• Develop Personal Empowerment through Positive Thinking, Persistence, and Patience

    ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.’

    -Philippians 4:8

    A sunny summer greeting to our OHI community. As we enter this new season, many of us will continue to be challenged by the business shutdowns, sheltering in place, and physical distancing required to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. I share this Biblical verse because it reminds us to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude – one of OHI’s 5 “Ps” to optimum health, a framework for developing personal empowerment.

    You may recall that in our Spring newsletter, I mentioned that seasonal change is very powerful. I pointed out how Spring is the time of our spiritual calling. How it can be understood to be a time of transformation, and a wonderful time to rediscover your purpose in life.

    Now as we enter the months of summer, the season of growth, with its warmer, longer days, we shed our coats and create ourselves anew. In the garden, as the fruit begins to ripen, the farmer will use the additional time to do some weeding – and like the farmer we can use this time to remove things from our lives which are not serving us. The season of growth brings an opportunity for spiritual ripening that involves maturity, fortitude and strength. As we grow from within, we’re better capable of weathering changes and uncertainty. We make room for the important things in life such as following our purpose; and put first things first by eliminating things that waste our energy and do not serve us.

    In this article, I’m going to expand on three of our 5 “Ps” to optimum health: Positive Mental Attitude, Persistence, and Patience because these principles may help us focus and act on what we can control, and let go of what we cannot change.

    What’s Holding You Back from Positive Thinking?

    Have you ever wondered why you have so many negative thoughts? Shouldn’t you be having positive thoughts instead? Not necessarily. We have a propensity for anxiety as it’s a natural instinct – fight, flight, or freeze, which often serves us well, but can be self-destructive when given too much power. It is in our nature to have negative thoughts. We tend to spend more time thinking about insults, criticism, failure, and loss, than we do our successes. It dates back to our days as cave dwellers, because those who paid attention to threats, risks, and other dangers were those who survived and passed on their genes. Bad news can be a warning that a change might need to be made, which motivates us to pay attention.

    With Coronavirus so heavily in the news these days, it is especially challenging to maintain a positive mental attitude. The good news is that, with persistence and patience, we may train our minds to resist negative thinking and reframe our outlook on the past, present and future. Lisa R. Yanek MPH, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, found that people with a family history of heart disease, who had a positive outlook, were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event than those who had a negative outlook. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, the health benefits of positive thinking include: increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health, and better coping skills during times of stress.

    You Can Train Your Brain to Think Positive Thoughts

    Here at OHI, we provide a safe and sacred place where you can develop a positive mental attitude. You can train your brain to accept and hold onto positive thoughts. For example, when something good happens to you, try replaying that event in your mind over and over again. Meditating on a positive thought for as little as 12 seconds helps move it from short term memory to long term memory

    Another method to counteract negative thinking is to plan a variety of simple pleasures to enjoy throughout the day: listen to a favorite song; eat a special treat; find a good joke or something to laugh about; read something from a beloved author; go outside and inhale some fresh air; or phone a friend. When you prioritize things that make you happy, you make more room in your life for positivity. What simple pleasures make you happy?

    When you find yourself drifting into negative thoughts, have a ready list of positive things to think about instead. It could be a good memory, an inspiring quote, or a moment of gratitude.

    “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

    The next two “Ps” I wish to cover are Persistence and Patience which go hand-in-hand; they complement and reinforce each other.

    The Opposite of Persistence is Not Laziness

    The opposite of persistence is more likely fear or its companion emotion: doubt. Both of which can cause hesitation, or worse, procrastination. When you delay or quit trying, it affects your sense of self-confidence and can cause feelings of worthlessness. Oftentimes it is merely ignorance or inexperience that causes us to give up. Additional learning and training may be all you need to succeed. That is why persistence is so important; it makes you aware of your weaknesses, and your stick-to-it-iveness pushes you to seek first to understand, then learn from your mistakes, and try again.

    Acquiring a new skill takes time, and the specialized knowledge will seem foreign until you’ve immersed yourself in it long enough. That’s where persistence pays off, and you will eventually become an expert.

