My Stay at Hippocrates I: Overview (The Place & Philosophy)

[This post is first in a series about my stay at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. I’ll be writing about my experience during the three-week Life Transformation Program.(you’ll find the second installment here. Please note that these posts reflect my own impression and opinion of the program; I was not compensated in any way, financial or otherwise, to write these reviews, and I participated as a paying guest just like everyone else there. I hope you enjoy this insider’s look into the program and institute! You can find the second installment here (about the diet) and the final one (with results of all my treatments) here.]

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[Entrance to the Hacienda building, the original building that started it all! They've expanded quite a bit since.]

Hi Everyone!

My, my, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea and settle in. . . I’ve got lots to share!

As some of you know, I’ve spent the last three weeks at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, in their Life Transformation Program. Let just say that the program is aptly named; it has been, truly, a transformative experience. I’ve undergone an incredible amount of detox, healing and learning in the past three weeks; and I’ve loved every second of it (yes, even the detox headache, weepiness and sinus congestion those first couple of days!). In fact, I feel as if so much has happened that it’s difficult to put into words (which is why it’s taken me so long to write this post).  Thank you all for your patience!

Since there’s no way I could sum up everything that transpired in a single blog post, I thought I’d share in stages. Today’s post will review the institute in general, their approach and philosophy, which may be of interest to those of you considering this type of detox or battling a serious health condition. Installment number Two will feature the diet itself and how it heals, plus major therapies; finally, I’ll end with the piece de resistance–how my (and others’) health was affected while there.

Why did I choose Hippocrates?

As may be the case for many of you, my life in recent months seemed to ricochet between work, blogging, social media, smart phone, appointments, food prep and myriad other obligations that were never quite met.

My daily “to-do” list regularly contained 8-12 items, yet I’d manage to accomplish only one or two, wondering where the other 16 hours of the day went. After two years of writing books back-to-back, full-time blogging, freelance writing, recipe developing, holding down a “real” job (I teach full-time at a college) and frantically trying to answer all the emails I get in a day (and seriously, when did I ever subscribe to all those newsletters?!!), I felt entirely burnt out. And sitting all day most days with my derrière planted on a chair at my computer, turning it off at midnight so I could fall into bed, certainly wasn’t helping.

Hippocrates Health Institute Description on rickiheller.com

[Rear entrance to the Hacienda. Don't you feel more peaceful already?]

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I love (I lurrrrve!) my work here on the blog and in the kitchen.  It’s just that I had somehow allowed the concept of “balance” to fall from my vocabulary.

Ever since I was diagnosed with candida in early 2009 and started the anti-candida diet, my health had been on an upward trajectory. After implementing the strict diet for the first 6 months or so, then slowly easing up and reintroducing more candida-friendly foods until I was on maintenance, I felt better than ever. My weight dropped effortlessly; my candida rash disappeared; my head cleared; and my body felt better than it had in years.

Then, a few months ago, I began to notice the effects of too much work and not enough recuperation. I was overwhelmed and basically stressed out on a daily basis. I kept telling myself, “You need to relax! You need to play! You need to meditate!” Instead, I became a walking illustration of the truism, “If you don’t have time to meditate once a day. . .  then you should meditate twice a day.” It seemed the only time the HH and I ever saw each other was to mumble “goodnight” before our heads hit the pillows; and without The Girls, I likely wouldn’t have breathed outdoor air for about 4 months straight.

Slowly, the weight began to return. Aches and pains appeared where they’d never been before. The rash began to flare even when I didn’t eat any “banned” foods (I’ve never veered from the maintenance diet–more than five years without a granule of sugar, no gluten, no alcohol, etc.). Needless to say, the situation became rather disconcerting. Despite supplements and short-term detoxes, nothing seemed to help.

I realized that I needed a stronger intervention; enter Hippocrates. Although I’d known about the place for a few years, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just register. And let me tell you, for this uber economical  frugal  parsimonious  cheap gal, it was quite a leap. But now, having gone and returned home, I can say unequivocally that it was worth every single penny–and more.

