition to greens nuts and seeds have a fair amount of protein. Sprouts are an incredible source of protein. It’s never been an issue. I lift weights. I run marathons, do triathlons. I have good muscle tone. I eat a very high percentage of my diet is greens.
Kevin: Great. And you do look like you’re in good shape. [Laughs] It’s not like one of those, “Oh, I’m in good shape” and then you see you in public and it’s like, “Well…”
Rita Marie: “Well, maybe not.” I’m not a scrawny vegan. Far from it.
Kevin: Speaking about vegan, one of the biggest questions was, “What do you think about eating meat?” Instead of just raw veganism, just raw food, raw meat, raw eggs, raw dairy, Weston A. Price kind of thing.
Rita Marie: Well, I think it’s certainly better than eating those foods cooked because of the chemical changes that happen in them. But I still don’t think that they are good foods for human consumption. The dairy is just fraught with problems – the mucus formation, opiates in it, tendency to allergy. But also, just when you think about it from a physiologic, natural-design standpoint, there’s no other species in nature that drinks the milk of another species, especially no adult animals. So why should we be different? I think dairy is a great food for baby cows. I haven’t met very many baby cows recently that have turned into humans.
Some people say, “Well, what about eggs?” Egg is on the top six allergy-producing foods. Part of the reason I believe it’s there is that most of us have been injected when we were very little with vaccines. That’s a whole other talk that we can get into. Part of what’s in the vaccination is albumin, which is egg protein. So it’s no wonder that people have an immune system reaction to it. We’ve been stimulated to have that reaction from a very young age.
The for raw meat, from the standpoint of any raw animal products, you’re really running the risk of contamination, bacterial contamination, in addition to the fact that they’re so acid forming and high in arachidonic acid, which is a fat that’s highly inflammatory in the body. When I do fatty acid profiles on people, if they have not switched to a closer-to-vegan diet, they’re arachidonic acids are way high and their inflammatory markers are through the roof. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.
Kevin: Can you talk a little bit about the essential fatty acid testing and what kind of process you use?
Rita Marie: Yeah. It’s a very easy test to do. You just get a little prick of blood from your finger and you put it on this card and send it off to a lab. What they’ll analyze for is your omega-3 and omega-6 fats. There’s more advanced tests that will go into much more detail than that but I find that this basic test, your omega-3 and your omega-6 fats, will give you…It’s really cool because it’ll give you the fats like the linoleic acid and linolenic acid which are the fats that are in the foods that we eat. So when you say hemp seeds and flax seeds and chia seeds are all good sources of omega-3s, it’s because they have linoleic acid. Then the omega-6s have alphalinolenic acid. What happens when we eat those is that our body needs to convert that into other chemicals that we use for brain function and for immune system function, among other things.
So when we look at the levels we look at ETA — I don’t know how many people are familiar with that but ETA a fat, a long-chain omega-3 fat that’s found in fish. A lot of people will say you have to take fish oil or eat fish in order to get that. Well, your body can convert the fatty acid that’s in the flax and chia and hemp and pumpkin seeds and other things, algae, into that ETA. But if it doesn’t have other nutrients it can’t do that. So it’s dependent on having good stores of magnesium and zinc and vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 and vitamin C and a whole host of other nutrients. When I look at this table it’s very interesting because people will look at me like, “I didn’t tell you what I eat. How did you know? You haven’t even looked at my diet yet. How do you know what I’m eating?” It’s in your fats. I can tell you’ve already learned about eating omega-3 fats and yeah, yeah. But you know what, you’re probably eating some refined grains. You’re probably not eating a lot of greens. “Well, how did you know that?” You’re not converting. You’re not converting from your omega-3 to your ETA. You need all those minerals that you get from the whole foods. I may be able to look at the results and say, “Wow, you’ve cut back on your animal products. I can tell. But you’re still eating some processed foods.” Because they’ll have trans fats that are high and arachadonic acid that’s come down in to a normal range. So it’s a very cool test that not only tells me about the fats in their body and what they’re risk for inflammatory disease is, but it tells me about their overall nutritional status. Then I can recommend what they need to eat or if they need to take supplements to balance it out.
Kevin: Can someone just go to an MD and take this type of test?
Rita Marie: If the MD is informed. If they’ve got a functional medicine or holistic-type MD they’ll know about this test for sure. There’s a wonderful resource online called DirectLabs.com. Any person can go on there and order any medical test that they want to and pay for it directly. The lab will send you the kit or they’ll send you a form that you take to a local lab to have your blood drawn and submit it. You don’t need to go through the typical medical chains to get it done. The prices are usually way lower. On specialty tests like that it’s about the same as if an alternative practitioner ordered it from the lab.
For other tests like your complete blood counts and your blood chemistries and all that, they charge like 97 dollars to get everything tested – your liver, your cholesterol, your thyroid, your anemia markers, your kidney markers, all of that, for 97 dollars. You would pay like 450 dollars to have that done in an MD’s office. It’s a very cool service.
Kevin: That main program, does that include the fatty acids? I don’t think it does.
