• OHI Concepts Go Mainstream

    When Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Founders Pam Nees, Raychel Solomon and Bob Nees, Sr., welcomed their first guests in 1976, they knew some of the holistic healing concepts at the heart of the program might seem unusual . For instance, having guests going vegan – cold turkey. Or devoting time daily to mindful meditation. Or drinking fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice several times a day.

    How awareness about obtaining optimum health has changed! Now, 40 years later, all of these practices are recognized by western medicine and mainstream America as being beneficial for health and well-being.

    Vegan diet

    Research from the Mayo Clinic showed vegetarians have a nutritional advantage over people eating a combination of plant and animal foods. Lowered blood pressure and improved diabetes management were just two of the benefits of going vegetarian.

    Meanwhile, the Harvard School of Public Health linked eating red meat to increased mortality. Forgoing animal products and switching to vegetarian proteins like legumes and nuts were associated with a longer lifespan.


    The Center for Disease Control reports that less than a third of adult Americans consume the recommended nine daily servings of fresh vegetables and fruits. Making your own fresh juice can help you get those nine servings into your day.

    Research into the health benefits of various juices has produced very positive results. For instance, studies have shown that kale juice can lower your risk of heart disease by improving your lipid levels and lowering your cholesterol. Citrus-based juices were also found to potentially improve heart health. The high levels of vitamin A and other nutrients in carrot juice are beneficial for eye health, and reducing the risks of various cancers.

    Wheatgrass juice

    In a study reported in the April 2002 issue of Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, breast cancer patients who were given wheatgrass juice while they were receiving chemotherapy seemed to experience a smaller decrease in the cells responsible for delivering oxygen, immunity and blood clotting. The condition, which is called myelotoxicity, suppresses bone marrow, and is potentially life-threatening.

    Mindfulness Meditation

    More and more schools and universities are adding meditation rooms and mindfulness instruction to the curriculum with remarkable results.

    One example is an elementary school in Baltimore that decided to replace detention with a purple Mindful Meditation Room, where misbehaving students learn conscious breathing exercises and meditation. Mindfulness instructors at the school also work with youngsters dealing with anxiety, headaches, stomach problems, and stress. Not a single student has been suspended since the program was introduced.

    Police, firefighters and military personnel are also more frequently being instructed in mindfulness meditation to lower stress levels, make better decisions, improve reaction time and resilience, and help handle PTSD.

    Get refresher classes in creating a healthier lifestyle at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas, and help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • OHI for life® – “Food for the Skin”

    When actress and model Barbara Logan first visited the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) San Diego in 2000 at the suggestion of family friend Ben Vereen, she felt like she’d come “home.” As the daughter of a minister, she’d been involved in spiritual disciplines and fellowship since childhood. She’d also studied health and nutrition for years, so immediately embraced the vegan meals.

    In her decades in front of the camera, she learned the importance of using pure, gentle ingredients to cleanse, nourish and protect her skin. Barbara had already worked for many years developing and manufacturing private label products with exclusive formulations for clients internationally as well as her own product line. She offered to assist OHI in creating every part of an exclusive skin care line that incorporated an essential element of the healing OHI program – wheatgrass juice. The antioxidant properties of the juice, said Barbara, would assist the body in detoxification.

    When Barbara got the green light to create an OHI for life® skin care line, her marching orders were very specific. Every ingredient had to meet the strict guidelines of the EWG – the Environmental Working Group. The organization rates ingredients for safety, and sets the highest standards for industry-wide compliance. As many ingredients as possible had to be certified organic…and of course no harmful chemicals.

    In the fall of 2009, OHI proudly unveiled its exclusive OHI for life® skin care line. Reaction from guests was immediate and enthusiastic. The facial cleanser, toner, separate moisturizers for morning and evening, and shower gel were created to aid guests in the detoxification process. Since toxins are excreted through the skin, OHI for life® cleanser has jojoba oil exfoliating beads to slough off dead skin cells and simultaneously revitalize the skin with the healing jojoba oil. The toner, which is alcohol-free, removes all traces of the cleanser while balancing the skin with antioxidant rich vitamins A, C, E and B and green tea.

    The morning moisturizer helps hydrate the skin and protect it from free radicals encountered in certain foods, and even environmental pollutants. A nourishing ingredient is “Vineyard Extracts” – (the skin, stem and seeds of grapes from wine vineyards) rich in Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. It delivers a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory action that helps diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Specially formulated night moisturizer restores the skin. The skincare cleanser, toner and moisturizers are formulated for compatibility. When used as the ‘system,’ maximum benefits will be achieved. The OHI for life® skin care system is the ultimate “food for the skin”.

    OHI for life® shampoo and conditioner were more recently added to the line, and work together to help cleanse, nourish and detoxify the scalp and hair. Both are also EWG compliant, and use soap nuts to generate a safe, natural lather without chemical additives. The OHI for life® products carry the OHI Seal of Approval, assuring you that:

    • All manufacturing facilities have been inspected and validated contaminant-free.
    • All products & containers are environmentally friendly to the maximum degree possible.
    • All ingredients are sourced from universally accepted Fair Trade countries, with no child labor involved.
    • All certified organic ingredients are verified & documented.

    OHI guests receive sample-sized containers of the entire OHI for life® line and many continue using the products after they return home by using the OHI convenient home delivery Auto Ship Program. For just $79.99 for the OHI for life® Basic Skin Care System – you receive 3.3 oz. of Cleanser, Toner, Day Crème and Evening Crème – a 60 day supply delivered right to your door. (Regular price $100) Call (888) 643-7867 for details on how to lock in this and other savings on this special program.

