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.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

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In the summertime, one of the most important things you can do for your health is to drink more water. Proper hydration is always essential for your body, but you lose water much faster in the heat of summer, so you may need to consume one or two extra glasses of water each day to compensate. Here is a closer look at why you should prioritize your hydration.

Thirst can aggravate allergies

When you are not properly hydrated, your body may react with asthma or allergy symptoms caused by histamines rationing water in the body. These reactions may become very severe when summer allergens like grass are in abundance, so you should drink extra water each day to help you breathe easier all summer.

Dehydration can lead to serious illness

Along with allergies, dehydration can bring on nausea, digestive issues, fatigue, joint pain, and headaches. In the higher temperatures, these symptoms can arise quickly and necessitate a trip to the emergency room—particularly for children and elderly individuals. Chronic dehydration caused by a persistent lack of water consumption can slow down your metabolism, reduce brain function, and cause you to experience extreme fatigue.

Thirst can come too late

By the time your body triggers the sensation of thirst, you may already be significantly dehydrated. Therefore, you should drink plenty of water throughout the day—even when you don’t feel thirsty—to ensure that you are not causing your body to ration water in your cells before triggering thirst.

With the holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute, you can explore a variety of ways to naturally improve your health and promote wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. Three week-long sessions are included in the program, and they may be taken consecutively or independently. Each session features classes and activities such as raw dieting, exercise, journaling, and meditation to renew and awaken the spirit while focusing the mind and cleansing the body. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit

The Benefits of Food Combining

Food combining, when done correctly, has been shown to improve health, assist in digestion and help with weight loss. At OHI, it’s one of the key principles of a clean, healthy diet.

What is Food Combining?

Food combining is the practice of eating specific foods together, or separately, in order to maximize the health benefits of certain combinations.

Principles of optimum food combining:

  • Drink each type of liquid alone.
  • Eat protein only with low-starch vegetables, greens, sprouts and pre-digested foods.
  • Eat fruit alone or with green vegetables
  • Eat dense starches only with low- starch vegetables, greens, sprouts and pre-digested foods.
  • Eat melons alone

Benefits of Food Combining:

  • Less Gas/Bloating - So much of the bloating and discomfort you feel after certain meals is the result of improperly combined foods. Combining foods correctly will significantly reduce the abdominal discomfort that comes from digestive gas.
  • More Energy – Improperly combined foods are harder to digest, which means they can leave you feeling sluggish and weighed down. But because food combining promotes smoother, more efficient digestion, your body will naturally have more energy left over after each meal.
  • Anti-Aging - Food combining improves your body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients, which helps fight the aging process in a number of different ways, including promoting joint health, better vision, and brighter, healthier skin and hair.
  • Weight Loss – Although food combining has a whole laundry list of health benefits, it first came into the public consciousness as a healthy alternative to popular diet fads and weight loss solutions. That’s because properly combined foods are easier for your body to assimilate, which means your body is able to metabolize them more efficiently, reducing the amount that is converted into stored fat.

One final tip: Food combining works best with higher quality, optimal foods. At OHI, we recommend using raw, organically grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible to get the most out of every bite.

Come experience true healthy food combining with a one, two or three-week stay at our healing missions, OHI San Diego and OHI Austin in Texas. Our caring staff is eager to give you the unconditional support, inspiration and transformational tools you require to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Here's to a Healthy Colon

When it comes to total body health, nothing is more important than a clean, healthy digestive system. There are plenty of foods, products and natural remedies out there to boost digestion and promote colon health. Here are just a few:

Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains contain more fiber, antioxidants, and amino acids than unsprouted grains, while improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins. They can work wonders on your colon health and digestion. Grains can be difficult to digest, however, so the key is to work them into your diet in a balanced way.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods are delicious, easy to make, and loaded with gut and colon-friendly probiotics. Although you can create a fermentation kit out of things you have around the kitchen, if you want to get serious about making your own fermented foods, it’s important to have the right tools.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander has a lot of well-known health benefits, which is why it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It can help with high blood pressure, and it has powerful, cell-producing antioxidant qualities. Coriander also helps to naturally relax contracted digestive muscles. This means that it can help with a wide range of digestive disorders, including IBS, indigestion, and diarrhea. Raw ground coriander makes for a delicious spice that can be used in soups, or sprinkled on raw vegetables.

Enrich your body, mind and spirit with a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Raw Foods: A Healthy Tradition with Deep Roots

At the time Optimum Health Institute (OHI) opened its doors, one of the key healing lifestyle program elements – a live, raw, organic vegan diet – was not widely embraced by mainstream America. Now, 40 years later, OHI is going strong, and the number of people choosing a vegetarian or largely meat-free lifestyle in the U.S. is near 30 million. Raw food restaurants are sprouting up everywhere. Even conventional supermarkets and big box stores are jumping on the organic produce bandwagon.