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[One of the many fountains and sitting areas on the 50-acre campus.]

Hippocrates: An Incredible Healing Synergy

April 6, 2014.  Arrived today and nervous about meeting everyone. I needn’t have worries; orientation was incredible. So many striking stories. First met E, who is incredibly beautiful and well put-together, with features like Sharon Stone and a voice like Kathleen Turner. After months of asking her doctor to test her, they finally discovered tumors throughout her legs and a major tumor in her brain. What I thought was perfectly coiffed hair was actually a wig. She’s always so well dressed, with an easy, sandpaper laugh–one that emerges surprisingly often given the situation. 

Or S, whose husband died from cancer last month, and who was herself diagnosed only four days later. She booked her trip to Hippocrates that week. She never had a chance to mourn her husband, and is now determined to beat the disease that snatched him out of her life. She has the warmest eyes and one of the sweetest smiles I’ve ever seen.

I can’t help but smile at H, too, whose cherubic cheeks and twinkling blue eyes suggest a youthful impishness–despite her 39 years. With three children and a husband at home, she ventured across the globe from Norway to stay here after she’d had a mastectomy and radiation in 2011. Last month’s checkup revealed new tumors in her other breast, as well as some that had infiltrated her lungs. Now that she knows the effects of the allopathic treatment, she refused it and came here instead. She strikes me as incredibly brave.

So, just what is this Hippocrates place, anyway, and what exactly do they do there? If you’re envisioning a typical spa vacation, think again (and in that case, the Institute is likely not for you). Instead, what you find at Hippocrates is a genuine, and very intentional, focus on health and healing, and that’s their number one priority. In fact, as I said when I received my certificate and “graduated” from the program, there is a palpable energy that you can feel from the staff and employees there. Virtually everyone I encountered exuded a vibe that communicated, “I want what is best for you, and I want you to heal whatever isn’t working.” I’ve literally never met a staff that is more willing to help, more generous or more kind in their dealings with guests. Basking in that positive, compassionate, caring energy for three weeks alone was enough to make anyone feel better!

View of Hippocrates Oasis spa on rickiheller.com

[Waiting area for various treatments at the Oasis spa.]

April 9, 2014. I’m continually amazed by the level of service at this place. When I discovered that I’d need a new pair of prescription support socks (stupid me for thinking I wouldn’t need them here!), the guest services not only did the research and called around to find two local medical outlets; but Andie even DROVE ME TO THE PLACE herself!! So lovely. Thank goodness I was able to get them here. . . so much more comfortable now.

April 25, 2014. Final graduation ceremony, and of course I spent half of it bawling like a baby. One of the most touching stories was B’s account of how, since she had problems raising her arms and couldn’t juice her own wheatgrass, Pam skipped her lunch hour to do it for her–for the entire three months of her stay. Above and beyond!

Hippocrates is probably best known as a program for last-chance cancer patients. Often patients who have been neglected or let down by conventional medicine go there because they have no other options; sometimes, if they have done their research or already have a holistic bent, they will seek out Hippocrates before the situation becomes dire. Kris Carr, for instance, famously visited the Institute while on her quest to heal from her Stage IV epithelioid hemangioendothelioma cancer in her liver and lungs. Now ten years later, she is the image of glowing, vibrant health and is free of symptoms.  Hippocrates is also known to have one of the highest recovery rates in the world for stage four cancer patients of all kinds.

So what makes this place so magical?

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[Walkway between the main building and the smaller buildings on campus.]

Hippocrates Philosophy: Treat the Whole Person, Body Mind and Spirit

What makes Hippocrates unique, in my opinion, is the balanced focus on all parts of an individual–body, mind and spirit. In this way, it truly is a “holistic” program. Led by husband and wife team Brian and Anna Maria Clement (who took over directorship from the original director, Ann Wigmore, in 1980), the program is designed very specifically to treat all aspects of the person.

