Lifestyle Medicine

Healthy eating, relaxation, sleep and exercise are key in lifestyle medicine.


Empowerment + Vitality

In the Middlesex Health Lifestyle Medicine program, we share evidence-based tools to help you realize your own power to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We believe that each and every person can take steps to achieve their wellness goals, and our board-certified lifestyle medicine clinicians will guide you every step of the way.

Contact Us Today

To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact Middlesex Health Family Medicine at 860-358-6300 or request an appointment online.

About Our Program

Six Areas for Improvement

Lifestyle medicine focuses on six areas in which patients can improve their health:

  • Nutrition
    In lifestyle medicine, food is medicine! We teach simple ways to incorporate new and interesting foods into your daily routine, making healthy eating more fun and less overwhelming.
  • Physical Activity
    Regular exercise is essential to our health, and lifestyle medicine recognizes that this doesn’t have to mean going to the gym every day. Activities that range from walking to gardening to pushups at home are all options that can be maintained daily.
  • Relationships
    Social connectedness is key to good mental, emotional and physical health. We work with you to determine what healthy relationships look like for you and how you can build or strengthen your support system. Additionally, our team-based program is a source of social connection in and of itself!
  • Stress Reduction
    Stress comes in many forms and can have both good and bad effects on our health. We work with you to determine the difference between positive and negative stress so that you can build a toolkit of techniques to reduce the stress that causes anxiety, depression, problems with the immune system, and more.
  • Sleep
    A lack of sleep—or poor quality sleep—impacts the body, mind, and spirit. In addition, it has been shown to strain the immune system and lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms as we try to get more rest. In lifestyle medicine programs, we look at all factors that may compromise your nighttime routine and help you develop techniques to get the best night’s sleep.
  • Use of Risky Substances
    Addiction can increase your risk for serious long-term health problems, such as heart disease and cancer. We can support you in quitting smoking, stopping other forms of tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption, and more.

How are lifestyle medicine visits structured?

At Middlesex Health, Lifestyle Medicine is delivered in a few forms. Patients are most often seen for individual consultations with Michael Kalinowski, MD, Dip ABLM who may be assisted by Family Medicine Residents training for certification in this field. Initial consultations are 60 minutes and explore all of the pillars of lifestyle with a focus on motivational interviewing, individual goal setting, and connection to support and resources.  Patients are seen for follow-up visits to reinforce lifestyle changes and troubleshoot challenges.  Follow-up visits are typically 30 minutes long.  We work hard to develop an individualized care plan that supports the needs and goals of each patient and helps them to succeed and thrive.  

In addition, patients can participate in Lifestyle Medicine group visits which are scheduled on a rotating basis throughout the year. Patients gather in groups of 8–12 people for 90-minute sessions led by a team of expert providers. There is a focus on learning through experience as well as a group-sharing dynamic. Our patients report that this is the most empowering and helpful aspect of lifestyle medicine.

Who are the lifestyle medicine providers?
  • A board-certified lifestyle medicine physician
  • A family medicine resident physician training for certification in Lifestyle Medicine
  • A registered dietitian
  • A health coach/patient navigator.

What do we do during the sessions?

Lifestyle medicine sessions are a combination of discussion, counseling and hands on experiences.

Discussion and Counseling
Getting started with lifestyle changes can be a challenge. With a focus on taking small steps and enjoying our day-to-day lives, we will talk about:

  • How to identify the triggers or impulses that lead to less healthy choices
  • How to react to triggers and impulses with positive steps instead of old habits
  • The importance of awareness and mindfulness
  • Techniques for being successful in developing healthy habits

Hands On Opportunities
Sessions focus a lot on healthy eating and how to incorporate small changes into your diet. We will cook together during sessions, and our providers will bring interesting and novel fruits, veggies and other foods that are delicious and easy to prepare.

We focus on:

  • Foods that may be new to you but are simple to cook and enjoyable to eat
  • How to have fun in the kitchen & with healthy eating
  • How easy it can be to make simple, healthy changes—even during your busiest days
  • How to get started if you’ve never been a cook

Prevention and Treatment without Medication

Chronic conditions—like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and overweight/obesity—are widespread. In fact, More than half of adults in the United States have at least one chronic health concern. This impacts our lives in many ways. For example, it changes day-to-day routines, means more medications and time at doctor’s offices, and can make it difficult to enjoy favorite activities.

A growing body of research shows that lifestyle medicine can treat—and even prevent—chronic illness. Rather than just treating symptoms, lifestyle medicine focuses on understanding why someone is sick. This means we can work on fixing the cause of illness.

Lifestyle Changes that Work for You

Another benefit of lifestyle medicine is that it can be adjusted to work for you—your lifestyle, goals, and schedule. So while our team will share recommendations and strategies, we will also support you in building a lifestyle that meets your needs.

Many major insurance providers cover lifestyle medicine programs. Please contact your insurance carrier for specifics about your plan.

