• Equinox: The Balance of Darkness and Light

    Mark your calendars – the northern hemisphere officially welcomes the Fall Equinox September 22 at 19:21 UTC.

    Equinox signifies the time of the year when the sun and moon each claim 12 hours, creating a cosmic balance of darkness and light.  It symbolizes the world itself moving into balance, creating a period of symmetry and harmony across the world.

    This moment is a perfect opportunity to reassess your own balance of body, mind, and spirit—and take positive action steps to heal any imbalances to bridge your past and your future.

    First, in the physical, have you been gifting your body with the care and attention it deserves?  A healthy mind and spirit require a healthy, balanced body.  Have you been neglecting any of the basics – predominantly live, raw organic vegan food, sufficient pure water, and daily stretching, brisk walking, and other exercise?  Take this opportunity to renew your commitment to honoring your body temple.

    In the realm of the mind, take a moment to reflect on the things that nourished and depleted you this year.  For those positive things – how can you bring more of them into your life from this point forward?  And for the challenging ones, now is the opportunity to release them.  A simple affirmation statement, like, “I release all worry to the light,” is deceptively powerful.  Just saying the words, even if you don’t quite believe them 100%, will start to set a healing shift in motion.

    As Albert Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”  Neuroscience shows that affirmations effectively create brand new neural pathways in our brains, literally transforming our mind with a positive new directive.  It’s a proven way to assure that your future will not just be a repeat of your past.

    Concerning your spiritual balance, the fall equinox has ancient associations with the last harvest of the year, and joyful celebrations to mark the gathered bounty. The prevailing spirit of community and gratitude is pervasive, and a powerful catalyst to seek out and cherish joyful fellowship.

    This time of inner and outer balance is ideal for reconnecting with old friends you’ve neglected, or writing a note of gratitude to a former teacher, mentor, or boss.  Track down that inspirational movie or book you’ve meant to get and spend more time in journaling and quiet reflection.  All will nourish your spirit.

    Embrace this time of transition and balance, and reap a lot of benefits in body, mind, and spirit throughout the coming seasons. Find the support you need to experience your own personal growth with a visit to OHI. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Healing through Generosity

    As challenging as crises can be—from wildfires to the pandemic—they can also be moments of true human compassion. Why? Because in every crisis, countless people quickly respond by sharing their time, their resources, and their compassion.

    Being generous goes a long way in helping others heal…while at the same time it can help you feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

    A famous line from The Mr. Rogers Parenting Book is frequently quoted in challenging situations: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.”

    This generosity of spirit cuts across all age barriers.  Another powerful example of openhearted compassion this year centers on a 5-year-old with inoperable brain cancer.  Doctors have given the boy only months to live, and his parents made the tough decision to take him out of kindergarten.

    When the only thing he wanted for his 6th birthday was cards, his unselfish wish went viral.  Over 100,000 people responded immediately, and the delighted youngster has been seen on the national news sitting in mail bins stacked with well wishes and climbing over piles of envelopes.  Other children around the nation also responded, wielding crayons to create personalized construction paper cards adorned with hearts and angels.  The generous outpouring of compassion has made the child’s remaining months joyful ones.

    Moving stories of previously mind-mannered people suddenly stepping forth and putting others first serves a dual purpose.  It not only confirms the innate goodness of others; it kindles an urge in all who learn of their deeds to likewise be of service.  Generosity of spirit, it’s been scientifically proven, is catching.  Even if we feel we ourselves don’t have enough, when we see others reaching out, we’re willing to go the extra mile to help someone else, too.

    In this season of bringing in the harvest and celebrating our blessings, it’s an ideal time to think about new ways we can share our own spirit of generosity, without waiting for a crisis to trigger a desire to help.

    Identify a cause you feel passionate about and go on-line to find local opportunities to share your time and get involved.  Everyone probably has at least a few books you’re not going to read again.  See if your local library or school could use them.  Buy an extra bag of dog food and donate one to an animal shelter.  When you let your friends know what you’re doing, they’ll be motivated to get involved, too.

