• Intermittent Fasting – The Basics (Part 1 of 2)

    Intro

    There’s a resurgent interest in the practice of intermittent fasting (IF) and its benefits—losing weight, reducing cravings, gaining muscle, and giving the digestive tract a rest. With a new year upon us, let’s learn more about IF in our “Based on Science” article from the January 2020 OHI Newsletter (digital version here). It’s packed with helpful tips…

    Intermittent Fasting  – The Basics (Part 1 of 2)

    Fasting has been a common practice for thousands of years. Fast forward to the 21st century, and there is tremendous interest in the practice of intermittent fasting (IF) and its benefits – losing weight, reducing cravings, accelerating fat loss, gaining muscle, and giving the digestive tract a rest – all resulting in being healthier overall. With a new year upon us, let’s learn more about IF…

    What is intermittent fasting?

    Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. There are different methods for intermittent fasting, but the overall approach is the same – you can eat what you want, but only during a specific time period.

    Popular types of intermittent fasting programs

    There are many variations of intermittent fasting. Here are four popular approaches to consider:

    1. The 16:8 Method (also known as the Leangains Protocol)

    You eat over an 8-hour period in the middle of the day, and fast entirely for the remaining 16 hours.

    1. The 5:2 Program With this approach, you keep your calorie consumption to 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days a week, and eat normally the other five days. This calorie limit is separated by a 12-hour fast, so you consume 250 calories in the morning and another 250 calories at night.
    2. Eat-Stop-Eat Program You fast for 24 hours once or twice a week, and eat normally the other five or six days a week.
    3. The Warrior Diet You fast for 20 hours a day, and eat one large meal every night.

    Many people find the 16:8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable, and easiest to stick to – which is why it’s the most popular of the four methods.

    How Does IF Impact Your Body?

    When you fast, several things happen in your body on the cellular and molecular level. First, fasting initiates cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells. Second, when you fast your body adjusts the levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) to make stored body fat more accessible to be burned as fuel. Your insulin level drops, and lower insulin levels also make stored body fat more accessible. Fasting also increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Because of these changes in hormones, fasting may increase your metabolic rate by 3%-14%.

    A 2016 study done by the Journal of Translational Medicine found that people who practiced IF for 8 weeks lost more body fat than those in the control group. NOTE: The success of intermittent fasting is based on the premise that fewer calories are consumed overall. For those that binge during their eating periods, they may not lose any weight.

    The Pros & Cons of Intermittent Fasting

    Here are the pros and cons to consider when deciding whether IF is a good fit for you:

    PROS:

    • You stick to one schedule.

    With IF, you’re not as worried about what you’re “allowed” to eat. Instead you just concentrate on sticking to your fast schedule.

    • You savor your meals.

    When food is not available to you all the time, you truly appreciate the meal in front of you, the enjoyment of eating, and the feeling of satiation.

    • You kick your bad snacking habits.

    IF forces you to stop eating at a certain time, and control your grazing behaviors.

    • You may bust through a weight loss plateau.

    If your weight loss efforts have plateaued, IF may kick-start your metabolism. Your body learns that there is no glucose available for fuel, so it burns fat stores instead.

    • You might get your pre-diabetes under control.

    Every time you eat, your body releases insulin to shuttle sugar from your bloodstream to your cells for energy. But people who are pre-diabetic are insulin resistant, which means the cells don’t respond well to insulin and can’t take up glucose, so your blood sugar levels stay elevated. Going longer between meals may help because your body pumps out insulin less often.

    • You get an anti-aging boost.

    IF creates a slight stress on your cells’ mitochondria (the energy powerhouses), which gives them a nudge to rev up their functioning, and promote cellular repair, which can lead to being more energetic.

    • You can reset your circadian rhythm.

    Eating close to bedtime is a sure way to negatively impact your circadian rhythm. Conversely, practicing IF gets your body on a regular cycle of eating and fasting. Refraining from eating close to bedtime results in resetting your circadian rhythm and improving your sleep.

    CONS:

    • You might feel irritated, tired, dizzy, or lightheaded.

