Husband and wife team Brian and Jody Calvi, are health enthusiasts. Their respective histories with disease and long fights for recovery inspired them to open Farm of Life. They are grateful for the healing journey they’ve experienced, and feel their higher purpose is to give back to others in need. Brian and Jody assist guests, support their healing journey, arrange tours and services. Both Brian and Jody are health coaches. Brian is passionate about fitness, leads cycling tours and is a dynamic workshop facilitator. Jody is responsible for behind-the-scenes action and loves that they made their Costa Rica dream a reality. Brian and Jody together are studying for a PhD in Natural Health and Nutrition.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello, I am Caryn Hartglass and this is It’s All About Food. Thanks for joining me. I am really looking forward to the next hour.
We are going to be talking about my favorite subject, food, especially healthy food, and what it can do in your life. I’ve got some great guests with me today: Brian and Jodi Calvi, the husband and wife team. They are health enthusiasts. Their respective histories with disease, which we will hear about in this hour, and long fights for recovery, inspired them to open Farm of Life, or as we say in Costa Rica, Finca de Vida. They are grateful for the healing journey they’ve experienced and feel their higher purpose is to give back to others in need.
Brian Calvi and Jodie assist guests, support their healing journey, arrange tours and services. Both Brian and Jodi are health coaches. Brian is passionate about fitness, leads cycling tours, and is a dynamic workshop facilitator. Jodi is responsible for the behind the scenes action and loves that they made their Costa Rica dream a reality. Brian and Jodi together are studying for a PhD in Natural Health and Nutrition. Welcome, Brian and Jodi.
Brian Calvi: Thank you.
Jodi Calvi: Thank you, Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: You have this website. There are a number of versions of it; there is fincadevida.com, or for those Anglophones farmoflifecr.com.
Brian Calvi: CR stands for Costa Rica.
Caryn Hartglass: Costa Rica. I welcome you to visit that website, either now during this hour or when you have a chance. There is lots of wonderful information and photos up there, I understand. Let’s just get started. I understand both of you have some very compelling stories, so we want to hear about those first. Who wants to go first?
Brian Calvi: I think I will start.
Jodi Calvi: Brian goes first.
Brian Calvi: (Laughs) First off, I always like to accept responsibility for what I have because now, through all the years of learning about this lifestyle and what the original cause of disease is, is really autointoxication of the body, which means improper thoughts, improper food, improper drinking, improper air, and it can be numerous things.
For me, around about 1997 or 1998 the only thing I did which was healthy was exercise. I was a tennis player. After I got done with a pretty good college tennis career, I got a job as a Secondary Ed Social Studies teacher in Naples, Florida. And one morning, I could not get out of bed, completely. My muscles completely locked up on me.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow.
Brian Calvi: And I remember, I don’t know why I didn’t call 911, but I called my mom from the phone next to my bed.
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs) Oh, sure. Mom.
Brian Calvi: I called my mother and I said, “I can barely move.” And I was basically witnessing a body cramp that I had gotten sometimes if I was dehydrated, you know, after long hours of playing tennis matches. But, I didn’t know why I had this. And, of course, my mother said go see the doctor, right? All my life, at that point, I was 24 years old; you believed the guy in the white suit with the stethoscope was right.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, that’s right.
Brian Calvi: You know, at that point…
Caryn Hartglass: Next to God, or God.
Brian Calvi: There you go, right? So, I just figured well, okay. And that started my ten-year roller coaster ride with Western medicine. I am sure you have heard this story a million times.
Caryn Hartglass: Mhm. (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: And it started again with you go see the doctor and you complain of muscle spasms and he puts you on a muscle relaxer. And then, as time went on, I had problems with my sinuses. I had chronic sinus infections. They would give me antibiotics, and I would get immunity to the antibiotics, and another set of antibiotics, and another set of antibiotics. After that, they had to put a port in my arm…
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, I’ve had one of those.
Brian Calvi: Yes. They had to put a port in my arm, that way I wouldn’t have to go see the doctor all the time. So, they would shove that- yeah, I would actually administer my own antibiotics at that particular time.
Caryn Hartglass: Oooh.
Brian Calvi: And this is very difficult for me because I am 26 now. I am 26 years old, right? What does a 26 year old do? He’s going to college, he’s maybe getting a masters degree, or a PhD. What are the values of the typical 26 year old? Making some money, getting a nice car, finding a beautiful woman…
Caryn Hartglass: Having fun.
Brian Calvi: Having a good time, right. All of the above. And for me, it’s funny because my values completely changed, year after year of no answer. Western medicine just completely saying okay well we are going to give you a pill. And of course, that pill would have side effects, and that pill would lead to other pills to combat the side effects.
Caryn Hartglass: Better living with chemistry.
Brian Calvi: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: I remember moving in with my wife, when we finally got engaged, and I remember as we were leaving my apartment we counted and I kept them because I always wanted to keep them. I always knew I wanted to heal myself of this. I remember I was on forty different kinds of meds.
Caryn Hartglass: (Gasp)
Brian Calvi: Yes. So, as the journey goes on, it gets worse obviously. I am exhausting Western medicine. At this point in time they had tested me for Lyme, Lupus, MS, HIV/AIDS. I was in the hospital running high fevers for many weeks. No one knew what was wrong with me, so that really scared my family, and of course myself.
