Undo It!

Undo It!

How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases

Book - 2019
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The founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute outlines scientifically based recommendations for reversing heart disease and other chronic health problems through lifestyle changes designed to slow cellular aging.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780525479970
Characteristics: xviii, 506 pages : charts, illustrations, photographs ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Ornish, Anne - Author


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Jan 12, 2020

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Oct 12, 2019

I would urge you take a look at this book by the Ornish team. In my experience one of the main hurdles to adopting a new diet is trying and finding the new recipes that work for your palate. But the results of eating whole foods, exercise, meditation, and tending to my relationships is that I get to live my best life. My best life includes fewer doctor visits and fewer medical bills.
Like any journey you have to start somewhere. This is a great starting place.

Aug 15, 2019

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas to live more healthfully that are truly evidence based and not just the fad du jour --- or worse -- something that helps you lose weight by mortgaging your long term health, you will like this book.
Don't be scared off by how thick it is -- about half the pages are recipes, and appendices that support the book's content.
Of all of the Ornish books, I found Undo It the most readable and easy to get into -- I think this is his best book yet.
I highly recommend it.

Jul 25, 2019

Anyone familiar with the Ornish duo and their 'lifestyle medicine' program, of which this book ostensibly summarises, should not expect any surprises. The book is eminently readable, and hence recommendable, swamping the reader with statistics at the expense of scientific explanations. The four tenets of the program - 'eat well, move more, stress less, love more' are intuitively sound. There are some attractively simple summaries, especially for the latter three tenets, and the end of the book contains a bunch of recipes.

The Ornish name has certainly made itself synonymous with the 'whole food, plant based diet', yet unfortunately, the dietary advice lacked the precision I was hoping for. The book claims that the diet can 'possibly' reverse chronic diseases such as auto-immune diseases, an all-too-powerful claim for a theoretical statement without any case studies or statistics. I was disappointed at the lack of gut stuff - though Dean Ornish points this to the lack of research. Fair point. The book lacked the meta-level discussion of science and its philosophy that is extremely helpful when navigating the nutritional/health field of literature. Also, his rhetoric can be lofty. Some readers may appreciate this, while his prose may send others reeling from its inflated effervescence.

And let's not ignore the surrounding controversy. An article in the Scientific American, although basically an ad hominem attack, serves as an example (though, to be fair, they at least allowed Ornish to respond, and it's worth reading). Ornish prescribes his diet over every other (with special attention to any diet with a meaningful amount of fat, e.g. paleo, keto). Hence why he is a polarising figure in internet nutrition circles. The heart of the issue (pun intended) is that there appears to be genetic variability in carb adaptation (i.e. carbs relative to other macros, namely fat), and Ornish neglects this point entirely. As his evidence supports, there's no harm in trying the Ornish diet. I'm giving it ago as I've exhausted other options. As Ornish says himself, quite sensibly, the idea is to listen to what the body is saying, although he doesn't extend this to: '...even if the body says that the Ornish diet isn't working for you, while the other diets (that he mounts evidence against) do'. If this review seems overly negative - it's only because the things worth reading attract higher standards. Give it a go.

Too long didn't read version: A book worth reading, and experimenting, with a grain of salt.

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