• OHI Serves Up New Food Combinations

    Recent studies showing that the body can effectively digest combinations of greens with fruits has had the kitchens at the Optimum Health Institute healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas bustling .

    OHI Austin Kitchen Manager Amber Santa Cruz has been enjoying the delicious task of testing creative new dishes paring foods that previously could not share a meal. The delicious results are evident in the new 21-day menu, which provides a different lunch and dinner for the entire three weeks of the complete OHI body-mind-spirit lifestyle program.

    “Our first priority is always to combine foods in a way that optimizes digestion and insures nutrients are assimilated,” Amber said.

    “The biggest change for our guests,” Amber said, “is now fruits don’t have to be by themselves. We can mix them with greens, spouts and veggies for a completely new dining experience.”

    For instance, instead of just having grapefruit for breakfast, guests can enjoy the sweet-tart citrus with a kale salad.

    “A new favorite breakfast for the regular detoxification diet is ‘Buck Wheaties’ with apples and berries,” Amber said. Buck Wheaties are sprouted buckwheat which has been tossed in cinnamon, ginger and all spice, and then dehydrated.

    “The buck Wheaties have a great crunch and a sweet-spicy taste. When we mix them with the fresh berries and chopped apples, it makes a pretty delicious granola.”

    Another popular new combination is applesauce with dehydrated ‘gingersnaps.’ A nutritious mixture of soaked and sprouted sunflower and flax seeds is blended with ginger and cinnamon, and then dehydrated, to create the crunchy ‘cookies.’

    “We’re getting a lot of guest compliments about how much lemon juice enhances different dishes, too,” Amber said. A spritz of lemon elevates the taste of zucchini soup, and adds bright zing to green juices. “Lemon is one of the most flavorful things we can use,” Amber said. “It’s great to be able to add it to salads and other vegetable recipes.”

    Being able to serve fruit and greens together has also helped OHI kitchens to raise the calorie count for breakfast for the regular detoxification diet.

    “Before the regular detox breakfast might have just been fruit,” Amber said, “while the hypo detox breakfast would be a full plate with seed cheese, leafy greens, sprouts and sliced vegetables.

    “With the new guidelines, now we can add sprouts and seeds for a heartier meal to start the day that still strictly adheres to our high nutritional standards.”

    A continuing big focus in the OHI kitchens, Amber explained, is customizing meals to accommodate specific guests’ requests and needs. When a guest asks for a blended meal, the new guidelines mean the kitchen can whip up a tasty smoothie with spinach, avocado, cucumber and now, added apple. It’s become the most popular blend requested.

    Enjoy the healthy and delicious new food combinations while you detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit with a stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Our caring team will support your journey and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org . To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325 .

  • Maintaining a Detox Diet

    So you’ve just spent a week or two or three at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) healing mission in San Diego or Austin, Texas. You’ve only eaten live, raw, fresh organic vegan meals, you completed a 24-hour juice fast, you’ve done enemas and wheatgrass juice implants, and you feel like a million bucks.

    Those cravings for sugar have given way to cravings for crunchy vegetables, your energy level is off the charts, and you’re happier, more spiritually enriched and more at peace than ever.

    Congratulations! But…now what? How do you keep that healthy glow going?

    The first step is acknowledging that you’re off to a great start – but realizing it’s just that – a start. Years of poor food combining and consuming animal flesh, alcohol, sodas, processed foods, caffeine or other unhealthy choices won’t be resolved in a few weeks. It may require adhering to an all-raw diet high in fiber and nutrients, and the appropriate fluids, for three or more months to completely purge and then rebuild your body. The good news it, it’s completely doable. Let’s break it down.

    What is your motivation for transforming your lifestyle? Are you working to resolve a major health opportunity? Do you want more energy to keep up with your family and friends? Do you want to maintain that mental clarity and spiritual rejuvenation you experienced at OHI? Would you just like to look and feel healthier? Find that driving force, and keep it top of mind.

    Next, know that as part of the growing OHI community, you have access to materials to inform, encourage and inspire you on your journey to optimum health.

    One important tool OHI has created is “The Detoxification Seven” – the essential elements for successfully continuing your commitment to bringing your body into healthy balance:

    1. Drink 2 ounces of freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice twice daily.
    2. Drink rejuvelac daily to aid digestion and elimination.
    3. Do one enema and two implants daily until your colon is clean. Quickly eliminating the food you recently digested is an indication of a clean colon.
    4. Do a fresh juice fast one day a week. Take one enema and two implants on your juicing day.
    5. Drink eight classes of pure water daily.
    6. Eat sprouts; fresh vegetables and fruits; buckwheat and sunflower greens; sauerkraut; seed sauces; sprouted grains and seeds, and foods dehydrated at 105 ° F to preserve live enzymes.
    7. On the regular detoxification diet eat all vegetables, except for two fruit meals or 4 melon meals per week. For the hypo detoxification diet, eliminate all fruits, melons and sweet vegetables, like carrots, beets and jicama.

    Besides these essential steps to adhering to a healing detoxification diet, OHI’s closing class provides you with a list of daily food requirements for adequate nutrition, a sample weekly menu plan, tips for choosing the best produce and detailed instructions on how to transition to a maintenance diet.

    You’ll receive support in setting achievable goals, exercising the power of positive thinking, and creating an action plan to reconnect to your spiritual source.