Rita Marie: No, no. That’s a specialty. It runs about 120 dollars to get the fatty acids done.
Kevin: Great. You mentioned that you started off by doing a 28-day fast. That’s pretty impressive. How important is fasting for the average person?
Rita Marie: Water fasting, when I first learned about it, that’s what I thought was the be-all and the end-all in terms of detoxification. But I’ve come to learn over the years that number one, it’s really hard to recommend somebody does a water fast because unless you’re supervised and you’re with somebody that knows how to watch for signs that you’re getting into trouble, it’s not a great idea to do a water fast for more than a few days on your own. In some people where their detoxification mechanisms are just so messed up and they’re pretty ill, even doing a few days can just really turn things around for the worse for people, if they’re not careful what they do. There’s lots of places you can go to do fasts. There’s lots of natural hygiene type places and a lot of them are staffed by medical doctors or chiropractors or people that have knowledge of not only fasting but normal physiology, to be able to help you know. Nobody should just say, “I’m going to fast for 28 days, it’s fine.” Some people could put so much of a strain on their body that they can become very ill from doing that.
But I do believe that detoxification is important, whether it’s water fasting or juice fasting or juice feasting, as some call it, or even a green smoothie cleanse where you drink nothing but green smoothie’s for a week. Something to break the habits that you’ve gotten into and also give your body a rest so that it can go ahead and heal from all the junk you’ve put in it over the years.
Kevin: Right. What do you think about something like Master Cleanse, for instance? Is that in the same category?
Rita Marie: Yeah, you know, a lot of people have really good results with Master Cleanse and a lot of people don’t. From a physiological standpoint and from a philosophical standpoint, it seems like, “Wow, I’m trying to cleanse myself and I’m drinking a cup of maple syrup every day?” It seems like it’s off track in a way. But on the one hand it does give you a rest and it provides some simple, easy, carbohydrate source to fuel you. The lemon juice and cayenne and all the other stuff to cleanse you. So that’s along those lines. Some people do great with it and some people do poorly with it. It’s not my top choice, but it works for some people quite well.
Kevin: What is your top choice?
Rita Marie: Right now my top choice is green smoothie cleanses. Number one, they’re easy. You just take the stuff and you throw it in the blender. Juicing, it takes a long time to juice. It just really takes a long time and then to clean up from it. If you’re just juicing you’re probably going to be going through a couple of quarts of juice a day. Whereas with the smoothies it’s just so easy to just plop a bunch of stuff into the blender and turn it on. The other thing I really like about green smoothie cleansing is that you keep your energy levels up. You don’t have to just go to bed because you’re so wiped out. You’re actually getting fuel but you’re doing it in a way that’s predigested, it’s blended up, it’s real easy for your body to assimilate. The results I’ve seen with people are phenomenal the changes that people have in just that one week. So that’s my favorite, personally, because I really have a hard time with juicing these days. I’m so busy and it just seems to take a long time.
Kevin: Great. Milton asks, “How can I do a liver detox?” And actually, I’m going to add to Milton’s question, how does he know if he needs to do a liver detox?
Rita Marie: Those are great questions. Most of us need to do some sort of liver detox. The typical way people are thinking of liver detox — I don’t know if this is what he’s thinking or not, but those liver/gallbladder flushes where you drink olive oil and grapefruit juice and Epsom salts and all that. I’m not a huge fan of those, although, again, some people get really good results with that. Those are actually intended more as a flush rather than a detox.
Let me answer your question, how would you know that you need a liver detox? When we’re talking a green smoothie cleanse, when we’re talking a fast, when we’re talking a juice cleanse, we’re all really talking about enhancing our liver’s ability to detoxify stored toxins. We give it a break from new toxins and we allow it to provide more time and energy to clean out the rest. In doing a liver detox, the best thing is to have a high level of nutrition coming in because the liver needs all sorts of vitamins and minerals and amino acids to take the toxin through the two phases of detoxification that it does. So you want to have a high level of nutrition – juicing, wheatgrass juice, green smoothies. It’s really good for helping a liver detoxification.
The other thing you want to do is obviously have a low level of toxin exposure. If you work in a plant that produces paint or something and you’re exposed all day and you’re doing a liver cleanse at the same time, it’s like, “Whoa.” You’re adding to the fire while you’re trying to put it out. That’s not the best thing to do. You really want to give your body a break from exposure like that.
There’s all sorts of ways that you can do it. You can enhance the support, the nutrients the liver needs by superfoods. What I think of as superfoods is green foods – the juices, the smoothies and maybe some powders and things like that. There are also lots of products on the market that address it. It depends on where you are in your process. For somebody who’s coming soon off of a standard American diet and is just getting exposed to these concepts, there’s some pre-mixed, pre-made powders where there’s protein in there and there’s all kinds of nutrients that help support the liver. Those are great. Now if you’ve been on a raw foods diet for a long time, you’ve done a lot of juicing, you may look at those and say, “I’m not putting those in my body. It has things I wouldn’t normally put in there,” in terms of additives or fillers and things like that. There’s other ways.
