“Venus Williams departed the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wednesday with downcast eyes,” reads the August 31, 2011 edition of the New York Times, “staring at an uncertain future after revealing she had received a diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.”

Ten years after that report, Williams’ future in the pros is still be uncertain—but only because she’s 40, not because of a medical condition. Part of the reason for this unexpected longevity, besides proper medication, is her plant-based diet. Williams’ move away from meat has unquestionably been a factor in re-establishing her place in the game.

One thing we do know about Williams’ future is that it will include Happy Viking, a plant-based protein shake company she launched last December, which merges passion and profession.

“Knowing that Venus’ at-home shakes helped her get back to the top of her game, we knew we had to make Happy Viking complete with the right ingredients and nutrients to fuel her and others,” says Happy Viking co-founder Neel Premkumar.

The shakes are packed with all nine essential amino acids, macronutrients, DHA-Omega 3’s, sunflower oil and fiber. With the help of nutritionists, the ingredients were carefully crafted to replicate Venus' home- made shakes that helped her body in the fight against Sjogren’s.


“Venus created this shake to help herself and others heal from the inside out,” Premkumar says. "Each ingredient has a beneficial purpose for your mind and body."

As more people turn to plant-based lifestyles and alternatives for their health and environmental benefits, it's no coincidence that oat milk, soy milk and almond milk are now widely available at restaurants and grocery stores. According to The Vegan Society, consumption of plant milk increased by 61 percent in 2018, while consumption of cow's milk decreased by 22 percent. And Venus isn't the only ambassador of plant-based alternatives—Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios have cited the power of plants in their improved health and performance.

“I think if anyone is feeling plant curious, just give it a try,” Premkumar says. “As someone who has been plant curious for quite some time, I know that it can feel intimidating to go fully plant-based. Even a meatless Monday might spark inspiration in trying more plant-based foods.”

After switching her diet, Venus claimed her fifth Wimbledon title and an Olympic gold medal in a 10-month span. Those plants clearly pack a punch.

“My advice is to educate yourself on why you’re doing it, what the health benefits are,” Premkumar says. "From fighting diseases to em- bracing environmental issues, everyone has their own reason for wanting to live a plant-based lifestyle.”