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First of all, allow myself…to ...introduce....myself. 

My name is Michael Bergonzi, Greenhouse / Expo Manager / Health Educator Director at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL for the past seven years. My career in the field of alternative health & wheatgrass began in San Diego, CA back in 1990. Growing grass for a living and not ending up in jail seemed like a pretty cool job! Ok, I'll take it! Of course, the cost per one ounce is $1.00 rather than $350.00! =)

Most people now a days have at least heard of wheatgrass juice if not actually tasted it themselves from a juice bar or health food store. (There are always some people that enjoy drinking it, but no one ever hangs around those people!) The taste of wheatgrass is not always a pleasant one and we are told that it must be our bodies that are detoxing. However, that is not always the case. For example, as a wheatgrass grower, I would bring a tray of grass to the health food store, ready to juice. If they juiced it that day, it would not taste at all bitter or cause that nausea feeling. But, they choose instead to put it in the store window for a display for people to see it, and now it stays in the window for two more days in which the sun shines on it, which it should never. They haven’t watered it, which they should everyday, and now, that same sweet tasting wheatgrass has aged almost 80 years in two days. It’s kind of like people, the older it gets, the more bitter it becomes! =) Wheatgrass should be harvested when a second blade becomes visible, and then the entire tray needs to be cut at the same time. It may then be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week without losing its value and taste.

Let’s talk about the ‘greens’ on the planet Earth. First of all, everyone can agree that we, as humans, are mammals. Most of the mammals on this planet are living on leafy greens. In fact, we are one of the few mammals that still eat meat and the only mammal that cook our food. To say that protein only comes from eating meat is an uneducated statement. Sprouts, sprouted beans and GREENS are the best source of proteins for our bodies. Think about it on a bigger scale. How is it possible that most every mammal (and you all agreed that WE humans are mammals) can live on eating just leafy greens? Elk, moose, deer, giraffes, gorillas, elephants, horses, etc… and don’t forget the one that WE get most of our food here in the USA from, the COW!!! Ahhhhhhh… and here is the problem now a days. You see, in the past, when you lived on red meat and dairy products, in-directly you lived on GRASS. The cow was eating the grass; we were eating the cow. It just makes sense. We were getting the EARTH in our diets. But, today, that is NOT the case. Most cows are now trough fed, mostly grains, which are making their systems too acid base, and are having to be shot full of antibiotics, steroids and of course hormones. They go over to the trough, eat as much as they can, and now want to take a nap because they are ‘full.’ (Ringing true to us as humans these days who drive through the fast food joint, meaning WE are being trough fed too! Staying full, getting tired and staying sick.) A cow taking a nap because it’s too full? Are you kidding me? So, the problem now is our red meat and dairy aren’t what they used to be. We are not getting the GRASS (green / earth) in our diet any longer. Look, I have been in this field now for 17 years, too long to judge anyone for what they choose to eat. I just want to educate people on “what’s simple is TRUE.” Get the Earth back in your diet, more oxygen back into your cells and exercise once a day. (yoga, walking, stretching, etc…)

OK. Is any of this making sense yet? Let’s go to the first thing your body needs to live. Before food, before water, you need OXYGEN!!! Everyone reading this, please pause for a moment and take a DEEP BREATH… Count to three on the inhale and three on the exhale. Wasn’t that good? Let’s face it, the only people that really focus on breath these days, unless you’re into yoga, Thai-chi or meditation, are smokers! =( Personally, I smoked for 10 years, and I know why I felt the ‘need’ for a cigarette, because it would relax me. Exactly, what are you doing when you smoke? (You now have to leave your job and go outside the building. Amen to that law, so you get a bit of stress relief too.) You’re BREATHING DEEP, for the first time all day. I am NOT encouraging smoking, however, I am encouraging breathing. Try it without the “stick.” Walk away from people, your job, etc… and go somewhere, by yourself, and spend 5 minutes breathing deep. It’s amazing how much calmer you will be after doing this.

Now, let’s take a moment and go back to how ‘wheat’ grass came to light. A woman by the name of Ann Wigmore founded Hippocrates in Boston approx. 50 years ago. She actually healed her own health issues by chewing on ‘lawn’ grass. That’s right; I said lawn grass, not wheatgrass. She began chewing on it and got sick for many weeks, but stayed with it till she eventually started feeling better and better. She learned that the grass / greens were the most complete foods on the planet, as well as having other healing properties. The wheat seed was chosen because of its sweeter, more palatable taste. (Her cat picked it out.) She also learned that the green / chlorophyll will increase the hemoglobin in the blood which then distributes oxygen to every cell in our body. Take another deep breath! Remember that oxygen is a good thing? Ann started this because of watching the animals do it, as well as a statement that was made to her as a child, “Instinct guided creatures, left to themselves, do not make mistakes.” (I LOVE that one.) Most of us chewed on grass as children, if it was around. Why then and not now? We lost sight of our instinct. Here’s a FYI on oxygen content on the planet these days: 100 years ago, there was over 30% and now it is at an average of 15%. The most out there, if you live in a lush, green area, is 21%. However, in downtown major cities it is down to 9% or less. Does anyone remember ‘smog alerts’? I do, but not since 1990, when they stopped telling people. Fact: Oxygen in the cells means less chance for cancer to survive. GREENS = Chlorophyll = increased hemoglobin = more OXYGEN in your cells. GET IT NOW? Don’t forget, fresh wheatgrass juice is the best way to FEEL a difference. Drinking 2 ounces / day on an empty stomach is optimum.

