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.

De-stress Your Daily Commute

stressed driver

Commuting to work is a stressful task—particularly when you have more than 30 minutes of travel time to get to your job. Still, this burden is a necessary one, so you might consider making the experience less stressful while you are on the road. Numerous studies have linked long work commutes with increased risks of obesity, high blood pressure, and back pain, but there are some strategies you can use to reduce these risks and quiet your mind as you drive to work.

Clean your car

A clean, organized environment will help you feel more serene when you are on the road. Clutter in the car can cause distractions and be a source of unneeded anxiety, so remove any trash from your vehicle before you start driving. You might also keep a soothing air freshener in your car to help you feel relaxed and more comfortable.

Stretch before you drive

Being seated in a car is not ideal for your spine, because sitting down generates pressure in the lower back. Sitting for long periods is also bad for your circulation, so you should give your body some extra motion before you get in the car for your daily commute. Doing yoga or even taking a light morning jog or walk can provide your body with the liberating movement you need before being seated in one position during a long drive.

Put on calming music

Music can make a significant impact in reducing stress, especially if you stock your car with music that is lyrical, melodic, and soothing. Singing along with your music or chanting while you are in the car may also help you keep calm and positive even in the worst traffic.

If you want to learn more stress-relief and healthy living strategies to brighten your daily life, check out the holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute. With activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual principles taking place over three week-long sessions, our guests learn to quiet the mind, heal the body, and engage the spirit. To learn more about how the OHI program can enrich your life, call us at (800) 993-4325 or visit us online.

Unlocking the Power of Beets

iStock_beets 000014135790XSmall

As you transition to a vibrant, primarily raw detoxifying diet through the guidance of Optimum Health Institute, you may begin to appreciate the incredible nutritional value of foods that you might have avoided in the past. Beets are one of the most powerful foods that you might begin to enjoy more often, and they have much more to offer than you might expect, given the generally negative reputation of this vegetable.

Nutritional Components

Not only do beets have significantly more iron per serving than green vegetables such as spinach, but they are also high in the phytonutrient betaine. This amazing antioxidant nutrient is integral to the detoxification process, because it helps to cleanse the liver, blood, and intestines of free radicals that might lead to cancer or early signs of aging. Beets are also exceptionally high in fiber, which aids in digestion; vitamin A, which promotes eye and bone health; vitamin C, which boosts immunity; and niacin, which counteracts bad cholesterol in the body. All of these nutritional qualities come in a tasty, colorful package with no fat and few calories.

Alkalizing Properties

Along with a huge nutritional contribution that can fuel your body, beets provide cleansing properties that can facilitate a transition to a healthier lifestyle. This quality is attributed to the alkalizing properties of beets. Many processed or unhealthy foods are acid-forming and somewhat toxic to the body. As an alkalizing food, beets have just the opposite effect when they are consumed on a regular basis.

Delicious Culinary Applications

Beets are a notoriously disliked vegetable, but there are many ways to try preparing them so that they are more palatable. In raw applications where beets are shredded or shaved, beets tend to be sweeter than when they are cooked, and they preserve more of the nutritional value that makes them so powerful. Juicing with beets and making beet chips through vegetable dehydration are also great ways to indulge in this health enhancing food.

If you want more information on the holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute, contact us on our website or at (800) 993-4325. The OHI program consists of three week-long sessions that may be taken independently or consecutively. Building upon one another, these sessions utilize activities from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines to promote healing of the body, mind, and spirit.

Springtime at OHI Austin-Don't Miss It!


Dare to be dazzled

April in Austin declares the spirit of renewal with wild exuberance. As you travel through the Texas countryside to your Optimum Health Institute healing retreat, the bright but delicate blooms of up to 5,000 species of wildflowers will dazzle you with a rainbow of colors.

Feast your eyes

The Texas Transportation Department sprinkles more than 30,000 pounds of seeds annually to ensure that the countryside is filled with a flowery feast for your eyes. In anticipation, enjoy photos of Firewheel, Crimson Clover, Winecup, Bluebonnet – the Texas State flower – and more.

Try Austin – and extend your healing

If you have stayed with us at OHI San Diego, you developed life-changing habits and achieved peace. Now you can deepen this experience in a smaller community, in daily contact with a caring staff and with more options for quiet time or contemplation while still interacting with other guests.

Reawaken the connections of body, mind and spirit

When you arrive at OHI Austin, the clean spring air will invigorate you, naturally elevating your mood with the fragrance and feel of nature’s renewal season. You’ll unwind from the cares of the world as you reflect and free your mind in our outdoor meditation areas. Closing your eyes as you rest on one of many outdoor benches, you’ll invite God to develop new patterns of body, mind, and spirit connections that will refresh and strengthen you from the inside out.  

Expand your springtime stay in the area

Before or after your OHI renewal experience, consider the many attractions offered in and around Austin. Our favorites include:

  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, offers extensive gardens that display native plant species.
  • Old Pecan Street Festival, May 4-5, is the largest arts and crafts festival in Central Texas and ranked as a Top 5 Austin event, based on attendance.
  • Capital of Texas Triathlon, May 27, attracts tri-athletes from around the world and includes the USA Paratriathlon National Championship. All athletes start with a dip in Lady Bird Lake, then bike and run to a jammin’ finish and post-race festival.
  • West Austin Studio Tour invites you to immerse yourself in local arts and business communities through tours, parties, workshops, juried art competitions and more.

OHI Austin is easy to get to
The peaceful OHI Austin experience, just 16 miles east of Austin, is 20 minutes by car from the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Many major airlines, including Southwest, Jet Blue and United, offer direct flights and economical fares to Austin. Upon arrival you can either rent a car or hire the Austin Cab Company (512-663-6636) at a special OHI rate and arrive by taxi.

