Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well, we tried...

With full intentions to go to San Diego to attend the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) for a full week (the minimum stay of a 3-week course), Nick and I lasted 36 hours. I'm torn between feelings of being an utter failure, a quitter, a spoiled brat and a baby to making the right decision that was best for both Nick and I.

We arrived Sunday afternoon with our positive attitudes ready for the vegan adventure necessary to cleanse and detox our bodies. We had a tour of the nice facility and then checked into our townhouse, which had a very peculiar smell to it. Hmm. No worries, went back outside to enjoy the fabulous weather. We picked up our new daytimers and water bottles and skipped off to our first orientation. Their philosophies make sense and we looked forward to our classes. First - dinner at 5:15. The dining room had a very peculiar smell to it. Hmm. Dinner consisted of a small salad with mostly sprouts; salsa, dried seed crackers, seed spread that looked similar to Dijon mustard, and my personal favorite, sauerkraut. Not cooked, however, just fermented. We tried a bite of everything. Ate only the salad. Cringed a little when one return participant informed us this was going to be our best meal of our stay.

Class later that evening was informative. We walked back to our room, sat on the couch, looked at each other and laughed. Room still smelled but we were pooped so off to bed by 9:00. I talked to Lee that night; he and Natalie were off to dinner and a movie. This was enough to bring me to tears. He tried valiantly to cheer me up, "Look at your schedule - don't you have have tons of stuff lined up?" But that made me cry harder because what was lined up was enema training with wheat grass implants (yes, this means what you think...), wheat grass juicing and colonics that we had signed up for earlier today.

Next morning, we went to join the exercise class - nice and easy. Then a beautiful treat of fresh watermelon for breakfast and we even drank the shot of watermelon rind that accompanied the fruit. Not too bad. Enema training followed; not too bad. Wheat grass juicing; not too bad - didn't come back up. Gosh, lunch already? Similar to dinner, including the smell. I ate the salad. Another interesting class; promises that our palate would change and the taste would get better. Continued emphasis of combining our mind, body & spirit to heal our bodies. Ok. We went to the store and bought our enema kits determined to do this. Dinner? Hallelujah! No, wait... the smell, the sauerkraut, the barely being able to eat the sprouts - all brought tears again. The raging headache, Nick looking at me as he held his stomach saying he couldn't do this anymore. I went to the night class as Nick tried out his new purchase and put the training to work. Back in our rooms, we listened to probably one of the best playoff hockey games in history through my computer. Nick and I shared stories - he proclaimed he will NEVER try the enema again and I tried to not hurl with the smell of our room and the sprouts in my stomach not agreeing. What we had to look forward to was the 3 day juice fast; no fruit juice mind you, simply the meals we've been throwing away, except run through a juicer. My mind, body & spirit was screaming to get out, NOW!

Again, I spoke to Lee and the tears poured. Even if he thinks I'm a baby, he still said we should come home. I just kept repeating, "This is terrible. It's just terrible!" Nick and I both slept fitfully. I came into his room about 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and I said, "Let's ditch this joint" and he was thrilled! It took us over an hour to pack as we both broke out in cold sweats, and fatigue so strong we had to keep lying back down to rest. We checked out, called a cab and when he said, "where to?", we said, "it doesn't matter!". We went straight to a restaurant and had a giant glass of orange juice. Once able to hold our heads up and speak, we made arrangements to stay at the Hyatt by SeaWorld and off we went to spend the day with Shamu.

We arrived back home last night feeling much, much better. I still believe very much in what OHI's philosophies; however, I need to research a much gentler approach for those of us that are weak in physical endurance. I would like to extend to Lee and Natalie that Nick and I have a much greater appreciation and admiration for them completing TWO weeks at OHI. Seriously, that is amazing and I stand in awe!

Here's a few pictures of our great escape:


Bryn said...


I found your blog after reading a blog called "Obsessed With Life." I'm also in remission from sarcoma (synovial sarcoma), and I've had similar emotional battles with whether or not to adopt this (drastic!) lifestyle. I do agree that we should all be eating as many fresh veggies as possible, but I was MISERABLE when I tried to go raw vegan. I'm impressed you lasted 3 days...I only lasted about 20 hours!. I've actually found that I feel best when I eat a balanced diet. Or maybe it just tastes better. :)

Good luck with your journey!

Jennie said...

Welcome Home!!! Hey you both tried it - for some it works for others it doesn't. No big deal. Glad you spent time at Sea World and enjoyed yourselves. Neither of you will ever forget this trip though! See you next week - I heard of a great German restaurant (oh that's right - SAUERKRAUT - is out right???). Love to you all.

Obsessedwithlife said...

Good for you two for trying! That's braver than most. I've tried veggie juicing some-it's pretty rough and my juicer is getting dusty now...

I'm also proud that you followed your hearts to what works for you!


Chris Ulvin said...

Hi Nick,
Well, at least you got some hair out of that "hair raising" experience. Love, aunt Chris

"Elizabliss" said...

As a 40 year survivor of sarcoma, (7 recurrences of chondrosarcoma) I can tell you I've tried everything, including something that gave me cyanide poisoning. I don't think any of the many alternatives I tried over the years have had anything to do with my longevity, except for the fact that they made me slow down, take a look at what I was putting in my body. Whether it is excess junk food or excess raw vegetables, it's still excess. The mind body connection has a lot going for it, so listen to your own mind, check out how your body feels, get centered from within, stay balanced. Be well.

Jay said...

Jimmy Buffet has a great song,
"Cheeseburger in Paradise,
heaven on earth with an onion slice,
it's not very pretty but it's awfully nice,
it's just a Cheeseburger in Paradise"

Where's that recipe for smoked ribs anyhow?