• Take the 14-Day Detox Challenge – The Results are Nothing Less Than Life Changing

    Take the 14-Day Detox Challenge where you’ll learn how to relax, develop a positive attitude, and focus on what matters most to achieve a happy, fulfilling and healthy life.

    When You Take the Detox Challenge, You’ll Experience:

    • Weight Loss*
    • Increased Energy
    • More Radiant Skin
    • Sharper Mind
    • Healthy Body
    • Better Sense of Well-Being

    During your detox journey at OHI, you’ll feel supported by our staff, missionaries, and other guests. As an added bonus to your detox challenge, enjoy a special savings…

    Commit Today to the 14-Day Detox Challenge Where You’ll Experience:

    Weight Loss* – Women can lose about 5-7 pounds the first week and 2-3 pounds each week after. Men can lose about 7-10 pounds the first week and 5-7 pounds each week after.

    Increased Energy – Practice gentle exercise and walk every morning. Stimulate the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins, boost the immune system, and contribute to the healing process.

    More Radiant Skin – Eliminate toxins through juice fasting and eating our organic meals. Plus, you’ll make an organic face mask, apply it, relax, wash it off, and feel radiant!

    Sharper Mind – Learn alpha state meditation techniques that tap into your sub consciousness, access your creativity and intuition, visualize positive outcomes, and increase your awareness of God.

    Healthy Body – Practiced for many centuries around the world, detoxification is the process of cleansing the body to promote healing and longevity.

    Better Sense of Well-Being – Learn the spiritual disciplines related to breathing to release stress, control pain, increase emotional awareness, enhance concentration, and facilitate personal growth.

    Once you’ve completed the Detox Challenge you’ll look better, and you’ll feel like a new person. These changes are essential to a long-term healthy lifestyle.

    *This is not a weight-loss program. Weight loss varies per individual.

    Don’t Miss Out on This Powerful Detox Opportunity!

    Call Now: (800) 224-2620

  • 6 Steps to Tap into the Power of Conscious Breathing

    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 oxygen 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:

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    You can enjoy these benefits of conscious breathing right now. Here’s how:

    1. Find a quiet place (no, not the movie). You’re looking for a spot where you won’t be interrupted.
    2. Sit or lie down. Go ahead. This will only take a moment.
    3. Take a normal breath. Simply inhale and exhale once at a normal rate (we usually breathe at 10-20 breaths/min).
    4. Then inhale deeply. Now breathe in slowly through your nose. Allow your chest, then your belly, to rise for a count of four. Observe how your abdomen expands fully as your lungs fill with air.
    5. And exhale slowly. Breathe out through your mouth or nose. Don’t force it. Let it come easy for a count of four.
    6. Commit time to practice. That felt good, right? Now practice at least 10-20 minutes daily for maximum results.

    Find even more motivation and support at the Optimum Health Institute missions in San Diego and Austin. (800) 224-2620

  • Setting Yourself Up for Success by Marking Milestones

    OK, it’s been almost two months since you started the New Year full of optimism and good intentions to really follow through with those resolutions this time.   How’s that working for you?

    If just about everything you resolved to accomplish has fallen by the wayside, spring, the season of growth and renewal, is the perfect time to tackle your goals the right way.

    First of all, you have 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 electronic device, affirms and focuses your intention.

    The most effective goals are SMART – pecific, easurable, ttainable, elevant and ime Bound.

    If your goal is, “Get Healthier,” be very specific with what you desire 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 the time to set measurable goals right from the start, you’ll be able to monitor your progress in very real and tangible ways.

    One tendency we have is to set completely unrealistic goals that are impossible to achieve.  If you love to sink you teeth into a giant burger daily, 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 now, 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 immature, 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 Professor Teresa Amabile, PhD, shares her research proving that marking minor achievements is the most effective way to inspire people to continue on track for achieving other objectives, both large and small.

    Besides making business sense, celebration is also a spiritual discipline.  Enjoying the fellowship of like-minded people, expressing gratitude for your achievements and sharing the fruits of your labors enrich your spiritual connections to everyone and everything in your life, and to God.

