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OPEN HEART The Transformational Journey of a Doctor Who, After Bypass Surgery at 61, Ran Marathons and Climbed Mountains

Author Name: AKIL TAHER, MD | Format: Paperback | Genre : Health & Fitness | Other Details

Angioplasty at fifty-six, open-heart surgery at sixty-one, running his first half marathon less than a year later. This is the remarkable and inspiring story of Dr. Akil Taher, who transformed from a middle-aged couch potato with a dangerously bad diet into a vital, energetic athlete, ever seeking new challenges and adventures.


In this book, Dr. Taher relates the journey of his transformation—how even as a physician who knew better, he led an unhealthy lifestyle; how he ignored the warnings of his heart disease and other chronic ailments; and how after his bypass surgery, he set out to radically change his life to heal his body and his spirit. Training for and competing in his first half marathon was only the start. In compelling detail, he recounts his running in the Chicago, Boston, and Mumbai Marathons; his pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro; his first triathlon and 100-mile bike race.


More importantly, Dr. Taher also discusses the enormous role diet plays in preventing as well as recovering from heart disease as well as other chronic illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease. Citing reputable sources and using his own diet and health as examples, he guides the reader away from a diet heavy in meat, dairy, eggs, and sugar and proposes healthier eating—and living—that is grounded in a whole-food, plant-based diet.


Open Heart is an essential read for anyone eager to change unhealthy lifestyle choices and embrace the excitement of a vibrant new life.

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Akil Taher, MD, is a practicing physician in Gadsden, Alabama, USA. Dr. Taher is an eternal optimist, explorer, and adventurer, who in 2010, at the age of sixty-one, dramatically altered the conventional script adopted by most bypass surgery patients by undertaking a mountaineering trek to Mount Kailash in Tibet. This was a year after his open-heart surgery.

In October 2011, he ran his first full marathon, the Chicago Marathon; and in September 2012, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Dr. Taher then expanded the canvas of his age-defying adventures by pursuing physically challenging activities on land, sea, and air, including a century bike ride (a 100-mile cycling event). 

Over the last decade, he has overcome acute and chronic medical ailments by transforming his mind, body, and spirit through the adoption of a plant-based diet, practice of yoga and meditation, regular exercise, and developing a positive and purpose-driven mindset.

Dr. Taher is also a speaker focused on spreading the message of a heart-healthy lifestyle. OPEN HEART is his first book, and it chronicles his exploits since his heart surgery. 

Dr. Taher was raised in Mumbai, India, and trained in family medicine at the Flower Hospital in Sylvania, Ohio, USA. He is happily married and has two children and an adorable grandson. 

You can visit him at or write to him at



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