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.

Foods that Detox

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Certain foods can speed up your body’s detoxification process and boost the health of your liver, the major organ in charge of filtering impurities. Including at least one of these vegetables or fruits in every meal is a positive step towards achieving optimum health in body, mind and spirit.

Artichokes cue your liver to produce more bile. Acidic bile breaks down foods to let your body absorb more nutrients from each bite. Besides toning up your liver, the spikey green veggie supplies you with fiber, protein, magnesium, folate and potassium.

You know that rather aromatic smell your urine gets after you eat asparagus? That’s an indicator this nutrient-rich stalk is helping your liver drain toxins from your body, and that’s a good thing. This anti-inflammatory super-star also helps to tone up your heart, prevent cancer cells from growing and keeps you looking and feeling younger.

The creamy deliciousness of fresh avocados delivers both antioxidants and lots of fiber. Good fats in the shiny green fruit are essential for healthy body and brain function.

Beets are a Rodney Dangerfield vegetable, rarely getting the respect they so richly deserve. Red, golden or striped, beets are a super food that’s super rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, niacin, and vitamins A and C. They also contain folic acid, important in the creation and upkeep of new cells to speed healing. Add in their immunity boosting, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting ability, and they jump to the top of your “must eat” list.

Besides packing a hefty nutritional punch, broccoli teams up with your liver enzymes to flush toxins from your body.

Count on cabbage to help lower cholesterol even as its high fiber content is aiding in your bowel elimination.

Folk wisdom says something is a ‘weed’ until we figure out what we can do with it. Pick dandelion root to heal a compromised liver, or keep a healthy one in balance.

Fragrant garlic packs a one-two punch of helping the liver and boosting the immune system.

Ginger can spice up a detox diet – literally – with both a delicious flavor boost, and an aid to liver function. It’s particularly effective in helping to tone a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol, or too many toxic foods.

Grapefruit jump-starts your liver to burn fat more quickly, making it a must for both detoxing and shedding excess weight.

Raw in a salad or whipped into a veggie smoothie, kale helps to flush out the kidneys. It also delivers antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and tons of vitamins and minerals.

Kicking off your morning with a squirt of lemon juice in your pure water is a great way to start your daily detoxification.

We’ve talked before about the importance of staying properly hydrated, but it bears repeating – pure water is essential for flushing toxins from your body.

Tossing fresh organic watercress into your salad or smoothie is a smart way to help release enzymes in the liver that detoxify the body.

We saved the best for last – wheatgrass, of course! It’s your liver’s best friend, and works to alkalize your entire body. Wheatgrass juice is fantastic for lowering your blood sugar and resetting your metabolism, too. It’s definitely a key part of any smart detoxification program.

Come taste the healing power of these fruits and vegetables as part of a transformative experience for all your senses and your body, mind and spirit at OHI. 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.

Detoxify Your Way to a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit

When she hit 40 and realized she felt like someone twice her age, Regina knew it was time to clean up her act. Her joints ached, she couldn't stand up straight, her brain was foggy and she was always tired. The wife, mom of three active girls and small business owner started her overhaul by detoxifying her body.

She took her entire family cold turkey off fast food, and substituted fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. She received a rude awakening – the first few days she actually felt worse – but she stuck with it. By day four she was breathing more easily, and day seven was her biggest eye-opener. As she swung her legs out of bed and put her feet on the floor, she felt no pain for the first time in years. She stood up and walked –all her many pains were completely gone. Regina could think clearly again, and she had as much energy as her teen girls. She has dedicated herself to continuing to learn new ways to grow in health, and not just grow old.

By transitioning to a food plan of live, raw, organic vegan meals, you’re not just detoxifying your body – you’re adopting behaviors that will positively impact every area of your health, happiness and well-being.

Alkaline foods rich in fiber not only detoxify and nourish you – they keep your digestive tract running smoothly, too.

Chronic constipation has been medically proven to contribute to depression. When the body fails to eliminate waste products, nutrients essential for proper brain function can’t be digested and absorbed. Toxins from the accumulated waste can filter back into the system and cause irritability, anxiety, panic attacks and even insomnia.