    When you skip a meal, your blood sugar drops, which can affect your mood and energy levels. You can combat this by eating more protein- and fiber-rich meals with some healthy fats when you are scheduled to eat so you feel satiated. At OHI, we recommend plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, legumes and sprouts.

    • High-Blood Pressure and Diabetes medications may need adjustment.

    For diabetics on medication like insulin or Glipizide, the fasting/eating cycle of IF could cause sharp drops/spikes in blood sugar, which makes their medications less effective. Additionally, IF can cause a rapid decrease in blood pressure, therefore people using high-blood pressure medication, need to be aware of this side-effect and consult their physician before participating in IF.

    Bottom Line: Always consult your physician or health care professional before participating in an IF program.

    Join us next Saturday for the second part of this article.

    “What is Intermittent Fasting, and Does It Help You Lose Weight?”, by Tiarra Mukherjee, September 25, 2019, Prevention.com

    “Intermittent Fasting 101 — The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”, by Kris Gunnars, July 25, 2018, Healthline.com

    “4 Ways Fasting Benefits Your Spiritual Health”, by Maria Walley, Grottonetwork.com

    “What Is Intermittent Fasting, and Will It Help Your Sleep?”, by Michael J Breus Ph.D., Apr 11, 2019, Psychologytoday.com

  • Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI (Part 2 of 2)

    Intro

    A very happy new year to our OHI community. Hopefully, you just received your January 2020 edition of the Optimum Health Institute Newsletter. If not, you can find a link to the digital version here.

    Our theme for this issue is “Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI”. In this edition, we feature articles that highlight one of our newest staff members, Danielle Demko, a senior facilitator at OHI San Diego; Susan Manning, an OHI Austin missionary; John Hagan, a long-standing and now life-long OHI community member; and Sharon Peck’s touching story of how the OHI Scholarship was a god-send in helping her through Lyme and Parkinson’s Diseases. We also feature a science-based article that focuses on the basics of Intermittent Fasting (IF) and how IF works within the OHI program. And lastly, my article where I share ways to ‘renew’ in the New Year.

    Please keep reading for a preview of my “Renewal” article.

    Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI (Part 2 of 2)

    NEW at OHI

    The most striking change you’ll see at OHI is our change in guest capacity. At OHI Austin, we are working to change room configurations giving us the ability to increase capacity and have more guests on a weekly basis. At OHI San Diego, we are doing the opposite and decreasing guest capacity. Our goal at OHI San Diego is to create a more-intimate guest experience and focus on continuing improvements to our facilities and rooms.

    Another exciting effort that is currently in development…we are creating a Contemplative Retreat for our OHI graduates. This Thursday-through-Sunday intensive retreat will take a deep-dive into one aspect of our program, such as engraining the practice of Alpha-meditation. Or it will focus on mindful movement or how to maintain the Maintenance Diet. Imagine getting the full benefits of our 3-week program related to spiritual practices mindfulness, diet or movement in just a 3-day intensive! You will build on your current experience and knowledge and go further into each level of physical, mental and spiritual realms. It will also serve as a quick reset for those who can’t attend for a full week.

    And finally…we heard you loud-and-clear when you said you wanted a Referral Program. The more you refer friends and family, the more you will enjoy great discounts on our rates. We will be releasing details soon!

    Take a Wellness Inventory as You Move into Spring

    The renewing season is also a good time to take inventory. Take an inventory of your health and wellness. Have you gotten off track with your diet, spiritual practices, and exercise? A visit to OHI is the perfect way to reset. In addition to the physical and mental, we will help you reconnect with the spiritual as well. In our safe and sacred environment, you will nourish your spirit through daily reflection, meditation, and celebration.

    We look forward to seeing you soon.

    Yours in prayer,

    Robert P. Nees, Jr.,

    Senior Pastor and Chairman

    Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin

  • Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI (Part 1 of 2)

    Intro

    A very happy new year to our OHI community. Hopefully, you just received your January 2020 edition of the Optimum Health Institute Newsletter. If not, you can find a link to the digital version here.