I just finished working on a six-week deep tissue, liver detox that Carol Warner of The Raw Divas and I put on. We took people through six weeks of various protocols for helping to cleanse the liver. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. You can accomplish some pretty good liver cleansing in a week of just drinking green smoothies. That’s the simplest way to start.
Liver support foods, that’s another thing. There are really great foods that you can just, on a day to day basis, enhance your liver cleansing and liver detoxification. Things like turmeric and broccoli sprouts and dill and some of the aromatic herbs like basic and oregano and all those. They have constituents in there that help to support the liver and cleansing.
Kevin: We’re about 20 minutes into the call. I just wanted to remind everyone that you can find out more information about Dr. Rita Marie at www.drritamarie.com. So you can check out more information there. She has a blog and you can check out that information and you can maybe hang there with us while we’re going through this call.
You mentioned vaccines. We might as well just talk about them because I know it’s a big issue with people. What do we do?
Rita Marie: It’s a very personal decision. The way I approach it with my patients is to say, I’m going to give you information. I’m going to tell you what my opinion is and what I’ve done with my own children. You’ve got to ultimately make that decision yourself. The whole intent of vaccines is to enhance our immune system’s ability to deal with viruses and bacteria. But the problem I see with vaccines is that they’re taking this injected material, that’s like decomposed viral material, and injecting it right into your bloodstream and bypassing the normal way the normal way that you would get exposed to it. You would normally have all this protection – mucus membranes in your nose and throat and lining of your digestive track – before these bacteria even hit the bloodstream. Here you’re just shooting it right into the bloodstream.
The other problem is all the other constituents that go into the vaccine. Mercury, they’re working on getting mercury out of that, but I’m not convinced that all of the vaccines are mercury-free anymore. Then, like I talked about before, albumin, the different protein carriers that are in there. Then there’s just the standard gunk that pharmaceutical companies put in to things, preservatives and things like that. You’re actually giving your immune this assault like, “Okay, jump in, create an immunity against this stuff.”
I think you’re much better off by getting the junk food out of your diet, the stuff that depletes your immune system and enhancing the body’s ability to do this on its own. You can do that will super good foods.
My kids are 11 and 14 now and they haven’t been vaccinated and they’re healthier than any of their friends. They don’t get sick, even though they’ve been exposed to it a lot. They have gotten chicken pox. It actually took me exposing them three times to people with chicken pox. I didn’t want them to get it as adults. The funny thing is, they contracted chicken pox from two kids that had been vaccinated against it.
So that’s the other thing, the vaccines don’t always work. I just got an email from a friend, her kids and her ended up getting pertussis, which is whooping cough. I said, “Out of curiosity, were they vaccinated?” And she said she was fully vaccinated as a kid. But the pertussis vaccine only lasts for about five years. So if you think you’re protected because you got vaccines when you were a child, you ain’t protected anymore as an adult. One of her kids had partial vaccines and the other one had full vaccines and they still got it in spite of that.
So we’re shooting ourselves up with this stuff that we really don’t know what’s happening in the body. It’s putting a strain on our detoxification systems. The evidence to me is pretty clear that you run the risk of autism and various brain problems. I personally know several people whose kids were never the same after vaccines. So it’s scary to me.
Now, if you are going to just feed your kids the standard American diet and put them on Similac and cow’s milk formula and feed them rice cereal that’s refined at four months old and do all the things that the doctors are telling you to do, well, maybe the vaccines are going to help if you’re not building the immunity.
By far I think building the immunity from the inside out is the way to go. Natural immunity and having a peaceful environment and a very loving relationship with your kids and not introducing stress into the environment. So there’s lots of ways to increase immunity without having to get vaccinated.
Kevin: Lynn asks, “What’s the scoop on agave nectar?”
Rita Marie: Oh boy, I wish I knew. I’ll tell you a story. I stayed away completely from all refined sweeteners for about 20 years, never touched it. I was not going to touch any of that. Then the whole agave thing and I started reading it and I thought, “Let me experiment with this.” So I did and I incorporated it into some recipes. Now I hear it’s like high fructose corn syrup. Is it really just like high fructose corn syrup? I don’t really know. There’s a lot of people who are very knowledgeable and outspoken in the raw community and still think agave nectar is just fine. It depends on where you get it from. You have to get it from a good source. There’s others that say no.
My opinion about sweeteners in general is that you call them what they are. They’re treats. I certainly think that eating a raw chocolate brownie that’s made with agave nectar is going to be way better than going and getting a Hostess cupcake or a Hershey bar. So it’s the degree. If you happen to be a raw foodist who’s been dedicated for years and all of a sudden you get introduced to agave, “Oh, maybe I’ll have some of that.” Don’t bother. It’s not worth it. You don’t need it. But if you’re someone who is used to eating sugar all day long and you’re transitioning away from that, I think it’s an okay alternative.
I would rather see people using stevia, although some people think that there’s a problem with stevia too. There doesn’t appear to be. We grew stevia plants in our yard. You can actually go out and pull the leaves and throw them into smoothies or desserts or whatever. Yacon syrup, that might be a better alternative as well because it’s actually probiotics versus a real sugar. I wish I had the answer. Lucuma is not a bad one either. It’s just a powdered, dehydrated plant as well.