At that particular time, I remember one evening watching a Dateline 20/20 episode and it was a neurosurgeon who said that he was getting good results with fibromyalgia chronic fatigue syndrome patients and at this particular time, I had gotten diagnosed with that because there was no other label…
Caryn Hartglass: When all else fails.
Brian Calvi: So, I got the wastebasket illness, yes, fibromyalgia chronic fatigue syndrome. And, the neurosurgeon said that what he was doing was he was opening up C1 and C2…
Caryn Hartglass: (Sounds of discomfort)
Brian Calvi: Sorry, not opening up but removing C1 and C2…
Caryn Hartglass: No!
Brian Calvi: And opening up the brainstem. And at this particular time, I was so desperate that I would have done anything. I was always an athlete. I was always very driven and so for this particular time, I didn’t have a goal as an athlete; now my goal was to heal myself.
Caryn Hartglass: Mhm.
Brian Calvi: Except now, at this particular time, I was using Western medicine for it. So I remember the neurosurgeon- going to North Carolina to see this neurosurgeon and they poked and prodded me- body scans, MRIs, CAT scans, cardiovascular tests- and he looks at me and he says, “You are a candidate for this surgery.”
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, lucky you. (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: “I can make you well.” But I remember he was honest with me and he looked at me and said, “You’re still standing. You complain of being down and out and not in good health but I could make you handicapped. I could take your health from you.”
And I remember looking at him and I was so desperate and down and out that I said, “I have confidence in you. You can do it. Let’s do this surgery.”
So, I get all set up, I am a month in for the surgery and the old insurance company calls. The insurance company calls me and says, “You have a preexisting condition…
Caryn Hartglass: No!
Brian Calvi: “And you’re not going to be able to pay for this surgery”. So I am absolutely distraught about this. I remember thinking, my God, this was going to be my answer and now I can’t pay for a $50,000 surgery. At this particular time, financially, I was going under. The fibromyalgia chronic fatigue diagnosis back in the late 90s was not covered by insurance.
Caryn Hartglass: No, it wasn’t a hip disease at the time.
Brian Calvi: It wasn’t a hip disease.
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: It is now, because there is a drug that everyone can take and they can make lots of money. But then, it wasn’t covered. So I got nailed on a preexisting condition so I wasn’t going to get the surgery.
Caryn Hartglass: Well that’s probably the only story I have ever heard- I haven’t heard the rest of this- where a preexisting condition and an insurance company not approving the treatment was a good thing.
Brian Calvi: Yes. I am grateful for the fact now obviously…
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, absolutely.
Brian Calvi: -that I didn’t get it, but it’s funny. I didn’t exhaust that form of medical treatment yet. There was one other neurosurgeon here in New York, as a matter of fact. At the time I was living in Atlanta and I drove all the way up here to New York and saw the neurosurgeon here. He ran all the same tests on me and I remember this was my defining moment where I took back my health.
I remember him looking at me and saying, “I would never touch you with this type of surgery. I could make you handicapped with this surgery. You don’t warrant this surgery.” He looked at me and he said, “You have to accept the fact that you have fibro myalgia chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no cure for this. You’re going to have to realize that you will be in chronic pain for the rest of your life, your health will never be the way it used to be, you’re going to have to deal with chronic depression, and you’re just going to have to accept the fact that your life is not going to be the way it used to be.”
At that particular time I remember feeling sorry for myself for a little while. The first hour back to Atlanta, I thought I am not a person who is depressed, down, and who is going to feel sorry for himself. I am going to figure out a way to heal myself.
Caryn Hartglass: Amen.
Brian Calvi: If I have to beg, borrow, or steal for it, and at this particular time of course for ten years I had begged, borrowed, and stolen Western medicine- it didn’t work. Now I was going to take it back. That particular moment, I feel, is a defining moment because I took my health back. I said to myself I don’t know how to do this but I am going to heal myself from this. It’s funny because I remember on our college tennis team, we had a buddy who was a vegan.
Caryn Hartglass: Oooh. (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: I remember we used to ride him, make fun of him incessantly, but we always respected him. I always respected him because he was always consistently healthy. He never had colds and flus or the ups and downs of health that the typical twenty year old had who was living on a standard American diet. I remember thinking maybe veganism is where I am going to go with this, but I wasn’t sure. I just needed to forget about my problems at that particular time, so I went to see a movie when I got back to Atlanta. Before I went and saw movies, I used to always go to a Barnes and Noble.
This particular time I was sort of guided to the self-help section and I remember looking through the self-help section, probably wanting to see something on veganism, but I saw a book on raw foods. I remember thinking, what is raw foods? I had absolutely no idea what the words “raw food” meant. But, I grabbed the book, sat down, and read the first chapter. And the end of the first chapter said you’re probably reading this because you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs)
Brian Calvi: And that was true.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.
Brian Calvi: It said why don’t you try this lifestyle; give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, by all means go back.
Caryn Hartglass: Somebody was talking to you.
Brian Calvi: Yeah! Go back to your original lifestyle- okay, fine. So, I gave it a shot and I remember buying my Vitamix and my juicer and isolating myself because I was always the life of the party. I was the drinker, the partier, the drug user. I was going from that- double quarter pounder with cheese, the biggie fry, and large chocolate milkshake- to being a raw foodist.
