Venus Williams Wants To Help You Go Plant-Based

Venus Williams Wants To Help You Go Plant-Based

10/12/2021

Becoming a top player in tennis wasn’t a coincidence for all-around superstar, Venus Williams. It took years and years of hard work for her to be at the top of her game. For her, staying in tip-top shape, not only means working on her skills, but on her overall wellness too—her mind, body, and skin.

One of the ways she makes sure she feels her best is by being vigilant of what she puts into her body, so Venus keeps a vegan diet. She eats mostly plant-based foods, but don’t be surprised if you catch her slipping. Instead of saying she’s fully vegan, Venus prefers to call herself a “chegan,” aka a vegan who cheats.

She also likes taking supplements for an extra boost of wellness and nutrition. That’s why she co-founded her own company, Happy Viking, which just launched a line of plant-based superfood protein powders.

Though Venus was a big meat eater before going vegan (she was “huge into steaks”), she’s now fully embraced the plant-based lifestyle. Though she’s always been a fan of plants and veggies, it wasn’t a walk in the park. Here’s what Venus’s plant-based diet looks like, and her tips for other people who want to follow a similar journey.

What does a day of plant-based eating look like for Venus?

When it comes to a morning meal, Venus isn’t a huge breakfast person, since she often heads straight to the court or gym to train for about five hours. But she says she usually “survives” on either shakes or fruits. Her favorite shake right now is a strawberry mango, which she makes using strawberry protein powder and red mangoes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CT5pIxvls5z” data-instgrm-version=”13″>“I just throw in a few dates for sweetness, so you don’t have to add sugar,” she explains. “The dates have fiber in them, so they’re just a healthy, filling sweetener.” Occasionally, she adds dehydrated fruit. “It enhances the flavor and [the shake] tastes like ice cream,” she tells Women’s Health.

For lunch or dinner, she might have some lentils—prepped by her mom. She might add them into a salad with a mix of quinoa and pickled veggies with some homemade dressing. “Lately, I’ve started making my own dressing,” she says. “I made a vegan butter, and ranch buttermilk dressing. It’s just so fresh, and it’s so quick. The longest it takes [is the time] it takes to chop the vegetables.”

Then for a snack, she might have some flavored nuts, fruit, or something dehydrated like kale chips. But Venue admits she’s not much of snacker. “I go to my pantry a lot, and then I look and nothing’s there. And then [I realize] I’m not hungry,” she says.

How has her vegan lifestyle evolved?

When Venus first started her plant-based diet, about 80 percent of the foods she ate were raw, but things have changed. “It was difficult for me to maintain that especially traveling nonstop, having to play matches, and train hours upon hours of the day,” she tells Women’s Health.

Venus has also realized that she needed to add some supplements to her routine. The extra nutrients in them help her feel and fuel better, she says. Her day is full of shakes she whips up using different flavored powders. “I take it to the court with me,” she says. “When I’m ready to refuel and I’m losing energy before I get to that point, I’m taking sips. That way I can last the full practice.”

What are her tips for others going vegan?

If you’re a meat-eater switching to a plant-based lifestyle, making the transition can feel intimidating. But Venus suggests taking it slow. Try making just one of your daily meals plant-based. “Some people are putting meat in every meal, start with one meal, [0r] do the 80-20 [rule],” Venus said at a Happy Viking event.

It’s also important to get support from whoever is around you, your family for example. When Venus became plant-based, her whole family followed suit and actually became “chegans” themselves—even her dad, who Venus jokingly says doesn’t even realize iceberg lettuce isn’t a thing.

Lastly, she recommends not quitting, even if things get overwhelming. “Just try,” she says. “It’s about figuring out what works for you.”

If you’re ever in need of a pick-me-up though, try Venus’s go to protein shake for fueling up.

Venus Williams’ Go-To Protein Shake

Tropical Blast

  • 2 scoops Happy Viking Green-a-colada (amazon, $54)
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango chunks (amazon fresh, $5.69)
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks (amazon fresh, $5.69)
  • 1 fresh or frozen banana (amazon fresh, $1.59)
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 cups refrigerated coconut milk (amazon fresh, $4.89)

Blend all the ingredients and serve up!

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