Venus Williams has made the dietary leap from steak lover to vegan but admits that in times of weakness she is a ‘’cheagan.’’
That’s Venus-talk for a cheating vegan.
‘’If it’s on your plate, I might get to cheat. If you’re sitting next to me, good luck. You turn your head once and your food might be gone,’’ Williams said, in good spirits after starting her Australian Open campaign on Monday with a quick 6-1, 6-0 win over Galina Voskoboeva.
‘’I think it’s pretty well known I’m a cheagan, ‘’the seven-time Grand Slam winner said, laughing. ‘’I’m not perfect, but I try.’’
On her website the 32-year-old American refers to this phase of her life as ‘’Venus A.D.’’ – Venus After Diagnosis.
Food is not the only difference between then and now, but it is one of the big lifestyle changes Williams has made since being diagnosed in 2011 with an immune system illness that had caused her years of mysterious symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue and muscle pain.
Williams went public with her illness after withdrawing from her second-round match at the 2011 US Open and then took seven months off tennis, skipping last year’s Australian Open as she learned how to manage the disease known as Sjogren’s syndrome.
Her website says Williams’ vegan diet is designed to decrease inflammation in her body and reduce the energy-sapping symptoms of the disease ‘’by not overloading her body with excess calories, pesticides or sugars.’’
‘’No more of her favorite cherry pies, as sugar is strictly,’’ forbidden, the website says, adding that Williams also has changed her training regimen to allow more rest days.