Are you dealing with chronic illness and tired of medications? There is a way to turn your
health around.

Heart disease? Type 2 diabetes? High blood pressure? Obesity?

Lose weight, lower cholesterol, decrease your medication needs and feel better in just two weeks with the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute Jumpstart.

Info for Medical Students

Through a generous grant from, we are able to offer 50 medical students from around the country the opportunity to enroll in one of our monthly 15-Day WFPB Jumpstarts for free!

More information here!

If you have questions, please email Please include a phone number where you can be reached.

Jumpstart Details

Referral Form (to share with your doctor)

“The Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute has created an educational program founded on evidence based science proven to prevent and reverse chronic disease. Participants will readily comprehend the vocabulary of science that will empower them as the locus of control to achieve the goal of lifelong optimal disease free health. The Rochester team, known for its success rate, is now able to offer their skill and knowledge base beyond Rochester nationally and internationally in a format with dignity and simplicity…”

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.


Jumpstart is a program that helps you prevent, arrest, and even reverse chronic disease. It follows a whole-food plant-based approach to eating, scientifically proven to give you your health back.

Participants are encouraged to receive before-and-after medical consultation either from their own provider or from one of our board-certified Lifestyle Medicine providers. In just 15 days, you’ll:

  • Learn to enjoy healthy food, for a lifetime
  • Lose weight and keep it off — while eating more!
  • Lower your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure*
  • Reduce your medication needs and expenses
  • Gain energy, feel better and enjoy life again

We’ll teach you about the important role that nutrition plays in discovering your best health and offer support as you change your eating habits. Endorsed by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, this lifestyle intervention program is designed to help you dramatically change your health and happiness in a short period of time.

Just 2 weeks to start your journey to a happier, healthier life!


Interactive, small group Zoom discussions with a medical provider

Educational presentations that introduce the relationships between food and health

Cooking demonstrations

Recipes, sample menus and shopping lists


Virtual pot-luck lunches recipe exchanges… and much more!

You’ll receive a course guide, access to a private Google classroom with a forum, and daily resource emails.

RLMI’s 15-day WFPB jumpstart is a great way to get started on a healthier life!


Jumpstart Participants and Medical Practitioners hail from across the USA and Canada.

Really enjoyed the virtual jumpstart program. It was brief yet thorough, highly relevant and of course evidence based. I am excited to use this tool in my patient population.

— J.M., M.D., July 2020 Participant

My cholesterol has gone down 100 points. The plant based diet works. I am staying on it. Thank you and your team.

— B.D., MD, May 2021 Participant

Huge impact! I lost 10 lbs, I sleep through the entire night, I feel brighter, my skin is clearer, I have less anxiety. It’s been more radical than any “diet” I’ve ever tried.

— T.R., June 2020 Participant


   Jumpstart Program Details

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Zoom Meeting Schedule, Diet Specifications, Staff and Medical Support Info

For program details, click each element below:

What happens on each day of Jumpstart?
Jumpstart is a 15 day program beginning and ending on the same day of the week.

These are the details of important days of each Jumpstart (Please see upcoming Jumpstarts for specific start dates):

Day minus 3 (Preparatory): 1 hour
— Test Zoom connect session and menu/shopping list review. Login to the meeting to make sure your equipment is ready!

Day 1: 2 hours
— Presentations on:
•       Relationship between food and chronic disease
•       Behavior change – Self-Determination Theory: Autonomy, Competence & Relatedness
•       The spectrum of diets and nutrition
•       Living on a Very-Low Fat Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet
— Workshop on menu planning and shopping list building.

Day 2: 2 hours

— Optional Whole-Food Plant-Based cooking demonstration. Learn practical skills needed to prepare delicious meals for the Jumpstart and beyond! Use your pre-purchased ingredients to prepare the dishes made in class.

Day 5: 1 hour
— Optional Mid-week drop-in session. The Zoom room will be open for impromptu discussions.

Day 8: 2 hours
— Virtual Potluck – Everyone submits a favorite recipe with pictures and we share with the group. Always fun and informative!
— Midway progress review session – As a group we discuss our successes and challenges in terms of Self-Determination Theory: Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness.
— Discuss medical issues with a provider. You will be able to ask open questions for the group’s benefit, or private message the provider with any personal issues.

