Michael Bergonzi –

For everything wheatgrass and sprouts, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to watch Michael’s free two hour video lecture outlining all of the things we do here at VHI. This video was filmed in 2011 in Northern California when he was working on the Vibrant Retreat Center which, 4 years later, evolved into the Vibrant Health Institute!

MICHAEL’s History of Health & Wellness Centers:

1990 – 1998:  Optimum Health Institute – Lemon Grove, CA Store / Office/ Reservations Asst. Manager, Greenhouse Manager & Public Relations Coordinator, Teacher

1998 – 2001:  J-Merch & Personal assistant to singer / songwriter, Jewel – Carlsbad, CA Merchandising Coordinator & Customer Service Manager, House Manager

2001:  Grassroots Organic Wheatgrass – San Francisco, CA General Manager, Sales

2001 – 2011:  Hippocrates Health Institute – West Palm Beach, FL Teacher, Greenhouse Manager, Reservations Director, Health Educator Consultant, Health Educator Director, Expo / Promotions Manager

2012 – 2014:  The Raw Food Institute / Lisa Wilson – Simsbury, CT Program Director, Promotions, Teacher

2015 – Present:  Vibrant Health Institute – Union City, MI (2015-2016) & Business Consultant – West Palm Beach, FL Founder & Director of VHI, Health & Wellness Consultant, Sprout & Wheatgrass Business Consultant, Opening Wellness Center Consultant, Training Staff, Lectures and Health Expo Tours (Looking for NEW VHI location and finance investor)

2016 – 2019:  Matthew J. Callahan Construction – PSL, FL Construction Work

Michael has been in the alternative health field since 1990 and has been growing wheatgrass, teaching growing classes and lecturing all over the country. He designed and built the state of the art greenhouse at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, CA. In 1998, he worked for three years with singer/song writer, Jewel. During this time he also worked in the alternative health field, traveling as a nutritionist and working with Ellen Tart-Jensen (Ellen spent 12 years with Dr. Bernard Jensen), learning about the Colema Board and the importance of colon health. She also is the #1 iridologist in the country! Visit for more details on Ellen. (you’re the best, Ellen!)

He then went back into the wheatgrass field working for the largest grower in Northern CA. Six months later in 2001 (the day after Sept. 11th), Michael took the greenhouse manager position at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was finally back into lecturing, traveling to Expos, and helping thousands to grow their own wheatgrass at home for pennies a day. Currently, he is working as a consultant for Wellness Centers & people wanting to start their own Sprout / Wheatgrass / Micro-Green Business. Check out the Store link for more details on what is offered. Michael’s lectures are not only informative, but he adds a sense of humor and stage presence that will keep any audience entertained the entire time. He is available year round for lectures as well as greenhouse advice. In the near future, he is planning on working with a new and improved alternative health retreat and wellness center in several locations. He will stay true to what Ann Wigmore brought to light, the Earth, the Oxygen and getting leafy greens back in the American Diet as well as focusing on the “inner self”, silence, meditation and whatever personal journey you may be on right now. Ready to open your own wellness center? Ask me how!


Wheatgrass is the “Life-Blood” of any good cleanse and the most complete food on the planet today! Remember to do a green drink of some kind everyday and never ‘over-eat’ for breakfast. Keep all the greens together when juicing and do not mix anything that is not green into a green drink. That is just simple food combining. If you can’t get a fresh shot of wheatgrass, then make a fresh GREEN DRINK! Smile, choose to be happy and take a deep breath!!!

Michael Bergonzi began his career in the alternative health field at Optimum Health Institute of San Diego in 1990. Michael followed his Mother & Father to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, CA where his father was the General Manager for 15 years. During his time at Optimum he worked in many different positions from taking reservations, working in the store, assisting in the kitchen and even maintenance before he found his home in the greenhouse. (OHI founder, Raychel Solomon, was the grandmother of Michael’s brother-in-law.) In 1995 he built their state of the art greenhouse and utilized the store by selling planting trays, growing racks, seeds and wheatgrass to all the guests. Beyond the game changing work he did with the greenhouse, Michael started many different programs that OHI that are still used to this day. One beneficial program he started in 1994 was the OHI Support Network. This was designed to allow guests, after they had returned home, to find other OHI guests in their area to aid in each other’s continued support. During his 8 years there he also taught a wheatgrass growing and juicing class every week. Later he took on a Monday orientation class as well as one of his favorite lectures, Conscious Communication. One of the most important elements to the success of OHI was promoting. Michael attended Health Expos 6 times a year in Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Diego and others lecturing about the alternative health benefits available at OHI. It was at these health expos he learned the importance of educating the masses in the ways of alternative health.