    By feeding and nourishing your skin, you’re also helping a deserving individual experience the healing benefits of OHI’s holistic healing program. All net proceeds after direct and indirect expenses benefit OHI’s Scholarship Fund.

    Receive your own sample-sized OHI for life® complete skin care system when you stay at an Optimum Health Institute holistic health mission in San Diego or Austin, TX. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at
    (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • The Healing Benefits of the Alpha State

    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.

    Experience a healing Alpha state in every one of the mind-body-spirit classes offered at the Optimum Health Institute holistic health 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 detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • The Friend in Your Mirror

    It was the first day of school . The teacher surveyed the rag-tag group of students slouched at their desks while they glanced back at her with varying degrees of disinterest. Each of the 8 th graders had been categorized as “challenged” through various batteries of tests, and an assessment of their past classroom behaviors.

    Despite what on the surface appeared to be a bleak situation, the veteran educator knew as long as the students were coming to class, she still had a chance to get through to them.

    “You can be anything you want to be,” she told them. She repeated that heart-felt message frequently throughout the semester. Years later, the teacher was attending an evening function at the school when one of those same students approached her, and gave her a big hug. “Remember how you were always telling us we could be and do anything we wanted?” the young woman asked. “I decided I wanted to be a nurse. And now I am!”

    While a gentle push from someone might help set us on the right path, ultimately it’s our belief in and love for our self that determines the kind of life we’ll have. It begins simply, by expressing gratitude for a new day full of new opportunities when we wake up in the morning. Being able to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I love you,” is a powerful way to start your day.

    Don’t swallow your emotions – instead, see them for the gift they are. Positive emotions – compassion, joy, optimism, love – actually trigger the body chemistry that creates health, and alkalinity.

    Fear-based emotions – worry, shame, guilt, anger – alert us that something is out of balance. Before you have the emotion, you have a thought that triggers that emotion. Take a deep breath and “rewind” to become aware of what that thought was. Then, you have the power to change the thought into a more positive, constructive one, and immediately change the emotional charge, too. This is definitely a habit that reinforces authentic self-love.

    Forgive yourself. Often. Seek out fun opportunities, and laugh. A lot! Make choices that show how much you respect yourself, and honor your unique gifts and talents.

    Actively nourish your spiritual life. Make time to meditate and journal often, ideally, every day. Write new affirmations, or repeat favorite ones, to continue to boost your confidence and reinforce what’s important in your life.

    The poem, “The Friend in Your Mirror” is part of the curriculum at The Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas, and beautifully illustrates how to create and nurture a healthy and loving self-awareness.

    The Friend in Your Mirror

    Speak gently to yourself.

    Speak freely in praise of all you are.

    Speak clearly with pride in all you’ve been.

    Speak bravely with hope for all you may become.

    Find in yourself the powers that only you possess,

    the pains that only you can overcome

    The promises that only you can keep.

    Look deeply into the mirror of your life and discover the very special person that only you can be.

    — Edward Cunningham

    Discover the friend in your mirror, and treat this friend to the healthiest choices for body, mind and spirit, 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 kick destructive old lifestyle habits to the curb, and adopt beneficial and healing new ones. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • OHI Austin: Where Getting Healthy is a Beautiful Experience

    “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” except the cozy, comforting and inviting spaces at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Austin . Nestled in the Lost Pines of Texas, this sanctuary of healing and harmony serves up southern hospitality, along with a proven recipe to detoxify the body, quiet the mind and rejuvenate the spirit.

    Whether you’ve visited OHI Austin many times, or you’re an OHI San Diego guest who’d like to try the same great program with a slight Texas twang and fields of bluebonnets, the 14-acre mission in Bastrop County makes getting healthy a beautiful thing.

    Cowboy boots for both the OHI team and guests are popular, but not required. Friday is unofficial “OHI T-shirt Day,” with many sporting their favorite finds from the OHI Store. On Mother’s Day, the OHI team distributes – you guessed it! – the yellow rose of Texas.

    All the guests stay in the comfortably refurbished main building that looks out onto the sparkling pool, hot tub and glorious flower gardens. Trails through the woods encourage walking meditations, deep introspection and instant de-stressing surrounded by the beauty of nature. “Rodney the roadrunner” is a beloved visitor, while the trees and flowering shrubs echo with the songs of cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, meadowlarks, sparrows, thrushes and so many others. The occasional raccoon, fox or armadillo occasionally wanders through the grounds.

    The smaller weekly number of guests encourages quick friendships as people easily discover many similarities. Frequently, guests will push two dining tables together to enjoy meals as a group and continue the enlightening discussions sparked by the latest class. Many gather to enjoy breath-taking sunsets. Some of the newly-formed friendships become such a treasured part of guests’ lives that they coordinate future visits to OHI Austin for spirited “reunions.” Occasionally they’ll even decide to extend their stays a week or two to continue to share their journey to optimum health together.

    A smaller facility doesn’t mean scrimping on any of the expected OHI healing lifestyle benefits. All the guest rooms are now equipped with Wi-Fi, for the occasional check-in with home or work. The accommodations, many queen or king units, are decorated in warm, harmonious colors to sooth your body, mind and spirit. Guests reap the health benefits of the purest alkaline reverse osmosis water. The kitchen proudly creates the new 21-day menu that features a different delicious and satisfying lunch and dinner for every day of the three-week program.

    Soak up the raw beauty of the American west while you also detoxify your body and quiet your mind at the OHI mission in Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring teams at OHI Austin and OHI San Diego will give you the tools, encouragement. and inspiration you desire to help you on your journey to optimum health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.