Exclusive: Serena Williams Says Venus Motivated Her To Embrace A More Plant-Based Diet
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Tennis star Serena Williams is showing us how she keeps her body fueled off the court in a new campaign for plant-based food brand JUST Egg

The food-tech company, best known for its tasty egg alternative, has tapped Williams as the face of its latest ad campaign, “Really Good Eggs,” showing how she makes the plant-based brand part of her healthy lifestyle. Behind the camera, she’s also an investor in Eat Just Inc.

“I invest in things. I saw JUST Egg pop up a while ago and I thought it was super sustainable,” she tells ESSENCE. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is quite interesting…’ and then I thought, ‘Nah, it’s got to be impossible.’ Then when I tried it, I was like, no, this isn’t impossible, this is incredible.’”

Williams has been incorporating plant-based food alternatives into her diet for over 10 years, beginning when her sister Venus was diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome.

“I started trying [plant-based foods] years ago. The reason I started was because my sister, Venus, was diagnosed with Sjögren’s, and when we lived together, she changed her diet,” she shares. “I remember thinking, ‘I can’t bring all this bad food into the house,’ so I changed my diet as well. I realized that I didn’t feel weaker, I didn’t feel like [my body] was missing something, and I actually had a lot of energy.”

JUST Egg

As of April, JUST Egg has sold the plant-based equivalent of 250 million eggs, saving 9.1 billion gallons of water, avoiding 43.6 million kilograms of CO2e, and sparing 13,446 acres of land, proving how plant-based alternatives not only have long-lasting benefits on our health but on the environment as a whole. 

“I’m not 100% plant-based, but I’ve watched a lot of these documentaries, and they talk about how if everyone cuts back a day or a week, or maybe two days a week, what a difference it can make. And that really spoke to me in terms of how we can do better for the environment,” she says. 

Over the years, Williams has been open about how she’s overcome challenges with her health as an athlete and mother to her 4-year-old daughter, Olympia, whom she shares with her tech entrepreneur husband, Alexis Ohanian. Williams has made healthy living a family affair, sharing how making homestyle recipes with JUST Egg has opened her family’s mind up to eating more plant-based meals.

“There’s something I love called a Spanish omelet that you can make with potatoes, JUST Egg, and vegetables,” she shares. “It’s really, really nice!”

As the 40-year-old world-class athlete looks to keep her body in top shape even when she’s not competing, enjoying the meals she can make with JUST Egg, she’s also practicing self-care as a means to prioritize her wellbeing and keep her mind in tip-top shape too.

“A lot of people say you have to put yourself first, but I think you have to take breaks and understand the word ‘no’ sometimes. It’s very powerful,” she says. “Take breaks; whether it’s going to get a facial, foot massage, pedicure, or going to look at nature. Whatever that break is, it’s important to let go, heal, and recharge.”

As Williams looks to the future of her living and lasting legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all time, prioritizing her overall health has been a winning strategy.

“It’s enabled me to leave a longer legacy than I ever thought or could have imagined — in terms of having longevity,” she adds. “It’s all about sustainability. And I think that’s the biggest legacy anyone can leave. It’s all about helping others for tomorrow.” 

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