When a world-class tennis player and celebrity chef get together, aces are served, and in this exclusive chat held last week during the Happy Viking event at Dumbo House, those aces happen to be tips on how to start a plant-based diet.
Venus Williams and Chef Charity Morgan spoke to her The beets Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger explains how to use plant-based products, where to get your protein and what to do if you don’t want to miss out on your favorite dishes. (It’s very easy, Charity explained: You make it as a vegan version!)
For plant-based protein fortified with 60 superfoods and vitamins and minerals, Venus explained that their latest project, a protein powder from Happy Viking, is making embarking on a plant-based lifestyle even easier. With the kind of pea and rice based protein that you can take and prepare anywhere you want to fuel up for a snack, meal or a strenuous workout (which she has many of), Happy Viking safely solves the problem of making, that you get all of the nutrients your body needs without having to have a brain bowl and a perfectly balanced dinner every day.
Venus created Happy Viking – first as a shake and now as a powder with proteins and functional ingredients – that makes it easy to whip up a smoothie or mix with your favorite plant-based milk to get your nutrients everywhere. For Venus, one problem in her life is solved because she had always worried about getting enough nutrients, superfoods and proteins on the go when she founded her various fashion and beauty companies and continued to train and play tennis at the highest level .
Happy Viking is now a brand that enables anyone, not just professional athletes, to meet all of their plant-based nutritional needs. Charity Morgan, the cook best known for her appearance on The Game Changers, the documentary about athletes who rely on plant-based health, recovery times and overall performance for health, has created unique recipes to turn protein powder into delicious and easy- to-down flavored shakes. (The chocolate and mint shake she made with the chocolate powder was the first empty tray at the gathering, which about 75 people came to hear Venus and Charity speak.)
Venus Williams, a top tennis player in the world, chose plant-based health for her
Williams has been vegan for ten years after she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that makes you tired and has a variety of symptoms, most of which are painful and too debilitating to exercise at the highest level. Because she was ready to try anything to get healthier, it was worth a try.
“Everyone was telling me to give up. I was 31 and they just said go ahead and retire.” But the athlete is not ready to just throw in the towel, she said. Venus talked about the struggles she faced and found it difficult just getting out of bed some mornings because of her illness. When a doctor suggested she try a plant-based one, she had nothing to lose. So she stopped eating meat and dairy, and within a few weeks she felt stronger and in just a few months she felt unstoppable, she says. “I wanted to get to the bottom of the problem,” said Willaims. But she won’t call herself vegan because she is not 100 percent strict. Instead, the tennis star refers to her plant-based diet as “Chegan” because she admits she’s slipping at times. “I’ll just keep it real,” she said.
Vegan chef Charity Morgan agrees that it’s better not to settle for labels or expectations, but instead just try to gradually increase your plant-based diet and add a plant-based meal or two a day, then see how much You love the taste. Morgan, who has been married to a former Tennesse Titans linebacker Derek Morgan for nine years, was executive producer on the popular documentary about plant-based athletes. The game changer, and knows exactly what herbal athletes want to eat. Her husband cut out meat and dairy products in 2017 to further his career, and Charity switched at the same time and started preparing meals for their new diet, as did his teammates who noticed he was training faster and his game was improving. . They too wanted to eat like this to improve performance.
The meals that Charity shared with Titan teammates quickly became famous across Nashville, and she began preparing a range of dishes for them to take home. She became the head chef for these players, turning vegetables into hearty meals sturdy enough to feed people six feet and some over three hundred pounds. Charity cooks every type of cuisine – Italian, American, or whatever her customers like – but she’s particularly inspired by a mix of soul and Caribbean food, she says with her Creole and Puerto Rican background. “When it comes to soccer players, I mostly serve classic American dishes like vegan burgers and chicken nuggets and fried mushrooms.”
