Tennis champion and successful entrepreneur Venus Williams has seven Grand Slam titles and runs two companies. She admits that what gives her so much energy is mainly vegan food.
In the latest interview for Women's Health she talked about her (mostly) vegan lifestyle. She explained what she eats during her busy days and shared her favourite smoothie recipe with the readers.
She said: "I started eating raw and vegan for health reasons. I needed to fuel my body in the best way possible."
A few years ago, Venus revealed that she has been suffering from Sjogren's syndrome. This rare autoimmune disease causes fatigue, muscles ache, and joint pain.
"Knowing how important a role my diet plays keeps me on track," she says.
Venus admitted that she doesn't always eat 100% vegan, and she called herself a "chegan".
"I try to make the majority of my meals raw and vegan, but I'm only human and am known to cheat a little bit. I joke that I'm a 'chegan' because sometimes I've been known to stray," she said.
In the morning, she focuses on training, and she has a very light breakfast.
"I'm not a morning person or a big breakfast eater," Venus told Women's Health. "I do need some fuel to get me going, but find it hard to scarf down a big meal first thing when I wake up, so I'll usually have something light like fruit or a protein shake."
She has a very tight schedule during the whole day, so she often switches up her lunch and opts for quick meals on the run like smoothies.
"Depending on how much time I have for lunch and what my schedule looks like, lunch can vary from sweet potatoes and rice to a green smoothie," she says.
"Eating is part of the job when I'm competing, so I make sure to get some protein and carbs," she says. "After a match, I'll usually have a protein shake with a plant-based milk and protein powder and then eat a real meal shortly after."
Venus admits she eats lots of snacks to help her going through the day.
"I'm often running from multiple practices to meetings for EleVen or calls with my design company, V Starr, so I am always looking for little things that are easy to bring on-the-go," she says.
She also eats loads of fresh greens and veggies. "You'll often find me snacking on kale chips in meetings," she says. "Green juice and smoothies—and protein shakes, if I'm coming straight from practice—are also my go-to's. I need foods that are tasty and convenient, but still pack a punch and keep me going, whether I'm on the court or in a meeting."
In the evening, Venus likes to prepare easy meals, and she usually goes for a salad.
"For dinner, I love vegan Caesar salads because they are super easy," Venus told Women's Health. "I can whip it up quickly whether I'm at home or in a hotel room at a tournament."
She doesn't restrain from healthy desserts.
"When I'm training, I really try to practice self-control, but sometimes a girl just needs a donut!" she says. "I have found it's easier to curb those cravings by finding foods that are still sweet but also healthy, like a juice or a smoothie."
Venus is a real smoothie queen, and her favourite smoothie is a "Green-Colada," which she makes with pineapple, canned coconut milk, coconut oil, a little vanilla flavouring, and kale.
"Sometimes I'll have some fun and put a rum or prosecco floater on top," she says. "Work hard, play hard!"
Tennis star's eating motto is: "It's all about moderation. Life is too short to not love what you're eating."