Experience Major Health Improvements in Just Two Weeks

Jumpstart teaches you how to eat the right foods to heal and reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

In addition, many participants report that they were able to greatly reduce or even eliminate their medications after taking the program.

President of RLMI, Ted Barnett, MD, FACLM,
introduces the Jumpstart Program

RLMI’s 15-Day Jumpstart Program is one of 4 programs certified by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Scroll to Jumpstart Details


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.

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.

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.

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


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.

In just 15 days, you will:

  • 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!

Participants are encouraged to receive before-and-after medical consultation from their healthcare provider.

   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):

Orientation (prep session): 1 hour
— Test your Zoom connection, access the learning materials in the Google Classroom, and be ready to go on Day 1 by preparing your grocery list and meal planning.

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.


Can I consume alcohol on Jumpstart?

We recommend up to one half-drink a day (1/2 glass wine, 1/2 bottle or can of beer, or one light beer).

Can I have coffee and tea on Jumpstart?

Yes. If you take coffee or tea with cream and sugar, you are limited to one tbsp total per day of natural sweetener (maple syrup, agave, or honey). Instead of creamer you can use  unsweetened plant milk. We recommend up to one cup per day of unsweetened plant milk (soy, almond, oat, etc.)

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?
Integrate RLMI’s Jumpstart into your overall plan for good health.

1. Jumpstart is an educational program that teaches you how to make major changes to your diet that often creates dramatic health improvements. Since this is not a medical program, we recommend that you schedule before and after medical visits with your primary care provider (provider).

— Request a 1:1 appointment with your provider, in person or by telehealth, before and after the Jumpstart. (Highly Recommended)

— If you do not have a provider, or do not have one that will support you during the Jumpstart and your Whole-Food Plant-Based journey, please call or email us to discuss options at 585-484-1254 or info@roclifemed.org.

— Let your provider know that you are participating in Jumpstart.  You can use this provider letter in PDF or Microsoft Word formats that describes the program from a medical standpoint. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • You are likely going to have positive health results and may need to adjust medications during Jumpstart if you take them, especially if you have diabetes, since your glucose levels may drop due to eating a WFPB diet.
  • If your provider is aware of the changes you are making in advance, he or she will be better able to advise you if you have questions.

2.  At a minimum, let your provider know you are taking Jumpstart (use our standard provider letter in PDF or Microsoft Word formats) and share your results with them – changes in weight, girth, blood pressure, and glucose (if you monitor yourself), as well as your Day 1 and Day 15 survey responses.

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!

Can Jumpstart help me prevent or cure chronic disease?

The Jumpstart diet was designed by Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD to reverse heart disease in his patients. Because many chronic diseases—including high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—share the same causes and disease processes as heart disease and indeed are part of an interconnected disease state known as metabolic syndrome, those disorders all respond well to the Jumpstart diet. The Jumpstart diet may have a beneficial impact on other disease states as well, and may, for example, prevent or slow the progression of cancer and auto-immune disease. There is also growing evidence that a whole-food plant-based diet preserves cognitive health.

Is Jumpstart a vegan program?

The Jumpstart diet is plant-based and for that reason is a vegan diet. However, the word “vegan” carries baggage, because people follow a vegan diet for a number of social, political and philosophical reasons. We don’t want that to get in the way of your eating plants for your health. However, it can be useful to know that this is a vegan diet, because restaurant servers and chefs tend to know the term. Always specify that you follow a whole-food plant-based diet as well as a vegan diet, and add in the Jumpstart restrictions (no oil, no high-fat plant foods).

Additional info for medical students

Through a generous grant from NutritionFacts.org, 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 beth.garver@roclifemed.org. Please include a phone number where you can be reached.


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