    If the OHI healing lifestyle program has enriched your own body, mind, and spirit, you might want to consider sharing that gift with someone else through a donation to the OHI Scholarship fund.  Every dollar you share goes directly into a scholarship, and every donation is 100% tax deductible.

    Learn more about how generosity enriches everyone it touches at OHI in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration needed to improve your outlook on life, quiet your mind, and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Looking for Opportunities to Grow

    A freelance artist found a home that was a perfect complement to his creative soul. Nestled in a pocket of woods near the heart of downtown San Diego, it’s striking lines and walls of glass and stone were both inspiring and moving.

    Even the moon cooperated, shining through a skylight in his bedroom, lulling him into a deep slumber every night.

    Yet, after three idyllic months in his new home, the man suddenly realized the “moon” hadn’t moved, as the moon must do. He went outside to investigate and discovered the “moonlight” that had been so soothing was actually a streetlight.

    The man was furious. How was he supposed to sleep with that blasted light in his face? For a week, he tossed and turned, unable to fall asleep, fuming at this unacceptable intrusion into what had been a perfect place. Then, even in his exhausted state, he made a realization. The fingers of light streaming into his bedroom since his first peaceful night in the home hadn’t changed. The only thing that WAS different was the meaning he gave to the light.

    He was first shocked, then intrigued with the growing awareness that he gave the people, places and things in his world the value and power they would have to him. As he dedicated himself to looking past what was on the surface to find the deeper truth in every aspect of his life, everything began to change for the better. Through pain came great emotional and spiritual growth.

    When everything in our world is moving along smoothly, it’s too easy to drift into a relatively comfortable rut. We tend to disengage from what’s happening to us because at least we’re getting by. We can become spectators in our own life.

    Our real spiritual, mental and emotional growth happen when we’re faced with a situation that pushes us out of our comfort zone. The situation demands our immediate attention and thrusts us into unknown territory. Maybe it’s a major health opportunity, or a change in a close relationship, or a shift in our financial security. That’s when the adrenaline kicks in. We have to assess the situation, determine the most appropriate response, and take action. Frequently, at least part of the most effective action will involve shifting how we view the situation.

    When we learn to see the things that frighten, annoy or confuse us to be potential opportunities for growth, we’ve taken a huge step on our spiritual path.

    Find the safe and sacred space, the support, and tools for walking your spiritual path at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Learn more about finding opportunities for growth at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI). Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration needed to improve your outlook on life, quiet your mind, and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Overcoming Suffering

    There is a certain transformation that can happen after someone experiences a traumatic situation. Those who experience suffering often see and feel positive growth afterwards.

    Bill Gates’ first business, a data processing company, failed miserably. Stephen Spielberg was rejected – twice – by USC, the nation’s top film school. Bethany Hamilton was just 13 and starting to surf competitively when a shark bit off her left arm. Benjamin Franklin’s family didn’t have the money to keep him in school after he turned 10. Jewish Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was interred in a Nazi death camp during WW II. Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 3.

    The one thing all of these people have in common was their refusal to give up when faced with horrific odds. Being able to tap into deep emotional resources in challenging times and not only survive the obstacle, but actually thrive, is such an important trait that psychologists have even coined a name for it – “post-traumatic growth.”

    It’s something deeper than “resilience,” the ability to rebound from setbacks and resume your life. Of course, resilience is a positive reaction to negative situations, and represents a healthy ability to stay mindful in the present moment and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    The difference, though, is people who exhibit the quality of post-traumatic growth actually end up using the major setback – personal injury, betrayal by a trusted acquaintance, losing everything in a devastating storm or fire, the tragic death of a loved one – as a steppingstone to redefining ‘normal,’ and creating a more purposeful life path.