While the food is the cornerstone of the physical treatment, there is so much more than diet advocated at the Institute: guests are encouraged to eat raw, living foods, and green juices, of course; but they are exhorted, perhaps even more, to change their attitude about their illness, take charge of their lives and responsibility for their own healing, and deal with any mental or spiritual impediments to that goal. As Brian Clement mentioned in one of the talks I attended, you can eat the most perfect food on earth and still be sick if you’re stressed out, never exercise, or have no joy or relaxation in your life.

The program is also based on extensive research and the science behind it; they regularly examine studies to find the the key components of a long, healthy life, and then adapt the program to reflect the very latest techniques and approaches.

Brian Clement on rickiheller.com

[Dr. Brian Clement, the Institute Director, lecturing in the Hut. His lectures were always hugely popular with standing room only at the back.]

As a three-week guest in their “Life Transformation Program,” here’s what I received (I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but here’s a fairly comprehensive list):

General: [note: unless designated as "optional," everything listed below was included in the basic cost of the stay.]

  • full room and board at the Institute; a Welcome binder with 239 pages of information, articles, recipes, tips, notes, etc outlining the program and how to implement it at home;
  • access to all the on-site facilities on the 50-acre, toxin-free, meticulously landscaped and tended, stunning and idyllic grounds (see below);
  • access to any of the staff, including guest services (for general help/inquiries; staff nurses; the two directors, Brian and Anna Maria Clement; kitchen staff; and anyone else on staff);
  • weekly all-inclusive excursions (paid for by Hippocrates) to local stores, beaches, and raw food restaurants;
  • once or twice weekly entertainment, such as musicians, belly dancing, comedy shows, etc.
  • complimentary blood draws with full reports of blood results and consultation about the results;
  • weekly weight/blood pressure measures;
  • a host of complimentary alternative treatments (see below) each week;
  • complimentary fitness, yoga, meditation, therapy, etc (see below);
  • Graduation ceremony and celebration, including food to send you off on your trip home;
  • follow up from the staff within a month and thereafter;
  • free copies of the Institute’s magazine;
  • lifelong friendships with other participants!

Specific treatments/offerings for “Body”:

  • living space free of toxins (filtered water including showers and pools, clear air with no pesticide use anywhere, protections against electromagnetic pollution)
  • daily wheatgrass juice (2x/day)
  • daily super-nutritious green juice (2x/day)
  • as much pure, filtered water as you can drink all day
  • breakfast if warranted/desired (cold or hot cereal)
  • lunch and dinner buffet with huge variety of fresh, 100% organic raw sprouts and vegetables, plus raw “happy food” addition(s) each meal (such as  Caesar Salad, Stuffed Avocados, Raw Pizza, Raw Tacos, Raw Pad Thai, etc; and ice cream dessert on Saturdays–whoo hoo!)
  • complimentary treatments each week (up to 11 different treatments, including massage, various types of laser treatments, H-Wave treatment, colonic, mind-body assessment appointment; plus optional additional spa treatments such as acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy, deep tissue massage, manual lymphatic drainage, neuromuscular therapy (designed specifically to reduce pain), reflexology, facials, reiki, Thai yoga massage, seaweed and clay bodywrap, and more.
  • fitness center with optional personal fitness trainer; exercise classes; organized hikes, walks or runs; aqua fitness; rebounder/stretch/strengthen classes;
  • five saltwater pools with hot/cold pool, mineral salts pool, regular swimming pools
  • saunas and infrared saunas available in various buildings for use whenever you like

Specific treatments/offerings for “Mind”:

  • several lectures each day on a variety of topics; some of my favorites included “Detox and Elmination”; “Food Combining”; “Mind, Body and Spirit Connection” panel discussion; “Sprouting Techniques”; “Kitchen Techniques” series (with recipe demos); “Principles of Health”; “Ancient and Current Self-Help Techniques”; “Self-Lymph Breast Massage for Men and Women”; plus many others I’m sure I’ve forgotten!
  • complimentary individual therapy session with one of the two amazing psychotherapists on staff
  • leisure events (music, excursions to Target, beaches, restaurants, mall, etc); entertainent (music, singing, dancing, etc.); a full library of books, videos, DVDs, games, etc.
  • complimentary and voluntary participation in Healing Circle (group therapy with psychotherapist) and journalling classes

Specific treatments/offerings for “Spirit”:

  • daily complimentary meditation classes
  • daily complimentary meditative exercises like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Kundalini Moving Meditation, yoga
  • optional shuttle to place of worship off-site each weekend

If that sounds like a lot, it was!