Message from the OHI Austin Team
We’re happy to welcome you to our Texas countryside. We invite you to take a new walk through a familiar program. You can still enjoy the body, mind and spirit program offered at OHI San Diego, but with a Texas flare. We encourage you to call now for more information or to book your reservation today.

Call us at (800) 993-4325. It’ll be fun – cowboy boots optional!

Thanks for the Happiness!


Here’s a quick little daily exercise guaranteed to help you turn your life into a happier, healthier, more loving adventure.  Every night before you fall asleep, think of the three most wonderful things that happened to you that day.

That’s it.

When you lock in even a few minutes each night to review the best moments of your day, you automatically begin to cultivate a constant “attitude of gratitude.”  Instead of waking up thinking, “What can go wrong today?” you’re already focusing on what’s going to go right. It’s the positive things you’re consciously choosing to dwell on and remember – in fact, you’ll be actively looking for them for the next 12+ hours.  Sure, other more challenging things will happen in the course of the day, but those won’t be the moments you’ll keep churning around in your mind.  Instead, you’ll be anticipating, and then experiencing, a steady flow of things to feel grateful about – day after happy day.

The Greek philosopher Plato summed it up beautifully: “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things."  By being thankful for the good things you have, you’ll automatically attract more good things into your life.

Gratitude isn’t just a warm feeling – it’s considered the parent of all the spiritual virtues in Judeo-Christian tradition.  Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are filled with verses encouraging the faithful to have grateful hearts, and express gratitude for their many blessings.

It’s also a key component of Native American spirituality.  When the Wampanoag Indians at the First Thanksgiving presented the pilgrims with cornucopias of vegetables, they were actually illustrating the Law of Gratitude.  They believed when people on earth thanked Great Spirit for their blessings, even before those blessings materialized, they were creating the sacred space for those blessings to come to them.  The pointed tip of the woven cornucopia represented the place where Great Spirit dwelled.  By expressing their gratitude to their Creator, the Indians felt they created an energetic cone that extended from Great Spirit down to them on Earth, and showered them with abundance, as evidenced by the “horn of plenty” brimming with food. 

Gratitude does more than nurture the spirit – it has mental, emotional and even physical benefits.

Scientific studies have shown that grateful people are happier and more satisfied in both their personal and professional lives, have more positive relationships, and are quicker to forgive.  They’re less stressed, jealous, depressed and anxious, and more likely to “not sweat the little things.”

Those who choose to feel and express gratitude in general experience greater psychological well-being over those who focus on the negative.  This gives grateful people better ways of coping with challenges, and more ability to learn and grown from these experiences.  They tend to have more self-respect and a greater sense of purpose in their lives, which fosters a more positive attitude.

The body also benefits from a conscious attitude of gratitude.  Those who are more optimistic and grateful experience fewer sleep disorders, better immune function and even a healthier heart rate – all measurable side benefits of thankfulness.

Prove it to yourself, and tonight, review the three things for which you felt the most gratitude today. You’ll probably immediately experience a deeper, more restful sleep tonight, and  eagerly start your day tomorrow on the lookout for still more positive things to reflect on tomorrow night.

It’s just another way to confirm that when your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, visit Optimum Health Institute  (link to in San Diego or Austin, TX. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.


Getting the Poisons Out of Your Personal Care Products

personal care products

Here’s a quick exercise to prove why you need to pay attention to the things you put on your body.  Take a clove of garlic, cut it in half, and rub the cut side against the bottom of your bare foot for about four seconds.  Within 10 minutes, you will literally taste garlic in your mouth.  Think of it this way – anything you put on your skin should be something safe to eat.

Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t quite see it that way. Under FDA regulations enacted back in the 1930s, unless a product contains artificial coloring, cosmetic companies have no legal requirement to either test their products for safety, or even disclose all ingredients on their labels.  Even if something in a product is found to be harmful, product recalls are strictly voluntary.  That means many of the creams, soaps, toothpastes, shampoos, cosmetics and other personal care products on store shelves contain toxic chemicals.

In an effort to help you make educated choices when you’re buying personal care products, Optimum Health Institute (OHI) has created a list of some of the most commonly used synthetic chemicals to avoid:

Triclosan is an antibacterial, antifungal chemical first used in hospitals as a surgical scrub in the early 1970s.  This pesticide is now found in a wide range of consumer products including soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, cleansing lotions, toothpaste, plastics, and fabrics. It has been linked to skin irritation, liver toxicity and thyroid disruption. Triclosan is not effectively filtered out during wastewater treatment, and is being identified as a growing danger to the ecosystem in our lakes and rivers.

Phthalates are used as a plasticizer in some nail care products, and are also widely used as fixatives to hold fragrance. They are linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicants. This chemical is already banned in Europe.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen released by a number of cosmetic preservatives used in nail treatment, hair color and hair bleaching products.  Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15.

Lead acetate is used in hair dyes. It is a known human reproductive and respiratory toxicant, a neurotoxin and a possible carcinogen.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is used as a fragrance ingredient to mask undesirable odors. Besides bring a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, it is also harmful to fish and other wildlife when it leeches into the lakes and rivers.

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate is used as a foaming agent and is a possible carcinogen.

Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) are also foaming agents, and can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation, and dryness of the hair and skin. DEA and TEA are toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time, ?and are associated with cancer in lab animals.

Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl) are antibacterial and antifungal, and are widely used as preservatives in personal care products. They are suspected endocrine disrupters that may hurt male reproductive functions. They can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes, and have been found in human breast cancer tumors,

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program to help you learn what to put on your body, and in it, visit Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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