    Our theme for this issue is “Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI”. In this edition, we feature articles that highlight one of our newest staff members, Danielle Demko, a senior facilitator at OHI San Diego; Susan Manning, an OHI Austin missionary; John Hagan, a long-standing and now life-long OHI community member; and Sharon Peck’s touching story of how the OHI Scholarship was a god-send in helping her through Lyme and Parkinson’s Diseases. We also feature a science-based article that focuses on the basics of Intermittent Fasting (IF) and how IF works within the OHI program. And lastly, my article where I share ways to ‘renew’ in the New Year.

    Please keep reading for a preview of my “Renewal” article.

    Renewal: New Year, New You, New OHI (Part 1 of 2)

    ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’

    -2 Corinthians 5:17

    A warm and wholehearted New Year greeting to our OHI community. As we enter the new year and the Spring season approaches, this verse is an excellent reminder that it is a time of renewal. As we witness the cycle of life starting once again, the world becoming greener as plants sprout new leaves and blossoms, it is the perfect time for us to renew and be recreated in body, mind, and spirit. As the verse above states, “the old has gone, the new is here,” it is time to let the past go and focus on the present and the future.

    When I was a kid, Spring cleaning was a big deal at my house and in my neighborhood. Everyone on the block would throw open all their windows and doors and let the fresh air inside. My parents and I would dust, vacuum, scrub and cleanse until the inside of the house smelled as good as it did outside. Nowadays, I like to add some mental Spring cleaning as well. It’s a great time to clear out the clutter in your mind, find ways to simplify your life, and reorganize your priorities, so that you can do more of what you really want to do.

    Here at OHI through our classes and activities, we show our guests many ways to renew, restore, and recreate. And, over the past year, we have been renewing, too – our facilities. We have refurbished many of our rooms, including 80% of our guest rooms on the main campus, and 100% of our townhouses. We’ve removed the carpet and updated with wood flooring; we have repainted; and in the bathrooms we’ve put in new tile and tubs. And, further down in the newsletter, I’ll share some of the exciting new programs we’re offering.

    New You: Now is the Time to Harmonize with Change

    As the days lengthen, and the world around us brightens and becomes more colorful, it is a good reminder that our world is constantly evolving. New ways of thinking, new ideas, new methods for doing things, new challenges with new solutions, and lots of new things to do. All of which makes the upcoming Spring a great time to reflect on how we fit into this new world, and what part of it fits us.

    Change can be frightening, we fear it will cause us to fail or get hurt. But, when we step back from it for a moment, we realize that it is constant, and that we have been adapting to it all along. History is nothing if not ongoing transformation: birth and death; construction and destruction; order and disorder. “The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it,” stated Helen Keller, who at 19 months old experienced dire change, learned it wasn’t the end of the world, then for the rest of her life modeled resilience to all of humanity.

    The best way to deal with change is to prepare for it, then it is so much easier to accept and enjoy. At OHI, we’ve found that stretch, alpha practice, and mindfulness not only strengthens our minds and bodies, but gives us a growth mindset that empowers us to encounter failure and not get upset. Instead we learn from it, and acclimate to the change it brings.

    ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans 12:2

    Science has shown that light exercise stimulates our brain and increases creativity. Over the long winter, with the shorter days and the colder temperatures, we tend to stay indoors. Spring is just around the corner, which makes it time to break free and get outside. A short walk every day has amazing health benefits.

    Another wonderful outdoor activity is gardening. I like the old proverb that says, “Gardening is an exercise in optimism.” Gardening is an activity that keeps you in the present, yet allows you

    to anticipate future progress. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching a plant grow, mature, and blossom.

    Our guests here at OHI enjoy volunteering their time in our garden. Tending the plants from which we make our famous juice. Come join us in this and the many other mindful activities offered everyday at OHI.

    You can also brighten your spirit by doing volunteer work, or spending time on a hobby or a favorite activity. Better yet, start a new one – experiencing new things stimulates your brain starting with the dopamine receptors which make you feel good. Trying new activities also creates new neural pathways in your brain (more electrical connections between brain cells) which strengthens your brain and makes you more creative. It even helps reduce the effects of dementia as you age.

    ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:’ Ecclesiastes 3:1

    This wonderful verse reminds us that the beginning of the year is a time for renewal. A time to take inventory of our life and consider where we want to be in the future. As we read further into the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, we learn in verses 3:2-3 that there is a time for restoration and progress: ‘a time to plant and a time to uproot… a time to tear down and a time to build.’ At OHI where we focus on the body, mind, and spirit, you’ll find a great place to rejuvenate, regenerate, and revitalize.

    As we move toward Spring, this is an excellent time for letting go of the past. To quote Helen Keller once more, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Holding onto past emotional hurts can harm our physical health, and ruminating over old wounds keeps us stuck. The changing season is a wonderful time to work on becoming more of the person you’ve always wanted to be. Now is the time to commit to decisions you’ve been putting off.

    Keeping in touch or reconnecting with your extended OHI family is a great way to release your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Those friends you made here, who understand you better than anyone else, are ready to help. They will be the sounding board for your thoughts and dreams when your family and older friends simply won’t understand the diet and lifestyle changes you want to make. Plan a reunion visit to OHI in the coming months and spend some quality time with your people. A personal retreat to OHI will give you the time to reflect on your life, the past year, and what you may want to incorporate into your life moving forward.

    Join us next Saturday for the second part of my article.

  • The OHI Scholarship Fund

    Because of You, People are Healing, HOWEVER…there are more people than ever before with serious health opportunities. Last year your donations made it possible for OHI to provide 77 scholarships. This year we’ve increased our goal significantly. Word has spread of the good work you’ve enabled us to do, and many more people with critical health opportunities are reaching out to us for help.

    I would like to thank you for your past donations. As a loyal friend to our healing mission, you have made a difference in the lives of those who cannot afford our program.

    Your generosity to the OHI Scholarship Fund, has made it possible for people with severe health opportunities to begin the process of healing body, mind and spirit.

    And this year, I am asking you to help out again with a tax-deductible gift that will help even more people.

    Share the Love, Share the Feeling, Share the Gift of Healing
    The OHI community relies on acts of kindness and generosity from people like you to support those in need. Our goal is to provide 350 scholarships which means we must raise $500,000 during the year of 2020. Your continued backing will make this vital effort possible.

    Celebrate Your OHI Community with a Contribution Today!
    Since 1976, friends of OHI like you have helped thousands of people. And, since all of our scholarships are for people who otherwise could not afford our program, their healing has been possible because of your generous support. Thank you.

    Would you be willing to make a special year-end gift today of $50, $100, $250, $500 or whatever you can afford to help hundreds of people with life-threatening health opportunities?

    Please make your donation now – by calling (800) 588-0809, or online at www.OptimumHealth.org – Support OHI – many more lives are at stake.

    Your tax-deductible gift will be IMMEDIATELY put to use providing scholarships. Thank you in advance for your kind-hearted assistance.

    Sincerely,

    Reverend Robert Nees Jr.
    Senior Pastor and Chairman Optimum Health Institute, San Diego and Austin

  • Happy Holidays from All of Us at OHI

     

    We here at OHI get extra excited around the holidays, and we want to take a moment to wish our beloved OHI community, and all of our loved ones, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Jubilant Kwanzaa and a great big Happy Holidays!

    As a member of the OHI community, you are a part of something truly special. For decades we’ve worked to make the institute a place where all feel welcome. We want OHI to be a warm, inviting environment where people from all walks of life can come and be at home in an atmosphere of health, love, openness, compassion and support. And with the help of members like you, OHI has become just that. And for your part in helping us make this vision a reality, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Wherever you decide to spend this holiday season, and however you choose to celebrate, we hope your holiday is filled with warmth, love and good cheer. And we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to extend your holiday happiness well into 2020 by visiting us again in the new year!

    The New Year offers an opportunity for renewal and rejuvenation, which makes it the perfect time for a refreshing retreat with your friends in the OHI community.

    It’s no secret that 2019 has been a hectic and trying year for a great many of us. And the OHI experience affords you a chance to start fresh in 2020. Here, you can cleanse yourself from the residue of a difficult year by nourishing your body, calming your mind, and empowering your spirit—all in a loving and supportive environment.