    Learn how to set SMART goals for transforming your body, mind and spirit when you embark on a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas.  Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • OHI Guests are Powered by Pure Water

    It makes sense that a key component of an effective detoxification diet is completely live, raw, organic vegan food and juices . What might not be as obvious is that the quality of the water you drink during the detoxification process is just as important for optimum results.

    The purest alkaline reverse osmosis water with a pH of 7.3, said Amber Santa Cruz of Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Austin, Texas, is ideal. Amber is the Kitchen and Grow House Manager for OHI Austin.

    “For the environment that we’ve set up for guests doing the detoxifying cleanse at OHI,” Amber explained, “we wanted to build the water that would be optimum for that experience. Our goal for everything we recommend, from food combining to what we put on the plate, is to make digestion as easy as possible, taking the least amount of energy, so that energy can be used towards healing.”

    The OHI San Diego healing mission has been providing the purest drinking water to guests from a custom designed water filtration system since 2009. OHI Austin has also revamped its water filtration system, and now also provides the highest quality water to accompany the detoxification program.

    Before the water travels to two dedicated taps, one in the OHI Austin kitchen, and the other at a dining room station, it passes through an elaborate filtration system. Chlorine, fluoride and total dissolved solids – the term for organic materials, magnesium, phosphorous, bacteria and other toxins – are scrubbed from the water through reverse osmosis and carbon filtering. A UV filter zaps microbes.

    Then, a mineral infusion adds electrolytes essential for healthy body chemistry, and a coconut filter softens the water and ensures a clean, light, delicious taste.

    Acquiring all the information needed to know what type of system would be best for OHI was a long, demanding process; planning alone took approximately six months. Amber researched exactly what was in the municipality’s water supply. She spoke with numerous water experts, and studied possible components for the filtration system from every angle. Each potential challenge was examined, like how removing all chemicals from a water supply could cause undesirable growth of possibly harmful biofilm in water pipes.

    Amber and the team of experts working on the project determined that positioning the filtration system closest to the taps for the kitchen and dining room station would minimize the risk of algae growth, and maintain the pristine state of the reverse osmosis water for drinking and food preparation.

    Amber strongly urges people to talk to their local water authority and go online to examine the required public documents detailing the composition of their local water. Then, they’ll be able to decide what type of filtration system, if any, might be appropriate for home use.

    Drink the purest pH balanced water for a week – or three – as you detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin. Our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and give you the tools you need to continue following the OHI healthy lifestyle program at home. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • The Power of Self-Love

    Do you truly love yourself? On the surface, this question might sound like a no-brainer, but when many people take the time to really sit with it and think about it deeply, they often find that the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

    What Is Self-Love?

    At OHI, we think of self-love as a holistic healing practice, and an ongoing process, rather than a simple affirmation. Self-love involves bringing body, mind and spirit into harmony, and maintaining this alignment requires a great deal of focus and dedication.

    How Does Self-Love Work?

    Two of the key aspects of self-love are acceptance and forgiveness. We have all felt at one time or another that we—or parts of ourselves—were ‘unlovable’ in some way. We carry around powerful burdens of guilt, regret, shame and trauma. And the spiritual and emotional weight of these burdens often prevent us from having the will or drive necessary to heal ourselves, or seek healing in the first place.

    That’s why self-love begins with recognizing the crucial connection and interdependence of mind, body and spirit. When we open ourselves up to self-acceptance and forgiveness, we begin to free ourselves from the many burdens that keep us from living healthy, joyous lives.

    How A 3-Week Retreat At OHI Can Help

    At OHI, everything we do is centered around this holistic approach to self-love. Through sharing, meditation, healthy eating and prayer, we give our guests the tools to foster true self-love and continue practicing self-love long after they leave our campuses. Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:

    • Week One : In week one we focus on the mind, body, spirit connection by cleansing the body with a detoxifying, nutrient rich diet, calming the mind with regular meditation, and renewing the spirit with daily reflection, inspiration and prayer.
    • Week Two : In week two, guests already have begun to feel the renewed energy and positivity that comes with cleansing and detoxifying mind, body and spirit. This is also when we begin learning and exploring the various tools to support us in setting our goals, and making healthier choices for ourselves.
    • Week Three : This is far and away the most popular week of the program because this is when our guests begin to deeply internalize the process of self-love and learn to integrate it into their lives, propelling them toward continued physical, mental and spiritual health in their lives outside the OHI community.