    Persistence is about sticking to your goal. It is not about staying in an abusive or dangerous situation. It’s about adaptability. When adversity strikes, it may mean you have to change your plans, seek a different path, or choose another method for achieving your goal, but you never give up. Martin Luther King, Jr. may have said it best, when he said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

    With persistence, you build confidence and become a role model to those you wish to influence. Here at OHI, we have many mentors who will help you persist in achieving your goals; whether they are to become a role model for others, find holistic healing, increase natural health, or all of the above. Our staff, our missionaries, and our return guests are all available to encourage and teach you.

    Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29

    Patience Rewards You With Greater Health and Social Skills

    Patience empowers persistence. When we can take a long view, we are more likely to achieve our goals and dreams. The benefits of patience are enormous; it improves your health, and makes you a more likeable person. Unlock your total strength, passion and capabilities as a person with patience to understand each aspect deeply.

    According to a 2007 study by Fuller Theological Seminary professor Sarah A. Schnitker and University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, patient people tend to experience less depression and negative emotions. They also find that the more patience a person has, the less likely they are to suffer health problems such as headaches, ulcers, acne, diarrhea, and pneumonia. And, according to management professors, Debra R. Comer, Ph.D., and Leslie E. Sekerka, Ph.D., from their 2014 study, patient people tend to be more cooperative, more empathic, more equitable, and more forgiving. Just like the people you’ll find here at OHI.

    Learning patience means you can say good-bye to frustration, exasperation, anger, and anxiety. Dr. Judith Orloff, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, offers a fun method for developing the skill of patience. She suggests practicing patience by intentionally choosing to stand in the longest, slowest moving line, next time you go to check out in a store. Instead of getting irritated, take a deep breath and enjoy the pause. While waiting, say a few nice words to those in line with you, and use the time to daydream and take a mental vacation from your obligations.

    What’s New at OHI

    You don’t have to wait for the pandemic to be over to visit us here at OHI and start developing your self-empowerment skills of positive thinking, persistence, and patience. If you’ve been receiving our emails, then you know we are open and that we’ve been working hard to enhance our guests’ experience, while also providing a safer environment. Last March, we established new community health guidelines for everyone on our campus, which allowed us to remain open.

    We’ve also taken this opportunity to create a more-intimate guest experience by reducing the number of guests in our program. This means more private rooms are available. The flipside is that program space fills quickly. Therefore, we recommend booking 3 weeks in advance in order to get your preferred room.

    We are also very excited to share with you:

    • OHI San Diego’s colonic and chiropractic services are now available.
    • OHI Austin’s colonic, chiropractic, and massage services are also available.
    • Call us to book your appointments: (800) 588-0809
    • Since everyone on our campus is currently required to wear a face mask, we are providing masks for each community member in our program.
    • We have organic bed linens in all of our guest rooms, which provide a new look and great feel.
    • We’ve outfitted each guest room with a Molekule air purifier. The Molekule air purifier destroys a wide-range of pollutants, including allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria, mold, and viruses.

    Wishing you health and wellness in this blessed summer season.

    Yours in prayer,

    Robert P. Nees, Jr.,

    Senior Pastor and Chairman

    Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809
    to make your reservation.

  • Working with Grief

    Let it hurt. Let it heal. Let it go.


    Without exception, each and every one of us is going to experience deep sorrow at some point.   The death of a loved one, a job loss, divorce, financial or medical hardships – whatever the circumstances, we will grieve for what was, and what might have been.

    No matter what triggered the pain, one thing is certain – keeping it bottled up is going to eventually take a toll physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    Repressed grief not only compromises our immune system – it can literally lead to death.  The late neuroimmunologist Dr. Candace Pert scientifically proved the human body has seven major centers of consciousness, or chakras, each corresponding to an endocrine gland.  The heart chakra is the center of our emotions, and it corresponds to the thymus, which is the master controller of our immune system.  Any emotional trauma weakens our immune system, and our ability to fight off illness.

    Besides the physical consequences of holding in sorrow, the death of a loved one might cause the grieving spouse or family member to retreat into self-imposed isolation.  The combination of seclusion, depression and failure to acknowledge their loss results in a shockingly high rate of suicide.

    Thankfully there are many positive, effective ways to navigate painful life passages, and truly experience “good grief.”

    The first actually comes from the phrase, “good grief.”  It’s a version of “Good God” or “Good Lord,” which is the beginning of the litany, “Good Lord, deliver us” from hardship.  Asking for God’s help in getting through your sorrow is a powerful, effective way to start to heal.