Proper food combination is another important aspect of detoxifying the body. Eating two foods together that each have very different digestion times can create a toxic effect. For instance, a dense protein like avocado can take 2 to three hours to digest, while a melon is digested in about 30 minutes. The protein will keep the fruit in the stomach longer, causing it to ferment.

While healthy raw produce, and the way you combine foods, will help detoxify the body, it’s important to be aware of toxins in your environment, too. Everything you put on your body – shampoo, soap, moisturizers – is absorbed into your body. Even household cleaners, detergents and lawn and pool chemicals work their way into your system. Look for cleaner, more natural products as much as possible.

Learn how delicious a detoxifying diet can be at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Experience the energy and clarity of eating and living clean, all in an environment of encouragement, support and spiritual fellowship. Deepen your detoxification with the OHI For Life ® line of skin and hair care products, developed exclusively for OHI guests and available only through the OHI Store at both OHI facilities, or by calling (800) 993-4325. OHI for Life ® blends certified organic ingredients with the healing properties of antioxidants to protect and nourish your hair and skin. During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

The Healthiest Picks for Winter Produce

Buying your vegetables and fruits in season – and locally – guarantee you’ll enjoy the freshest, most nutritious meals and snacks this winter. You’ll also be supporting your local economy, and potentially reducing your carbon footprint.

Leafy greens are a smart choice year-round, but particularly in winter. Curly endive, kale, escarole, chicories and radicchio are all in season, and actually sweeter right now. All are rich in minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts – the entire cruciferous family – is readily available, and packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants that slow aging and may help fight cancer. Why not slice up a healthy amount to ferment? The veggies will not only taste delightfully tangy and delicious – the fermentation will aid digestion and help create and maintain an alkaline balance in the body.

As their name implies, winter squash are abundant, and provide a generous supply of healthy alpha- and beta-carotene, which promote good eyesight. Try acorn, butternut, and delicata squash, and spaghetti squash, whose long strands make a delicious and healthy pasta substitute.

You have a rainbow of colors to choose from when you’re buying fresh beets. Besides traditional dark red beets, experiment with white, golden, and multicolored firm, smooth bulbs, ideally with the crisp greens still attached. Shred the greens and beets together in a colorful salad. You’ll be nourishing your body with antioxidants, which can help prevent heart and liver disease, and nitrate, which can potentially reduce risk of dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain.

This is definitely the season for other root vegetables in addition to beets. Turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery root – all are packed with healthy nutrients and fiber, and readily available through the winter months.

While many vegetables are winter staples, quite a few fruits also shine during the colder months. Choose from fresh citrus, including oranges, mandarins, tangerines, clementines, grapefruits and lemons for a daily blast of color, a burst of flavor, and a big dose of vitamin C, minerals, and fiber.

Pears, pomegranates and persimmons also crop up in produce departments in the winter. Relatively recent research suggests pomegranates might help prevent breast and colon cancers, while persimmons are credited with anti-inflammatory properties. The yellow to orange to red fruit is also linked to protecting against age-related macular disease.

Savor the best of winter’s fresh, live, raw organic produce during a stay at the Optimum Health Institute healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas.

Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in a beautifully landscaped safe space, perfect for reflection, transformation and healing. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

OHI Guests are Powered by Pure Water

It makes sense that a key component of an effective detoxification diet is completely live, raw, organic vegan food and juices. What might not be as obvious is that the quality of the water you drink during the detoxification process is just as important for optimum results.

The purest alkaline reverse osmosis water with a pH of 7.3, said Amber Santa Cruz of Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Austin, Texas, is ideal. Amber is the Kitchen and Grow House Manager for OHI Austin.

“For the environment that we’ve set up for guests doing the detoxifying cleanse at OHI,” Amber explained, “we wanted to build the water that would be optimum for that experience. Our goal for everything we recommend, from food combining to what we put on the plate, is to make digestion as easy as possible, taking the least amount of energy, so that energy can be used towards healing.”