    Self-love sounds simple enough, but bringing mind, body and spirit into sustained balance, joy and lasting health requires a great deal of focus and maintenance. Self-love is a journey, and that journey begins right here with the warmth and compassion of the OHI community. The OHI program is a holistic way to enrich your body, mind and spirit – and show yourself some love. Visit our beautiful retreat centers in San Diego and Austin. Call (800) 588-0809 today to book your retreat.

  • Foods that Detox

    Certain foods can speed up your body’s detoxification process and boost the health of your liver, the major organ in charge of filtering impurities. Including at least one of these vegetables or fruits in every meal is a positive step towards achieving optimum health in body, mind and spirit.

    Artichokes cue your liver to produce more bile. Acidic bile breaks down foods to let your body absorb more nutrients from each bite. Besides toning up your liver, the spikey green veggie supplies you with fiber, protein, magnesium, folate and potassium.

    You know that rather aromatic smell your urine gets after you eat asparagus ? That’s an indicator this nutrient-rich stalk is helping your liver drain toxins from your body, and that’s a good thing. This anti-inflammatory super-star also helps to tone up your heart, prevent cancer cells from growing and keeps you looking and feeling younger.

    The creamy deliciousness of fresh avocados delivers both antioxidants and lots of fiber. Good fats in the shiny green fruit are essential for healthy body and brain function.

    Beets are a Rodney Dangerfield vegetable, rarely getting the respect they so richly deserve. Red, golden or striped, beets are a super food that’s super rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, niacin, and vitamins A and C. They also contain folic acid, important in the creation and upkeep of new cells to speed healing. Add in their immunity boosting, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting ability, and they jump to the top of your “must eat” list.

    Besides packing a hefty nutritional punch, broccoli teams up with your liver enzymes to flush toxins from your body.

    Count on cabbage to help lower cholesterol even as its high fiber content is aiding in your bowel elimination.

    Folk wisdom says something is a ‘weed’ until we figure out what we can do with it. Pick dandelion root to heal a compromised liver, or keep a healthy one in balance.

    Fragrant garlic packs a one-two punch of helping the liver and boosting the immune system.

    Ginger can spice up a detox diet – literally – with both a delicious flavor boost, and an aid to liver function. It’s particularly effective in helping to tone a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol, or too many toxic foods.

    Grapefruit jump-starts your liver to burn fat more quickly, making it a must for both detoxing and shedding excess weight.

    Raw in a salad or whipped into a veggie smoothie, kale helps to flush out the kidneys. It also delivers antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and tons of vitamins and minerals.

    Kicking off your morning with a squirt of lemon juice in your pure water is a great way to start your daily detoxification.

    We’ve talked before about the importance of staying properly hydrated, but it bears repeating – pure water is essential for flushing toxins from your body.

    Tossing fresh organic watercress into your salad or smoothie is a smart way to help release enzymes in the liver that detoxify the body.

    We saved the best for last – wheatgrass , of course! It’s your liver’s best friend, and works to alkalize your entire body. Wheatgrass juice is fantastic for lowering your blood sugar and resetting your metabolism, too. It’s definitely a key part of any smart detoxification program.

    Come taste the healing power of these fruits and vegetables as part of a transformative experience for all your senses and your body, mind and spirit at OHI. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • Positive Thinking Can Help You Achieve Your New Year Goals

    What are your goals for the new year? Better health? More travel? A happier, stress-free lifestyle? No matter what you have planned for this year, we’re here to tell you that positive thinking can help make your goals a reality.

    Why Is Positive Thinking Important?

    Positive thinking can elevate your mood, lower your anxiety levels, and actually make you healthier. In fact, clinical studies have concluded that positive thinking can produce a number of amazing health benefits, including:

    • Longer life spans
    • Lower levels of stress and depression
    • A stronger immune system
    • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
    • Improved ability to cope with stressful situations

    Think about how you feel when you focus on the negative. If you’ve spent time stressing about your job, worrying about paying off that looming debt, or fixating on the potential outcome of an illness or health issue, you’ve probably noticed that your negative thinking didn’t actually help to ease the situation. Chances are it just made you feel worse.