In closing, remember these two simple words: “Stay Present.”

More to come on GREENS and sprouted beans… Till then, yours in the greenhouse at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL, breathing in approx. 30% oxygen every day, Michael Bergonzi.

For questions, please use my email at
wheatgrassking@yahoo.com or grassandsprouts@yahoo.com

Current Mood: awakeawake

Check out my YouTube account for some videos I've just loaded.  You can get a small taste of the DVD's I have on my website for purchase.



Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

Can Diet Reverse Diabetes?

A new documentary was released recently called Raw For 30-Days.  It followed five Americans suffering from Adult Onset Type II Diabetes.  These participants underwent a radical 30-day diet and lifestyle change.  They were hoping to reverse their diabetes or reduce their insulin dependency.  All subjects were eating a standard American junk food diet and were insulin dependent and diabetic when they started this process.  They were taken to the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona to undergo a 30-day health regimen.  They ate 100% raw organic living foods that would reverse their Diabetes naturally.  They had to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food and cooked food.  Here’s the link to the movie’s site http://www.rawfor30days.com/

Is it just food?  I don’t believe so.  Changing your diet, even if you are not suffering from a disease, is not easy.  It will bring up emotions and feelings that have been long buried with food and other addictions.  The participants in the movie not only radically changed their food intake, but also took classes in alternative medicine, yoga, meditation, and spent their time in a beautiful, peaceful environment.  It’s important to surround yourself with support when you make any major changes in your life.  The results of this program brought astonishing results.  One person did leave the program.  But the other participants had exceptional results.  Within four days, most of the participants were off their insulin and oral anti-diabetic medications.  It was that quick.  After the 30 days, the Type 2 diabetics had achieved a level of health that was considered comparable with a normal non-diabetic physiology.

It takes time to get on a healing track.  For most people, just taking meat out of their diet is traumatic.  These people went from eating a typical fast food diet their whole life to eating raw foods only.  They were introduced to supplements, enzyme therapy and exercise.  Moving was a very important factor in getting their blood sugar under control.  Exercise helps get the blood sugar into the cells.  The enzyme therapy is important because most people, especially diabetics, have a sluggish digestion process.

We know it’s healthier to eat raw.  But do you have to do 100%?  No, you don’t.  Try eating as much raw as possible.  Also take red meat and chicken out of your diet.  Most of these animals are pumped with hormones and antibiotics.  Dairy should also be eliminated.  Dairy has been shown to increase childhood diabetes because of the inflammation it causes in the pancreas.

One of the participants of the 30-day program went on to go to naturopathic medical school.  He was so influenced by his transition and his health by changing to a mainly raw food lifestyle that he chose to continue to help others.  He can now speak from personal experience.  I love this.  Make your own personal experience.  Being able to speak from personal experience will allow others to heal.  Diabetes is reversible.  The body is capable of healing itself.  Nutrition, mental health and exercise are all factors in that transition.  Statements from doctors about how there are no options for certain diseases or disorders, is damaging to your health.  I’ve heard of too many friends who believe the doctors and give up.  Share your knowledge about health with others.  Share the good news.

Unfortunately, even the American Diabetes Association says, “Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure.”  True fact….a good friend of mine is a diabetic.  We traveled to Florida many years ago and during that time she was free of stress and we were feeding her wheatgrass juice prior to our departure.  During our stay in Florida, she did not have to give herself a shot of insulin.  I’ve seen it work first hand.  Not just in the movies.  So why are doctors still not telling their diabetic patients about the raw food lifestyle?  I don’t know….ask yours.

Please consult your doctor before beginning any major lifestyle changes.


Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease.  The lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in rye, barley, wheat and oats.  Some gastrointestinal symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating, gas and indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.  There are also nonintestinal symptoms like: anemia, bone and joint pain, easy bruising, depression, fatigue, hair loss, skin disorders, seizures and malnutrition.  Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person.  Unfortunately a lot of these symptoms can mean a host of other disorders too.

