Optimizing health using a science-based holistic approach

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Detox 14 Day Kit (with Vanilla PurePea)
Supports the body’s natural two-phase detoxification process. Details…

 Digestive Enzymes Ultra
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Nutrition Counseling

WebsitePhoto3Bonnie Mehrbach, BS, NC
Nutrition Consultant

Open Hand Nutrition provides a professional counseling service to all clients. Our greatest wealth is our health, and I believe that the foods you choose to eat each day determine the quality of your whole-body health. Your body has an innate ability to heal itself when it is provided with the right conditions. We will work together to help you reach your personal health and wellness goals using research-proven education, a detailed analysis of your diet and your current state of health, and a comprehensive interviewing approach to uncover the root of your health issues. Read More

Recent Articles

pure water into glass
Here’s why you should drink plenty of water and how much is enough.
 The human body is generally acknowledged to be more than 60% water. The brain is over 70% water. These numbers alone tell us that it is healthy to drink plenty of water.


Get Ready for Winter and the Cold and Flu Season – Give Your Immune System a Tune-Up

Now is the time – before illness strikes  for an immune system tune-up to re-charge your health.


Detoxification: Why Now?

Did you know that today there are more than 72,000 toxic chemicals found in our environment?


Lab Tests: Do You Know Your Numbers?

“What can I do to feel and look better? How can I improve my health and longevity?” To answer those questions, you need to know your numbers!


 Blood Sugar Management: A Holistic Approach

The holistic approach offers nutritional and lifestyle suggestions to support  healthy blood sugar levels.


See All Articles

Free Introductory Personal Nutrition Phone Consultation Apply Here...
  • About
  • Our Vision
  • Hot Health Tips!
  • Dedication

BonnieMehrbach_RoundedHello. My name is Bonnie Mehrbach. After attending Oberlin College, I decided to follow my passion for studying natural health. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition with High Honors from Clayton College of Natural Health. Continuing my formal studies in holistic nutrition, I graduated summa cum laude from the Nutrition Consultant Program at Hawthorn University.

My motivation for pursuing the study of holistic nutrition began the summer before the fall semester of seventh grade. I was going to a new school, and I was overweight. I did not like the way I looked or felt, so I began studying how what we eat and drink affects our bodies. I learned that healthy diet and lifestyle choices made a very positive difference in my appearance, my energy level, and most importantly how I felt about myself. As I got older, I noticed that most people I met did not understand this secret about how the foods we eat really do affect our health and wellbeing. They were not aware that food is actually our best medicine!


As the years went by, I discovered that my passion for healthy living could be shared with others to help them regain good health and even reverse their patterns of living that were leading to negative cycles of dis-ease – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I combined this passion with an innate awareness and belief in the body’s potential to heal itself when given the right conditions. Studies of scientific, evidence-based research, my own personal experiences, and clinical nutrition work with others have confirmed that each person’s health is based on his or her unique biochemical individuality along with numerous dietary and environmental factors. There is not one diet that will work for everyone.

I use a series of questionnaires, functional medical and laboratory tests, food diaries, in-depth interviews, and diet analysis software to determine my client’s nutritional strengths and weaknesses. Then, I offer targeted recommendations to address specific health issues while providing supportive suggestions to improve one’s sense of well-being and overall health.

As a holistic healthcare practitioner, I am happy to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you. My personal goal is to work with you to provide the professional and skilled support you need in your own personal path toward natural radiant health. I look forward to joining you as you take the first steps in your journey toward reaching your personal health and wellness goals.


Logo_02Open Hand Nutrition is a holistic nutrition consulting business that is devoted to increasing peoples’ awareness of how food choices and lifestyle habits affect the quality of health and sense of well-being. Its mission is to work closely with people of all ages who are looking for a holistic approach to improving how they look and feel. We start with the understanding that the body has an innate power to self-heal under the right conditions. Because each person is unique, our approach is to uncover our client’s biochemical individuality and create a personalized nutrition and lifestyle protocol to awaken and support the inherent potential for health, balance, and happiness.


Even though we do not diagnose, prescribe, or directly treat any medical condition, we create individualized, scientifically-based programs of nutritional support to complement the treatments prescribed by their doctor. In addition, we offer nutritional education to serve their understanding about their particular condition and the natural healing process. This information may be presented in the form of dietary recommendations. These suggestions are guided by recent scientific research along with a thorough, in-depth interviewing process, evaluation of numerous health questionnaires, laboratory test results, and quantitative and qualitative nutrient analysis of the client’s actual food intake over several days.

