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The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health Paperback – December 30, 2008

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  • The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health
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  • Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery
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  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1990, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease presented scientific evidence that lifestyle changes alone can reverse even severe heart disease without surgery and medication. Subsequent research convinced Ornish that his program could be applied to other conditions with similar success. Ornish's philosophy has gained the respect of colleagues and patients, but critics say it is too difficult for many to sustain. Perhaps to counteract this notion, Ornish offers choices along a continuum of physical, mental and spiritual health. Marred somewhat by a defensive tone and repetition, the book shows readers how to tailor his recommendations to their needs, goals and preferences. Ornish's spectrum consists of nutrition (extremely low in fat, vegetarian), exercise (aerobic, resistance training and flexibility), stress management (yoga, meditation) and nurturing relationships, and he describes how they influence specific conditions. Recipes contributed by Oprah Winfrey's personal chef, Art Smith, ground Ornish's principles with dishes based on fresh, seasonal ingredients and ways to adapt them to a person's place along the spectrum. No doubt, putting Ornish's philosophy into practice is the best way to banish visions of the diet police. Given the research and heartfelt testimonials from patients reproduced here, the evidence is on Ornish's side. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"In 1993, Hillary asked Dr. Dean Ornish to consult with us on improving our health and well-being and to train the chefs who cooked for us at The White House, Camp David, and Air Force One.  I felt better and lost weight when I followed his recommendations.  As this book illustrates, my genes may have been improving as well!  If you want to see where medicine is likely to be five or ten years from now, read this book today."
President Bill Clinton 
"Dr. Ornish's wonderful new book, The Spectrum, can make an important difference in the health of the world at a time when it most needs it."
Gro Brundtland, M.D. Former Director General, World Health Organization, United Nations Former Prime Minister, Norway
"Dr. Dean Ornish knows more about inspiring people to eat well, live well, do well, and be well than anyone on the planet.  The Spectrum is a powerful book for living longer and better and shows how to live a healthful, joyful and loving life.  As Frank Sinatra once told me, 'Live each day like it’s your last, and one day you’ll be right.'"
Quincy Jones
"Dr. Dean Ornish is one of my best students, and I agree with what he is telling you.  I have known him well for many years now.  So you should pay good attention to what he tells you in his new book, which I am pleased to strongly support.  I am in complete agreement with what he is saying in The Spectrum." 
Alexander Leaf, M.D. Chairman, Dept. of Medicine (emeritus) and Chairman, Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Clinical Epidemiology (emeritus) Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital
"The Spectrum provides unparalleled guidance and ideas from the sage of preventive medicine." 
Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H. Executive Director, Google Foundation &
"Dean Ornish has given us a delightfully readable, information-rich and extraordinarily helpful guide to a better, healthier life.  Read The Spectrum for yourself - and give a copy to someone you love."
Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

“Read this book. It is literally life-saving and life-transforming.”
–Deepak Chopra, M.D.

“The Spectrum is absolutely fantastic. Time and again, Dr. Dean Ornish has scientifically proven that what was once thought to be medically impossible is, in fact, possible. His work is truly revolutionary.”
–Mehmet Oz, M.D., director, Cardiovascular Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, author of You: The Owner’s Manual

“Dr. Dean Ornish has done more than anyone to bring modern science to the nutrition field.”
–J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., first sequencer of the human genome

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Pap/DVD Re edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345496310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345496317
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

400 of 413 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Draper on December 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've been following Dr. Dean Ornish's work for many years. His books have helped transform my life for the better.

What I especially love about this book (which I think is his best by far) is that it provides a full spectrum of diet and lifestyle choices that are grounded in science (much of which he and his associates have conducted themselves and published in leading medical journals) yet it's easy to understand and fun to read.

Having been on and off many diets over the years, I like his "spectrum" approach because it doesn't tell me what to eat and do. Instead, it provides a range of choices that allow me to decide what's best for me. It treats the reader with intelligence, which I find empowering and motivating.

