• 4 Essentials for Healthy Living

    During your stay at the Optimum Health Institute, you’ll experience the ultimate healthy lifestyle with freshly prepared meals, gentle exercises and our body cleansing initiative. But healthy living should extend to all the areas of your life. Whether it’s preparing your own meals or using the right skin care products, there are so many ways to achieve complete physical wellness outside of the OHI environment.

    1. 1. Organic Skin Care Products

    Having healthy smooth skin is an important part of the spiritual renewal process. Dry, irritated skin can be a sign of dehydration and poor diet. Strengthening your spiritual relationships can be difficult if your physical health is dragging you down. You can replenish and purify your skin with one of our specially made skin care products. Using one of these products once a day will exfoliate and repair your skin. Every bottle of OHI for Life® contains rich antioxidants and soothing vitamins and minerals.

    1. 2. Organic Seeds for Growing Your Own Food

    There’s something inherently peaceful and rewarding about growing and cultivating your own supply of food. Gardening has been proven to lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and give individuals a sense of purpose. Optifresh Farms® sells a wide variety of seeds that you can use to start your own at-home garden. You’ll find garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, alfalfa sprout seeds, and so much more.

    1. 3. Wheatgrass Juicers

    The benefits of drinking freshly made wheatgrass juice are endless. At OHI, we believe in the power of nutrition. That’s why wheatgrass juice is a fundamental part of your stay with us. A juicer is exactly what you need to continue making delicious, nutrient-rich wheatgrass juice at home.

    1. 4. Sprouters

    This handy tool is designed to give you fresh sprouts all year long. All you have to do is add water and some seeds from the plant of your choice. In about a week, you should have delicious, fresh sprouts right in your kitchen. Sprouts are a great way to add vegetables to so many different meals. Throw them on a sandwich, in a bowl of soup or use them as a garnish on your favorite dish.

    Staying healthy all year long is easy when you have these amazing products and appliances from the Optimum Health Store. Cleansing your body and purifying your diet are two of the first steps towards achieving complete wellness.

    To learn more about our holistic healing program in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • Let’s Celebrate!!

    Celebration is an Age-Old Tradition of Community

    There is a spiritual discipline of celebration that dates back thousands of years and crosses all cultures. People come together in community to honor and rejoice in their beliefs. Celebration is about strengthening and developing our own personal relationship with God, the universe, or your higher self. Celebration allows us to release the past, have faith in the future, and live in the present. When we get caught up in our day-to-day routines, it is a path back to spiritual growth, and guides us to remember and return to our faith. In its most basic form, celebration is an expression of joy that enables us to look forward to tomorrow with courage and hope.

    Celebration is About Gratitude and Healing

    When our lives are in alignment and everything seems to be going well, it’s natural for us to celebrate. We are grateful about that which we’ve accomplished or appreciate that something good has happened. A celebration can be as simple as a high five between two friends who just watched their favorite team win, or it could be two large families joining in a formal wedding party.

    There is a healing quality to celebrations. They are occasions that allow us to take a break from work and obligations. Celebrating makes us happy and helps us forget our fears, anxiety, and other discomforts. We are able to relax, release stress, and have fun. Singing, dancing, cheering, laughing, and hugging are all activities that trigger the release of endorphins and serotonin, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well being and can even temporarily relieve pain, while serotonin is a neurotransmitter that will elevate your mood. And, because these activities can decrease stress hormones, they in turn help to boost the immune system.

    Daily Celebration is a Big Part of Our Program at OHI

    Throughout each week here at OHI, we find many opportunities to celebrate. A good example is our You Validation class, where we celebrate each other’s intrinsic human value. Every accomplishment, no matter what, is worthy of celebration. Someone will say, “I saw you smile this morning and it warmed my heart.” Another says, “You were tired, yet you still showed up for class, and I was encouraged and inspired by your strength to carry on.” These are verbal high fives that honor our moments of achievement. And, they all add up to keep us motivated. This reminds me of something Tom Peters, the co-author of the book In Search of Excellence, once said, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” At OHI, we want to see more people thriving and healing, and we do that by coming together as a community and celebrating.
    Another example of how we celebrate together is during Friday Morning Testimonials. It is so heartwarming to see our guests get up in front of everyone and share their personal revelations, and often their personal miracles, that they experienced over the course of the week. Then there are our Prayer Circles where we celebrate fellowship. And, our Word of the Day which enables to set our intentions. Plus, lots of hugs – which have more benefits than I can list – but as a celebration they allow us to relax, be in the moment, and feel amazing! Our most lively celebration is our Friday Night Live, where we perform and proclaim having made it through the week with hilarious singing, dancing and skits – it’s a glorious time of raucous revelry, laughter, and fun.

