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188 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This program changed my life
I've tried lots of diets over the years and succeeded with some of them but after a mild heart attack last summer I really did not want to go on any diet that promised short-term results but obviously was not good for my health long-term. I really only wanted to invest my time and energy in a life-program that would build good health for the rest of my life. I began...
Published on March 16, 2000 by JS

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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Dean Ornish has some really interesting ideas about diet and exercise, some of which I agree with. Let me say that you CAN lose weight on this diet, and that most of the recipes are quite tasty, if somewhat time consuming to prepare. The problem is STAYING on a diet like this. Personally, I'm just too fond of cheese, beer,fish and avocados to ever convert to Ornish'...
Published on May 2, 1999


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188 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This program changed my life, March 16, 2000
By 
JS (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
I've tried lots of diets over the years and succeeded with some of them but after a mild heart attack last summer I really did not want to go on any diet that promised short-term results but obviously was not good for my health long-term. I really only wanted to invest my time and energy in a life-program that would build good health for the rest of my life. I began Dr. Ornish's program (a very low-fat, plant-based diet, moderate exercise, meditation and yoga) and within two weeks I began to feel like a different person -- more energetic, healthy and well. It took some time to get good at cooking this way but now I've got my shopping and cooking system set up so it works -- I cook double batches of things on Sundays and have my little repertoire of things I can fix quickly on weeknights. I also bought Dr. Ornish's book "Everyday Cooking" which has additional recipes, and that's great, too. Even my husband likes the food. I am looking and feeling better every day and am completely satisfied that I am not only losing weight but doing absolutely the best that I can do for my long-term health.
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121 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abundant variety not boring deprivation!, March 15, 2000
By 
This review is from: Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly (Mass Market Paperback)
Eat More, Weigh Less will speak directly to all those folks who have been struggling to feel better, achieve a healthful weight and gain more energy while trying to sort through the conflicting, confusing onslaught of dietbook information. Dr. Dean Ornish suggests an eating lifestyle not a diet, based on whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes including soy, and nonfat dairy foods that is easy to follow, abundant in variety, and packed with nutrients. The book contains great recipes and cooking tips from nationaly known chefs, that are easy to follow and include nutrient information so that you know exactly what you are eating. While fat is not used in the recipes, wonderful flavor is created from the garlic, herbs, spices and combinations of ingredients. One is able to eat well and feel satisfied without indulging in high fat, high calorie foods, and without feeling deprived or hungry. The only limiting factor to enjoying this type of eating would be one's imagination! This is a wonderful resource for anyone who is pursuing good health, an increased sense of energy and well being, and an expanded repetoire of delicious recipes!
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114 of 123 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book about diet and health., December 29, 1998
By 
L. Wallach (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A cool book about nutrition, health, and losing weight. This book is what actually motivated me to become a vegetarian four years ago and so far I've not had an ounce of meat since. Though I do eat fish, so some may not consider me a true vegetarian. I have recently picked this book up to review it and am finding it just as interesting as I remember. Ornish quotes scores of studies including his own which back up his philosophy about eating and health. In a nutshell, if you don't eat meat, and limit yourself to 10% of your calories as fat, exercise moderately, and "pay attention" you will avoid heart disease and other ailments, lose weight, and generally feel great. To be more specific, he concurs with Merkin in that you can eat as much grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables as you wants, but aslo warns that you should never stuff yourself. In fact, he concentrates somewhat on "paying attention" in the sense that if you concentrate more on what you eat as you eat it and not simply gulp a meal down while you watch TV, you are much more likely to hear the natural cue's your body puts out that tell you when you should stop eating. He also recommends getting rid of salt from your diet as this hides the flavor of food, and claims that after about two weeks your tastebuds will readjust to the lack of salt, sugar, and fat that is in the normal American diet, and which he claims hides the real flavor of foods, and after your tastebuds readjust, everything will taste much better then they ever did. Finally, when it comes to exercise, he has a very interesting viewpoint that moderate exercise such as walking is the best kind. The benefits he lists are that it is less stressful to your body, so you are less prone to injury, walking is a lot easier to do than other more vigorous exercises which may require special equipment, and finally, it aids much more in losing weight. This is because, according to Ornish, when the body detects that it is exerting a lot of energy in strenuous exercise, it slows the metabolism down in order to counteract this - it's trying to maintain the store of energy so that you don't starve. When you walk, your body does not get the same message, and so your metabolism stays the same and you burn calories without having to work as hard. Ornish does seem to get a little flakey towards the end of the first part of the book, where he talks about stress. If you are more scientifically minded, you can get beyond the psychobable/new-agey stuff and just retreave the main point that stress is bad. The second half of the book is a bunch of recipes by Ornish, but as stated by other reviewers here, these are somewhat ridiculous. Sure perhaps a wealthy diet-doctor or someone else with either a lot of money or time on their hands or both can make these recipes, but for the majority of us working stiffs, forget it! So I just ignored this part of the book. Don't even attempt it unless you have the qualities described above, and/or have a real love for cooking.