    A psychiatrist described another grieving process as “paradoxical.”  He suggested encouraging the bereaved to go through photos and belongings of the loved one, sharing rich memories along with the tears.

    “It’s both letting go and holding on, “ he explained.  “It’s a way of integrating all those happy memories into yourself, permanently making the departed loved one a part of you.”  He also cautioned against expecting a mourning period to last a specific amount of time, or be expressed in a precise way.

    “People have been criticized for either remarrying too quickly, or holding on to their grief for too long,” he said.  “Each of us handles grief differently.  There is no single standard.”

    “If you stay stuck in the trauma that might have surrounded a person’s death,” counseled a certified funeral celebrant, “you can more easily stay stuck in your grief.  Grab hold of that grief – feel it, go through it, know it’s OK to be sad.  Then recognize the gift that they were here.

    “It’s important to remember how your loved one lived, not just how they died.  Remember the happy things — all the people they touched, all the things they did, and how they left a beautiful legacy.”

    If you feel you or someone you care about is getting stuck and isolated in their grieving process, here are some positive steps to take:

    1. 1. Give your grief to God, and ask for His help in healing your broken heart.  If you have a minister, rabbi or counselor, share your sorrow with them.  They’re trained in how to help you navigate the hurt.
    2. 2. Take a daily walk outside.  The combination of gentle exercise with being in nature is quite healing.
    3. 3. Do something nice for someone else in your loved one’s name.  Donate some of their possessions to Goodwill.  See if a local school might be interested in their books or musical instruments.
    4. 4. Bring beauty back into your life.  Visit an art gallery. Stroll through a botanical garden. Have fresh cut flowers on your dining room table.  Listen to classical music.
    5. 5. Open your heart and your mind to new experiences.  Take a class.  Join a community choir or theater group.  Volunteer with an organization that’s close to your heart.
    6. 6. Journal your feelings.  Remember to make lists of all the things you are grateful for during the time you shared together.

    The important thing to remember is your grief is a passage, not a new way of life.  Be gentle with yourself, honor your feelings of sorrow, but gradually bring your attention back to being actively engaged in the present.  You are blessed that you experienced deep love.

    Look to OHI as a safe haven. As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how to move through the spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of the grieving process.

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Stories about Father

    From a minister: “My father was a very positive person and moved mountains to create his dreams. He used to tell me, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to!’

    When I was about to graduate from college, I still had no idea what kind of work I wanted to do but knew I wanted to work with ‘helping people’ in some way. Just a month away from my graduation I frantically told my father – ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,’ knowing that Dad would have just the right sage advice. Dad responded, ‘I don’t either!’

    At the time it was not reassuring that even Dad, so grown-up and a respected businessman, did not know what he wanted to be. However, he laughed and told me that most people don’t know at the tender age of 21. He reassured me that if I could just trust that LIFE would show me through experience – and following my heart – the opportunities that were right for me would appear. He also said it was OK to change my mind along the way! I felt so relieved as this seemed to make so much sense to me. And 37 years later…I would still agree. Thanks Dad!!!”

    From an executive with a national nursing association: “My Dad has always been an amazing example across the board. He taught me to respect all people and set an example that integrity extends from the CEO to the roughnecks working on the rigs. As we leaned this, we also saw how to give of ourselves, knowing it would come back even bigger, and when we most needed it.

    He also instilled in us that there is always more than one way to do just about anything. This gave me my knack for outside the box thinking and problem solving. Even what seem like YES/NO questions often have more than the two obvious answers/solutions.

    But what has always stood out is that through example and practice, my Dad raised my brother and me to be self-sufficient. Once we made it on our own, he stood back and let us fly. Even times when we might be headed for disaster, he allowed us to live our own lives, knowing we had the skills to thrive. He never said ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ Each time we fall he is there to help us learn the lesson, regroup and keep going. He believes in us!”

    From a yoga teacher: “My father passed away when I was little, but I remember he always did things he didn’t want to do to make me happy. There are pictures of this rough ‘manly man’ carrying these naked dolls for me at the lake….”

