A Champion’s Tale

An interview by Robert Masters


Born November 25, 1965 in Columbus, Ohio, Michael "Mike" William Gebhardt started sailing at the tender age of eight.  An avid surfer, catamaran racer, and windsurfing racer, Gebi as he's called by his friends, sailed hard and fast - sparked in part by sibling rivalry. While he may not have initially dreamt of making the Olympics as a youngster, his talent and drive ensured that before long, these were aspirations that would prove to be within his grasp.


Gebi won his first national championship just over a year after learning to windsurf. Along the way, he also picked up Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Pan American Games, six World Championships - and an unprecedented twenty three National Championships.


Prior to the 1984 Olympic Games, Mike was the tuning partner for Olympic silver medalist Scott Steele - a collaboration which ended up motivating his own pursuit of Olympic medals.


Mike competed in five consecutive summer Olympics - the first of which took place in 1984. He claimed a bronze and a silver medal during his career in the men's Lechner Sailboard Class.


Now a professional sailor/coach/consultant, Mike is involved with health, wellness, and longevity coaching and consulting to world class athletes and weekend warriors. He spends time as a developer of personal training programs, focused on technical development and coaching of Olympic and professional windsurfing and professional kitesurfing athletes. With his extensive background of equipment development, tuning and testing within the sports of windsurfing and kitesurfing, Mike is a valuable asset to anyone truing to maximize his or her performance.

In the sport of windsurfing, Mike has coached athletes to an Olympic gold medal, a world champion title, 3rd in a world championships, 2nd overall European champion, and numerous national championship titles. He has also helped numerous Olympic athletes qualify and compete in the Olympics in the sport of windsurfing.


Mike is also currently assisting Slingshot’s kite surfing R&D program.


I first met Gebi shortly after he'd competed in his first Olympic games. A young, enthusiastic grom, he was all fired up about windsurfing, traveling, competing, winning. Over a quarter of a century later, very little has changed. The guy still charges hard, sails even harder - and is a wealth of information about not only sailing, coaching and sports, but also of lifestyle and nutrition.


I recently caught up with Mike - and of course, had twenty one questions for him about what he's up to - and his thoughts about food, life, sports - and nuclear power. Here's what he had to say.



RM - Looking back for a moment, in addition to all sorts of championships and victories in the sport of windsurfing, you've competed in five Olympic events, including the demonstration event in 1984. Is that an unprecedented number of Olympic visits by an athlete?


MG - There a quite a few that have competed in five Olympics, even in sailing, but yes it was super fun and a grand adventure to compete in those summer games.


RM - Describe if you can the whole Olympic feeling. Most of us dream of that experience... but you got to live it, winning medals on two occasions! 


MG - For me the Olympics represents more that what you see on TV. The winning and losing, the dramas are all part of the game; but the real game; in hindsight, is the realization that the world is represented by the athletes. And the fun part… it had all of your attention for the block of time in my life when it was all I was doing. Windsurfing - and lots of it!


Last time I checked I have been to 73 countries and counting. Windsurfing was the excuse to have the adventures. And man, what a ride and what good times on the oceans, rivers and lakes of the world!


Each country sends its best athletes, some are winners and some are never going to win. So when you enter the Opening Ceremony, with 10,500 of the worlds best athletes, it’s a pretty overwhelming experience and energy surge, as you feel the consciousness of the planet, as a whole, watching and cheering their favorites on. For me it was one of the first times when I could feel the reality that the planet is one entity, made up of many parts.


Sports are like war - it brings out the best and worst in people, as massive resources have been spent on preparing to win. It’s a time to see what you're made of on the inside. To compete against your brothers… and your own mind. Of course all of the athletes are at the top of their game and all of the different expressions of extreme excellence are very humbling to watch, the total spread of human genetics, willpower and determination. And of course it is super cool to interact with some of the famous athletes and try and figure out what makes them tick. Some people think the Olympics are cool - and some don’t seem to care. But the athletes are amazing.


