This Week at OHI


Optimum Health Institute’s Weekly Blogs.
OHI offers a holistic healing program based on ancient spiritual disciplines that promotes healing of your body, mind, and spirit through all-natural, non-medical practices.

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

rsz_couple_sleeping

Sleep is the foundation for holistic health, and giving yourself complete rest every night is one of the best things that you can do to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Still, many people suffer from sleep deficiencies that can promote poor health, anxiety, and depression. If you are not getting enough sleep every night, you probably feel tired during the day and fall ill more frequently. There are some ways to get back into a cycle of healthy, deep sleep that will soothe you every night so you can wake up ready to embrace the new opportunities of the next day.

How much sleep is enough?

The exact number of hours you should be sleeping will vary depending on your age and your body's natural balance of hormones. Babies and children need long periods of sleep to stay healthy, and newborns will spend a majority of the day sleeping. Teenagers also have higher needs for sleep, as they may require about nine to 10 hours every night in order to be energized the next day. Adults may only require about six to eight hours of sleep each night, but it should be deep, restful sleep.

What’s the best way to get to sleep and stay asleep?

The body knows to go to sleep because the secretion of a hormone called melatonin is triggered by darkness. In the morning when light is present, the body releases hormones like cortisol to promote activity so that you get up and get moving. Melatonin is only released in the darkness, so keeping a calm and dark sleeping environment is important for falling asleep. If you are able to get to sleep but cannot stay asleep, you may need to make some changes to your routine. Nourishing your health while you are awake with a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you get more restful sleep—so make these habits a part of your daily lifestyle. Also, dedicate your bedroom to rest and sleep by removing distracting electronics. Another step you can take to ensure good sleep is relaxing in the evening just before bed with meditation, yoga, or a hot bath. In the Alpha class at the Optimum Health Institute you learn how to quite the mind and get into a meditative state. Practicing the head to toe relaxation technique while in bed is a sure way drift off to a deep and restful sleep.

The holistic healing program at the Optimum Health Institute consists of three week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind and spirit. Along with guests learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting and exercise, they learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirit with study, prayer and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org

Food Enzymes: Why They Should Be a Priority in Your Diet

Enzymes

The food you eat is the fuel on which your body runs, and the type of food you choose to consume has a significant impact on your immunity and holistic health. If you eat a high volume of processed foods, you will be more likely to experience health challenges because you are not getting the nutrients your body needs to run efficiently. Ideally, you should choose a raw diet of whole foods that will give you optimal nutrition, including the beneficial qualities of enzymes.

What is an enzyme?

Enzymes are naturally present in an array of foods, particularly vegetables and fruits. They are proteins that facilitate better bodily function by causing reactions during the process of digestion. You might think of enzymes like antioxidants, as they perform similar functions, including cleansing of free radicals, reducing inflammation, and digesting fat. Eating foods that contain enzymes will help you experience these benefits. Incorporating as many raw vegetables and fruits in your diet will be extremely beneficial. Heat causes enzymes to break down, so cooking food will diminish its richness in valuable enzymes.

Which foods contain beneficial enzymes?

The foods richest in enzymes are those considered to be some of the healthiest foods you can consume. As you boost your intake of enzymes, you will notice that you have more energy, get sick less often, and feel an encompassing sense of wellness. Foods that you should include in your diet are sprouted grains, papaya, radish and alfalfa sprouts, pineapple, and kale.  Each of these foods contains a different type of enzyme that detoxifies the body and optimizes digestive function. Properly combining enzyme-rich foods is the best way to harness all the benefits of these powerful proteins. Juicing, dehydrating, and fermenting foods will help you prepare them for raw consumption.

Medical research indicates that, as we age, our enzyme supply diminishes. Nature has placed enzymes in raw food to aid in the digestion process, instead of forcing the body’s enzymes to do all the work. If you eat cooked food, you should consult with a qualified nutritionist to determine if you could benefit from a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement.

At the Optimum Health Institute, you can explore the many advantages of a raw, enzyme-rich diet, from our initial detox diet to our take home maintenance diet which contests of 80-95% raw with no more than 20% cooked. We offer a nutrient rich meal plan for guests participating in our program along with tips, recipes, and tools that will empower you with knowledge on how to prepare and combine appropriate foods to promote optimum health.

The holistic healing program at the Optimum Health Institute consists of three week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind and spirit. Along with guests learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting and exercise, they learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirit with study, prayer and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org

 

Optimum Pizza Delivers Great Taste

pizza

Just about everyone loves pizza!  But all that fat from the cheese and empty calories from the crust can be a killer…literally.  Our wizards in the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) kitchens have cooked up – or rather dehydrated – a delicious and healthy alternative that coaxes tons of satisfying flavor from seeds, grains and vegetables.
It takes a little time to create because of the dehydrating required, so plan ahead; then prepare to be delighted with this delicious recipe that’s been a guest favorite for years.
This recipe yields 8 servings, or 2 pizzas.

Gomashio “Cheese” Topping

2 cups dehydrated sesame seeds (or dried sesame pulp)

1 Tbs. garlic powder 1 Tbs. celery flakes

Blend ingredients together and set aside for sprinkling on top of the pizza.

