The Dr. Sears T5 Wellness Plan: Transform Your Mind and Body, Five Changes in Five Weeks

The Dr. Sears T5 Wellness Plan: Transform Your Mind and Body, Five Changes in Five Weeks

by William Sears, Erin Sears Basile


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The best of today’s science-based nutrition and lifestyle research is finally available in one crystal-clear plan. All you need is five steps and five weeks.

Maybe you’ve just received a wake-up call: your own health crisis, or a sick parent or friend. Or maybe you’re just tired of feeling tired and sick of feeling sick.

You don’t need a diet plan. You need a health transformation—from the inside out.

For more than 20 years, The Baby Book author William Sears’s advice has been trusted by millions of parents across the country, and around the world. Now, along with his daughter Erin, a health coach and fitness instructor who went through her own transformation, losing 70 pounds and radically improving her health, Sears turns his science-based guidance to creating better health for everyone. The Dr. Sears T5 Wellness Plan is a book for all ages and all ailments. Decrease inflammation, protect your brain and heart, strengthen your gut, balance your hormones, and even make your own medicine.

The Dr. Sears T5 Wellness Plan’s five-step, five-week mind and body makeover—field-tested by the authors in their medical and health-coaching practices—changes your body’s biochemistry to help you feel better, look better, and enjoy the New You!

From its lively illustrations to motivating transformer testimonies, T5 is fun to read and fun to do—which means it’s the program you’ll stick with. Your mind and body will thank you.

You Will Thrive on T5!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946885777
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 410
Sales rank: 1,236,211
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

William Sears, M.D. , has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years, and now turns his attention to the specialty of lifestyle medicine. He has served as a voluntary professor at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 books and countless articles on parenting, nutrition, and healthy aging. He serves as a consultant for TV, magazines, radio and other media, and his website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears and his contribution to family health were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.

Erin Sears Basile , or "Sears kid number five," as she will joke about, has experienced first-hand the magical benefits of a happy, healthy household. Growing up in the fun and sometimes crazy Sears home with 7 siblings has taught her a lot about the importance of family values, and leading a life of service. With her parents as guides, she has shaped her life around helping others. She received her B.A in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Vanguard University and then went on to receive her M.A. in Choral Conducting from Azusa Pacific University. She then pursued a teaching career, and has loved sharing the joys of music with her students for the past 13 years. After a health crisis lead Erin through her own mental and physical transformation, a spark was ignited in her to focus her life towards helping others, and is honored to guide people through the journey of healthy living. She is certified health coach, yoga teacher, group exercise instructor, and co-founder of the Transform 5 healthy living plan. She is also an advocate and speaker for whole-food nutrition and assists families all over the world in living life to the fullest. Whether it’s through music or health coaching, she has devoted her life to helping others find their joy and thrive, experiencing the best version of themselves.

Read an Excerpt



What is the perfect diet?

It's a way of eating that is science based, delicious, nutritious, and time tested — a way of eating that you love because it makes you feel great mentally and physically. And, of course, it's a diet that will last.

The eating plan for you is the one you will do — and stick to. We want to transform you from reader to doer. Or to put it another way, T5 is not a diet, it's a do-it. That's exactly what Erin and I wanted when we needed to transform our minds and bodies following life-threatening medical crises, and we did extensive research to discover what that diet would be. Our 5-S way of eating is based on foods that:

Taste good,

• Are filling and feel good in your gut,

• Are nutrient dense — the most nutrition per calorie,

Balance your immune system — the best definition of "health food" — and

• Are proven by science to have the greatest health benefits.

After our transformations, people would ask us, "What diet are you on?" Our answer: "The real-food diet," which simply means all the good stuff is left in and no bad stuff is added.

So if someone says to you, "You look so good! What diet are you on?" that's your answer: "The real-food diet." You'll love the look of surprise on their face. This simple, delicious, and nutritious diet is the one I personally eat and have been recommending in my medical practice for over a decade. It is not a low-fat, low-carb, or high-fad diet. It is science-based, real-food eating that will transform your life.

Remember, the best diet for you is one you will consistently do. Customize this diet to one you will enjoy the most, working in your favorite treats, such as the 90/10 approach: 90 percent the 5-S diet and 10 percent your personal favorites and treats, so you'll never feel deprived.

