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Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dean Ornish, M.D.Dean Ornish, M.D. , is the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif. , where he holds the Safeway Chair. He is clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish received his medical training in internal medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts in humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.

For more than 32 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 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 lengthening telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that control how long we live, in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009.

Learn more about Dean Ornish, M.D. below.



Dr. Ornish's Recipes Vegetarian Chili
Multigrain Pancakes


The Spectrum
by Dean Ornish, M.D. The Spectrum: By Dean Ornish, M.D.


  1. Eat plant-based foods. It will make you feel better. It also does less violence, helps reduce global warming, and frees more land to grow food for those who most need it. It’s the healthiest way to eat—both for you and for Earth.
  2. Even severe heart disease can often be reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. These include a very low-fat diet of predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy—and enhanced love and social support, which may include support groups.
  3. Most people can make progressively bigger changes in nutrition to achieve their health goals. If moderate changes in diet aren’t sufficient to lower your cholesterol, bigger changes usually are. How much you want to change is up to you.
  4. To the degree that you move in a healthful direction, you’re likely to look better, feel better, lose weight, and gain health. People have different needs, goals, and preferences. What matters most is your overall way of eating and living.


Vegetarian Chili
This vegetarian version of chili is always appreciated. The bulgur wheat adds a nice texture along with the vegetables.

Makes 8 servings

2 cups diced red onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 jalapeño, minced
1 cup diced carrots
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 28-ounce can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1/2 cup lentils, cooked
1 can kidney beans
1 can lima beans

Spray a Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray, add the vegetables and garlic, and sauté over medium heat. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Cook the vegetables in the spices, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, broth, bulgur wheat, lentils, kidney beans, and lima beans. Bring to a simmer and cook until the bulgur is tender—about 10 minutes. Test to see if it's done and then serve, or let it cool down and freeze it.

Multigrain Pancakes

Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups multigrain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk the apple juice, applesauce, and egg substitute together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir the dry ingredients together. Fold in the wet ingredients. Add a splash more juice if it's too dry. Heat a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and pour in batter 1 heaping tablespoon at a time.


Dr. Ornish is the author of six best-selling books, including New York Times’ best-sellers Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.

The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Circulation, The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, and elsewhere. A one-hour documentary of their work was broadcast on NOVA, the PBS science series, and was featured on Bill Moyers’ PBS series, Healing and the Mind. Their work has been featured in all major media, including cover stories in Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report. He has written a monthly column for Newsweek and Reader’s Digest magazines and is medical editor of The Huffington Post.

Dr. Ornish is a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank, the U.S. United Nations High Commission on Refugees, the J. Craig Venter Institute, and the advisory board of the Quincy Jones Foundation at the Harvard School of Public Health. He was appointed to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and elected to the California Academy of Medicine. He consults with food companies to make more healthful foods and to provide health education to their customers in this country and worldwide. He chairs the Google Health Advisory Council.

He has received several awards, including the 1994 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, Austin, the University of California, Berkeley, National Public Health Hero award, the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for distinguished contribution in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology, a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association, the Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases, the Pioneer in Integrative Medicine award from California Pacific Medical Center, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, a U.S. Army Surgeon General Medal, and the Bravewell Collaborative Pioneer of Integrative Medicine award. Dr. Ornish has been a physician consultant to President Clinton since 1993 and to several bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress, and he consulted with the chefs at The White House, Camp David, and Air Force One to cook more healthfully (1993-2000). He is listed in Who’s Who in Healthcare and Medicine, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. He recently gave a keynote speech reviewing the science of integrative medicine at the Institute of Medicine’s Summit on Integrative Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Ornish was recognized as “one of the most interesting people of 1996” by People magazine, selected as one of the “TIME 100” in integrative medicine, chosen by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation” and by Forbes magazine as “one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world. ”

Learn more about Dr. Ornish at www.PMRI.org.

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