    That’s because negative thinking actually narrows the mind. When you are thinking about a particular fear or worry, the mind has trouble focusing on anything else, meaning that there is no room for other, possibly positive outcomes to break into your mental picture. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety, which can affect your physical and mental health by contributing to cardiovascular problems and nervous disorders. In other words, negative thinking is measurably bad for you. Negative thinking is also self-defeating. After all, when you can’t even imagine a positive outcome, what’s the use in even trying to bring one about?

    That’s why positive thinking is such a big part of what we do here at OHI. We believe that positive thinking creates the attitude and mental creativity necessary to produce real, positive results.

    So What Is Positive Thinking, Exactly?

    Positive thinking is more than simply ignoring your problems. In fact, with positive thinking, you face your problems head-on by acknowledging them and finding productive ways to overcome them.

    It’s also more than simply thinking happy thoughts. Positive thinking is the disciplined act of creating and holding positive results in your mind, and bringing those results into the real world through consistent, passionate mental work. After all, negativity is seductive and insidious. How many times have you found yourself thinking about nothing in particular, only to be invaded by pessimistic thoughts and ideas? That’s why positive thinking requires practice, focus, and diligence.

    At OHI, this is one of the cornerstones of what we do. With daily meditation and prayer, we learn to calm the clutter of our minds and achieve focused mental clarity. We learn how to create productive visions for our lives and forge connections to our desired outcomes that engender the drive and determination required to achieve them. We also learn to release the stress, trauma, and pain that lingers in our minds and clouds our thoughts with negativity.

    Whether you’re looking to conquer your New Year goals, overcome a long-term health issue, or simply rejuvenate mind, body and spirit, book your retreat at OHI today, and experience the true power of positive thinking first-hand. Get encouragement, support and inspiration to help you achieve your goals for a healthier you physically, mentally and spiritually at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • 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.

  • OHI Guest Doing Extraordinary Things: Pat Ramsay

    Introducing OHI guest, Patricia Ramsay.  She has led an extraordinary life, and at 75 years old is still striving for a deeper connection with God every day.  Her spiritual journey has taken her around the world — from Jamaica to London to the United States and India — even to the doorstep of OHI.  We are so grateful to be a repeat stop on her travels.

    Q. How did you hear about OHI?

    In October 2017, I felt there was a cloud between myself and the mentee I was working with, so I asked God for guidance.  The phone rang, and it was my girlfriend calling to tell me about OHI. Clearly, this was the answer God was sending me. When I have meditated on something, I listen to what the voice inside me says, and I never question it.

    Q. What was your first visit like?

    It was simply amazing!  I felt like it got my body-mind-spirit back into alignment.  I was a vegetarian when I went there, but after completing the 3-day juice cleanse, I said to myself that this is how I want to feel all of the time.  So I became a vegan, and I’ve never felt better in my life.

    Q. In 2014, you were accepted as a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard University in their Advanced Leadership Initiative.  Tell us about that experience.

    The former CEO of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) recommended me for the Harvard program.  I was just approaching turning 70, and thought I was a bit too old to be going back to college, but Harvard invited me to interview, so I went.  I met with the Deans of three schools — Business, Law, and Education. I was accepted into the program, and Harvard awarded me a full scholarship.  It was God’s plan, and He most definitely provided! I spent a lovely year sharing ideas with the most amazing minds. God has given me the courage and support to do his work.  I am just a vessel and cannot do otherwise.

    Q. You make time for prayer and meditation every morning.  Are there any spiritual experiences you would like to share?

    About 6 months ago, a voice came to me clear as a bell, and told me to go to Bali.  I knew in my heart this would be a spiritual retreat that would further develop my being.  I booked passage to Ubud but didn’t schedule too much. I feel that you always have to leave space for grace.  Too much structure shows a lack of faith, and ego managing everything. I want room in my life to let the Divine enter.  I met with a sacred healer, and when he laid his hands on me he told me that I harness a tremendous amount of energy. I am only able to balance it all because my faith is so strong, and I listen to God without ever second guessing.  He told me I needed to share my spirituality with others more freely instead of holding back so that my energy can flow. That conversation marked a quantum leap in my faith. I felt a complete shift in my consciousness. I realized that I need to share my story with the world, because in that way I share God with the world.

