Welcome to Ornish Living
We’ve created Ornish Living to empower you with the resources and support that you need to experience lifestyle medicine to the fullest. For more than 36 years, Dean Ornish, MD has directed a series of scientific research studies showing, for the first time, that the progression of even severe coronary heart disease – as well as other chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and early-stage prostate cancer – can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Medicare is now covering the Ornish Program, which is the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes.
Ornish Living is for anyone who is interested in leading a healthful lifestyle. We’ve found that when you make healthy choices, you feel better quickly, and feeling better is what makes these choices more sustainable.
On Ornish Living, you’ll find weekly articles from our certified clinical team members representing each of four equally weighted pillars of the program: Nutrition, Fitness, Stress Management, and Love and Support.
In Nutrition, you’ll find a growing Recipedia of delicious recipes developed by our chefs to reverse disease. Ornish-certified nutritionists will provide healthful tips and sample menus that will keep you feeling inspired and devoted to this way of eating. Our philosophy is that food is neither good nor bad, but some foods are healthier for you than others. So, we categorized foods from the most healthful (Group 1) to the least healthful (Group 5). The more you move towards the healthier end of the spectrum, the more you improve in ways we can measure and the better you feel—at any age.
Our Stress Management specialists will inform and infuse the community with levity and love by providing weekly insights and practices to relax, release stress and react in healthier ways. Chronic stress is linked with an increased risk of almost all illnesses as well as premature aging. The good news is that stress is primarily a function of how we respond to the stressors in our world. When you practice stress management on a regular basis, your fuse gets longer.
In Fitness, our exercise physiologists will inject your daily life with the energy and workouts proven to motivate people while improving a wide range of conditions.. The more you move, the more you improve stamina, strength, and flexibility. Our philosophy is “If you like it, you’ll do it. So, do whatever activity you enjoy”.
Love and Support
Our ability to connect with others and ourselves is at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing. Our Love and Support experts are here to provide emotional support at every step to help you unlock the healing power of community. We all know that these factors fundamentally affect the quality of our lives. However, research has shown that they affect the quantity of our lives as well — our survival.
Ask Dr. Ornish
We’re also happy to introduce a brand new column called Ask Dr. Ornish. We know that transforming your way of eating and health often raises a lot of questions. Here on ‘Ornish Living’, Dr. Ornish is here to provide weekly guidance and support.
In the Media
In the Media features posts about Dean Ornish, MD’s latest media appearances, such as CNN, Dr. Oz, and Good Morning America. Ornish Living also features Dr. Ornish’s monthly TIME articles, LinkedIn Influencer posts and commentary as the Medical Editor of the Huffington Post about the growing movement of lifestyle medicine and its power to reverse chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Stories inspire us, help us feel a sense of connection with others, and a part of something bigger than ourselves. At their heart, stories help us heal. Every week, Ornish Living will bring you the story of a participant’s experience in the Ornish Program; what kind of health challenge did they face, what inspired them to join the program, and finally a rewarding life experience when they knew they had transformed their life.
It’s not all or nothing. If you’re trying to undo (reverse) heart disease or prevent recurrence of cancer, you may need the “pound of cure” –that is, bigger changes in diet and lifestyle than someone who wants to lower their cholesterol level a few points or lose a few pound pounds. If you have a strong family history, or if genetic testing shows you to be at higher risk, then the information can be a powerful motivator to make bigger changes in diet and lifestyle than you might have otherwise made. To the degree that you move towards living on the healthiest end of this spectrum, you’re likely to look better, feel better, lose weight, and gain health.
–The Ornish Editorial Team
Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. For over 36 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. He directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may slow, stop or reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer. His current research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease, as well as the first study showing that these lifestyle changes may begin to reverse aging by lengthening telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes which control aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine). He is the author of six books, all national bestsellers, including: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.