Caryn Hartglass: Very nice.
Brian Calvi: A daunting task, definitely. But, after a year and a half of a lot of buying tons of books and learning about the lifestyle, it was an amazing ride because there were so many ups and downs. I remember within that first month, week three, I remember sleeping like I did- and I was an insomniac for many years- I remember sleeping deeply like I did when I was a teenager. It’s funny…
Caryn Hartglass: That was just after a month?
Brian Calvi: Yeah. Third week. I have to add this in before I talk about the end result of what it was like on a raw vegan lifestyle. About halfway through, you lose a lot of friends when you change to a lifestyle like this. A lot of the old Brian friends just sort of dropped one after another…
Caryn Hartglass: Or maybe you learn who your real friends are.
Brian Calvi: You’ve got that right. I had one left. One left, my buddy Tony stayed with me. He was on our cycling team. Whenever I felt well enough, I would go out and ride with them. It was around Christmas time when Tony said, “Your best friends are your juicer and your Vitamix right now. You need to get out. You’ve isolated yourself.”
I really had. I did not know how to function in the world in the first year and a half, two years, of being a raw vegan. I didn’t because I went from being one end of the extreme- the partier- now to the raw vegan, so I really didn’t know. I hadn’t met many friends yet in that area. I had just read a lot of books and I was going to heal myself.
But my friend Tony said, “Just come to a Christmas party. You don’t have to drink. Drink water. Come to a Christmas party.” Okay, fine, I’ll do that. I need to get out. So I see a girl at this Christmas party across the way and she’s on crutches. I was excited at this, it was kind of sad; I remember thinking, wow, she’s on crutches and I am sick. We can both be sick together, so I am going to go and talk to her! I go over and talk to her. We have a very good conversation and the conversation goes to going on a date.
I remember, I looked at her, and at the time my self-esteem was so low. This illness had taken me to the depths. Alcoholics reach rock bottom, well I had reached rock bottom with my life and with how it felt. I looked at her and said, “Yeah, you don’t want to go out on a date with me. You don’t.”
She said, “Why? Why wouldn’t I? You seem like a really nice guy.” I said, “I’ve got this crazy diet. I don’t know where we would go, what we would do, if we would have any fun…” I remember she looked at me, to my happiness, and said, “What, are you a raw foodist?”
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs)
Jodi Calvi: I knew about it.
Brian Calvi: She had heard about it. Jodie was very young when she had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, so had heard about it. She had dabbled with it a little and it was difficult for her. At that, we went on a date. Two years later, jump ahead a little bit, we get married. On our honeymoon, we go to Costa Rica.
Caryn Hartglass: Mhm.
Jodi Calvi: Nice honeymoon.
Brian Calvi: Yes. During that year and a half- I was just a little ahead of Jodi- after about a year and a half, I completely after ten years of battling with Western medicine, I completely healed myself on a raw vegan diet. It was very strict during this year and a half. We are talking short-term fasts, juice feasting, colonics and enemas. Basically trying every raw food lifestyle out there. Also changing my thoughts too, by the way, which are much more powerful than food, which I have learned now on my healing journey. Instead of being fear based, which is all that anger and resentment and hatreds. You have to let go of that and forgive and love everything in your life.
Caryn Hartglass: It takes work.
Brian Calvi: Oh, and it took work. It’s still a work in progress. Basically, everything melted away and after a year and a half I was completely cured, back playing tennis again, riding my bike competitively. And now, here we are in Costa Rica with a bed and breakfast, travel tourism, wellness center that when we did go on our honeymoon, we looked at each other and said, wouldn’t this be a great place to give back, now that we’ve healed ourselves from chronic illness? We could set up a place that is absolutely beautiful where people can come down and learn how to reconnect with nature to heal themselves. The mission and vision on the farm… because during this whole process, we went to places in the United States that cost ridiculous amounts of money. They work, don’t get me wrong, but they cost absolutely ridiculous amounts of money. We thought it’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it; to teach people how to reconnect with nature but it costs $4,000 a week to reconnect with nature.
Caryn Hartglass: Mhm.
Brian Calvi: We wanted to offer a place that had the same quality of those places but they were affordable for a schoolteacher, like myself, who had gone financially belly up with this illness. They could come and they could learn how to reconnect with nature and to heal, just like we did. So, that’s the mission of Farm of Life, to basically get people to reconnect mind, body, and spirit down there and heal themselves for an affordable price.
Caryn Hartglass: That sounds pretty good.
Brian Calvi: Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: I love your story. You’re looking pretty good.
Brian Calvi: Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, so we jump over to Jodi.
Jodi Calvi: Yeah, definitely. Brian already mentioned that I had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 18 months of age, so I was a toddler…
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, gosh.
Jodi Calvi: My family was on vacation and one morning, my knee was swollen, like the size of a football, so the whole family went into emergency mode. Vacation was over. It took the doctors a while to diagnose me, but the diagnosis came in as arthritis. It was active in both my ankles and both my knees through my childhood and into my teen years, and then later in life, showed up in my elbow. I also developed asthma and a seizure disorder.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow.