    Frequently, too, the person will re-dedicate themselves to being of service to others in a similar situation. For instance, Dr. Frankl counseled other prisoners in the concentration camps, and saw proof that those who had deep meaning in their lives – something purposeful left to do – survived. He created the equation, “Suffering without Meaning equals Despair,” and after his release wrote the ground-breaking book, Man’s Search for Meaning.  Bethany not only resumed an award-winning surfing career – she is at the heart of the non-profit foundation, Friends of Bethany, that offers spiritual support to those in need. Franklin, Einstein, Gates and Spielberg all helped elevate and change the nation, and the world despite their early bleak experiences.

    If you find yourself emotionally overwhelmed after an unexpected challenge, there are ways to cultivate the powerful and positive road to post-traumatic growth.

    1. 1. Remind yourself, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” Acknowledge the hurt, but also know you have the power to gradually move through it, into a space of acceptance, and then growth.
    2. 2. Don’t define yourself by the challenge. You endured something intense, but that doesn’t detract from who you are.
    3. 3. Realize healing, and growth, take some time. Even if the incident was instantaneous, coming back into optimum balance isn’t. Be gentle with yourself.
    4. 4. Rely on spiritual disciplines. Meditating, prayer, journaling – all are essential for helping you process your emotions, and guide you in a positive new direction.
    5. 5. Consciously choose foods and beverages that nourish, replenish and fuel you. A healthy, positive, balanced mind and spirit require a healthy body.

    Find the support you need to experience your own personal growth with a visit to the Optimum Health Institute. Let go of past old hurts and embrace positive new experiences with an extended stay at one of our healing missions. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • The Upside of Optimism

    Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “look on the bright side of life.” But if you’ve ever been a tricky situation, say, sitting in traffic, waiting a long line at the grocery store, or worse, the loss of a job or the death of a loved one, you know that finding a silver lining can be challenging.

    While it may be our first reaction to get down and feel sad, evidence suggests that taking an optimistic view is important for coping and recovery.

    In short, optimism provides healthy experience in body, mind, and spirit. Rather than being a simplistic “Pollyanna with rose-colored glasses” approach to life, optimism is realizing that things will have the significance we give to them, and then choosing the most positive, constructive meaning.

    Some very good news to emerge from scientific studies recently is that optimism can be learned. Even people firmly entrenched in a pessimistic mode can consciously shift into a happier, healthier frame of mind. Here are a few exercises proven to raise your joy level:

    • Breathe! Any time we feel stressed, angry, or overwhelmed, the first thing we unconsciously do is start shallow breathing. A brain starved for oxygen negatively impacts body, mind, and spirit. The minute you realize you’re not breathing normally, just stop, and take several deep breaths. With restored clarity, you can more realistically observe the situation and choose the most appropriate positive resolution.
    • Start asking yourself at least one time daily, “How can it get any better than this?” It’s an effective way to reverse our culture’s preoccupation with the question, “What else can go wrong?” While it might seem awkward at first, you’ll soon start to develop a habit of pondering what the next good thing in your day will be – and it will begin to appear.
    • Healthy foods = a happy and healthy mind. When your body is struggling to digest processed foods and animal products, your mind can get as sluggish as your intestinal tract. Choose live, raw, organic vegetables and fruits as much as possible, and see how your happiness level immediately begins to rise.
    • Realize that choosing to give a positive meaning to things changes your body chemistry for the good. A negative mental state can potentially create more acidity in the body than poor food choices.
    • Train your brain to think optimistically. Psychologist Marty Seligman, one of the architects of the field of Positive Psychology, suggests that before we fall asleep, we take a moment to review the three most wonderful things that happened to us that day. Besides putting us in a positive frame of mind that sets us up for a night of peaceful, restorative sleep, the practice subtly rewires our brain. When we arise, we’re immediately starting to anticipate the first of the three most positive things we will experience that day. Of course, negative things will still unfold – but now, instead of endlessly ruminating over them, we’ll acknowledge them, and then refocus on seeking out the positive. Doing this exercise for just one week results in measurably raising your level of optimism for a full six months.

