Steve Villanueva: From red meat to hardly any at all

WPTV meteorologist shares health-conscious journey to mostly vegetarian diet
Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 13:58:48-04

Recently I decided to make a big change in my life. And for me, it's a huge one.

Something I never thought I could do, I've been doing for the last several months. And so far, so good.

Every year I get an annual physical. And it's always the same story. My cholesterol and blood sugar run above normal. My mother has type 2 diabetes and I am pre-diabetic.

Since I'm nearly 50 years old, I figured now is a good time as any to try a new lifestyle. As of Jan. 1, I now eat a mainly vegetarian diet to try to get my cholesterol under control. I also started running on a regular basis to help lower my blood sugar.

My family is from Argentina, a huge meat-eating country. I was raised on eating red meat. It's part of our nearly daily diet. No wonder my cholesterol is on the higher side. My maternal grandfather was a strict vegetarian (except he ate liver. Yuck!) and he lived to nearly 100 years old. So there has to be something to this whole animal-fat-in-the-veins thing.

So far it's been fairly easy. I do eat eggs still (mainly egg whites) and fish. As far as beef, pork, chicken; almost nothing. Since I still love a good steak, I reward myself with one every three months. My wife, being Swiss, loves beef bourguignon. That was my reward for eating clean for three months.

There are a several benefits to eating this way. I've lost a few pounds without starving myself. It's much easier on the wallet. And the main one I've noticed: my stamina is way up when I go running.

I used to run two miles and then quit. Now I run three miles easy and feel like I could go for more.

Over the next few weeks I'll try to show you how it's going on my end and share new recipes I discover. Wish me luck!