Day 12: 1 hour
— Optional Mid-week drop-in session. The Zoom room will be open for impromptu discussions.

Day 15 – Commencement Day: 2 hours
— Group discussion of successes and challenges
— Optionally share results for self-reported data, such as weight, blood pressure, mood, sleep, energy and blood sugar.
— Longer-term plans for continuing the WFPB Diet
— Discuss next steps
— Tips on communicating with your provider
— Groups, events and other available programs.
— End of program survey
— Commencement ceremony!

What can I eat?

You will be following a whole-food, plant-based diet (sometimes shortened to WFPB), which consists entirely of beans, grains, vegetables and fruit.

Your food plan will exclude all bottled oils and foods containing added oil (oil is not a whole food). It will also exclude, for the two weeks, high-fat plant foods such as nuts, peanuts, olives, avocados, and coconut, because doing so can have a healing effect and can “turn around” heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stubborn weight problems.

We ask you to exclude processed foods except for whole foods which are merely cooked (e.g. jarred roasted red peppers). Condiments which contain no oil (most condiments) are allowed even though they are somewhat processed.

We encourage you to eat dark leafy greens as often as possible, at every meal and for a snack. You can  lightly steam dark greens such as kale and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and a dash of soy sauce: the balsamic vinegar makes the nutrients more accessible. Or, you can eat pre-washed greens: e.g. Wegmans Organic Spring Mix, Spinach & Field Mix, or Arugula, all of  which come in a recyclable plastic tub make for easy eating or salad-making.

You will receive recipes and shopping lists on the first day of Jumpstart.

Since this is a whole food, plant based program, we ask you not to eat anything that comes from animals: no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products.

Please restrict to 1 tablespoon per day any concentrated sources of sugar, including maple syrup, agave syrup, and honey.

After the end of the Jumpstart, you may decide to add back into your diet naturally high-fat plant foods such as nuts, peanuts, olives, avocados, and coconut, depending on your results, your goals, and your personal profile.


How will I be supported?
For ongoing support, participants receive:

—The RLMI Jumpstart Guide – Your roadmap to the Jumpstart and beyond!  This invaluable resource teaches:
•       WFPB fundamentals
•       Busting medical and nutritional myths
•       Specifics on nutrients, calories and making good choices
•       Shopping lists, food substitutions, packaged food and restaurant survival options
•       Guide to recipes and spices
•       And a resource guide of books, films, websites and apps

—Daily encouraging and informative emails with links to useful resources

—Inclusion in a closed Facebook group

What role does my primary care doctor play in Jumpstart?
There are several ways to integrate Jumpstart into your overall plan for good health.

— You can have an individual appointment (or as a couple) with a medical provider, either your primary care provider or one of our providers in New York or Michigan. The visit can be in person or by telehealth visit, before and after the Jumpstart.  This is ideal, because we can collect and share your data with you in real time. We collect height, weight, girth, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose at your visits. There is an opportunity to request pre- and post- medical appointments when you register. This is recommended but optional.

— If you decide not to meet with one of our providers, please let your primary care provider know right away that you are planning to participate in the Jumpstart. We will provide you with a standard letter describing the Jumpstart from a medical standpoint. There are several reasons for this:
•       You are going to have great results!
•       You may need to adjust medications during Jumpstart, especially if you have Type I or Type II Diabetes, since your glucose levels will likely drop due to eating a WFPB diet.
•       If your doctor is aware of the changes you are making in advance, he or she will be better able to advise you if you have questions.

— You can share your survey responses and whatever data you can collect yourself with your doctor.  This includes: changes in weight, girth, blood pressure (if you have a cuff) and glucose (if you monitor yourself).

Why a Jumpstart?

The short answer is: Because you can do anything for 2 weeks!

The long answer is a little more complicated. For important biological reasons, we have a tendency to like foods which are calorie-rich, because those foods help us to survive and thrive in the state of nature. Now that our world includes fast-food restaurants and 24-hour supermarkets, it’s not adaptive to eat many of the foods that we crave. Our attachment to unhealthy foods has both physical and psychological elements.

Better health is only a Jumpstart away!


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