There are 26 main sports and many offshoots of each, so most can find something of interest to watch and cheer for. And of course the drama of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Keep in mind that the athletes have dedicated all of their lives to their preparation for their events. On my end, I had a bit of both. Da agony and the ecstasy.


In my second Olympics, in Korea in 1988, I was happy to sneak off with a Bronze Medal, as an up and coming grom windsurfer athlete. I knew I was good but I was building on my confidence.


It was super windy in Pusan, Korea and we had numerous survival races, where we were just trying to not get smoked and slammed in the puffs. One of the windy races the swell was running around 30 feet… we’re talking, like a half a mile between swells. A long period swell from the north. So the waves, and the 10 foot cross chop on top of that 30 foot swell, along with 25 to 35 knots made it a serious challenge to get around the course. At one point, in a massive puff in one of the races, the whole fleet was swimming. It was quite comical. In the last race I had a battle for the silver and bronze medal as the gold was already won by Bruce Kendall of New Zealand. It came down to the last big puff with myself and a Dutchman, Bart Vershoor - and who ever did not get slammed won the bronze. We were 100 meters from the finish on the last upwind leg and these massive puffs would come through and just slam us. So in the end it came down to who was the last one to not get slammed.  


In 1992 in Barcelona we had pretty mellow winds, and sailed out of a new massive marina built just for the yachting event. So our sailing venue was attached to the Olympic Village and a 5 minute walk to the athletes village apartments and cafeteria. So that was pretty cool, to hang out with all of the other athletes; I even snuck my girlfriend and a few of my training partners into the Olympic Village. It was a pretty cool set up. 10,500 of the worlds best athletes, along with all the coaches and support personnel in one massive private Olympic village, a cafeteria that fed 5000 at a time, with food prepared from chefs from all around the world, Chinese food, Japanese food, Mongolian food, Indian food, etc… foods form every country, and of course from USA -McDonalds! Plus, 40,000 volunteers making sure you were having fun and were well taken care of. Lets just say there was a lot of aloha spirit flowing. Lots of athletes in their prime... man you wanna see some beautiful bodies, all partying and hooking up.


In Barcelona I was winning going into the last race, and I lost the gold medal to the reigning World Champ from France, Frank David. He beat me by one place in that race and I lost the gold by .4 of a point. That part was the agony of defeat, not winning the gold, but the celebration of winning a second medal was pretty sweet. A silver. But that made me go to two more Olympics. I finished 6th in Atlanta in 1996 in Savanna, Georgia, and 11th in 2000 in Sydney, where I retired. So for me, competing and training lasted 16 full time years as an Olympic athlete and also as a pro windsurfer. Not a bad life style! The Olympics is an ideal and a real experience at the same time.



RM - You now also kite sail. What do you do more of these days? Windsurf, or kite?


MG - Almost always kite. Man, I am a kite junky, and I love the diversity it offers, all the different flavors of board styles you can ride, a surf board with straps, without straps, twin-tip wake style, speed boards, crossing free ride boards, and race boards. Now kites are pretty dominant in having the best performance for speed and angle upwind, kite raceboards that is, relative to other sailing craft. What’s amazing now is I am riding a 70cm wide tri-fin race board with 41cm front fins and going like 18 knots on a reach in 6 knots of wind! And when it’s windy, a speed kiteboard in flat water is hitting spike top speeds of over 62 knots! So the performance is pretty impressive, especially that most people can ride a twin tip recreational board and a 12 meter kite in 15 knots and get 20 plus foot jumps if he has pretty good technique.


RM - What other activities are you big into these days?


MG - Gardening, I am into growing some tasty biodynamic and organic foods. I love growing food. Lots of fruit trees planted, plum, apple, cherry apricot, and we have a bunch of blueberry and gooseberry and grapes as well, and we make our own maple syrup from our maple trees in the spring. And I get in some SUPing when there’s no wind, and try to keep up a little yoga to keep flexible as well.