By the time Michael left the Optimum Health Institute in 1998, the guest numbers had skyrocketed from 45 people per week, in 1990, to 180 in 1998. After his departure from Optimum in 1998 he worked for singer-songwriter Jewel and her mother LeNedra Carroll as their nutritionist and ‘Juice Man’. For the next three years he worked side by side with Ellen Tart-Jensen, the well-know iridologist and protégé of Dr. Bernard Jensen. It was during these three years he discovered the importance of colon cleansing, in particular, the benefits of the colema board. At the start of 2001, he moved to Livermore, CA to work for a friend who owned the largest wheatgrass growing business in Northern California. It was during those six months that he learned and understood the business side of selling wheatgrass and sprouts to health food stores, juice bars, etc…

On Sept 10th 2001, via his mother sending in his resume to Hippocrates Health Institute, he interviewed with Brian Clement over the phone for their greenhouse management position. Not sure what to do he asked for some kind of a sign. The next day, it was clear and the choice was simple. On Sept. 12th 2001 he decided to pack up his belongings and move across the country for the next ten years of his career with Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Fl. The first six months at HHI were spent reorganizing their brand new greenhouse and start growing the highest quality, best tasting wheatgrass, sunflower greens, pea greens, buckwheat lettuce, alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, and sprouted beans anywhere in south Florida. Over his ten years at HHI he continued to manage the greenhouse and took on many different roles including the program director in charge of reservations in the consultants’ office. During the next 3 months Hippocrates’ guest count doubled from about 20 to 40 each week, and by the time Michael left in 2011, it had climbed somewhere between 75-90 per week.

During his career at HHI he was asked to return two separate times to this position as the interim director, while suitable management was found. Once the guests’ attendance numbers were up and stable, Michael went back to focusing on the aspects he enjoyed most; tending to the greenhouse, lecturing 3 times a week, and traveling to Health Expos all over the country. Much like he did at Optimum he created new programs, like the HHI support list for guests, and improving existing ones. In 2004, he became the director of the Hippocrates Health Educator course. Over the next 4 years he, together with his handpicked team of five fellow managers, had the most successful run of the HHI Health Educator Course’s history. In March of 2011, he decided to leave Hippocrates to return to California. This time, he was in Northern California to promote a wheatgrass business to Whole Foods Markets. All the while he had another goal in mind.

In the first month he had 10 guests as well as a few distinguished visitors including, his good friend and mentor LeNedra Carroll and Leola Brooks who is a member on the board of directors of the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico. Before the doors completely opened of the Vibrant Retreat Center in Monterey, CA, the neighbors asked that the center be closed down.  Michael packed up and took a consulting job in Danbury, CT.  After a few months, he met Lisa Wilson owner of The Raw Food Institute in Simsbury, CT.  A new team was born!

There was a breathe of fresh air in Lisa.  She really was on top of her game in the raw food world.  If you are ever in Simsbury, CT, check out her program.  It is one of the best around.  After another year and a half, Michael was off to FL and took a short break to regroup.  He was now assisting others in starting their own wellness centers, as well as lecturing and continuing to help others start their own wheatgrass/microgreen sprouting businesses all over the world. In 2005 he started his own website and online store: Here he gives helpful information on many subjects in the alternative health field. His store allows people all over the world to purchase many informational DVDs and books as well as some of the best quality juicers, like his personal favorite the Healthy Juicer (Since 2005 he has gone on promotional tours as a spokesman for the Healthy Juicer, at the largest natural product shows in the country). After just two years his website has been receiving over 2000 hits a day. After 4 years, this website is now up to 4,000 hits per day. Today his website is over 10,000 hits per day, some of that thanks to his friend, Kris Carr!, And her book: Crazy Sexy Diet!

One day, searching the internet, he noticed that the Creative Health Institute, formerly Hippocrates Mid-West, was for sale.  He went for a visit to see the location in MI and after two hours, the choice was made and a NEW LOCATION was decided on!  Another move to Union City, MI happened in Dec. 2014 and a soft opening of the NEW VIBRANT HEALTH INSTITUTE on Jan. 18th was born!  We will re-open all year long, check in any Sunday and check out on Saturday.  One week is the minimum and three weeks is the whole program!  Check out our website at  Rates are all inclusive!

Michael is available for lectures and growing classes in your area throughout the year.  Just send him an email to set up a date & time!

To visit Michael’s personal website for everything wheatgrass and sprouts, CLICK HERE!!  Email:  TEXT: 860-294-4620

Aditi for VHI Website


Aditi joins the team from Kalamazoo, MI with an Associates Degree in Applied Science and a Certificate in Medical Assisting. Her most recent position in Home Health Care allowed her to take her passion for caring to a more intimate level. She implements healthier living choices through juicing, sprouting, growing wheatgrass and living a raw food lifestyle. She even taught juicing classes at Creative Health Institute in 2013. When the position opened to join the team at VHI, she felt that was the perfect opportunity to bring her experience full circle to a more complete holistic way of living. Aditi is the first voice on the phone and the first face you see as you enter. She is here to answer initial inquiries, take reservations, manage the store, and assist the guests with anything they need during their time at VHI.


