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The Health Science Podcast | Episode 077. | April 25, 2024
077: Jumpstart Your Health in Two Weeks with Dr. Ted Barnett
077: Jumpstart Your Health in Two Weeks with Dr. Ted Barnett

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On this episode of the NHA Health Science Podcast, we are thrilled to introduce Dr. Barnett. Dr. Barnett’s journey into plant-based living was not a sudden revelation but a gradual evolution influenced by various factors resulting in becoming vegan in 1991. Growing up surrounded by nature and spending time outdoors sparked his appreciation for the environment. However, it was his wife’s advocacy for vegetarianism and the environmental impacts of dietary choices that led him to explore plant-based living seriously. Dr. Barnett’s upbringing laid the foundation for his interest in plant-based living, setting him on a path towards a holistic approach to health and well-being.

Professional Evolution

Transitioning from a career in radiology to lifestyle medicine, Dr. Barnett’s journey reflects a fusion of traditional medical training with a holistic approach to healthcare. His expertise in interventional radiology complemented his passion for promoting plant-based nutrition and lifestyle interventions. Inspired by pioneers like Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Barnett delved into the science behind lifestyle interventions, embracing plant-based living as a cornerstone of preventive healthcare.

Founding the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute

Motivated by a desire to bridge the gap between conventional medicine and lifestyle interventions, Dr. Barnett co-founded the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Through innovative programs like CHIP and the LIFT Project, the institute empowers individuals to embrace healthier lifestyles. Driven by a commitment to holistic health, Dr. Barnett’s work at the institute underscores the transformative potential of lifestyle medicine in promoting well-being.

Educational Initiatives

Dr. Barnett’s commitment to education extends to healthcare professionals through accredited courses and webinars. By equipping physicians with the tools and knowledge to integrate lifestyle medicine into patient care, he fosters a culture of preventive healthcare and holistic well-being. Through webinars, lectures, and Lifestyle Medicine Grand Rounds, Dr. Barnett and his team provide valuable resources for medical professionals seeking to expand their understanding of lifestyle medicine.

Transforming Lives

Through research, publications, and community engagement, Dr. Barnett’s work has a far-reaching impact. By advocating for plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, he inspires individuals to take control of their health and adopt sustainable habits for long-term well-being. Dr. Barnett’s vision extends beyond individual health to the broader societal and environmental implications of lifestyle choices, envisioning a future where communities thrive in harmony with nature.

Building a Healthier Future

Dr. Barnett’s journey exemplifies the transformative potential of plant-based living and lifestyle medicine. From personal experiences to professional endeavors, his dedication to holistic health and environmental stewardship inspires others to embrace healthier, more sustainable lifestyles. 

Scaling Up Lifestyle Medicine: Dr. Ted Barnett’s Vision

Dr. Barnett’s vision extends beyond individual consultations to transforming the healthcare system on a larger scale. By leveraging technology and community platforms like Pale Blue Community, he aims to reach millions with the message of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Through partnerships with healthcare professionals and organizations, he seeks to create a ripple effect of positive change in healthcare delivery.

Empowering Physician Education:

Recognizing the pivotal role of healthcare providers, Dr. Barnett prioritizes physician education and outreach. By engaging over 300 doctors and collaborating with esteemed organizations like the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, he fosters a network of healthcare professionals committed to promoting holistic well-being.

Challenges and Solutions

Addressing challenges such as physician resistance and insurance barriers, Dr. Barnett remains steadfast in his mission to empower individuals to take charge of their health. By advocating for policy changes and educating both patients and healthcare providers, he navigates the complexities of healthcare delivery with resilience and innovation.

A Call to Action

Dr. Ted Barnett’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of lifestyle medicine in promoting health and well-being. From pioneering initiatives like the 15-day whole food plant-based jumpstart to spearheading community platforms for ongoing support, he demonstrates a commitment to empowering individuals and revolutionizing healthcare delivery. 

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Episode Highlights 

[00:00] Introduction

[02:00] The evolution to going fully plant-based for Dr. Barnett.

[05:00] Traveling around the world creates a unique perspective of healthcare. 

[08:00] The move into radiology proves to be a great decision. 

[13:30] Rochester Vegan Society becomes a big part of Dr. & Mrs. Barnett’s life.

[17:00] The 15 Day Jumpstart Program helps participants go fully plant-based.

[27:00] About the Pale Blue community. 

[30:00] Rochester, New York designated the Best Small City for being Vegans

[35:30] How Dr. Barnett applies the Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine to his own life.

[39:30] Final thoughts for success with plant-based nutrition.

About Dr. Ted Barnett

Ted Barnett, MD, FACLM (also known as Dr. Veggie) is the president and board chair of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute which he founded in 2015. 

Known as the “High-Tech Doctor with Low-Tech Solutions,” he is an Interventional Radiologist, Mammographer, Body Imager, and senior partner with Borg and Ide Imaging in Rochester, NY—where he has practiced since 1986. 

Like any good parents, Ted and his wife Carol performed an experiment on their children—in 1991, they became vegan. The experiment worked! All three children are now remarkably healthy and charming adult vegans (and their youngest even won a Grammy)!

As a fellow and former board member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), Dr. Barnett is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine using the principles of Plant-Based nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine.

Dr. Barnett received his undergraduate degree in 1976 from Yale and his medical degree in 1980 from Tufts, where he also completed his Diagnostic Imaging residency, and became board-certified in 1984.

11 years later, in 1995, he became one of the first physicians board-certified in Vascular & Interventional Radiology after passing the inaugural examination given by the American Board of Radiology.

22 years later, in 2017, he became one of the first 204 physicians board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine after passing the inaugural examination of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

In March 2020, adapting to the realities of the pandemic, Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute began delivering its monthly ACLM-certified 15-Day Whole-Food Plant-Based Jumpstart using Zoom and the Google Classroom. As of January 2024, the program has reached over 2000 people in 44 states and 9 countries.

About Dr. Frank Sabatino

As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.

Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation and stress management.

About NHA

The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.

The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health: personal, environmental, and social.

The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.

More information: 


A unique benefit of the NHA Conference is the selection of two medical students who receive a full scholarship to the conference.

Contact Wanda Huberman for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.  [email protected]

NHA membership

For a very nominal investment, you can enjoy incredible benefits of the NHA membership.

Members of the NHA enjoy a subscription to the award-winning quarterly health journal, Health Science, access to the “Members Only” section of the NHA Website (which contains all 43 years of back issues of the magazine),  the ability to download for free many classic out of print eBooks on the history of the Natural Hygiene Movement, including Fasting Can Save Your Life and The Greatest Health Discovery, discounts on books, and early notice of the NHA events.

Only $35 a year for basic membership within the United States.

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