RM - And for work - what is your focus?


MG - I have been coaching people and athletes in my preferred passions- kitesurfing and what I call health mentoring. For the past 3 years I have been coaching Rob Douglas of “The Black Dog” in a speed sailing project, as we have been chasing the outright sailing world speed record; and we broke the speed record in Luderitz, Namibia last October. He went 55.65 knots (that’s over 100km an hour) over a 500 meter long speed course, basically a glorified ditch we dug in super windy place on a low tide beach. You can visit www.nassp.net  to check out the videos. Rob broke the record and one run later, had a horrific crash with a double kite loop that just missed cutting me in half with his lines, he crashed at the finish and broke his arm. The video is sick, watching someone get their leg stuck in a outside control line on his bar doing 60 knots and then getting man handled in a double kite loop that luckily ended up with the kite hitting the beach right next to a guy who pounced on it or Rob was bound for rocks and immanent disaster. So we hauled him home, got him operated on, wounded but a record holder. Pretty intense conditions. 50 Knots of wind, and a course that ended with no where to finish safely. The finishing area was too short to stop without crashing. So the top guys were all trying different techniques to stop before hitting the rocks. I though that someone was going to die there trying to break the record, but these extreme speed kiters have some big kahunas, and put their lives on the line to go after the records. It has been fun to help develop kite speed gear and figure out how to make it go faster.


Also I am keeping a finger on the pulse of kite course racing, helping to develop equipment on that front with Tony Logosz of Slingshot kites. We are trying to get kite racing, kite slalom or kite border cross into the Rio 2016 Olympics. We will know in November if we can get it to happen politically. Right now we are trying to expand the light air performance of kiting for just plain having fun. We have some super cool and revolutionary free ride boards coming out soon with Slingshot.


Besides that I have been coaching people in health and longevity strategies. At least once a week someone calls telling me they know someone who has found out they have cancer and want to know what to do to naturally recover through alternative ideas and lifestyles. Basically I help people become more conscious about how to live more in harmony with nature, and take the best that nature has to offer. Achieve extreme health. I believe the creator designed us to get at least 120 years out of the body if we live the right lifestyle, detox the pollutants out and get the best nutrients in. So I share my experiential knowledge on how to pull this off.


RM - So this has been quite an evolution, based on increased knowledge and expanded horizons.


MG - It started by copying the good ideas and techniques of what my team members were doing. At that time my first book on eating was “Eat to Win”, then evolved into pounding vitamins, minerals, in the form of supplements, and pounding protein shakes, then eating massive amount of vegetables, (like the book “Conscious Eating” would fit the 1995 era for me ). Then I got into juicing….and eating my supplements in the form of foods, like spirulina, chlorella and blue green algae instead of man made vitamins. Then focusing on quality more, and eating for maximal antioxidant uptake. In the end the protein content became a non-issue for me, as did carb loading. I found out I do good on high fat content, as my body does not store fat but burns it as a main fuel.


RM - Why have you gone down this path?


MG - We all keep evolving in life, Evolution baby…


RM - I can relate! So tell us a bit about raw foods?


MG - Raw or uncooked or living foods have all of the enzymes and nutrients intact still. When you make a commitment to follow the laws of nature, to learn from her example, raw starts making a lot of sense. In nature, nothing is eaten cooked. Animals don’t cook. It is killed and eaten on the spot if it is meat, unless it is buried to left it ferment a bit. If you eat vegetarian foods it is always as fresh, ripe and local as possible. At that point you become a connoisseur of foods. Be it picking ripe bananas or the best greens found wild or in your garden, you start to develop the discernment in finding and sourcing the best of everything in food. Sadly this has become the opposite of what the standard American diet (SAD DIET) has become. Most people know almost nothing now in our modern times of how food is grown and produced. And this ignorance can be seen anytime you go to a supermarket. Or a fast food restaurant. Most of the food in a supermarket is processed junk, and unfit for human consumption, not even good enough for me to feed it to my pets.