While our emphasis focuses on a daily diet of healthy whole foods, we may recommend high quality, therapeutic nutritional supplementation to fill any nutritional gaps or provide targeted support to specific areas of the body that need strengthening or rebalancing. We also may suggest potential lifestyle changes to enhance the healing process. We understand that everyone seeking better health is involved in a unique path toward personal wellness goals. Our role is to act as a guide and supportive partner as the client undertakes this journey. Through the process, we help our clients discover how their diet and lifestyle habits may be contributing to their current state of discomfort or dis-ease. We are committed to cooperatively working with them to provide the tools they need to help them restore health and balance and attain their optimal health and wellness goals.

Why Greens are Super Foods!

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Dark green leafy vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. There are many kinds of leafy greens, such as collard greens, beet greens, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, bok choy, and spinach. They are high in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Their excellent mineral content includes manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. They are good sources of dietary fiber and amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein. Additionally, their deep, bright color represents their abundance of phytonutrient, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

While most dark green leafy vegetables can be eaten raw in salads or green smoothies, cooking them may have certain advantages. When you use healthy cooking techniques for very limited cooking times, oxalic acid, cellulose and hemicellulose fibers are softened and broken down. This helps digestibility and allows for the release of more nutrients and greater absorption by our bodies.

These nutrient powerhouses function in countless ways to keep us healthy. Here are just a few:

– Act as natural anti-inflammatories, reducing inflammation our bodies.

– Support the healthy functioning of all of our body’s systems.

– Help prevent cell damage from various toxins.

– Strengthen our immunity.

– Enhance energy metabolism in every cell of the body.

What are Phytonutrients?

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Foods contain a number of different nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats or fatty acids. Plant-based foods also contain biologically active, non-nutritive substances that can have a very beneficial impact on the health of the body. These substances are called phytonutrients. The Greek word for plant is “phyto;” thus these natural compounds are plant nutrients or phytochemicals (chemicals found in plants).

All plant foods contain thousands of phytonutrients. They are responsible for the plant’s color and flavor, and its ability to resist disease. While thousands of these protective and supportive nutrients have already been classified, scientists expect that many thousands more will be discovered over time.

While the terms phytochemical and phytonutrient are often used interchangeably, phytonutrients can be distinguished from the more general classification, phytochemical, because they are now considered necessary to sustain and promote life. The National Academy of Sciences has even determined some recommended dietary allowances for some phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients are powerful disease-fighting and disease-preventing compounds that affect the human body in different ways. Some function as antioxidants, some stimulate enzyme systems and others activate hormone production. They can also function as basic raw materials for the body’s production of some anti-cancer substances. Other phytonutrients can act as cancer detoxifying substances by binding or diluting some carcinogens found in the environment or diet. Others work to deflect the activation of cancer-causing substances. Some can do both.

You can take advantage of these benefits every time you enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds. If, for any reason, your daily menu plan does not include an abundant array of brightly colored plant foods, then it is recommended that you supplement your diet with a high quality multivitamin and mineral that includes a good antioxidant formulation containing these highly beneficial phytonutrients.

Why Fruits and Vegetables?

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Do you know why healthcare professionals recommend including a wide variety of brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet? It is because these foods contain phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, that provide antioxidant protection to every cell in our bodies. These include vitamins, such as A, C, and E, and also minerals, like selenium and zinc. However, there are many more types of phytonutrients, such as the flavonoids and the carotenoids. With the daily bombardment of toxins, chemicals, and processed foods, we need all the protection we can get to stay healthy!

Healthy Cooking Tip!

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One of the reasons we cook our foods is because we can! As a species, we have mastered the use of fire to warm the foods we eat, and most of us like the results. We enjoy the expanded palette of flavors, textures, and aromas. Unfortunately, many of us never learned how to cook healthfully, and precious nutrients are easily destroyed in prolonged cooking times, high temperatures, and immersing our fresh produce in boiling water. One healthy cooking tip is to invest in a steamer basket and a timer. Place enough water in the bottom of the pot just below the point where the steamer hits the water. Bring the water to a boil, and THEN add your freshly cut vegetables, like broccoli, summer squash, and green beans. Continue boiling the water for 5 minutes only. Be sure to set your timer so you don’t forget! Remove the vegetables from the pot. You will notice that they still retain their bright colors, and they taste great. Top with a Mediterranean-style dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of garlic or other seasoning, and enjoy a nutrient rich, beautiful, and delicious side dish. What a great way to get great taste and eat healthfully at the same time!

