Venus Williams has won Olympic gold medals, countless tournaments and has been a No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world. Her busy lifestyle doesn’t give her much time to really focus on her diet, but she somehow manages to get it done between her training, traveling and competing. On top of that, Williams follows a plant-based, vegan diet, making things just a tiny bit more challenging.
“You have to be a little creative and be a little flexible as well,” Williams told Foodbeast while promoting Silk’s ‘Do Plants’ campaign.
If you’re wondering what a world-class tennis champion’s day looks like, Venus said she trains up to five straight hours a day, alternating between on-court drills, sprinting drills, and strength training before she gets to take a meal break.
“That takes me about five hours, if I don’t take any breaks,” Williams said. “I never take a lunch break, but if I did, it would probably take me a couple more hours to get through.”
Think about that, she spends five hours a day training, while we probably spend that time binge watching Dexter. Most of us get a lunch break at work, but Williams pushes her body to the limit, as eating almost seems like a mere formality in the grand scheme of things.
Things get even more complicated when she actually has a match, as there are times she competes in the morning, really throwing off her eating schedule.
“If it’s an 11 o’clock match, I’ll have to eat lunch at 9 in the morning. It just depends on what my needs are at the time,” the gold medalist said. “Lunch is actually my biggest meal of the day, because by that time I’ve finished training for hours and hours I got to eat something.”
As far the food itself, Williams carbs up before a match, going heavy on rice dishes, and pasta. And if you’re wondering where she gets her protein, Venus doesn’t really dig tofu, so she just sticks with her Silk almond milk and a protein shake, as a lot of athletes do.
“I don’t actually do a lot of tofu,” Williams said. “I do more of almond milk, or coconut milk and the powders.”
To add one last element of difficulty to her dietary life, she travels the world for a living, so she has to scramble, and figure out what her meals will be overseas, all while considering the different types of food that other countries eat. One common thing she has found in European countries is that their main source of dressing consists of olive oils, and she simply isn’t down with that.
“When I’m on the road… I’ll bring my own salad dressing,” Venus said playfully, using her dressing as a means of having something familiar while on the road.
If you think you can’t make time to meal prep and keep up with your diet, take a cue from an athlete who literally has no time, but somehow makes it work.