    Find your community at OHI – and then, let’s celebrate!!

    To learn more about our holistic healing program in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • Spend Thanksgiving at OHI

    Oftentimes, we find ourselves saying, “I’m just not ready for the holidays.” This year when you find that thought surfacing, replace it with one of these: “This holiday season I give myself permission to do that which brings me the greatest pleasure;” or “Divine guidance makes everything around me align perfectly for a pleasant holiday season.” The idea is to take a moment and set your intentions for the holidays now, so that you can relax and enjoy them. That way, you will feel centered, calm, and balanced throughout the weeks ahead.

    It’s okay to feel the feelings we get this time of year as long as they inspire you and bring you joy. But when they create depression or anxiety, it’s time to move back into the present. Remember, you have the power to choose how you spend your holidays. You should feel free to take time for yourself, and reset your system. Allow yourself to fully relax and heal.

    A great way to do that is to take a holistic holiday here at OHI. You will enjoy the love and support of your friends and family in the OHI community. You’ll be surrounding yourself with people who treat you well and won’t judge you. You’ll spend your holidays with those who approve of you, and encourage you.

    Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday because we take the time to appreciate the good in our lives. Too often, however, it is celebrated with meats, gravies, and other heavy unhealthy foods. But, when you join us here for Thanksgiving, you won’t be tempted with meals you’ll regret eating later. Here we’ll ensure that the recipes and beverages you ingest contribute to your vibrant good health. And while you meditate and recharge, take time to feel gratitude for all that you have.

    Even better, share Thanksgiving at OHI with a friend. When you share the gift of healing body, mind, and spirit, you show your friends how much you really care.

    Spend Thanksgiving holiday at OHI. You’ll create a holiday to remember – a holistic holiday of health and happiness.

    To learn more about our holistic healing program in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • A Hail to Kale

    At OHI, we LOVE Kale! Kale is part of the cabbage family and is considered a cruciferous vegetable. It’s versatile, tasty, easy to prepare, available year-round and goes with almost everything. With a hearty flavor that is slightly bitter and a deep green color, kale is a wonderfully versatile and healthy vegetable that you should be eating more often. Kale is available year-round in grocery stores and easy to grow at home, and it can be dressed up for any season. In the winter, kale pairs nicely with beets and other hearty vegetables, but it can be lightened up with a tangy citrus vinaigrette for summer as well. Here is a look at some of the distinctive benefits that kale has to offer beyond its tasty flavor.

    Some of its benefits include:

    Cancer prevention
    Because kale is high in vitamin K, it protects the body from several types of cancer while  supporting normal bodily functions such as bone regeneration. The anti-inflammatory properties of kale also contribute to its cancer-fighting powers.

    Brain health
    Kale is surprisingly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, providing about 10% of the recommended daily value of these healthy fats per serving. Omega-3s support brain health by slowing the natural degeneration of brain cells and improving blood circulation to lower the chances of stroke. 

    Healthy detoxification
    Along with a multitude of vitamins that your body needs, kale contains sulfur and fiber, which cleanse the liver of harmful toxins. Therefore, kale gives your body what it needs while taking out what it doesn’t. 

    Lean nutrition
    One of the most amazing nutritional properties of kale is its low calorie count. Kale offers such a broad array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the body, but one cup of it only contains about 36 calories and five grams of fiber.

    Kale is a staple ingredient in the raw recipes shared through the holistic healing program offered at Optimum Health Institute over three week-long sessions to be taken consecutively or independently.

    From Our Kitchen to Yours:  Recipe for Kale Chips
    1 bunch kale, torn into pieces, stems removed
    1 1/2 cups sesame seeds, soaked overnight
    1 red bell pepper
    1 whole leaf dulse
    Seasonings to taste, such as cayenne, garlic, or onion
    Water, as needed, to thin batter

    Place sesame seeds, bell pepper, dulse, and seasonings into Vita-Mix canister. Place kale into mixing bowl and massage to soften. Blend seed mixture thoroughly and pour onto kale. Mix well with hands. Place pieces of kale onto dehydrator trays lined with Paraflex sheets and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 48 hours or until dry and crispy.