Live food literally has the voltage of the food still intact, the life force is still in the food, the spirit of the plant, so to speak, so it is passed on to you when you eat it. Cooked food, especially processed food is denatured. It’s dead and the energy - the voltage, the spirit of the food, is leaving in the cooking process. If you eat to live, really start eating to live, to express the best health ever, then eating dead food starts to not make so much sense. Like begets like. Life begets life, and death begets death. So I try to keep cooked foods to a minimum. Anyways it's mostly devoid of the aforementioned goodies; vitamins, minerals and enzymes are pretty much cooked out of processed foods.


People see food as an entertainment for the tongue. For example, an almond is an almond, but it has not more meaning than a flavor for someone.


Why should they, for example, be seeking out an organic non-pasteurized almond over what they can buy in most stores? Well, the politics of food production in the USA controls what the masses have to eat. SO Almonds are now all pasteurized in the USA to keep almond prices stable, but the sad part is these almonds are dead because they have been cooked. An uncooked almond can be soaked in water, overnight and sprouted into a almond tree. When it is cooked, it is dead and will not grow. So the fundamental taste is similar but the living almond seed - the unpasteurized one - has the potential to become a living tree; so the power of the food is that it has the intelligence, the ability, for it to grow into a tree and express itself and feed us in still intact. It's a gift from nature and the cosmos - a living being giving of itself in the web of life.


The problem with food now, is very few people know how it is grown or processed. And this is “the main problem” the planet faces right now. We have become as a race totally ignorant on how nature works. We have lost touch with how food grows, who grows it and if it is even good for us. The corporations have systematically taken over the food supply, the seed companies - and the FDA, who should protect the food supply to make sure it is safe for consumption are hiding the facts and working on the side of these mega-companies so that they can own the rights to genetically engineer the foods and in the end own the environment and food supplies. We have lost touch with what grows locally in the back yard (literally), what’s in season, what’s medicinal in the foods we eat and how to eat to live. In 1900, 98% of the population grew food, had at least a little garden. Now 99% of the food grown in the USA is grown by the 1% massively subsidized "agrifarm" corporations. They have taken over and are running the small farmers out of business fast. And the way it is grown is not good for us the consumers or the environment, as it is grown conventionally, which means artificially. We as a race have become slaves to the corporations who continue to rape and pillage the planet. We are not eating real food anymore…! What we are eating might be called PHUD, or "Frankenfoods."


Up until the second world war, all the food grown on the planet was organic by default, fertilized for example by things like cow and chicken manure and compost. Now toxic chemicals dominate conventional farming. Toxic chemical pesticides and man made fertilizers did not exist before the second world war. How can you genetically splice poisons into the DNA of foods and not expect to get sick when you eat these poisonous GMO foods? If I was at the dinner table and proposed to sprinkle some weed killer on your dinner would you object? You would think I was crazy, but you have these innocuous poisons and toxins in almost all conventionally grown foods. It kills the weeds, it kills the bees, it kills the earth worms, it kills the birds, it kills the fish in the water when it runs off into streams rivers, lakes and oceans. And it slowly kills the people who are ignorant enough to eat it. If anyone wonders why cancer is an epidemic, they need go not further than a supermarket and look at all the toxic cancer causing ingredients in the foods sold to the uneducated general public. It's all the crap in the processed foods.


Food reflects the health and stewardship of our local environment. It is an expression of our environment. We are all part and parcel of our environment - and if we spray toxic man made fertilizers, pesticides, larvicides, fungicides and moldicides and genetically engineer our plants to have a poisonous pesticide into its plants DNA, we cannot expect these foods to reflect health in us when we eat them.