Jodi Calvi: So, my rheumatologist from the very beginning put me on adult grade pharmaceutical medications to control the disease. These medicines were pretty effective but they also are really hard on the body and hard on your organs. I would often have… they follow your blood work to measure how your whole system is performing, so they would catch when I was about to have liver failure, or kidney failure, and they would take me off the medicines. Of course whenever they did that, from my perspective as a young child, when I came off the medicines, I would have flare of the disease.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. That would be big pain.
Jodi Calvi: So this is a pattern that got pretty well drilled into my psyche of stop the medications and I will experience pain. That certainly came up later in life when I finally stopped taking medications for the final time in my life. I also developed a seizure disorder when I was thirteen. From what I know now about how the body tries to detox itself…
Caryn Hartglass: Mhm.
Jodi Calvi: My seizure disorder was purely my body trying to eliminate all the poisons. I would vomit and/or have diarrhea, then seize, then I would sleep for 24 hours in a heavy, deep sleep. So again, purging, and then that deep, restorative sleep. My doctors didn’t know what I know now, so they just put me on medicines for the seizures as well. And then asthma as well when I was 16; I developed a pretty heavy case of asthma.
You’re having to breathe through this story. I’m sorry. (Laughs) It gets better. It has a happy ending.
Caryn Hartglass: Well it’s a great story and we are going to hear it to the finish and the happy ending. The thing is, I know there are other people that are going through that so unnecessarily, and that’s why I am breathing for them.
Jodi Calvi: Right, so if you are listening, keep breathing. My asthma was pretty heavy and I would have an attack about every six weeks for about 15 years. I would either have an asthma episode, or bronchitis, or pneumonia, and every time I would have one of those, they would put me on antibiotics and a steroid burst. So basically, I took a lot of antibiotics. Also, the steroids, I had a low dose I took for my arthritis for about 10 years. What they don’t tell you about steroids is a side effect- osteonecrosis, dead bone. I had dead bone in my knee. It appeared about a year before we got married. Actually, I had to get surgery just three months before our wedding.
When we met though, which was a good two years before we got married, I was on crutches because the arthritis had done what it does and it ate away at my cartilage. I was bone on bone in my ankle. I found a doctor in Miami, Florida. His name is Dr. Allan Dunn- his site is iagh.com, which stands for intra-articular growth hormone. He injected growth hormone into my ankle. That stimulated my own stem cells into the space and grew into cartilage.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow.
Jodi Calvi: I spent just short of a year on crutches- bearing zero weight on my ankle while these juvenile stem cells moved into my joint and grew into cartilage. So, that is when Brian met me as a health misfit. He was a very gracious man. He would take me to Whole Foods on the weekends so that we could go buy raw food and juices. Those were our dates, so, we weren’t very fun…
Brian Calvi: Exciting.
Jodi Calvi: (Laughs) But this is what I had- what we both had to do at the time. Even before that, I started exploring alternative medicine. I did everything: all the different forms of chiropractic and acupuncture and Chinese medicine- hyperbaric chambers and the things with the Tesla coil and electromagnetic therapy. I even did hypnotherapy and a lot of emotional treatments as well. These things were all good, but they were not really transforming the cause of disease in my body. The best thing I did was taking the mercury amalgams out of my mouth. Those are called silver fillings, but they are actually about 50% mercury, and all the other heavy metals are in there as well. They are off gassing the toxic mercury poison, which you are then inhaling and your body has to contend with it and harbor that toxin.
My body was really weak. I had brain fog and fatigue all the time. My mucus membranes, every day of the year for my entire life, really until I was about 35: I had head colds. I could only take one filling out a time because every time they came out- when they come out of your mouth, you get an ingestion of the mercury. I would always have an asthma episode. So, it took a year and a half and a lot of money to get them all out of my mouth. But, it was worth it because with the last one out, I never had asthma again in my entire life.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow.
Jodie Calvi: So, that disease for me was definitely related to heavy metal plasticity in my system.
Caryn Hartglass: I’ve heard that those mercury amalgams, or silver amalgams, are related to a lot of different autoimmune things, but I never heard of it linked to asthma.
Jodi Calvi: Mhm.
Caryn Hartglass: Very good.
Jodi Calvi: Well for me, it was. And possibly with the arthritis too, because certainly I got the vaccinations as an infant that had thimerosal in it.
Caryn Hartglass: When did you start the raw foods?
Jodi Calvi: So, when I met Brian is really when I started with raw food. He coached me. I read all of the books he had read and I started walking into raw foods. Let’s go back to when I was a child and every time I came off medicine, I flared. I was very nervous going into raw foods because the ultimate goal was to stop taking medicines, and of course, I wanted to stop taking medicines; they were causing me some pretty major side effects at this point in time. Every time I tried, I would flare and I would kind of chicken out and I would return to the medicine. I was on one that was working great, too, so it was a little disincentive at the time.
The premise of raw food is that your body is going to heal itself, from the inside out, given the right internal and external conditions. I was pretty incredulous to that because my body had always been the enemy my entire life. Through my childhood, my body had hurt me and abused me and given me a lot of pain, so I mentally had to get through that as well. I did a lot of work on my belief systems and my thoughts in advance of going into the raw foods. I had to change what I believed what I deserved in terms of health and what my body could have. That’s when I did the hypnotherapy and I worked some New Age practitioners. I did a lot of prior work. Then I also moved into raw food.
