About Vegan Weight Loss
Welcome to the Vegan Weight Loss site. We are the site owners, Jerry
Smith and Elaine French. We live in Mesquite,
Nevada. We both struggled to keep our weight under control for many
finally discovered the secret to losing weight and keeping it off
It was a simple vegan weight loss diet and a daily walk.
We have now been vegans for over 25 years. Here are our stories:
I was an overweight kid with the
nickname "Tubby." In spite of
my weight, I loved playing sports and was always active. I played
football and baseball....I even played in the minor leagues for a few
After I quit baseball, I began working for United Airlines. I worked
swing shift. My idea of a good late
was cheese, peanuts, and beer. I became a long distance runner to keep
my weight under control.
My daughter developed kidney disease when she was fourteen. We were
living in Hawaii then, and a friend sent us to Dr. John
McDougall. Dr. McDougall was a local internist who used diet to treat
Dr. McDougall told us we could save my daughter's
function if we put her on a low fat vegan diet. I threw away
all the old foods and started my daughter on the diet right away. To
support her, I followed the same
avoided dialysis for 7 years! The diet also turned out to be the
perfect vegan weight loss plan for me. I
lost 30 pounds and lowered my blood pressure to normal. I was
to learn that I could eat until I was satisfied and not gain weight.
I eventually developed injuries from running and had to stop.
But I found I could keep my weight
stable with a daily walk as long as I stayed on the vegan weight loss
For the first
three years we were on the diet, my daughter and I ate the same foods
over and over again. We ate oatmeal, fruit, spaghetti, brown rice,
chili, and steamed vegetables. It was kind of boring, but at least my
daughter was healthy and I was at my ideal weight.
Finally I became desperate to learn some
new recipes! In 1986 I took McDougall's cooking classes,
where Elaine was the instructor.
a flight attendant for Pan Am and
later for United
Airlines. In those days flight attendants had to be a certain weight.
Every few months I had to go on a diet, and I would barely
pass weight check.
I loved to go
out to eat on layovers, and
by the next time weight check came around I would have to diet again. I
wish someone had told me about the vegan weight loss diet. I hated
dieting and being hungry all the time.
I started running 30 miles a week to control my weight. (Does this
I bought a vegetarian cookbook called Diet
for a Small Planet. As I read
the book, I was shocked to learn
how wasteful it was to feed grain to cows. I was concerned about the
environment. I became
I used a lot of cheese and other dairy products because I thought I
needed them for protein and calcium. A year later I read The
Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise by
Nathan Pritikin. I eliminated dairy products and oils from my
diet. I had now created
a vegan weight loss diet without realizing it. I lost weight
gradually and felt great.
A foot injury ended my running
program, so I switched to walking. But as long as I stayed on the low
vegan diet, my weight was stable.
I was living in
Hawaii then and I began working for Dr. McDougall in my
free time. I edited his first book, The McDougall Plan,
and I taught
cooking classes to his patients. Jerry was one of his patients.
Jerry and Elaine
that we had a lot in common. We were both vegans. We both
worked for United Airlines and we loved to travel. We were both broken
down runners who walked every day. We both drove blue
Volkswagons. We both wore Birkenstock sandals. People told us
we looked like brother and sister. Oh, brother, it was fate.
The two of us, with Dr. Bill Harris, founded the Vegetarian
Society of Hawaii (VSH) in 1990. We taught cooking classes at
American Vegan Society
conferences. We gave lectures about vegan weight loss and
taught cooking classes at the
National Institute of Fitness (NIF) in St. George, Utah. NIF was
a well known weight loss spa.
In 2002 we retired from our airline jobs and moved to St.
George. We opened a vegan restaurant there called the Health Deli.
soon met an enthusiastic customer named Wes Craig, and we
him start the Vegetarian Society of Utah (VSU).
the Health Deli, we created the vegan weight
loss menu for the Body Shop Spa. We
prepared the food
Body Shop Spa for five years. In 2007 they changed their name to
Fitness Ridge and they moved to a new location outside of town. They
finally built their own kitchen and hired a chef.
They became very popular and are now a site of The Biggest Loser
television program. (No, the spa is no longer vegan.)
Running a restaurant was hard work. After five years, we
for a change. We closed the Health Deli and moved
from Utah to Nevada.
We love the activities in our community. We go
for a long walk every morning. We wear our pedometers to ensure we
walk at least 10,000 steps every day.
Jerry is also a "gym rat." He spends time on the treadmill and
elliptical machine, and he lifts weights. He rides his
bike around town.
I (Elaine) enjoy yoga and I am learning country line dancing.
dancing makes me use my brain. It gives me lots of steps on my
We have started a vegan club
in Mesquite. It is a
great way to meet like-minded people.
the pages for this website and Jerry is my best critic. We
helping people and we hope you enjoy the site. If you have any
comments or questions, please leave a message in the
Facebook comment box at the bottom of any page. We try to
answer all questions within a few days. We delete rude comments,
because life is just too short to deal with them!
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you for visiting.
Jerry and Elaine