Serena Williams: Tennis Champ and Vegan Superstar

August 15, 2015

7298781488_81314ab895_mAfter Serena Williams triumphed at Wimbledon last month she became the holder of all four Grand Slam titles at once, the second “Serena Slam” of her career. Her relentless talent and fierce skill at the game has won her three of the four titles she needs to become the first player to sweep all four majors since 1988, adding
to her long list of professional accomplishments.

But did you know that some of her most impressive successes have occurred in the three years since she transitioned to a mostly vegan diet?

Sister Strength

Family is a huge priority for Serena who shares a profession and many championships with her older sister Venus. The two live together and compete together–and against each other–so when it came to it, choosing to eat together just made sense.

When Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, a so far incurable immune disorder, Serena joined her in pursuing a vegan diet. Plant-based eating is thought to help ease associated symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, and dryness of eyes and mouth. Originally a move of solidarity, going vegan proved successful professionally as well.

In these first few years, Venus has referred to the two of them as “cheagans” or “cheating vegans”. But as Serena discussed in her talk with Bon Appetit two years ago, green things have truly risen in her estimation, as she finds ways to enjoy full flavor without animal meat. She lists “tuna” made of walnuts and vegan sushi as two of her favorite options, and says, “My fridge is really just vegan: coconut water, Gatorade (my favorite!), cucumbers, mint, kale, vegetables, ginger, and wheat grass.” Sounds delicious to us!

Power Up3230642357_752a4c2609_m

Many who have chosen to follow a plant-based diet have done so for the huge health benefits of ingesting all those greens and nutrient-packed yummies. However, some omnivores fear mistakenly that removing meat from their tables will give them less energy or leave them feeling hungry.

But that hasn’t been Williams’ experience. She talks about staying fit and healthy by dancing a lot, and also how some of our favorite plants help her to carb up before a big competition. No boring pasta for this star, brown rice and sprouted quinoa give her the energy she needs to take home all the glory.

In fact it was 2012, her first year of eating vegan, when Serena won the US Open and began her three-year winning streak that has brought us up to today. At 33-years-old, Serena is also the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title. She sure shows no signs of slowing now!

Beginning August 31, Serena Williams will play in the US Open to defend her title and make history. For all you avid tennis fans or court newbies, let’s welcome her back with the greatest vegan applause we can muster and celebrate her coming victory along with her!