To learn more about lifestyle medicine or schedule an appointment, please call Middlesex Health Multispecialty Group—Endocrinology at 860-358-2470 or request an appointment online.

Lifestyle Medicine Patient Resources

How Not To Die: Michael Greger, M.D.

In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America--heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more--and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases. 

How Not To Diet: Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Greger hones in on the optimal criteria to enable weight loss while considering how these foods affect our health and longevity. He lays out the key ingredients of the ideal weight-loss diet?factors such as calorie density, the insulin index, and the impact of foods on our gut microbiome?showing how plant-based eating is crucial to our success.

Food Rules: By Michael Pollan

Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with clarity, concision, and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation.

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based

Dr. Esselstyn convincingly argues that a plant-based, oil-free diet can prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, and reverse its effects.

The Longevity Diet: Valter Longo, PhD

The culmination of 25 years of research on aging, nutrition, and disease across the globe, this program lays out a  solution to living to a healthy old age through nutrition. The key is combining the healthy eating plan the book outlines with a fasting-mimicking diet.

The Physicians Committee - Recipes 

Delicious low-fat vegan recipes that will kickstart your health and help you feel great!

Kick Diabetes By Brenda Davis, RD

The Kick Diabetes Cookbook provides a blueprint for what to eat to defeat diabetes and offers 100 quick-and-easy recipes that are delicious and satisfying.

The Whole Food Plant-Based Cooking Show 

An ever-growing library of delicious health-promoting recipes

Jane Esselstyn's Channel

Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-based recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. Jane presents her work, research, and high-energy demos on her YouTube channel.

Eat To Live Quick and Easy Cookbook

Too busy to shop? Too tired to cook? Not sure what's healthy? From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Live and the instant New York Times bestseller Eat to Live Cookbook comes Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook, 131 super delicious, easy-to-prepare, incredibly healthy recipes. No guilt, no fuss, just amazing food that's good for you. 

The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook: Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn

Mother-daughter team Ann and Jane Esselstyn have decades of experience developing delicious, healthful recipes for both their family and Dr. Esselstyn’s many grateful patients. Now, they combine their expertise to offer you this cookbook. 

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook

By simplifying the work involved in preparing healthy, whole food, exciting meals, bestselling authors Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall continue to build upon the success of their acclaimed, low-fat, and plant-based McDougall Program books. This latest edition, shares their secrets for lowering cholesterol, alleviating allergies, and dramatically reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes with food that is irresistible to the whole family.

The Engine 2 Cookbook

Lose weight, lower cholesterol, and improve your health, one delicious bite at a time in this companion to the New York Times bestseller The Engine 2 Diet.

Diet Fiction

This documentary confronts common misconceptions and misleading information propagated by the weight loss industry over the last several decades. The film shows the often-devastating effects that obesity has on people’s lives and exposes the viewer to new disruptive ideas and science-based evidence that could lead to long-term sustainable weight loss and improved health.

Forks over Knives

Researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.

In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food tackles a question more and more people worldwide have been asking: What should I eat to be healthy? Based on award-winning journalist Michael Pollan's best-selling book, the program explores how the modern diet has made us sick and how we can change it.

Game Changers

James Wilks travels the world on a quest for the truth about meat, protein, and strength. Showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, and visionary scientists to change the way people eat and live

Code Blue

Doctors and leading health experts discuss how lifestyle changes can prevent, manage or reverse chronic diseases.

Forks Over Knives

Information on how to eat a low-fat, whole-food, vegan diet that can improve health. 

Mastering Diabetes 

An online coaching platform for people living with all forms of diabetes that focuses on low-fat plant-based whole-food nutrition.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the medical professional society providing quality education and certification to those dedicated to clinical and worksite practice of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system.

The latest nutrition research via bite-sized videos with captions offered in multiple languages, blogs, and infographics.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.


Free Fitness videos from a personal trainer specializing in senior fitness,  beginner exercisers, and those with limited mobility.

“Sleep is your superpower” by Matt Walker

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body.

"The plant-based diet" by Michael Greger, MD

Dr. Michael Greger explores the reason why he became a doctor and started his non-profit, Nutrition Facts. Using examples pulled from medical research and resources, Dr. Greger poses his answer to the question, "Is there a safe, simple, side-effect free solution to the obesity epidemic?"

“How to get 1% better every day” by James Clear

James Clear is an author and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on CBS This Morning.

"A simple way to break a bad habit" by Judson Brewer

Can we break bad habits by being more curious about them? Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction — from smoking to overeating to all those other things we do even though we know they're bad for us.

“How to make stress your friend” by Kelly McGonigal

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case.

Your Care Team

Michael J. Kalinowski, MD, Dip ABLM

Michael J. Kalinowski, MD, Dip ABLM

Specialties / Areas of Care

  • Lifestyle Medicine


  • Middletown, CT


1 Specialty Care Location

1Middlesex Health Family Medicine - Middletown

90 South Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Office Hours
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Middlesex Health Family Medicine - Middletown