At the end of the second world war, the industrialists and the mega wealthy of the USA realized they could take over the world if they started multi-national “agribusinesses”. They financed the “Green Revolution” in the agriculture sectors of developing countries in order to create new markets for petrochemical fertilizers and petroleum products. They also systematically started the idea (read propaganda) that GMO or genetically engineered foods; better know as genetically modified crops, were the only way to feed the masses. It has become our planets biggest lie, that GMO foods are good for us, even though the science proves otherwise.


These are the same power interests that are seriously trying to figure out how to eliminate most of the population in the near future. Its called eugenics. Hitler was best known for it, but few know that massive amounts of money came from the Rockefeller family in support of this idea of selected breeding and the snuffing out of the useless and undesirable peoples, like the Germans tried to do, for example. Check this out: http://www.naturalnews.com/033043_GMOs_crop_failures.html#ixzz1SfwuzETn   


RM - When many people give up certain foods, they walk around craving what they used to eat. How does one change that fundamental mindset to help overcome craving addictive foods such as sugar?


MG - That’s a tough one, Emotional eating. Eating living foods seems to be one of the best cures for finding your purpose. High vibration foods, living, fresh uncooked food or fresh, minimally cooked foods help you stay on purpose. When you get depressed and need to emotionally eat, you usually reach for some seriously low vibration food. Like chips, candy sodas, alcohol and other processed and denatured junk foods or fast foods.  It’s a vibratory match. When I coach people to eat only real food, they change at a fundamental level, as their DNA is changing at a fundamental level. Their DNA actually starts resonating at a higher level. And science has shown now that the DNA is changing all the time, in fact the DNA is expressing to the best of its ability relative to the fuel you feed it. If you eat the best food ever, you will surely find it easier to have the best life ever!


RM - What are you discovering about nutrition typing? Are you finding that some people you work with seem to perform better on diets specific to their needs? 


MG - The future of medicine will be to test your blood to find out what works best for your individual needs. Everyone is an experiment of one. I have friends who have extreme eating habits and all of the unusual ways of eating works for each of them, as they have found what works for them. I have even met one person who claims he does not eat any food, he takes his energy from the sun. Google him. HRM is his name and he is a sun gazer. Apparently, NASA even studied him when he donated his time to a University to let them test him while living under the microscope so to speak, in a controlled environment. Humans are funny like that, anything is possible.


RM - Some people, even those with desires not to harm other living beings, seem to feel better when eating a certain amount of animal protein. If meat is a part of a person's diet, how important is it to be selective about what meat it is that they're eating - and where it's coming from? What should one be looking out for?


MG - It is important to eat food that has been respected and honored that includes the animals that humans eat. If the animal is treated with dignity and respect, that goes a long way with me. For example, this year I started eating eggs from my chickens. They are well taken care of and eat the best food ever and provided protection from the foxes and raccoons as much as possible, and they seem to enjoy to share a few of their eggs with us. But maybe a strategy is that eating animals should be an occasional activity relative to your needs. I guess that would be my balance, if I still ate animals. The only animal products I eat are an occasional egg from our free ranging chickens and occasionally some organic cheese. Of course it is important to see that the animal is healthy if you are going to eat it.  For example, conventionally grown cows are fed grains. Grains are acid forming. And cows by design, are ruminants, that is, designed by the creator to eat grass. Grass is super alkaline. So you have an animal with 4 stomachs, and a system of digestion designed to eat one natural food and it is artificially fed something it would not ever eat in the wild, seeds of grasses, not the grass itself.  So the cows end up with cancer and other diseases by the time people eat them, but modern agrifarming does not care if all the beef people eat has bovine leukemia, or other health issues. Its just covered up by the FDA. The cows are getting fatter from the GMO corn, wheat, soy and whatever else they feed them. (Mad cow disease might equal Alzheimer's in humans)…. So in that case, I say eat grass fed cows.


RM - So give us an idea of your daily diet? What's on the menu?