Crust

1/2 cup flax seeds

4 cups rye berries

2 cups water

Grind dry flax. Blend berries and water. Add flax to batter, stir until smooth. Spoon half the mixture at a time onto dehydrator sheets to make two crusts and let dry at 105 degrees for 24 hours.

Flip pizza crusts and let dry for another 6-8 hours.

Add sauce and toppings immediately before serving.

Sauce

4 ripe organic tomatoes

1/2 small onion

1/2 carrot

1/2 cup OHI Tomato Seasoning (1/2 cup dehydrated onion, ½ cup dehydrated tomato, ¼ cup dehydrated green and red bell peppers; grind into powder and store in an air-right jar.)

Pinch each of basil, oregano

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Topping

1 yellow bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 onion

2-3 Tbs. pizza seasoning

Dice peppers and onion. Add seasoning and mix well.

Top dehydrated crusts with sauce, toppings and Gomashio.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

Word of the Day

OHI Chapel Garden

There’s a beautiful Native American spiritual tradition that consists of finding an old tree, and prayerfully sitting beneath it from sunrise to nightfall.  In addition to requiring great discipline to remain in that single spot, the exercise puts the person in touch with how the wisdom and energy of the tree shifts during the course of the entire day.

In much the same way, the Word of the Day tradition at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) gives guests a single word, like “Hope,” to metaphorically “sit with” the entire day, and see how the wisdom and energy of that word changes with the passing hours.  During Morning Prayer time, when the word is delivered, guests meditate on the word and sent their intention for the day. Hope may feel crisp and charged with new possibilities. 

In afternoon prayer time, guests are to meditate on the same word, but now from a space of motivating and inspiring them.  This time, Hope may be deeper, more encompassing, radiating patience and purpose for the body, mind and spirit. 

That evening, facilitators instruct guests to meditate on Hope in a contemplative way.  By going deep inside the word they’ve “sat with” all day, they will see yet another fresh new meaning – perhaps one that transcends a mere day to day existence, and expands to encompass the joyful, limitless Hope of divine purpose and grace.

All three times they revisit that same word, they receive the gift of a new and completely different way to understand and apply it to their lives.  The word remains the same, but the rhythms of the day, and their body, mind and spirit, constantly enhance and deepen the meaning of that word. It’s a wonderful, inspiring and transformational way to include daily prayer throughout the day.  It effectively demonstrates how going into the Alpha state unlocks creativity and spiritual awareness, drawing each person ever deeper into a personal experience of God.

Here is our list of inspiring words:

Acceptance, compassion, courage, faith, fellowship, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, healing, honesty, hope, humor, kindness, love, patience, peace, respect, surrender, trust, truth, wisdom.

Try the exercise yourself, journal your experience and remember when your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

The Power of Prayer

OHI Garden Praying Angel

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) practice to create and nurture our connection to God, and renew our spirit.  Prayer is simply talking to God.  Meditation is listening for God’s answer.  Because we’ve been given the divine gift of free will, prayer is actually our first step in reaching out to God, and affirming the existence of a Higher Source.

There are thousands of ways to communicate with God.  Some people get out in nature; others use music, a candle or incense to silence mental chatter.  There are others who can pray anywhere, any time.  When we connect to God on a heart level, we can stay mindfully in the moment without mentally over analyzing the experience.

When you learn how to quiet the mind, you become more aware of God’s healing presence and your direct connection to Him.  It can be particularly powerful to open all your prayers with an expression of gratitude for God’s many blessings.

While we encourage individual prayer at OHI in the manner that’s most comfortable for each guest, we also cherish our tradition of prayer circles before meals and ceremonies.  There’s great symbolism in prayer circles.  When two or more are gathered together in the name of the divine, their prayers generate powerful, purposeful energy and there’s a deep spiritual fellowship.  While a group prayer may be more general, there is an undeniable healing energy that enfolds everyone.  A circle symbolizes eternity, the perfection of creation without beginning or end.  We hold hands and appreciate our community of caring, mutual respect for individual differences, and fellowship in our love for and surrender to God.

Another OHI group prayer tradition is our Friday morning testimonials, where guests and adherents share their experiences.  I remember when a young woman told how God had answered her prayers, but not as she anticipated.  She endured a tough childhood, and was raised by her grandmother.  The girl fell in with a bad crowd and got involved in drugs and destructive relationships.  Each time she began to straighten up, she sabotaged herself. 

She prayed for help, and found a substance abuse recovery center.  When she still didn’t feel whole, she kept praying for assistance and met a person who suggested she come to OHI.  Her first few days she was sick as a dog while her body released years of toxins.  By the middle of the week she turned the corner, and was transformed in time for Friday morning testimonials.  She developed a personal connection to God, and resumed her spiritual path with clarity and joy.  What made the difference?  She had to just trust that God really WAS answering her prayers, even through those tough first days at OHI.

Sometimes God responds to our prayers in ways we didn’t anticipate.  Other times He responds so much more magnificently than we could have possibly imagined.  The bottom line is this – the only true prayer is the sincere desire of the heart.  And all true prayers are answered.

Praying to a higher power will help you develop a healthier life and strengthen your relationship with God. Prayers for healing can provide a clarity that can't be achieved through your works alone. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

 

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