Kevin: I like lucuma. I’ve been putting it in my chia porridge in the morning. It’s been really nice. The stevia, to me, and maybe you can comment on this, I like the green stevia.
Rita Marie: Yeah.
Kevin: I’m very skeptical about the white.
Rita Marie: Me too.
Kevin: When you pick it off of the plant, it’s green.
Rita Marie: It’s like, “Well, it’s white. It’s gotten rid of all the nutrition.” At least you’re eating the plant. You’ve got the green. You’ve got the chlorophyll and the leaves.
The other one is dates, more whole-foods type of things, or apples. I made a chia pudding the other day and I just blended apples as a sweetener. It doesn’t need very much. Coconut is actually quite sweet so you can just put coconut into things and reduce the amount of sweet that you have to put in it. With dates you can actually make a date paste and just blend up dates with water and make a paste that you can serve, put into recipes one to one for something like agave or maple syrup.
Kevin: Kristin asks, “Does good food combining play a major role in longevity?”
Rita Marie: Wow, I hope not. [Laughter]
Kevin: What a great answer.
Rita Marie: I do so much. I’m really dedicated to my health and the one thing that’s been always like a [grunt] for me is the food combining. I’ve given up all the old foods. I stop eating within three hours of going to bed. I breathe before I eat. I eat all great foods. I don’t want to have that rule that you can’t eat this with that. But quite frankly, I did rebel against that for a while. It seems like I’m just naturally slowing into that. Except for when I go to raw food potlucks or it’s a special occasional and I makes some sort of dessert treat. For the most part I pretty well do follow food combining. Not to the extent that if you read the old food combining documents that say you can’t eat a tomato with buckwheat because the acid in the tomato won’t allow the buckwheat to…Taken to an extreme it just becomes a neurosis. That can hurt you more than the poor food combining.
What I tell people is, let’s just get started by getting the junk out. Let’s just get started by increasing the amounts of whole foods that you’re putting in your diet. Here’s some of the guidelines for food combining, if it works that way for you, fine. Now, if you find that when you combine nuts and fruit, which is one of the worst combinations, and you get bloated belly afterwards, then you know that that’s probably important for you.
It also has to do with quantity. I know for a fact and I really believe that food combining is very important when you’re eating a cooked diet, a standard diet. Eating the meat and potatoes together and the apple pie for dessert, that’s horrible combinations. That food will sit in your digestive tract and rot and create problems. So in general I think eating whole, fresh foods is going to increase your longevity. The more pure and careful you are and the less strain and stress you put on your digestive system, probably the more it’s going to increase your longevity and overall vibrant health.
Kevin: Some people will say that fermented foods will basically breed bad bacteria so they’re not good. Some people say that fermented foods are the best thing on the planet. What are your thoughts on that?
Rita Marie: It’s another one of those iffy things. I always thought rejuvelac was really cool. Anne Wigmore used it in her programs. And then in talking to Brian Clement at the Raw Spirit Fest, he said they always thought that too until they started to actually analyze it and they don’t use it anymore. They actually found that there are a lot of bad bacteria in there.
But like sauerkraut, you can make a really good sauerkraut and generally you don’t get bad bacteria in there. Usually you can tell at the top, like when you make it there’s this bunch of gunk at the top and you can throw it away. I think also if you start the process by putting some powdered probiotics in there, then you’re actually getting it started with the stuff you want to grow in there, versus taking your chances and just leaving it in the open air and allowing whatever happens to float along to get in there.
I find that a lot of people do really well with the fermented foods. They find that they digest better, they feel really comfortable and lots of digestive issues they had go away when they go on the fermented foods, and other people find that they’re more sensitive to it. I think it’s like everything else, you have to look at the evidence on both sides, try it yourself and see where it goes. You’ll know if you’re introducing bad bacteria into your gut, pretty quickly.
Kevin: Yeah, they tell you.
Rita Marie: They have a little revolution.
Kevin: As tiny as they are they have the ability to expand your stomach or other nasty things.
Rita Marie: Yeah.
Kevin: Roy asks, “Will a 100 percent raw fruit diet work in the long term?”
Rita Marie: I have not seen any evidence that it will. That came up a lot at Raw Spirit Fest. I think the overwhelming opinion about that was that it doesn’t work. The fruits don’t have enough of the minerals that you really need to sustain your life and to feed your brain and feed your immune system. They just don’t. They have some minerals and they’re great sources of vitamins and antioxidants and easy-to-use sugars, but I think in the long run most people will end up either dropping it, will end up developing really bad teeth problems, hair falls out and they get really skinny. I haven’t seen it work for many people. I’m not really good about that.
Now, does a diet that’s very high in fruit and greens say, where maybe you’ve got a 60/40 or 50/50 ratio of greens to fruit, that may work a lot better. But just fruit, that kind of scares me.
Kevin: Elaine asks, “Can a raw food diet help control or even overcome autoimmune disease?”