MG - Breakfast starts with couple big glasses of my killer wild natural unprocessed living spring water, which has not gone through any filters, has no fluoride, ozone, chlorine, or anything else you find in bottled water… not even heavy hydrogen molecules as it has levitated to the top of a small mountain where I collect it.


Check out  www.findaspring.com to find a great spring close to where you live. Then I usually make some tea from my rather large collection of medicinal herbs. Today I had Ceylon cinnamon, with wild picked horsetail herb, eyebright from the yard, Hu shu wu and Astragalus. Then fruit. This morning it was blueberries, local; and a grapefruit. For lunch I ate out of my biodynamic garden, as I was doing some weeding, so I had a few straight off the vine cucumbers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, some dinosaur kale, a kohlrabi radish that was amazingly sweet, some green beans and some lettuces of various strains. I also ate some apples off of some of our trees. Small green ones. Later I snacked on some brazil nuts and had a fenugreek sprout sandwich with mustard and tomatoes on some organic whole wheat bread (cooked bread!) and some organic raw cold pressed hemp seed oil on it.  Dinner was some vegetable and nut pate rolled in some kale leaves. And a glass of organic white wine. And more fresh blueberries. 


RM - What essential items must you have in your pantry at all times? And Why?


MG - Super foods. Easy to hit on when I need energy or get bored. Goji berries, bee pollen, Spirulina, medicinal herbs, coconut oil, raw chocolate, brazil nuts, hemp seeds, any sprouts, many dried seaweeds, chia seeds, raw honey to name a few. I like to make a quick smoothie if I get bored or need a little entertainment in the form of food!


RM - What sort of philosophy guided you? You obviously believe that we are what we eat... but tell me more.


MG - I believe if we consciously eat for life, we will express more energy and vitality. Also the quality of the food effects the quality of your consciousness. Happy cells equals happy mind and body. For me food is sacred. It is my main connection to nature, God, source energy, what ever you want to call the power that sustains all that we are and see. That’s why I love wild food and eat as much of it as I can find. It’s straight from the source. Perfect.


RM - Let's talk more about attitude and food. As you mentioned earlier, people often think about it as a means to gain satisfaction, reduce stress, stimulate the taste buds. You have already touched on it, but can you elaborate about what people should be pondering about food?


MG - Ah, Do you eat to live or live to eat? Its not the food in your life, it’s the life in your food. The easiest way to abuse the body and make it dis-eased is to pay no attention to what you eat or why. Also eating for healing, eating nurturing foods, grown without petrochemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, larvicides, frankensteins (GMO’s) is the best way to avoid suicide! You are what you eat. Most of the greatest minds and souls of our planet ate very unusually. Plato, Socrates, Einstein. Sir Isaac Newton, John the Baptist, Jesus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Tesla, Gandhi, Buddha, John the Divine, Krishna, Rama, Virgil, Horace, Bob Marley, Zarathustra, Confucius, Saint Matthew, Ringo Star, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Eddy Vedder, Hershel Walker, Bill Walton, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther - and of course there is Superman and Hitler just to stir things up. All were vegetarians. I find that very interesting… I think they were eating high vibration foods, which is what vegetarian foods are.

RM - How is that going? What are you teaching? What are you learning?


MG - Well we are close to launching my new web site dedicated to my passion, extreme health, through natural resources and foods www.naturalhealthmentoring.com. It's about strategies, tips and technologies on how to achieve and express extreme health naturally. I have been focusing on seminars and private coaching.


I’m always studying something related to health, wellness and longevity. I probably spend about 2 hours a day, researching questions that come up on how the body works, and how to relieve the disease people are experiencing. Like radiation exposure, and EMF exposure. Lately, I have been looking into  what to do to remediate the exposure to radiation the planet is dealing with from the disaster at Fukushima.


RM - How is diet factoring in with this?


