With so much news about a future of personalized medicine, it's exciting to see that Dr. Ornish is applying this approach to lifestyle and well-being. It makes sense that everyone's different, with their own needs, goals, and preferences so an effective solution must take into account these differences. Many 'diets' out there claim to be the one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Too many people who have tried one of these diets eventually goes off it and ends up right back to where they started. Of course, there are some people for whom specific diets seem to work, so the key is finding the solution that works for you! By laying out a 'Spectrum' of choices, Dr. Ornish provides readers with a menu of choices they can make to find their own personalized path to success.
I'm not a fan of diets, so I like the idea behind Dr. Ornish's approach to a healthy lifestyle change versus cutting out carbs or eating no dairy. (I think one diet out there actually asks you to stop eating fruit for a few weeks because they contain sugar!) It's a breath of fresh air to see a doctor promote healthy living with no medications or surgery.
I think it is a very important development that Dr. Ornish lays out a spectrum of choices and goals for people. First of all, it is different from the all or nothing approaches of many other authors. Second, people can really see the effect of their choices. You can really understand what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong and then, understand the consequences. Make no mistake -- he does want us to have goals. But they are very sensible. His ideas are not "gimmicky".
I'm big on personalized plans. My dietitian worked with my individual needs when I wanted to lose the 65 pounds I gained with my pregnancy and though I didn't immediately realize it at the time, she was changing my eating habits little-by-little, teaching me how to live a better lifestyle rather than putting me on a diet. It was much better than throwing me into a diet plan and expecting me to succeed. I think I would've been befuddled if given a few tips and a rigid menu plan. Successes come (for me anyway) with personal attention and positive feedback.
It's good to see some in the medical profession shifting their focus from treating sickness to maintaining a state of health. It's important to remember how much energy our bodies devote to digestion. And that we're all different.