    Have big plans in the New Year? Through meditation, journaling, and our exciting classes, you’ll learn how to create and hold a new vision for your health, wealth and happiness, and how to set achievable goals to make that vision a reality in the New Year. We can’t think of a better way to set yourself up for success in 2020, than with a visit to OHI.

    So, from all of us at OHI, we wish you a Happy Holiday season!

    At OHI, we’re here to support you in achieving all of your goals for the New Year. Begin the year with a retreat at OHI where you can set goals that help you work toward your best life.

    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.

  • What’s Your Vision for 2020?

    The New Year is just around the corner, and with it comes new possibilities, unknown opportunities and exciting new prospects . It is a time for renewal. It’s a fresh start with boundless potential. Which means it’s the perfect time to check in with ourselves, discover what we truly want out of life, and set a vision for the future. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

    What is a “vision” exactly?

    Much more than a set of goals, or a New Year’s resolution, a vision is an overarching and all-encompassing conceptualization of your ideal self and ideal life.

    Vision vs. Goals

    Vision – Your vision is like your mission statement. It’s a ‘big picture’ idea of how you want your life to look. Your vision could be greater health, more financial abundance, stronger relationships with your family and loved ones, or just more joy and love in general.

    Goals – It might help to think of goals as smaller, more easily digestible pieces of your overall vision. Goals are clearly defined targets that exist within your greater vision and guide you closer to your ideal life.

    For instance, if your vision includes improving your health, your first goal might be to lose 5lbs., quit smoking, or change your diet. If your vision includes greater wealth, you might set a goal to pay off that credit card debt, or start your own business. If your vision includes improving your relationships, your goals might include forgiving an old grievance, or simply communicating more with those you care about.

    How to Set Your Vision

    When people leave OHI, one of the most valuable things we want them to take away from their experience is a renewed and strengthened vision for their lives. This happens in a variety of different ways. Here are a few of the steps you can take:

    • Meditation – A cluttered mind is perhaps the primary obstacle to overcome when crafting a solid vision for yourself. Holding and sticking to your vision requires focus. That’s why meditation is such a crucial part of the OHI experience. Consistent meditation helps to release pain and pent-up tension, and helps you to tap into your sub-consciousness by clearing away the muck and frustration that builds up over time.
    • Acceptance – The many physical, emotional and mental struggles we encounter in life can sometimes hamper our ability to stay positive. But, through consistent practice, and purposeful dedication to self-acceptance, you can learn to maintain the positive mental attitude needed to push toward your vision for a healthier happier you.
    • Visualization – One of the ways we try to bring our visions to life at OHI is with our vision board class. This gives guests the opportunity to tap into their creativity by building physical representations of their overall visions. By combining images and photographs with words and phrases that connect our visions to concrete things in the real world, we charge our visions with feelings of passion, and begin to attract those things into our lives.

    An OHI retreat can be an eye-opening first step toward making your vision a reality, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t get started on your own. The important thing to remember is to clear your mind, focus on a positive mental attitude and set your vision before setting your goals, because if your goals don’t serve a greater purpose, you are much less likely to achieve them.

    There’s no better way to start off the New Year than by taking time for yourself to create a clear vision for the life you want to lead in 2020. A retreat to OHI’s holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas allow you to step back from the stresses of daily life and re-focus on what is important to you.

    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 Spirit of Christmas at OHI

    There are people who prepare for Christmas all year long. Yes, those early shoppers who put the rest of us to shame, but there are others who take it to a much higher level. People who spend the entire year crafting hand-made presents and decorations, planning parties, designing recipes, and writing holiday cards and newsletters. Then, as December 25th grows closer they start decorating, baking and wrapping. That is great if you don’t have to work and have little children in your life. But, for the rest of us, who don’t have any elfin blood in our genealogy, Christmas comes just once a year.

    While the world of commercials and advertising would have us thinking about the holidays well before Halloween, most of us will begin when the time is right for us. As humorist Dave Barry observes, “Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”

    A great way to enter the holidays is with an empowering affirmation.

    • I am free to choose how I spend my holidays.
    • It is okay to take time for myself this holiday season.
    • This year I will celebrate what Christmas means to me.

