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.

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


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


Optimum Pizza Delivers Great Taste


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.


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.


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.


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.


Bad Habits


“You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

-- Albert Einstein

There’s a funny thing about bad habits – you might not even be aware of the fact that you’re doing them until they’ve already become “encoded” into your daily routine.  Mindless eating, smoking, procrastinating, squandering hours in front of the television – pick your poison!  Whatever the nonproductive or harmful habitual behavior you’ve fallen into, as Einstein so simply yet eloquently stated, you’re going to have to do some serious mindful shifting to climb back out of that rut.

Lucky for you, the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) has at its very core the powerful resources you’ll need to substitute positive new behaviors for undesirable old ones.The Five P’s to Optimum Health are ideal for breaking old habits.

1.  Purpose to achieve a natural balance and reconnection to the Divine.

There’s an entirely new branch of psychology, and it’s called, “Positive Psychology.”  Developed by Dr. Marty Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, Positive Psychology has discovered we require three key things to be truly happy in our life – faith, friends, and a sense of purpose, or living a meaningful life. When we’re being of service in some way, whether on a global level or in our own family circle, we can feel that healing and empowering sense of purpose.

Particularly when an embedded habit is hampering your efforts to function on all cylinders, it is interfering with your ability to have as purposeful a life as possible. Realizing that shifting this behavior will bring you more into natural balance, and facilitate a stronger connection to your faith, are powerful motivators for kicking old habits and embracing new happiness and freedom.

2.  Positive mental attitude that supports the healing process. 

If you’re convinced you’re going to fail at kicking a bad habit, guess what?  You probably will.  Instead, a mental shift is in order. Don’t dwell on the past – reliving old hurts and failures can prevent healing in body, mind and spirit. And don’t waste time worrying about what might happen down the road.

Staying in the present moment and releasing your fear about the future increases your joy level, enhances your immune system and gives you the power of creation this very moment.  Be present, be thankful, and watch how quickly you can shift into a positive mental attitude that gives you the strength to stick to your goal!

3.  Persistence in following the holistic disciplines of the OHI program. 

The daily routine at OHI gives you such powerful resources to shift out of harmful old routines and embrace a healthy new lifestyle, free of embedded habits that derailed your good intentions.  Prayer for the strength to release destructive habits; contemplation about how the changes will make you a happier, healthier, more whole person; journaling to explore your deepest inner thoughts about why this habit attracted you in the first place, and the things you will replace it with; community with friends and guests to support you on this healing journey; quieting the mind to be able to make mindful, deliberate decisions; conscious breathing to energize the body, mind and spirit so healing can happen, celebrating each time you refrain from indulging in that habit you’re releasing. 

All of these holistic disciplines, and any of the others taught at OHI, when persistently followed, give you new strength to establish healthy new priorities in your life.

4.  Patience with your body and yourself, as you allow your body-mind-spirit to heal.

You didn’t develop these habits overnight.  You’re most likely not going to shed them overnight, either. Psychologists say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, and at least that long to break an old one. During those weeks of change and healing, gently nurture your connection to God by focusing on feelings of gratitude, forgiveness and joy.

Impatience with yourself, and similar negative thinking, literally makes you sick by stimulating the production of toxic chemicals in your body. Dr. Candace Pert talks about the science of positive thinking in her brilliant work, “Molecules of Emotion,” which we carry in our OHI Store. When you do have a negative thought, before it can start triggering the production of toxins in your body, think, “Cancel!” Immediately remind yourself, “God loves me, and is patiently supporting me as I release these bad habits” and take just 10 seconds to breathe in God’s unconditional love and grace.  You’ll not only neutralize any negativity and grant yourself patience – you’ll actually be setting healing in motion.

5.  Prayer to a higher source who will share the load with you.  

As with all things, asking for God’s help in achieving your heart’s desire is the most powerful tool you can use.  Particularly when you’re making major changes in your life, like healing old bad habits, instead of setting aside a time or two each day to pray, shift your attitude about your connection with God.  See yourself on “speed dial,” with a constant open line to the Creator.  Make each moment, each breath, a sincere prayer for strength, wisdom, courage, guidance and grace.  With God, all things are possible – particularly when all lines of communication with Him are wide open.

In addition to the strength and guidance you will find in using the Five P’s To Optimum Health, know that OHI’s facilitators and missionaries are here to support you in your efforts, and your successes.

For more information about OHI, please visit our website.To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

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