There was finally a day when I felt like I had all the pieces in place. Raw food is more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle. Especially as my body was, as inundated as it was, I had to put in place all the practices that helped to recharge your life force. So, I was going to bed early, I was sunbathing, I was doing a lot of exercise and getting a lot of clean air in the northern Georgia mountains into my lungs, I was doing the mini trampoline, which flushes your lymph system- really easy way to flush your entire lymph system. I was doing water fast once a week to rest my GI system. I was eating about 90% raw food. When I came off the medicines, of course the arthritis flared, but at the time I was working with a practitioner.
His name is Dr. Paul Goldberg out of Atlanta, Georgia. We were monitoring the blood work. There are two variables that measure systemic inflammation in your body; we monitored that. Those flared when I came off the medicine, but after four months, those levels started to drop again and at six months they were back at normal levels. Likewise, the way I felt mirrored that; when I came off the medicine, I started to hurt with the arthritis, but at four months I was feeling better, and by six months I felt completely normal. That was about three or four years ago. I’ve been in great health since then and the arthritis is gone.
Caryn Hartglass: A couple of really great, inspiring stories. I just wanted to add one more thing, and then we are going to take a break, or maybe I will bring it up after break. We will talk more about your diet, and Cinca de Vida, or Farm of Life. We will be right back.
Hi we’re back. I am Caryn Hartglass and you are listening to It’s All About Food. We just heard some very compelling, inspiring stories from Brian and Jodi Calvi. I am going to take a deep breath now after hearing all of that because that was a lot, a lot of interesting information. They have both been very courageous in taking control of their own lives and their own health. I do take emails at firstname.lastname@example.org and I answer those during the week. Okay. So what I wanted to talk about we just heard about Jodi and her experience with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Just a little personal antidote, when I was going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer I had come off a four month round of ineffective chemotherapy and then had a bunch of surgery and then went into another round of chemotherapy with a different protocol that I had a little more faith in because it was pre tested before I had it. But in between the two treatments when I finished the first treatment of chemotherapy I started to have pain in my joints, my ankles and my hands. I would wake up early in the morning with really serious stiffness that I never had before. I would talk to my oncologist and he would say “oh you know you have arthritis” and I was saying “No”. He said a lot of patients when they are on the steroids that come with the chemotherapy their arthritis goes away. He said so now you are not on those things so you are feeling it. I would scream at him “No, I never had this before; the chemo caused this” and he really had nothing to say about it. Sure enough I went on the chemo again the pain went away and then when I came off it, it took a good year for all of the chemo related symptoms to go away. So I realized something. I had this little epiphany because I know that they give a lot of chemotherapy to treat arthritis. So it may make the pain go away but what are you doing ultimately to your body? You are like mortgaging you body. So I understand what is happening where when you are poisoning the body the body gives up, your vitality goes away and so it doesn’t do anything, it can’t, it gives up. So when you are detoxing you’re feeling discomfort, you are feeling pain as your body is trying to rid itself of toxins. So when I stopped the chemotherapy I started feeling the discomfort and the stiffness and all the symptoms as my body tried to heal and it did heal over time. So now I understand all of that. Giving chemotherapy or these toxic treatments to help may alleviate the pain in the short term but they are not solving the problem.
Jodi Calvi: Not at all. Because the problem is toxicity.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I know that.
Brian Calvi: For many different areas.
Jodi Calvi: The body being enervated and the answer is about cleansing and eating healing foods and healing practices.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. Okay, so let’s talk about that. What are those healing foods? What do you eat, what do you recommend and how do you recommend people jump into it? Is it a jump, or is it a slow walk?
Jodi Calvi: He jumps and I certainly walk. It depends on the personality.
Brian Calvi: Yes, it really does. Also I think it depends on the severity of your illness too. People will email us and they will say “I have got cancer or I have got a serious illness”. If they have a serious illness you want to put them in
Caryn Hartglass: You’ve got to jump.
Brian Calvi: You got to get extreme. You’ve got to jump, you’ve got to jump. There are some people who say “oh I am not getting good results”. So I say “well what are you doing are you raw” and they say “well I am 50 percent”. So I say “well I am sorry but you have got to jump, you have got to go all in”. Some people don’t like that but in order to get the fastest results the all in approach is the best if you have a serious illness. If not, one can go, let’s say one is a meat eater, one can move from standard American diet ,meat eating and lots of high levels of toxicity to vegetarian, cooked vegetarian, then cooked vegan, and then dabble into raw. I always tell people you don’t have to be 100 percent raw because there are so many other spokes to the wheel that really mean wellness to a person. There are so many other facets of healing that in my opinion now in ten years are actually more important than food. They are, they are stronger than food. But if one was sick, the physical body is sick, raw foods, you have to go all in.
Caryn Hartglass: Any particular kinds of raw foods because I know that there are fruits, there are vegetables, there are different kinds of vegetables. There is raw nuts and seeds, there are sprouts, there are juices and blended salads and then there are all these dehydrated goodies.
Brian Calvi: It has to be whole, fresh, organic. I would say the big three, local, seasonal, organic. There is a reason why fruits and vegetables have a season. That means you eat them during that particular season if you can. It is much more difficult to do that here, obviously, then in Costa Rica but there are farmers markets here during the seasons and people should definitely take advantage of them. What I would generally do for someone who is sick is definitely put them on a high greens type diet.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes.
