Lifestyle Medicine

We believe the key to reversing chronic diseases and achieving better health lies in empowering individuals to make attainable and sustained lifestyle changes.

Nutrition, activity level, stress, sleep patterns, substance use, and relationships all play a pivotal role in your patients’ health. Our Lifestyle Medicine providers take a team-based approach and work closely with you to understand your unique challenges and goals, and come up with a personalized plan to help you reach those goals.

The Program

A Lifestyle Medicine visit begins with a thorough 60-minute assessment of your eating and exercise habits, smoking and substance use history, sleep quality, and general mental health state.

Based on that assessment, we will work together to identify the changes that can get you on the road to more optimal health. We focus just as much on the how as the what, using web-based tools and patient education to help us identify where small changes can lead to big results.

Our multidisciplinary team includes a board-certified cardiologist, PA/APRNs, registered dieticians, sleep medicine specialists, behavioral health specialists, and a tobacco/substance abuse cessation expert. We tailor referrals to our various team members based on the individual needs of our patients.

Our entire team has the same commitment – empowering you to make changes that will help transform your life.

Frequently asked questions

What are the goals of a lifestyle medicine visit? 
Our primary goal is to empower patients to make specific and meaningful changes in their lifestyle in order to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and improve their overall health.

What can a patient expect at his/her first appointment?
At the first appointment, we take a comprehensive look at a patient's lifestyle behaviors, including dietary patterns, physical activity, sleep habits, stress management, and any substance use.  Before the visit, patients are asked to complete an intake form with various questions regarding their lifestyle (expect 15-20 minutes to complete).  In addition, patients will receive a link to a novel online program which can help assess diet quality and provide helpful strategies for patients to achieve their goals (expect 3-5 minutes to complete). The Lifestyle Medicine provider will review the patient's medical history, prior blood test results, assess cardiovascular risk, and help the patient identify and prioritize areas for improvement and help uncover barriers.  In a collaborative manner with the patient, we establish realistic goals and recommend specific and achievable changes which the patient agrees upon.  Recommendations are tailored to the individual's needs and readiness for change in order to be most successful.  Depending on individual need, we may refer to other specialists in our program such as a dietician, sleep medicine provider, health psychologist, or tobacco treatment specialist. We may also provide educational materials and resources as needed and may arrange follow-up blood tests to assess improvements in metabolic parameters. 

What can a patient expect during follow-up visits? 
At the follow-up visits, we assess the progress of the patient’s plan. We celebrate what was successful and help uncover barriers for any areas which were not successful. We then establish new goals and tasks to keep patients on track to achieve their ultimate goals. Many patients will have follow-up blood tests to compare to their baseline and may also repeat the brief online tool to assess progress of their diet scores (improvements of their online diet scores have been scientifically validated to correlate with sophisticated advanced lipid parameters).

Do you see a lifestyle medicine provider forever, or is it more for a defined period of time?
Patients do not need to see a Lifestyle Medicine provider forever.  We serve as consultants to help empower patients to make sustainable lifestyle changes to improve their overall health.  Our program is strictly voluntary.  Some patients may choose to have only 1 or 2 visits, while others may follow with the program long-term.  The duration is dictated by the individual needs and motivation of the patient

How is seeing a provider in this specialty different than seeing my primary care provider? 
We are not primary care providers and do not serve as a substitute for a primary care provider.  The Lifestyle Medicine program is a subdivision of our cardiology practice with dedicated focus on Lifestyle Medicine.  We work alongside and in communication with the patient's medical providers.

How is seeing a provider in this specialty different than seeing a dietitian/nutritionist? 
Our Lifestyle Medicine providers consist of a board-certified cardiologist or midlevel providers (PA, APRN) trained in cardiology and board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine.  We are not dietitians.  We review medical history, concerning symptoms, medications, and diagnostic test results.  We may prescribe or adjust medications or arrange additional diagnostic testing as needed.  We recognize that, in addition to the remarkable benefits of conventional medical therapy, there are often lots of opportunities for additional cardiovascular risk reduction and overall health improvement with lifestyle modification and this program seeks to maximize those opportunities.  We focus on all areas of lifestyle including nutrition, physical activity, sleep habits, stress management, and substance use.  We also work with an integrated team to provide additional expertise including dietitians, sleep medicine providers, health psychologists, and a tobacco cessation specialist, as needed.

What can I expect to gain as a patient going through this program?
We hope that patients going through this program better recognize the impact that lifestyle has on their health and that even small changes in lifestyle can make a substantial impact on their health and cardiovascular risk.  We hope to empower patients to make sustainable changes and demonstrate these benefits objectively with improved scores and test results

What is one thing you want patients to know before making a commitment to engage in the program?
The Lifestyle Medicine program is strictly voluntary.  Success will primarily be driven by the patient's degree of readiness and motivation.  However, the philosophy of our program is to "meet the patients where they are" and we work with anyone interested.  We recognize that readiness and motivation may change over time and we will continue to adjust goals accordingly.