You are what you eat. I guess we can all agree on this adage. If you eat radioactive foods you need a way to get the radioactive isotopes out of the body. Like Zeolites, bentonite clay and seaweed to help keep the radioactive particles from being absorbed and also to help chelate them out. As a planet  we have been dealing with radioactive fallout since 1945. I believe why the US has so much cancer is we have the most radioactive exposure from toxic test sites and manufacturing sites. And we have 104 Nuclear reactors in the US. All of them are constantly leaking small but continuous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.


Check out this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U8CZAKSsNA  -  to see where the 2053 nuclear bombs have been detonated. Most of them on the continental USA! Right in our back yards…and the jet stream blows form west to east in the USA so we have all been getting a dusting from when they light off these nuclear bombs…


RM - You have touched on food a couple of times. So let's talk food for a bit... What is you background regarding food and nutrition?


MG - Well that might be my favorite subject, food. I have been eating for performance and recovery since 1984, when I started training for my first Olympics. I started on the classic old school low fat, high carb program, pounding protein shakes, and Gatorade. But it slowly evolved and became more natural in place of the relatively common GNC approach to eating.


It was changing every year as I became more educated I focused on the quality of the foods and not the volume….focusing on eating as little as possible but finding the most nutrient dense foods. Trying to eat to recover from the stress of training. Keeping the body alkaline.


Then in 1995 I became a vegetarian. It just sort of happened. I could not eat animals anymore. I guess you would call it a shift in awareness. I then studied Ayurvedic medicine (a system of yoga that breaks the human body into types; and also has an ancient system, a way to eat to balance your body type.) Then that evolved into becoming a Raw Foodist. Now I am predominately raw, something like 80 to 90% raw. It’s the healthiest way to eat. In the winter I will make cooked soups, and eat some cooked grains like quinoa and amaranth. I do a lot of juicing and make a lot of medicinal tinctures and teas from mushrooms and herbs I collect and wildcraft myself.


Now for the past 4 months we made a commitment to drink only living spring water. So I go and collect 30 gallons of wild spring water from a wild source spring every 2 weeks or so. And I  make raw fermented cultured vegetables as well.

RM - From what you have learned, do you think that everyone could be vegan?


MG - It is possible, but you must be willing to educate yourself. For some it is a choice of health - for other vegetarians it's a choice of ethics or a spiritual choice to remove yourself from the cycle of having to kill something to eat. Yogis in India for example practice non-violence and one of their precepts - ahimsa. Some will not even pluck a fruit from a tree but just collect fruit that the tree has dropped of its own volition, but that for most might seem a bit extreme. You have to practice what works for you.  I am impressed that some of the best athletes on the planet are vegetarians, but it took effort to learn how to eat to balance their bodies. Education is key and has to continue all your life when it comes to eating.


RM - OK - back to a previous subject you touched on! You've mentioned nuclear a couple of times during our chat. Let's return to that for a moment. Your thoughts on Fukushima?


MG - Well Japan is the biggest and most dangerous mess man has made so far. Right now what’s amazing to me is the mainstream media is not reporting on what’s going on, so the world at large seems to not care. This is affecting all of us. We have been dealing with massive radiation exposure since the detonation of atomic bombs in 1945, but this is taking it to another really bad level. Pregnant women and children are the ones who need to be protected more than anyone else, as their DNA can be altered while it is controlling the blueprint of how a cell grows and develops.  Radiation in the body causes oxidative stress, which is a fancy way of saying, your DNA is getting cooked and mutated at a cellular level. This is one of the main contributors to cancer and other diseases. In humans, oxidative stress is involved in many diseases. Examples include higher incidences of cancers - Sickle Cell Disease, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease, heart failure, myocardial infarction, Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, fragile X syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome.


RM - In closing, when you look around and see the world as a whole, what do you want to scream out for everyone to hear? What's your message?