Why do we call it the 5-S diet? These will be your new five food groups, all beginning with the letter S:


1. Smoothies. Enjoy one every day.

2. Salads and spices. Go green with organic arugula, kale, and spinach. Go red with tomatoes and peppers. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to increase the synergy and intestinal absorption of these nutrients. Enjoy turmeric, black pepper, ginger, garlic, rosemary, chilies, and cinnamon.

3. Seafood. Our top T5 pick is wild salmon, 12 ounces a week.

4. Smart snacks, especially seeds and nuts.

5. Supplements that are science based. Fill in your nutritional gaps with supplements like concentrates of fruits, berries, and vegetables; omega-3s; and probiotics.


Start your new 5-S diet by making over your kitchen and you're sure to stick with it. Throw out the really bad stuff, the chemical foods (see page 81) such as those containing high-fructose com syrup, hydrogenated oils, any # color symbol (such as red #40), and flavor enhancers such as MSG. Refill your fridge and pantry with healthier choices. (See our Shopping Guide at DrSears

Next — be honest with yourself. Can you have ice cream in the house without overdoing it? I can't! Think about what your trigger foods are, and get rid of any temptation you can t resist. Out of sight, out of mind, out of tummy. (See our "instead of' chart, page 74.)

5-S isn't about what you can't eat. It's about all the wonderful, nutritional food we get to eat. Replacing those trigger foods with healthier options is key!


• A journal

• A blender (doesn't need to be expensive, just powerful enough to blend leafy greens)

• An insulated bottle to shake up your smoothie when you are on the run

• Pint and quart Mason jars for making salad in a jar (see page 328)

• A cooler or insulated lunch bag, if you need to pack your food for the day

• A fitness tracker (optional; see "Share with Tech-Savvy Transformers," page 176)

• Medium-weight resistance band

• Light (5–10 pound) and medium (12–20 pound) weights

• Yoga mat

• A comfortable workout outfit (optional, but fun)


This is the quickest, easiest way to reshape your tastes, reset your eating habits, and start feeling better inside. Whether you call your blended bounty a "smoothie" or a "shake" is up to you. We use both interchangeably. Many transformers say they feel the effects within a week of making this one simple change — a smoothie a day. We call it the sipping solution.

• Your head feels better — clearer thinking.

• Your body feels better — more energy.

• Your gut feels better.

The sipping solution is a "supergrazing" way of eating. It's the quickest way to put your body into balance. (See "Why Grazing Is Good for You," page 56, for more information on grazing.) During my health crisis in 1997, my body was out of biochemical balance. I needed to see and feel results fast. I came up with the sipping solution and have been doing it for twenty years. As a happy, healthy, leaner doctor, I have prescribed this delicious, nutritious way of eating to hundreds of transformers in my medical practice. I have promoted it on many television and radio programs to audiences all over the world, and it was the subject of a feature article, "The Supergrazer Solution," in Prevention magazine's September 2010 issue.

My sipping solution was literally a lifesaver. After surgery for colon cancer, followed by radiation and chemotherapy, my gut wasn't ready for me to eat — at a time when I needed the best nutrition to help my body heal. Solution: First, choose the best healing foods are the most gut friendly. Second, blend them into a smoothie and sip on it all day long. That one simple change helped me heal, as it has hundreds of my patients with various ailments. The sipping solution became my top transformation tip for health.


Select items from each of the five food categories below. Start with a few ingredients that you already know you like. Gradually add more. Be sure to add protein and healthy fats — your smoothie will taste better and keep you fuller longer than a carb-only drink. Aim for about 20 to 25 percent proteins, 25 to 30 percent healthy fats, and 45 to 50 percent healthy carbs.


• No time to blend up your morning smoothie? Simply shake your Juice Plus+ Complete or other multinutrient mix in a Blender Bottle. (Add your beverage of choice, or even just water.)

• Drink a smoothie before or after your workout. If you exercise first thing in the morning, this is a great way to get fuel for your workout without upsetting your tummy. It is also wonderful for recharging and repairing stress on the body after a workout.

• Sip a smoothie for an afternoon pick-me-up instead of a candy bar.

• If ice cream is your diet downfall (as it is for Dr. Bill and me), enjoy a smoothie instead. My favorite smoothie uses chocolate, banana, and almond butter — as delicious as ice cream and so much healthier!


Because it smoothes out your blood sugar spikes.

It's delicious. It fills you up and satisfies your hunger, because it's made with fiber-filled carbs, protein, and healthy fats. It satisfies your craving for a treat and tells your brain to stop begging for more.