Rita Marie: It’s one of the best things for autoimmune disease. I’ve seen it over and over again. Again, you’ve got to be careful about how you do a raw foods diet. If your raw foods diet is agave nectar and cacao all day long, probably not. But if you’ve got a high green, fresh food diet and it’s really well equipped with the omega-3s, the omega-3s are really, really important for autoimmune to balance the fats. What’s happening in autoimmune disease is that you’ve got an inflammatory process that’s attacking your organ systems. So if you can quench the fires and inflammation through appropriate use of the high omega-3 foods and things like turmeric and ginger and some of the herbs that have good anti-inflammatory properties like onions, garlic, things like that, you can actually do really well with autoimmune diseases.
The other big issue with autoimmune disease is that so many autoimmune diseases are a result of your body cross reacting, the antibodies, to certain foods cross react with the tissue. One of the big linkages that I’ve seen lots of research on is the thyroid and gluten. A lot of people have gluten sensitivity. The gluten antibodies will attack the thyroid and then you end up with an autoimmune thyroid condition. In the scientific literature there are reports of people who went on a gluten-free diet and six months later their antibodies for their thyroid were either gone or significantly reduced. The important thing about that though is complete abstinence. As soon as you introduce even a little bit back into the system, the inflammation starts all over again and the healing of the thyroid or whatever tissue stops. So it’s real important in that regard to really be strict about it.
If you want a 100 percent raw diet you are not 100 percent certain to be on a gluten-free diet. That’s the scary thing. A lot of people are using Nama Shoyu in foods. Nama Shoyu has wheat flour in it. Some people will tell you, “Don’t worry about it. The enzymes in the Nama Shoyu eat away the gluten.” Who’s proven that? Nobody has shown me that. If you’ve got celiac or gluten intolerance, you stay away from Nama Shoyu. Which means if you go to a raw foods restaurant or somebody prepares foods for you, you ask lots of questions. I went to lots of raw food restaurants when I was out in California and I’d find that all I could eat was dessert or a smoothie, because they were putting Nama Shoyu in just about everything. I think the awareness is being raised about that. More and more people are becoming aware that you shouldn’t be doing that. But that’s a hidden source of gluten. It’s easy to say no to bread. You go, “Oh, that’s gluten. I’m not going to eat that.” But somebody offers you a nut pate on a lettuce leaf it’s like, “Wow, this is great.” Then you find out that you just had gluten.
Kevin: How do you get through the misinformation? How do we as a community get through that? The community thrives on it sometimes.
Rita Marie: What do you mean ‘get through that information’?
Kevin: How do we figure out what’s right?
Rita Marie: I think that there’s no absolute truth, that everybody has slightly different biochemistry and genetics and history that leads to what is right for you versus what is right for me. You may do very well on a high fruit diet. I may do very poorly on that. I may do very well on a high fat diet. There’s no absolute truth there. I think that some of the stuff is really clear. I did some research on gluten. I have a paper that is available on the gluten-free button on my website. I wrote a paper and I have 60 references from the scientific community. It was all about how gluten affects kids with neurodevelopment diseases like autism, apserger’s and ADD. It’s pretty amazing how much evidence there is that it’s a big issue.
So how do we get it through to the community? You be on seminars like this. You join coaching groups with people who have experience in what it is that you’re dealing with and you want resolution on. You go to things like Raw Spirit if you can. You read books. You’re always coming out with new eBooks and special reports and I do the same. You read it and you bounce it off common sense. Your approach is very much, “Let’s hear all the sides of it and see how it fits for you.” That’s my approach as well. It’s like, “If that doesn’t feel right…” If somebody says to you, “You have to be on a 100 percent fruit diet for the rest of your life,” and it just doesn’t sit well with you and you start to research and there’s a lot of evidence that that’s not a good thing, then you say no. I believe it’s really important to have mentors and coaches and people that you can really resonate with and look up to and learn from them.
Kevin: I completely agree on the mentor aspect. If anyone wants to find out more information and maybe check out a possible mentor you can go to drritamarie.com. You can actually check out that article about gluten on her website if you click on the gluten-free button right on the top.
Rita Marie: There’s a whole packet of information that I just give away as a gift, that has a lot of good resources on gluten.
Kevin: Cool. What should someone be looking for in a mentor? I know you mentioned functional medicine, chiropractic. Let’s look at it this way, if you were to look for a mentor right now for something, what requirements would they have to have?
Rita Marie: It depends on what I’m looking for a mentor for. From the standpoint of say nutrition, I would be looking for somebody who is doing well, who has patients who are getting well, who is really educated and has a lot of experience in what they’re teaching you. Personally, I wouldn’t choose a mentor for me, as a raw food mentor, somebody who’s just been doing it for two months. They’re still learning as well. Maybe they’re two months ahead of you and they can teach you stuff, but if you really want to delve into what’s going on for you and what the best course of action is for you, I would go with somebody who’s been doing it for a while. So that’s one thing.