    Learn more about the power of optimism at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI). Your body, mind and spirit will be happy with a week, or two, or ideally three, at the OHI holistic health missions. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration needed to improve your outlook on life, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809  or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Create More Mindful Meals

    As you know, mindfulness is a critical aspect of healing. But have you heard of mindful eating? In a world where most accessible foods are processed, it can be tough to eat mindfully by choosing healthier, more nutritious options.

    Processed foods lack nutrition

    When you eat a diet primarily consisting of processed foods, you may not be getting optimal nutrition from your food. Processed foods have also been tied to an increased cancer risk, so you might be ready to change the way you think about preparing meals for your family. Start by eliminating processed food and appreciating the natural flavors of fresher choices. Below you will get a look at the ways to bring out the best flavors in your food and ensure better health through more nutritionally dense meals.

    Be aware of food texture 

    The various textures of foods should not be overlooked when it comes to creating pleasing flavors for your palate. Foods without much textural variation like soup can be livened up with the addition of crunch from chia seeds, flax, and hemp hearts. Adding textural variation can enhance the flavors of your food and keep you interested in eating healthier foods and increase your awareness of what you are eating.

    Explore pairings of distinctive flavors 

    Knowing how to match flavors with one another will let you get more creative with the same set of ingredients so that you enjoy every meal you prepare. To get a better understanding of how flavors pair with one another, you might experiment with some contrasting elements like hot peppers and sweet fruits. Fresh herbs can also liven up foods by infusing earthy, aromatic flavors into each dish and reducing the need for salt and fat to flavor your food.

    Use ingredients in their purest form 

    Simplifying recipes and using only whole, organically produced foods will be the healthiest strategy for making more mindful meals at home. When you are more aware of where your food comes from, you will be better able to ensure good nutrition for yourself and your family.

    Take control of your health by starting with mindful meals. When you have greater awareness of your body and what you’re eating, you create a clearer pathway to living healthier. At the Optimum Health Institute, mindful eating is a core aspect of our holistic healing program. We use 24 ancient spiritual disciplines to design a curriculum that promotes natural healing from the inside out. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Strengthening the Spirit Through Prayer

    Prayer is an incredibly powerful act and a spiritual discipline we at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) practice to create and nurture our connection to God. Prayer is talking to God and meditation is patiently waiting, 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 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 though the first days at OHI were tough.

    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.

    Strengthen your relationship with God through prayer and discover a clarity that can’t be achieved through your works alone.

    And remember, Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to connect to a Higher Power. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit.

    Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Missionary Spotlight: Get to Know OHI Missionary, Amber Hicks

    Amber Hicks grew up in a family that was health conscious and focused on prevention, but it wasn’t a specific health concern that eventually brought her to OHI.  In 2017 Amber lost someone close to her in an unimaginable way.  “I was really struggling to deal with the loss,” said Amber.  “I stopped doing many of the things I loved, and wasn’t living a very healthy lifestyle for a while.  I knew I needed a change.  My parents offered to send me to OHI, so in September 2018 I spent my first week at the San Diego campus.  While I was grateful to get away and eat healthy, I didn’t have any idea about the true changes I would experience that week.”

    Amber’s first stay at OHI was more than she could have hoped for.  “Before I came, I was tired, had brain fog, insomnia, stress, and anxiety, like many of us do,” said Amber.  “Halfway through the juice fast, I started to feel so much better, and I was able to sleep at night.  By the end of the week, I had lost weight, had a clear head, and more energy than I’d had in a long time.  While I really enjoyed the juice fast and the food, I especially benefitted from the classes.  The facilitators are so knowledgeable and passionate about what they teach.  I learned how intertwined our diet and mindset are with our physical, mental, and spiritual health.  Best of all, I learned different tools to let go of past trauma and grief.  I actually felt free and happy again.  The culmination of the week for me was the Release Ceremony.  It was honestly life-changing, and was just what I needed.”