After three to five weeks of the sipping solution, you can feel one of the most important effects of T5: you're comfortably satisfied with smaller meals. Another perk of the sipping solution is that you have a sip when you feel slightly hungry rather than waiting until you're famished, which prompts overeating.

The sipping solution will make you feel better fast. The sooner you can feel your transformation, the more motivated you will be to continue. You feel better faster because you enjoy the five R's of an inner transformation:

Reduced. No, not just weight. You gradually become satisfied with less food. Taking small, frequent sips programs your gut to be comfortably satisfied. And that translates into less extra fat being stored around your middle.

Reshaped. Not just your belly, but also your tastes. At first, you might not like certain healthful foods, like kale. But you will, I promise! Start with a few leaves and progress to a handful.

Relieved. Because blended food empties faster from the stomach, it relieves reflux (i.e., heartburn), a pain in the esophagus that afflicts millions of people.

Regular. One of the earliest and most gut-friendly feelings you are likely to experience is an increase in the number and softness of your daily stools (more about this at Because blended food travels faster through the intestines, sipping is a solution for constipation. (See why your microbiome loves blended foods on page 206.)

Re-immunized. Want to make your immune system healthier? Eat the T5 way. Fruits and vegetables help support your immune system, at all ages.


1. Start slow. Some new sippers find it easier to start low and go slow. In the first week, make a small, simple smoothie just for breakfast. Then gradually add more ingredients to make a smoothie large enough for breakfast and lunch each day (I personally average thirteen ingredients). I suggest this, because drinking Dr. Bill's super smoothie (pages 9-10) right from the start may give some sippers uncomfortable gut feelings instead of good ones. It can help to ease your gut into this new way of eating. Start with a few of the ingredients that you like most and you know from experience will agree with you, then gradually add more.

2. Go BIG. Want to feel better fast? If you're fast-tracking T5, here's the sipping solution for you. Gradually increase the volume of the smoothie you make from 12 ounces (one glass) to as much as 48-64 ounces — a whole blender full — and sip all day to your gut's content at least five days a week. It's your breakfast, lunch, and morning and afternoon snacks. Then eat a healthy dinner. Within five weeks you are likely to feel so transformed, mentally and physically, that you'll want to continue your new way of eating.

3. Shake it and share it! Share your recipes and other sipping tips with your new "health club" of other transformers. Share what's happening with your social media network. "I added this ... and felt this ..." The sipping solution for you is the one you will do. Experiment with various on-the-go containers so you can enjoy sipping on your smoothie on the way to work, while traveling, in the gym, or just while you walk.

4. Make it fit your work schedule. The sipping solution is easy to do at home. But it can be just as easy at work and on the go. Just put your smoothie in a couple Blender Bottles, sip on the way to work, and refrigerate the rest at your workplace. (See "Transforming While Traveling," page 273.)

5. Avoid five mistakes most "shakers" make.Don't skimp on the protein. Of all nutrients, protein has the highest satiety factor, meaning it comfortably fills you sooner. As a general guide for your day-long sipping solution, add to your smoothie around half a gram of protein per pound of your weight. My daily smoothie averages 60 grams of protein.

Don't forget fat. The biggest mistake that new sippers make is leaving out the fat because they don't want to get fat. Wrong! (A bit more on "Five Fat Facts You Have to Know" on page 16.)

Don't forget fiber. This is also important for blunting sugar and insulin spikes. Fat and fiber are partners in satiety. Like proteins, they make you feel full and satisfied sooner, so you don't overeat. The 5-S diet is naturally high in fiber (35–45 grams a day). The fiber in your food paints a layer of gooey stuff on your intestinal lining. The rest of the nutrients you eat, including carbs, have to make it through the goo to enter the bloodstream. That slows down absorption, which blunts sugar-insulin spikes — which is good for your health.

Don't gulp. Avoid the big gulp effect. Gulpers may get pains in the gut. Intestines don't like large, sudden deliveries of big chunks of food, and they often protest. Using a blender breaks up cellulose (called insoluble fiber, mainly found in greens), the part of the fiber that slows absorption of natural fruit sugars and eases digestion. Also, drinking too much too fast could cause a sugar spike despite all the fiber and fat, defeating the purpose of T5. So, don't gulp your breakfast smoothie as you run out the door for work. Take it with you and sip it on the way.