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120 of 135 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too many false statements in these reviews, September 10, 2003
For one, animal protien is no better than plant protien, and there is nothing unique in it. In fact, despite what that reviewer said, soy beans contain all of the amino acids in comparable proportions to meat. Not that anyone is lacking in protien. The world health organization set the RDA for protien at 5% of your calories, and they'd doubled it to allow for absorbtion discrepencies based on genetics and source. You know, "just in case". Even iceburg lettuce has over 20% of it's calories from protien. And per calorie broccoli has more protien than steak. Honestly unless you only eat potatoes, you should be getting well over what you need, and actually I think if you still ate adequate calories that there's enough protien in potatoes too..
Second, vitamin B12 is not "only found in animal products". Animal products are not a reliable source of B12. Nothing is. B12 is only produced by a certain bacteria. You have to have a supplement of some sort, but so many things are fortified with B12 it shouldn't be a problem. Shouldn't, but of course it still happens. But it's in every multivitamin, you don't need much, and your body stores it for later use. And iron is much easily absorbed from plants than from animal sources anyway. So claiming vegetarianism (or even veganism) causes anemia is an out and out lie. People are genetically predisposed to anemia, and need to be careful to eat more iron than those not predisposed to it. Spinach is good, kale too, think dark and green. And if you still have a problem (which is highly unlikely if you're eating a varied diet) iron supplements are a lot healthier than eating meat, and cholesterol free.
And I don't see why the american society thinks sawing open peoples ribs and moving a piece of a leg artery up to their heart is perfectly acceptable, but not eating meat is radical.
Any gas you get, from eating more vegetables, is quite temporary. When I first started eating more vegetables, I had that problem, but it was because my body wasn't used to eating them. Eating raw vegetables helps too, because they're easier to digest. There's no reason to throw away your health and go to a low carb diet (it'll get you to lose weight, but won't stop you from having a heart attack or a stroke, or getting cancer like a plant based diet will) just because of gas. And a side note, nothing "ferments" in the digestive process.
There are some unique ingredients, some you'll like, some you won't but you have to be willing to try, or you will end up just eating potatoes. Quinoa is a grain, it's quite good. Saffron and mace are spices, if you're grocery store doesn't sell them, I know you can get saffron at an Indian market (East Indian, not Native), though mace is harder to find.
The reviewer who claimed that by going vegan means it "rules out about half the foods there are" obviously hasn't experienced the true variety of plant foods out there. There are hundreds of edible mushrooms, 10 different types of apples (that I can think of off the top of my head), at least that many types of peppers, and they all have a different taste. And those are just foods people don't generally describe. It's a pepper, or an apple, or a mushroom. There are litterally millions of edible plants out there. And most people only eat 3 animals, 2 types of cheese, milk, and ice cream. You aren't losing half as much as you're gaining, that is if you have an open mind, and are willing to try them.
When your health is on the line, you should really try this "radical" diet to avoid having to take heart medications, and all those fun things, and probably eventually die of a heart attack anyway. Or cancer. Cancer I'm sure is more fun than a heart attack.
Now on to the actual review :)
I liked that there were so many recipies. Because the more options you're given the more likely you are to find something you like. The transition is going to be hard, you just can't give up because of a few recipies you don't like. But they are all pretty time consuming. So once you figure out which ones you like, you should make lots on your days off, and freeze the leftovers into "microwave dinners" for when you don't want to cook.
I personally lost 123 pounds (which halved my weight) following his "plan" which is more like the common sense guidelines, people like to ignore: Eat more vegetables, cut your fat intake, excercise, cut your fat intake more, eat more fruit, and more vegetables.
If you aren't sure if you can handle this "radical" change (it just doesn't seem that radical to me and lots of people called it that), take the book out from the library, and make the commitment to do it for two weeks, no cheating. Don't say you'll try either, because we all know when you say you're going to try you're just giving yourself an excuse to fail. You'll say "I tried" when really, you were just going through the motions.
I have this feeling this review sounds condescending, which isn't what I meant at all. It just seriously bothers me when people state falsehoods as the truth, or make assumptions that aren't really based on fact. So, I didn't mean to offend.
But I think everyone should make an honest effort at developping a plant based diet, even if you still eat turkey for thanksgiving. It's not an all or nothing game. The closer you get to veganism, the healthier you'll be. And this book is a good stepping stool in getting you there.
