The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health

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From the author of the landmark bestseller Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease comes an empowering new program that enables you to customize a healthy way of eating and living based on your own desires, needs, and genetic predispositions.

Dr. Dean Ornish revolutionized medicine by directing clinical research proving–for the first time–that heart disease and early-stage prostate cancer may be stopped or even reversed by his program of comprehensive lifestyle changes, without drugs or surgery. His newest research was the first to show that changing your lifestyle changes your genes in men with prostate cancer–“turning on” disease-preventing genes, and “turning off” genes that promote breast cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses, and in only three months. This study documented, also for the first time, that these lifestyle changes may significantly increase an enzyme that lengthens telomeres–the ends of your chromosomes that control how long you live. As your telomeres get longer, your life gets longer. Your genes are not your fate.

The Spectrum features one hundred easy-to-prepare, delicious recipes from award-winning chef Art Smith. Whether you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reverse a major disease, or find a sustainable, joyful lifestyle, The Spectrum can make a powerful difference in your health and well-being.

Customer Reviews:

  • The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight and Gain Health by Dean Ornish, MD
    I've read the book and within a week and although it has been a short time I've felt increased energy and increased focus following the doctors advice on nutrition, exercise, ways to destress your life as well as making positive lifestyle choices. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Great book on overall health
    I kind of stumbled upon this book, and wow, I'm glad I did. It's a great overview into nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and just being healthy overall. He's not pushy about it - he states he still likes his coffee and chocolate in moderation, but provides the information to really make good decisions about your health. ...more info
  • Great!
    Extremely effective for managing your lifestyle and creating a whole new healthy lifestyle!
    I also highly recommend the books in the 30-Day Diabetes Miracle series.

    The 30-Day Diabetes Miracle: Lifestyle Center of America's Complete Program to Stop Diabetes, Restore Health,and Build Natural Vitality
    The 30-Day Diabetes Miracle Cookbook: Stop Diabetes with an Easy-to-Follow Plant-Based, Carb-Counting Diet...more info
  • Inspiring & Well-Documented
    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!...more info
  • Ornish made easy
    I've read all of Dean Ornish's books, and feel this is the best of the lot. It's relatively easy to follow and covers the whole "spectrum" of the factors he feels are necessary components for good health. I was very motivated to follow his advice upon completion of the book.
    My only complaints about this book include the inclusion of some fairly complex vegetarian recipes (but I happen to prefer very simple, minimal ingredient recipes). And secondly, I would have preferred that some extended meditation exercises be included in the dvd that comes with this book, rather than having the many very short guided imageries that are done by his wife. Although I find her voice very soothing, I just begin to relax when the exercise is over and louder music comes on. I would love to have the couple make a DVD with several 10-20 minute meditation exercises included. ...more info

    Think McDonald's promotes health? DUH. Does Easter Bunny exist?

    To avoid being down on what I'm not up on, I study arguments in depth. Without doubt, Dean Ornish (and MANY others that he ignores) are gurus.

    I've virtually all related books, videos and audios. After reading SPECTRUM twice and hearing the companion audio, I was bewildered by TOPICS IGNORED.

    (0) No serious discussion of arguments against animal protein.
    (1) No serious discussion of arguments against ALL dairy.
    (2) No serious discussion of arguments against ALL fish.

    I was further astonished and underwhelmed by his NIH solipsism.
    Apparently, if he didn't mention it first, it's worth ignoring.
    Pritikin? Campbell? Esselstyn? Why ignore these scholars? WHY?

    Obviously, many populations survive on a very diverse diets.
    And some individuals live long live IN SPITE of their diets.


    Research shows Dean Ornish as a "consultant" for McDonalds, PepsiCo and other major corporations sustaining our SAD (Standard American Diet).


    Rip Esselstyn, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Joel Fuhrman, M.D, John A. McDougall, M.D, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. ET AL.

    All of the above authors have their books in your local public libraries. Better yet, buy several copies for your friends and loved ones. Accessing these TRUE gurus - untainted by commercial ties - is only keystrokes away.

  • The Spectrum
    I have not read this book yet, but am very interested in checking it out and following his plan of action. Thank you very much for your promt response to my request to order this book....more info
  • Where Have You Been All My Life?
    What an easy plan to stay with! I'm over 40(way over!), disabled, and on several drugs that can cause weight gain (and I've gained!). This plan lets you choose how you want to eat, and what you want to eat. It's all up to you. It works for me! I've lost 13 pounds so far! I NEVER thought I'd be able to lose weight considering everything else I've got going on with my health. Thank You Dr Ornish! ...more info
  • Interesting, but Disappointing
    I just got the shock of my life at a routine check up when my doctor told me I had very high LDL. With a new-found interest in diet, I picked up "The Spectrum", a book I had been meaning to take a look at anyway.

    I found the book to be interesting in the way it categorizes food from Most Healthful (Category 1) to Least Healthful (Category 5).

    I would have to say, though, that I do not find this book all that helpful when it comes to the task of putting together a diet. Here are the reasons:

    1) It doesn't say so on the cover, but he basically advocates a vegetarian diet. There are almost NO "most healthful" sources of protein except for garbonzos and soy (I think.) There is ONE Level 2 source of protein, which I believe is wild salmon. I'll just go down to the wild salmon store after work and prepare myself a wild-salmon meatloaf. What would we do without health food stores? Die? How are those realistic sources of protein? Another thing, there isn't even an entry for "protein" in the index, nor did I find information on how to ensure I get enough protein. Perhaps these issues are beyond the scope of the book, or I missed them.

    Yesterday, I had a grilled chicken and spinach salad and thought I was doing okay. That was before I found out that chicken is only one level better than donuts.