    Savor nutrient-rich kale dishes and other delicious raw, live, organic vegan meals during a stay at the Optimum Health Institute. To learn more about our holistic healing program in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • The Season for Squash & Pumpkin Seed Cracker Recipe

    Bursting with flavor, vitamins, minerals and fiber, all varieties of winter squash currently appearing in farmer’s markets and grocery store produce sections are true nutritional super foods.

    Just one ½ cup serving delivers 100% of your daily vitamin A requirement and a mega dose of antioxidants at a skinny 37 calories.

    There’s a huge selection to choose from. Old favorites like pumpkins, acorn, butternut and Hubbard squash are now joined by newer varieties like sweet mama, sweet dumpling and buttercup. Look for pumpkins and squash that feel heavy, and are free of cuts, mold or cracks. Protected by that hard, tough skin, most kinds of squash will stay fresh for up to three months when stored in a dry, cool place. Thoroughly wash skins before cutting squash to remove any possible bacteria or contaminants.

    The yellow and deep orange color of the flesh of winter squash comes from the antioxidant beta carotene, which is credited with helping to prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer, and could also slow age-related macular degeneration. The vitamin A in squash supports a strong immune system, healthy skin, and good vision.

    More good news about the nutritional benefits of squash – its high vitamin C content can help lower blood pressure, and even protect arteries from damage. Also, the Potassium in squash helps the heart, kidneys, muscles and digestive system function smoothly.

    Buying this nutritional powerhouse in season, and locally, gives you the benefit of the freshest meals this fall, while you’re also supporting your local economy.

    While raw squash is a delicious addition to soups, smoothies and juices, the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) even uses the seeds for an extra serving of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Guests love the savory Pumpkin Seed Crackers, which are easy to make at home:

    Dehydrated Pumpkin Seed Crackers

    Yield: 12 1-ounce servings

    Ingredients:

    1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds, rinsed

    ½ cup soaked sesame seeds, rinsed

    ½ chopped red bell pepper

    ½ cup chopped yellow onion

    ½ chopped firm tomato

    ¾ cup chopped zucchini

    ¼ sprig fresh basil

    ¼ tbsp. dried oregano

    ¼ tsp. garlic powder

    ¼ tbsp. tomato powder

    Place half of the pumpkin seeds and half of the sesame seeds in mixing bowl. Blend remaining seeds in Vitamix with vegetables, herbs and spices until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to mixing bowl with whole seeds and stir well with spatula. Spoon onto dehydrator trays in ½ inch tall clumps; do not flatten. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for two days, turning crackers over after the first day.

    Savor nutrient-rich squash dishes and other delicious raw, live, organic vegan meals during a stay at the Optimum Health Institute. To learn more about our holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • The Importance of Discernment

    Discernment is considered a spiritual virtue, and the mark of a wise and compassionate person of sound judgment. It is the ability to look past what’s not immediately evident – to distinguish what’s unique or true from that which is superficial. Simply put, discernment is the ability to distinguish and to know right from wrong.

    If you’re a good judge of character; if you feel a duty to help people see right from wrong and if you are usually correct when you feel something is amiss, you have discernment.

    “Discernment” is not “judgment.” Judgment comes from the Greek word for “condemn.” When you judge someone, you make decisions about their general worthiness.

    Discernment, on the other hand, comes from the Greek word “to separate,” or to see the truth from the fabrication. It is to see people, and things, as they actually are.

    The discernment process requires time and using both the head and the heart in making an assessment.

    Good decisions and good choices are the results of discernment. Thus, making the process of discernment an achievement–a virtuous act that sets a foundation for accurate perception.

    Here are some tips to help you develop your ability to discern:

    Never stop learning. When a bank is teaching tellers how to detect counterfeit dollar bills, the tellers must study real bills, and become familiar with every last detail. The more you learn, the less likely you’ll be deceived.

    Pray. Ask for divine guidance in developing and trusting your spiritual gift of discernment.

    Meditate. When you quiet the chatter of your mind, you’ll be more able to hear your divine inner voice.

    Trust. Remember compassion is always appropriate, but trust is earned. Be kind but be slow to believe in someone or something. Give yourself time to “go deep” into the heart of it before you entrust it with your complete confidence.

    Discernment is necessary for making decisions, and you’re making thousands of decisions daily. To learn more about our holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • Understanding Our 8 Core Emotions, Part 2

    Last week we shared insights into our core emotions: Joy, Anger, Anxiety and Surprise. Today we’ll continue our look at the remaining core emotions: Trust, Grief, Fear and Love.