    Amber’s first stay with OHI multiplied into three separate stays, which then led her into the OHI missionary program.  “I know how I felt after one week here.  I couldn’t imagine how great I’d feel after three months of detoxing and healing my body, mind, and spirit, and being able to support others to do the same,” said Amber.  “I was a full-time caregiver to my grandparents for the last 2-1/2 years, and when they passed away at the incredible age of 99, I decided to spend my transitionary time after their deaths at OHI, and start the next chapter of my life in the healthiest way possible.”

    Amber completely immersed herself in her new role.  “I love so many things about this program,” said Amber, “but I’d have to say the best thing about being a missionary is the fellowship.  I’ve become very close with my fellow missionaries.  We all support each other, and have formed lifelong friendships.  Being a missionary has really changed my thinking, and has given me a better sense of the type of life I want to live and the kind of people I want in it.”

    While Amber has benefitted from all of the classes at OHI, she does have a favorite.  “The Mental and Emotional Detox classes have had the most impact on me,” said Amber.  “We can actually rewire our brains and better our lives just by changing our thoughts and actions.  I find the science behind it fascinating!”

    Amber has noticed a change in herself after going through the OHI missionary program.  “I’ve always been a pretty positive person,” said Amber, “but being here has taken it to a new level.  I really do feel genuinely happy, at peace, and grateful every day.  I meditate regularly, and continue to learn and grow.  My life going forward is full of exciting opportunities and possibilities!”

    Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

     

  • Nurturing Yourself With Nature

    At OHI, our entire focus is helping support your on your healing journey through life.  We extol the virtues of an organic, raw, plant-based diet because we know that is the best way to nourish your body and mind.  We teach you all about meditation, and journaling, and vocal toning so that you can nourish your spirit.  But there is one key way to nourish your body/mind/spirit that we don’t teach a formal class on at OHI.  We simply let our beautiful campus set the example — everyone should spend time nurturing yourself with NATURE.  And now that summer is coming, consider the beautiful weather and longer hours of daylight your personal invitation to GET OUTDOORS!

    Why?  Being outside and communing with nature has some serious health perks:

    1. 1. Soak up the Vitamin D: When you’re outside in the sun, your vitamin D levels increase.  According to Harvard Medical School, vitamin D helps fight off conditions including osteoporosis, cancer, heart attacks, and depression.  As many as three-quarters of the population is vitamin D deficient from spending too much time indoors.
    2. 2. Improve Mood: Being exposed to light has been shown to improve happiness levels and mood.  So take advantage of those extended summer hours of daylight, and drink in the natural outdoor light.  It’ll lift your spirits!
    3. 3. Exercise in the Sunshine: Working out in your home during the pandemic is a great choice, but with the warm summer weather upon us now is the perfect time to exercise outside.  Put on your walking shoes, and go for a jog or take a lap around an easy walking path.  Get your heart rate up while you soak in the sunshine to get those mood-enhancing endorphins to kick in.
    4. 4. De-Stress in Nature: Spending time in the great outdoors has been shown to reduce stress levels, anger, and aggression.  If those stresses aren’t mitigated, they can elevate your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension, and negatively impact how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.  Reverse all that negativity with a quick walk around the block!

    At each of our OHI campuses, we put in many hours to keep our grounds and landscaping in full seasonal beauty.  Why?  When people go through our program, they slow down and literally stop to smell the roses.  They notice God in nature, and this is one of the spiritual disciplines embedded within our program, as important as prayer and meditation.  To nurture oneself with nature is to see God in the beauty of the world — in the plants and flowers, in the birds and animals, and in the fruits and vegetables that nourish our bodies every day.

    Studies show that time in nature increases our ability to pay attention.  Because humans find nature inherently interesting, we naturally focus on what we are experiencing outside.  This provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks.  Spend some time in nature, and pay attention to how each of your senses is responding:

    • What are you seeing?
    • What sounds are you hearing?
    • What scents are you inhaling?
    • What can you feel on your skin?
    • What tastes are you aware of?