In fact, I was amazed at how busy I was that first week! Between visits with the nurses, my health assessment meeting, orientation events, tour of the property, basics of wheatgrass and juicing, lectures and meals, I literally fell into bed exhausted by 10:00 PM each evening (and several evenings, long before that!). Nothing like the “turn off the computer at midnight and fall into bed” end-of-day routine I’d left behind.

Hippocrates Health institute on rickiheller.com

[Walkway outside the Oasis spa.]

Fairly quickly, though, I established a new routine: the day began with a shot of wheatgrass juice (which guests juiced themselves in the always-open Juice Bar); then to lemon water and a dehydrated buckwheat cereal for me (breakfast is recommended only to those guests for whom it’s deemed necessary; however, the kitchen is always open, and if you feel you need a bowlful, they are always happy to accommodate). Additional power green juice is served at 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, with lunch between 12:30 and 2:00 and dinner between 5:30 and 7:00. Herbal teas and filtered water are available all day.

April 16, 2014. I’m continually amazed by the calm, kind, accommodating staff at this place. Despite the massive buffet lunch and dinner, the kitchen is always open to anyone, and they even had a doorbell just outside the kitchen door so you can summon someone any time you need something! I can’t even remember all the times I’ve rung for a straw or a cover for my plastic cup so I can take it outside and walk around. They always show up in seconds, smiling, happy to provide whatever you ask for. If only I could get the HH to do this at home!

Hippocrates Health Institute walkway on rickiheller.com

[Another bench to sit and rest, or reflect.]

Between meals, I scurried from lectures to treatments to massages to the pool to long strolls on the grounds to long chats with people I’d met there. More on those next time.

April 8, 2014. This place is so incredibly beautiful, and has obviously been planned with every detail in mind. I feel totally safe walking along the paths between buildings or anywhere on campus. And wherever I turn, there’s one sign or another that this place is intended for you to relax, reflect, and heal. Benches line the pathways, with little sculptures and statues here and there; streams,  fountains, waterfalls adorn the property; foliage is lush and tropical, and even the trees are smiling down on you.

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[Happy tree on one of the many walkways.]

April 15, 2014. Today I tried the meditation Labyrinth for the first time. It’s not really a maze, since there’s only one way in, and once in the center, you go out the same way you came. The idea is to meditate on what in your life is good, or what you want more of, as you walk slowly in; then think about what aspects of your life you’d like to change or get rid of on the way out. It took me about 15 minutes and I just loved doing it. I’m feeling calmer and more grounded every day (though I do miss the HH and Girls). I suppose the weekly massages and saunas don’t hurt, either.

April 12, 2014. R tells me this is his second visit to Hippocrates. I’m so impressed with him! He’s an emergency physician from Mobile, Alabama.  He came here because he was disillusioned with the conventional system and felt it was failing too many patients; he wants to try to change the system from within. Go, R!! When he started eating this way,  his blood pressure and blood glucose levels improved and he wasn’t as hungry; I’m finding the same thing–with all these drinks and meals, keeping my blood sugar stable, I haven’t had a single craving since I got here . And R told me he lost 15 pounds in three weeks–bonus!

If you’ve made it this far, dear reader, I applaud you! I hope you’ve got a good general impression of the place so far.

In upcoming installments, I’ll share more about what I ate and the treatments I received during my stay.

Hippocrates Health institute on rickiheller.com

[Evening settles on the Hippocrates campus.]

Is there something specific about the place or my trip that you’d like to know about? I’d love to answer any questions you may have! Please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer, either here or in the upcoming installments!

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Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing Ricki. I certainly am getting a feeling for the atmosphere and people. You create a great picture with your words. I can’t wait for more!