    From a financial manager: “So many wonderful things my dad did for me! Giving me an allowance and making me abide by it so I could learn to manage money. Encouraging me to go to college and making it possible. But one piece of advice he gave me will always stick with me. When I’m stressing about something, he told me to pick a date on the calendar a week or two ahead. Until that date I picked comes, I’m not allowed to think about the problem. Ninety-nine percent of the time the problem won’t nearly seem as big when you’ve taken a break away from it, the answer will become obvious, or the problem will have resolved itself. And he was right!”

    From a college professor: “I took a math test in first grade and should have gotten a 100. Instead, the nun gave me a 94%. I tried to tell her, but she wouldn’t listen. I cried the whole six-block walk home. I told my mother. She told me I still had an A. That made me cry even more.

    I took my wet crumpled paper to the porch to wait for my dad. I knew he would understand. He drove up right at 5pm as always. I was crying and pointing at the paper because I couldn’t speak the words to explain. He understood…and drove me straight to the convent. He explained what happened to the nun. She apologized directly to me and changed the grade on the spot! I will always remember that!”

    To all the dads, and the parents or guardians fulfilling that role, we at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) salute you.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • The Healing Power of Nature

    In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, people are spending more time indoors, losing a valuable connection with nature. This shift to an indoor routine can have negative effects for your health and your mental wellness, because people are meant to be in touch with the world around them through direct interaction with it. Below is a closer look at the reasons to spend more time in nature in your daily life and the ways to achieve this goal.

    Healing powers of nature

    Studies dating back to 1984 have shown that there is health benefits connected to nature. Psychologist Roger Ulrich found that patients in hospitals who gazed out into a garden tended to heal faster and with fewer complications than those patients with no view outdoors.

    Empowering stress relief

    More recent studies have suggested that immersion in nature can significantly reduce stress and promote relaxation. This change is marked by the reduction in stress hormones that cause the fight or flight reaction in the body. Because of the physiological change that occurs when people are interacting with nature, nature therapy is a promising tool in holistic medicine that may benefit a wide range of patients.

    Where to explore nature

    You do not have to travel far to be part of nature. Even if you live in a big city, you can create your own nature retreat with a rooftop garden or local park. If you are in a more secluded area, you might simply take a walk outside each day to breathe in fresh air and enjoy the majestic views that Mother Earth has to offer. Longer weekend hikes through nature trails can allow you to tap even deeper into the meditative qualities of natural surroundings.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Stay Calm Using Alpha Practice

    There’s something that boosts your creativity, helps you de-stress, actually builds a better brain, enhances your immune system, and sends you into that strong, focused athletic “zone.” You can get as much as you want – for free.

    OK, calm down! No, literally – calm down.

    When you pause from the stressful demands of daily living to close your eyes and take some deep breaths, you’re not really letting your mind wander. Instead, you’re giving your mind, and your entire being, a deeply healing dose of Alpha, a specific level of brainwave activity.

    We spend most of our waking moments at the Beta level. Functioning at that speed, the brain solves problems, makes judgment calls and decisions, and keeps us engaged and attentive. Staying in this demanding state of alertness takes a lot of energy, and can be exhausting physically and mentally.

    Learning how to slow those brainwaves down immediately shifts us into the more balanced and healing Alpha state. We become mindfully present and peaceful as body, mind and spirit begin to effectively integrate.

    This is the optimum mental state for opening up your creativity, visualizing, programming your mind for success, improving your memory and learning. Achieving Alpha level on a regular basis also profoundly hones your intuition.

    Switching from the more frenetic Beta state into the deep relaxation and receptivity of Alpha is easy. Sit straight, with your feet flat on the floor, or in a cross-legged position. Gently rest your hands on your legs, palms up, and bring your thumb, index finger and middle fingers together. Close your eyes, and start to follow your breath.

    It’s frequently helpful to silently repeat a world or phrase that has special meaning to you. “God is love,” “Shalom,” or “Om” are popular choices to get you into a peaceful state. You can start at your toes and just imagine all the tension and stress of the day slowly flowing out of your feet and into the earth. The relaxation continues to wash over your body, taking you deeper and deeper into a place of complete contentment.

    As you bask in the peacefulness of the Alpha state, inspiration, creativity and sudden insights can just float into your awareness. People frequently find a solution for an issue they’ve been dealing with, or discover a completely new way to look at a situation.