For me, something that’s really important is working with somebody who leaves the dogma behind, that doesn’t say, “This is always true and you have to do it exactly this way.” I think that then it becomes on the cusp of being a religion and you’re blindly following. I think that it has to make sense and you have to be able to move and flow with the person. I’ve worked with people who three weeks into coaching or a month into coaching, were celebrating that we’re down to two Cokes a day instead of ten and we’ve really worked on that and there’s a green smoothie in there in the morning. It’s your own pace. A mentor should be able to help you identify what’s going to give you the biggest bang for the buck. In other words, what is it that you’re doing right now that’s most impacting your health and helping you to switch that around. That way you’re going to be really motivated to continue to learn more, because you’ve solved really critical, underlying foundation problems.
Kevin: Shaney asks, “Should we be taking raw mushrooms and/or dried ones?” What are your thoughts on that?
Rita Marie: Mushrooms have a place. I think mushrooms have been well studied and well researched and have very serious medicinal qualities – anti-cancer, anti-tumor, stimulating your immune system. There is some question about whether people who have candida or yeast overgrowths get triggered by mushrooms. I’ve seen that some people do and some people don’t. So you need to bounce that off of yourself. I think the mushroom extracts, if you’ve got some kind of cancer or autoimmune disease, mushroom extracts can be really, really good at helping to move your immune system to the level where it can actually handle that. Eating shitake and mitakes and rishi mushrooms, you can include them as part of your food regime. It’s not a bad idea.
Kevin: Jennifer is confused about algae, like chlorella, blue-green algae, marine phytoplankton. Are they necessary? What are the benefits? How much do you need?
Rita Marie: That’s a great question. I’m a big fan of eating from the sea. Part of it is as long as you can get stuff that’s been grown in non-polluted waters. We haven’t gone in and depleted the ocean, plants can still grow there and pull out the minerals from the salt water. I include sea vegetables every day. I love to include a little bit of algae. I’ve just gotten back into the algae. When I run out I sometimes don’t buy some more right away. That’s the blue-green algae. Then you’ve got chlorella and spirulina which are actually micro-algaes. They’re a little bit smaller, microscopic-type algaes. They all have really, really high levels of nutrition.
The other thing about them is they have the ability to chelate, which means that they can suck heavy metals and toxins out of whatever they’re in. That’s good news and bad news. It’s good news in that if you eat them they’ll suck out some of the heavy metals and the toxins and help you to eliminate them. The bad news is, if you harvest them from polluted waters, they’ve already chelatedout a lot of the toxins from the water, so you’re actually putting more toxins in you. So it’s real important to have good sources of that stuff for sea vegetables like kelp and kombu and dulse and nori and those sorts of things.
Don’t just go to the local Asian markets — not that I have anything against Asian markets. A lot of times they just get “produce of Japan” type sea vegetables. Who knows? Is this in the harbor right outside of Tokyo? It’s probably not a good place to harvest it. You want to really know your sources and you want to know where they’ve been harvested. I think they’re an important part of your diet, at least to include a few times a week if not every day.
Kevin: I usually don’t add anything but I do want to add this. I recently noticed that the price of adzuki is dramatically increased, literally 20 dollars a bag. So you won’t be able to find it in health food stores because no one will pay that. We called Eden to find out what was going on and they are apparently now just sourcing Japanese adzuki because the other sources have been found to be contaminated. So it’s pretty interesting that you say that. We do have to be careful about our seaweeds.
Rita Marie: Right. And good companies like that are on top of it. I was dealing with a company out in North Carolina that’s a macrobiotic supply place. I was calling them up to try to get some stuff. It was about some little cracker things with nori around it that my kids liked. They were so expensive. I asked why. They said, “The source that we have. It’s very expensive to buy this nori. It’s not 50 sheets for 3 dollars like you would buy in one of the local markets. The nori there is very contaminated. We tested it.” So you really need to know your sources. There are some really, really high-quality sources that like that, that’s very impressive. They were checking it out, on top of it. You know you can trust it.
Kevin: You mentioned candida so let’s open that can of worms or can of yeast.
Rita Marie: What do you want to know?
Kevin: What do we do? How do we know we have it? Does just taking Pau d’Arco tea work? It’s a huge topic.
Rita Marie: It’s a huge topic. We all have it. It’s a normal inhabitant of our body. So set that straight. If somebody says you have candida, okay, yeah, we all do. It’s just a normal inhabitant. It’s meant to be kept in check with the other normal inhabitants. It’s when it’s in overgrowth, when it gets out of control, when you’ve taken antibiotics or been on steroids or birth control pills, which knock out your good flora in your body, that the candida has a field day. It goes, “Whoa, there’s lots of space here. Let’s multiply, let’s grow.”
It feeds on sugar. So if you suspect you have a candida problem then staying away from sugar and refined carbohydrates is a good thing, and even some of the whole grains is a good thing because it gets converted pretty quickly into sugar.
How do you know if you have it? Well, you can go online and say, “Do I have candida?” And come up with tons of websites that have lists a mile long of all the symptoms that could be associated with candida. If you read that you go, “Well, I guess everybody has it.” It’s like so widespread.
