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Wildwood Health Institute Opens Better Living Center Restaurant

REBECCA HAZEN/Dade County Sentinel
The Wildwood Health Institute has opened the Better Living Center. The Center will serve as a restaurant for the community, as well as a place for programs such as speaking engagements and cooking schools.

News Editor

The Wildwood Health Institute has opened a Better Living Center, as a way to reach more of the local community.

The Institute, located in Wildwood, has a mission to address health issues in the community, both nationally and internationally.

“This building was born out of the idea of, ‘How can we better serve our community?’” Vaughan Sparrow, President of Wildwood Health Institute, said.

The Better Living Center operates as a restaurant, and is open once a week on Wednesdays to serve lunch from 12 to 3 p.m. The meal costs $10, with additional items like drinks and dessert costing extra.

“So far we are averaging around 40 people that are coming to eat here. We might increase it depending on the demand,” Sparrow said.

In the future, the Institute hopes to hold health lectures in the space, as well as cooking schools, and events such as “Dinner with a Doctor.”

According to Sparrow, the Wildwood Health Institute teaches the eight laws of health, which is remembered in the acronym “NEW START.” The eight laws are: nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest, and trust in God.

“There is a spiritual component. We represent the Seventh Adventist Church, we are a supporting ministry, but we welcome everyone in,” Sparrow said.

There is also a small farm on the Institute campus, which supplies the Better Living Center’s restaurant, the Lifestyle Center’s kitchens, and the Natural Food Market on campus.

The Natural Food Market is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The Market is closed on Saturdays.

The Wildwood Health Institute was started in 1942, by founder W. D. Frazee.

“He started what we call the Sanitarium, a little hospital. Our Lifestyle Center that was built as a hospital, and it was finished in the early 1970s. It was a 39 bed state licensed hospital at the time, where we practiced natural remedies and applied the laws of health and healthful living to the patients,” Sparrow said.

Eventually, the philosophies became more divergent as hospital and insurance protocols changed.

“We were practicing natural remedies, and the protocols for treatment were more related to the specific care and medications used,” Sparrow said.

At that point, the hospital was downgraded to 13 beds, and the Lifestyle Center was born. The hospital was closed about 18 years ago.

At the Lifestyle Center, guests come for either a 10-day or a 25-day program. It’s an in-house program where people stay at the facility.

The Lifestyle Center works with people with all kinds of disease factors, from cancer to diabetes. People who enter the program will see a doctor and have lab work done.

There are scholarships available to help people who may not be able to afford the cost of the program.

In addition, the Health Institute runs a medical missionary training school, where natural remedies are taught.

People in the program go on two missionary trips, one half way through the six month training, and then one at the end. Before COVID-19, the trips were international, visiting places such as India and Africa. Now the missionaries are more local.

“We really hope that this can have an impact in our community and raise health education in the community, so people can boost their immune systems. We have the information and knowledge to share, and now we have a venue to be able to do that,” Sparrow said, about the opening of the Better Health Center.

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  1. Eileen curtis on September 1, 2022 at 12:43 am

    I had lunch there today. Was not $10 as advertised. I had ham and cheese sandwich and side salad. Total was over $13, dont know what kind of ham it was bitvtook it off sandwich and had half of a cheese sandwich. Will not return, horrible food and very disappointed. Bread was good and salad was ok.

  2. Linda on March 15, 2024 at 2:41 pm

    I visited the Sanitarium for my health and was treated by one of the kind workers to lunch there. It was delicious! I had a salad, oven baked home fried potatoes, a vegan burger with all the fixins, house made dressing and ketchup! I wish they were open Sunday – Friday so while traveling that direction, I would go there frequently!!
    The vegan diet is new to a lot of people and “mock” meat substitutes may be confused with real meat. But, the health benefits are Awesome!! I would highly recommend this place!🤗

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