    1. 5. Trust

    The emotion of ‘trust’ can be a tricky one. It implies a vulnerability – we have expectations about a person or situation, and we’re required to have a ‘leap of faith’ that those expectations will be met. A good rule of thumb is, compassion is always appropriate, but trust is earned. In those instances where trust is required, rely on your instincts, and also seek some information about the trustee’s attributes, like reputation and past experiences. It will help transform ‘trust’ into ‘confidence.’

    1. 6. Grief

    Any time we experience a loss of any kind, there is a certain element of grieving involved. Losing a loved one, relationship, job, health, reputation, friends, youth, even moving into a new home – all will generate some degree of grief. The biggest mistake we can make is trying to ignore or deny this emotion. Until we acknowledge our grief, we will remain mired in it. It’s important to be realistic, and admit things in our life have changed with this loss. The next step is to look at how this loss has transformed us. What have we learned? What memories can we cherish? What meaningful things can we do, moving forward, that will not only help us heal, but will benefit others? We can consciously choose to redirect our grief, and our sense of loss, into an opportunity for positive growth.

    1. 7. Fear

    Fear and Anxiety are closely linked – they both arise when we’re facing a real or perceived threatening unknown. It’s part of our instinctual survival mechanism, when that twig snapping in the dark might have indicated a saber-tooth, ready to pounce. A ‘fight or flight’ fear response empowers us to take immediate action to remove ourselves, or others, from harm’s way. Pushing a child out of the path of a car, for instance, or freezing when a venomous snake slithers across a mountain trail.

    While the emotion of fear can sometimes protect us from taking unwise risks, taken to the extreme it can also paralyze our ability to try anything new. Reliving fear, as in post-traumatic stress disorder, can keep us stuck in an old pattern.

    To transform fear, first take a deep breath to help bring mental clarity. That will also empower you to assess the situation realistically. Is there a clear and present danger? If so, take the necessary steps to alleviate it. If there is not, a simple affirmation like, “I release all fear to the light,” can help bring you back into a positive emotional balance.

    1. 8. Love

    Love is the essence of emotion, or ‘energy in motion.” It is that transcendent state where we feel a heart-centered connection; to God, another person, our children, our community, the Cosmos, all of creation. It can be a gentle contentment, a deep respect and regard, or a smoldering passion. At its core, Love is life’s greatest blessing, available to us all if we choose to open our hearts and minds.

    Experience the emotional freedom of nurturing yourself with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. To learn more about our holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • Understanding Our 8 Core Emotions, Part 1

    Candace Pert, PhD, the late neuroscientist, pharmacologist, spiritual author, speaker and visionary, described our emotions as the thing linking our physical bodies to our spiritual selves. Cultivating positive emotions is essential for achieving, and maintaining, optimum health in body, mind and spirit.

    The trick to cultivating those positive emotions, though, is to resist ignoring or suppressing less than happy feelings when they arise, as they inevitably will. Instead, learning the tools to realistically register, honor and then shift our emotions, as needed, is a powerful life skill that can change virtually everything for the better.

    Over the next two weeks, we’ll be looking closely at eight core emotions, and how they impact us.

    1. 1. Joy

    The emotion of Joy is closely linked to optimism, serenity and ecstasy. It’s the sense of wonder, satisfaction and a peaceful excitement that you are part of something greater and magnificent. For many people, joy is experienced when they see or hear something of incomparable beauty, or feel a deeply personal connection to God.

    1. 2. Anger

    The body has many ways to alert the brain to feelings of anger – muscle tenseness, shortness of breath, feeling flushed and an uncomfortable sensation in the stomach are just a few. Anger is usually an immediate response to a perceived wrongdoing. It can range from mild annoyance to exasperation to a hostile rage. In the short term, pure anger can sometimes be beneficial. Dr. Pert talks about a patient who made only healthy choices, but still received a cancer diagnosis. The woman became furious, and the cancer immediately went into remission. It was as if the unhealthy cells were burned away by the emotional surge.

    A quick burst of anger is one thing, but a sustained slow-boil can have serious consequences for heart health. A positive way to process that emotion is to take a deep breath, remember what the thought was the moment before you physically felt anger, and change that thought. You can’t have an angry feeling without first having an angry thought.