    As CDC guidelines evolve in this pandemic and some state/counties are loosening travel restrictions, we encourage you to enjoy time outdoors in a way that is both smart and safe — please continue to wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and physically distance.  It’s a small effort to make to protect yourself and everyone around you.

    So, hug a tree, and enjoy the healing power of nature for yourself!

    Our caring staff is eager to give you all the unconditional support, inspiration, and transformational tools you need to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.


    “How does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?”, takingcharge.csh.umn.edu

    “Why you should nurture yourself with nature”, myseniorhealthplan.com

    “Nurture Yourself in Nature,” by Judy Klipin, judyklipin.com

  • Guest Spotlight: Meet Sarah Meyer, a first-time guest at OHI Austin!

    Sarah Meyer is quite the globetrotter.  Her job has taken her around the world, living in far flung places like Afghanistan and Vietnam.  She currently resides in beautiful Tunisia, at the northernmost tip of Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, so she did not make the decision lightly to get on a plane amid a pandemic to come to OHI.  “I knew I needed help,” said Sarah.  “I was at a breaking point.  OHI seemed like the perfect medicine.”

    Sarah was diagnosed with MS in her early 30’s, and, still active at nearly 50 years old, has worked diligently to manage her health.  “I have lesions on my brain and spine,” said Sarah.  “I took medication for nine years, but after all those years of declining health and much research, I decided to focus my emphasis on nutrition.  I became ‘plant-based’ on Thanksgiving night, 2011.  So many of my health problems (e.g. persistent vertigo, eczema, etc.) resolved so quickly that I didn’t feel the need to ‘prove’ the positive impacts of my diet changes until 2015 with an MRI, which showed that my lesions were either stable or had reduced.  My neurologist said it was probably a fluke, but year after year my MRIs showed improvement.  I decided to stop taking injectable MS drugs in 2014, which my neurologist said was a terrible mistake, and still my lesions remained stable or continued reducing.  By 2018, my doctor just shook his head in amazement, and told me to keep doing what I was doing.  I can tell you from personal experience that nutrition is absolutely vital to continued good health.”

    In late 2020, however, Sarah started having severe trouble walking, and her MRI showed four new lesions on her brain (the first new lesions since 2010).  “My diet hadn’t changed at all,” said Sarah, “but I was under tremendous stress.  My professional workload was heavy, but that was not new; however, working in-person in an office during a pandemic was very stressful, particularly given so many unknowns about COVID.  I could see I would eventually be in a wheelchair if something didn’t give.  I was talking to a friend, and she suggested OHI.  I looked at their website, and it checked all the boxes for me — organic, vegan diet, strict COVID protocols, and time and space to work on my mindset.  I booked a 3-week stay right away.”

    Sarah immediately connected with the staff and missionaries at OHI.  “They were all so supportive,” said Sarah.  “Cheryl Green was instrumental in changing my thinking.  She said to me, ‘It’s not just the food, maybe it’s your mood’.  I suddenly realized I needed to pay attention to my stress, and add more fun into my life.  As soon as I changed my perspective, my body responded.”

    Sarah’s stress made it difficult for her to maintain weight.  The classes in digestion and food combining were pivotal for her.  “The idea that you have to slow down your eating, thoroughly chew everything, and not drink for an hour or two after eating to give your body time to absorb the nutrients seems so obvious now,” said Sarah.  “It’s a game changer.  It solves all sorts of problems like irregularity and weight loss.  Since leaving OHI, my weight has held steady at a much higher, healthier number.  The simplicity of the OHI program is what makes it so meaningful.”

    Sarah also enjoyed the Deep Breathing class.  “It helped me get so much more out of meditation,” said Sarah.  “I feel like my health is my own again.  Thank you OHI!  And for anyone interested in a blog about my personal MS journey, they can read more at www.blessedwithms.org.”

    Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit.

    Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.