How can a patient ready themselves to jump into this?
Ideally patients should consider their personal goals (improved overall health, reduction of medications, improved blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar, weight loss, etc.), realistically assess their readiness to change lifestyle behaviors, and have an open mind for accountability and improvement.

What makes this program unique?
This program is unique in that our primary focus is to address the underlying cause of many of the chronic diseases our patients have (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, Diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, etc.) Conventional therapies such as medications and procedures treat the actual disease, but not the underlying cause. Our program also encourages patients to be active participants in their care and they are encouraged to make changes to benefit their health. We recognize that in addition to usual medical therapy, there is a lot untapped potential for additional risk reduction with lifestyle changes. This is under-addressed in our current healthcare system for a number of reasons, largely due to time constraints; our visits are completely dedicated to helping patients unleash their own potential to improve their health.

Request an Appointment

Call 860.522.5712 to request an appointment with a lifestyle medicine specialist.

Patient Resources

Further Reading

The Beck Diet Solution – Judith S. Beck, Ph.D - Amazon.com : beck diet solution

The Mayo Clinic Diet, 2nd Edition by Dr. Donald Hensrud - The Mayo Clinic Diet, 2nd Edition: Completely Revised and Updated - New Menu Plans and Recipes: Hensrud M.D., Dr. Donald D.: 9781945564000: Amazon.com: Books 

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner - Amazon.com: The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest: 8601419441662: Buettner, Dan: Books 

Fiber Fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz - Amazon.com : fiber fueled by dr. will bulsiewicz

How to Eat by Mark Bittman and Dr. David Katz - How To Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered: Bittman, Mark, Katz, David: 9780358128823: Amazon.com: Books 

How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger - How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease: Greger M.D. FACLM, Michael, Stone, Gene: 9781250066114: Amazon.com: Books 

How Not to Diet by Dr. Michael Greger - How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss: Greger M.D. FACLM, Michael: 9781250199225: Amazon.com: Books 

The Proof is in the Plants by Simon Hill - Amazon.com : the proof is in the plants simon hill 

Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis - Amazon.com : the proof is in the plants simon hill 

Undo It! by Dr. Dean Ornish - Undo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases: Ornish M.D., Dean, Ornish, Anne: 9780525480020: Amazon.com: Books


Recipe Ideas

Mediterraneanliving.com -Mediterranean Living - Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan, Recipes, Cook Book 

Audrey Dunham – vegan recipes - https://audreydunham.com/ 

Cuisinicity - https://cuisinicity.com/recipes/ 

Forks Over Knives - https://www.forksoverknives.com/ 

Minimalist Baker - https://minimalistbaker.com/ 

Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine - https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes 


On Air

Brain Health Revolution with Dr. Ayesha and Dean Sherzai - The Brain Health Revolution Podcast on Apple Podcasts 

Exam Room by Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine - Exam Room Podcast (pcrm.org) 

Nutrition Rounds with Dr. Danielle Bellardo - Wellness: Fact vs. Fiction on Apple Podcasts 

Plantproof with Simon Hill - Plant Proof Podcast – Plant Based Central 

Rich Roll Podcast - Podcast | Rich Roll 


Fitness

Hasfit.com – comprehensive site of exercises for all levels, including seated exercises - HASfit Home - HASfit - Free Full Length Workout Videos and Fitness Programs 

Walkathome.com – Leslie Sansone walking videos and app - Walk at Home® | #1 Walk Fitness by Leslie Sansone 

Myfitnesspal app - MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com


More Information

Forks over knives - Forks Over Knives | Plant-Based Living | Official Website

ACLM - ACLM Home (lifestylemedicine.org)

Nutritionfacts.org - NutritionFacts.org | The Latest Nutrition Related Topics

Nutrition tips:


Learn more about changes you can make to your lifestyle to stay healthy


Meet Our Lifestyle Medicine Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Biskup, Bradley G., PA-C Biskup, Bradley G., PA-C
4.9 /5
64 surveys
860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cheshire
  • Manchester
Show Less
Borer, Steven Michael, DO, FACC Borer, Steven Michael, DO, FACC
4.9 /5
172 surveys
860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology
Show Less
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
Show Less
Taliercio, Joseph G., APRN Taliercio, Joseph G., APRN
4.7 /5
86 surveys
860.522.5712
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Hartford

Lifestyle Medicine Locations

Hartford HealthCare HealthCenter, 280 S. Main St., Cheshire

280 South Main Street, Suite 205

280 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT 06410

100 Retreat Avenue, Suite 811

100 Retreat Avenue, Suite 811, Hartford, CT 06106

11 South Road, Suite 100

11 South Road, Suite 100, Farmington, CT 06032

376 Tolland Turnpike, Suite 101

376 Tolland Turnpike, Suite 101 Manchester, CT 06042

256 North Main Street

256 North Main Street, Manchester, CT 06042