    2) This whole business of "it's not all or nothing" is, I think, a bit of a cop-out and a way to claim his is not the "no fat" diet. His repeated advice to make an individualized selection of what level to eat at is not helpful to me. What is the rational amount of "least healthful" food to eat, after reading about how it will kill me?

    3)The recipes did not seem like something a person with a real life and kids would be able to put on the table. (Many of them do not seem to provide much protein, but maybe I'm wrong on that.)

    Anyway, if you are looking to put together a diet, I don't think this book will be all that helpful....more info
  • Dean Ornish did it again!
    Some years ago I went on Dean Ornish's diet because I had some calcification in my artery. A year later it was gone. I just found out that I have some again. This new book of his lets you have a little space to construct your own diet. Knowing that group 1 is the best I can occasionally use the "Spectrum" to choose what may not be the best but still good for my condition. My doctor told me it is hard to stay on Dr. Ornish's diet. I knew this from before but you have 4 more groups to choose from now. It may be hard but is well worth it. Thank you Dr. Ornish....more info
  • The Spectrum
    Great information on benefits & risks associated with different dietary approaches. A must read for anyone considering going on an Atkins diet....more info
  • Great book, New way to look at Healthy Eating
    Dr. Ornish provides a very practical way to approach healthy eating. He puts the onus on the individual to choose what to eat rather than being told by a diet regimen.
    That puts you in control of the choices you make and gives you no leeway to blame somebody else for not providing you with the right stuff. Very practical advice.
    ...more info
  • complete book
    This book is complete. Not just any diet book. This is something you can use all of your life....more info
  • Spectrum
    Although there is a lot of scientific data it is a easy read. The author makes it fun and proves his findings.

    ...more info
  • strongly recommend
    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. ...more info
  • Interesting reading
    The Spectrum is interesting reading. I am only half way into the book, but what I've read is very interesting and I've learned a great deal....more info
  • Dr Dean Ornish deserves the Nobel Prize.
    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....more info
  • Long-term Robust Health
    Ornish has done and continues to do his homework - based on measured observations. He is able to reverse heart disease without surgery. This is solidly-grounded information we should all be following. Healthy eating & lifestyle that is sustainable - contrary to what most of us are exposed to every day at home, work, in media and in restaurants. His program takes cardiovascular disease patients and teaches them how to grocery shop, store food at home, cook properly, make effective use of leftovers. One criticism of Ornish is that he recommends 10% fat - too low for many people. The epidemic of diabesity is now global leading to shorter and less healthy lives for everyone. Ornish's program is immediately and long-term effective. Physicians do not embrace Ornish because too many suffer from poor diets, lack of aerobic exercise and coming from allopathic training (non- preventitive medicine). This program is not taught or modeled in most medical schools. With increasing health costs at every level this book is a long-term, concrete solution for everyone....more info
  • Help with Kindle version
    I love this book! However, I have it on the Kindle and cannot read the pages that are charts. These are critical, especially in the food spectrum. The Kindle version also does not include the DVD. There should be a way to download both the DVD and the charts.
    I think it is a very worthwhile book, but Kindle may not be the best way to read it unless they are able to fix the chart issue....more info
    This is another excellent book from Dr. Ornish that everyone should have. I have been following his suggestions for many years because of the heart disease in my family. I can't stress the importance of his advice more. This doctor know what he is talking about. AVOIDING THE 15 BIGGEST MISTAKES PARENTS MAKE: A PEDIATRICIAN'S PERSPECTIVE...more info
  • Interesting.
    I agree with the overall theory. But as with all major diet changes, trying to get a whole family on board is not easy. It's a goal to work toward in small steps. Lots of preparation time needed to eat this way which many families don't have. No meat? I still think lean meat, chicken and fish are good sources of protein in small amounts. Everyone, of course, would benefit from more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. I think balance is the most important thing and portion control....more info
  • The Ornish diet is great for many, but would it work for Eskimos?
    The Ornish diet is great for many, but I wonder would it work for Eskimos?

    Seven years ago a doctor told my husband he had prostrate cancer and should have his prostrate removed. My husband went to a second doctor for a second opinion. The second doctor wanted to use radioactive pellets to stop the cancer. My husband decided to follow the diet Doctor Ornish had a group of prostrate cancer patients using. After following the diet and a "watchful waiting" process for seven years, my husband's health is even better than when he started the program. I think "The Spectrum" can help almost anyone who reads and follows it. Both my husband and I follow it.

    I only gave the book 4 stars for two reasons:
    -1. The structure of the book is not user friendly. I believe that for the first chapter of the book, Ornish should provide a "Reader's Digest" version of the book. Then for the readers who want more detail he could reference later chapters.
    -2. I felt that Ornish presented his diet as THE solution. I wonder if there are places and people in the world for whom low fat diets are not possible or perhaps not even healthy, such as in Eskimo villages before Europeans took over. Would such people have developed the genes to not only live on a high fat diet, but the need to have a high fat diet? I wonder if there has been much research on the differences between the nutrition needs of different ethnic and racial groups?
    ...more info
  • Your Health: Physical & Mental
    This is a very informative book for referring to for inspiration. To get yourself off the couch & keep moving. To eat consciously to guard your health. I am glad I purchased this book....more info
  • health is the structure of the soul
    I work with a nonprofit and we often find ourselves working in communities in America and abroad where we focus on sustainable architecture and development.

    To me The Spectrum and Dr. Ornish's ongoing work is the equivalent of LEED certification. In this case, it's not about physical infrastructure, its about the infrastructure of the soul--healthy mind, healthy body, healthy heart. It's up to you to decide how far you want to go. This is a book to help you get there. ...more info
  • A must read, highly recommended!
    This is not another diet guide, this is a handbook that gives you all the tools you need to make lifestyle changes and maintain them. With this book you're on your way to a healthier, happier you. A great read....more info


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