Notable Living Contemporary Teachers

Home Base
San Francisco, California, USA

Foundation of Teaching
Diet, Healthy Lifestyle

Example of Teaching
“People don’t dislike change. They dislike being changed.”

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Dr. Dean Ornish

Dr. Dean Ornish was born July 16, 1953, in Dallas, TX to Edwin (a dentist) and Natalie (a historian). He married Shirley E. Brown (a nutritional expert and co–director of Ornish’s research), until they divorced in 1994. Dr. Ornish married Mary Blackwell in June of 1998. He attended Rice University, received his B.A. and graduated summa cum laude from University of Texas at Austin in 1975, and received his medical doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in 1980.

San Francisco–area physician Dean Ornish is the author of several best–selling books that tout a low–fat, high–carbohydrate diet and moderate exercise program as the best way to prevent and even reverse cardiac disease. Ornish also runs seminars and “healthy lifestyle” retreats that teach patients how to maintain both a sensible diet and positive outlook on life. Though some in the medical community were initially wary about Ornish’s ideas, follow–up studies have demonstrated that his program has indeed been able to unstick some of the plaque build–up in arteries that causes a heart attack, and by 2003 several major health insurers covered the cost of enrollment. “The work has made Ornish one of the few practitioners to successfully test an Eastern style of health care,” according to Los Angeles Times columnist Shari Roan, “which focuses on holistic healing, using traditional, Western scientific methods.”

For over 35 years, Dr. Dean Ornish’s series of scientific research studies have been empowering the way millions of people think about the simple lifestyle choices they make each day in dynamic relation to their health & wellbeing. From being a revolutionary thought leader, a powerful professor, a beloved author and respected advisor to some of the worlds most powerful leaders, Dr. Dean Ornish is resoundingly recognized as a leader in health, healthcare and medicine.



  1. “I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.”
  2. “I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced, vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open.”
  3. “In short, the more inwardly defined I became, the less I needed to succeed and the less stressed I felt. The less I needed success, the easier it came. The less I had to get, the more I got. The less I needed to acquire power, the more power I realized I already had; before I realized that, I used to give my power away.”
  4. “So the best combination for reversing heart disease is to exercise, stop smoking, eat a vegetarian diet, and practice stress management techniques—in other words, to follow the program”
  5. “The importance of insulin is becoming more well recognized. Unfortunately, some people are writing books that fail to distinguish between simple and complex carbohydrates. They recommend that people minimize intake of carbohydrates and increase intake of protein, even high-fat, high-cholesterol animal proteins, which is most unwise.”
  6. “I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.”
  7. “But for many people, an even more motivating example than increasing blood flow to your brain and your heart can be found in The Game Changers, a powerful new documentary film produced by legendary filmmaker James Cameron”
  8. “Yet almost all of these techniques ultimately derive from yoga. It’s a testimony to the power of these techniques that entire careers have been built around different aspects of yoga, sometimes even renamed after the person who rediscovered that practice.”
  9. “Our genes are a predisposition, but our genes are not our fate,” I wrote to him. “If they were, then you’d be a victim, but you’re not—you’re one of the most powerful people on the planet.”
  10. “For example, the latest studies are showing that lifestyle changes are often actually better than drugs and surgery in treating and even reversing many of the most prevalent chronic diseases, including stable coronary heart disease and early-stage prostate cancer.”
  11. “Even if you can’t open your heart to people, open your heart to God; then you will know how to open your heart to people also.”
  12. “Each of the program’s four components—eat well, move more, stress less, and love more—has profound and dynamic beneficial effects on all of these shared mechanisms that cause us to get sick and enable us to heal.”
  13. “In short, these are the rules of engagement, whether in a group or one-on-one: Identify what you’re feeling. Express what you’re feeling. Listen empathically to what others are feeling. Our group support sessions allow you to witness how to use your wounds as catalysts for transforming your pain—allowing your suffering to subside, your wounds to begin healing, and your heart to begin feeling safe enough to open a little wider.”
  14. “Over half of the American population has type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, at an annual cost of over $322 billion. Yet these conditions are completely preventable in most people today by following the lifestyle medicine program described in this book.”
  15. “In 2018, scientists learned that Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting far faster than previously thought, with more than 200 billion tons of ice flooding into oceans annually, according to new research published in the prestigious science journal Nature.”
  16. “The Reversal Diet is a very low-fat vegetarian diet, with no animal products except egg whites and nonfat dairy.
  17. “On the Reversal Diet, most people will be able to eat somewhere between 15 and 35 grams of total fat per day, or between 5 and 12 grams of saturated fat per day. (Most Americans eat over 100 grams of fat per day.)” 
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