The issue is, do you have symptoms that get worse when you eat sugar? Do you have symptoms that get worse when you’re in damp and moldy places. You probably have some candida overgrowth. Do you have persistent skin rashes that just don’t seem to resolve? Do you get bloated in the belly and constipated or diarrhea? All of those things can be associated with candida.
There are some tests. There’s a breath test and somebody just told me last week — I don’t know how valid this one is — a spit test. You spit into a cup of water and if your spit floats then you probably don’t have candida but if it starts to clump and sink to the bottom then you probably do. I don’t know how valid that is. There are breath tests, ammonia breath tests. There’s antibody tests. Some of those are accurate and some of those are not. You can probably do a stool antibody test as well. I would just say if you’ve got really overt symptoms then just doing some Pau d’Arco tea is probably not enough.
The way I like to approach it, because most people that I see that have a candida problem will be coming in on a pretty poor diet to begin with, so I always like to start with addressing the diet. You need to have an alkaline diet, which means that 80 percent of the foods that you’re eating are from the alkaline side of foods. I don’t know how many people are familiar with those alkaline/acid charts. Again, a controversy because every place you go has a slightly different chart. But there’s general patterns to it. So you really want to have an alkaline diet because the alkaline environment in the cells will promote the growth of good bacteria and promote the extinction of bad stuff. You want to have no sugars. You want to have lots of greens, lots and lots of greens. Fermented foods are controversial with candida as to whether you get bad stuff in there that it can trigger it. But it’s really important to have the probiotics getting in there. For those that are not familiar with the term probiotics, it’s just basically a term for the good bacteria that inhabit not only your gut, but your skin and your throat and the mucus membranes throughout your body. We need to have good colonies of those in your gut in order to help you to digest your food, help to make some of the B vitamins. They’re real important. If you’ve taken antibiotics, if you’ve been on steroids, if you eat commercially-raised animal products, which are fed antibiotics to keep them from being infested, you’ve probably got a disruption in your normal flora.
What I like to do initially is get people to up their flora, increase the good guys. The way I describe it is like if you’re in a room and it’s loaded up with people that you don’t like very much, you have two approaches to getting rid of them. You can do some violent things and knock them out and push them out the door or you can open up the other door and let lots more people in and let these people kind of flow towards the other door until they get crowded out. When you try to hit the candida with those really strong anti-fungal type herbs and medications, that’s the clubbing approach. If you don’t have enough of the good stuff to begin with, even when you get rid of the candida, you still don’t have enough good guys to keep it from coming back. The approach needs to be to get rid of the candida, either by crowding it out, by putting in a lot more of the good probiotics, or by doing the combination – clubbing them and crowding them out so they can’t come back in.
So there’s all kinds of approaches. There’s the Pau d’Arco, there’s all kinds of anti-fungal type things, black walnut and Artemisia. There’s no set formula, like, “This one always works.”
One last thing I’ll say and we’ll put this, hopefully, to rest, if you’ve got parasites, and you eradicate your candida with a really good candida protocol and you don’t get rid of the parasites, the candida is going to come back. So it’s really important to identify if you have parasites. That’s another whole can of worms.
Kevin: [Laughs] How do you know if you have those?
Rita Marie: Well, persistent candida-type things that don’t go away. Symptoms that don’t go away in spite of you doing some good protocols and getting off the sugar and being really diligent about it. There are certain things like itching in the anus which is a real obvious sign of parasites, bloating in your gut. Eating lots of food and not gaining weight, is another sign of parasites because the parasites are feeding on it. There’s a whole host of others – headaches and behavior problems and depression. All these things can be. It’s when you have persistent health problems that don’t seem to be resolving in spite of really good habits and good
herbal support and all that, then there’s a good chance that you have a parasite. And you can test for it, although the tests aren’t 100 percent accurate. There are a number of tests where you can test your stools to see if parasites show up.
Kevin: Great. Jeff asks, “Are there any raw vegan vitamin D supplements?”
Rita Marie: Vitamin D, I’ve looked for them. The vitamin D3 is always from lanolin. I’m not sure if there’s a synthetic. I think the D2 is the synthetic. That’s vegan, but it’s synthetic. You have to pick your poison. Either you have to be doing your sunbathing 20 minutes a day and getting it on over 40 percent of your body and getting plenty of D that way, and not showering right after you do it. Or you have to take a D3 which is from lanolin, or take a D2 which is a synthetic. Or cod liver oil or something like that, which is not vegan.
Kevin: Great. What is your opinion on distilled water? Which water do you use?
Rita Marie: I don’t know if I really have an opinion at this point. Distilled water is de-mineralized. I heard Brian Clement talk about it last week. There’s something wrong with distilled water. I really am not an expert at it. I personally have a reverse osmosis filter at home. I also have a distillation unit. I don’t really use the distillation unit as much because it’s not hooked up to my faucet.
I think the real important thing is that we get enough water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of diseases and symptoms and persistent overweight. When people are dehydrated and they perceive their hunger. So it’s important to get the water. I think it’s really important to take out all the crud – the lead and the chlorine and all the other stuff. That’s real important. Filtering your water is really important. Then whether it’s distilled or reverse osmosis, I personally like the reverse osmosis because you don’t have to heat the water so it doesn’t kill whatever life force might be in it.