Brian Calvi: There is a lot of chlorophyll in greens and studies show that cholorphyll is very similar to human blood. So basically you are giving yourself a blood transfusion every single time you do that green juice. A lot of green juicing, some fruits at first and then as time goes on you can add more of those natural sugars back into your diet and you should have no problem at all. If one was sick there would be some colonics involved, some cleaning out of the sewer system of the body which is the colon. That would be the start of a healing regime as well as beneficial sun. You need to be sun bathing twenty to thirty minutes front and back, forty hours of ten after two o’clock when the UV levels are about four or below. These are the things that we teach down at the farm.
Caryn Hartglass: There are so many reports now talking about vitamin D and linking vitamin D to so many different diseases and the importance of getting it. Certainly we can supplement it but there is nothing better than getting vitamin D from the sun. We get so much more of it and it is not in a toxic form.
Brian Calvi: That’s right. The sun is really important. Generally if I am speaking I would tell people during the wintertime up in these areas here in the New York area, I say definitely a D3 supplement would be something that they might want to think about because the world in which we live in today, we are not outside enough. We don’t spend enough time outside. In the wintertime let’s face it, it is pretty cold to walk around naked. I mean it is kind of hard to do. So that beneficial sunshine sometimes is not going to come so a D3 supplement is an alternative. It is not as good as the sun but it is definitely an alternative.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. Okay, I agree that if you are experiencing something really severe, you definitely have to come back with some severe treatment and that means some serious changes. I also can’t say enough about the power of our emotional thoughts and resolving emotional issues. I really believe in meditation. I have blood test results that correspond to the positive impact of my meditations. There is no doubt about how much impact that can have on our well being.
Jodi Calvi: I totally agree with you on that.
Brian Calvi: I would add to that and this is why I say those thoughts and meditation is an approach that we do to work with people on their thoughts. What I tell people is there is a reason why meditation works so profoundly. If you think about it and I wrote a few things down here while we are talking is that I call them the big four, air, water, earth and sun. All of which are charged by light. You simply are love and light that is all you really are. When you learn that, that there is actually a scientific process to where you can actually become self realized and that’s recognize that you are just love and light. During meditation you are using the four pranas, air, water, earth and sun. You are using air to actually completely engross your body with light to heal itself because the air is an essential energy source or prana or chi or ki, different cultures would call it something completely different. But it is all the same. It is life force. Air is an original life force; it has been charged by light. So when you do a deep breathing technique, regardless of whatever it is, if you are doing transcendental meditation it is going to be the air technique for bringing the air up and down it is going to be a little bit different. For me we teach a kriya technique, which is a really deep belly breathe and then a stop at the top crown chakra and then a stop at the bottom at the root chakra. Over time you can get so much air through your body, which is really light, that it can completely re-energize your body and regenerate your cells way better than raw food. Incidentally, raw food is just stepped down light, it’s all just stepped down light. That is why raw food works because there is the life force in the raw food. A lot of people have trouble on the raw food diet and a lot of times I say are you getting the big four: air, water, earth and sun. Because a lot of times raw food, if someone is going to Whole Foods to get their raw food, maybe it has been unripe completely. The life force energy in that raw food diet is not as strong. So a lot of time people blame the raw food diet, “oh the raw food diet didn’t work for me”. Well I usually ask them well are you meditating to pull that air to heal? Are you bathing in clean water because there is light the energy is in water? Are you walking barefoot? Barefoot walking the earth resonates about 9.6 hertz and human beings are nothing but electric magnetic circuits. So if you are walking around with a bunch of rubber shoes on all the time, you are not becoming connected to the earth. The earth can bring energies right up through your reflex points from the bottom of your feet and heal your body through that natural energy, that life force energy through the earth. The sun, that is where the light, the world would not exist, life would not be here without the sun. So I teach two techniques, sun bathing and then a little bit extreme but I’ve been doing it for five years, is sun gazing. It comes from the east and a lot of people say “oh you can’t do that, you can’t stare at the sun that is ridiculous”; but barefoot grounded on bare earth you are actually getting all four: air, water, earth and sun. We do the practice of sun gazing during the first hour of sunrise and during the last hour of sunset. Barefoot grounded on bare earth you are staring directly at the sun using a breathing technique so you are pulling all that life force energy through your body. If someone does that religiously, safely, all problems will melt away mind body and spirit. It is something that I love to do and I teach it on the farm.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. No one has to believe anything that you are talking about.
Brian Calvi: Awesome, you don’t.
Caryn Hartglass: But the thing is, none of these things cost anything.
Brian Calvi: No.
Caryn Hartglass: You know you say it couldn’t hurt. So if you are struggling and you have issues and you are not getting solutions from your conventional treatment, it boggles my mind why people don’t consider these things because they are so simple and I know that they are effective. But you don’t even have to know that they are effective or believe that they are effective. They don’t cost anything.
Brian Calvi: Again, love versus fear. A lot of people are in fear and when they stay in fear they get so afraid, “I’m going to die, I’m afraid” and they are absolutely terrified to let go of western medicine because it is what they know. So when someone says, “hey this approach actually has better results than chemo and radiation” they don’t believe you. They can’t get past that belief and that fear that if they let go of western medicine they might die doing this approach.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. You know people feel that way fine. They can do that but they can also do this at the same time.
