Lifestyle medicine is a powerful tool to help you lose weight and keep it off, not to mention bringing other chronic condition under control or even into remission, but it is also an adjustment for your body. You need to plan accordingly in the weeks (or months) before your initial physician consultation, so you can maximize the positive impact of your lifestyle medicine consultation and other services.*

Are You Ready for a Lifestyle Change?

Before making major lifestyle changes, it’s important to educate yourself with a deeper understanding of this approach.  We encourage you to watch several videos in preparation for your initial lifestyle medicine consultation.  Namely, Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, and Plantwise, then, test your BMI.

Team Consultations

As part of your lifestyle medicine journey, you will not only meet with our lifestyle medicine specialist who is double-board-certified in lifestyle medicine and family medicine, but you will have the opportunity to consult with our lifestyle coach and nutrition counselor to make sure that your lifestyle changes are lasting and enjoyable. Lifestyle medicine is your complete toolkit for optimal health, and includes exercise and a whole-food, plant-predominant diet. Lifestyle medicine is a life-long journey, and we want to make sure that you’re prepared for what this entails.

Patients will undergo a series of consultations:

  • Initial lifestyle medicine consultation
  • Behavior change evaluation
  • Physical activity and fitness evaluation
  • Nutrition consultation
  • Follow-up physician consultations (to discuss your current medicines and which ones may need to be adjusted and/or reduced)
  • Lifestyle coaching sessions in-person or over the telephone to maximize adherence to lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle medicine physician will give you an information folder with important handouts to maximize your success and enjoyment of lifestyle changes.

Medical Clearances

Lifestyle medicine can be an adjustment to your body. If you have certain medical conditions, vigorous exercise could be dangerous.  For this reason, if you have certain heart or lung conditions or symptoms, we may refer you to cardiology for an exercise clearance before having you initiate a formal exercise program*.

As a lifestyle medicine patient, you may need benefit from one or more of the following relevant medical clearances:

  • Cardiac consultation
  • Pulmonary consultation
  • Sleep study

Pre-Lifestyle Medicine Consultation Jump Start

After your initial lifestyle medicine consultation, your diet will likely change dramatically. It’s important to adapt your body to these switches by adopting a healthy pre-lifestyle medicine consultation diet. Here is the suggested regime you could begin following 10 days before your first office appointment as a jump start:

  • The following are preparations you could make before beginning the Arnott Lifestyle Medicine Program:
  • Choose a weekend day to prepare recipes, stock up on new food items, or explore your vegetarian options at nearby restaurants. In this way, you will be prepared to start the diet on a Monday.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor to arrange lab tests, if indicated.
  • Set goals that you would like to achieve in 10 days. For instance, you may want to lose five pounds, relieve some chest pain, or cut your dose of insulin in half.
  • If you are addicted to any substances such as caffeine, cigarettes or alcohol, you may want to take advantage of a dedicated substance-dependence program in your community.
  • Speak to your family and those close to you about the program you are beginning. Also, be tolerant if your family is not as willing to eat these new foods as you are.
  • Clear out your fridge, freezer, and cupboards of all forbidden foods (see items to exclude and include below). You can give them to friends or local charities if you do not want to throw them out.
  • The Simple Approach is Often the Best
  • The ALMC program (see dietary options and exclusions below) provides you with the most powerful dose of medicine at least three times a day. It deals with the causes of disease, which means it is a true source of both prevention and healing. Give it a try and in 10 days you will start to see what it means to be healthy and fully alive. As so many have already, you will find it to be the greatest gift you have ever given yourself.
  • Take daily vitamins (vitamin K2 200mcg daily with meal, vitamin D3 2000IU daily with meal, vitamin B12 2500 mcg chew daily)

You should also eat 3 meals per day without snacking or grazing. Avoid eating in the evening and avoid soda and caffeine. At this stage, getting down the behavior—3 regular meals per day, with no snacking—is more important than counting calories. If you are motivated to count calories, though, there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ll help you select and set goals that work for you.  We also offer a once-a-month medically supervised weight loss class, with different curricula each month, which we provide at no additional cost (may be cancelled if interest is low).

Whole-Food, Plant-Based Dietary Options:

The following starchy foods are high enough in calories that they can serve as the center of a meal:

Whole Grains
Barley, Oats, Brown Rice, Quinoa (Pronounced “Keen-wa”), Buckwheat, Rye, Bulgur (Cracked Wheat), Triticale, Couscous (Refined Wheat), Wheat Berries, Corn, Wild Rice, Millet

Egg-Free, 100% Whole Grain Pastas
Pastas come in many shapes including spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna noodles, flat noodles, spirals, wheels, alphabet noodles. Most of these are made from highly refined flours and therefore should be replaced with 100% whole grain varieties, usually 100% whole wheat pastas.