  2. Do you mind sharing what the cost of the program is? Thank you!!

    • The price right now (I don’t know how often they update it) for the full three week program varies from around $5800 US for a shared room and shared bathroom (multiple people in a house) to $12,000 for a private room with a private bathroom in a large villa. They also have an agreement with a local hotel (Hampton Inn) nearby, and a free shuttle between the site and the hotel, for overflow when the institute is booked. That’s around $7400 US for three weeks (and what I ended up doing). Since it’s a hotel room, it’s obviously a private room/bath, too, but you don’t get the free laundry on campus and obviously can’t be there 24 hours a day like the rest of the guests (though you have full access to any of the services/features–they even have a juicer at the hotel for your wheatgrass, and Hippocrates sends over filtered water so you aren’t drinking tap water while there!). Most of my friends had a shared room/bath in a large house (they have actually grown the campus by purchasing homes right next door, then renovating and including them in the grounds), and the average they paid was $5500 USD. Hope that helps! :)

  3. Sign me up! Wow Ricki this sounds like just what you needed! Sounds amazing. I have not looked at the price but sounds like something I should start saving for…like yesterday:) I can’t wait to hear about the food! I am also curious about your room. And the lectures by Dr. Brian Clement! You did a great job with this post btw, I could really visualize it! Thanks for sharing.

    Side note: I have never heard of a candida rash… What does that look like? Is it similar to eczema?

    • Sarah, it was great!! I mentioned prices in my previous comment if you’re interested. :) As I said, my room was at the nearby hotel because I couldn’t be on campus, but I did see a room in one of the shared houses and it was basically a small room with 2 beds and a shared bath in what was actually someone’s house at one time (so there was a kitchen and living room in the house, too). The houses varied, though–some were small cottages built just for Hippocrates; others were actual homes that were purchased and then renovated. As for the candida rash, it’s a raw, red, ugly and itchy rash that both hurts and itches at the same time (lovely, I know). ;) It was raging when I was first diagnosed, but before I went to Hippocrates, it had died down to a light pink with no pain and only the occasional itch. What’s happened since then? Stay tuned! (I’m such a tease!!).

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I have considered going there multiple times. In 2012 I was diagnosed with clinical stage 1 breast cancer. I had surgery, but turned down all other conventional treatment. I was cancer free when I had my last pet scan, but you never really know.

    • Betsy, congratulations on your clear scan–yay!!! There were so many breast cancer patients there, I can see why it surfaced in your research. I imagine you’re already following a very clean diet–and seem whatever you are doing is working. Good for you–and I’ll send more positive vibes your way to keep it gone forever! :D

  5. Great review! I’ve heard of Hippocrates and always wondered about a stay there. Some day I’d like to go.

    • Thanks, Mila! I’d say that 99% of the people there were there for a health issue–if you’re looking for a vacation, there are more luxurious/pampering/indulgent places to go. And a huge part of the program is the lectures and education, so if you’re not up for a “learning” vacation, you’ll be missing out on a huge part of the program. That said, if you’re interested in raw vegan food, learning about the health benefits and all aspects of this diet, and expanding your horizons about all aspects of your body, mind and spirit in a stunning setting–plus meeting some amazing, courageous and forward-thinking people–then go for it! :)

  6. Sounds like we could all use a little Hippocrates in our lives (and yes, go R for wanting to make it more accessible to everyone). How much of your time/daily activities were guided (as in here’s a plan for what You should do) and how much do you make up your own programme to follow?