While choosing live, raw, organic vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts over animal proteins might seem like a relatively recent trend, the practice has very deep roots. Biblical scripture and the ancient Essene gospels both advise the divine wisdom of maintaining a strict raw vegan diet for optimum health of body, mind and spirit.

Throughout history, brilliant people have touted the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle -- Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Buddha, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, and Steve Jobs, to name a few.

Even traditional western medicine is warming to the idea. The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School are among the groups advising that a well-planned vegetarian diet can help you stay healthy, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

The growth in popularity of raw vegan foods is closely tied to the history of OHI. When a Boston-area woman was diagnosed with colon cancer in the early 1950’s, she chose to follow her Lithuanian grandmother’s approach to healing – using weeds and wheatgrass – and went into complete remission. The woman, Ann Wigmore, devoted the next 35 years of her life to studying and teaching others about the healing benefits of live, raw, organic vegan foods. In 1956 she founded the “Red Schoolhouse,” which would evolve into Hippocrates Health Institute.

In 1976, two of OHI’s founders, Raychel Solomon and Pam Nees, attended a lecture by the author of the book, How I Conquered Cancer Naturally . Eydie Mae Hunsberger switched to Ann Wigmore’s raw vegan food plan after her breast cancer diagnosis, and also went into complete remission. She was eager to answer Raychel and Pam’s questions at her presentation. After meeting Eydie Mae, Raychel studied with Ann Wigmore at Hippocrates, and experienced for herself the healing power of a strict live, raw organic vegan lifestyle. Later that same year, Raychel, Pam and Pam’s husband Bob Nees, Sr., opened Hippocrates West in San Diego County, California.

The groundbreaking concept at the heart of Hippocrates and Hippocrates West was deceptively simple. Recreate your lifestyle, starting with switching to a primarily raw foods diet, and let the healing begin. Fueled by the healthiest, freshest vegan nutrients, people could more easily defog and quiet their minds, and feel a renewed, heart-centered connection to God.

Hippocrates West soon evolved into The Optimum Health Institute, and became a healing ministry of the Free Sacred Trinity Church.

The parallel growth of both the raw foods movement and OHI became deeply personal in 1997. Bob’s sister-in-law, Mary Helon Nees, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She and Bob’s brother, the Rev. Russell Nees, refused to accept her doctor’s grim prognosis, and instead strictly followed OHI’s raw vegan food plan, with lots of wheatgrass juice. Mary Helon went into remission, and became a strong advocate of adopting a plant-based diet.

As the raw foods movement continues to gain new adherents nationwide, OHI is more than keeping up with the growing interest. OHI has enhanced its dining experience by creating a new 21-day menu, offering delicious, gourmet restaurant caliber live, raw, organic vegan dishes at each lunch and dinner for the entire three weeks of the holistic healing program.

Come experience what “healthy” tastes like with a one, two or three week stay at our healing missions, OHI San Diego and OHI Austin in Texas. Our caring staff is eager to give you the unconditional support, inspiration and transformational tools you require to bring your body, mind and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Lesser Known Benefits of Colon Cleansing

At OHI, our three-week program teaches the importance of proper ingestion, digestion, and elimination as the basis of a healthy body, mind and spirit! It’s important to put an emphasis on a happy healthy colon and the role that colon cleansing plays in your overall health and well-being. Here are a few of the lesser-known benefits of colon cleansing:

1. Immune System

As much as 70% of the immune system’s optimum function can be driven by how well the colon functions.

2. More Energy

Colon cleansing clear toxins out of the body. This process can help naturally improve circulation in the bloodstream, which means better oxygen flow and increased energy levels.

3. Healthier Skin

High levels of body toxins take a toll on your organs, including your skin. Many people report clearer, brighter, healthier-looking skin after colon cleansing treatments.

4. Weight Loss

As your body strains to fight off toxins, your body’s other natural energy functions slow down. This includes your metabolism. Getting rid of burdensome toxins means allows your body to refocus that energy on boosting your metabolism and helping you burn off excess weight.

5. Reduced Acid Levels

Regular colon cleansing will help restore the body’s natural alkaline levels and create a healthier balance.

6. Better concentration

A study by the Harvard Medical School on the “Gut-Brain connection” found that an unhealthy intestine can send disruptive signals to the brain which can impair focus and hamper the ability to concentrate. Colon cleansing can help to clear up that fogginess and keep you a bit throughout the day.

OHI promotes colon cleansing as one aspect of a healthy, well-balanced life. We invite you to book a retreat at OHI and experience the many benefits of being clean from the inside-out!

Experience the energy and clarity of eating and living clean, all in an environment of encouragement, support and spiritual fellowship at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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