• The Deep Roots of Raw Food

    In recent years, the number of Americans who’ve chosen a plant-based lifestyle has dramatically increased. According to a 2019 study by the market research company Ipsos, nearly 10 million Americans follow plant-based diets, compared with just 290,000 in 2004—an astounding 300 percent increase in 15 years.

    We at Optimum Health Institute are delighted to see this trend … because it is, and has always been, at the very core of who we are. Since OHI’s founding more than 44 years ago, one of our key healing lifestyle program elements has been a live, raw, organic plant-based diet.

    Yet the choice to eat live, raw, organic vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts rather than animal proteins is by no means a recent trend; the practice has deep roots. Biblical scripture and the ancient Essene gospels both advise the divine wisdom of maintaining a strict raw plant-based diet for optimum health of body, mind, and spirit.

    Throughout history, brilliant people have touted the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle: Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Buddha, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, and Steve Jobs, are just a few of them.

    Even traditional western medicine is warming to the idea. The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School are among the groups advising that a well-planned vegetarian diet can help you stay healthy, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

    The history of OHI is closely tied to the growth in popularity of raw plant-based foods. During the early 1950s, when a Boston-area woman was diagnosed with colon cancer, she chose to follow her Lithuanian grandmother’s approach to healing, using weeds and wheatgrass, and she went into complete remission. The woman, Ann Wigmore, devoted the next 35 years of her life to studying and teaching others about the healing benefits of live, raw, organic plant-based foods. In 1956 she founded the “Red Schoolhouse” at her farm in Stoneham, Massachusetts, which later evolved into Hippocrates Health Institute.

    In 1976 two of OHI’s founders, Raychel Solomon and Pam Nees, attended a lecture by Eydie Mae Hunsberger, who wrote the book, How I Conquered Cancer Naturally. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Eadie Mae had switched to Wigmore’s raw plant-based food plan, and went into complete remission from cancer. After her presentation, she was eager to answer Raychel and Pam’s questions.

    Raychel went on to study with Ann Wigmore at Hippocrates, and experienced for herself the healing power of a strict live, raw organic plant-based lifestyle. Later that same year, Raychel, Pam, and Pam’s husband Bob Nees, Sr., opened Hippocrates West in San Diego County, California.

    The groundbreaking concept at the heart of Hippocrates and Hippocrates West was deceptively simple: recreate your lifestyle, starting with switching to a primarily raw foods diet, and let the healing begin. Fueled by the healthiest, freshest plant-based nutrients, people could more easily defog and quiet their minds, and feel a renewed, heart-centered connection to God.

    Hippocrates West soon evolved into The Optimum Health Institute, and became a healing ministry of the Free Sacred Trinity Church.

    The parallel growth of both the raw foods movement and OHI became deeply personal in 1997. Bob Senor’s sister-in-law, Mary Helon Nees, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She and Bob’s brother, the Rev. Russell Nees, refused to accept her doctor’s grim prognosis and instead strictly followed OHI’s raw plant-based food plan, with lots of wheatgrass juice. Mary Helon went into remission and became a strong advocate of adopting a plant-based diet.

    As the raw foods movement continues to gain new adherents nationwide, OHI is more than keeping up with the growing interest. We have enhanced our dining experience by creating a 21-day menu, offering nutritious, live, raw, organic plant-based dishes at every lunch and dinner for the entire three weeks of the holistic healing program.

    Come experience how delicious “healthy” can be and spend one, two, or three weeks at our healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Our caring staff is eager to give you all the unconditional support, inspiration, and transformational tools you need to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • The Beauty and Benefits of Walking

    Walking, much like singing, steadies the mind. When we place one foot in front of the other, we can feel the body lean and sway as we move forward. The first steps may be slow, but gradually we find our gait.” – Author and spiritual teacher Stephen Levine.

    For those who love walking, and engage in it with zeal and passion, Levine’s quote speaks straight to the heart. And there are millions of walking enthusiasts worldwide. In fact, research has shown that walking is the most popular of all aerobic physical activities.

    Although you probably walk several hundred to a few thousand steps each day, you may not think of walking as a way to stay fit. But walking has numerous benefits that could motivate you to get on your feet more often. If you are unfamiliar with those benefits, or need a memory refresher, keep reading.

    Walking for weight loss 

    When you walk at a brisk pace—fast enough to make it difficult to talk—you can burn significant calories and promote healthy weight loss. Walking uphill will increase the intensity of your workout and add help you burn even more calories. If you want to increase your natural walking speed, try walking at intervals of a leisurely pace and quick pace. Over time this will help you increase the speed of your walk and improve your balance.