The OHI San Diego healing mission has been providing the purest drinking water to guests from a custom designed water filtration system since 2009. OHI Austin has also revamped its water filtration system, and now also provides the highest quality water to accompany the detoxification program.

Before the water travels to two dedicated taps, one in the OHI Austin kitchen, and the other at a dining room station, it passes through an elaborate filtration system. Chlorine, fluoride and total dissolved solids – the term for organic materials, magnesium, phosphorous, bacteria and other toxins – are scrubbed from the water through reverse osmosis and carbon filtering. A UV filter zaps microbes.

Then, a mineral infusion adds electrolytes essential for healthy body chemistry, and a coconut filter softens the water and ensures a clean, light, delicious taste.

Acquiring all the information needed to know what type of system would be best for OHI was a long, demanding process; planning alone took approximately six months. Amber researched exactly what was in the municipality’s water supply. She spoke with numerous water experts, and studied possible components for the filtration system from every angle. Each potential challenge was examined, like how removing all chemicals from a water supply could cause undesirable growth of possibly harmful biofilm in water pipes.

Amber and the team of experts working on the project determined that positioning the filtration system closest to the taps for the kitchen and dining room station would minimize the risk of algae growth, and maintain the pristine state of the reverse osmosis water for drinking and food preparation.

Amber strongly urges people to talk to their local water authority and go online to examine the required public documents detailing the composition of their local water. Then, they’ll be able to decide what type of filtration system, if any, might be appropriate for home use.

Drink the purest pH balanced water for a week – or three – as you detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin. Our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and give you the tools you need to continue following the OHI healthy lifestyle program at home. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Sticking with those New Year's Resolutions

So you’ve committed to a single goal for a happier, healthier, more balanced you in this New Year. That goal is in alignment with your true core values. You’ve even created three specific and measurable action steps to help you reach your objective. But at this point, you’re falling short. Don’t give up! There are very specific and effective things you can do to get right back on track.

  1. First, stop beating yourself up. Negativity is not going to motivate you to change your behavior. Instead, focus on what you’ve done right. Even if it was only working on your original action steps for a few days, congratulate yourself. Celebrating even the smallest progress can inspire you to do more.
  2. In that spirit, take a moment to jot down at least a dozen things you accomplished through the years. Reflecting on past successes reminds you that you’ve achieved goals before, and you can certainly do it again.
  3. When you find it impossible to completely change a non-beneficial behavior cold turkey, realize that a “better than” choice is a legitimate step in the right direction. For instance, if you resolved to become a vegetarian this year but you’re craving meat, instead of making it the main part of a meal, including a small amount of chicken in a kale salad is “better than” eating a steak.
  4. Watch a funny movie. Pet a dog. Play with a child. Sing along with your favorite songs. When you’re laughing and in a good mood, your willpower soars. Taking a moment to boost your spirits pays off big when you’re tackling a goal.
  5. Spend time with people you care about. Supportive friends can listen, encourage and inspire you to stick with it. Knowing others respect and believe in you might be just the incentive you require to get back in gear.
  6. You’ve got to move it, move it. Even a 10-minute walk energizes and motivates you. When you feel stuck, get up and go to really get going.
  7. Watch your language. Thinking, “I’ll never reach my goal” is the quickest way to doom your resolution to failure. Eliminate words like “want,” “try,” “never” and “always” from your vocabulary, and see how quickly you start resonating to positive alternatives like “will, am” and “choose” that put you back in the driver’s seat.
  8. Finally, express gratitude. Scientific research has proven that keeping a gratitude journal has a measurable impact on the writer’s determination, attention, enthusiasm, and energy level. When a person is mindfully choosing to be grateful, they cannot simultaneously be focusing on anything negative. Cultivating that “attitude of gratitude” can be just what you need to keep your eyes on the prize, and finally achieve that goal.

Get encouragement, support and inspiration to help you achieve your goals for a healthier you physically, mentally and spiritually at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Our caring team can help you detoxify and cleanse your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit. You’ll also receive the tools you require to continue your life transformation at home. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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