If you want to save money, just buy a Vegan cookbook, make sure it has some quick recipies in it, because you'll really like to have something easy to make after a long day at work. And you'll probably end up buying one eventually anyway. I recently bought "The Garden of Vegan" by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Bernard, and while it isn't as low fat as Dr Ornish recomends, it has some quite tasty recipies, and I'm quite glad I bought it. And besides, I'm half the woman I used to be, I can induldge a little.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at health & nutrition., January 23, 1998
By 
L. Wallach (Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is what actually motivated me to become a vegetarian over three years ago. I have recently picked this book up to review it and am finding it just as interesting as I remember. Ornish quotes scores of studies including his own which back up his philosophy about eating and health. In a nutshell, if you don't eat meat, and limit yourself to 10% of your calories as fat, exercise moderately, and "pay attention" you will avoid heart disease and other ailments, lose weight, and generally feel great. To be more specific, you can eat as much grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables as you wants, but aslo warns that you should never stuff yourself. In fact, he concentrates somewhat on "paying attention" in the sense that if you concentrate more on what you eat as you eat it and not simply gulp a meal down while you watch TV, you are much more likely to hear the natural cue's your body puts out that tell you when you should stop eating. He also recommends getting rid of salt from your diet as this hides the flavor of food, and claims that after about two weeks your tastebuds will readjust to the lack of salt, sugar, and fat that is in the normal American diet, and everything will taste much better than before you removed these from your diet.
When it comes to exercise, Ornish has an interesting viewpoint that seems to contradict the common wisdom - that moderate exercise such as walking is the best kind. The benefits he lists are that it is less stressful to your body, so you are less prone to injury, walking is a lot easier to do than other more vigorous exercises which may require special equipment, and finally, it aids much more in losing weight. This is because, according to Ornish, when the body detects that it is exerting a lot of energy in strenuous exercise, it slows the metabolism down in order to counteract this - it's trying to maintain the store of energy so that you don't starve. When you walk, your body does not get the same message, and so your metabolism stays the same and you burn calories without having to work as hard. I suspect this may be true for those who haven't exercised in a long time or are very obese, but for most, though walking may be healthy, it is not a very efficient exercise for those trying to lose weight, and so those who are impatient may give up altogether because they are only a hundred calories or so an hour.
Half of the book is taken up by low-fat recipies of Ornish which I've never tried as I'm not a cook, but a friend who has this book and who has a bit more culinary skill told me they are way to complicated (to many ingrediants and take too long to prepare). Also, towards the end of the first half, Ornish gets a bit too touchy-feely for me, getting into the psychology of why we eat, and includes meditation exercises and so on. But I'm sure there are many for whom this approach would be attractive...
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, May 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly (Mass Market Paperback)
Dean Ornish has some really interesting ideas about diet and exercise, some of which I agree with. Let me say that you CAN lose weight on this diet, and that most of the recipes are quite tasty, if somewhat time consuming to prepare. The problem is STAYING on a diet like this. Personally, I'm just too fond of cheese, beer,fish and avocados to ever convert to Ornish' regime. A healthy diet if you can manage it but ultimately too restrictive and impractical for the average working stiff.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful exciting recipes to keep you from boredom, November 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly (Mass Market Paperback)
A very uplifting and motivational book. I really like all the abundant recipes that are creative yet appealing in a way that I won't feel the need to drop off the regimen. I disagree that the ingredients required to make the dishes are exotic, but then that's probably because I already have my pantry stocked with everything he suggests.
Cancer runs in my family and our doctor suggested this book and what a book it is.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ornish's weight loss plan really works!, April 27, 1998
By A Customer
This book is brilliant. Ornish shows how a low-fat vegetarian diet is healthy, delicious, and also just the thing for those wanting to loose weight. The first half of the book explains the plan in detail. The second half of the book is full of tasty recipes. I lost 20 pounds on Ornish's plan - very easily, too. I was never hungry, nor did I feel deprived. I recommend this book to everybody.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional guide for safely losing weight, February 29, 2000
By 
Stacey (San Francisco, ca USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly (Mass Market Paperback)
Dr. Ornish has written an exceptional guide for losing weight. I found the book extremely helpful in my quest for improving my diet. Within a short period of time of following this diet I found that not only had my percent body fat dropped, but I was feeling more energetic, clear minded, and productive at work. The wide range of recipes was very helpful, as were the sample menus. I've always been leery of trying new whole grains but the guide for cooking grains and the accompanying recipes were very helpful. Even my family enjoys the recipes. I was also impressed by the scientific research that had been conducted to support the diet guidelines. It reassured me. I will never go back to the way I used to eat.
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129 of 160 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vitamin deficiency, June 28, 2000
This review is from: Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly (Mass Market Paperback)
I was initially excited by Dr. Ornish's eating plan. For the first several months of following his diet, I felt better, had more energy, and lost 10 pounds. However, after a year or so I became tired, then very tired... When it progressed to exhaustion and I had trouble getting through my workday, I went to see my doctor. Blood work found significant iron and B12 deficiencies. In researching in other books about vegetarian diets, I read that it is almost impossible to get B12 in a vegetarian diet (the only sources are said to be Spirulina and some kinds of kelp) and that supplements should be taken. I also read that it is difficult to get adequate iron and vitamin D on a strictly vegetarian diet. When I went back to Dr. Ornish's book, I could find no references to the need for these supplements or discussion about possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies when on this diet.
Since he is an MD, I trusted completely in what he said in this book. I am disappointed now, however, and wish he had included more information about the nutritional needs that might not be met by a vegetarian diet.
I still love his recipes, however.
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Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly
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