Ornish Digital Platform Director
Anne Ornish produced the online channel for the Ornish Program at WebMD from 1998-2006. Since then, she has been Director of the Ornish Digital Platform, designed to educate, activate and support those interested in leading a healthier lifestyle -- including Empower, an application for certified providers, enrolled participants and alumni of the Ornish Program. Since 2013, Healthways Inc. and Dr. Dean Ornish entered into a partnership to provide Ornish Lifestyle Programs, bringing their benefits to a far broader audience. Through these proven programs, people are empowered to quickly undo (reverse) their heart disease and other chronic conditions, allowing them to sustainably transform their lives for the better. Anne's multimedia series of guided practices are featured both inside Dean Ornish, MD's book, The Spectrum and on the OrnishSpectrum.com website. Anne was featured on the cover of Yoga Journal magazine's July/August 2006 issue.
Rachel is a writer, editor and media strategist with a particular emphasis on content that humanizes health, science and technology. After graduating from the University of California’s Graduate School of Journalism, she went on to work as a writer and editor at top magazine brands such as Wired and Primedia’s Folio magazine. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Business Week. She is the owner of StoryMade, a storytelling studio that creates new media content solutions for businesses. Previously, she was a founding editor and multimedia producer for TED Books, designing TED talk content for tablets computers. For the Ornish Lifestyle Programs, Rachel directs editorial for Ornish Living, as well as overall social strategy for the Ornish brand and the narrative structure and content across the 18-session product housed within Empower.
Ornish Living Contributors
Carra is a registered dietitian and certified health and lifestyle coach with a comprehensive background and over 25 years of experience in health and wellness. She has worked as a dietitian with the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease since 1997, guiding participants to create positive, sustainable lifestyle changes. She has a passion for empowering others to eat well and make healthy lifestyle choices that promote optimal health and well-being.
Phil has been an exercise physiologist for the past 20 years working in cardiac rehab, education and diagnostics. He has worked as an exercise physiologist with the Ornish Program for the past 10 years. His professional passion is to help people recover from the physical and emotional trauma of a heart event and to provide them with knowledge and experience to live a healthier life.
Group Support Specialist
Mimi is a licensed psychotherapist, licensed behavioral health specialist, nationally certified counselor, and professional seminar leader specializing in Attitudinal Healing. She has worked for over 25 years in the field of health and wellness. As a Group Support Element Specialist, Mimi has facilitated thousands of group sessions and presented hundreds of lectures for the Dr. Dean Ornish Program. She considers it a profound privilege to experience the deep impact, both personally and professionally, of her ongoing work with the program.
Stress Management Specialist
Susi has been a stress management specialist and yoga therapist with the Ornish hospital programs since 1993. She feels that it is a great joy and privilege to be able to support participants in their journey to health and happiness. She is also the founder and director of the Omaha Yoga & Bodywork Center in Omaha NE, where she teaches daily classes, direct programs, manages a mind/body clinic, and trains yoga teachers.
Dennis has been a professional chef for 40 years and has enjoyed working with Dr. Ornish for over 20 years. He’s passionate about foods that both sustain life, and are delicious and artful. Dennis loves helping others to transform their relationships with food by becoming more conscious and caring with what, how, and most profoundly, why, they eat. He uses his clinical skills to coach others in ending emotional eating. Dennis has been the Chef/Owner of two well-loved restaurants and he has taught many people how to improve their cooking skills.
Adam is a writer who focuses primarily on capturing the inspiring stories of Ornish Reversal Program participants. He also writes general marketing copy for the program, conducts interviews, and oversees the creation of video testimonials.
Medical Director, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine
Ben Brown is a physician and an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF's Santa Rosa’s Family Medicine Residency. He has more than 20 years of clinical experience and has worked as a small town doctor in Point Reyes, CA, served as a chief medical officer in Santa Rosa, CA and started a non-profit to help refugees along the Thai-Burma border. His work with Dr. Ornish and The Dr. Dean Ornish Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease started in 1995. Since then, he's witnessed so many medical miracles with this program and is thrilled to be supporting you in transforming your life.