Michelle Trares –

*Michelle is waiting for VHI to re-open and is a private chef as well as art therapy teacher. Check out her website: 

Hello! I’m Michelle & I’ve been living a completely raw vegan lifestyle for 2 1/2 years now. I was inspired & choose this path to try & heal from symptoms that were starting to affect my life. This is a lifestyle for health & healing, not a diet. Although I’m still healing, it has helped me feel so much better! I want to educate & inspire others to eat more raw living food so they can be healthy both physically & spiritually!

I’ve suffered from what Allopathic medicine calls colitis, gerd, IBS & stomach pain since Jr. High. and by college it only got worse. I tried every diet out there & none of them worked. Eventually I started having swollen lymph nodes & bad joint pain in my knee & hip 5 years ago. I thought it was overuse from running, but I gave up running & the pain spread to other joints & tendons over time. I couldn’t work, couldn’t be on my feet or do a lot of the things I used to do. My life was flipped upside down. My plans to run the Boston Marathon came to a halt. Pain was all I thought about and it took a toll mentally and emotionally as well. I can remember trying to get from my car, to my class at the local community college. I parked pretty much by the door and barely made it through the doors to the bench in the hallway. Piercing and burning pain through all my joints and tendons, I rested and mentally prepared to hop on the elevator to get to the top floor to my class. This is just one example of what my life was like at the time.

Every doctor I went to said something different. I had symptoms of fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, menopause, arthritis and more. I went to a rheumatologist & they suspected a type of RA and I was put on a steroid & a sulfa drug that was supposed to help the inflammation. After a month the pain got worse, I lost my appetite, lost a ton of weight, ended up with a high fever, toxic liver, extreme rash and swelling, bone edema & low kidney function. For a short moment, I wondered if I was going to make it through all this. I spent 5 days in the hospital & they decided it was a reaction to the drugs, but nobody really knew what was wrong with me.

I had ups & downs after this but my pain eventually got worse. I was still having trouble with digestion and now I couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes. Even everyday things like using scissors or doing my hair hurt. One night I was in so much pain & remembered how some of my family members had been into juicing and herbs for healing. I was led to YouTube & found a video of this enthusiastic vibrant looking man making a green juice out of his RV. Dan McDonald “The Life Regenerator” was his name and he was raving about the power of raw living fruits and vegetables. I emailed him right away for answers and a few hours later I was surprised to see he already responded! I followed his advice & did a short juice fast of watermelon, celery, & cucumber only & immediately started feeling better for the first time. It was like a light bulb went on. A shift happened. I knew right then raw living foods was the way to go & I haven’t turned back since! I immediately decided to start Dan’s Detox Mastery DVD series which introduced me to new recipes and a new way of eating. Through detoxification, raw living fruits, vegetables, herbs, green juices and lifestyle changes I feel so much better! I can do every day things again with very little to no pain! My digestion is better, my hormones are normal, my kidneys and adrenals function better, sleep is better, mind is clearer, hair is thicker, the bone edema healed and more. This lifestyle isn’t restrictive, but liberating! Although I’m not at the point of running long distances yet, I am happier and I am thriving now instead of just surviving.

What doctors didn’t tell me was all that I had suffered with was the cumulative effects of toxins in our environment, toxic foods, toxic thoughts, and poor lifestyle choices, which lead to a toxic body and the symptoms I experienced. The body can cleanse and heal itself if we provide it with the right conditions, the right fuel and a positive and loving mindset. I found that God and nature provide all we need for healing and by choosing to change our lifestyle we can thrive and live up to our true potential.

Healing takes time and is a journey. Even on a raw food diet one can over eat, suffer from stress, eat out of balance and start to slide backwards with healing. This is why I decided to stay a week at VHI and attend their program, because I felt I needed to get back on track and feel refreshed again. I decided to juice fast on wheat grass and green juice while there for the first two days and then I water fasted a short time. Towards the end I began eating solid food again. All of the food and juice was very satisfying and nourishing. The kitchen staff is great. Everyone at VHI was very supportive with my decision to detox on just liquids part of the time, which was very helpful. The wheatgrass there tasted better than any I have had before. My body loved their structured water! I normally drink close to a gallon of water a day at home and have to run to the bathroom every hour. The first day at VHI I was drinking the same amount of water but wasn’t running to the loo hardly at all. At first I was surprised but as the day went on I felt more hydrated than usual and realized that the structured water was absorbing into my body much better than the water from home. I felt my body start to detox just from the water alone. I now realize how important the quality of water is.

After just one week attending the program I felt muscle knots and some inflammation that had flared a little go down, my teeth looked whiter, I felt I needed less food to be satisfied, my face had more color and I felt more hydrated than before. I seem to carry a lot of stress and heaviness in my chest area which causes me to hunch normally. When I got home I realized that weight and tightness had lifted and I was sitting up straighter. I think Donna’s yoga every morning, meditation and conscious breathing really helped. The therapy room was great and the chi machine was my favorite. I felt more energized after only ten minutes of using it. The rooms and the whole building was very cozy. I loved all the lectures and discussions that took place and really felt comfortable opening up. I left feeling more confident and inspired to work on my art and my own goals. I met some amazing people and made some wonderful new friends!