• Strengthening Our Connection to God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • OHI Kitchens Veg Out – Deliciously!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Process all ingredients till smooth.

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

  • Enjoying the Taste of Summer All Year Long

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

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

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

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

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

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