    When you feel you’ve spent enough time basking in Alpha, you can gently bring yourself back into consciousness. It’s helpful to silently say a positive affirmation, like “Every day in every way I am getting better and better, healthier and healthier, happier and happier.” Count from one to five, bringing yourself back into a state of refreshed alertness. One – feel the chair beneath you – two, three – wiggle your fingers and toes – four – you’re back in the room and five – open your eyes. Take a moment to stretch and mentally review your experience. Do any images, thoughts or insights stand out? Journal them.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Dehydrated Pumpkin Seed Crackers

    Yield: 12 1-ounce servings


    • 1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds, rinsed
    • ½ cup soaked sesame seeds, rinsed
    • ½ chopped red bell pepper
    • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
    • ½ chopped firm tomato
    • ¾ cup chopped zucchini
    • ¼ sprig fresh basil
    • ¼ tbsp. dried oregano
    • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
    • ¼ tbsp. tomato powder

    Place half of the pumpkin seeds and half of the sesame seeds in mixing bowl. Blend remaining seeds in Vitamix with vegetables, herbs and spices until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to mixing bowl with whole seeds and stir well with spatula. Spoon onto dehydrator trays in ½ inch tall clumps; do not flatten. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for two days, turning crackers over after the first day.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Healing through Sound: Vocal Toning

    Focusing the mind, quiets the mind. Your energy is an important part of the healing process for your whole body. Practicing Alpha or meditation is one way you may work to achieve a peaceful, balanced state of mind, and it can help you tap into the art of vocal toning. It has long been understood that sound vibrations are beneficial to the mind and the body, and vocal toning takes advantage of these mental and physiological effects.

    What Is Vocal Toning? Toning is a gentle form of sound healing that helps us to heal on all levels by using certain notes and vowel sounds. The vowel sound is held for a certain number of minutes at the same pitch, unlike singing where you may vary the pitch. While there are multiple types of sound-based meditation techniques, those using a person’s own voice have been found the most effective. As the tones are sung, the chakras or our body centers respond. Using sound to resonate each center helps to “charge” those areas by increasing circulation, energy, and vitality. Quantum physics is suggesting that possibly disease in the body originates with disturbances in the electromagnetic field. Toning 3-5 minutes at each energy center helps “smooth out” the energy fields.

    Getting Started in Vocal Toning

    Once you learn about vocal toning and how to use it, you can incorporate it into your private or group meditation sessions. Guided meditation classes are the best way to learn vocal toning and then the techniques learned can be practiced at home with CDs to provide a peaceful, soothing background melody for your sound healing experience.

    Who Uses It?

    More and more and more people are finding healing through vocal toning. Sound healing has become a popular and well-respected field in mind-body medicine. Some pioneers in this field are: Steven Halpern, Jonathon Goldman and David Ison. The Optimum Health Institute uses the CD, Sing the Body from Dorian Carter in their toning class. You can order this CD by calling the Optimum Health Store: (800) 588-0809

    Vocal toning is one of the many classes incorporated into the holistic healing program at the Optimum Health Institute . These teachings take place through three-week-long courses that can be  taken independently or consecutively.

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at <(800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Part 2

    In last week’s article, we talked about how to cleanse the body and mind through Diet. This week, we expand on how to cleanse the body and mind through Movement and Breath. Here is part 2 of our 2-part series


    Incorporating movement into your daily routine is critical for your health and well being.  Developing a regular yoga practice works your entire body — every muscle, every organ, every system, and every cell.  Yoga postures also exercise your mind — increasing focus, concentration, stamina, and endurance.  Begin by taking just a little bit of time stretching each morning or before bed.  Notice where in your life you can add a little more movement, and start integrating it into your routine.  Soon, you’ll notice and feel the difference.

    3. BREATH

    With movement comes breath, an equally integral part of your journey to optimal health.  Breath work during a guided meditation involves your whole body — your chest, belly, back, and mind.  By breathing deeply, you exercise and cleanse the lungs, slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and oxygenate the blood.  You also rely on your diaphragm instead of your chest, inviting your neck and chest muscles to relax and engage your abs so a larger amount of oxygen reaches your body’s cells and organs.  You will feel refreshed and energized because oxygen is the most important macronutrient for the body.  Breath work also helps calm and focus the mind.

