Dr. Dean Ornish, The Father of Lifestyle Medicine

Awesome Vegans Influencer Series

It’s an Awesome Vegans – Plantbased Business Hour Mash Up!

1:27 Dr. Dean Ornish, also known as The Father of Lifestyle Medicine, is a practicing physician and the president and founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute. In 2011 Barack Obama appointed him to the advisory group on prevention, health promotion and integrative public health. He is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California and the author of The Spectrum which explains his program for reversing heart disease. His current book, Undo It! How Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases is about how lifestyle changes can improve your immunity and prevent popular chronic diseases.

7:57 In regards to the Coronavirus, Dr. Ornish says it’s important to listen to the public health experts and isolate yourself. Dr. Ornish says that while in social isolation it is important to reach out to friends and the community in virtual ways. Other studies show that emotional stress can lower your defenses and immunity so when you’re depressed your immune system becomes depressed. Dr. Ornish talks about the advantages of some vitamins like vitamin C and he says it’s never too late to be making changes even if you have the coronavirus. Dr. Ornish believes we need to put more focus on how to increase our immunity so our body can prevent the virus or survive it versus putting so much focus on trying to stay away from it. We don’t have to feel powerless towards this virus. There are steps we can take at home to make ourselves stronger.

4:15 Dr. Ornish emphasizes the idea that when you change your lifestyle it can reverse aging and so much more. “For the last 42 years I’ve directed a series of studies showing that simple lifestyle changes can reverse and therefore prevent the progression of a wide variety of chronic diseases. We’ve shown that for the first time even severe heart disease could actually be reversed. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.”

Our lifestyle choices affect our immunity for better or for worse. Dr. Ornish says eating well and having a whole food plant-based diet can increase your immunity. “We can eat well, move more, stress less, and love more which can help boost our immunity and reduce the likelihood that we’re going to get sick.” For Dr. Ornish it’s not the idea of “this or that”, it’s doing everything you can to become more healthy and more robust.

19:11 The healthcare system is changing slowly but not as fast as Dr. Ornish would like. “It’s really a sick care system for the most part than a healthcare system.” He mentions how doctors are not required to get enough education on nutrition which should be changed. Our bodies often have a remarkable capacity to begin healing so changing your lifestyle choices is a much more effective way of healing a chronic disease than relying on pills. Dr. Ornish hopes that with the medical community focusing so much attention on the coronavirus, that they do not neglect other chronic diseases that are so prevalent and in many ways are responsible for many more deaths every year. In the end, he believes that we all have the power of how we react to this pandemic and we can choose to suffer or we can choose to see the good in this time and use it productively. Go to Ornish.com to learn more about Dr. Ornish’s proven program that heals hearts and transforms lives.

Here is a snippet from the longer interview on boosting our immune systems to help us be strong against Coronavirus.

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