Venus Williams & Her Plant-Based Vegan Journey

The athlete has been vegan for ten years, initially trying out the diet after being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Sjogren's Syndrome causes joint pain and fatigue, and after her diagnosis, Venus' tennis career looked as if it was about to end.

The 41-year-old women's tennis icon adopted a raw vegan diet after she was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome in 2011 and doctors advised the diet could relieve some of her symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and joint pain, she said in an interview with Health.

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 "clean," aka a vegan who cheats.

Venus Williams is a legendary tennis player. She’s won countless titles in both singles and doubles tennis and has four Olympic gold medals on her shelf. While those are all impressive feats on their own, Williams recently added a new title to her résumé: Entrepreneur. The professional tennis player just launched a plant-based protein company called Happy Viking.

Why Venus Williams Went Vegan

To help ease the inflammation in her body, Williams decided to try a vegan diet. She says that going plant-based wasn’t an easy transition, especially since she “went from zero to 1,000 when shifting her diet. She says, It was such a long journey, and I feel like it’s a journey that I’m constantly on, trying new things and quite honestly making mistakes and eating the wrong things.

Through experimentation and listening to her body, Williams says she learned to limit her sugar and gluten intake.

What Venus Williams Eats in a Day

Williams says that although she spends five or six hours training in the morning, she doesn’t eat first thing when she wakes up. Instead, when she’s done working out, she has a Happy Viking shake alongside some fruit to fuel up for the day.

Williams says she loves to eat fruit because it helps her beat sugar cravings with its natural sweetness, but doesn’t aggravate her Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms. Williams says she especially loves summer fruits like cherries, watermelon, and apricots when they’re at their peak. 

Williams also loves to snack on two other healthy options: kale chips and applesauce. While she enjoys the kale chips from a local restaurant, you could easily make your own with our air-fryer recipe. As for the applesauce, Williams says she enjoys it because there are so many wonderful flavors to choose from. (Although she says she does face the teasing of her mother, who often asks, why are you eating that baby food?

Williams says she’s also been craving Spanish food during quarantine. She says, It’s all I want to eat, and adds that she loves anything with some heat or garlic.


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