    Low-impact muscle toning

    Almost anyone can enjoy walking as exercise because it is low-impact for the joints. As you begin to walk more often, you will notice increased muscle strength that will further reduce the stress on your joints and lower back.

    Mood and spirituality

    Walking has been shown to dramatically improve mood, and even help with depression, stress, and anxiety. Also, says walking and marathon coach Wendy Bumgardner, walking can help connect believers with God. “The rhythm of walking and the integration of body and mind leaves you open to talk with God, uncluttered by other intrusions.”

    Free exercise anywhere

    One of the most beautiful aspects of walking is that other than a sturdy pair of walking shoes, there is no investment to get started. The whole world may be your gym for a walking workout, and you may even discover new places that you cannot get to by car. So put on those walking shoes, do some gentle stretching, and start walking!
    And remember, Optimum Health Institute is here for you, and we’ll motivate you to stick with your new commitment to walk. To discover new ways to improve your health and empower yourself, explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Maintaining a Detox Diet for Optimal Health

    After spending time with us at Optimum Health Institute, you’ll experience firsthand how your entire life can be transformed.

    Your stay will teach you about the importance of a diet consisting of live, raw, fresh organic plant-based meals. You’ll learn about detoxifying your body by drinking fresh wheatgrass juice, and getting enemas and wheatgrass implants to cleanse the colon. You’ll feel energized, spiritually enriched, and thoroughly at peace. You can truthfully say that you’ve never felt better in your life.

    That’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? But now you may be wondering, what’s next? 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 combinations and consuming animal flesh, alcohol, sodas, processed foods, caffeine, and/or other unhealthy choices won’t be resolved in just 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 is, 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 issue? 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? Whatever your motivation is, 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 that can inform, encourage and inspire you on your journey to optimum health.

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

    1. Drink two 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. Perform one enema and two implants on your juicing day.

    5. Drink half your body weight in ounces of pure water daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of pure water every day.

    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 four 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 for 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.

    We encourage you to experience the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a detox food plan during your stay at an Optimum Health Institute healing mission in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring, dedicated team will support your journey and share the tools you need to continue this holistic lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Achieve Your Goals by Setting SMART Goals

    We are already into the third month of the New Year, and spring is just around the corner. This is an excellent time to reflect on your resolutions for 2021 and take an honest look at how you’re doing.

    Are you making progress toward your resolutions? Or are you feeling discouraged about what you haven’t accomplished versus celebrating what you have accomplished?

    If just about everything you resolved to do has fallen by the wayside, don’t lose heart! Remember that spring is the season of growth and renewal, making it the perfect time to tackle your goals—the right way.

    First, you need to feel a passionate connection to your objective. Pick a specific goal that’s in alignment with your values, and you’re much more likely to see it through.  Write down that goal: the act of putting it on paper, or keying it into your computer or smartphone, affirms and focuses your intention.

    The most effective goals are SMART:
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Relevant
    Time Dimensioned

    If your goal is, “Get Healthier,” be very specific about what you want to achieve. Lock in specific action steps, like, “Get up 20 minutes earlier to meditate every morning,” and, “Exercise at least 30 minutes every day.” The more specific you are, the easier it will be to stay on track.

    By taking time to set measurable goals right from the start, you’ll be able to monitor your progress in real and tangible ways.

    A common tendency is to set completely unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve. For instance, if on a daily basis you love to sink your teeth into a giant burger, chances are your desire to “Go Vegetarian Starting Today” is not going to happen.  Instead, starting with one meatless day the first week, and gradually increasing the number of days every few weeks, gives you the opportunity to realistically and permanently change your behavior.

    So let’s say you’ve strategically set SMART goals, you wrote down specific action steps, and you’re starting to see results. It’s time to celebrate!

    While stopping to congratulate yourself on your progress might seem unnecessary or premature, it’s actually one of the best motivators. In her book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile, Ph.D., shares her research on this topic. She proved that marking minor achievements is the most effective way to inspire people to continue on track for achieving other objectives, both large and small.

    Also, celebration is a spiritual discipline. Enjoying the fellowship of like-minded people, expressing gratitude for your achievements, and sharing the fruits of your labors enriches your spiritual connections to everyone and everything in your life, and to God.

    Learn how to set SMART goals for yourself by spending time with us at the Optimum Health Institute. Our caring, dedicated team can help you attain your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.