One of the main points of this book is that pleasure and joy are sustainable, not fear and guilt, and the recipes in this book (by Art Smith) really reflect that. Works for me!
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184 of 188 people found the following review helpful By ShadyLady on January 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be engaging and helpful. It covers ways you can improve your nutrition, your exercise, your stress management, and your attitudes. Research shows that making improvements in all these areas can significantly prevent and even reverse medical conditions. Furthermore, the more you improve, the greater your results! (Exercise is somewhat of an exception, because you get 99% of the results by walking 30 minutes a day plus doing a bit of strength training.) Ornish stresses the importance of making improvements in all the areas. The concept of the "spectrum" increases the likelihood you will actually follow through on making improvements. For example, Ornish lays out 5 groups of foods, Group 1 being the healthiest, Group 5 the least healthy. You assess which of these groups' foods you are now eating, i.e. where in the spectrum you are now eating. Then you do what you can to move to a healthier position on the spectrum. Even moderate movements toward the healthier side of the spectrum will significantly help prevent disease, especially if you improve nutrition AND exercise AND stress management AND attitudes at least a little. You figure out where you are on the spectrums, and how much improvement you can do. You can make extreme improvements, i.e. move all the way over to the healthy end of the spectrum(s), which is advisable if you are aiming to reverse a medical condition. You can make moderate improvements which may be enough to prevent medical conditions. It's a user-friendly concept, enticing. I found the book a real eye-opener, and very interesting, almost fun to read, and inspiring. The general advice and the research were quite engrossing, I thought. I highly recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Ornish has written some landmark books including Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; and Love and Survival. Within those books, you will find life-changing scientific perspectives:

1. With proper diet, your health will improve without drugs or surgery.
2. With nurturing relationships, you'll feel better and live longer regardless of your health issues.
3. You don't have to feel hungry to lose weight.

Since Dr. Ornish first wrote those important lessons, other researchers have found more reasons for hope:

1. With diet and exercise, even genes that could harm you will be re-set to be helpful.
2. The combined effects of healthy living can multiply into more joy, energy, good moods, and excellent appearance.
3. Many more diseases can be reversed with diet, exercise, relationships, mindfulness, and stress reduction.

In addition, Dr. Ornish has done his own new research showing that prostate cancer can be slowed and somewhat improved through healthier living.

The Spectrum combines these lessons into one book, one source of scientific references, and one way of living for the first time. If you want to live a healthy life that will take you to your full physical and mental potential, The Spectrum is that book.

I've met Dr. Ornish. In person, he's a kind, gentle man who wouldn't ever say a harsh word to anyone. In public, critics have challenged his past ideas about reversing heart disease by saying it's too hard to keep on his pathway.

The Spectrum responds to the critics by explaining how much flexibility we have in each of these areas, depending on what our current health is. For most people, you don't have to be extreme or rigid.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dance Lover on January 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book + DVD to anyone ready to make positive changes. I found this program very simple to understand and easy to follow. It is the kind of book that inspires you to take your life to a new level and you just can't stop reading it. I strongly believe that Dr. Ornish's book "The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health" is a breakthrough achievement. This is preventive medicine at its best and it is already influencing millions of people everyday all over the world. In my opinion he completely deserves the Nobel Prize.
The book also has many interesting stories of Dr. Ornish's daily life with his family and explains how his patients are reversing heart disease.
I am a chocolate lover and I really like when he tells how much he enjoys eating some dark chocolate and still maintain the nutritional goals. I also immediately took his thoughtful advice of choosing canola oil instead of olive oil. Dr. Ornish knows why we take wrong decisions and in a very compassionate way he gives us scientifically proven tools to succeed.
The beautifully made DVD by Anne and Dean Ornish is filled with helpful and fun guided meditations that are perfect for harmonizing mind and body and to feel more relaxed. I must admit that I am a fan of them and I bought several copies to give to my friends and loved ones.
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