Caryn Hartglass: It may not be the ideal but I think more often than not it will get them through it all.
Brian Calvi: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. My father had prostate cancer. When I changed my diet to a raw foods diet they all thought I was an absolute lunatic. I have an Italian family and they thought I was a nut ball. Then when they saw me heal myself though after a year and a half, it’s funny, my father started asking me questions, my brother started adding some more fruits and vegetables to his diet. My father came down with prostate cancer and he called me up and said I am going to do the radiation approach but how should I change my diet?
Caryn Hartglass: Wow.
Brian Calvi: I had him on a fifty percent raw diet and just changed his food combining around. I got the chemicals out of the meats he was eating. He is prostate cancer free right now.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, you may be familiar with Dr. Dean Ornish who has done a lot of studies with heart disease but he also did a study on prostate disease and showed significant reduction in those PSA levels by putting his patients on a very low fat, healthy vegan diet.
Brian Calvi: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: Which included a lot of raw food but he demonstrated through conventional means of peer review and scientific clinical results that this diet definitely turns prostate cancer around. So we know that works. The other thing is I know a lot of people that are vegan. People that abstain from exploiting animals, not eating anything from an animal, not wearing by products of animals, leather, wool and silk. I am one of those people and I do it because I don’t want to cause pain and suffering to animals and that is how I originally got started on this path. But a lot of people that subscribe to this sort of lifestyle are not healthy because more and more supply and demand there is a lot of vegan junk food out there. There is Newman O’s and all kinds of soy ice creams and all kinds of sugary foods. So what I like to tell my fellow vegans, if you really want to make an impression on everyone else and really help the animals you have got to look your best. You have got to be as healthy as you can be. That means a healthy plant based diet with a lot of local, seasonal, organic, raw foods, boost your immune system, look great. Then people like your dad are going to take notice and say what are you doing?
Brian Calvi: Yes.
Jodi Calvi: Yes, that’s right.
Brian Calvi: You are absolutely right. A lot of vegans need to be careful too just simply because of the raw foods that they eat and how they live, they need to watch for B12 deficiency.
Caryn Hartglass: Thanks for mentioning that.
Brian Calvi: That is definitely something that you want to consider if you really want to stay long term as a vegan. Because we just don’t have the soil that we used to have anymore. It’s washed away with the way we’ve lived our lifestyle. So because of that a B12 supplement, a sub-lingual B12 supplement, a lot of these, I’ll use the word gurus the so called gurus, that have written a lot of these raw vegan books they won’t tell you in some of their books that they were horribly B12 deficient, some of them. So if you want to stay a vegan and you want to be really healthy, I would suggest, think about it. Either get blood tested for B12 levels and if you are low take a supplement. Because B12 is so important in the metabolic exchange of the body especially with memory and energy, it is huge.
Caryn Hartglass: B12 is really important. It is not only affecting vegans. It is affecting vegetarians and meat eaters now because we live in such a sterile society and our soils are so depleted of natural bacteria. So it is really important and the thing is there is no known toxicity to B12 so you don’t have to worry about taking too much.
Brian Calvi: Right.
Caryn Hartglass: It is something so simple and some people may respond and say “but it is not natural why do I have to take it if it’s not natural? Nature didn’t design me to take it”.
Brian Calvi: That’s true.
Caryn Hartglass: The thing is we don’t live in a natural world.
Brian Calvi: We don’t.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s not natural anymore. We are really whacked out of balance. So this is something simple, it’s synthetically produced in laboratories, it’s clean, it’s inexpensive and there is really no reason not to take it.
Brian Calvi: Right. Also, I keep a broad open mind. I know for this particular show we are talking about veganism and I know some raw vegans that are very very healthy. But if someone does come back with that and they say I don’t want to take a supplement, then I say you might want to consider raw goats milk from animals that have been completely loved and cared for. No antibiotics, no hormones, they are eating their naturally intended diet. Or I would consider the same kind of raw egg yolks; they have vitamin D, they have tons of B12. So for me a raw vegan diet completely healed me; but I have added, for myself, I have added some raw animal products that of course don’t hurt the animals whatsoever. I have added some raw animal products back and for me it completes the raw diet because it adds the protein, it adds B12 and it adds probiotics. When you do that you don’t see gauntness anymore, you don’t see weakness. You see a good example of what a raw diet can do. So it is just a consideration. If someone doesn’t want to consider a raw animal like egg yolks or raw goat’s milk, I understand that, I get that for spiritual reasons. Then they really need to supplement with B12.
Caryn Hartglass: Right, well the big problem today is the factory farms, the confined animal, feed lots, the factory groups that grow animals in very confined, filthy, horrific concentration camp situations. Over ninety percent, maybe close to ninety nine percent, of the animal products that are available for food today are grown in these confined horrible farms, that’s what they call them.
Brian Calvi: That’s true.
Caryn Hartglass: But they are not farms they are industries and they are very cruel and they don’t provide good food. So I personally am not about consuming animal products but if people are going to then they should definitely not be from these farmed factories and from animals that are produced in very very loving situations.
Brian Calvi: I couldn’t agree with you more.
Caryn Hartglass: The problem is that there really aren’t a lot of those.
Jodi Calvi: No.
Caryn Hartglass: So people are going to say that they are going to consume animal products from healthier, humane situations; they are going to be consuming a lot less animal products to Begin with. That is really where we need to go.