    • I agree, Tuuli!! :D We received a printed schedule each week with all the activities for that week. Apart from the medical appointments (blood work, blood pressure, weigh-in), you were not obligated to do anything else. That said, there would be virtually no point going there if you didn’t attend the lectures and do the treatments. The whole purpose of the place is to heal illness, so if you just hang around at the pool and sunbathe, you’re basically wasting your time there (and taking up a spot from someone who is seriously ill and could be there). That’s just my opinion, though–everyone who books a stay spends time talking to one of the program consultants (I spoke to Wendy four times before booking!), so they learn about your situation, why you want to go there, etc. and can advise if it’s right for you. In my case, I tried really hard to make it to each lecture since they were so informative and I loved learning about all of this. I also took full advantage of all the complimentary therapies that were offered to me, and of course all the juice and food. I went on three of the six excursions. With all of that, I didn’t have a huge amount of “spare” time until the 2nd and 3rd weeks. Loved it all, though! Hope that helps. :)

  7. I’ve been waiting to hear all about it! Sounds like a heavenly place and I’m so glad it exists, and that YOU were able to go and find some healing! That’s the part I want to hear about – how was your healing???? Will you also tell us about these drinks that kept your cravings at bay and your blood sugar balanced? xo

    • Thanks, Maggie!! I’m going to go into all the changes in my last installment, yes, plus some of the other stories I heard directly from people who were there with me (sorry to keep you hanging! But it makes more sense to work through the program first so you have an idea of what is happening to effect these changes). And yes, next time I’ll talk about all the food and drinks so you can have an idea (summed up in one word? SPROUTS!). ;) xo

  8. I think I need one of those bells in my kitchen – and then to train up the helpers!

    Glad you had a good time – sounds like a great experience – I was going to say relaxing but there is so much to do and consider – you must have been exhausted each night from processing all the mind and body work

    • Ha ha ha!! Yes, I’d love it if the HH came running every time I asked for something–LOL! And you’re right, although it was psychologically relaxing, I did fall into bed exhausted for the first week or so, so much to do and see and hear and learn (and eat!). ;) But during the final week, once we’d all acclimated and knew the place well, there was lots of time at the pool, sauna, bike riding, and roaming about. I even learned how to knit a frilly scarf (photo to come). :)

  9. So nice to read your story, Ricki. I’m glad you’ve found a healing source. We all need that at times. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. Truly beautiful.
    Melissa

  10. Oh Ricki, I am so eager to read the rest! I have been mulling around in my head the whole idea that STRESS is what is causing the continued deterioration of my subtle symptoms. That no amount of healthy eating will fix it unless I can get my head and spirit in the game too, and it sounds like this program is all about that.
    The trick is intention and tools, and the breaking of long held habits and behaviors. Letting go of a need to “do it all”, to stress about your family’s and kid’s health, constantly being vigilante and trying to hold your sanity down. All the while, the daily mental toils of raising three kids and wondering how you are messing them up and what sort of messages you are sending them. This undoubtedly takes a real toll. I am starting to realize that and trying let more things go and say no more often. Not easy.
    I look forward to reading the rest Ricki, this place sounds amazing!

    • Tessa, that is EXACTLY the conclusion I came to before I left, and what sparked my decision to go there. And it was confirmed while I was there. Of course, living in an idyllic setting that’s toxin-free, having people prepare all your juice and food for you, having bodywork treatments every day, and when the only decisions you have to make each day are “when should I do my sauna? Will it be massage or acupuncture this afternoon? Maybe a dip in the pool?”–etc., well, then it’s easy to heal and see miraculous results in 3 weeks. What I learned most of all is that I NEED to take some of that home with me to really heal. Things gotta change, baby! ;) Of course, I can’t control the air in Toronto (my stuffy nose is already back), but I can control what goes on inside of me. And yes, a huge challenge, but one I’m determined to implement and make work! :)

  11. I have been back and forth about going for some time now. I see Dr. Clement almost every time he comes to TO and of course he has encouraged me. “You’ll come when you are serious enough about saving your life” he told me I asked him once if it was possible to do it at home and he replied, “That is what guests are training to do for the 3 weeks.” There is so much info on the net, even from Dr. C himself that I wonder if the purpose of the HH experience is mostly for information, inspiration, motivation and a kick-star? Do you think it is any easier to maintain the program you learned after you get back from the session? I respond to motivation but sometimes (more likely most times) I tend to slack off eventually. Stupid, since I have serious health issues, but that’s the nature of the beast. Is juicing wheat grass and green drinks easier to keep up long-term because a person attends? How about growing your own sprouts – especially in quantities needed to not only eat, but the amount needed to make up green juice? Because it sure would break most people’s banks to try to buy that quantity!
    I guess I have to develop enough backbone to get there AND keep up the program after…If I have enough backbone for that, then why wouldn’t I have enough to just do what I know now on a more regular basis?
    Are the therapies and blood tests worth enough to go? The information and lectures are likely available in some form – books, online, etc. Or am I wrong about that? Persuade me. I’d love to go.

