On her most recent visit, a woman who’s been coming to Optimum Health Institute for 16 years knew she’d receive the same stimulating classes, community fellowship, gentle exercise sessions and constant support and encouragement from OHI facilitators, missionaries, and staff .
What she did NOT know was she’d receive a completely different and delicious dish for every lunch and dinner her entire stay. Zucchini Pad Thai, lentil chili warmed to a pleasing temperature, dehydrated onion “bread” – she was thrilled with each flavorful bite. She’s just one of countless previous guests amazed and delighted with the new OHI 21-day food plan.
When the versatile and scrumptious menu debuted earlier this year, everyone immediately declared it a winner. Each lunch and dinner for the entire three weeks it takes to do the complete OHI healthy lifestyle program serves up a different delicious dish.
While first-timers thoroughly enjoy the fare, it’s the returning guests who really appreciate this appetizing and tasty difference in the dining room. The kitchen staff, under the capable direction of head chef Amber Santa Cruz, has managed to adhere to OHI’s strict nutritional guidelines while combining live, raw, organic vegan food in creative new ways to dazzle the eye and treat the taste buds.
For instance, guests rave about the “refried beans” – sunflower seeds soaked, drained, and processed with cilantro, onion, red bell paper and Mexican spices until smooth. The “beans” are served with a hearty guacamole and crunchy “chips” dehydrated from ground flax seed, cabbage, zucchini, red pepper and celery, and seasoned with tomato powder and cumin.
Seasonal organic produce is incorporated into the new menu, like choice poblano and jalapeno peppers added to the fermented sauerkraut.
As the summer heat wave loosens its grip, guests are happy to enjoy hearty vegetable soups heated to a precise 105 degrees – the maximum temperature before a food begins to lose nutritional value – and ladled into warmed bowls.
“So many guests are asking for recipes every day,” Amber said, “That we just posted a signup sheet in the dining room. People can add their email address, and we’ll send the recipes directly to them.”
Besides raising the bar for all the meals, the culinary team is also stepping up ways to better accommodate guests’ different tastes.
“For people who want bigger flavors, we’re offering things like chopped onions and hot peppers on the condiments table. By keeping ingredients like these on the side, we’re able to cater to people who prefer no strong flavors, along with those who want to pile on the onions and peppers. Everyone’s happy, and that’s our goal.”
Savor the delicious new 21-day menu, meditate along the peaceful wooded trails and enjoy the close camaraderie of OHI team members and fellow guests at our missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Our caring staff can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.