The Power of Lifestyle Changes

EAT WELL, STRESS LESS, MOVE MORE AND LOVE MORE. These four simple rules have been scientifically proven to help you live a long and healthy life, according to Dr. Dean Ornish, MD, a Bay parent and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF.  While addressing the crowd at Tuesday’s Morning Meeting, Dr. Ornish discussed the power of lifestyle changes and how they can often reverse life-threatening health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and early-stage prostate cancer, as well as improve our overall health. As Dr. Ornish spoke, he connected his points to Bay’s precepts.

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Dr. Ornish shows Bay student’s how lifestyle changes can reverse heart disease.

We value a clear mind and a healthy, strong body; we don’t intoxicate ourselves with alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food, or the misuse of technology. Dr. Ornish showed us several studies of patients diagnosed with severe heart disease who were able to prolong their lives and reverse their heart disease because of the changes they made to their diet and lifestyle.  These lifestyle changes help to change our genes by turning on the genes that protect us and make us healthy, while turning off the ones that make us sick.

…We balance challenging academics with a mindful approach to learning and life. Dr. Ornish stressed the importance of mediation and how it focuses our minds, giving us more clarity and power.  Also, meditation quiets down our minds so we can experience more inner peace, thereby enabling us to accomplish even more with less stress.  Then he led our morning meditation with the primordial sound- ommmm. This exercise was to show us that repeating a sound over and over again during meditation is a powerful tool to help focus and clear the mind. When the mind is focused, we can also access our intuition and to hear our inner wisdom more clearly.

Dr Dean Ornish Nov 2014 copyWe value respecting ourselves and our friends in relationships…Depression is an epidemic and a catalyst for sickness. Dr. Ornish shared that people who suffer from depression are 3 to 10 times more likely to get sick and die prematurely than those who have a sense of love and connection to others. The trust and community we have here at Bay is healing and when we lean on and support each other, we are allowing ourselves to live a healthy life.   For more information on Dr. Ornish’s work,

We are proud that our students are already taking the steps at a young age to be healthy and work intentionally. We thank Dr. Ornish for sharing his work with us and for reminding us all to be kind to our bodies and our minds.