Vegetarian Action

Dedicated Vegan Dietitian Dr. John Westerdahl

By Heather Francis

Dr. John Westerdahl has practiced a vegetarian lifestyle for 40 years and a vegan one for 20 years. He is a Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Master Herbalist, Board-Certified Anti-Aging Health Practitioner, Health Scientist, Health Educator, and a father. He is also an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

As part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, he was the first state Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group (VN DPG) coordinator in Hawaii, and after moving to California, he became the state coordinator. Last year, he was the chair of the VN DPG.

In addition to volunteering with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Westerdahl has also worked for the Castle Medical Center in Hawaii (an Adventist Health Hospital) and for The Bragg Health Foundation in California. At Castle Medical Center he assisted in opening its new Wellness & Lifestyle Medicine Center and helped enhance the vegetarian cuisine. He revamped the facility’s menu, and was able to completely eliminate all red meat from their offerings. After moving from Hawaii to California, he joined Patricia Bragg as the Director of Health Science for Bragg Live Food Products and Director of the Bragg Health Foundation.

Now Dr. Westerdahl works independently and is writing vegetarian cookbooks and a book on plant-based living for health and longevity. Once a month, he gives a short health education lecture before his church service at his local Seventh-day Adventist Church in Thousand Oaks, where he is actively involved. He is also working on his weekly national radio talk show — Health & Longevity — which airs on the Life Talk Radio Network on Sundays at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and Fridays at 5 p.m. Health & Longevity is dedicated to providing the latest cutting-edge information about Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle Medicine so you can live a vibrant, healthy, and long life! It is a production of LifeTalk Radio.

Obviously, living a hectic and busy life, he is able to balance it with the help of his family. "It is part of our mission to spread the message of vegetarian nutrition. So we often work together as a family." Dr. John Westerdahl is an inspiring health practitioner within the vegetarian field who has made tremendous efforts and contribution in advocating for a plant-based and vegan lifestyle. This article documents only a fraction of the work and impact Dr. Westerdahl has made in advocating for a vegan diets. He is a prime example of someone who talks the talk, and walks the walk when it comes to spreading the vegan message.

For information on Dr. John Westerdahl visit:

Heather Francis wrote this piece while doing an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group.