    Once your body is clean, you need to clean your mind.  Getting rid of negative behaviors gives you the freedom to make more positive choices:

    Clean up your habits:  Refrain from eating anything with caffeine, oils, salt, or sugar.  Drink lots of fluids.  Sleep, sleep, SLEEP!  Keep your body moving.

    De-stress with meditation:  Worry, stress, and anxiety are acidic, and your body won’t work at its optimum in an acidic state.  What you think you soon become, so it is important to keep your mindset present, positive, and focused.  Meditation is a wonderful tool for exercising and calming the mind.  Take just a few moments a day to find yourself in stillness with your thoughts, and incorporate a daily mantra to open yourself up to a mind that is clear and calm.

    Get closer to God:  The OHI program is based on 24 ancient spiritual disciplines, which include things like fellowship, prayer, and fasting.  A good soulful cleanse starts with letting go of negative emotions that are creating an imbalance in the body, mind, and spirit.  By mindfully choosing more positive emotions, you bring yourself back to balance and find a sense of love, compassion, and inner peace.

    Many OHI classes and activities can help you with your body-mind-spirit Spring cleaning.  Our stretch classes add movement to your life.  Our Body-Mind Connection class steps you through mindful meditation and breathing.  And our Prayer Circle brings you closer to God in a safe and sacred circle of fellowship.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Part 1

    Simply put: Our body can affect how quiet and calm our mind is.  And, our mind can affect how healthy our body is! Here is part 1 of our 2-part series

    Now is the time of year that many of us tackle Spring cleaning.  That fresh spirit of renewal is exactly what your body and mind need, too.  Your body is constantly processing food and drink, and your mind is constantly churning thoughts and emotions. The cleansing of our body and mind brings forth new opportunities for transformation, and is beneficial for productivity and mental clarity.  After all, a clean body supports a quiet mind.

    Most everyone has heard the proverb, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. This “cleanliness” not only refers to keeping our physical body clean, but also includes the cleanliness and purity of our mind, both in our thoughts and intentions. When your physical space is disorganized and unclean, it creates mayhem, frustration, and negativity. Just the same, when your physical space is organized and clean, it creates peace, harmony, positivity and alignment.

    So let’s start our Spring cleaning by cleansing the body and mind in three simple ways:  through a check on our diet, our movement, and our breath.

    1. DIET

    One of the best things we can do for our body is clean up our diet.  What we put into our body determines how the body will be able to perform and function.  If we are constantly filling up on junk, our bodies will not perform as well as they could.  When we only fill up on the good stuff, the body is able to perform to the best of its ability.  In the discussion of diet, we should look at it from three different aspects — food, hydration, and the pH (alkalinity vs the acidity) of your body as a whole.

    Food:  It goes without saying that processed foods, carbonated beverages, bleached flour and sugar are highly detrimental to your health, and everyone should eliminate these from their diet.  OHI advocates that you pursue a plant-based diet that focuses on raw, dehydrated, and fermented foods.  While a guest at one of our OHI campuses, we support you with a cleansing detox diet and juice fasting to help purge the body of toxins, so a Spring detox should be on your to do list.  The juicing portion of the detox permits the digestive system to have a rest, and frees up energy for more detox activity in the body.  The limited caloric intake of the cleansing diet (less than 1200 calories per day) is an ancient fasting practice.  Recent studies have shown that many forms of cancers have been stopped, slowed, or reversed by limiting calorie intake.  OHI’s detox diet does not contain nuts or oils as the addition of these foods slow down the detoxification process.  We also eliminate salt during detox because it interferes with blood pressure and promotes fluid retention, and an effective detox needs your body to release fluids to flush out the toxins.  The OHI detox diet only features “live food” where all of the enzymes and nutrients in the food have been protected from the effects of cooking.  We also do not vary the temperature of food with the use of ice as it can shock the digestive system.  Food pioneer, Ann Wigmore, believed that raw-live enzymes were the most important ingredient in assimilating nutrients, and that has become a cornerstone to our full body detox.