Don't oversweeten. Remember, a big T5 effect you want to feel, or in this case taste, is to reshape your tastes to enjoy the natural sweetness of real foods. No need to add "sugar" and certainly not artificial sweeteners (see why on page 82). After a few weeks, the natural sweetness of fruits should satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite natural sweetener: figs!


1. You don't get fat by eating healthy fats. You get fat by eating junk carbs. (See why on page 195.)

2. However, "Eating fat doesn't make you fat" is only true of certain kinds of fats — plant fats and wild seafood fats. Excess animal fats can cause obesity.

3. Fats increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as important antioxidants in plant foods called carotenoids and flavonoids.

4. Adding healthy fats to your smoothie helps you feel comfortably fuller longer. This is especially important for waist watchers. When you eat a healthy-fat breakfast, you tend to eat fewer calories and lose more weight compared to dieters who eat no fat for breakfast.

5. Fat gives your smoothie an enjoyable taste and texture.

How much fat in your smoothie? I suggest one tablespoon of nut butter or coconut oil, or half of a medium avocado.


Remember all those times your mother said, "Eat your vegetables"? Maybe you didn't listen, but she was right. Science proves it. The best change you can make in your diet: Eat more vegetables. Consider these scientific veggie facts:

• Veggie eaters outlive meat eaters, and they spend less time in the hospital.

• The incidence of every illness you don't want to get goes down when you eat more vegetables.


Want to look younger? Eat more antioxidants.

A smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch or dinner is just what the transformation doctor ordered. Just as Dr. Mom preached, "Put more color on your plate," put more color in your smoothie. Antioxidants are natural biochemicals that are among the most important examples of nature's medicines. Some antioxidants give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. The blue color of blueberries (anthocyanins) and the yellow, orange, and red of vegetables and fruits (carotenoids) are the result of internal medicines these plant foods make to stay healthy. If plants didn't make their own antioxidants for pest and sun protection, they would get sick and die quickly. When we eat these plants, the natural medicines they contain help keep us from getting sick and delay aging. The 5-S diet is high in natural antioxidants. Or, as your mother might have put it, 5-S is a colorful diet.

Oxidation means combining something with oxygen to form a new chemical. Rust is oxidized iron. When something is on fire, it is being oxidized very fast. When your body burns carbs for energy, that's oxidation at work, too. And that process can leave your body, as it were, rusty.

The 5-S diet is basically an anti-rust program, because it is full of anti-rust nutrients called antioxidants. Like any engine that burns fuel, your body produces exhaust, or what is called oxidants (or oxidative stress). As a tribute to the great Designer, your body both produces and takes in from food those anti-rust chemicals we call antioxidants. When the production of oxidants and antioxidants is in balance, the result is beautiful music, the harmony of health.

The smart avocado. To see how oxidation can damage brain and body tissue, cut an avocado in half. Leave one half unprotected and exposed to the air. On the other half leave the pit in place (it contains the avocado's own protective antioxidants) and sprinkle on it some lemon or lime juice (full of natural antioxidants). After six or eight hours you'll see the difference. The unprotected avocado half looks rusted, oxidized, aged, brown; the protected half looks young and healthy.


Excerpted from "The Dr. Sears T5 Wellness Plan"
by .
Copyright © 2017 William Sears and Erin Sears Basile.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Why This Book Is for You

T5 Overview: Welcome to our T5 Family: Starter Tips to a New Life

A Life Transformed—Dr. Bill’s Story * Make Your Own Medicines—Naturally—with T5 * Meet Transformed Co-author and Certified Health Coach Erin * Five Tips for Getting Started * Your T5 Synergy * What T5 Transformation Feels Like * T5 Boosts Sex Drive * A Top Transformer’s Testimony * T5—Transformation for All Ages * T5 Testimonies

Part I: Five Changes in Five Weeks

Chapter 1: Enjoy the 5-S Diet

The 5-S Diet * Smoothies: Enjoy One a Day * Salads and Spices: Savor Them * Seafood: Wild Salmon and Other Safe Selections * Smart Snack: Seeds and Nuts * Supplements: The Top Five Science-Based Ones for T5 * A Second Helping: Why T5 Works, Why It Lasts * Stay Lean! Why “Diets” Don’t Last and T5 Does

Chapter Two: Graze on Five Mini Meals

Chew-Chew, Times Two * Why Grazing is Good for You * Good Grazing Tips * Dr. Bill Says: Snacks Are Good for You * Coach Erin’s Time-saving Tips for Snacking Success * A Tale of Two Eaters: Mr. Spikey and Ms. Steady * A Second Helping: More Tips on Healthy T5 Eating * Coach Erin: How to Break Your Soda Addiction