    1. 3. Anxiety

    Anxiety is that unbalanced emotion arising from fear of the unknown. Instead of staying suspended in that state of constant worry about what might go wrong, shift your thoughts to mentally listing all the things that could go RIGHT. The quickest way to come into balance from an anxious state is to take three deep, mindful breaths. That simple exercise will immediately propel you up into an Alpha state, where clarity and peace are yours.

    1. 4. Surprise

    Whether it’s a happy surprise – office birthday party! – or an unpleasant one, the feeling of surprise means you are not in control of an immediate situation you have not anticipated. Take those deep breaths again to enter into Alpha, and be in the present moment. If it’s a positive surprise, enjoy! If it’s not, going right into a more aware, ‘plugged in’ Alpha state will empower you to quickly assess the situation. Are you in danger? If so, take the appropriate steps to remove yourself from harm’s way. Are you upset? First find something in the situation for which you can authentically be grateful. Even if it’s, “Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” that will immediately shift you into a more calm, collected and positive state of mind.

    Tune in next week when we explore the remaining core emotions: Trust, Grief, Fear and LOVE.

    Experience the emotional freedom of nurturing yourself with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. To learn more about our holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • Almighty Wheatgrass!

    Wheatgrass refers to the young grass of the wheat plant Triticum aestivum and contains a number of vitamins and antioxidants, such as vitamins A, E, and B-12, as well as calcium, selenium, magnesium, and iron. In addition to providing essential vitamins and nutrients to your diet, natural foods  such as wheatgrass can benefit your health in a number of other ways.

    Gives You Energy

    One of the first benefits of wheatgrass is that it energizes your mind and body to help you feel refreshed throughout your day. In fact, two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice is the equivalent of two cups of coffee. In addition, studies show that drinking one ounce of wheatgrass juice contains the same amount of vitamins and minerals as consuming one ounce of fresh vegetables.

    Boosts Your Vascular Health

    Another big benefit of wheatgrass is that it helps support your blood health. This is accomplished by building red blood cells quickly after ingestion, speeding up circulation, lowering blood pressure, and cleansing the blood of waste.

    Curbs Cravings

    Research suggests that because the nutritional value of wheatgrass juice is so high, it may help prevent the hunger cravings that cause overeating, ultimately serving as a weight control tool. Wheatgrass can also boost your weight loss goals by increasing your metabolism.

    Improves Immune Function

    Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of wheatgrass juice is that it helps boost your immune system. Wheatgrass juice contains chlorophyll, which aids your immune system by increasing the function of your heart and improving the condition of your vascular system, intestines, and lungs.

    At the Optimum Health Institute , we believe that when you cleanse and nourish your body, it can restore itself to its natural balance.  To help your body cleanse and restore itself, OHI provides:

    • wheatgrass juice to cleanse cells and purify blood
    • enemas and wheatgrass implants to cleanse the colon

    To learn more about our holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • The Benefits of a 3-Week Stay at OHI

    The first step towards optimum health is releasing the idea that an “instant fix” is possible. True healing involves patiently working through layers of old habits to gently – and permanently – make the necessary changes. The Optimum Health Institute (OHI) 21-day program was designed specifically to guide guests to wellness in a step-by-step process, with each week logically leading into the next.

    Week 1: A Good Start

    The first week inspires you to become more aware of the body, mind and spirit connection. Through the detoxification diet, full class schedule and fellowship activities, you immediately begin to feel improvements in all areas of your life. Without processed foods, meat, sugar, and dairy, every cell of your body starts to “wake up.”

    Weeks 1 + 2: A Deeper Understanding

    Building on the foundation you created the first seven days, the next week delivers more powerful tools as you explore deep inside your heart and mind. Get in touch with emotions you might have been stuffing down for decades. Clarify and commit to your values. Learn to communicate effectively. Touch into the limitless joy that self-love and a cleansing diet can bring.

    Weeks 1 + 2 + 3: Putting It All Together

    After 14 days of releasing self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, all the while nourishing your body with cleansing foods, you’re ready to integrate everything you’ve learned. In your final week at OHI, constructive new behaviors will have time to become positive new habits, empowering you to create optimum health as you take the program home. You’ve not only experienced the transformational difference an organic, live, raw vegan lifestyle can make – you’ve had hands-on experience in creating it.

    3 Weeks Add Up Financially, Too

    You get a special savings of 5% when you stay two consecutive weeks, and 10% when staying 3 consecutive weeks.

    Find the time you require for making the healthiest choices for your body, mind and spirit at the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 43 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) 588-0809 to make your reservation.