Celiac disease is also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy.  Gluten makes bread doughy and sticky.  Gluten is also used as an adhesive on stamps.  It is found in grains such as wheat (not in wheatgrass juice), rye, spelt, barley, kamut, triticale, semolina and durham, but not in oats (although oats are often grown on former wheat fields causing cross contamination).  In celiac disease the immune system begins to produce antibodies when exposed to gluten.  These antibodies attack the fingerlike projections (microvilli) which line our small intestines.  This is where we absorb the nutrients for our body.  When these microvilli are attacked and destroyed, the body is unable to nourish itself with vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  The list of dis-eases associated with celiac are too many to list; from asthma to multiple sclerosis.  If you already have a known autoimmune disease, you could be at risk for developing celiac disease.  Someone can become sensitized to gluten at any time of life.  It also runs in families and women are more affected than men.  There is no exact cause of celiac, making it impossible to prevent.  However, we already know it is healthier for every part of your body to stay away from processed foods.

Wheat as a raw grain is unsafe to eat.  Wheat flour must be heated to destroy the enzyme blockers and lectins within the grain to allow for its consumption.  Anytime we alter food from its original nature state we are processing the food.  Some healthy alternatives to wheat are quinoa and brown rice which are much less processed.  The aisles of the grocery store are now stocked with gluten-free alternatives.  I just picked up some gluten-free pretzels, which someone told me are better than regular pretzels.  I also love the gluten-free fig cookies.

Eating a gluten-free diet will allow the intestinal villi to heal.  Read food labels and medication labels carefully.  Hidden sources of grains, wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats, are found in many products.  If you have some of these symptoms and you feel better if you do not eat gluten, please contact your doctor.  Being tested is the only way to diagnose this disease.  I have stomach issues when I eat gluten and when I’m under stress at the same time.  Other times, I fine.  I try to stay away from processed foods.  Left untreated, celiac can cause chronic inflammation eventually causing complete atrophy and flattening of the microvilli.

Gluten can also impact the brain.  When a patient has full blown celiac it can cause chronic inflammation of the brain and nervous system which will impact function of these systems.  Gluten also contains glutamate.  This substance causes excessive excitation of brain cells which ultimately results in brain cell damage and brain cell death.

We need to protect the body with proper nutrition, exercise, relaxation and give the body what it needs to properly get rid of offending foods, toxins and microbes it does not need.  I’ve said many times the body has the ability to heal itself.  We’ve been eating unhealthy for many years, we can not expect healing to happen overnight.  New and improved versions of gluten make it harder and harder for our bodies to fight infection, inflammation and disease.  We need to return to a diet full of nutrients that promote health and longevity and prevent dis-ease.  Gluten is responsible for so many symptoms, that I believe taking gluten out of our diets can only benefit us.


  Laughter is good for the soul. And now it seems, is good for the heart too!  Laughter, outward chuckles, inward joy.  Laughing at a joke or a funny movie…anything that gives you pleasure.  There’s even laugh yoga and laughter workshops. Laughter helps relieve stress, enhances your mood, dissolves fear, lessons anxiety, contributes to team work, makes us attractive to others and more pleasant to be around.  And laughter can have physical side effects too.  Laughter will strengthen your immune system, reduce food cravings, increase your threshold for pain, release endorphins, lessen pain, decrease stress hormones, and lead to the general relaxation of your mind and your muscles.  Studies are being done as to the effects of laughter on stimulating healing even in cancer cases.

Wikipedia says…”Laughter is found among various animals, as well as in humans.  Among the human species, it is a part of human behaviour regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations.  Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group-it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seemingly contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback.”

So what about laughter?  Did you know that laughter can help prevent heart disease?  Can laugher, along with a healthy sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack?  Is this possible?  Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, dopamine and growth hormone.  Laughter will increase the level of health-enhancing hormones, such as endorphins and neurotransmitters.  It will increase the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells.  This is how laughter can strengthen your immune system and allow you to have fewer of the physical effects of stress.  Internally, a good belly laugh will exercise your diaphragm and contract the abs, leaving you feeling more relaxed after.  Laughter can be a distraction for anger, guilt, stress and other negative emotions.  Humor can give us a lighthearted perspective on the way we view the challenges and threats in our life.  It can make these problems less threatening and allow you to feel more positive.

A new study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, found that…”people with heart disease were 40% less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease…..We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels.”  The most significant finding of this study was that “people with heart disease responded less humorously to everyday life situations.”  These people displayed more anger and hostility and laughed less.

Watch a comedy…movie or TV, head to a comedy club with friends or have friends over for game night. And there’s always YouTube.  Have you ever watched Stuart from Mad TV?  Do a search for “Hamster on a piano” on YouTube.  Now that’s funny.  Find the humor in your life.  Sometimes that can only happen after the fact…ha ha.  Look back on what’s happened to you and laugh.  Yeah, that’s been my life for the last few months!  I like this one….Fake it until you make it!  Fake laughter has the same benefits and can lead to real chuckles.

 So maybe this blog is funny?  Glad I made you laugh!

Why did the chicken cross the playground?  To get to the other slide!


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