    • Wow, lots of questions! I’ll do my best. :)
      Yes, the place is incredibly inspiring, but I do think there is a huge benefit to going there. Of course, for people who can’t make it, Brian and Anna Maria are counting on health educators to “spread the word.” I’ll be talking about one of my friends there who did implement it on her own, and was successful, so it can absolutely be done. For me, anyway, it would be much easier to maintain now after having gone, simply because I wasn’t able to do it before I left and “real life” took over. I think we all have the tendency to return to old habits, though, so the challenge for everyone is to keep up with beneficial changes. I honestly can’t say whether juicing will be easier for you if you attend or not, and only time will tell for me. Like anything else, it has to become habit, and ingrained in your daily routine. And I’m definitely going to try to grow some of my own, precisely because of the cost factor! ;)

      I can’t guess whether or not you are ready to go now, but if you still feel like you need to change something before you go, then you might think about it further. For me, I knew I wanted change and I wanted to go there so that I could change. The blood tests and therapies, too, are only the beginning; you could certainly find most of them in your own city or town (or go to where they are); they are only part of the entire process, as are the lectures, which are available in their entirety on DVD. As I tried to convey, it’s the synergy of all the parts, all the time and in the same place for three weeks, that made the magic happen for me.

      Hope that helps! :)

  12. So glad you got to go Ricki and that you made time for healing in a busy life. I’m excited that you are sharing what you’ve learning with us and your experience. Sounds like a wonderful time!

  13. Sounds amazing and I hope it has helped you feel a lot less stressed. I look forward to hearing about the food and wonder if you think you will juice more after your visit?

  14. Wow, wow, wow Ricki! First of all, I’ve missed you on here, but it sounds like you were off doing something very worthwhile. I’m so eager to hear your results. How are you feeling now? I guess you’ve definitely made considerable progress in your health and are raring to carry on now you’re at home.
    The place sounds absolutely amazing and the people even more so. A lot of inspiration and things to think about.
    I can relate to the stressed out, rush rush rush, no time to stop and smell the roses life you were living before you went- on a lesser level though :) Ultimately our health is the most important thing so we simply must prioritize it.
    Looking forward to the next installments! xxx

    • Thank you so much, Emma! I’ve missed you (and all of you!), too!! :D I’m a little dense. . . it took me a while to realize that my health really does need to come before everything else, or there won’t BE an “everything else.” So carve out that “me time” for yourself, too!! xo

  15. What a post! I can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip. There were two things that I really connected with in relation to my healing journey. Firstly, that it’s so, so important to have guidance and help from people who really want you to be well and who believe you can do it. Second, you can be unwell even if you eat the perfect diet. I figured that out when I hit my first healing plateau, and in taking interest in the works of people like Brian Clement, I realized that this whole healing thing requires a multifaceted approach. Hippocrates seems really great. I’m eager to read the next posts!

    • Thank you so much, Marissa! I’m glad that some of the post resonated with you. :) And I totally agree with both points. I had hit the same plateau despite my ultra-clean diet (my friends already thought I was a bit batty to eat that way–wonder what they’ll think now?) ;) But it’s so, so important to honor what your body needs and treat yourself as you’d treat anyone that you love.

  16. Wow, I am so thrilled that Hippocrates was as comprehensive as I hoped it would be! I am clamoring for your future posts. :) So great that such a healing environment exists.