Artichoke Pasta, Tomato Pasta, Corn Pasta (No Wheat), Whole Wheat Pasta, Spinach Pasta, Rice Pasta (No Wheat), Bean Pasta, Lentil Pasta

Asian Noodles
Most of these are made from highly refined flours and therefore should play a small role in your diet.

Bean Threads, Somen, Buckwheat Soba, Udon, Rice Noodles

Burdock, Sweet Potatoes, Celeriac (Celery Root), Tapioca, Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke), Taro Root, Jicama, Water Chestnuts, Parsnips, White Potatoes, Purple Potatoes, Rutabaga, Yams

(Carrots, beets, turnips, daikon, and salsify are low in carbohydrates and calories and so are not considered starch staples.)

Winter Squashes
Butternut, Acorn, Hubbard, Banana, Pumpkin, Buttercup, Turban Squash

(Summer squashes usually cannot serve as the center of a meal because of their low calorie content. They are also lower in carbohydrates than winter squashes.)


Aduki (Azuki), Red Kidney, Black, Mung, Fava (Broad), Navy, Garbanzo (Chick-peas), Pink, Great Northern, Pinto, Limas, White Kidney (Cannellini)

(Soybeans cannot be considered a starch staple because they are too high in fat to be allowed on the diet regularly.)

Brown, Red, Green

Black-eyed, Split Yellow, Split Green, Whole Green

Green and yellow vegetables are too low in calories to serve as the centerpiece of your meals, but can be added without restriction. Fruits – because they are high in simple sugars – should generally be limited to 3 servings a day as they’re tasty and easy to over-consume. The sugar in fruit is fructose which, for some, causes triglycerides and cholesterol to rise. People with these concerns should limit fruits even more.


Familiar Fruits and Vegetables are too numerous to list. Try adding some of these unfamiliar ones for variety.


Carambola, Papaya, Cherimoya, Persimmon, Guava, Pomegranate, Kiwifruit, Passion Fruit, Kumquat, Pumelo, Loquat, Quince, Lychee, Soursop, Mango


Aduki Beans, Jicama, Arugula, Kale, Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, Broccoli De Rabe, Radicchio, Burdock, Salsify, Celeriac (Celery Root), Sprouts (Alfalfa, Lentil, Mung Bean, Wheat), Chicory (Curly Endive), Swiss Chard, Cocozelle, Taro Root, Collard Greens, Turban Squash, Daikon, Water Chestnuts, Endive, Watercress, Garbanzo Beans (Chick-peas), Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke)


The following is a list of the foods that are not allowed on the ALMC Program, with ideas for possible substitutions.


Don’t eat:                                                                               Possible substitutes:

Cow’s Milk (for cereal or cooking)                                        Low-fat soy milk, rice milk, fruit juice, water, use extra when cooking hot cereal or pour over cold cereal

Cow’s Milk (as beverage)                                                      None; drink water, juice, herb tea, or cereal beverages

Butter                                                                                      None

Cheese                                                                                     None

Cottage cheese                                                                        None; after 12 days you may substitute crumbled tofu

Yogurt                                                                                     Almond or soy, unsweetened

Sour cream                                                                              May use unsweetened yogurt

Ice cream                                                                                Pure fruit sorbet, frozen juice bars

Eggs (in cooking)                                                                   Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer or flaxseed ground mixed with water

Eggs (for eating)                                                                     JUST Egg

Meat, poultry, fish                                                                  Starchy vegetables, whole grains, pastas, and beans; after 12 days you may substitute tofu “meat” recipes

Mayonnaise                                                                            Tofu mayonnaise

Vegetable oils (for pans)                                                        None; use non-stick pots and pans

Vegetable oils (in recipes)                                                      None; omit oil or replace with water, mashed banana, or applesauce for moisture

White rice (refined)                                                                Whole grain (brown) rice or other whole grains

White flour (refined)                                                              Whole grain flours

Refined and sugar-coated cereals                                           Any acceptable unsweetened hot or cold cereal

Coconut                                                                                  None

Chocolate                                                                                Carob powder

Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and black teas                          Non-caffeinated herb tea, cereal beverages, herbal teas (caffeine-free)

Colas and un-colas                                                                  Mineral water or seltzer (flavored or plain)