    Hydration:  Water surrounds toxins in order to protect us.  Therefore, in order to flush out those toxins we need to flush out our entire system and rehydrate appropriately.  OHI recommends that the amount of water you should drink equals half of your body weight in ounces each day.  And when you stay at an OHI mission, we provide guests with pure drinking water from a custom designed water filtration system, where water is alkalized to a 7.35 – 7.45 pH level.  Drinking alkalized water optimizes detoxification regimens, helping your body expel heavy metals and toxins.  It also hydrates better than plain water, and helps supply the body with essential minerals.

    pH (alkalinity vs acidity):  The OHI cleansing diet has limited calories but is rich in nutrients and enzymes, which can help bring the body from an acidic state to a more alkaline state.  The purification and alkalizing effects on the body help to quiet the mind.  We don’t use lemon in food preparation or as added flavoring to a glass of water because it changes the mouth pH, and the acidity interferes with carbohydrate digestion.

    Join us next week for the second part of this article where we expand on how to cleanse the body and mind through Movement and Breath …

    Many OHI classes and activities can help you with your body-mind-spirit Spring cleaning.  Our stretch classes add movement to your life.  Our Body-Mind Connection class steps you through mindful meditation and breathing.  And our Prayer Circle brings you closer to God in a safe and sacred circle of fellowship.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Mindful Eating, Part 2


    Here’s the 2nd part of our blog post on Mindful Eating. We hope it’s helpful to you…

    Benefits of Eating Mindfully

    For many people, eating is a mindless act, often done quickly.  By eating mindfully, you restore your attention and slow down, making eating an intentional act instead of an automatic one that comes with many benefits:

    • Control food instead of it controlling you:  We each have our own attitudes and patterns of behavior around food, contributed by genetics, circumstances, and family conditioning.  Mindfulness inserts a pause to help make you aware of your own decision-making.
    • Increase enjoyment of food:  When you slow down your eating, you taste and enjoy your food more.
    • Easier digestion:  By thoroughly chewing your food, you begin the digestion process in the mouth.  Digestion is easier because you’ve adequately broken the food down and incorporated essential saliva.
    • Reduce calories:  By eating more slowly, you’ll naturally eat less, which means you’ll reduce the amount of calories consumed.
    • Reduce stress:  When you slow down and breathe, particularly when you extend your exhale, you activate the whole rest-and-recover side of your nervous system.  This not only manages stress, but also can improve digestion.
    • Less binge eating:  When you’re mindful, you realize food is just food, and you can free yourself from the emotions that fuel your mindless eating habits.  You don’t have to eat your feelings.  You only have to eat when you’re hungry, and healthy food choices that will satiate your hunger most efficiently.
    • Lose weight:  Mindful eating slows yourself down to truly think about your food choices.  You’ll free yourself from the idea that a food is “good” or “bad,” and you’ll choose food that helps your body work at it’s optimal level.  Those healthy choices set the stage for potential weight loss.
    • Enjoy the moment:  Mindfulness removes distractions, and allows you to sit uninterrupted with your food.  You begin to take your time over a meal, you reconnect with your senses, and become re-acquainted with the pleasure of eating.

    What happens when we don’t eat mindfully

    Mindful eating takes work, and it’s easy to get distracted and slip back into old habits.  When we take ourselves out of the moment and start eating mindlessly, we grab for foods that aren’t healthy, we overeat because we aren’t paying attention to physical hunger cues from the body, we make negative associations with food (labeling certain foods as “good” and “bad”), and we don’t distinguish between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.  Instead of eating to maintain overall health and well being, we eat to satisfy a craving or an emotion (guilt, anxiety, comfort, reward), not to maintain the health of our body.

    A food journal is a mindfulness tool to check in with yourself on how you feel before, during, and after you eat to help you relate emotions and thoughts to mindful eating.  In your journal, record what you eat, when, and how often you eat.  The journal should help you understand your eating patterns, and help you find ways to make simple, healthy changes.

    Mindful Eating at OHI

    Mindful eating is one of our core values at OHI, and our Inspirational Testimonials class frequently touches on this topic.  Guests share inspiring stories of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing, and the breakthroughs many of them make through mindful eating are quite moving.

    So the next time you sit down for a meal, employ mindful eating and rediscover the joy of food.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how mindful eating can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Mindful Eating is just one of the practices you will learn during a visit to OHI San Diego or OHI Austin.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. For more information, visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org or call us at (800) 588-0809.