Brian Calvi: Absolutely.
Jodi Calvi: When we lived in Atlanta we befriended a local farmer who had goats and we bought our milk from her. She had enough goats to feed her family and our family. You are right we did not consume a great deal, just enough to get an adequate supply of B12 and probiotics.
Brian Calvi: And we went to her farm and we made sure it was clean and the goats again were loved and cared for. It was very important to us, like you said, to have a humane situation. Because people would say “but if it is raw egg yolks, if it is raw milk, salmonella, you are going to get sick”.
Caryn Hartglass: Right.
Brian Calvi: And you can’t, that is very real, that is very real. You get it in the factory situations that you were just talking about. But if you get it from a small farm where the goats are loved and cared for or chickens that there are just eight or nine chickens, and they are being raised correctly and they are allowed to roam around being loved and cared for, you are not going to get disease there. It just doesn’t happen.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes. Well, I can’t say enough against factory farms and it is really serious. Something that I hadn’t considered until recently. I recently read a book called Animal Factory where the factory farms are putting so many small farmers out of business. So for me, my lifestyle, my diet there is no reason not to do it. Number one it is the healthiest thing. The plant foods are the super immune system boosting nutrient packed super foods.
Brian Calvi: Right.
Caryn Hartglass: It is also the best thing for the environment because we are learning more and more that factory farms are creating a tremendous imbalance, destroying biodiversity, polluting our air, soil and water, etc. etc., putting out a lot of methane gas and nitric oxide that are causing global warming. Bad, bad, bad.
Brian Calvi: That’s right.
Caryn Hartglass: Then of course there is the tremendous cruelty of all these animals that are crammed in these filthy, disgusting places. But now I am learning that these factory farms come into these towns and they don’t support the local economy. They bring in food for the animals from other places and they put the small farmers out of business. So you don’t even have to be vegetarian if you just want to support the town economy and the farmers, don’t put your food dollar to agribusiness and factory farmed food. You really want to go to farmers markets and locally grown food.
Brian Calvi: That’s true.
Caryn Hartglass: The government is barely listening. The EPA is barely doing their job. The only way we can put these things out of business is with our dollars. Don’t buy that food.
Jodi Calvi: And grow your own food. Learn how to save and preserve your own seeds.
Brian Calvi: If you can try to grow your own food. Absolutely.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay so you are doing a little tour right now. Where are you going to be while you are in the states?
Jodi Calvi: We only have four more locations left for presenting in Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe in Fairfield, Connecticut tomorrow, which that would be Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Also in New Jersey, Ramsey, New Jersey and at the Brooklyn Rockin Raw Vegan Restaurant in Brooklyn on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
Caryn Hartglass: I haven’t been there.
Jodi Calvi: This is the end of a month long tour that has been very successful. Everyone has been really welcoming of what we are doing in Costa Rica.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. So we just have a few more minutes left. I always like to talk about my favorite foods and recipes so what are some of your celebratory foods?
Jodi Calvi: It is so easy in Costa Rica because the fruit just taste amazing. The bananas and the pineapples and mangoes are out of this world. So just a smoothie with those three ingredients is one of my favorites. It’s easy, so easy.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, it really is.
Jodi Calvi: When we are down there we eat a very simple, raw diet. There are great recipes, we have great recipes down there. But when it comes to just how we live and eat, it is pretty simple.
Caryn Hartglass: I was just there last week and pineapple, banana, papaya.
Jodi Calvi: Did you get any of the annonas like the beriba?
Caryn Hartglass: I didn’t.
Jodi Calvi: The cherimoyas?
Caryn Hartglass: Right. Are they in season right now? The cherimoyas?
Jodi Calvi: Well we had a couple of beriba on our tree when we left. I was quite sad that I wouldn’t get to enjoy it.
Brian Calvi: Those taste like lemon meringue pie by the way, listeners. It is pretty amazing.
Caryn Hartglass: I had some mamacinos. They are rambutin.
Brian Calvi: Mamacinos are great.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I just bought a big bag of those. They kind of have a juicy fruit rum kind of flavor to them. They are like hairy lichie nuts if you have ever.
Brian Calvi: Yes.
Jodi Calvi: We call them hairy balls.
Caryn Hartglass: Hairy balls.
Brian Calvi: Hairy balls. Sorry about that.
Jodi Calvi: And the mangosteens as well. Fantastic.
Caryn Hartglass: Actually I had something else that somebody called a hairy ball and I am trying to think. It is a starchy root like taro or something. It’s you have to cook them though.
Jodi Calvi: The pejibaye.
Caryn Hartglass: No, pejibaye they are good too. Lots of wonderful foods out there in Costa Rica. I really invite you to check it out. Check out Finca de Vida.com. Farm of the Lifecr.com and there it is. We are at the end of the hour. Thank you Brian and Jodi.
Jodi Calvi: Thanks a lot Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: I wish you could see these folks here. They are glowing, radiant, beautiful, healthy people. You are what you eat.
Jodi Calvi: That ‘s the truth.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes.
Brian Calvi: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you for joining me today. I am Caryn Hartglass and you have been listening to It’s All About Food. Have a delicious week.
Transcribed by Sara Scanlon, 5/15/2017 and KC, 5/21/2017