    Through OHI’s growing social media presence, you’ll have access to continuing encouragement and inspiration. Connect with OHI’s Facebook page for ongoing support, new recipes, and the latest discounts and incentives for your next visit. You can also share your own journey, and inspire and motivate others on a healing path.

    Experience the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of a detoxification food plan during your stay at an Optimum Health Institute healing mission in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring team will support your journey and share the tools you need to continue the holistic lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org . To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

  • Eating to Live

    If you’ve been a burger-chomping, soda-swilling carnivore your entire life, making the shift to a vegetarian diet isn’t just about changing your food – it’s about changing your entire lifestyle. According to more and more medical reports, that’s a change that can lower body mass index and blood pressure, and reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and various cancers.

    In recent years, going vegetarian or vegan – where you cut out all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and gelatin – is gaining popularity. As millions of people choose to stop consuming “flesh foods,” the growing demand for live, raw, organic vegan produce has resulted in increased availability across the nation. From more Farmer’s Markets to home deliveries to even the big box stores adding organic produce sections, it’s easier than ever to find fresh, local organic vegetables and fruits. Gourmet vegan restaurants are rated one of the “Top Food Trends” by Forbes, with both casual and upscale establishments sprouting up everywhere.

    Of critical importance when shifting to a more plant-based diet is making sure you are appropriately combining foods, and getting the right balance of proteins and other nutrients daily. A few tips to help you start to embrace vegetarianism include:

    1. Start by increasing the amount of vegetables you eat at each meal. Make them at least half of your plate.
    2. Introduce “Meatless Monday,” and gradually increase the number of meatless days every few weeks as you and your family adjust to the change.
    3. Start experimenting with more exotic spices. They’ll not only add a burst of flavor to your vegetables – many, like turmeric, have medicinal value, too.
    4. Go on a liquid diet one day a week. A 24-hour juice fast helps release toxins from the body.
    5. Store cleaned and chopped vegetables on shelves in the front of the refrigerator, where they will be the first thing you see when you open the door. Celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and peppers are great choices.
    6. Keep it interesting with new vegetables and fruits you haven’t tried yet. As the demand for organic produce continues to increase, so do the choices.

    While slowly adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet is always a good idea, another effective option is doing a dedicated detoxification diet for three or more months to completely cleanse your system, and more quickly shift to a plant-based food plan.

    Optimum Health Institute (OHI) has a 39-year track record of empowering people to go “cold turkey” off animal proteins, and get a head start on making a successful transition to a plant-based food plan. During your stay of one or more weeks at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin in Texas, you eat only live, raw, organic vegan meals that rival those served in the best raw food restaurants. You also learn how to create dishes that serve up a balanced ratio of foods, combined appropriately to deliver the proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients you require to achieve and maintain optimum health.

    Our caring team will support your journey to optimum health in body, mind and spirit, and share the tools you need to continue the healing holistic lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org . To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

  • The Power of Conscious Breathing

    Imagine you’re walking through a Paleolithic forest 300,000 years ago, and you come face to fang with a saber-toothed tiger . Immediately your body shifts gears – your breath is instantly shallow and rapid; cortisol and adrenaline surge through your system, and your pulse and blood pressure shoot through the roof as you decide whether you’re going to fight or take flight.

    While you won’t be encountering any saber-tooths today, you will probably face off against other challenges – rush hour traffic, an emergency call from your child’s school, a bounced check. Constantly experiencing, and then staying in that high-alert state that helped ancient humans survive as a species is now a potential threat to health and balance in body, mind and spirit. That kind of sustained tension can compromise the immune system as it contributes to depression and potential burn-out.

    Conscious breathing, the deep, rhythmic inhalation that fills the lungs and pushes out the belly, is a practical, positive way to neutralize nervous tension. “Belly breathing” immediately switches on the parasympathetic nervous system to release stress, reduce anxiety and blood pressure, and increase energy levels.

    It instantly produces a relaxation response, which puts you in a profound state of contentment and peace. Meditation, yoga and muscle relaxation can be incorporated with conscious breathing to enhance the positive benefits.

    Besides rushing oxygen to your brain to give you clarity and focus, conscious breathing delivers waves of O 2 to every cell, facilitating the release of toxins throughout your body as it simultaneously pumps up your speed and endurance. Medical research shows a conscious breathing practice can help prevent subsequent myocardial infractions in heart attack patients.

    Other benefits of conscious breathing include:

    1. Increasing emotional awareness, and releasing past hurts . People suffering from anxiety, depression, addictions, low self-esteem and even weight issues were able to better handle their health opportunities with a regular practice of conscious breathing.
    1. Reducing both chronic and acute pain . Conscious breathing is an important component of the Lamaze method of natural childbirth, which was first popularized in the 1950s.
    1. Personal and spiritual growth . All major spiritual traditions incorporate conscious breathing into their practices. Deep breathing helps facilitate a spiritual connection to the divine by triggering love, joy and forgiveness. It also enhances our awareness of our unity with everyone and everything in the universe, bringing optimum health and balance to the body, mind and spirit.

    To reap the benefits of conscious breathing, find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Sit or lie down, and take a normal breath. Then take a deep breath, breathing in slowly through your nose. Allow first your chest, then your belly, to rise. Observe how your abdomen expands fully as your lungs fill with air. Now, slowly breathe out through your mouth or nose. Practice at least 10-20 minutes daily for maximum results.

    Experience the healing power of conscious breathing during your visit to the Optimum Health Institute missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. During your stay, our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org . To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325 .