    Most of us will begin to feel the Christmas spirit some time after Thanksgiving Day. For some it will be the scent of a fresh cut fir tree. For others a favorite Christmas song will get under their skin. Perhaps it will be the pleasant tones and rich voice of Nat King Cole singing, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire; Jack Frost nipping at your nose;” that gets you in the mood.

    While OHI is Christian-based, we embrace all faiths and beliefs. We believe the spirit of the season is best summed up by the words of Jesus when he said, in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We embrace that spirit by creating a giving and loving community that shares care and support during the holidays, and throughout the year.

    Community is the Key for Unlocking the Spirit of Christmas

    As the spirit of the season starts plucking at our heartstrings, we hark back to our childhood and the magic that we remember. Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of The Little House on the Prairie, understood this when she wrote, “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

    It’s that ‘love of kindred’ that is the true magic of the season. The gathering together of friends and family; the connecting with our community that proves what the season is all about. Many Hollywood movies have attempted to capture this magic, but one has done it so well that it has become a classic.

    George Bailey, in the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, constantly helps other people, often to his own detriment, causing him to forego his personal goals and dreams. What he doesn’t realize is that, over the course of his lifetime, he has built an incredibly loving and supportive community. Then in a moment when his world starts to fall apart, his community comes to his rescue and saves him in his time of need.

    At OHI, we understand that kind of community. We create it, add to it, and reinforce it every week of the year. We would love it if you would spend your Christmas with us. Here at OHI you will enjoy a peaceful and harmonious holiday with loving and supportive people.

    American essayist, Hamilton Wright Mabie, sums it up the holidays beautifully, “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

    When you spend your holiday at OHI, you’ll be eating the delicious clean foods that energize your body. And, you’ll be maintaining your healthy lifestyle in a nonjudgmental and caring community. And, in the giving spirit of the season, bring your friends. What better way to enjoy the holidays than giving the gift of healing body, mind, and spirit to those you love.

    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.

  • Holiday Tips: Maintain Your Energy Through the Holidays

    Deck the Halls!! That’s just ONE of the many things on your holiday list this year. Navigating the holidays while maintaining your energy, sanity and health takes some planning and careful execution. But you’ll be better off for it and in a much better place to start the new year!

    Body Basics

    Start by paying attention to your physical needs. Be mindful of the basic energy boosters – staying hydrated, and getting at least 7 or 8 hours of deep sleep every night. Keep some nourishing snacks with you to power you through demanding days. You can whip up a big batch of healthy trail mix in advance by dehydrating almonds and organic fruit, then storing the mix in an air-tight container. Nibble on that when you feel your energy start to ebb.

    Dark leafy greens, frozen berries and almond milk smoothies are perfect for a power-packed breakfast or a satisfying between-meal treat to keep you going. Oranges and other citrus fruits, of course, deliver high doses of vitamin C – the go-to vitamin for boosting the immune system and staving off colds and flu. It’s also touted for its anti-aging properties by helping prevent cardiovascular and eye diseases, and even skin wrinkling.

    Emotional and Mental Balance

    A positive, happy attitude is essential for keeping your energy up. The quickest fix for a mental slump is several deep, conscious breaths. Bright colors also immediately brighten your mood, so wearing or decorating with brilliant reds, yellows and greens will boost everyone’s spirits.

    Have Fun

    Introduce new traditions. For those family gatherings or parties with friends, make it a point to learn one new, interesting thing about as many people there as possible. Kicking off the conversation with something like, “Please tell me something positive about you that not many people know” can spark many fascinating discussions and enrich relationships.

    Do Good

    On a spiritual level, simply being in the company of those you love is an automatic energy booster. Amp up the good feelings by suggesting an opportunity to do something kind for others – find a place to volunteer, write a thank you note to a favorite teacher or mentor, or drop off healthy food at a homeless shelter.

    Staying in gratitude throughout the season also boosts your energy on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

    The Ultimate Gift

    Give yourself the ultimate gift – a holiday retreat at OHI. Every day will be merry and bright during an extended stay at Optimum Health Institute missions in San Diego or Austin. Save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay or 5% off your entire 2-week stay.

    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.

  • 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.