A Healthy Pantry!

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If you are serious about healthy living for yourself and your family, a well-stocked food pantry can be your best ally. Having readily available a variety of healthy food staples will encourage eating more meals at home that are more nutritious than dining out. These meals will typically be less expensive, contain fewer calories, and you will know exactly what you are eating – without the excess salt, sugar, and fat often added to restaurant fare. Some stocking favorites include whole grains and beans, soups and broths, pasta, canned tomatoes and tomato sauces, extra virgin olive oil and apple cider, rice, or balsamic vinegars for salad dressings and coconut oil for cooking. Choosing organic foods will ensure the purity and quality of your foods. And do not forget dark chocolate for desserts. Look for dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao that is chock-full of phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Keep your blood sugar levels stable with healthy snacking!

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Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day helps most of us maintain stable blood sugar levels, especially if we choose the right foods. Including some protein with each meal or snack is important for avoiding fatigue and mood swings. Here are just a few healthy, blood sugar balancing snack ideas to keep you energized and balanced throughout the day. Organic foods are always preferable! 1. A small handful of raw or roasted, unsalted or lightly salted nuts. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, or macadamia nuts are excellent choices. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great alternatives. 2. A tablespoon or two of peanut butter, almond butter or tahini with raw vegetable sticks, such as celery, carrot, or cucumber – or try the nut butter with an apple or pear. 3. Instead of the nut butters, try some hummus (a chickpea with tahini dip) or guacamole with those vegetable sticks or on a cracker. 4. A piece of fruit or up to a cup of fresh berries with plain yogurt or kefir. 5. A slice of organic cheese (from cows or goats, if tolerated) is another good snack choice, either with vegetable sticks or whole grain crackers. You can also substitute a hard-boiled egg (from a cage free, organically fed chicken) or a tablespoon or two of either chicken or tuna salad for the cheese.

Enjoy a cup of green tea and lose fat!

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In 2005, a research article was published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition that reported the results of a study focusing on the effects of green tea catechins on human body fat levels. Catechins are a type of flavonoid, which is a group of biologically active compounds also known as phytochemicals. Previous studies on green tea catechins had uncovered their strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but this study was the first to report the benefit of fat loss from green tea extracts. Participants in that study drank 690 mg of catechins daily in the form of green tea extract for three months. At the end of this 12-week double-blind study, the researchers came to the conclusion that catechins might be useful to prevent and improve lifestyle-related diseases and obesity. They discovered that by stimulating the calorie burning mechanism in the body, catechins may trigger weight and fat loss. If you have yet to try green tea, you may want to include it in your health program now. Designs For Health has a number of formulations containing green tea extract. SOURCE: Nagao, T. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2005; vol 81: 122-129.


His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj

“No matter what arises, or does not arise,
you are only Consciousness Itself.
No matter what arises, or does not arise,
there is only Consciousness Itself.”


To His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj:

I dedicate this website and my service to all who find their way here to my spiritual master, Avatar Adi Da Samraj.

You are the bright light of my life, and I will be forever grateful for the love and blessings you have given me. Heart-Master Adi Da, I thank you with all my heart.



To learn more about Adi Da and his teachings, please visit:

The Adidam Website

Adi Da Videos on YouTube

We Are Consciousness Itself

To find books, audio recordings, and video recordings by Adi Da, please visit The Dawn Horse Press

To learn about the work being done to preserve the Sacred Archives of Avatar Adi Da, please visit The Sacred Archives of Adidam

Text and images ©2013 ASA 

What Bonnie’s Clients Say…

The chronic tiredness I was experiencing is gone!

I wasn’t sure if I needed help with my diet, but after consulting Bonnie, it became very obvious that I was missing out on key nutrients. She did a very thorough analysis of my diet and based on that, defined the areas very clearly where I needed to make changes to optimize my health. Read More

Rae T. Rae T.