    Q. Have you come back to OHI since you first visited last October?

    Yes!  I returned in August 2018, this time for 3 weeks.  I felt like my body was out of alignment again, but after completing the 21-day program and juice fasting each week, I felt my body was where it needed to be, linked with my mind and spirit.

    Q. What classes spoke the most to you in this visit?

    Each Vocal Toning Class was magnificent.  I could feel the trees and the energy of the ground. Wednesday’s Release Ceremony was also quite moving for me.  God always puts me in the right place for the nourishment my body, mind, and soul, and OHI will always be a place that nurtures me back into alignment.

    Q. Looking back on your life, what advice do you have for others?

    At 75 years old, I feel like life is a total adventure.  Every day is better than the last. Yes, I’ve had bad times, but they all brought me to exactly where I needed to be.  The mantra I use most often in my meditation is “Be still and know that I am God.”

  • Missionary Spotlight: Missionary’s Transformation Helps Her Beat the Odds

    When Natalia Eric was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2010, it was not her first experience with cancer.  Two years earlier, she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and her thyroid was removed. This time, the health opportunity was even more aggressive.  Doctors removed her spleen, which had swollen to seven pounds, and started her on chemotherapy. They also gave her only five years to live.

    Natalia was not one to passively surrender.  She had been born in Russia, and navigated challenging situations before.  Now a resident of Toronto, Natalia realized if she wanted to take charge of her health, she was going to have to change things dramatically.

    While scouring the internet for information, she came across YouTube videos of people sharing their transformational experience at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) San Diego.  Natalia booked a three-week stay.

    “Those first three days, I got so sick,” Natalia said.  She realized her body was purging toxins she accumulated during her chemo treatments, but that didn’t make the process any easier.  She was ready to quit the program right then and there. Compassionate OHI team members and fellow guests convinced her to stay.

    “Just three days later,” Natalia said, “Everything changed for me.  The sun was shining, the grass was green, the birds were singing — it was wonderful.  I was so happy to be there!” Natalia celebrated every day of the rest of that first stay, relishing the instant closeness of the OHI community.   She felt fantastic, and shed 17 pounds those three weeks.

    When she returned to Toronto after that first visit, her oncologist was amazed at the dramatic changes in her body.  Her bloodwork was fantastic, no lymph nodes were swollen, and her bone marrow looked good.

    “I started thinking,” she said.  “If three weeks at OHI could do this for me, what could three months do?  I applied to become a missionary.”

    Since then, Natalia has been a proud part of the missionary program five separate times.  With each visit, she continues to learn more about herself while she’s also meeting new guests, and making new friends.  “I find I can help people by sharing my own stories. I tell them how I incorporate the OHI teachings into my life.”

    Russian guests in particular immediately connect with Natalia.  Many time their return visits to coincide with hers. Some of the older Russian guests don’t speak English, and Natalia is happy to translate for them, and help them reap the benefits of learning new ways to eat, think, meditate and move.

    Natalia said that with each new missionary assignment, she’s able to go deeper into the heart of OHI’s healing program.  Her biggest personal transformation is emotional healing. For the first time in her life, Natalia said, she is truly loving herself.  “We’re told that to think of ourselves first is selfish,” Natalia said. “But until you can love yourself enough to make time for yourself, you can never really love anyone else.  I know that everything about OHI is to make sure the body, mind and spirit are all taken care of. You can’t heal the body if the mind and spirit are still doing the same old stuff.  To heal your emotions, you have to make changes.”

    Those changes don’t just happen during a stay at an OHI mission — they continue to transform lives when people take the program home with them.

    “My grown children will ask me about the food I eat now, and I help them understand emotionally how important it is.  They start to eat more raw foods, and have salads at every meal. And that means my grandchildren are getting healthier, and learning healthy habits at such a young age.  It makes me so happy.”