I think spring water is probably your best bet. If you have a source of a really good spring, as it’s bubbling up out of the ground and has the natural filtration. Then there’s all these structured-water type gizmos that you can use. The whole theory behind water enters the cell one molecule at a time in a single row and it tends to get clumped by the filtration process. So these clumps of water don’t actually get into your cells. You may be drinking lots of water but not getting it into your cells. So there’s these little wands that you can use to stir it and there’s drops you can use to put in it. I haven’t really researched to see what the best bet is, but probably something like that is a good idea.
Kevin: Great. Donna asks — and I think this will be our last question — “How do I confirm the nutrients in the combination of foods I consume weekly so I do not have to take unnecessary supplements?”
Rita Marie: That’s a great question. There are a number of programs. There’s an online place that’s free, fitday.com. They don’t do all of the nutrients, they do a subset. But they do the major minerals and vitamins. I don’t know if they break down amino acids. There are programs that you can pay for that you can just plug in what you eat and it pops out the other end. But then it runs the question of, it’s adequate compared to what? The RDA? What is really adequate in terms of nutritional need?
So you can use that as a ballpark and as a guideline. If anything is low then you either need to supplement it or eat more of the foods that contain it. Then you run into the issue of, does the food really contain what they say it contains. Was it grown on de-mineralized soil? Is it organic or not organic? Eating lots of greens and taking the chlorellas and super-type food greens, which are really concentrated, adding the sea vegetables for your minerals. The vitamins you’re pretty much getting. You’ve got fresh, whole fruit and it’s got color to it, your vitamin A and beta carotene, you’re getting plenty of those. The things that I see that people may not be getting enough of are say the sulphur-containing amino acids, which are really important for detoxification – the broccoli, cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables are really good sources of that. So making sure you really get adequate amounts of all these foods.
I put together a checklist that I give my patients that has lists of the different categories of foods and approximately how much you should be eating in each of those categories to get a full spectrum of nutrients in you.
Kevin: Donna’s been a long-time listener. That’s based on caloric value that someone would need?
Rita Marie: Well, caloric value is pretty easy to calculate. But the caloric value varies from person to person. Your basal metabolic rate will determine whether you need a high number of calories or low. Is your furnace running hot or is it running cold? The calories are pretty straightforward. Any program online will give you calories and the total protein and the total carbohydrate and the total fat. It’s a great exercise to do as a raw foodist, to give you a guideline as to whether you’re going overboard on the nuts and seeds. If you’re into the range of having 50 percent, 75 percent fat diet, you may be eating too many avocados, nuts and coconut and need to cut back. So it gives you a broad spectrum of how you’re doing and it will give you the vitamins and minerals, to an extent. But there’s no guarantee. It’s a great starting point though.
Kevin: The listing in terms of how much of these foods that you should be eating, that’s based on someone’s specific caloric needs though.
Rita Marie: Oh, I give ranges, right. So I may so between 4 and 6 cups of this or between 6 or 8 ounces of that, based on how small you are and what your exercise patterns are.
Kevin: Great. You can find out more information about Dr. Rita Marie at drritamarie.com. You have a free eBook here that someone can go on your site and download, right? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that.
Rita Marie: Actually, I have a really nice set of eBooks that I usually give out on calls, if you want me to give you that link. It’s my favorite topic, a whole collection of three little eBooks and an audio tape about greens and the value of greens. One’s on sea vegetables, one’s a few green smoothie recipes and the other one is nutrition charts of calcium and all the different vitamins and minerals. Then there’s a little audio that I put together, a conference call that I recorded. So you can get that by going to drritamarie.com/green. That will get you to a form and you can fill it out and you’ll get all those eBooks.
Kevin: Drritamarie.com/green. You can check out those three free eBooks and the free audio that goes with it. Dr. Rita Marie, thanks so much.
Rita Marie: You’re so welcome. This was fun, a pleasure.
Kevin: It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been nice getting to know you over the last maybe five or six months, seeing you at Raw Spirit Fest and seeing you in Austin in your stomping ground, your hometown. I’ve really appreciated the information you shared today. I think that it helped a lot of people. We really appreciate it.
Rita Marie: Any time you want me to come back I’d be more than happy to join in again.
Kevin: All right. Have a great night. To everyone else out there, this is Kevin Gianni from RenegadeHealth.com. Please join us on our next call, two weeks from now. I do not have the listing in front of me but I’m sure it will be as awesome as the one that we had tonight. Mark it on your calendars, the first and third Wednesday of every month we have these calls. So to everyone else out there, remember we really value your time and we know how important this is so we really want to thank you for sharing it with us tonight. Have a good night all. Take care.
If you need video to learn: check out http://www.mondaynightliveevents.com for a very different and powerful interview with Dr Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute. This is available for only a week but more interviews are shown every Monday night.
Next posting, I will share some more of my favorite sites to keep all of us educated
AND EAT YOUR VEGGIES especially the GREEN ones!