When I started I asked them what they wanted, she explained, but after a while they just trusted her to cook delicious food. “It’s easy to cook for these guys when they really didn’t know what they were eating,” she explained. “A player told me he doesn’t eat tofu so I called his wife and asked if he was allergic and she said no, he just doesn’t like the taste, rubs and spices and slices it really thin like it’s bacon , and added it to his Caesar salad and he couldn’t believe how much he liked tofu. “
The best tips for a plant-based diet from Venus Williams and Charity Morgan:
1. Start slowly and add in a meatless Monday, then a vegan taco Tuesday and move on. If you’re looking to start all at once, you can do that too, but don’t expect high expectations, just be nice to yourself and if you screw it up say “this is Chegan” and move on .
2. Eat what you love, but make it vegan. Charity has mentioned dozens of recipes, and they’re all in her book. Incredibly Vegan: 100+ Life-Changing Plant-Based Recipes: A Cookbook, coming out in January which makes it even easier.
3. Lose bad habits and reconnect with the origin of the food. “Children are so much easier than dealing with all of you,” said Charity. “We have all these habits and things that we cannot live without, but children are so connected to animals and nature. I had this one kid who told me that an apple was coming from the grocery store and I thought I was very busy.
“But when you take your children to farms or gardens and they learn what it takes to grow a piece of fruit or vegetable, they feel connected. Children’s brains are like sponges. When you make that connection, it’s so much easier to help them eat more plant-based foods. “
4. To get a man, like an athlete, to become vegetable, make it measurable. “I see a lot of resistance,” says Charity. “Athletes want measurable results. They don’t care what they eat as long as their stats stay the same or you get better or are better in the field.
“I became a chef for athletes because I started cooking in the first season, my husband and his closest friends (four boys) were eating my meal and the rest of the boys would sit back and look at them and be naysayers. And Derek would say, ‘I have to prove to them that I can do this.’ Derek uses naysayers as fuel, so he went from defender to linebacker and everyone thought he could never do that. That year, Derek had the most tackles when he went vegan. “
“And all the guys who sat back and watched wanted to register. Before the next season, I had 200 guys on my list who wanted to eat plant-based, so the resistance was there [at first] but that’s how I meet people. “
5. It’s just about trying something. “After eating my meals, they usually say, ‘If I could eat like this every day, I’d be plant-based,’ says Charity. After preparing them 3 or 4 meals, they just told me to do what they want. “So find what you like to eat and do it!
6. Have a backup plan. If you cannot always eat a vegetable diet, Then, according to Venus, Happy Viking Protein Powder can get you 20 grams of complete protein and the equivalent of a full cup of plant-based and fruity phytonutrients.
Along with the protein and nutrients, each serving of Happy Viking contains 2,800 mg of MCT oil (for brain health) and 32 mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acids, plus 1 billion probiotics for gut health. Venus says she skips breakfast a lot most days, but knows that a shake can meet her nutritional needs either after a morning workout or whenever she needs to refuel.
7. Make it affordable with vegetable proteins like rice, beans, and other hacks.
“It’s expensive to eat healthy and having access to foods that we should naturally eat is a problem,” says Venus. “I love the opportunity to condense these nutrients in one meal. So if you can’t afford healthy meals, at least you know you can get them in Happy Viking powders that you hold all day. You get them more for your worth. ” Happy Viking costs $ 54 for a large container of powder, which is just under $ 3.50 per serving when purchased on the company’s subscription plan.
Watch exclusive videos from the event with Venus and Charity
Venus pointed out that not only does she love the taste of Happy Viking and the fact that everything is dairy-free, but that she also loves that every shake contains essential minerals that will help increase her mental strength when on the Place is like DHA and omega-3 fatty acids, or as they called them, “brain food”.
For the entire conversation, watch the video and learn all about how to eat more plant-based foods, what Williams and Morgan eat in a day, how to cook like a celebrity chef, and more. follow The beets Instagram for additional exclusive content from the event.