Chapter Three: Move More! Five Ways to Enjoy It

How to Make Your Own Medicines * The Last Piece of the Puzzle: A Nobel Night to Remember * A Look Inside Your Endothelial Pharmacy * A Walk in the Garden—a Wake-Up Call * Coach Erin Says: Move Your Body for Your Mind * The Five Best Movements You Can Do * Five T5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Exercise Time * Mighty Mitochondria—Another Reason Why Exercise Gives You More Energy, Muscle, and Brain Power * Fitting in More T5 Movements

Chapter 4: Stress Less: Five Transforming Stress-busters
Think-change Your Brain: Feel a Mental Transformation * Five Stress-Busters You Can Do * Start Your Day the T5 Way * Don’t Worry, Be Healthy: How Stress Harms Your Health * Coach Erin: Keep Hitting That Reset Button! * Coach Erin Helps You Overpower Your Inner Critic

Chapter 5: Share with Five Friends: Enjoy the Helper’s High!
Getting Started: T5’s Top Ways to Share * I Wish I Would Have *

Part II: Transform Five for the “Big Six”: Gut Health, Brain Health, Inflammation, Heart Health, Diabetes, and Cancer

Chapter Six: T5 for Gut Health
Meet Your Microbiome: What It Is, What It Does, How to Make It Work Better for You * The Mind-Microbe Connection * Your Microbiome Is Your Personal Gut-Health Pharmacy * “Medicines” Your Microbiome Makes For You * Diet and the Healthy Microbiome * Get Your Gut Back: How the 5-S Diet Is Better for Your Microbiome * The 5-S Better-Microbiome Diet: Five Eating Changes in Five Weeks *

Chapter 7: Transform Your Brain Health
Staying Smart: Five Simple Brain Facts You Must Know * How Food Affects Brain Function * The Transform Five Brain Health Program at a Glance * Movement Makes More Brain Medicines * Grow Your God Center: The Neuroscience of Spirituality * Seven Effects of Belief on Mind and Body *

Chapter 8: T5 Fights Inflammation
Inflammation—It’s All About Balance * T5 Balances Body and Brain * How T5 Promotes Inflammatory Balance * T5 Helps Your Body Make Its Own Anti-Inflammatory Medicines * How T5 Promotes Heart Health * Five Ways T5 Helps the Heart * T5 for Preventing and Healing Type 2 Diabetes * How T5 Helps Prevent and Beat Cancer *

Chapter 9: Answers to Common T5 Questions
Getting Husband on T5 * Alcohol * Vegan* Diet Okay? * Organic Foods * Measuring Sticky Stuff * Measuring Your Health Markers * Healing Heart Disease * Transforming While Traveling * Good Grains * Downgrading Dairy * Badmouthing Beef? * Is Meat Okay to Eat? * Chuck the Chicken * Glycemic Index * Family Fatness * Sugar-Sensitive People * Insulin Insults * Scale Watching * Cheating on Eating * Counting Calories? No Need To! * Mediterranean Diet * Telomeres and T5 * Egg Whites Only? * Cholesterol Confusion * T5 for Depression * Sleep Deprived * Prebiotics * Gut Health and Aging * Leaky Gut

Appendix A: Strength Building Exercises
Appendix B: Yoga and Pilates
Appendix C: Recipes


Suggested Reading


About the Authors

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In this powerful and informative book, Dr. Bill Sears shares how lifestyle changes transformed his life and how these can help transform yours. He continues to inspire me and millions of others. Highly recommended!”

—Dean Ornish, MD, author, The Spectrum and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease

“Dr. Sears offers advice that is not only holistic and truly empowering, but suitable for the entire family. This is a rare invitation to find and share vitality with the people you love most, and I love that!”

—David L. Katz, MD, MPH, founder of True Health Initiative and author of The Truth about Food

“Dr. Sears’s book takes you deep inside your body and helps you discover clear directions to a better looking and feeling you. Once you start reading, you'll be unable to put it down.”
—Vince Fortanasce MD, author of The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription

“Dr. Sears has an amazing ability to take science-based information and present it in a simplified way. Transform 5 adds a whole new perspective to making healthy living simple and fun.”

—Dominique Hodgin, MA, NE, NBC-HWC, Executive Director of Education, Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

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