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.

OHI Austin: Where Getting Healthy is a Beautiful Experience

“Everything’s bigger in Texas,” except the cozy, comforting and inviting spaces at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Austin. Nestled in the Lost Pines of Texas, this sanctuary of healing and harmony serves up southern hospitality, along with a proven recipe to detoxify the body, quiet the mind and rejuvenate the spirit.

Whether you’ve visited OHI Austin many times, or you’re an OHI San Diego guest who’d like to try the same great program with a slight Texas twang and fields of bluebonnets, the 14-acre mission in Bastrop County makes getting healthy a beautiful thing.

Cowboy boots for both the OHI team and guests are popular, but not required. Friday is unofficial “OHI T-shirt Day,” with many sporting their favorite finds from the OHI Store. On Mother’s Day, the OHI team distributes – you guessed it! – the yellow rose of Texas.

All the guests stay in the comfortably refurbished main building that looks out onto the sparkling pool, hot tub and glorious flower gardens. Trails through the woods encourage walking meditations, deep introspection and instant de-stressing surrounded by the beauty of nature. “Rodney the roadrunner” is a beloved visitor, while the trees and flowering shrubs echo with the songs of cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, meadowlarks, sparrows, thrushes and so many others. The occasional raccoon, fox or armadillo occasionally wanders through the grounds.

The smaller weekly number of guests encourages quick friendships as people easily discover many similarities. Frequently, guests will push two dining tables together to enjoy meals as a group and continue the enlightening discussions sparked by the latest class. Many gather to enjoy breath-taking sunsets. Some of the newly-formed friendships become such a treasured part of guests’ lives that they coordinate future visits to OHI Austin for spirited “reunions.” Occasionally they’ll even decide to extend their stays a week or two to continue to share their journey to optimum health together.

A smaller facility doesn’t mean scrimping on any of the expected OHI healing lifestyle benefits. All the guest rooms are now equipped with Wi-Fi, for the occasional check-in with home or work. The accommodations, many queen or king units, are decorated in warm, harmonious colors to sooth your body, mind and spirit. Guests reap the health benefits of the purest alkaline reverse osmosis water. The kitchen proudly creates the new 21-day menu that features a different delicious and satisfying lunch and dinner for every day of the three-week program.

Soak up the raw beauty of the American west while you also detoxify your body and quiet your mind at the OHI mission in Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring teams at OHI Austin and OHI San Diego will give you the tools, encouragement. and inspiration you desire to help you on your journey to optimum health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Strengthening Our Connection to God

The story goes that a man became trapped in his house when a flood inundated his town. Deeply devout, the man fell to his knees and prayed to God to come rescue him. His prayer was interrupted when he heard his neighbor honking at him.

“Get in the truck!” his neighbor yelled. “I’m heading to higher ground!” The man refused, saying he knew God was going to come rescue him from the rising waters. Soon, the entire street was under several feet of water. A woman piloting a motorboat with several other people on board stopped in front of the man’s house.

“Here – take this rope and we’ll pull you in!” the woman yelled. Again the man refused, knowing that God had heard his prayers. As the first and second floors of the man’s home flooded, he was forced to crawl out a window and hold on to the roof.

A National Guard helicopter appeared and hovered over the house. “Grab this,” the pilot yelled, as he lowered a rope ladder to the stranded man. Once again, the man refused, feeling sure that God’s rescue was imminent. Shortly after the helicopter flew away, the man slipped off the roof, fell into the swirling flood waters, and drowned.

He found himself face to face with the Lord. “Why didn’t you save me?” the man implored. “I prayed to you to help me!”

“I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter,” God replied, “and each time you refused to accept My help.“

The moral of the story is, while we’re searching for God’s presence in our lives, we need to open up our hearts and minds to realize His perfect grace constantly flows in and around us.

Each compassionate thought, word, or deed is divinity in action. Expressing gratitude to God, or another person, is a direct link to Christ Consciousness. Spiritual fellowship, where like-minded people come together to celebrate their blessings or contribute their time, talent, or treasure to those less fortunate, is evidence of God’s presence in our lives.

Spiritual disciplines, like prayer, meditation, journaling or reading inspirational material all help us go deep within. Ironically, the more centered, quiet and introspective we become, the more we deepen our awareness of our personal connection to the Lord.

The breath-taking beauty of nature; the look of wonder and awe in a child’s eyes, the unconditional loyalty of a well-loved pet – all are further evidence of heaven on earth.

Where there is laughter, and love, and sharing, and goodness, and gratitude, there is God.

Nurture your sacred relationship to God while you also detoxify your body and quiet your mind at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement, and inspiration you desire to help you on your journey to optimum health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

OHI Kitchens Veg Out - Deliciously!

Thick, delicious buckwheat porridge with fresh ginger, lemon zest and mint sprigs. “Rawvioli” boasting thin parsnip slices hugging a pillow of Italian-seasoned seed cheese, and drizzled with a savory arugula mint pesto. A crunchy avocado tostada stack with a corn and hemp tostada, rich rawcho sauce and chopped garden-fresh tomatoes, corn and cilantro. Spicy goddess, fennel orange and curried carrot ginger dressings, seasoned to perfection.

It’s not the menu at a five-star eatery – it’s some new dishes from the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) kitchens that are getting rave reviews.

When the Optimum Health Institute recently rolled out its delicious new 21-day food plan, with a different lunch and dinner for each day of the three-week program, guests were thrilled. While staying true to OHI’s original vision of serving up detoxifying live, raw, organic vegan dishes, Kitchen Managers Amber Santa Cruz at OHI Austin and Jennifer Rhomberg at OHI San Diego collaborated to chop, blend, dehydrate and ferment restaurant-worthy dishes. The revamped menu adhered to the established strict nutritional guidelines while offering tasty and satisfying new dining experiences.

