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WAKE UP AMERICA! Dr. Dean Ornish

Treating disease with lifestyle change.

Who is Dr. Dean Ornish?

Dr. Ornish is the founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute and a leading researcher for over 30 years. He has influenced the diet of President Clinton who is now leading a vegan lifestyle. An author of six bestsellers, his program for improving health through lifestyle change is now covered by Medicare. His research is proving that the more you improve your food choices and lifestyle, the more your health improves and the better you feel.

In the words of Dr. Ornish

Reimbursement is a critical part of medical practice.

  • A thousand studies advocating lifestyle change in the prevention and treatment of disease will not have impact in changing our health care system if there is no reimbursement by insurance companies.
  • Insurance companies need to reimburse by diagnosis instead of by procedure.
  • With Medicare now providing reimbursement, other insurance companies should follow.

Diet and lifestyle changes can prevent disease and treat illness.

  • We can reverse or decrease angina, improve blood flow to the heart, reduce PSA counts, and reduce blockage of coronary arteries by making changes to diet and lifestyle.

We must deal with root causes of suffering which include depression and isolation. 

  • When we examine the root of poor lifestyle changes then we can encourage small steps toward ending their suffering with proper diet and exercise.
  • As people begin to feel better, they naturally engage in the process of healthy living even more. It becomes a virtuous cycle.
  • Benefits go beyond healing disease and include emotional, psychological, spiritual and metabolical improvements.

Surprisingly people do follow through with lifestyle changes.

  • We have evidence of a 85-90% follow through rate by those changing to a healthier diet & lifestyle because they feel better and that makes them want to keep going.
  • What is fun for us can be the same as what is good for us. It is a myth to equate fun with unhealthy living. It is actually the opposite.
  • When we feel good, have more fun, and live more fully after making changes in our diet, we sustain the behavior.

Managing stress more effectively, regardless of your circumstances, can add years to your life.

  • At the genetic level, chronic stress can shorten your life.  How you deal with stress is most important.
  • Lifestyle choices of meditation, yoga, and healthy food consumption all impact our physiological response to stress.

Age and severity of illness are not the prevailing factors for overall improvement.

  • The degree to which we shift to healthier choices is relative to the degree to which our life improves regardless of how old or sick we are.  This data was a surprise.

We can set ourselves up for success when changing our lifestyle unlike traditional diets.

  • Failure can be avoided entirely by taking small steps. Allow the lifestyle itself to fuel further engagement of the process.
  • Think directionally. Move in the right direction consistently by adding in healthy choices rather than drastically limiting yourself.

A new standard of medical practice can be more sustainable and profitable.

  • With reimbursement, there is hope of changing from a disease care system to a health care system. Health care professionals can be trained to give patients options that are non-invasive and produce dramatic results.
  • Lifestyle changes can be made at a fraction of the cost of medical drugs and procedures and with only good side effects.

My Takeaway

When we know better, we try and do better.  When we feel better, we want more.

Some of us need a huge wake-up call, like a heart attack or diabetes diagnosis, before we take charge of our food choices. Regardless of the reason, I don’t know anyone who has changed his eating habits for the better who has regretted that decision.

I feel the difference when I eat wholesome food- the energy, alertness of being alive and well. After my daily exercise, I am a better business owner, mother, wife and friend. These feelings are what fuel my desire to learn more, find new recipes, pack a healthy lunch for my kids, and pass this life changing message on to others.

A Healthier YOU begins…

…with one small change today that you didn’t do yesterday but are willing to continue tomorrow.

Learn more about the work of Dr. Dean Ornish.  His books are available on Amazon.

Learn more about The Food Revolution and how you can purchase the entire summit in audio and .pdf formats.

The Food Revolution Network, founded by food activists, John & Ocean Robbins, conducted a series of audio interviews with twenty-four of the most well respected researchers, doctors, and authors, with a focus on how we can improve our food systems and lead healthier lives. This series will provide summaries of each of these interviews so that we may all improve our health by eating more consciously. Please read intro to series for disclaimer.

"The way you do small things is the way you do most things."

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