MG - The environment is not a political idea. We are the environment. We are made of the environment. We are all an intimate part and parcel of nature. If you do not take care of nature, nature will not take care of you. The planet is experiencing its 6th major extinction right now, (yes right now about 50,000 species are going extinct every year, birds, trees, shrubs, mushrooms, animals, bugs, snakes, fish, worms, butterflies, etc.) and man and his inventions and actions are the major reason for the damage the planet is dealing with. Its happening right in front of our eyes. I grew up on the mainland side of an island and lived 50 feet from the waters edge. As a child I can remember all of the biodiversity of fish, crabs, sea horses, massive schools of fish, dolphins, sharks, etc. I would see that all day long. Now as an adult I go back to my dads place and look off the dock and there is almost nothing in the water! Its scary once you tune in to whats happening to nature. Every mall parking lot used to be a place where there might have been some trees, a forest full of animals and birds… When you spray things like “RoundUp” weed killer on your lawn to kill the weeds, it gets into the soil, it gets into the water, kills the fish, it kills the bugs, the bacteria, mold, the mycelium, etc in the soil. It kills the bees, and all the pollinators, the earthworms, the birds and on and on. And it will eventually conspire to bring you to an untimely death as well. As I previously mentioned, it seems I get a call one a week from a friend who knows someone who was recently diagnosed with cancer and other unusual diseases. It’s become an epidemic, environmental pollution is in our bodies. So I remind myself that every purchase of any product or service, you are making a choice, and your choices shape the environment - and is a chance to do it right.


For example, brushing your teeth with regular tooth paste = fluoride poisoning. Why would you put a poison in your mouth, for better teeth? Better find out the truth. It’s toxic. If you read the label and did a quick google search on some of the more unpronounceable named chemicals in your products, you might think twice about having them in your life and body. For example, I have not used fluoride toothpaste in over 10 years, or man made soaps or shampoos unless they are non-toxic plant based products. It is possible. For example, GMO Foods (genetically modified foods) make up about 80% of all food grown in the US. Most of the corn, (corn syrup is in almost everything) soy, wheat, cotton is all GMO! This stuff is also containing toxins and poisons. It’s slowly killing us and the environment, even if we choose not to eat it, as it is almost found everywhere in the environment. Corporations like Monsanto know this but there is too much money to be made so they don’t seem to care. We have an epidemic of EMF pollution that is now taking its toll as well. Now everything is wireless, WiFi, cell phones, smart meters in your house, all irradiating your body. It all adds up. We must educate ourselves.


But the sad thing is, everything is polluted now. Newborn babies umbilical cord blood is being tested and a child that has never taken a breath, is already loaded with PCB’s, (chemicals that were banned decades ago!) and over 250 toxic, carcinogenic chemicals circulating in their blood, which they picked up from their mother. Then they hit the kids with something like over 30 vaccines with mercury and god knows what in them before they are 5 years old. What the hell are we doing to ourselves? I have friends who try not to let their kids get vaccinated and now it is almost a war with the government to have autonomy over your own personal health choices. America needs to wake up and fight for its freedom to have clean food, water and environment. Too bad most people don’t seem to realize that they vote with every dollar they spend. We need to realize that we are the problem and solution. We have the technology to make it all good, but the corporate interests are fighting to stay in control.  This old school power hungry old paradigm will crash soon. We are seeing it right now on the planet. THINGS ARE CHANGING FAST! And things need to change faster. The race is slowly becoming more educated, as it is the worst of times and the best of times all happening together. Extinction caused by mans ignorance…. We cannot continue to live like we have for the past 50 years, as a race and expect humans to survive - we need to do things sustainably. As George Carlin said "The planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE! Pack your shit, folks. We're goin' away."


Health is wealth. And after that rant; please endeavor to persevere, to have the best day ever!  

 

RM - Mike, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck to you with your ongoing endeavors… and keep fighting the good fight! Aloha.



All images courtesy Mike Gebhardt.

Used by permission.

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