Just as OHI is now marking 40 Years of Holistic Healing because it maintains its core program and responds to guest suggestions, OHI Kitchens, also, constantly seek guest input. While the majority of the new dishes immediately received favorable reviews, there were some requests to include bolder flavors.

The latest innovations, Amber said, were the result of she and Jennifer working most recently with a Personal Chef/Restaurant Consultant and a San Francisco/Bay Area Vegan Personal Chef. For an entire week, the four experimented with different ways to boost the taste of dishes without adding salt or any other ingredients not approved for the OHI plan. They also concentrated on innovative ways to blend spices and vegetables to create salad dressings that would elevate vegetables to new heights. Amber said they’re already getting the thumbs-up from satisfied guests.

One of the most popular new additions to the 21-day menu is the Spicy Goddess Dressing:
SPICY GODDESS DRESSING (the new Green Goddess dressing)
Yield: 5 cups

1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1 cup of water
3 stalks of celery chopped
2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 avocado
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup prepared kimchi (preferred) or sauerkraut
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 tsp. celery powder
1 tsp. fresh chopped ginger
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dulse
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Process all ingredients till smooth.

See how delicious healthy can taste at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to create optimum health in body, mind and spirit. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

Enjoying the Taste of Summer All Year Long

This is the time of year when home gardens and farmer’s markets are overflowing with plump, juicy tomatoes, pungent onions, colorful peppers, tangy citrus and so many other delicious choices. With a little mindful prep work, you can keep enjoying those fresh, healthy flavors all year long.

Just one of the benefits of making live, raw, organic vegan meals part of your lifestyle is, you don’t have to turn on the stove or oven in hot weather. Sharp knives, a high-powered blender and a dehydrator become your new kitchen tools of choice as you mindfully eat your way to better health.

To sprinkle a bit of summer on your food any time you’d like, start with fresh organic tomatoes, onions, and green and red bell peppers. You’ll be using those knives and that dehydrator for this project. If you haven’t dehydrated foods before, you’ll love how easy it is. All you need to remember is keep the dehydrator set at 105 degrees to preserve the nutrients in the produce, and – patience. While the lower temps increase the nutritional value of the foods you’re dehydrating, they will also require a longer time to thoroughly remove all traces of moisture. You will quickly agree, it’s so worth it.

Start by thoroughly washing and drying the vegetables. There’s no need to peel them if they’re organic – the skins will add additional fiber and taste. Slice the vegetables thinly, and arrange in a single layer on dehydrating trays. Make sure the dehydrator is set at 105, and…wait. You want the vegetables to become brittle to the touch, and it may take up to 24 hours until all the moisture is depleted. To make the tomato seasoning served at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), blend ¼ cup dehydrated onion, ½ cup dehydrated tomato and 1/4 cup dehydrated green and red peppers in a blender or seed mill. When properly dehydrated and stored in an air-tight container, the delicious seasoning will stay “summer fresh and delicious” for up to a year.

The same process works beautifully for fruit seasonings, too. Thinly slice grapefruit, lemon, orange or lime, with the rinds on, and dehydrate until the slices are completely brittle and free of moisture. Grind the brittle slices into a fine powder, and sprinkle on the flavor to enhance salads, dressings, soups and any other dish that needs a bright, tangy, taste-bud pleasing punch.

Learn how to make a wide variety of delicious, dehydrated, sprouted, fermented and juiced foods at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement, and inspiration to create optimum health in body, mind and spirit. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

A Joyful Spirit is Key for Optimum Health

Little Beka from Tennessee was a bubbly, active 5-year-old, dancing through each day with laughter, spunk, and curiosity. When she woke one morning feeling lethargic, her parents kept her home from school so she could beat the “bug.” By the next morning, she was starting to lose feeling in her feet and legs. Her parents rushed her to the emergency room.

The girl was diagnosed with a rare virus, part of the polio family of viruses, and only recently discovered. Nearly 100 children from 34 states became afflicted. As doctors worked to find the best way to treat the disease, Beka’s family sprang into action. Her mom, a Reiki healer, set up camp in Beka’s hospital room. Her dad and two older sisters were constant visitors, too. While the entire family was frightened and concerned, they realized that being frantic and distraught wasn’t going to help anything.

Instead, they worked together to create an atmosphere of optimism, family closeness and laughter. They knew choosing to keep the whole family in the mindset of being positive, and celebrating with gratitude for each tiny improvement, was the best hope for Beka.

Her older sister, a fledgling actress in local productions, entertained her with dramatic readings of funny children’s books. Her other sister, a prankster, kept Beka giggling with corny jokes and silly movies. Even with limited movement in her arms for several weeks, Beka was able to keep pushing the “play” button on her iPod so she could keep listening to upbeat meditations for children her mom found for her.

After 31 days in the children’s hospital – 11 on a respirator – her doctors finally sent Beka home. Her family’s continued faith, optimism, joyful nature, and perseverance have resulted in a nearly complete recovery for the girl, who is back dancing, laughing, and loving her life.

By cultivating that supportive atmosphere of hope, optimism, and joyful fun, Beka’s family provided a healing environment for the girl. While Beka had a positive outcome from the debilitating illness, many other youngsters haven’t been so lucky.

It’s a medical fact that an optimistic and joyful attitude can do wonders for a person’s health. Empirical evidence from 16 studies spanning 30 years recently proved the power of positive thinking in healing the body is hard science. When we believe good things will happen, and focus on achieving positive results, we have a much greater chance of obtaining the goal we desire. Having a supportive tribe of family, friends or caregivers around us is also a big plus.

Learn more about the mind-body connection, and the healing power of joyful celebration, with a stay at the Optimum Health Institute healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement, and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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