  17. This sounds fantastic Ricki, glad it worked out so well for you. Can’t wait to hear more!

  18. I was reading so intently that I was surprised (and disappointed!) when the post ended. I’ve been dying to know how your visit to Hippocrates went, and if you felt any of your health issues had resolved. I remember suggesting investigating Hippocrates as a place to eat while you were visiting Florida, but I never imagined you would eventually go for three weeks! It truly sounds like it was a transformative experience. I do have one question. I know that wheat grass juice is central to the program, but how does that work with those who are sensitive to wheat/gluten. Would someone with celiac disease be able to participate?

    • Thanks, Andrea, and thanks for that suggestion! I do remember you suggesting it, but I think when I investigated for my visit, I didn’t make the connection that it was the same place–LOL! Your question was actually asked at one of the lectures, and the response was that the grass doesn’t have gluten as it’s not a grain yet. I didn’t have any problems with it at all (though I’m not celiac). I do know that wheatgrass juice is often described as gluten-free. I will look into it more and report back!

  19. Wow, this place sounds amazing Ricki! I’m so happy to hear you had a wonderful time there, and I can’t wait to read the next post. xoxo

  20. So interesting to hear your impressions, Ricki! Glad that this has been so transformative for you. I send lots of love.

  21. Ricki, I’m so glad you had such an incredible experience at Hippocrates and can’t wait to hear more! I really didn’t know anything about the Institute or its programs at all, so your post is very enlightening! It sounds like the group you were with was amazing. I also followed along via your photos on Facebook, too, which I really enjoyed. :-)

    I will weigh in just a tad on the wheatgrass to help you with your research. Cynthia Kupper (Gluten Intolerance Group) addressed wheatgrass at the Gluten-Free Living Conference. Although she admitted that GIG actually certifies wheatgrass products, she does not recommend that anyone who eats gluten free consume wheatgrass. She says that it is just too high a risk. The key factor is whether or not the wheatgrass is harvested BEFORE it has produced seeds, which contain gluten. Here’s a related article on About.com: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/everydaymedicalissues/f/Are-Wheat-Grass-And-Barley-Grass-Gluten-Free.htm I think that many think they don’t have any issues with wheatgrass, but continue to have health issues that could indeed be related to their consumption of wheatgrass that from time to time at a minimum will continue gluten. Again, just some additional thoughts for your research.

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Thanks for this, Shirley! I knew you’d mentioned this before, but I couldn’t remember the details, so glad you responded. I wonder what they’d say at Hippocrates about this. I do know they grown and harvest their own wheatgrass, so I am guessing they are very careful. . .but if I had celiac, not sure I’d take the chance! ;)

  22. Ricki, it’s so good to hear from you again and to know your retreat was so revitalizing and replenishing. I think many of us now want to take some time to give back to ourselves at Hippocrates – or a somewhere similar. Happy for your experience, and thank you for sharing so many details with us! xx

    • Thanks so much, Dreena! I’m glad you could get something out of it, too. And yes, you NEED to do something similar, just for the time off it nothing else! ;) xo

  23. Hi Ricki,
    I can’t wait to hear more about your experience! So far it sounds amazing, although I’m scared to look up the price! It sounds like your time there was incredible and I would love to hear about how you are going to apply everything to your daily life. I am totally shocked you have a full time teaching job! I have no idea how you fit it all in. My life was getting crazy juggling both engineering and holistic nutrition so I quit my day job last week, wahoo!

  24. wow, that sounds fantastic! glad you pulled the trigger as it is hard at times to go spend some $$$ and take the time to really take care of ourselves :). thank you so much for sharing your experience – loving the post and can’t wait to continue reading the rest!

  25. Thank you very much for this well written review and summary. I did the 3 week program the month after you in May. I found it extremely helpful and beneficial. Thanks for sharing your experience so well. Kudos!

Trackbacks

  1. […] program and institute! For the first installment about the place overall and general philosophy, see this post. For details about the specific diet, see this […]

  2. […] you follow me on Instagram, you have may noticed that in recent weeks (since I returned from the Hippocrates Health Institute) my daily meals have transformed a bit as I continue to refine the diet that works best for my […]

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